This post is part of our Customer Showcase series, where we profile successful online publishers. Our goal is to help publishers learn from the experts and grow their business.
Inspired by the traffic and feedback his wife (a food photographer and blogger) was experiencing by posting her photos on foodgawker.com, Eugene Strokin decided that there was a need for a site that took image discovery beyond food. And so he created Indulgy, “a place where one can visualize his perfect world.”
Building his brand
After Pinterest arrived on the scene, Eugene knew that his brand and site technology would be the key to attracting and maintaining a strong community. “While Pinterest dominates much of our space, Indulgy is the crème de la crème of image discovery. We select and present the best possible images for each through a special algorithm that combines human subjectivity and technological certainty.”
Through its smart discovery engine, Indulgy pulls users out of their typical “circles” to find inspiration in new things and from new sources. Direct visitors are the major source of traffic, proving that the unique experience of the site itself has cultivated a strong following.
Bonding with his audience
Eugene believes there are three key elements to engaging Indulgy’s user base:
Relevance, which helps users to move beyond their comfort zone without presenting images that are totally off base
User experience, so visitors truly enjoy the process of discovery
Speed, which encourages users to remain on the site and really engage with the content/images
“A person’s Indulgy page says a lot about him, without using a single word. It is a visual representation of his world and offers a glimpse inside. Visitors are engaged and merchants recognize the potential of reaching consumers through this medium.”
Driving business success
With a strong business roadmap and steady user and visitor growth, Eugene believes Indulgy will soon be a full-time gig for most of his team members. He initially discovered VigLink on other websites and felt it would be the perfect monetization solution for the ad-free site. “Indulgy is currently advertisement free and we believe it should stay this way. That’s why VigLink makes sense for us. It takes our users’ existing links and automatically converts them to affiliate links [using VigLink Convert]. So it plays a big role in our revenue structure without any additional effort on our part.”