Darren Rowse, founder of ProBlogger.net, has bucked the trend of recent group buying consolidation by launching SnapnDeals, a deals site aimed entirely at photography enthusiasts.
Rowse is the brains behind ProBlogger.net, a blog that aims to help other bloggers increase their potential earnings.
Rowse also created Digital Photography School, which is a blog and forum on digital photography, and TwiTip, which shares Twitter tips.
Now he has launched SnapnDeals, a deals site for photography enthusiasts, which offers deals on photography-related products such as training materials, services and software, and gear.
The site is run by the Digital Photography School and, according to Rowse, has been up and running for just 12 hours.
“It’s an extension of the Digital Photography School site, which… offers basic tips for people wanting to use their cameras,” Rowse says.
“It also advertises a range of photography-related materials. Our readers have a thirst for it, but the tension we have is not all our readers want to hear about every single one.”
“A lot of them are really great but we can’t bombard our readers.”
With this in mind, Rowse decided to launch SnapnDeals as a dedicated deals site.
“We had no idea what the take-up would be. We’re approaching 1,000 people subscribing to the list… I suspect that will grow as we feature other people’s products more,” he says.
“We’re looking at this first deal [on the site] more as a test to make sure the system works, and then working with potential partners on other deals.”
Rowse says the process of developing the site was fairly simple because the site itself is simple.
“It’s taken less than a month to get it from ‘Let’s do this’ to launching it. It’s been a part-time thing we’ve put together afterhours,” he says.
“I think it’s been an extension of what we’re already doing. We did a promotion last year where we did 12 deals in 12 days.”
Rowse says selling virtual products such as eBooks was initially challenging. But he insists that’s not the case now.
“When we launched our first eBook three years ago, a lot of people didn’t know what an eBook was or how they would read it,” he says.
“People are so much more familiar with the technology now. Things have really opened up and we don’t get that resistance anywhere as much as we used to.”
Rowse has some key tips for start-ups looking to grow their online presence.
“For me, it’s all about trying to work out what needs your audience or potential audience have, and trying to produce something that fits and evolves those needs,” he says.
“Leverage what you’ve got rather than starting a completely different [venture] on something not related.”