Revenue per month: 14$
Profit per month: 1$
Uniques per month: 937
Views per month:
Year founded: —
Why this business was started
I started Shadow Meow to see if I could create a successful dropshipping store using primarily SEO (search engine optimization). Most dropshipping stores rely exclusively on direct advertising to drive sales, which requires a substantial upfront investment and a high element of risk. I wanted to create a store that would see steady growth, minimize risk, and reach business objectives organically.
Before beginning, I researched heavily which products I thought would provide the best chances of ranking successfully in Google. SEO can be challenging for dropshipping business because you are competing with giants like Amazon, AliExpress, and other dropshippers selling the same products. For the SEO to be successful, I knew I had to go incredibly niche and find products that could rank well in Google that had little competition. I also knew from past dropshipping stores that I needed to use a dropshipping platform that I could depend on.
Dropshipping platforms such as Oberlo, which are largely driven by AliExpress products, gave me many problems in the past. Most of the products on AliExpress were cheap novelties or knockoff products that I couldn’t stand behind. Additionally, most products came from China which posed huge problems for long shipping times, communication problems with suppliers due to the language barrier, and no real accountability from Oberlo or Aliexpress. That is why I decided to use Spocket, which is a newer dropshipping platform that offered higher quality products and fast shipping times within the US (usually 7-10 business days compared with AliExpress at 15-30+ business days).
Searching through Spocket’s products I could sell, I found a supplier who offered a large selection of quality gothic apparel and I noticed many of them featured graphic designs of cats. I started researching whether there were other gothic apparel retailers focused on cats. There was only one and their SEO was terrible, which meant I knew I had a good chance at gaining a strong market share in the search results for these products. I also did keyword research to determine if searchers were actually looking for these types of products. Turns out they were. On top of that, I had identified a very specific and defined buyer persona which I knew would make my direct marketing efforts much more effective.
Business niche + buyer persona: Women’s clothing > gothic fashion > cats
My research paid off. Fast forward to now and Shadow Meow outranks other competition in this niche for many high performing keywords in Google and has also gained a sizeable foothold in the overall gothic apparel niche.
Some Key Features This Store Has:
- Memorable and iconic branding
- Designed for a mobile-first user experience
- Consistent monthly organic traffic
- High number of ranking keywords
- Shipping products to customers in the US usually arrive between 7-10 business days providing a competitive edge over 90% of other dropshipping stores
- Sourced products have been verified for accuracy and quality
- All product images are fully optimized with approximately 25% of monthly organic traffic coming from Google Image Search
- Active Facebook Business Manager account in good standing
- Active Google Ads account in good standing
- Active Google Merchant Center account in good standing
- Nearly flawless SEO sitewide (Google Search Console has no errors)
- Site is optimized for Google's latest core algorithm update released in May/June 2021 that prioritizes unique websites with a quality mobile experience and fast page speed loading times
- Booster Theme is the latest version optimized and designed for conversions
- Extensive and highly detailed page copy with researched keyword targets
- Automatic product integration with Pinterest which received nearly 26k organic monthly impressions in July 2021
- Engaged social media following and growing email subscriber list
- Huge potential to scale
The reason of selling this business
I never intended from the start to run this business for the long term. My main objective was to see if I could use SEO to create a successful dropshipping website without having to rely on direct advertising (which I’ve done and am satisfied with). I had some knowledge of gothic and alternative apparel & culture going into this, but it’s not a topic I’m particularly passionate about.
I gained a lot of insight building Shadow Meow to where it is now but quite frankly, I haven’t had the time to invest in scaling this business because of my new full-time job. I know this business could grow even further with some better attention, strategy, and investment. Right now, I am simply too busy with work to give Shadow Meow the attention it deserves and would like to hand over this business to someone who can carry on the legacy of success that I’ve built and help it reach its full potential.
What's involved in running this business
As this business is founded on SEO, it more or less runs itself. Organic traffic from Google is sent to the website every day to the blog and product pages as searchers enter queries relevant to the business. Organic traffic has grown steadily over time and the majority of sales have come from Google. There is currently very little overhead with the Shopify subscription, Spocket subscription, and one SEO app remaining as the only monthly expenses. There is an annual subscription for the Shopify Booster Theme which is $179 USD which I've independently verified as designed for SEO best practices and of course, optimized for store conversions. Obviously as well, the domain name is an annual subscription for less than $20 USD.
On the daily, I’m usually monitoring SEO performance and using data from Google Search Console, Google Analytics, and SEMrush to uncover new opportunities. Shadow Meow’s blog content drives a significant portion of organic web traffic so regular content publishing is valuable for continuing SEO success. Regularly checking the supplier inventory for new products is necessary to improve product selections for customers and provides opportunities to rank for new keywords. Also, posting to social media regularly brings in additional traffic and user engagement.