As an affiliate manager I see tons of websites as they are applying to the affiliate programs that we manage. I must say that lately the applications we are seeing are all kind of the same thing. Between the cash-back sites that you have to use a social media plug in for or the 100′s of coupon sites that are all using the same “Click to Reveal” coupon code setting it is quite disturbing.
Where is the ingenuity? What makes your site different? I am not here to bash these type of sites but to make any money in affiliate marking you have to have some sort of POD (Point of difference) to make your site the “Go To” site where users will flock to. Odds are the click to reveal websites can all be knocked off in a Google algorithm change.
To be honest with you I am not seeing any new coupon sites getting any search engine traffic at all. If you are thinking about starting the next big “Click to Reveal Website” I suggest you rethink that plan. The market you think you can capture using social media is already to crowded for your best-coupons-ever-in-the-world.com website. A new site having the word coupon or coupons in your domain is a red flag to begin with. The Google search results already have enough coupon sites and Google knows it. Google knows who the big branded coupon sites are and trying to start the next big one is a mistake in my opinion.
I am sure at the next Affiliate Summit I will be introduced to a newbie starting a new coupon site. It is bound to happen, it happens to me at every Summit and the person always thinks it is a unique idea they have. Save yourself some time and don’t order your LeftHandedElephantCoupon.com business cards just yet. Come and meet with me and I will give you 5 better ideas for a website. Like I said I am not bashing coupon sites I just want to see someone come up with an idea that knocks it out of the park.
There is a lot of affiliate programs that are lowering commissions to coupon sites. There are companies that don’t want to have their brand on coupon sites at all. Does this sound like a good long term idea for your next website? I don’t think so.
Affiliate Marketers Are Smart People
Affiliate marketers are some of the smartest people I know. Where is that ingenuity? I think it has been lacking of late. There needs to be more websites out there that offer a great service first and the affiliate products second. I have seen this model creep into affiliate marketing lately. I have seen more affiliates adapting by making videos, that is great. I am seeing more get into mobile or at least making their sites mobile friendly.
There use to be a time when having a proper SEO’d article on like “saving money on gas” on your automotive site would get you traffic and make you some money. Now if you had an automotive site a free “find cheap gas” service lookup app would probably be a better idea. Be helpful and think outside the box. In my example you would have users on your site while they are in their car and not necessarily on their computer at home. Stop thinking about how you can get a user on your website, think how can I get my website/product into their pocket.
If you haven’t seen Google Now you are already behind the 8 ball. It should be scaring affiliate marketers like there is no tomorrow. Yesterday I was in Scottsdale Arizona and pulled up my Google Now which btw is just pulling up Google at this point since it is in my phone. In an instant I had the nearest restaurant, the weather, reviews, things to do etc. All with directions on how to get to each place. Under all these things on the phone I had the url to check out these things but I really didn’t need to as I was just playing around.
What it showed me is I would be wasting my time if I was going to try and build the next best new local site about Scottsdale as my site wouldn’t get on Google Now as it isn’t actually located in Scottsdale. You could get a PO box in Scottsdale but doing that would only give people directions to your P.O. box. Doesn’t sound like a long term win either.
I could go on all day with examples of Google Now but that is for another day. Thinking outside the box may be the best way to get your site into the users pocket.