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 Nowadays the shopping portal has been replaced by the voucher code site and many newbies, and even oldies in AM, see it as perhaps an instant route to earning commission.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.