Monday, January 02, 2006

What Came First The Chicken or The Blog

I was visiting with my sister a few days ago and she was a little bit down on the internet. She has an awesome product that she sells online; they are exquisitely hand-designed eggs. Check them out at– she is quite the artist. Anyway, she ran a campaign on Google a year ago and she didn’t get meaningful results from her campaign. So she said, “Eric, how am I supposed to get rich via the internet if a Google search campaign doesn’t drive traffic that converts?” I tried explaining to her the whole starving artist phenomena but she didn’t bite. So, let’s take a look at what went wrong and how a blog on raising chickens could help my sister.

So, You Have A Chicken Farmer for a Sister?

My sister, Toni, lives in Dutchess County NY and decided that raising chickens would be a great hobby. I was surprised that she knew the difference between a hen and a chicken (side note – this reminds me of a favorite line from Seinfeld – if the rooster is having sex with the hen, then who is having sex with the chicken?). Toni takes the chicken eggs and using a
special process that coats the eggs with a colorful polymer layer. Bingo, Toni has a very beautiful unique gift. Raising chickens on her own, she has developed a lot of experience in buying, caring, and raising chickens. Heck, I found out on Monday that she performs autopsies on dead pets to understand what happened to them. Yes it is true; I have a chicken farming sister.

To Google or Not To Google, That Is The Question

So, Toni wants to get rich like every other starving artist and asks me what she should do. I said, start a search campaign on Google and get some traffic. So, she turns on her campaign and you know what happens? Her ROI is pathetic. It turns out that when she does get traffic from her campaign, they don’t turn into paying customers and those clicks turn out to be pretty expensive. You say to yourself, “Eric, aren’t you featured in the
press talking about search? How can you bash Google? “ Well, I’m not bashing Google at all. Quite the contrary, here’s what is going on with my sister’s campaign.

Toni is in the gift giving business and is up against MAJOR advertisers (ie – Hallmark) who can outspend her on a per click basis. Also, she is selling decorative eggs, which means she has a very seasonal product (Easter). Net, net she is in a very competitive space going up against big advertisers. That’s why her campaign failed. Any clicks she paid for came at a big CPC and when they did click, using normal shopping cart abandonment rates, the math doesn’t work on a CPA basis. What is she supposed to do?

Blog Where The Fish Are

As you can see, I really enjoy blogging. It’s not that I just discovered it, but being employed by an online broker has some drawbacks and one of them was that I needed to have our compliance team review before I published anything. Now, I love the compliance team at Harrisdirect
(some more than others), but I felt uncomfortable with having to get an approval, plus didn’t it waste company time if I need to get these approvals. The big reason I enjoy blogging is that a regular person like myself, can generate CONTENT on the internet with just a laptop, internet connection, and a story. Bingo – you are competing with the big boys for content, and as anyone will tell you, content is KING.

So, Toni should start a blog on raising chickens ( She could write about buying chickens for pets, caring for chickens, feeding chickens, eggs, toys, building chicken coops, and plus, a whole commentary on performing chicken autopsies. The amount of delicious content is endless. Once Toni has her blog going she’ll need to get traffic to the site. That’s where Google comes into play.

Instead of using Google to drive sales, why not use Google to drive traffic to the blog? Of course the blog will have advertising and links back into Toni’s gift site so she can monetize the traffic. Plus, if she builds up enough visitors she can turn on an ad sense campaign to generate her own CPC revenue. Hopefully, with enough traffic and paying customers, Toni could really start frying up some eggs. So now instead of competing with the big gift giving retailers on a CPC basis, she can build up her own traffic at a much more cost-effective basis.

See, you thought raising chickens and hatching eggs would have nothing to do with a blog. That’s it for now. I need to make a western omelet for dinner.




At 2:12 PM, Blogger MeMa13 said...

Awesome! You blogger you...
Online blogging campaigns are pretty cool as one ""
shows. All you need is self-promotion and a bit of exposure and your marketing wizardry and BLAM! You're there.
BTW, what's a CPC??

At 5:19 PM, Blogger Eric Frenchman said...

Hi Mema,

Thanks for the comments. CPC is a cost per click and this is how a typical search engine charges clients.


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