“Follow the plan outlined here and you can create your own website from scratch without writing any code for less than $300.”
Ah, the coupon marketing site.
It’s a favorite niche site for affiliate marketers and internet entrepreneurs.
As you might already know, these sites can make thousands of dollars per month by earning you commissions for each product sold, but more on that later.
Because a coupon website has a relatively small scope and workload, it’s viable for one person to start and manage the site with little to no help at all, and that brings me to the best part of this model.
Truly passive income
“Passive income” is almost always a misnomer. Most “passive” websites require constant work to maintain earnings or grow at all, but coupon sites aren’t quite the same way.
It’s very possible to setup your coupon website, outsource some link building to an SEO firm, and literally logout for months while it continues to earn.
Knowing this, it shouldn’t be too hard to get motivated and put it in the necessary effort upfront to get this site off the ground
How does it make money?
Coupon websites earn money primarily through affiliate offers.
As an affiliate, you signup for an affiliate program with a vendor and they’ll give you a special affiliate link. Every time someone clicks that link, a cookie is stored on their browser. If they make a purchase from the vendor while the cookie is present, you are awarded a commission.
Simple enough, right?
Since people tend to search for coupons while they are already in the shopping cart or checkout page, your links will have an extremely high conversion rate. That’s what makes coupon sites so profitable. A relatively small amount of traffic can lead to big earnings.
How to make it
There are three main things you need to get a website online:
- A domain
Yes, there are alternatives to WordPress, but I highly recommend using WP for a site like this. In fact, I’m not even sure you could make this type of site with another site builder like Weebly or Wix.
Let’s dive in with the domain first.
Get a domain name
Your domain name is simply the address people visit to reach your site. This website’s domain name is competethemes.com
It can be tricky to find an available domain name these days, especially a .com extension. Try to come up with as many variations as you can and then use a domain registrar like Namecheap to bulk check the availability of them all at once.
You could try to create a brand for an entire niche of coupons like “hostingcoupons.com” or try to get more specific and make a mini-site for one brand like amazoncoupons.com.
Make sure to check the TOS for the affiliate program first since some companies may not allow use of their brand name in the URL.
There are plenty of reliable hosts out there, but I always recommend Bluehost because I started with them 8 years ago when I made my first website.
I use Kinsta for all of the sites I build now and like them a lot, but their hosting comes with a premium price tag. If you can afford it, it’s worth the money, but Bluehost should provide more than enough power for you to get your site online and start making some commissions.
I almost forgot – when you signup with Bluehost, they’ll let you register your first domain name for free, so hold off on purchasing it until you create an account with them.
Another major benefit is that they’ll auto-create a WordPress site for you when you signup.
With your domain, hosting, and WordPress installed, you’ll have a basic site online and ready to go. The next step will transform your website into an online coupon sharing platform.
If you’d like more instruction to create your site, you can watch my video course included in my WordPress site building tutorial.
Add a coupon WordPress theme
I know I’m supposed to offer my expert counsel here, but I’m conflicted.
A WordPress theme will completely alter how your site looks and can also add all the functionality you need. Here’s the thing…
There are five themes that can do this and I think they’re all excellent. Without knowing exactly what you have in mind, I’m not sure which one to recommend.
Instead, I’m going to recommend you visit this collection of the top WordPress themes for coupon websites.
All of the themes in that collection are beautiful and feature-rich, but their designs vary wildly from one to the next. I’ll let you decide which one fits your vision best.
Are you surprised?
With the modern tools available, it’s really not hard to create this kind of site. Basically, you just need to find an available domain name, signup with Bluehost, and then activate your favorite coupon theme.
Once the coupon theme is activated, there will be lots of options to configure and that comes mostly down to your own taste and opinions on web design.
It’s important to know that those themes will also add the publishing tools you need to publish coupons alongside regular pages and blog posts on your site.
While the main focus of this guide is how to make your coupon site, I have a few tips for you to build your traffic and income before you go.
How to get traffic and commissions
Coupon sites thrive on search engine traffic. If you’re not already proficient in SEO, that should be a top priority while building this site.
Here’s how it works:
Picture someone who’s on another site about to complete a purchase when they hit the checkout page and see a discount code box. They quickly Google the name of the site plus “coupon” and click on a result. If it’s your site, they’ll find a coupon and click on it which will add the affiliate cookie.
In other words, if you show up on Google, you’ll make money with your website. If you don’t, you won’t. While it’s possible to get direct traffic from people who remember and like your site, this is rather unlikely given the rapid nature of the customer interaction.
Link building has been tough for years now after many Google algorithm changes. However, this is the process that will allow you to slowly rank higher and get more traffic to your site.
With a good strategy, patience, and persistence, you will find your efforts paying off and your rankings increasing.
Here are a few good guides to get you started:
- Link Building for SEO: The Definitive Guide
- Link Building Tactics (Complete List)
- How to Build 100 Quality Links Without Writing Fresh Content
You’ll get better at link building over time as you try tactics out and figure out what works for you and what doesn’t. This will also make you better at outsourcing since you can save money and boost your ROI by outsourcing very specific SEO tasks.
Get started today
I hope that wasn’t too overwhelming!
There will surely be some hiccups and hurdles along the way if you’ve never made a site, but you don’t need to write a single line of code or do anything extremely technical.
Not to mention, since you’re creating a WordPress site, you can always find support and tutorials online from the massive WordPress community. Whatever comes up, you can be sure to find a solution somewhere.
To summarize the steps required are to:
- find a domain name
- Signup with Bluehost to get the domain for free and auto-create a WP site
- Pick a WordPress theme to activate on your site.
One last thing – if this is your first website, it will take you a little longer, but you’ll be developing a skillset and infrastructure to reuse for the next site you build. And trust me, you’ll make another site 😉