Monetization Makeover: Devilish Heels

I’ve posted about Manolo’s Shoe Blog before as an A-plus example of product blogging. Since The Manolo’s rise to fame, I have noticed a lot more product blogs popping up, especially in the fashion sector. Well today’s specimen for Monetization Makeover is none other than Devilish Heels. From the title, I like this blog already.

As always, please poke around a bit at the blog before reading further.

There. You back? Let’s go on.

Previously in the monetization makeover series I’ve asked everyone to take a long, hard look at the Adsense heat map. Well today you get a bit of a rest from that. Why? Well, that’s the great thing about product blogs: the ads and content blend together naturally, so things like the heat map don’t matter as much anymore (conversely, things like authority and content quality matter more than ever).

Now, onto our specimen. First off, let me go through some things I really like about this blog (remember, the Monetization Makeover series is not just about tips to revise monetization tactics, I also like to point out things that people are already doing right).

What I love about this blog

  • It’s a microniche! “Shoe blog” is already a pretty tight niche, but “Heels blog” is even tighter. The tighter the niche, the easier it is to become the authority. Traffic also tends to convert better on a tightly-themed blog.
  • Ads in content = yummy I don’t have any facts or figures, but I’m going to go out on a limb and assert that product blogs, if well-executed, convert visitors into buyers at a much higher rate than other types of blogs. When you make your ads the content, there is no risk that people will become “banner blind”. Or think about it this way: if 10% of people look at advertisements on a page and click on them, and the other 90% look at the content, then, if the ads ARE the content, you get 9x the people looking at your ads. OK, that was weak and periphrastic. But I think you know what I mean.
  • Purty pictures Large, aesthetic photos are a must for any product blog (gizmos and fashion come to mind, but seriously, I think just about anything would require them). They make the blog easier to look at, more inviting, more usable, just plain… better. Further, ecommerce research has shown that large, aesthetic photos are one of the most significant things that online shoppers refer to in the buying process. Therefore, prominent product photos should help the site convert visitors into buyers better via affiliate ads.

Content, Content, Content

One other thing I think the blogger does well is mixing in some other related content, besides just specific shoe posts. For instance, Take Care of Your Feet. A Pedicure How-To is great link bait. As always, good content wins. For further evidence, I’ll point you to this interview at Problogger, where fashion product blog godfather The Manolo refers to the importance of content over monetization schemes:

Yes, since the Manolo invented the shoe blog, there have been started many of the shoe and handbag blogs, some of them very good. Yet none of them are like the blog of the Manolo, none of them have the particular combination of shoes, fashion, celebrity, and humor that makes the blog of the Manolo one of the more popular places in the blogosphere.

And so the lesson the Manolo he takes away from this for the new bloggers is to be aware that the large part of the mission of the blogging it is to entertain, and so you must write well, in the lively manner.

Do not be afraid to be different, in the fact, being different it is the advantage in the marketplace where there are fifty hundred new blogs on the topic you have chosen. Also, do not be afraid of the odd combinations of the topics, or of the peculiar view of the world, or the different way of approaching your subject as long as these things can be entertaining. Do this, and post faithfully everyday, and be generous with your links and with your readers, and your audience it will find you soon enough.

There you have it. Good content, decent ad implementation, great niche, what could possibly be improved on Devilish Heels? Well it won’t be Monetization Makeover if I don’t ask myself, “What Would Andy Hagans Do [WWAHD] if he owned this blog?”

What I might change on this blog

  • Product pics aren’t affiliate links? As a reader, I expect these product pics to be linked to somewhere where I can get more product specs, including price, and the ability to buy the item. Seriously, you can justify this as a usability thing. (Meanwhile why not get your 8%?)
  • For the love of God, get off of Blogspot! There are a lot of reasons not to be on blogspot. People not taking you seriously, the lack of a domain name, and the lack of support for categories are three good ones. Bit the bullet now (The Manolo did), and get it over with.

And that’s actually all that’s sticking out in my mind. Devilish Heels has a great niche and good content, and has the potential to be a very profitable blog. Kudos, Marsha!