As many of you know, I have been hard at work developing a new minisite/blog for the Palm Treo smartphone. The new site is a replacement for our previous Treo-themed minisite, Treo Webinar.
First, a little history: Treo Webinar sold a $4.95 eBook that provided an indepth training-tutorial of how to use the Treo smartphone. Unfortunately, that is about all the site did and there were very few content updates. We advertised on Google Adwords for 6 weeks and spent around $65 in text and banner advertising. We also sold the Treo Webinar on eBay, and ironically enough, eBay produced more sales than direct visitors to the site did. For an explanation to that, see this previous article. All-in-all, we sold about 20 eBooks, made $25 on Adsense, and sold a few Treo phones through our affiliate marketing. Definitely not the ROI we were looking for, given all of the work put into developing the eBook and the site itself.
As I mentioned earlier, because we were just selling an eBook and displaying affiliate ads/Adsense, we had no reason to frequently update the site’s content. As result, we received very little search engine traffic. This herein lies the problem: sites that are not updated frequently receive little to no search engine traffic. There are exceptions, but this is generally the case. The solution was to create a new site that provided fresh and useful content.
Our new site is called Treo Express. Treo Express is designed to feature news, product reviews, a hot deals page, and we will even still sell our eBook on the side. It is no secret that blogs produce much more search engine traffic than static content sites, so Treo Express should be able to generate much more revenue than Treo Webinar did, soley for the reason of better page rankings. Not to mention, visitors now have a reason to come back to Treo Express, instead of visiting Treo Webinar, which did not receive many repeat visitors.
Treo Express is now in its early testing stages and is up and running. My business partner, Josh, has already written 3 great articles for it. This site will be updated at least every other day by three different contributors.
Another special feature of the site is the Hot Deals page, which will feature a collection of links to great deals on Treo hardware, software, and accessories. We even have plans to setup an online store through partnering with a cell phone accessories wholesaler. And get this – the wholesaler will be drop-shipping all of the ordered parts for us – we do not have to do any packaging or stock inventory.
Neither the Hot Deals page or the Store is up yet, but in the next few days you will be able to browse a collection of over 200 products from various manufacturers.
What is the lesson here? Fresh, unique, and frequently updated content brings back visitors far more often than a static web site. Once the Hot Deals and Store pages are finished, I plan to create a full write-up on how to select a targeted niche and develop a unique minisite that provides useful content and a passive income stream through affiliate marketing and deals with wholesalers.
Just FYI, Treo Express is still in a relatively early stage of development and testing. We plan to improve the site quite a bit in the next few months. I invite you to check out Treo Express and let me know what you think. Rock on!