Just gauging interest in case study of long term business setup

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by afro25, Sep 15, 2012.

  1. afro25

    afro25 Regular Member

    May 15, 2010
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    I've always been a fan of the case studies people post on here and am just wondering if anyone would actually be interested in seeing a case study of a fully white-hat business setup? Obviously if noone is interested, then i need not bother.

    A little about the business:

    • The business is starting as an online ecommerce site in the UK.
    • This is a rapidly growing niche in which i have had a strong interest for about 7 years, and i've been planning this business for about 3 years - I have tons of information i've developed about turning this into a full time career for myself, with plenty of planning for several stages after I (hopefully) achieve success online.
      • While it doesn't exactly require a massive investment, because I don't earn alot it's still going to require alot of time, effort and a substantial part of my paycheck to get started.
    • The niche is very popular in the USA and abroad but somehow has remained quite small here in the UK up until recently where the market has skyrocketed.
    • I will be selling a range of products, all similar to each other, but with their own unique characteristics.
    • There is a lot of room for profit on these products, I can even sell through eBay and make 290% back (so 190% profit) on some products even after the eBay, paypal, postage and packaging fees. This means that I could look into Group buying sites like Groupon and potentially still walk away with profit (which i have read that most businesses fail to do).
    • There is alot of competition, but only three or four competitors which really stand out, and they are charging massive prices which is the main reason why many people are hesitant to buy these products.
      • While I do ofcourse want to make some money, I want to allow people to buy these products as more than just 'one off luxury purchases' - When I first stared getting interested in this niche, I could only ever afford to buy them a few times a year - I want to make it more affordable, but don't want to go so cheap as to make the product itself seem cheap.
      • I am able to undercut all of my competitors (have compared about 70 different stores online) by a fair bit and still make profit.
      • Apart from the main few competitors, most of the others appear to have stagnated - they don't seem to do much marketing and don't know much about SEO, which is something I know that I can beat them at.

    Ways I plan to market the business:

    • eBay - As I mentioned above, I can sell the products on eBay and still make ALOT of profit, even after the fee's - eBay is the largest online ecommerce store and is amazing at getting products infront of people.
    • Amazon - Again, a massive marketplace which I can still profit even after all the giant fee's.
    • Email Marketing - I'll be requesting that eBay and Amazon customers join my mailing list, with a discount or free incentive to get them to sign up, with promises of interesting information and exclusive discounts.
      • From there I will market products to them at discounted prices (compared to eBay/Amazon), which should be a good incentive to get them to save money by buying directly from my website, which should give me a higher return as there wont be so many fees.
    • Facebook advertising - I know exactly what demographics to target, so will be trying some extremely targetted adverts to get people to like the facebook page.
    • Facebook pages - I'll setup a facebook page and post regular offers from the site and have a small competition on a weekly/bi-weekly basis where people must share the competition, which should allow it to get some virality.
    • Twitter - Regular laid back style updates with news and info on the industry, along with a competition every so often.
    • Affiliate marketing - I can afford to give away a small percentage of each sale to affiliates, but I haven't decided how much to give away just yet.
    • Contacting bloggers - This is a big one for this industry, I can contact bloggers who are interested in reviewing the products, which can both help from an SEO and referral visitor viewpoint.
      • There are several extremely influential bloggers which I can contact (who I know who are VERY interested in this niche) which could potentially get a post about me infront of several hundred thousand viewers a month.
      • "Review copies" in general - I know alot of people which may be interested, so I may be able to spread some word of mouth reviews by giving them free products.
    • Adwords / PPC - A bit obvious, but there are many super niche keywords that I can target for next to nothing up until I start ranking well for those keywords.
    • Press releases - If I can stagger the release of each product, I could have a press release for each one - there's always alot of information in the news (online, on TV and in newspapers and magazines) about this sort of stuff, so It could work quite well.
    • Friends / Family - I've built up a small following of friends who are interested in this niche and there are alot of people around who i've helped out, so i'm sure some of them wouldn't mind helping me out.Grou
    • Group buying sites - There are alot of horror stories online about how Groupon has bankrupted businesses, but many of them didn't do the proper maths (which is something i'm not too bad at) - Obviously i'm going to work out to the penny exactly how profitable each sale is, but looking at the profit margins on most of my products, I can afford to give a 50% off deal (which nets me 25% of the sale price once Groupon's 50% fee has been taken out) and still make (some) profit!
      • This is somthing i'm going to research to death though, as I've read that only a small percentage of the customers will turn into repeat buyers.
    • Magazines - There is a massive potential for exposure with all of the different magazines that my product could be featured in - When i'm sorting out my press releases then i'll be contacting alot (more than 100) different magazines to see if any can publish the press release - If not then i'll enquire about regular advertising
    • Radio - I don't think this will be as effective as magazine advertising, but I'll be looking into it.
    • TV - This is the big one that will (hopefully) come in time - None of my direct competitors use this yet, but there are budget sellers using TV to sell cheap rubbish which appears to be working well.
      • There's a few satellight channels which would be great to advertise on!

    I'm planning to be able to get selling my products shortly before christmas time, which mean's I should have my website setup around the middle of November - I'm currently using my hostgator shared server as a dumping ground for test sites of different ecommerce platforms, but am pretty confident i'll be using OpenCart.
    The business is registered by I need to register for a few different things which will likely take a few weeks.

    I should also state that i'm not actually going to be performing a large amount of linkbuilding - I will aquire actual organic links by way of authentic reviews from interested bloggers etc. This is a long term business i'm trying to build, so everything I do is going to not only look natural, but actually be natural (meaning that any and every link created is not made by me, but made by someone else who is interested in the brand or product - The only exception to this will be Press Releases, which will not target specific keywords), which should in the end result in no potential penalties from Google's animal farm.

    Not only that, but I know that it's a pain in the f**king ass having to constantly research and test different linkbuilding methods, only to find out a few months later that Google has brought out an algorithm that effectively means I've literally wasted 6 months of my life - It's not worth it and I can see the advantage of just using regular marketing and getting natural links.

    Although there is alot of competition (other sellers of the products), they aren't really much good at On page SEO, which is what i'll focus on, along with flat out brilliant content - Think about that one thing you know more about than anyone else you've ever met, now focus that even more so that you know more than most people in that industry - I know practically everything there is about these products and am perfectly confident that I can give google exactly what they want - Damn awesome content.

    I didn't expect to write this much - I really just expected to write about three sentences and hit submit lol - I know this won't be the normal type of case study that people here are used to, but as i've absorbed so much information i'd like to give atleast something interesting back - Just let me know if you're interested, or if you have any marketing idea's :)

    P.s - Wrote this while slightly drunk :rabbit8:
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  2. jazzc

    jazzc Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

    Jan 27, 2009
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    You 've put more thought that 95% of people starting an e-commerce venture - looking forward to the case study :)
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  3. AR!ZONA

    AR!ZONA Regular Member

    Mar 20, 2012
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    Cactus Island
    Man, you didn't even try to gauge our interest. You just went and spilled the beans.

    J/K, I think it's great. Let's follow you along on your journey of whitehood success!
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  4. afro25

    afro25 Regular Member

    May 15, 2010
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    Lol, Well it's more of just an idea into what i'll be doing, so if/when I can get onto the case study i'll update with how well different things do etc