This is one of our older websites that has gone through many iterations: currently at dealfly.org. It started off a couple of years ago with an awful Flash-based plugin for the coupons that was slow and created a lot of conflict with themes and other plugins. Recently we switched over to the new plugin that works way better, especially on mobile that I’m very happy with. The thing that is tricky with coupons is that if you just provide links for people to click on it makes your bounce rate very high which can negatively affect how you rank in search engines. Most coupon plugins work by either loading an intermediary page, or opening the merchant website in a new window and refreshing the same page now with the coupon code visible.

This is probably our biggest website, and we’re expanding the content on it again and adding new merchant pages right now. It’s monetized through partnerships with a few different affiliate programs. Aside from the website set up (installation of content management system, plugins & themes, theme customization) I have done a fair amount of copywriting as well as search engine optimization for this website. The coupon niche is pretty competitive, our strategy has been to do a lot of keyword research and add merchants who have lots of or increasing search volume but less competition for ranking. Relying on just organic search traffic for revenue is always tough, search algorithms change and you can be targeted by negative SEO campaigns. However, for something like coupons that people typically aren’t looking for them until they get to a checkout page and they see a little box to ‘enter coupon code’. Doing marketing via email or social media isn’t all that effective unless you happen to pop up right when they are about to make a purchase, and that’s pretty difficult to do!

Affiliate marketing is simple in that you do not take any of the orders yourself, nor do you ship product. You refer traffic to a merchant website using a tracking link that is unique to your affiliate account and earn a commission on any sales that come as a result of that link click. The hardest part is first finding a keyword or niche that is not super competitive, and then getting your website to rank well. It is not a business you can set up in a weekend and start seeing results from next week, it definitely takes patience. However, if you’re looking for something to work on as a side business while you have other employment it’s a great option that can have major payout later on. You can work with partners such as Amazon, Commission Junction, Shareasale, Awin, and more.

If you’d like to start an affiliate marketing website, we do offer consulting, keyword research, all the way up to website set up and backlinking for you if you’d like. We have access to several private keyword and backlink research tools that will help you to find the best keywords/products/services to target, as well as work with reputable marketing companies to get your links out there. There are a lot of scams and black hat SEO companies out there, so you need to be careful when building backlinks to your website. Focus on adding real value to site visitors and customers and the marketing will be a lot easier!