We’re going to be making some changes to the web site over the coming days, but I want to give you a chance to give us your two cents before we finalize anything. I started this site back in 2011 and through the years things have changed quite a bit. In some respects, we haven’t always kept up with the times. The site started during the heyday of the coupon craze and both printable coupons and hot deals using them were plentiful. Over time that has changed as couponing has become more digital with coupons you can clip to your store loyalty cards and the growth of rebate apps like Ibotta and Checkout51.
Unfortunately, the digital coupons pay us nothing and the apps just give us a small bounty when we refer someone new to sign up. Printable coupon revenue has declined over the past few years as manufacturer’s have shifted towards the digital coupons and rebate apps. Those industry changes have necessitated a transition for us…one which we had been dragging our feet to make.
And then about five weeks ago, things got a bit scary for us. One of the companies that pays us a large share of our revenue became insolvent. Unfortunately, because of industry standards on payment times, we didn’t know they couldn’t pay until they owed us nearly three months of revenue (and this company accounted for 30% of our monthly earnings.) We were blindsided by this.
And that’s why you saw a TON of Amazon deals during this year’s holiday season. We were literally up against the wall and had to close the gap in revenue…quickly. However, during that forced change, we found out that many of you actually dig the retail deals. I’m sure that’s not true for all of you, but the Amazon stuff we posted was actually more popular and generated more revenue than the coupons we posted over the past 30 days. We still have a cash-flow issue, but it looks like we’re going to be okay.
So…with that in mind…I have a few things that are on our to-do list for changes to the web site, but I’m looking to gather a little more feedback and continue to weigh pros/cons before implementing them. Here’s some of what I have been thinking…
- Make the online shopping deals a permanent, ongoing part of the site’s programming. This is a no-brainer. It’s what saved us when we were blindsided by the non-paying company and it highlighted the fact that we need to diversify our earnings more. In fact, I think we need to post even more NON-Amazon deals so that the mix of online shopping stuff is diversified too.
- Create a link on the page to something like a “Classic Couponaholic” category of posts that excludes the online shopping. That way those of you that don’t do much online shopping will have a link you can add to your favorites/bookmark and just get the freebies, new coupon links and in-store deals like we’ve always posted.
- Start adding new content about other ways to save. Whether it’s how to get cheaper airline tickets (and I’m a pro at that), how to beat Spirit and Frontier Airlines at their BS baggage fees (and I’m a pro at that too), personal finance and more, I think we can do research and save you money at places other than the checkout line at the grocery or drugstore.
- Bring back contests with prizes. We used to give out a lot of gift cards, but somewhere along the line the contests were cut out due to administrative headache or cost. I don’t even remember why we did it.
- Probably kill off some of the posts of the smaller store chains. Those were always revenue losers for us, but as the printable coupon revenue has declined, they have become even bigger losers. My thought is that we will still keep the coverage of national stores, plus Publix and Kroger…maybe more. I know that’s going to irritate some of you, but we’re not running a charity here even though the site is free 😉
- Look for a new template for the web site which is more mobile friendly (while still desktop-friendly too.) We’ve had the same layout for the site for about five years, which means we are about three years overdue for an upgrade. I think it’s time for us to move out of 2012/2013 and into 2017/2018.
So…with that…the floor is open. Feel free to tell us what you think and what type of content you would like to see going forward. I look forward to reading your comments.