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What is Zyra's website about?


When I'm travelling around looking at property in various tax havens, and I tell people I'm here because I run a website, they often ask "What is your website about?". It's a good question, and part of the problem is that it's tricky to answer in a simple way. I try to sum it up by saying "It's about almost everything", and then they usually ask "How does it make money?". I explain, but I've always made the reasonable assumption that people have the curiosity and interest and patience to look around the website for at least ten minutes, whereupon they'll usually find out the fact that Zyra's website is an immense resource of stuff, thousands of pages, and there are some very odd pages which take some exploring. As not everyone has that level of curiosity, and some people are initially baffled by the site, I'll now explain what the site is about:

Yes, it's true that it is a site about almost everything. For years I have written about things I happen to know, things that you'll probably not learn in school. For example, How to set up and run your own business, How to hypnotise a chicken, Why clocks go round clockwise, etc. You can see a great many pages linked from Advice, and Misconceptions, etc. After a while the site became encyclopaedic. If you start exploring from one page to another and generally browsing around, you'll find the pages are linked together associatively, so one thing leads on to another. This gives the site a big advantage, as the mind wanders, so does the website!

Zyra's website makes money because the range of pages includes not only free advice and resources, but also pages about shops and other businesses, which pay commission if people buy stuff from them. They don't pay for the advertising, and you don't pay as a customer. The prices are the same as going direct. The method is known as affiliate marketing, and the thing to remember from a customer's point of view is that the companies are not having to pay so much for affiliate marketing as they do for advertising in the newspapers or on the television, because they have to pay the papers and the telly even if they don't sell anything, whereas they only pay me (the affiliate) on the actual sales.

One way to consider this is the parallel that it's like the big museums which have free admission. You are welcome to explore them and spend all day marvelling at the extraordinary exhibits and learning new things. However, they also have a museum shop, and it's up to you if you want to buy anything. The museum might make money or not, but it also manages to improve the world by giving people something to think about. That's what it's like here. This website does a lot of good in the world by explaining things, and it also makes money by linking to shops.

Another thing about Zyra's site is it's not all sell sell sell. In fact, much to the astonishment of some corporate people in charge of the big companies, both good and bad things are said about their companies! It's like the shops are being reviewed as if they are movies! Interestingly, some of the companies that I've said bad things about as well as good, do very well here. It is my guess that this is because people respect the honesty and integrity here, and are more likely to believe an honest review than a commercial salestalk. Folks have got sick of all the hard-sell and spamlike splat-advertising going on in the wider world, and would much rather hear a balanced opinion written in all sincerity.

So, instead of being given a sales shpiel, you'll be given an honest opinion, often in a chatty style. I'll tell you what I think about something. If you want to see what I think about this concept itself, see the difference between merchant content and affiliate content, (featuring the hypothetical "Flibbertigibbet bank").

As the Internet has got a notorious reputation as being the modern equivalent of the "Wild West", some people are a bit sceptical about a website, especially if it is unusual or different in some way. Is it in the pornography business? Is there something dodgy going on? No, there's nothing "adults only" about the site. It's been deliberately designed to be child-friendly. So much so, in fact, that some people have suggested that the easy-to-understand reviews indicate it's written for children. The truth is, it's of general interest, and it's written for everyone.

Another thing that makes this website different from average, is the style. There's no point in being normal and blending in with the crowd. There are plenty of sites that look the same as each-other. Instead, actual character is shown. You can see this in Zyra's appearance and unusual taste in fashion, and also in the style of the writing, and what's actually being said. Whereas many people would say that scrap cars are a problem, you can soon see from Zyra's page about scrap cars that there is a different way of thinking, and a different solution.

So, to sum it up: the site is about almost everything, has thousands of pages, has something to say about things, and has pages about shops and other businesses. It's educational, and is entertaining as well as informative.

Go on, have a look around and see what you think! (You're not short of time are you?)