Ask Andy About Clothes is a site dedicated to men’s clothing advice. It’s comprised of content created by Andy Gilchrist as well as a forum where men ask questions and share advice.
The concept was born out of Gilchrist’s passion for timeless, quality clothing and the realization that guys just don’t dish about clothes.
“There was a time when fathers would take their sons to Brooks Brothers to pick out their first suit,” says Gilchrist. “They’d help them tie their first tie and show them how to dress for their first job interview. But today that’s not the case. Guys typically don’t have a great resource when it comes to clothing advice.”
The site launched in August 2001 and quickly took off. Today it receives 30,000 unique visitors and almost 1/2 million page views each day.
(Guess guys do want to know about clothes.)
His Challenge: Finding Monetization Methods a Non-Techie Can Manage
Gilchrist is the first to admit he didn’t know a thing about building a web site, let alone monetizing it, when he started out. As a result, “easy” wasn’t just a “nice-to-have” but a prerequisite.
However, easy combined with profitable was sometimes a hard combination to find. Gilchrist implemented Google AdSense across certain areas of the site and forged relationships with several merchants to serve banner ads. The results were good but not great.
Gilchrist continued to spend the bulk of his time on content but kept an eye out for ways to augment his monetization efforts.
His Solution: VigLink Automatic Monetization
In March 2010 he came across VigLink. He ran the idea by some of his tech friends and they gave it the green light. Gilchrist implemented the service and VigLink quickly became his largest source of revenue each month.
Rather than focus on white space, VigLink leverages a site’s outbound links to earn money. VigLink tracks outbound clicks to online merchant sites and automatically secures a commission for the site’s owner if a purchase is made. With a high volume of links to merchant sites (Gilchrist frequently shares links to articles of clothing he likes and his visitors share links in his forum) the service proved to be an ideal fit.
Over the last year, VigLink has brought in tens of thousands of dollars of additional revenue for the site. “[VigLink] is making my new Mercedes car payment … and doesn’t take up any of my time — it’s been great,” said Gilchrist.