(Image credit Jan Flaska)
There is a topic that’s near and dear to my heart, and I’ve debated for some time on if or how I want to share it with you. Today, I’ve decided to go for it.
The topic? YOU.
Awhile ago, I decided to write a set of values that would govern the content on this blog and the way I would conduct myself here. The first value I penned was this:
“Offer content that provides value to the readers first.”
Bottom line, living out this value has meant I’ve left money on the table. The relationship I’ve built with my readers here will win every time over a quick buck. Why am I sharing this today? Because I want you to know how committed I am to providing you the very best content I can here at The Coupon Project. I also wanted to give you an inside look at how I decide which deals and content to post, and which to leave well enough alone.
#1. You can count on me to listen to you. There are a few affiliate offers I’ve promoted in the past that initially felt like win-win situations. They seemed like legitimate deals, and yes, I made a few bucks in the process. However, when you tell me that you had serious problems with the company, that the freebie was less than stellar, or you wouldn’t recommend the deal to a friend…I listen. I can think of two specific offers I’ve not posted in recent days that would have undoubtedly earned me a nice lil’ paycheck…but I wouldn’t have felt right about promoting to you. In both of these instances, I’ve shared specific feedback with affiliate managers about what you had to say. Behind the scenes, you can count on me to stick out my neck for you.
#2. When there are no deals, I stay silent. If deals are light, I’m not going to try to drum up deals that just aren’t there. I don’t want to speak just to make noise. I may choose to fill in with tutorials, vlogs, or giveaways, but I’m not about to pass off an Amazon non-deal as something truly awesome.
#3. You can count on me to disclose. I make a best effort to disclose shipping costs, fine print, and other information integral in giving you a full picture of a deal. I’m not into trickery to get you to click on my links. I’ve also been very forthcoming in how I make money here. And, you know what? I’d do so regardless if the FTC required it or not. (Read my Disclosure Policy for more information.)
#4. I started this blog because I love to write. When I started this blog, I spent several months developing content before I took out my business license and began the monetization process. I write many posts here (such as this one) that don’t earn me a single cent. I write these for the pure joy of writing. My degree was in English/Creative Writing and my Senior Project was a short story series. I worked as a freelance copywriter a couple years before I started this site (I still do work as a copywriter on the side, too). I’ve been a storyteller as long as I can remember.
I’m not going to lie – it’s great being able to support my family with what I love to do – but it’s also great when I receive comments from you saying how my post brightened your day, made you laugh, or inspired you to live better. That means so much to me.
#5. While I love your support, I’m not a charity case. Let me make this clear: you owe me NOTHING. While I would love it for you to click on my Coupons.com or Groupon links, you are not obligated to do so. Ever. I’m not going to encourage you to help me earn an iPad by bringing me a zillion referrals. I’m not going to beg you to share my Facebook page with your friends so I can hit some magic number. I want you to share my site and my posts because you genuinely like them. Isn’t that the entire point of social media anyway?
If you’ve ever wondered about the decision-making process involved in content development here, I hope I’ve been able to shed some light on that topic for you! And I’ll do my best to answer additional questions if you have them.
Finally, thank you for your honest feedback, comments, and emails. Rest assured, I listen.