It’s all about finding your niche–or nowadays your niche within a niche–in an overstated industry.
Here’s an example. . . and a confession. I have a girl-crush on food blogger Ree Drummond. And it isn’t even her to-die-for cinnamon rolls, or the fact that she taught me that the secret to great French toast is whole milk and egg yolks, duh. It’s the way she makes romance out of butternut squash. Yep. She had me at the squash.
You may think there are a lot of coupon blogs out there, but let me tell you something–we’ve got nothing on the floods of food bloggers; God bless every one of them!
Ms Drummond sets herself apart because she’s found her niche within a niche–gourd romance. Instead of just sharing great recipes, she shares her personality and her refreshing and unapologetic love for butter. My kind of girl.
How do I find my niche?
Determine what makes you you! Where are you from? What are your areas of expertise? What’s your family like? Find a way to knit it in to what you blog about, whether that is couponing or another subject altogether.
Start locally. The low hanging fruits in the coupon space are deals at local supermarket chains. Big blogs like KCL can’t compete with a small local blog for a small supermarket like Food4Less, which is why we don’t cover those deals. My first recommendation would be that you become the foremost expert on your local store(s) and see how much traction you can gain by doing so.
Fight for original content! What are the things you wish you saw more of on other blogs? Do the work, and make it happen on yours! In store photos? Your personal shopping list? What coupons to print this week? Give your readers something they absolutely cannot find somewhere else.
Change your aesthetic! Make your blog look different! KCL was the first coupon blog to ever have a slider or ‘deal carousel’ at the top of the page, highlighting the best, current deals. You wouldn’t know that now because every blogger and their cousin has slapped one up at the top of the page. And good for them! Good ideas are meant to be shared! Don’t be afraid to look at competitors outside your industry for original ideas and inspiration!
Be generous and informative to beginners. Heather and I attribute lots of our success to the fact that we’ve always catered to beginners. We created 10 Days to Become a Krazy Coupon Lady just a couple months after we began blogging, and it’s been a staple of our business (and the Kardashian’s) ever since.
Get personal. So you’re a single mom with eight kids. . . er nine. . . and you live in a Victorian fixer-upper in a Chicago suburb with a creepy cat lady next door. That’s gold! Don’t just sell your deals! Sell yourself!
The decision to make our personalities part of our brand was something Heather and I didn’t realize we were doing until it was too late. After we published our book and began booking national press, like it or not, we had branded ourselves–our faces, our annoying voices, my loudmouth personality. . . we live to regret this pretty much every time we have occasion to watch one of our own videos. We’ve allowed you all to get to know us. And, to our surprise, you haven’t turned and run away.
We’re all people, (people who need people). So channel your inner Funny Girl and show some of you in your blog.
Here are a couple ideas to get you started
- Create a coupon blog that tallies your journey to get out of debt or toward Bora Bora (pitter patter), with an honest-to-goodness red thermometer in the sidebar where your audience can watch you progress!
- Create a coupon blog that focuses on a niche audience–what about just baby deals? Or pet deals? Or deals for men?
- Never couponed before? Start your blog now and chronicle your journey. Nothing more valuable than advice from someone who is literally learning with their audience.
- Make up a persona–I’d love nothing more than to read my deals from an over-stereotypical extreme couponing addict who could poke fun at our silly idiosyncrasies while telling me how to get a deal on 90 bottles of pancake syrup.
I truly believe there is no limit on the number of potentially profitable bloggers in the world. As you create your blog, you gain the ability to build your own audience. By implementing the tips above, you should have no problem doing it!
This is the third post in a new series about how to start a coupon blog.