Is there a smarter way to find the best baby gear?
For new parents, determining what products to buy for your screaming babbo is daunting. Traditional product testing companies rarely do real testing between different products, or end up focusing on high-end, designer products out of reach for most.
Our challenge—to ourselves—was to create and launch an editorial site that relied on affiliate revenue to create the best baby gear review content available online.
Competitors rely on product placement or display advertising, so we selected an affiliate model (relying on the industry leader, Amazon) to simplify the revenue model. We surveyed dozens of current and future parents to determine which product categories they felt most strongly about, as well as their preferred retail store. This taught us quickly which products—strollers, cribs, and car seats—engendered the most discussion and worry: a clear signifier of an editorial need under-addressed in the market.
In addition, we developed a revenue model that allowed The NightLight to pay premium rates to contributors, many of whom worked at major parenting publications. By building editorial templates that made the extensive research systematic, contributors were able to conduct long-term testing while working from home; a winning combination for our majority of writers who were also parents. And by choosing an affiliate model for revenue, generating bulk traffic was less important than targeting buyers with a high “intent-to-buy.”
Running in the black six months after launch, The NightLight quickly became a go-to site for parents looking for a deeper dive into baby gear. A clean, beautiful design and powerful brand scored high in user testing. After operating for over three years at a profit, the site was sold in 2017 to new owners who expanded the SEO and advertising outreach for even greater results.