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Building my presence Hobby Niche - Help Needed

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by Gsecur, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. Gsecur

    Gsecur Newbie

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    Been a lurker for a while but my first time posting.

    I have an online store I am trying to build further traffic to. I deal with a very niche and saturated space hobby (r/c, models and trains). Which I own a physical store, but have moved into the online space. I have been building my traffic to my site with SEO and using tools to build up my twitter followers and so forth.

    I have two questions. One, is I was wondering if I should build a community site besides my actual store. I have been including news posting and making video post on YouTube for the store, but I wonder if they would have a greater impact if they were not associated with the store but a more personal website. Then have advertising there back to my site. If so should I use WordPress or Joomla. From what I have been reading word press seems to be more SEO compatible, but I would be sacrificing alot of flexibility versus word press or Joomla.

    Secondly I am looking for to hire a web marketer who has experience with clients this industry, R/C Trains, Models. I have 16 years of IT experience and now I have entered this business as a semi retirment, so I am looking for someone who can also leverage my own skill set, graphic design, movie editing and maintain a long term marketing relationship to continue expanding the business. Sorry for the winded post and multiple questions.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2011
  2. darkmonk

    darkmonk Regular Member

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    I've often wondered how the little guys compete against Tower Hobbies and the like anymore. Reading this is giving me the R/C bug again.

    Do you specialize in any particular area/micro-niche/sub-niche? Like rare/hard to find trains, or gas r/c helos, etc.? Path of least resistance might be to sponsor a few existing communities / forums / etc. if there are any out there. Feeder sites are a good idea, but as for whether the SEO benefit is more or less based on where you put a video for instance, I think its more important to just get the video out there as opposed to where you put it. I would do all the above though.
     
  3. jon_xx_x

    jon_xx_x Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Too bad you weren't here months ago, I had a bunch of RC domain names sitting around you could have had.
     
  4. seanie7

    seanie7 Newbie

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    This is of interest to me, am am a long time lurker of this forum and run a hobby tools website, so we sell quite a lot of modellers tools that are used in your niche.

    I run a successful webdesign business and we are using our online shop as an experiment into SEO as we need to gain experience.

    We have been working on trying to build up a craft/hobbiest forum/blog and think that would help from a point of view, when looking into the modellers world i found loads of videos but most of them were so amateurish. I was looking in from a tool perspective but i think it was the same with models them self. i think if you could make some sticky content that was actually informative and put across in a professional way, then associate it with the shop man, i think if you can get people watching because they are interested in what you are saying then u should deffo make a big thing about the brand!

    In terms of looking for someone to work with, where are you based? like i say, we run a successful design and media company and work with a few big uk based clients, the big hole in our armour however is SEO.

    I think it has come to the point now where i will be scouring these forums for a worker instead of advice. feel free to email me man my gmail is seanie7

    Edit: a little bit of off topic advice, we have had great business success from affiliating ourselves with associations and organisations, the UK has loads of modelling organisations, we offer them an exclusive discount from our site. I guess it will be a bit different for you but we see a lot of interest from simply giving away a little discount code.
     
  5. Gsecur

    Gsecur Newbie

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    Thanks for the reply dark monk. Competition is tough against the big guys but luckily they are not that deep into the internet and other viral streams. The community websites are actually the largest drivers and traffic holders. If you stay content rich you can compete in the market, but it is not easy.

    In the physical store I focus on the high networth individuals who like r/c but not the hassle of maintaining them or building scale models.

    Online has been a battle as I try to figure out the niche. I used to run a number of IT sites that pulled in a good monthly income, but switching to a hobby niche has been a learning experience. So far I have built up the business by focusing on marketing more direct to individuals, videos and mailing lists. Also sponsored racers and scalers. Then offering special deals or packages. Almost similar to w00t. People do not have as much loyalty as you would think to the big guys as long as you can get them what they want. Issue is the big guys like tower and especially Horizon control the magazines and make there own products and have exclusive deals.

    I have purchased ads and forum space on other sites, but honestly I have found it ineffective.

    So I am going to expand the other portions, also getting involved in forums would be good, but as a company not many people want to engage with you. As a community site I believe I could gain better traction. Plus I could post articles, videos and other things not directly tied to the shop.

    Do you know of any marketers who have worked in this niche
     
  6. Gsecur

    Gsecur Newbie

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    jon_xx_x
    Yes that is too bad :-(

    seanie7
    Thank you for the suggestions, I would be interested in hearing about your experiences. I will send you an email about and include my shops info, I am located on the U.S. East Coast. As for videos I have noticed the same thing, but I have also noticed that the skill level is increasing, which is drawing in my opinion a larger crowd into the R/C world. (Check out RCSparks they do wonderful production.) This plus the cost decrease of electronics and batteries has made the hobby easier and more affordable for the masses. Hence, more profitable as well. Large R/C companies like Traxxas and Team Associated are now sponsoring real racing.

    Also just a reminder, anyone have an opinion on whether I should start the community page using Wordpress or Joomla or another CMS?
     
  7. rabota1234

    rabota1234 Registered Member

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    Hi! I suggest that you utilize every PR option that we have available today. Make a Facebook fan page, use twitter. It's a nice thing that you are already using Youtube as a marketing medium.
    Start a the community page you are talking about. Wordpress, in my opinion, is the best platform for that.
    Adwords is effective and it's a nice tool to use when you need trafic. Just wait a bit, results will come soon.
    Good luck!
     
  8. Karamazov

    Karamazov Newbie

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    You actually have a base of traffic you just need to leverage it. Put up a forum and let your current customers know about it as a place to gather, share tips, etc? Also if you can host events at the shop these can be anything you such as how to paint model trains or make scenery. Advertise this through the forum chances are your regulars have friends that have similar hobbies and they will spread the word for you. It might take a bit to get it off the ground and you will have to stay active on the forum yourself to make it successful, but you will have a great opportunity to build a relationship with your customers.
     
  9. Gsecur

    Gsecur Newbie

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    Thanks for the comments guys, and advice. I will keep you posted on how I progress.