Shopping for back-to-school items is often stressful for parents and students on a tight budget. To help make their shopping experience less painful, daily deal coupon aggregation sites, such as Groupon.com, are connecting consumers to local merchants that offer coupon savings on items like rulers, pencils, clothing, dorm room furniture and more.
With so many shoppers looking for daily deals and using coupons to save money these days, now might be the best time to start a coupon website. But how do you compete successfully in a crowded market? By choosing a specialized target group or offering bonuses that no one else does.
To determine the right niche markets to target, MySmallBiz.com recommends that you conduct research to investigate current competitors in your field and answer the following questions: What coupon sites serve your local area? Do they concentrate on a specific product or group of people? Are the sites kept up-to-date? What types of coupons do they offer? How will your coupon site differ from those already in existence?
Potential niche markets for your online coupons could include:
- Parents – parents are always on the lookout for deals and ways to save money
- Hobbyists – there are hundreds of hobby areas in which you could specialize
- Business to business – offer discounts on products that other businesses frequently buy
- Seniors – target senior services and other products senior citizens purchase
- Coupon booklet sales – package different types of coupons into a single coupon book
How to start a coupon website.
Sites that offer coupons and deals online are very popular. Running a coupon website involves listing coupons and sales; you make money from paid advertisements on your site and from commissions earned when people click on the coupons.
A coupon website is a great way to make extra income, especially if your hobby is shopping and finding deals online. It doesn’t cost much to set up, and promoting it is easy with online marketing and social networking.
Wikihow.com provides these 8 steps for starting an online coupon site in a crowded market.
- Choose your target customers and find a niche. The market for finding general coupons and deals online is somewhat saturated with big names like FatWallet and Groupon, so competition is fierce. However, a specialty website or coupon blog that offers deals in specific areas is a good alternative that can make extra income. Research what your target customers buy to figure out how to start a coupon website with relevant deals and low competition.
- Create a website or blog, or hire someone to do it. The site must be attractive and easy to use, with search capabilities for users to find the coupons and deals online that they are looking for. It should have social networking features like blogs, chat and forums for users to interact with each other. Consider purchasing a customizable template or hiring a website designer. If you choose to start small with a blog, it’s easy to create a free blog with WordPress or Blogger.
- Register your domain name. Usually your web hosting company will do this for you. Remember to renew your registration annually or when it’s ready to expire. You can save some money by registering for longer periods of time once you know the site is successful. Register your website with Google, Yahoo and other search engines.
- Find coupons to place on your coupon blog or website. Contact local and national businesses to get coupons. Some offer programs that give you a commission on sales when people use coupons from your site. Another idea is to rent advertising space on your site where retailers can place coupons. Do some work yourself by looking for online deals and coupon codes, and then placing them in your blog or site. Be sure to have a way for users to easily share coupons and online deals on your site.
- Consider registering for affiliate programs and coupon feeds like For Me to Coupon and Smashdeals. There is a fee for this subscription, but it’s a way to get large numbers of coupons without doing a lot of work.
- Market your site online with social networking and search engine optimization techniques. Create Facebook and Twitter accounts to broadcast online deals as you hear about them, with status updates that direct back to your website. Use keywords when writing articles or blog posts so that people looking for deals will find your site.
- Make sure your business is legal and legitimate. Talk to a business adviser, accountant or attorney to determine how to start a coupon website, including tax and liability issues. Register your business with the IRS and find out if you need permits and licenses to operate in your state and town.
- Manage your time and work area. Make sure your schedule allows for finding deals online, engaging in advertising and social networking tasks and maintaining your site. Keep your site up to date; remove coupons or deals as they expire.