A couple weeks ago now, I wrapped up my short series on starting a bargain blog. (To read those posts, head to the Blogging Category of my blog.) I promised I would answer some of the questions I received – and there were some good ones!
Q: You mention a lot of bloggers using WordPress. However when I go to their site, it's clear these blogs aren't for commercial use and discourage the use of ads. What am I missing?
A. Great question! There is an important difference to note. WordPress.com is a free service, and the one you're referring to. WordPress.org on the other hand, is the service most of the bloggers have moved to. WordPress.org requires you to find a host for your blog (unlike WordPress.com). WordPress.org gives you the opportunity to fully customize and control your site – make it yours. For more information on the differences between the two, go HERE.
Q. Do I have to open an LLC for my blog? In my state, that could run me several hundred dollars.
A. I should probably say you don't HAVE to do this. I do recommend at least opening a business license, which should run you about $20, give or take. As mentioned before, I formed an LLC for the added legal protections. Posting information on the Internet – well, I just had no idea what sort of potential risk I was exposing myself to and wanted my personal assets to have some form of protection. To my understanding, it also provides some additional protection of my name. Of course, this is a step you could decide on taking later. There are additional business steps I'm planning on taking, but simply can't do to cost. I understand that! While I'm not a business consultant, know that I've heard that sometimes you can register an LLC in another state – it doesn't necessarily have to be your own. Many businesses register their LLC in Delaware, Nevada, and Wyoming. For more information on this, please speak with your local business licensing office.
Q. Why do you have two blogs?
A. Once you get blogging, you might find it's for you. And you might think of additional topics for blogs. As far as I see it, couponing and marathoning are two completely different topics and I wanted to keep the blogs separate. Folks wanting to read about training for a race are not necessarily going to want to read about a coupon for shampoo and vice versa. I try to keep the topics separate. (Incidentally I have a topic in mind for a third blog and have for some time…but don't have the time to tackle it in my life!!)
Q. How do you manage all this? It seems overwhelming.
A. It's a lot of juggling. It's nicest when I can work in chunks of time on my posts. Sometimes late at night, I'll write a number of posts to publish throughout the next day or so. This helps with my time in the morning. The key is to finding balance. I don't post 20 posts per day. I can't sustain that, plus it's not my style.
Q. What are some of the bigger blogs to watch?
A. Some of them include: Money Saving Mom, Deal Seeking Mom, Hip2Save, Common Sense with Money, Southern Savers, and Freebies4Mom. How do you know if a blog is highly trafficked? Check out their Facebook fan #, Twitter followers, their Sitemeter stats (if they have one). Also, note the sort of sponsors they're attracting. Some of these bloggers have simply been at it longer – they were at the front-end of the "bargain blog" craze and attracted a huge number of readers and followers. They got the timing completely right. Others have just done an excellent job of finding a niche and doing it well. To be a writer of a blog, you MUST be a reader of blogs! Subscribe to LOTS of bargain blogs – big and small. Some of my favorite bloggers are way under-read! See what they're up to. Offer to do a guest post, or ask one of them to do a post for your blog. Send them some of your best deals via email in hopes of having them link to you.
Running a bargain blog is hard work, but it can also be rewarding work! If you have additional questions or comments, please feel free to email me at thecouponproject at hotmail dot com.
Photo credit Alicja Stolarczyk