How To Create Your Own Unusual Product Site
Ready to create your own unusual product, affiliate, site?
(FYI: This is chapter 5 of the mega-guide "5 Ways To Make Your Own Profitable Affiliate Site")
In this final chapter we'll examine the cool and unusual product affiliate model made famous by the likes of Thisiswhyimbroke.com.
It's an interesting business model especially when most of the products these sites feature NEVER get bought.
Find out below how these sites make their money....
Introduction to Unusual Product Sites
The most famous 'unusual product' site is thisiswhyimbroke.com which I featured in my $20K p/m affiliate case study here.
It isn't the only site of this type and certainly wasn't the first.
However, it is the most popular and well-known thanks to its innovative design, careful product selection, and witty product descriptions.
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These sites work by featuring an array of weird, wonderful, wacky, and often downright stupid products that you'd probably never want to buy.
And most people never do buy anything they feature.
So how do they make their money you ask?
Every time someone clicks on a product to find out more they are whisked off to Amazon or the other retailer it's featured on and the affiliate cookie is set.
So at that point if your visitor then goes onto buy ANYTHING from the retailer you get a commission of that sale and Amazon in particular are experts at getting people to buy even if they didn't have spending money in mind.
Display ALL weird and wonderful products even when there's no commission paid on it - this adds to the user experience.
Of course there will be people who DO buy these weird products but the vast majority never do.
Due to the nature of the products on the site people are inclined to share them on social media giving the sites a natural viral effect.
One mistake you must avoid making with a site like this is simply featuring only products that net you a commission.
There are tons of products all over the net, from bespoke items to concepts, to weird items that aren't actually on sale but are entertaining and worth being featured.
By featuring these even though you can't make money from them you're adding value to your website visitor and not just trying to make a sale.
The reason sites like this work isn't because people visit wanting to buy something “weird” (at least the majority anyway) but because they want to be entertained and find something cool to share with friends.
The main aim is to get people sharing so they are doing your promotional work for you and clicking so that the affiliate cookie is set.
I'm not an expert at affiliate marketing.
I just approach things with the mentality of "how can I make the best possible website that people will want to share with their friends?".
I don't really focus on how to make the most money - I'm still just looking for ways to improve the user experience" - Adam Freedman, Thisiswhyimbroke.com
Pro's of Unusual Product Sites
- Naturally viral – the share factor of these sites means a lot of your marketing is done for you (TIWIB for example no longer advertises their users do it so well for them).
- Less content needed – doesn't necessarily require blog posts so for people who don't like to write these are perfect.
- Endless array of products – there's so many weird products available across the net in all sorts of niches.
- No selling required – no sales pitch and no writing sales copy as people naturally click on your affiliate links without any coercion.
Con's of Unusual Product Sites
- Thisiswhyimbroke dominates the market and there are lots of competitors so “niching down” into a sub-market with weird products is needed
- Can be difficult to gain momentum as in the beginning traffic can be hard to find without your own social media following.
- A high amount of traffic needed to make money as most people aren't in buy mode – sending the bulk of your audience to Amazon products will help with conversions.
- Uniqueness needed as if featuring the same products as all the other sites people will feel like they've seen it all before so finding unique products and / or a sub-niche essential.
Products can't just be slightly strange they must have the 'wow' factor so they shock and encourage sharing.
How These Sites Deliver Value
As mentioned earlier the value in these sites is from featuring cool and unusual products regardless if you make money from them.
Even if it's not on sale but has the 'wow factor' then it should be featured.
Also from clever product placement to increase the shock factor, i.e. a zombie teddy bear with a chainsaw next to a more mundane household item.
And clever and witty product descriptions with a bit of humor that gets people laughing.
Essentially by being the go to site for weird and wonderful products from around the web and world and not just rows of slightly unusual products you'll get a commission from if someone buys.
To take it one step further allow interaction like allowing people to share, rate, favorite products along side a blog offering additional content.
Examples of Sites in the Niche
- Thisiswhyimbroke.com [Estimated $20,000 p/m from Amazon alone]
More Niche Site Examples
How You Can Create Your Own Unusual Product Site
Firstly you have to find a sub-niche because between TIWIB and the other competitors the market looks pretty crowded.
You'd have to do something fairly original to stand out among the established players.
It's not impossible as TIWIB is the biggest site of it's type but not the first and they did it through their infinite scrolling feature and cool design, witty product descriptions, and clever product placement.
So if you can find a unique new design or approach to the niche then by all means jump in as things are now.
Otherwise find a sub-niche. A good place to start is seeing what categories TIWIB and the others offer and focus solely on one of those.
I think pets, home & office, kitchen & food all have potential as there's a lot of quirky and unusual products in these categories to be found.
If you focused solely on one of these you'd be able to showcase a lot of weird and wonderful products.
Pick a catchy, brandable, and unforgettable domain – ThisIsWhyImBroke is a perfect example of this.
You simply do NOT forget it once you've heard it.
The unusual product niche is saturated so niche down and find a sub-niche with lots of unusual products - pets, kitchen, food etc.
I recommend starting a blog along side the site for content marketing purposes and to bring in search engine and referral traffic from other blogs as the short product descriptions are not long enough to be google friendly.
Build up your social media profiles and traffic through paid ads to gain momentum focusing on Facebook, Tumblr and Pinterest as these are image based.
Don't forget the power of Reddit – it's what TIWIB owes it's initial popularity to due to the viral effect.
Network with bloggers in your niche with the aim of getting featured by them – guest blogging and blog commenting will work quite well too for initial traffic.
I can't stress the importance of this enough – build your email list from day 1!
This is essential for a site like this to continually drive traffic back to the site, show people new products, and keep them coming back time and time again.
What You'll Need To Get Started
- A hosting company which can handle viral traffic – WPEngine is what I use here on the blog.
- A catchy and memorable domain from NameCheap – it must be memorable and brandable.
- Either a 'pinterest' type theme such as Pinerly (limited in features) or the viral Wordpress theme which allows you to automatically build your own TIWIB style site with ease.
- A bulk image optimizer because you'll have a large amount on your site and it will run slow without one.
- A discounted $1 Aweber account so you can build your list and update them of new products meaning more traffic and more sales.
- At least 100 really unusual products added for launch so the site doesn't look too empty – remember to make sure they have the 'wow' factor, commission or not.
- Social media profiles set up, linked to the site, and some paid ads running to them to get some momentum going.
- A blog running alongside with some niche related content so if you're focusing on unusual kitchen gadgets and food is could be recipes using the weird foods or products for example.
- A list of those in your niche you'd like to network with so you can get in touch, link to them, share their content, and reach out for guest posts.
Summary of Cool Product Site Model
This model relies on a steady stream of unusual products with the 'wow factor' that people want to share and not on written content like so many other websites do.
If you can find unusual products in a sub-niche and get traffic the viral effect will be in full swing.
It can be a profitable business model, it's estimated TIWIB make at least $20K a month from just Amazon commissions not including all the other retailers they work with.
However there are a lot of similar sites so you really have to stand out with your design, work hard on visitor interaction, make social sharing easy and get some original products up.
Shock people, amuse them, make them click / share happy, and provide over the top value to them and you'll get fans for life.
Drive your traffic from social sites to increase the chances of the site going viral but don't ignore other traffic sources either.
Remember you can get your own TIWIB style viral site builder here.
To discover 200+ profitable niche markets click the image below now...
This is chapter 5 of the mega-guide "5 Ways To Make Your Own Profitable Affiliate Site" and is the final chapter of the guide.
I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.