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  1. #1
    Grandma broke her coccyx! Uncle Rico's Avatar
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    Do Anything But a Coupon Site
    If your a coupon site you are probably well aware of this. If your main page is not listed on the first page of results for the keyword "coupons" or "coupon codes", getting there is an uphill battle and probably one you will never achieve. Same goes for the search term "<store> coupons". Improving rankings for your "<store> coupons" pages to the first page of search results in google is almost unattainable. If your not listed on the first page, you may as well not even exist because the first page or even first 5 results is what gets clicked on.

    The big coupon sites have been around longer, have more backlinks, and will pretty much always be ranked better than you by google. Since the content on "<store> coupons" page is pretty much the same, ie: list of coupons for that store, the other factors are time and backlinks. Most coupon sites are pretty well SEO'd or over SEO'd, so I don't see that as much of a factor either when comparing.

    So, if your thinking about creating a coupon website, do yourself a favor and think of something else, anything else, to work on. I hate to sound so negative, but I do speak from experience. If I knew this a while ago, I wouldn't spent the last two years slaving over my coupon site daily just to see so little to no results today. And, I wouldn't have to think about all that time I spent just to now realize I need to give up on it and throw it out the window. It's tough to do, but ultimately a well thought out realization.

  2. #2
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeymourButts
    I wouldn't have to think about all that time I spent just to now realize I need to give up on it and throw it out the window. It's tough to do, but ultimately a well thought out realization.
    But now you have 2 more years of experience Seymour and a lot of knowledge that you can apply to your next site.

    I know the past 2 years have been tough, but your attitude has always been to laugh at your problems and try to help others avoid making the same mistakes. Take what you've learned in the last 2 years and start thinking about the next site you want to build and what you need to do for it to become successful. One suggestion I'd like to make would be to build multiple sites. A little diversity never hurts.

    Good luck Seymour and don't be such a stranger. I miss the cowbell.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  3. #3
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    Yeah, not a site I would start today, lots of competition. Especially if your plan is to be reliant on search engines. Now some can eventually do fine with that but in your post, you were just talking about SEO. If you can find other ways to generate traffic and there are more options nowadays and that goes with any kind of site, you have a chance. I have seen some coupon sites get traffic to their site other ways. Just one example. A coupon site having a daily deals section for computers. Lots of content, updated daily. Somebody might get to that site thru that section. Look around and see it's a coupon site and use it for that in the future.

    In general, just good to find as many different sources of traffic as possible.

  4. #4
    Affiliate Network Rep Louis's Avatar
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    Another thought is looking outside of the US market.

    For example the Canadian retail market is waaaay less competitive for coupon niche, though there are still a few very good ones. Or get a Portuguese translator and go after the gigantic and rapidly growing Brazilian market.

    You have a lot of the back end established (a strong site template, parsed datafeeds, a decent page rank I'm guessing), you may not want to throw all that away.
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  5. #5
    Affiliate Manager Howard Gottlieb's Avatar
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    Niche coupon sites would fare better these days. Nearly impossible to overtake the strong foundations already built.

    But lots of opportunity in niche sites I believe : )
    I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die
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  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador
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    "For example the Canadian retail market is waaaay less competitive for coupon niche, though there are still a few very good ones."

    Don't know anything about the Canadian market but I do notice for one of my merchants, Yves Rocher getting sales for them but it's the Yves Rocher Canada program thru GAN. And I don't have any links up to the Canadian program, just the U.S. program thru GAN. But good thing with that merchant is they'll pay even if my site visitors click thru my U.S. link and go Canadian and it shows in my reports as a sale coming thru Yves Rocker Canada. Maybe, I'll have a little Canadian section going, I know some coupon sites do and other countries. But yeah, probably better off, if you're thinking of getting into coupons, to focus on a niche. Pet coupon site, outdoors coupons, which would be a lot easier to keep up to date. And just be the best at it.

  7. #7
    Grandma broke her coccyx! Uncle Rico's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Louis
    You have a lot of the back end established (a strong site template, parsed datafeeds, a decent page rank I'm guessing), you may not want to throw all that away.
    My decent PR of 1. Nothing to lose there.

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador Jason Rubacky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Howard Gottlieb
    Niche coupon sites would fare better these days. Nearly impossible to overtake the strong foundations already built.

    But lots of opportunity in niche sites I believe : )
    agreed! tons of opportunity away from your "soccer mom" type coupon sites... plus with some serious SMO'ing you can do some heavy damage!
    Jason Rubacky - CEO/SEO Nerd at PassTheSEO
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  9. #9
    Grandma broke her coccyx! Uncle Rico's Avatar
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    Have no idea what SMO stands for.

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador Jason Rubacky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeymourButts
    Have no idea what SMO stands for.
    Social Media Optimization
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  11. #11
    Grandma broke her coccyx! Uncle Rico's Avatar
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    Still don't know what that means, but on the other hand I really don't want anything to do with coupons anymore.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeymourButts
    Still don't know what that means, but on the other hand I really don't want anything to do with coupons anymore.

    There are lots of opportunities for affiliates, without ever having to bother with a coupon code

  13. #13
    Full Member Code Monkey's Avatar
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    Hmmm, I've found that coupon sites are one of the easiest ways to make money..

  14. #14
    Grandma broke her coccyx! Uncle Rico's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Code Monkey
    Hmmm, I've found that coupon sites are one of the easiest ways to make money..
    Never heard anyone say that before.

  15. #15
    Full Member Code Monkey's Avatar
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    There is ALWAYS a new way to do the same old thing.

    99% of coupon sites on the web are absolute garbage. Most people end up replicating the garbage website model and earn absolutely nothing.

    As with any website, you should work hard to create a site that is unlike any other website you've ever seen..

    Don't get stuck in the "if I SEO it correctly, they will come" mentality. Instead you should take a "F*ck Google" mentality..

  16. #16
    Grandma broke her coccyx! Uncle Rico's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Code Monkey
    Instead you should take a "F*ck Google" mentality..
    I do feel that towards google, but am out of ideas otherwise.

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador Jason Rubacky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Code Monkey
    Don't get stuck in the "if I SEO it correctly, they will come" mentality. Instead you should take a "F*ck Google" mentality..
    i love it...

    nominee for quote of the year!!!
    Jason Rubacky - CEO/SEO Nerd at PassTheSEO
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  18. #18
    Antisocial Media Expert ProWebAddict's Avatar
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    Oh boy....he's baaaaaack.

    And I agree with rematt

    Quote Originally Posted by rematt
    Take what you've learned in the last 2 years and start thinking about the next site you want to build and what you need to do for it to become successful. One suggestion I'd like to make would be to build multiple sites. A little diversity never hurts.

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador ladidah's Avatar
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    Hey Seymour, for you to share your experience and advice after putting all your hard work for 2 years is quite honorable. Others may not be so open and kind to share. As rematt said, I am sure you have learned much and THAT no one can take from you. It takes a lot to get a site going, let alone a coupon site. I do agree that there may be a market for coupons in a certain niche. Expand a niche market and add to that site ways for the consumer to get discounts within that niche. Don't give up.

  20. #20
    Full Member Code Monkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rematt
    One suggestion I'd like to make would be to build multiple sites. A little diversity never hurts.
    That's bad advice, in my opinion.

    Too many people get caught in a bad cycle. They start a website, take it to 30% of its potential, not make any money with it, and give up and start again with a new site. They continually start new sites (working hard all the time) but never stick with anything long enough to see it through..

    Most people falsely believe that as long as they are working hard, they are getting somewhere..

  21. #21
    Antisocial Media Expert ProWebAddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Code Monkey
    That's bad advice, in my opinion.
    So in your opinion, the best strategy is to have one website?

  22. #22
    Grandma broke her coccyx! Uncle Rico's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProWebAddict
    So in your opinion, the best strategy is to have one website?
    Maybe complete one website before starting another?

  23. #23
    Full Member Code Monkey's Avatar
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    The number of websites is not relevant. My point is, don't get stuck continually building new websites BECAUSE all your other websites aren't making any money.

    You can spend a LOT of time building new swimming pools, but if you never FINISH the job (by pouring in the water at the end), you can NEVER go swimming. Even if you spend EVERY day of your life constantly building new pools, you will NEVER swim unless you FINISH a single pool..

  24. #24
    Best New ABW Member 2007 sfcom's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear that it isn't working out for you, Seymour. I don't have any experience in the coupon field, but I can understand your frustration with the project. It is hard to understand how some do so well. Do they really offer a better product and service to their visitors, or did they just happen to end up with a hosting company that Google favors a little? I am growing to believe a lot of this is luck (although I do know a lot is hard work too.)

    One thing I would recommend though if you want to eventually give it a try again: try to set up a wordpress based site and advertise your coupons site with that. Those seem to get indexed very quickly. Even if the site only ranked well for a few major retailers and their coupons, you could do some nice sales there.

    If you decide to totally leave your site behind, you could always go with the "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" philosophy. My first site was a deal site and I couldn't keep up with the deals by myself. So, I recently visited one of the top deal sites and it turns out they were hiring. I'm still waiting to hear back. I figured that if you can't beat the best, you can still be with the best. After all, they have developed their site into everything I would if I had the manpower. Admitting defeat is hard, but you did learn a lot. Possibly one of the big guys out there is looking for someone like you.

    -sfcom


  25. #25
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Lots of good advice here. I have to admit the space has evolved, so the old formula that worked for established sites isn't going to cut it today. It's best to focus on something specific to dominate a niche then expand from there. There's a ton of innovation going on so you gotta not only be very useful and current but very cool and fun.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

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