Coupon Codes & Outsourcing Content: Budget Tips

In the first installment of this series on budget tips for small businesses we’re going to explore two popular options for saving money on your small business expenses and maximizing your profits. Each week we’ll take a look at two common practices for small businesses: one that works and one that doesn’t, and why that is the case for each one. First up…

Coupon Codes: They work!

Almost all companies have coupon codes. Sometimes they might call them promo codes or voucher codes, but they all do the same thing: get you a great deal and save you money! You can get coupon codes for almost anything: website hosting, travel, software and services, retail and tech items, and so much more. This is a budget tip that really works, I mean it’s hard to lose with this one. You need to buy something for your business, if there is a coupon available why would you not use it?! I think a lot of people don’t realize how many coupons are available out there, and they don’t bother to search for one before they make a purchase. Remember that they are not just for brick and mortar retailers, and they are available in way more places than just the local grocery store flyer! Before you buy anything online, if they have a spot for a coupon or promo code do a quick Google search.

coupon codes

Outsourcing Content: Be Wary

Outsourcing is becoming more irrelevant as search engines increasingly penalize websites full of low-quality content. But why is it still so popular? The truth is that even though there is a lot of misinformation out there, anyone can learn why outsourcing is so dangerous by reading the article below. 

Quality

At one time websites could get away with creating content with a few relevant keywords and an eye-catching title. But social media visibility is now highly valued and even great content will be buried in search results if it only has a few shares and likes on sites like Twitter and Facebook.

Most outsourced content, although packed with valuable information, isn’t unique or interesting enough to share online. Webmasters and bloggers will have more success if they learn how to create winsome content, either on their own or by hiring a writing team.

Voice

Voice is another problem with outsourced content. Pieces written by different authors usually lack a consistent style and point of view, also known as voice. Just like any other product, your content will confuse your audience if it is too unpredictable. Contradictions and factual errors will also frustrate your readers and can easily slip in unnoticed, especially if you rely heavily on outsourced content from different sources.

Uniqueness

Many websites publish a flood of cheap outsourced content. While this seems like a smart strategy at first, it usually ends in disappointment when they don’t meet their own lofty expectations. This failure is due to a fatal misunderstanding that viewers want a lot of content and don’t care about quality.

You need to realize that since there is so much content online on almost every topic, you need to stand-out from your competition if you want to attract a large audience. Without a commitment to be unique and offer excellent content, you will always struggle to pull your website out of mediocrity. 

Opportunity

Outsourcing worthwhile content takes a lot of your time, whether you are communicating with authors, making corrections, browsing content, or doing other managerial tasks. But is this the best way to use your time? 

The answer is usually no, especially if you run an opinion-based website. Time is a precious resource, and yours is better spent creating backlinks, finding your unique voice, and growing your presence on social media.

Now that you know why outsourcing is so damaging, you can focus on improving your traffic and page rank the right way. Your audience will thank you.

Five Reasons Not to Start a Niche Blog

Conventional wisdom states that you should choose a niche topic for your blog. Starting a niche blog will make it easier for you to build traffic and make money. You’ll have less competition, it’ll be easier for readers to identify with you, and you’ll sell products more easily because you’ll have a better idea of your readers’ needs and wants. So generally, focusing on a niche topic is a good idea. However, there are several situations in which you might choose not to go this route. 

You’re making an online portfolio

Maybe you don’t care about monetization, and you don’t care how many people read your blog. Your site might serve just as a portfolio of your writing skills that demonstrates the wide range of writing styles and topics in which you’re able to produce good work. If this is the case, it doesn’t matter too much if there’s a common thread to your posts; you just want to show off your versatility. A niche blog focused on one area won’t let you do this. 

You’re already rich and famous 

If you’re on the Forbes rich list or a celebrity that can easily get a lot of press coverage, you can pretty much write about your tablecloth every day and you’ll still get traction. You could start a topic on a niche area if you really wanted to, but you don’t need to because you are a niche topic yourself. You can use a generalist blog to direct traffic to your existing products, new products, or simply use it to help build your personal brand and respond to press coverage from other media outlets. 

You don’t want to work 

A big draw of blogging is that you get to write and think about something you’re interested in — and get paid for it. But the path from zero to a successful blog is not an easy one. You’ll have to put a lot of work into marketing, social media, writing guest blogs, search engine optimization, responding to comments, and a million and one other things. If you’re not willing to put that work in, don’t start a niche blog. You might as well start a general one because you’re not likely to build traffic or make money in any case. 

You haven’t chosen a niche yet 

Maybe you have a few ideas for a niche blog, but you can’t decide between them. You could start a multi-topic blog covering all of them and see how you feel writing about the different topics. Is one topic easier than another? Does one of them engage you more? What sort of traction are they getting? An experiment like this can help narrow your options, and you can easily split off the posts to a new blog when you have decided. 

You already have a niche blog 

Maybe you are already working on a niche blog, and you have an idea for another one. Unless your first blog is already pulling in a sustainable, passive income with minimal maintenance, this is a bad idea. Think about everything you need to do to develop your blog – write new content, engage with your audience, maintain your site, create products, run advertising campaigns, manage social media accounts, write guest posts – the list goes on and on. If you dilute your efforts you’ll limit your results. Focus on just one blog for now. 

Stick to the time-honored wisdom 

In this case, the general wisdom is correct – if you’re interested in making money from a blog, choose a niche. But, of course, there are other reasons to start a blog. If you fit into one of the above categories, feel free to start a generalist blog. Remember to use social media like Facebook to promote your content such as on www.facebook.com/coupongotravel.