Why you need a blog on Habré: Madrobots experience

    Sometimes it seems that he is not needed, a blog on Habré.

    Launching MadRobots, we decided that we would describe here how we build our business, as well as share knowledge about the world of wearable electronics and the Internet of things. Of course, then we did not understand what we were subscribing to.

    Because blogging is real torture. Especially if you do it in your free time from building your company.

    The preparation of even a simple, at first glance, post actually takes a lot of time and effort. But even more time takes his discussion. Sometimes, when a topic comes out as something especially fascinating and debatable, I can spend half a day commenting and talking with readers. Dozens of questions accumulate in the work mail during this time, which need to be answered.

    Cows and another. If you decide to talk about your business openly, you have to not only boast of success, but also recognize defeat. And this is always unpleasant - however much we convince each other that only the one who does nothing is not mistaken.

    It also happens that in the comments on Madrobots, users and customers come down with criticism. Sometimes it’s even fair (unfortunately, it’s not complete without jambs when building a new business).

    Working with negative feedback is extremely useful for the development of the company. But, let’s say, it burns a lot of calories.

    In general, sometimes the thought involuntarily comes: is it possible to somehow do without all this? But this momentary weakness. She passes. After all, looking back, I cannot but admit that this blog on Habré brought enormous benefits to MadRobots, which more than compensates for any victims. Judge for yourself.


    We recently launched a joint mega-action with PayPal . When paying for an order through PayPal, you can get a discount of up to 20% - depending on how much you spend on average per day (data are downloaded from popular fitness trackers). This is what should please customers. And we are pleased that, as part of this program, the eminent payment service also sends out information about MadRobots to 3.5 million of its customers in Russia.

    The most surprising thing about this is that it was not us who initiated this communication - PayPal managers came to us themselves, offering to develop and launch some interesting co-branding program. And they learned about us just from the blog - they read our posts, and decided that we can deal with.

    There would be no blog, there would be no this program. The turnover of the niche MadRobots store is still not so cosmic that with some indicators of daily revenue automatically elevate us to the top list of the most desired partners for joint promotion on the Internet.


    In February, we participated in the 3dprintexpo exhibition, presenting 3Doodler and the Form 1 printer on it. Then we wrote a report on Habré , and read our record in Mail.ru and invited MadRobots to participate in the opening of the technology park in Baumanka to present unusual gadgets there. The terms of cooperation were offered quite favorable, and we agreed, at the same time deciding to find out if there is a technology show market in Moscow, as well as to light up at an event where there should have been a lot of people influencing the development of the Russian technology market. It was our chance to declare ourselves well, and we did not miss it .

    Look how it looked in the 3D model:

    And how it turned out in practice:

    At the event, we even showed robotic air hockey assembled from parts for a 3D printer.
    We did not write about him on Habr:


    I have long wanted to become a member of the largest Russian CPA network Admitad . Cost per action - a model of promotion on the Internet, in which payment is made for conversion actions of the user. Large online stores CPA networks bring up to a third of revenue, which amounts to hundreds of millions of rubles. This is undoubtedly a desirable tool for attracting traffic.
    However, getting a CPA network is not easy for a small online store. There is even a market for intermediaries who promise to ensure a network presence bypassing the existing rules: their prices start at hundreds of thousands of rubles.

    To join Admitad, a store must have at least one hundred orders per day and monthly traffic of at least one hundred thousand unique visitors. We at Madrobots ship twenty to thirty orders per day, and our monthly traffic is approximately eighty thousand people. For about a year I knocked hard at Admitad, and I was politely, but just as stubbornly sewn.

    One fine day, I managed to contact the marketing director of this company directly. It turned out that he was reading our blog on Habré, and in his eyes we established ourselves as an interesting company. The magic door opened. We were connected to Admitad in two weeks.


    Initially, the idea of ​​MadRobots was to bring the most interesting Kickstarter news to Russia. However, at some point, the Russian company Amperka came to us, which, under the Matryoshka brand, produces interesting educational kits on electronics . The creators of Matryoshka themselves suggested that we sell their products on Madrobots and convinced us that it would perfectly complement our range. It would seem that Amperka has its own website with many supporting tools and forums. Nevertheless, these sets sell well with us. We ourselves would hardly have guessed to add them to the assortment. Thank you, Habr - after all, they learned in Amperka about us precisely thanks to the blog.


    One of the most promising partnerships is Madrobots’s launch on mobile devices.
    I will not consciously disclose the name of the company, as more than a month remains before the release.
    Recently, representatives of one of the largest mobile vendors contacted us. They have their own store, which is preinstalled on almost a million smartphones that they sell in Russia.
    Through this store you can buy cables, chargers and other accessories authorized by the manufacturer. Now the challenge for developers is to expand the assortment of the store. They thought Kickstart gadgets would work fine. Who did they turn to? To MadRobots. Are we the only ones in Russia who sell wearable electronics? Unfortunately not.

    Why do people turn to us? Honestly, I do not know. But I think that the blog simply attracts attention. Shows that behind the window of the online store are living people, and (probably) adequate; that these people have some kind of expertise that they are willing to share with the market. The people who turn to us already have some idea who they will have to deal with. And this is not so little. Oddly enough, even stories about mistakes and mistakes work as a plus, increasing confidence in us.

    As soon as we post a new post on Habré, my mail begins to be torn from letters with offers of business cooperation. Most of them are “raw,” and I have no choice but to politely thank the author. But once or twice a month, proposals are surely worthwhile to at least discuss them.

    Over the past year, there were much more than five such stories - I gave only a few most striking examples. A huge number of doors would still be closed for us, if not for this blog.

    I’m sure that here you will say: well, communications, affiliate programs, expanding the assortment - this is of course all a good thing, but what about traffic? How are blog views converted to sales? No matter how cynical this question sounds, every person who is not too far from commerce, he probably also cares.

    Well. Slightly open the veil. According to our statistics, per month our blog on Habré (and now also on GeekTimes) read by 200,000 people. 5-10% of this audience go to the Madrobots website and 1% make orders. But this is not all, there is an indirect effect: Habr links are highly indexed by Yandex and Google. It’s worth writing a post about some kind of gadget, as on the Madrobots website after a while there is a surge of traffic from search engines. In general, if we give some kind of discount and do a good review on the blog, then sometimes we sell up to a hundred gadgets in one day.

    In my opinion, in addition to contracts with PayPal and Mail.ru, this is a pretty good bonus. And worthy compensation for the long evenings spent on the laptop, and not with family or watching the next TBBT series.

    The previous parts of the Madrobots story can be read from the links:

    Part 1. How Madrobots was invented.

    Part 2. How we tried to trade iPhones and almost went broke on this.

    Part 3. How we played big in Vegas and brought a couple of dozens of new devices from CES 2014.

    Part 4. How we opened the first Madrobots store in Gorbushka shopping center.

    Part 5. The first video review of Madrobots.

    Part 6. How we decided to open the Madrobots store in the MEGA Belaya Dacha shopping center.

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