Welcome to Wild-About-Stuffed-Animals.com.
So how is it that a middle-aged guy like myself —who can't remember owning a stuffed animal as a child—starts a website like this? Thats something that even people who know me well wonder about.
Here, in a nutshell, is the explanation.
I am a former teacher and I have long recognized the importance of early learning, which prepares a child for success in both school and life. As my daughter (now 15) grew up, I was amazed and inspired by all the great toys, games, and books out there for children.
Over time, I got an increasingly strong urge to start a website that would point parents, grandparents, and others to the best educational toys for babies, toddlers, and young children. I intended to share what I knew and seek the recommendations of other parents.
That urge became an itch I had to scratch but as I began researching toy and game ideas two things happened:
First, I kept happening upon amazing stuffed animals and plush toys. Some were great developmental toys. Others simply had me exclaiming to myself, Wow, this is SO neat! Why didnt they have things like that when I was a kid?
Second, I realized that creating a site about learning toys would be too big of an undertaking for me. There are tens of thousand of language, motor-development, science, and other learning toys already out there, with new ones hitting the market every day.
There was simply no way Id be able to keep up. Id drive myself crazy and end up hanging myself from an erector set! Whats more, I had already invested more time than Id like to admit in two previously failed sites. In the latter, I had done everything right except tackle too large a niche.
So, I thought, why not create a website that shares with people all the great plush animals and toys I was discovering!
”Plush toys” makes the perfect-sized niche—neither too big nor too small. Plus, there are so many great products out there that most people have no idea exist: Domo-Kun, Giant Microbes, Knitter Critters, Big Eye Dummies, Snuggle Pods, Delglingos Crazies, and Stitch Kittens, to name just a few.
So, with the help of Site Build It—a tremendous but, inexpensive website-building tool—I made the leap!
Things are going well. Although Im only able to work on this site part-time—adding a couple new pages and a few new products to existing pages every week—my traffic and income have grown steadily. Ive reached a point where I can confidently say: Wild-about-stuffed-animals is here to stay!
But to create the very best site I can, I need your help!
If you have recommendations for how I can do things better, great products I may not have heard about, or photos or stories about how stuffed animals and toys have impacted your or your childrens lives, please contact me and share them.
I also hope that youll add this site to your Favorites list, recommend it to friends, and sign up for my Plush E-minders monthly mailers.
Most websites are stores. The site owners form drop-shipping relationships with a number of plush toy manufacturers. In exchange, the manufacturers provide the website with product photos and descriptions.
I have two problems with this: 1) The photos are almost always small, conveying poor physical descriptions of the products, and 2) There is no way for the customer to know if the plush animal being sold is really any good.
My solution was to form an affiliate relationship with Amazon.com, the largest and most trusted online retailer in the world!
My wife and I have been buying books and holiday gifts through Amazon.com for years. While weve had a rare problem or two, those problems were always resolved easily and rapidly by Amazon.
My wife and I are such fans of Amazon that we even have Amazon Visa cards, which give us purchase points to put toward buying products on Amazon. In short, we trust Amazon.
Here are some other reasons why I decided to provide stuffed toys on my website primarily through Amazon:
So why come to my site rather than going to Amazon directly?
Thats easy. Because Amazon is such a behemoth, its not always easy to find what you want. I'm a kind of scout. I've spent hundreds of hours on Amazon searching out the very best stuffed toys to make your shopping experience easier!
Plus, I never stop looking. If I discover a really neat plush toy somewhere online, in a store, in a friends babys crib I search for it on Amazon. If I find it, I add it to the appropriate page on my site.
My ultimate goal is to provide the easiest, most enjoyable, most comprehensive stuffed toy shopping experience on the web. While I dont deal exclusively with Amazon, I see Amazon as my best ally in making this happen.
You might be reading this because youre thinking of starting a website. If so, I have one major bit of advice: Dont spend a lot of money on a website. Despite your best efforts, theres no guarantee that any website is going to work.
Heres another bit of advice: If youre an average Joe (or Joanne), youre unlikely to find a better website product than SiteBuildIt, the service I use. It provides absolutely everything you need to create a profitable online business except sweat equity—you provide that.
I paid a web designer over $2500 to have my first website built. Despite the large investment, I never received a single hit except from people who knew me. Nor did I sell even one product. I never made a penny!
As I write this, Wild-About-Stuffed-Animals.com is about nine months old. Each day over 110 different people (on average) visit my site, and that number is growing steadily! My site has already paid for itself, and with the holiday season on the horizon, Im looking forward to substantial earnings!
I can take credit for my disciplined efforts, but SiteBuildIt is the real hero behind my website success.
I could talk for hours about websites and SiteBuildIt (ask my wife and daughter), but I wont. Instead, Ill put the ball in your court. Feel free to contact me with any questions about this site or your own website aspirations. Ill answer them as time permits.
Meanwhile, Id like to share with you my favorite SiteBuildIt informational tool. Its a link to videos featuring dozens of successful SiteBuildIt website owners. I find their stories truly inspiring, and I turn to these videos whenever I need a lift.
Thanks for visiting this website.