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  1. #1
    Full Member OICUAM2's Avatar
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    Is It A Good Idea To Start A Coupon Site?
    Is it a good idea to start a coupon site?

    Is the market too saturated?

    Sometimes I look at some of the top coupon sites and wonder how they make money. They seem so cluttered and confusing.

    I have a good domain name for a coupon site. I've been looking for a good technology to operate it. I would rather not do all the link finding/updating myself. I'm a big believer in automation.

    I would like to invest in a good feed, but the one I am looking at is a fairly hefty monthly fee. I could start my coupon site with manual linking or GoldenCan, but I would lose some of the SEO benefit when I felt confident enough to switch over to the feed I am considering.

    I've been building content sites for awhile. I want to build a site with the sole purpose of helping people buy things.

    I'm doing as much research as possible on the coupon market and competitors, but I thought I would ask here to see what advice I could get while trying to decide if I should start a coupon site.

    Thanks
    [URL=http://www.investeverymonth.com]InvestEveryMonth.com[/URL] - Build Wealth

  2. #2
    Newbie IAmMe's Avatar
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    No market is ever too saturated. Useful innovation always leads to profits..

  3. #3
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    An hour ago, I posted a list of questions to ask when considering launching a new site -- see http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=121548

    Some relevant ABW discussion threads:
    ABW has an entire sub-forum just for this topic: Couponer's Corner

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Maybe you can consider starting out automating a single category of deals. Just pick a niche and brand carefully so you can grow into your target demographic naturally.

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

  5. #5
    Ben The AIM Group
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    Yes I think Scott has it right. Maybe pick a niche you are very interested in, that way you will want to put in the work to make your coupon site stick out from the rest, and you'll enjoy it.

    - Ben

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador simcat's Avatar
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    My 2 cents is:

    #1 You need to be very good at SEO. Doing PPC for coupon sites seems very tricky, tedious, unprofitable to me . YMMV

    #2 You need to offer deals/info that are different then the vast majority of coupon sites.
    I'm a big believer in automation.
    Automation is great, but if your coupons are the same as the ones on hundreds of other coupon sites, (from feeds etc.) why would people use yours? unless #1 above

  7. #7
    Full Member OICUAM2's Avatar
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    Thanks for all your input.

    I like the idea of starting small and ramping it up to test things, but hopefully I will find a way to do a complete site right from the beginning. My domain name would be UpdatedSales.com so I would want it to include numerous categories.

    In order to compete with the chaotic coupon sites I see now, my goal is to have a simple search field on the front page and ask "what are you shopping for" and hopefully be able to deliver very good search results. A combination of coupons and comparison shopping is what I have been looking for.

    If I have to pay a lot of money to develop the site, then getting a lot of traffic is a big concern. If I can just white label some sort of shopping technology - like GoldenCan, but with better presentation - then I can have a good shopping site with no need to make money right away. I can link to it from my other sites and have my family and friends make purchases through it.

    Finding this type of white label solution has been more difficult than expected.
    [URL=http://www.investeverymonth.com]InvestEveryMonth.com[/URL] - Build Wealth

  8. #8
    Half a Bubble Off Plumb RemodelingGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markwelch
    An hour ago, I posted a list of questions to ask when considering launching a new site -- see http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=121548

    Some relevant ABW discussion threads:
    ABW has an entire sub-forum just for this topic: Couponer's Corner

    That is like the most organized post I have ever seen Mark!

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  9. #9
    Grandma broke her coccyx! Uncle Rico's Avatar
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    Is it a good idea to start a coupon site? If your looking for a full time hobby with little to no income, then by all means.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by OICUAM2
    Is it a good idea to start a coupon site?

    Is the market too saturated?
    The market is pretty saturated, but do something unique. Figure out a way for your site to offer something that no other site does.

  11. #11
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    I would say ... depends on what coupons you are promoting. Are they coupons for discounts off merchants sites for which you are an affiliate or something else?

    There are more cash back garbage sites than you can count in a lifetime ... and most
    of them are all put up, promoted and such to do one thing ... get merchants traffic
    for FREE or close to it.

    On the other hand IF you can sell a coupon idea to an advertiser and it is exclusive
    to your site, you can make some REAL money ... The advertiser needs to pay you
    up front, just like they do any TV station. What you should charge is the tricky part.

    For example: Pick a product ... go to Amazon and see where it rates in the sales department. Does it actually sell compared to other products in that niche?

    Then contact the manufacturer and see if they would be willing to put up a coupon for X amoount off just for that product or for any purchase at their brick and mortar and pay you something for everyone who you get to screen print that coupon.

    Post the coupon on your site, get people to see it ... have it set up so you get their name and email address by asking them to put it into the body of the coupon.

    To get the coupon, they just screen print the coupon right off your site, after they enter their name and email and take it to their local retailer to buy the product and get the discount.

    To make REAL money in this niche, you need to be a coupon merchandiser not a coupon affiliate where you get paid on the come ... DUH! If you get paid 10% as an affiliate, posting coupons for a merchant is STUPID ... you just lowered your potential commission.

    Obviously, you are suppose to sell more with the coupon, so maybe you make more commission ... but in over 40 years of REAL WORLD marketing ... stuff that does not sell
    at retail ... more often than not will not sell at a discount.

  12. #12
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    I tend toward 'targeted' coupon developments where if there are coupons for a specific merchant, I display them on my landing page for that product/merchant. New development for me - so we'll see.

  13. #13
    Full Member OICUAM2's Avatar
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    Thanks to the additional postings - more to think about.

    Thanks SeymourButts - as I have been reading through the couponers corner forum here on ABW, your numerous reminders that coupon sites are lots of effort for little profit is having an effect. I have already decided I won't manually enter coupons into a huge directory style site. It is a white label shopping site or a complete feed (ForMeToCoupon) operation or nothing at all.

    However, I once thought about starting a blog format where I could post coupons and sale notices once in awhile. This would allow me to write product reviews and drive some SEO and PPC traffic to my posts. I also would have a newsletter. Completely goes against my automation requirement, but it was a brief thought.

    Basically, I just want a good shopping site I can direct my family, friends, and content site visitors to. I want it on my own domain so repeat visitors will remain my customers.
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  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador simcat's Avatar
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    There is a trend where even some merchants that offer coupons are severing ties with 'coupon only' sites. (i can't think of example right now but its happened to me)

    A content site that offers coupons too, probably safe.

  15. #15
    Affiliate Manager Howard Gottlieb's Avatar
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    The most successful coupon sites are those that have been around a long time and have followings. Planning on winning SEO traffic to a site like this is very difficult.

    The narrower the niche or focus the better your odds. Unless, of course, you have some better way to deliver the coupons where people will beat down a path to your site.
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  16. #16
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    No market is ever too saturated. There exists one big piece of "pie". You can always take a slice away from a weaker competitor. Go for it.

  17. #17
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    How could the top coupon sites stand out in the fierce competition? Learn and follow, then make your site special!

  18. #18
    Newbie Makai's Avatar
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    How about a niche coupon site: cooking coupons, sports coupons, music coupons, etc...

    As a merchant, I have been impressed by the success of the some of the niche coupon affiliates I've seen referring sales.

  19. #19
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Excellent suggestion. A niche site has far more potential to get word of mouth, and instead of spreading the sales around between thousands of merchants, it's usually less than a hundred merchants with most niches.
    Michael Coley
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  20. #20
    Newbie Makai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    Excellent suggestion. A niche site has far more potential to get word of mouth, and instead of spreading the sales around between thousands of merchants, it's usually less than a hundred merchants with most niches.
    Plus you can focus on a niche you enjoy... I find it's easier to work on a website I am totally interested in.

  21. #21
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    There are a few companies that have feeds for coupons. They are paid services, and the good ones can be quite expensive.
    Michael Coley
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  22. #22
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Yes. FMTC is the main one I know about.
    Michael Coley
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     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
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