What can we learn from Cigar.com?

How to raise a self sustainable cash cow?

Jay Kalansooriya
2 min readFeb 18, 2023

If you're a cigar enthusiast, you may have heard about Cigar.com. It's an online cigar store that sells many types of cigars.

Now, I’ve found something very interesting about them.

Cigar.com has a forum, where there’s hundreds of very active regular users are interacting with each other.

Like any other forum, the ‘theme’ of the discussions are mainly around cigars (duh!) but they also have some off-topic discussions as well, such as politics, jokes, and the usual.

And they have challenges and games where users will send each other cigars (new blends, samplers, etc.) and the recipients will write a review about the cigars.

Members trade and pass boxes of cigars among themselves and share their experience, since not everyone enjoy cigars the same.

It’s also a treasure trove of content (user generated, mind you) about all things cigars. Honest, and direct. Not some sponsored article that you’d see on most sites.

All these user activity creates a sort of black hole around the main site which is Cigar.com, and it reaps all the benefits since it draws in a lot of traffic, especially the beginners who research about cigars and land in one of the forum threads.

There’s recommendations for beginners as well as seasoned enthusiasts. Ways one can enjoy their smokes without ruining them. And every other possible piece of wisdom and knowledge.

This results in massive sales for the site.

How massive?

$40+ MILLION per year!


What a simple tweak can do to your business?

All they did was to create a basic forum in one of their subdomains. And the rest is history.

The moral of the story is that if you can create a massive amount of helpful content for other people (ideally BY other people, but, hey, nothing’s perfect right?) then your brand will have a much wider reach with a lot of increased awareness, and that always leads to more business opportunities.

Till next week.