Everyone go to: http://www.thebeststudfinder.com/
Ta Da! Awesome isn’t it?! Well maybe not. But it is getting there. I’ve done a lot of work on it and still have a list of things that I need to do. But want to start getting feedback and advice. So this is the official announcement.
So let’s go over some of the history of how I chose the topic of the site and some of the decisions that I made along the way.
When I decided to start building a passive income, I had spent the last month burning through SPI podcasts. There were so many possibilities and I wanted to do them all at once. But choose to start with a niche site. I’m a UI developers/UX designer by trade. I’ve literally built hundreds of web sites. Some were for small “mom and pop” companies and some were for Fortune 500 companies. So I figured that building a one page site to promote a product would easy enough.
Next, was deciding on a topic. I really wanted to start with something I knew well. I didn’t want to do a ton of research before I could publish a site. I wanted to have a site up quick and than refine it as my knowledge of the process improves. Well I had recently done a bunch of work in my garage. My wife and I want to have a workshop where we can work together (and with our kids) doing things like woodworking, pottery, metal working and leather working. But living in suburban Houston, I didn’t have a lot of space. We decided to insulate and climate control our garage and work out there. I took off the peg board that covered the walls, ran some extra electricity then added insulation and finally covered the walls with plywood. This took several months to do and a lot of the work I had to do by myself. One of my frustrations along the way was how often I would miss the stud while putting a screw through the plywood. I was using an old stud finder that I have had for years. But still 20-30% of the time I didn’t hit the stud. Finally I decided the old stud finder had to be replaced and I ran to Lowes for a new one. There were a half a dozen options to choose from at the store. Prices ranging from $24-$75. I didn’t know much about the differences so decided on a middle of the road models, bought it and went back to work on the garage. After that 100% of the scans with the new stud finder was right on. That night after a shower and a beer in hand I decided to play with the two different stud finders and figure out why the first one was off so much. I tried both models on my bedroom wall and found that the older model was consistently one inch off of the newer model. That just didn’t make sense. When your screwing into a 2×4 stud in the wall an inch is a big deal. But then the light bulb went off in my head. Maybe the older model was doing exactly what it was supposed to do. Maybe it was just made to find the edge of the stud. So I tried coming at the stud from the other side and sure enough it was still an inch off the newer models mark. So what I found was not equipment failure. But user error. I wondered how many other people had done the same thing. Just not know how to use the stud finder that they had bought.
But building a niche site around how you use the stud finder that you already own is kind of dumb. Most people just go to the manufacture’s web site and read the online manual when they need help. Plus you can’t make any money through an affiliate link if they already own the product. You really need them to buy something. So I decided to build a site around what the best stud finder was. I hopped out to GoDaddy to search for a domain that would fit. BestStudFinder.com was not open, but it was for sale for a mere $2400. Ahhh no. I certainly didn’t think that was worth it. TheBestStudFinder.com was available and I bought it quick. It took a few minutes to figure out how to add a second domain to my Bluehost account. But I figured that out and had WordPress installed quick. Set it up as a single page site. Added my favorite plugins and BAM things were moving!
I knew I wanted to use my Amazon Affiliate program to generate money. I actually had set that up years ago for other personal blogs. So I figured I would just search what the most popular stud finders were and just list the top ten. This should be easy. But when I searched for “stud finder” on Amazon, the highest rated product that came back wasn’t even electronic. It was magnetic?! That doesn’t seem efficient at all. But the product had over 4000 user reviews on it. More than double of the highest rated electronic one. Okay. Well I guess I should have known that. Another strange thing is that 95% of all the electronic stud finders are made by the same company. I wonder why? I guess I should have known that. Whoa weird, there is a $700 stud finder listed that uses radar! Who is going to buy that? Hmmmm I guess I should have known that too.
Damn. Maybe I should have checked out what the competitions was doing first. When I do a Google search it brings back Popular Mechanics, a few DIY blogs, the stud finder manufacturing sites and a few of those huge review sites. Nothing is really current. Some of the products they recommend are no longer available on Amazon and none of the sites are 100% stud finder related.
I’ve divided the site into categories that make sense to me. I wrote a lot of copy and used keywords that I thought would be good. Included links to products on Amazon. Added two Google Adsense ads. Done some basic design work. Than launched it.
Yes it is showing up in the search engines and getting a little bit of traffic. Even generated a little bit of income. But honestly I made so many mistakes along the way. I wish I could start over from scratch with what I know now. But also this site is my first niche site and it was intended as a learning environment from the beginning.
I still have a list of todo items for the site. Including a nice header image, some additional pop up items to explain how-to lessons and a video that shows several stud finders being used.
Creating the good content is most important. I think I am 80% there. I’ll clean and refine the content. Then go out maybe quarterly to update product information. The site will grow I know. But it will grow slow.
Please don’t hesitate sending comments and advice.