Around the Web
Written by Brandi Bennett
Sunday, January 25th, 2015
Subscription boxes, if you’re not presently familiar with the concept, are boxes sent out monthly to individuals who’ve subscribed for the service. While this definition is accurate, it doesn’t exactly provide a lot of information on what the product is, or why a person is selling it to another person. A subscription box contains a random set of items that differs every month. There are different types of subscription box services, providing shaving accoutrements, beauty products, video game related items, baby items, geography lessons to children, and just about everything in between. If you can come up with an idea and there are enough products of that category to keep your subscription box going, that’s all you need. Prices for these subscription boxes generally range from $10 to $40; however, there are specialty boxes with much higher price tags as well.
What makes A Successful Subscription Box?
As with any business, the key to starting a successful subscription box service is a combination of the right products, high quality service, and prompt attention to customer feedback. If a customer complains that they don’t like your offerings, that’s fine, it may not be their thing, but if ten or twenty people complain about the quality of the items you are providing, then maybe it’s time to look into what you’re doing. Offer higher quality items, offer a discount as an apology and don’t use that supplier anymore; do something. Make it right.
How To get Started
You’ll need to find a supplier (or several) for the products that you want your subscription box to contain, setup a method for you to purchase those items, and setup your website. You need storage space for all the inventory, and you need high quality customer service to deal with new subscriptions, cancellation requests, kudos and complaints.
You will need a storefront on your website, as the best subscription box services offer samples at a low cost and then sell full sized versions of their products in their store, or additional items associated with the goods in the subscription boxes in their store. And you will need a boxing service. You can either box these items yourself, or you may decide to hire people to do that for you. You can now purchase the standard subscription box sized boxes online by simply Googling “subscription box boxes.” You’ll also need an SSL (to make your site secure). Once you have that, you’re all set and ready to start accepting customers!
This is a type of business that is quick and easy to setup, but it moves fast, so be sure to have your site setup, your storage, your inventory, and be ready to go before you make your subscription service live. Waiting lists prior to the service being started tend to make people want to cancel. If, however, you have more sign ups than you do inventory your first month, you can waitlist those while you wait on a new shipment (this is a good sign). Don’t be surprised, however, if you don’t have a wait list until a few months in. This is normal. This is one of the easiest business models to setup, and quite frankly, people love them. It’s like getting a present in the mail every month, a random surprise.
If you’re still not convinced – I personally know someone who spends over $200 per month on subscription boxes, and I subscribe to $50 worth of subscription boxes on a monthly basis myself. Not all are gems, but I constantly try new ones. I’ve stayed with a box for months before I decide if I want to cancel it. Two of my current favorites are Birchbox and Escape Monthly – they’re very well setup if you’d like to check their sites to get ideas on how to setup yours. It’s a great way to try new things, things that you would never buy for yourself, and once you get hooked on a product, it’s easy to just keep going back to that company to buy the full sized items. Check it out! It’s an easy business model to jump right into, and it’s taking off fast!
Image Source: Salazar Packaging. (2014). Subscription Box Packaging. Retrieved from http://blog.salazarpackaging.com/wp-content/uploads/One-color-reverse-printed-on-white-die-cut-mailer.jpg
Written by Sean Valant
Tuesday, September 25th, 2012
Blogging.org, a well-respected site in the blogging community, recently conducted a comprehensive survey of 5,600 bloggers in order to determine the “Top 25 Hosting Companies” for bloggers. HostGator took first place, with 1907 out of 5600 votes; just shy of 900 more votes than 2nd place received. This is an honor that we at HostGator do not take lightly, and we are very happy to be able to share this news with you.
The voting criteria was based on which host the aforementioned 5,600 bloggers used and which host they would recommend to their peers. With over 203 million blogs online today, blogging is an undeniable online presence these days. There are 31 million bloggers in the US alone, with 43% of the total bloggers using WordPress, including this HostGator blog.
It is worth noting that this survey was completely unbiased and affiliate payouts were not a factor in this survey; it truly is simply the honest opinion of the blogging community.
Please visit http://blogging.org/blog/top-25-hosting-companies/ in order to see a further breakdown of the related statistics as well as the other 24 hosts that made the cut.
Now is the perfect time to start your blog with (or move your existing blog to) HostGator. Take advantage of our 1-click installs of WordPress and have your blog online today. Use coupon code BLOG to receive 25% off your first invoice on any new sign-up*!
*this coupon expires on October 9th, 2012.
Written by Sean Valant
Monday, July 9th, 2012
If you are reading this on the day it was posted (Monday, July 9th, 2012), then you are likely not a victim of Malware Monday. Far from being as feared as something like the dreaded Y2K situation, Malware Monday revolves around a piece of malicious software known as DNSChanger and the efforts involved in the mitigation and ultimate ridding of this specific piece of malware.
DNSChanger functions on a couple of different fronts, though the fundamental result of infection would be an inability to connect to your ISP. It reportedly will also prevent your Operating System from downloading updates that would detect and prevent the malware from functioning.
Back in 2007, the creators of DNSChanger began using the trojan to redirect internet traffic to sites containing paid advertisements, resulting in illegal profit for its creators. Since then, the hackers evolved the malware to execute various other tasks on the infected machines. The FBI became involved and those responsible were caught and arrested late last year. Initially, the FBI wanted to shut down the servers that were being used by the hackers to control the infected computers, however it was determined that such action would have resulted in the infected machines immediately becoming unable to connect to the Internet.
The resulting decision was to implement a transitional system whereby the servers in question could be taken down without resulting in the infected machines from losing their Internet connectivity. The plug was pulled on that transitional system this morning around 12:01am, at which point anyone with an infected computer would need to rid their machine of the malware in order to re-connect to the Internet.
So, if you are reading this on Monday, July 9th, you were unaffected. If you were affected, then you’re likely seeing this at a later date and I’d like to welcome you back to the Internet (we missed you!) and invite you to regularly scan your computer(s) for any malicious software using any number of free or paid applications available today.
Written by Sean Valant
Friday, March 30th, 2012
All hard drives will crash; there is no such thing as a crash-proof hard drive. When (not if) this happens, how much data will be lost is a flip of the coin. It could be 0%, or it could be 100%. World Backup Day is March 31st. and encourages you to maintain current backups of your data: financial information or other important documents, digital media collection (music/movies/ebooks), and perhaps most importantly your memories (pictures/home movies).
One in ten laptops will be stolen in their lifetime; one is stolen every 53 seconds. Fifty percent of all hard drives will crash within five years. Couple those statistics with the fact that 89.1% of PC users do not perform regular backups. This is essentially a recipe for massive data loss. A recent study found that 90 percent of companies that experience data loss go out of business within two years, with 70% of companies going out of business following a major data loss. These are significant numbers.
Are you able to place a dollar amount on your data? Exactly how much value does it have? For many people, their data is priceless. If the only pictures of your children that you have are on a hard drive that crashes, they’re gone. Forever. Unless you have a small fortune to pay in hopes of having the data professionally recovered. This situation though instantly becomes a non-issue the moment you have a safe backup of the data. Ideally, you’ll maintain current backups of all important data locally and at a remote location.
Texas, where the HostGator offices are, has been hit by both hurricanes and wildfires in recent years. If a computer and the external hard drive that contained the backups are both within a house that is destroyed, that data is gone. This is a catastrophic circumstance regardless, but there are many ways to ensure that even under similar conditions your data will remain safe. HostGator customers are encouraged to visit http://justcloud.com/hostgator for a free trial for cloud storage. Come what may, with cloud storage you can be confident that your data remains safe.
Please visit http://www.worldbackupday.com for more information and tips on backing up your data.