A Look at Shopping Blogs

The idea of Shopping Blogs facinates me. I’ve not tried it, but have been thinking more and more that I’d like to these last couple of months, so I was pleased to see that David Galbraith had found this list I could check out over a nice cup of coffee this morning. There’s a free sub required to the list link, but lucky for you dear reader, Im going to link them out here and talk a bit about each one.

The idea of a shopping blog, a blog on a theme, featuring products you can buy, as opposed to a product blog, where you’d typically write about one or a small group of products, is interesting. Interesting in that I’m just not sure how viable the model is, but I suspect if the blog is highly targeted, it could be very worthwhile.

You’d expect the main form of monetization to be affiliate links, but that isn’t true in all cases. Let’s run through this short list one by one and take a closer look.

Shopping Blog
I can’t say im particularly impressed with this first one. It appears to be fairly general, and to monetize through fairly standard banners rather than direct affiliate links to products it posts on. With 1464 bloglines subs though, you’d think it would be at around 3000 RSS subscribers so I could be way out there in my assesment.

Im going to guess that im not though, I can’t imagine this one making much money.

Mighty Goods
Hmmm.. Now im just getting depressed. MG is a straight up affiliate site, with a little adsense thrown in for good measure. It has a couple hundred subscribers, but really, is dull as dishwater. It may well make more money that the previous one though, depite it’s content appearing to be the manufacturer/merchants own descriptions of the products it lists.

Slave to Target
Well, what can one say? That URL is the first hint that this is a washout, and when you look closer, as the name suggests, it’s just a straight forward Target affiliate site. Ok, I’m just not finding anything to inspire me yet…

Crib Candy
Hold everything! Just when you thought it was all doom and gloom, somes this little gem. It appears that one person at least, “gets it”. Clearly aimed at the Digerati, or at least hoping for a ton of links from the (just check out the tagging etc), this one is actually interesting. It’s got a stack load of novelty, weird and obscure products on offer, the kind of things that really are “impulse buys” and despite having only a miniscule subscriber base does offer at least one ray of hope. I’ve seen this linked before, and although im not inclined to subscribe myself, i think the idea has legs.

Oddly, monetization seems to be a concept lost to this site almost entirely.

Hunt and Gather
The idea looks kind of cool at first glance, a shopping blog for “cool things for guys”, even though it’s been done a million and one times by regular ecom sites, but the monetization is poor at best. A few coupons and a bit of adsense, wtf? Unsurprisingly, this one has few subscribers.

Wow! The first thing that strikes me is the cool url, then i look at the page and what do I see? A great looking blog focused on cool stuff for guys again, but presented well, and written well. It’s well monetized, with all the products being linked with an affiliate id and has a small but healthy subscriber base weighing in at just over 400. Im not surprised, and in fact, have just added them to my RSS.

Great job on that one, it deserves to succeed.

Now Smell This
Despite very few subscribers, this blog, all about perfume, has some good comment action going on, so you’d assume it’s popular among it’s non-tech-savvy audience nonetheless. The monetization appears to be poor, relying on Adsense and direct sponsorship, but then i could be mistaken, perfume can be pretty expensive! I like this one, i like it a lot. It’s more of a traditional blog, linking out to it’s peers and conversing on it’s chosen subject, if the monetization were better, i’d call it a winner for sure.

Wrapping Up

WIth a couple of notable exceptions, there’s not a whole lot to inspire here, but the point was to discuss the viability of the shopping blog, and from those 2 or 3 that are well executed I’m inclined to think that the concept of shopping blog is a good one.

Do any of you guys do this? If so, let us know your experience, and tell us about your site (only if it’s a real shopping blog though please).

2 thoughts on “A Look at Shopping Blogs

  1. hi ! thanks for this shopping blog idea. your post offers a significant information for marketing strategy. thanks a lot for sharing your ideas!

  2. I’m the co-founder of a fairly new “shopping blog” called Cool Mom Picks. We feature non-mainstream products for hip moms, as well as relevant services, cool causes, websites and zines. The tone is fairly cheeky and we have a soft spot for handmade items like this one. But in the end, whatever we review has to be cool.

    While we’re still in our first month and our site design is in progress, we’re already garnering as many as 800 hits a day so it seems to have struck a chord. Advertiser support is in the works – but we’re not going to accept any compensation for reviews or click-throughs like some sites do. It feels disingenuous.

    And agreed…Uncrate is rocking.

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