By Andrew Neitlich

Next step in case study

By Andrew Neitlich

Thank you for all of your predictions about the money-making sites in the previous blog post. Some of your predictions were downright depressing and made me question my continued existence as an entrepreneur. Others created possibilities, which I appreciate. All were thoughtful, mostly.

Let’s add some information. What I’d like is to give you a sense of my thought process so that you see the logic of this strategy.

The boxing site was the first one launched. I came up with it by working with a personal trainer who happened to have been a professional boxer at one time (not Evander Holyfield by any means but a solid contender), and who created a terrific boxing fitness program. He also shared with me that, contrary to some of your posts, the fitness world has lots of online certification programs. So we partnered to create the site. It took about $1,000 to create it with videos (initially before additional development). It did well. By “well” I mean that it costs less to get a customer than customers are willing to pay.


So that led to the idea that other certification sites might work, too. This includes astrology (which turns out to be profitable), the coaching site (which is testing soon) and healthcare marketing (which is testing soon). Simply showing a medical practice the healthcare site in an early draft stage has led to an engagement that pays for all four of these.

The free networking site is something I came up with to pursue a different strategy. Here the strategy is to cover costs with ads and book sales (like sitepoint) but eventually sell out to someone at the currently high “cost per active user” rate of $5 to $40. I have no idea where this will lead, but will keep you posted. This site DOES however have a specific target market. I will focus on specific communities, thus a geographic rather than industry focus. Once one community signs up, I move to the next. And I pursue some creative and free marketing strategies that I’ll get into later.

So what does this mean?

1. If you get a successful site, roll out similar sites in different categories.

2. Roll things out inexpensively. It costs me $700 for the average site, such that 2 or 3 users pay for the development.

3. Test and invest in what works. The boxing site is so good that I’m rolling out kickboxing and some other programs in the next month, with a world champion kick boxer.

4. Know what it means to have “enough.” My goal is to have a few sites that earn me a good living from home. I figure if I can get 5-10 boxing-style sites up, I can achieve this goal.

5. You can market anything to anyone, if you focus on what they want and deliver good value. In the case of all of these sites, initial feedback from actual prospects and customers (not web developers) is positive.

More info to come….


  • weekbeforenext

    What is the URL for your boxing certification site?

  • Anonymous

    What is the URL for your boxing certification site?

    and here we go…

  • I find it interesting that some people said that #5 would fail because “its been done too many times.”

    Take a look at MySpace — they entered the social networking late in the game compared to early arrivers like Friendster. MySpace today has millions and millions of users and was bought by News Corp by over $500 million. Friendster recently couldn’t even get $5 million when they tried to sell it.

    The key to sucess isn’t always doing something new — its doing something better.

  • It is not uncommon for sitepointers to share their sites urls with the rest…

  • aneitlich

    No problem, so long as you know some are in development:

    http://www.centerforexecutivecoaching.com (going live this week)
    http://www.healthcaremarketinginstitute.com (going live next week or so)

    The fifth is not up on production server yet.

    I sure would be grateful if you don’t sign up for the newsletters unless you are a serious prospect or know one.

  • erzatz

    Those are all good sites.

    To increase traffic and business, community based blogs on each websites specific topic. Have your subject matter expert (SME) offer advise (non-pitch) on sites like this (boxing, coaching, astrology and etc) one with the url in their profile. It gets you Free exposure, increased traffic and would help push rankings up (in google).

    Work with guest SME’s and have them do freelance articles on similar subjects maybe RSS feeds on Boxing… etc. Do promotions… increase the benefits and decrease the cost for those that bring along a friend. Have special guests for limited engagements… can you rent Evander for a week??? Same for the Coaching there are VIP’s that will rent their support of anything. Name recognition is important.

    I know you are trying to stay on the inexpensive side… by try finding a site statistic tool other than pphlogger it gives Privacy warning and could scare away prospects.

  • Sally

    Looks like you don’t care for Web Standards, that’s a shame for all of us. Thanks for sharing this inside info on your projects though.

  • Godin

    No purple cows here – Although, I guess if you develop enough “me Too’s” with cheap CPA it can work….I like the model though, a marketer finds a professional in a given industry, partners with them to form a company that has a selling proposition to teach other professionals in the industry how to make more money at it. The marketer gains the credibility within the target industry that they couldn’t on their own.

    For each of these sites, however, search visibility would be a clear necessity, not a very good site design for it though (you like your templates) – overlooked??? With a little SEO I am sure that you could capture nice rankings on the SERPs, off-hand I don’t know how competitive the paid search for these would be – but probably not too intense.

    The boxing site is confusing. Your message is hazy. Landing on th site you are immediately hit with questions – is it a certification site, or simply advertising a gym?? Your USP is “Helping people get in the best shape of their life” – this needs some work. Who is doing the helping? Your company? or the potential proud certificate holder after they complete your certification?

    It looks like your focus is to get people in to shape by coming to your gym, not getting them certified. The certification aspect is little lost – I thought you said previously that it was the focus? Which I think is a much better idea – you should focus on the certification. The home page should start with a call to fitness professionals looking to make more money by adding a boxing component to their service (or if they already offer it, how to make more money with it); capitalizing on the rising demand for it and enhancing their value prop to both current and potential clients (retention and acquisition). This is your niche – not getting them in to shape, they can do that at anywhere. I think the certification aspect has potential. I am starting to think of sevaral “unique” approaches you could take with it…

    On each of the other sites the call is the first thing seen, which is much more effective.

    I like the model though.

  • aneitlich

    I agree with you on the boxing haziness. We started with a different product (an online fitness program) and have not yet updated the message. A new iteration is coming in three weeks or so that will incorporate your feedback. Thanks.

    Also, re: purple cows. As Clint says, a man needs to know his limitations. And his talents. I’m good at the “me toos” and not the guy who will invent the next great thing. In fact, when I’ve tried, I’ve lost my shirt. So I build on that talent and let others blaze the trail.


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