Judy Roberts described herself to me as “a lady with an idea that decided to take action.” One of her favorite quotes is: “Ideas don’t keep, something must be done about them” -Alfred North Whitehead. She thought that if there were other people already selling ugly sweaters that there must be a market, so she just ‘went’ for it!
Mike: buttuglysweaters.com is an unforgettable name. How did you come up with that?
Judy: I wanted a name that covered all the different genres of ugly sweaters and I wanted to stand out. I mean, if you’re looking for an ugly sweater, wouldn’t you rather have one that’s butt ugly?
Mike: Is there really a market for ugly sweaters?
Judy: People have been buying ugly sweaters for years. However, they really just started having ugly sweater parties for the past 3 or 4 years. These types of parties can occur at any time of the year.
Mike: How does one go about marketing ButtUglySweaters.com? Is there a butt ugly target market? Do you use online marketing such as SEO or banner ads?
Judy: I use the AscenderCart shopping cart to help me appear high in the search results. The AscenderCart helps me with all the on-page and in-site SEO. I accompany that with a few links and my blog.
Mike: I can’t imagine that you produce all the sweaters that you list for sale on the site. What advice would you have for others looking to start a site in a non-competing line of products. How difficult is it to get started?
Judy: You’re correct, I don’t make the sweaters. I have several suppliers that provide me with the sweaters. We accent some sweaters with “ugly” stuff to make them uglier.
Find a supplier that can help you meet the demands of your market. One’s business is only as good as oneself and those with whom one partners.
Starting a business isn’t too hard. It’s all about finding something one is passionate about and building a business from that passion. One can’t succeed in a field in which one is not joyfully passionate. You need to love what you do.
Mike: What is the volume of traffic the site sees on a monthly basis?
Judy: I launched the website on September 1, 2010 with modest hopes in selling a couple hundred dollars of ugly sweaters. I was astonished by the quantity of sweaters I sold and how much I earned. In the first 90 days we had over 4,500 visitors who found the site using over 430 phrases. The amount of traffic continues to increase, but I expect as Spring and Summer role in the traffic will decrease.
Mike: What advice do you have for others who are searching for a domain name for their business?
Judy: Find an easy to remember domain name. The domain doesn’t need to be solely a keyphrase; it can be something like bobslawnmowers.com or terryspooltables.com. Those are memorable while not being 100% keyphrase based.