Should You Set Up A Voucher Code Site?

A few years ago the first site most new affiliates would try was a shopping portal. Put up some categories, add some banners and hey presto the road to affiliate marketing success was set – or not! Nowadays the shopping portal has been replaced by the voucher code site and many newbies, and even oldies in AM, see it as perhaps an instant route to earning commission.

So the question is should you set up a voucher code site? Here’s a few pointers to help you decide…

1. You Need to Love Competition
Kaiser Chiefs sang “Love’s not a Competition”, but you’re going to need to love competition if you want to take on the voucher code sector. The UK scene is dominated by the likes of myvouchercodes or vouchercodes or (insert name)codes dot com, dot co.uk.. dot anything.

They’re only part of your competition. There are codes on cashback sites, moneysavingexpert, Hot UK Deals etc plus a bundle of big brands like GMTV, MSE (again), AOL and moneysupermarket who have code sections powered by the big boys.

Oh and there’s also a few hundred/thousand/hundred thousand other affiliate voucher code sites here in the UK. If you like competition, perhaps even being an underdog, then the voucher code scene could be for you.

2. You Need A Little Time
In the words of The Beautiful South you going to need “A Little Time”. Actually you’re going to need quite a bit of time. Voucher code sites don’t run themselves, even the white label/feed based ones. Yes you can automate updates and content from various sources but you’re still going to need some unique content.

3. You Need A Little Patience
Listen to Take That as they encourage you to have a little “Patience”. Having a new affiliate voucher code site doesn’t automatically mean you’re going to become a multi million pound geezer that everyone loves to hate overnight. Like any new site it needs looking after, updating, adding new content, promoting etc… and remember you’re competing with all those other code sites so it can be a tight squeeze in the SERPS too.

4. You Need A Sense of Humour
Darren Hayes sang about a sense of humour and you’re going to need one if you’re embarking on your first affiliate voucher code site. This code has ended, you can’t use that code, that code is for that affiliate, you get no commission for this, that code closes tomorrow etc.

Again you can rely on automated set ups to help you, but the amount of to-ing and fro-ing in code side maintenance is akin to John Terry popping round to see his neighbour’s wife.

5. You Need To Do Some Happy Talking
Captain Sensible once sang “happy talkin’, happy talk” and if your voucher code site is going to do really well it’s going to need some exclusive codes. That means talking to merchants, networks and agencies and letting them know why you should be given exclusives.

You could rely on feeds or automated services but your very own exclusives mean unique content that may get sent around the internet and they can make you more competitive. The downside is you’re going to need to spend time getting them. You’ll also need that bit of patience as they’re not always freely available.

6. You Have To Be Insane In The Brain
Hey DJ it’s time for Cypress Hill’s “Insane in the Brain”. Get a “you don’t have to be mad to work here, but it helps poster” and stick it on your office wall. It’s a saturated market that’s attracting more and more interest. On this month’s CJ Blog they even say “I know at least 15 publishers who are creating new voucher code sites as we speak”.

In other words there’s a lot of competition and you’re going to need to be incredibly busy – not just updating codes – just to get a toenail in the doorway. It’s not impossible and if you’re up for a challenge (probably with good domain name at hand and some cash for PPC) it might just happen.

On the other hand you might want to consider concentrating on niche and generating a content site that can evolve with you. Of course include those important codes in your copy so as to not lose your hard earnt visitor’s sales to a voucher code site… just don’t spend all your time trying to be one.

The soundtrack for this blog post would have been added to Sharemyplaylists but it needs a few more songs.

4 Comments Should You Set Up A Voucher Code Site?

  1. Chris March 17, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    A few songs for you;
    Blah Blah Blah – Iggy Pop
    Going On – Gnarls Barkley
    So Yesterday – Hilary Duff
    Stop Crying – Heart
    Get Over It – Guillemots

    😉

    Reply
  2. Chris March 17, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Ooooops pushed submit for I finished!

    I would definately recommend that niche/content sites are concentrated on and are seen as long term investment. Discount Code sites are somewhat boring (as is the ongoing ‘discussion’ about them) and are as common as muck.

    They can generate income and do serve a purpose. However rather than include a code on your content site, you could always redirect your visitors to “Check out xxxxx site for a discount code” where xxxxx is actually your very own discount code website.

    For the past few months, I’ve been moving away from Discount Codes and back in to content/niche sites, and am finding that once again I’m beginning to enjoy Affiliate Marketing 🙂

    Reply
  3. Matt Bailey March 17, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    I’d agree Jason, and for our merchants we are concentrating our efforts more and more on working with a small number of code sites whom we can trust and have the ability to drive significant volume for us.

    There are only limited methods that the majority of VC sites are driving traffic in our view and therefore we feel we can have these channels covered by a smaller number. Whilst there is a place for ethical, incremental voucher code activity, it is not the rainbow that every affiliate will find the pot of gold under.

    Reply
  4. Lee McCoy March 18, 2010 at 9:24 am

    I’m with you there Chris. I knew voucher sites were/are bringing in the bacon but realised that I couldn’t compete on the technology front even if I could on the SEO. I decided as a result to concentrate on content sites about four years ago and they’re paying off – but the problem is that they oftent take ages to pay off.

    I was lucky with my Easter Eggs one as I got a few links early on that really kicked it off. That’s the nub of it now for anyone else focusing on content sites.

    There is a great deal of fun to be had with them as you’re not spending most of your time chasing your tale on codes. You can spend that time creating content and interacting in your niche community to build trust and biz dev.

    I’m stressed to fook with Easter to be honest as I’m constantly being sent products to review before the big day. But most don’t realise that Easter finishes early due to the delivery lag so can’t get it all done before then as my day job also gets in the way.

    Next year Rodney …

    Reply

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