Today I present another written interview with Dan Champion, Dan has an extensive background building out price comparison websites online.
Check out the interview:
1. What got you interested in creating websites online and marketing in general? Share your story.
I started building websites in 1995, in the days when Yahoo! was the only search engine, and people would visit our office to see the internet. We’d entertain them by showing them that at least one website existed for any subject they could name. Excuse me while I wipe away a tear.
Over the next 12 years or so I built websites for lots of companies, government organizations and charities, and a couple of hobby sites for myself, and the obligatory blog.
2. Of all the types of markets to go after, how did you come about the idea to start creating price comparison websites?
In 2008 while working in London I had an unexpected afternoon off and spent it surfing the web in my hotel room. I stumbled upon a forum about affiliate marketing, and what caught my eye and imagination were posts about the psychology of AdWords ad copy, and about how poor the big price comparison websites like PriceRunner were.
After a bit more reading I registered a domain and spent the evening building a price comparison site for a single product, Mario Kart Wii. That first night I spent £2.50 on AdWords and earned £11.57 commission. Over the next month it generated commission of over £4k and I was hooked!
I built more sites using the same strategy, learned a huge amount about affiliate marketing, and later that year my brother and I started our company Mooch Marketing. We developed our price comparison platform, built our first site Boot Mooch, and about 20 more since. We’re just about to launch the second generation of our platform.
3. How do you typically monetize your sites?
Largely through price comparison, using affiliate programs and some direct relationships with retailers. We also have success with the eBay Partner Network, both as a supplement to price comparison and in its own right.
4. What types of strategies are you using to generate traffic to your sites and what has been working for you so far?
SEM, SEO and email marketing, although it’s become increasingly difficult to compete in SEO on Google with pure price comparison sites so we’re working in improving the range and quality of the content supporting our sites.
We also work with partners, primarily high traffic content sites aligned with our vertical niches who are looking to improve their monetization – they refer traffic to us or embed our comparisons on their sites and we share revenue.
5. What are your future plans for 2014 and beyond?
To complete the development of the next major version of our platform, and launch the first site on it – ToyCo. It’s a toy site which we soft-launched in December to test the performance of our new product pages. We have more work to do on the rest of the site and early signs are very promising.
We’ll then migrate some of our existing sites onto the new platform. We also aim to grow our partner channel and produce a lot of content about toys and cycling, which is rarely a chore – it should be a good year!