This online business was started by a person that was passionate about horses and wanted to create a website that was the definitive source for information on horses and horse riding. She also wanted to create an online community where people that share her passion for horses can come together to share stories, ideas and information.
Online Business Web Design Case Study
Learn how Bloomtools created a professional and functional website for an Online Business allowing them to achieve success.
- Revenue the website owner needed her site to make money.
- Interactivity the website needed to be highly interactive in order for a community to form around the site to generate referrals and regular repeat visitors.
The online business used a Bloomtools Third Generation Website and a variety of tools to do the following:
- Set up a classifieds system
An online classifieds system was created on the website where users could buy and sell horse-related products. The classifieds helped to build a community around the site and had people returning to it regularly. The classifieds also proved to be an excellent source of revenue for the site because users had to pay to advertise their products.
Product: Classifieds Manager
- Allow companies to advertise on the site
To further make the site financially viable, the owner allowed businesses that sell horse-related products and services to advertise on the website for a fee. As well as making money for the site, the advertisements gave users access to more useful products and services. These advertisers also supplied editorial content for the site.
Product: Advertising Manager
- Establish a forum
The key to building a community is getting users to participate, and having an online discussion forum is a great way to facilitate this. The site owner created a forum for horse lovers to discuss a variety of horse-related topics and give feedback to each other. The forum was a hit with site visitors and many of the members visit the forum at least once a day.
Product: Internet Forum
- Create a blog
In order attract people to her site, give it a 'face' and to increase the ways that users could interact with the site, the website owner created a blog, which she updated weekly. She wrote about a variety of topics in the form of a journal and gave users the opportunity to offer feedback on her blog and the site.
Product: Blog Manager
- Hold regular competitions
The website owner put competitions on her site approximately once a month. The competition prizes came from horse-related businesses that wanted to promote themselves on the website. These competitions were a great incentive to get website visitors coming back to the site, with competition entry forms also capturing the contact details of website visitors for marketing efforts.
Product: Competitions Manager
- Send out regular news updates to website members
In order to promote the website and increase traffic, the website owner sent out regular news updates with several teasers for the site. The news updates also had horse related news and upcoming events to keep recipients informed.
Product: Database Marketing
- Run sponsored quizzes
Another way the site made money was through its sponsored quizzes. Horse-related businesses paid the website owner for the sponsorship rights to the quizzes, which covered a variety of horse topics. The quizzes also attracted traffic to the site and encouraged visitors to return to do each new quiz.
- Provide RSS feeds from other horse-related sites
The website owner wanted her site to be the main source of information about horses, so she subscribed to the RSS feeds of other websites that published horse-related news and stories and placed these on her website. This increased her website traffic and kept her visitors informed.
Product: RSS Feeds
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