The Anatomy of a Coupon Blog
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You might have caught an episode of Extreme Couponing and sat bewildered seeing dedicated individuals developing tremendous systems and routines to their coupon clipping which lets them walk away with hundreds of dollars of items for next to nothing at the checkout.
Coupons have been around for ages and they’re still being used because they work, plain and simple.
Usually coupons came stuffed in the paper but since we now have the Internet (and apps that allow you to pull up and present coupons from your phone) they’re really taken off. Especially due in part to those bloggers that dedicate themselves to this niche.
I have to admit … I started to get on board with couponing after watching a few episodes of Extreme Couponing. I never got any good at it (saved a few bucks here and there) but what I want to do with this piece is to show you what’s going on behind the scenes of these coupon blogs, ideas as to how they’re doing it, and the monetization strategies they’ve got in place to earn from their effort.
Let’s Look At: CouponersUnited.com
This was one of the sites I stumbled across when I was in my research days of couponing. I really like the site from the get-go because it’s straight and to the point. You know what you’re getting yourself into.
Here are some of the reasons why this site is a success:
It’s easy to jump right into couponing because you’re immediately presented with a “start here” link which will take you to a page full of starter guides and tutorials about couponing.
The list of stores covered makes it very easy to see whether you can take advantage of what’s being posted. The “coupons” gives you different resources for finding and collecting coupons. The “Save Money” is a great dumping ground for informational articles on … saving money.
And others such as freebies (always a good way to build some buzz on the social networks), recipes (which would go perfect for cross promoting a coupon), and small portion of the site dedicated to saving on travel makes for a very well-rounded experience.
The Coupon Feed
Many times a day you will see a new blog post with available coupons. The posts are very resourceful because they give you some basic information for using the following coupons. Once you’re past that section you can take a look through the coupons and also find great scenarios to maximize your usage of them so they stack and help you save more.
For people coming to these pages they are bombarded with helpful information and opportunities.
The sidebar is on point with what you’d expect when building a site trying to build an audience.
- A search option for people to dig deep into the site
- A free coupon class promotion (which can become good leverage for increasing income)
- An email list
- A handful of images taking users to the silo/evergreen pages
- A video of local news coverage (great for showing reputation and expertise)
- A list of links to other coupon resources (which appear to be affiliate links)
- A categorization of popular retail/food chains to let people hop right in
All-in-all it’s an authority website.
It has all the main features people come to expect from a legitimate website. It puts into practice all the great tips and strategies to earn additional income through affiliate marketing, sponsorship, and advertising.
A Few Thoughts
I can’t imagine having the patience to continually (and manually) go through tons and tons of coupons and databases, copying them down, making sure to add links, and keep on top of flash sales. For someone starting off it may be doable but over time I would expect someone operating these sites would either outsource part of the work or even crowdsource the work from their community.
But this is where things get juicy.
A good amount of the work is now becoming automated thanks to online coupon databases – one of the big ones you’ll often find on these coupon sites is Coupons.com. This company happens to have an affiliate program (here: https://brandcaster.coupons.com). They pay you a bit for every coupon someone clips and prints out. Easy, right?
What you may also notice is that by growing in authority it’s likely these individuals are being contacted by the big brands. For a bit of money I’m sure they could get a feature on their site or in the email list.
The inclusion of the ‘freebie’ section is quite genius too. Having regular posts about free kindle books allows that person to place Amazon affiliate links throughout the list which means if someone happens to buy something while they’re over there picking up that free ebook then they get a cut of the transaction.
I want you to take an hour of your afternoon (doesn’t need to be this minute) to look around and find those coupon/mommy blogs. Start looking at how they’re structured. How they’re able to promote products without coming across as too aggressive. See how they interact with the community (on site and social).
I can bet you that you’ll spark a few ideas from what they’re doing, no doubt. Take some notes, compile them, and see if you can begin implementing some of their strategies into your site(s). I’m sure there are opportunities to be had.