How I Make Money Through Daily Deal Sites

It’s no secret that daily dea sites are pretty amazing to shop on.  They trigger tons of people to buy things that they most likely don’t even want or will ever use.  Back in 2009 I started a site called Coupon Slap.  In this post I will teach you how I have earned 1000’s of dollars on this little site that took me a couple hours to setup.

In 2009 me and my buddy Adam Green saw a site called Groupon.  We had both purchased Groupons and noticed that a few of the hip guys we knew were talking about it.  Adam lives up in Toronto and Groupon wasn’t up there at the time.  Lighbulb.  We started a daily deals site that aggregated all the daily deal sites.  We set it up for all the current cities and in cities where there wasn’t existing deals going on.

Before we knew it we had around 20 new postings an hour.  We were just pulling the data from the RSS feeds for the local areas and re-posting it on our site.  The key was that we had pages up in areas where the daily deals sites were not located.  So if people searched for “Toronto Daily Deals” there was no Groupon, but there was us with a Groupon and Living Social page.  When Groupon launched in the area we were on top of the search engines.  People came to our site in troves.

We then got the site ranked in other areas.  We were getting some decent traffic.  Anyone we referred on to any of the deal sites, we got $10 for. Typically this was in daily deal money but we didn’t care.  We were making good money and could buy anything we wanted on their sites.

We did everything with WordPress and the Couponpress plugin.  I think we paid $50 or something like that for the whole plugin.  We then hired someone overseas to go in and pull all the RSS feeds for each different city and each different daily deals site.

Back in the beginning when Google loved us, we were getting up to $300/day, it was pretty nice.  We then got slapped by Google and everything changed.  We went from 100K uniques to 50/day.  This sucked.  But we did mange to do a few tests and get that up and back for a couple days.

The site still does $10-$20/day which is pretty decent for a site that I haven’t touched in almost 2 years ago.  Total I have made 10’s of 1000’s of dollars and been able to purchase tons of trips, scooters, dinners and household items using this technique.  See below a small list of things I’ve purchased in the past couple weeks.

Some lessons that I’ve learned from this though I’m still making more money is to put more time and effort into what you’re doing. If I would have just put in a blog post every other day, I potentially wouldn’t have gotten slapped.  I potentially would still have a site that was making $300/day instead of $20/day.

Another lesson I’ve learned is to ride the wave.  It’s nice to be ontop of the wave rather than chasing the wave.  There are people that come in too late to a market and don’t get anything but chasing the wave.  Be there before the wave.  Find a niche that doesn’t have anything in the current space.  Be out there ready for the wave, and ride it while it’s good.  I hope to see a few more people riding the wave here in the near future!


30 thoughts on “How I Make Money Through Daily Deal Sites”

  1. sapna says:

    Hi John,

    I think idea of making money like this is the great way.

    Thanks for sharing this.


  2. Wess Stewart says:

    In the post, you said you outsourced the RSS gathering. I’m wondering what your total setup cost was, ballpark. I’ve thought about doing something like this for a long time, but money to get stuff going is always an issue.

  3. Roger Minh says: am using a old version of couponpress plugin.Why don’t you update to latest version?

    1. Vince says:

      Updating to the current version can undo all the custom work you initally done. I use a theme created by the same people of this one. Each update changes the themes function/layout of the theme that you dont actually want so you just dont update it since you have to modify your theme all over again if you do.

  4. Hi John, you should of done unique content posts to the blog, then maybe of had today’s deals at the end of the blog post each day. That combinedwith a solid link buidling campaign would have likely gave the site more time on that wave 🙂

  5. sales says:

    Just like to know, how much blog do you maintain/keep blogging right now? It’s very hard to blog every day …but as you have showd that more you blog the more you get hits.

    Sales HOD

  6. fred says:

    Riding the wave is a great description. Take viral YouTube videos for example, response videos about new viral videos receive hundred thousands, if not millions, views just because of association. Ride the wave, don’t chase the wave.

  7. Paul says:

    Hi John I am glad i found out about you, your story and your blog. Very helpful and inspirational stuff here i will certainly be using this site as a learning and info resource. Thanks!

  8. Med says:

    Hello, this experience was awesome john, it’s a great example of getting ontop of the wave, instead of just chasing it later, nice post john, keep it up man.

  9. brayan says:

    did not know this method to make money, but it looks very good, thanks for sharing good post everyday john

  10. I wonder how much money the companies actually lose on these types of ads. I mean, you pay a referring website $10, offer an average of 30-50% discount on the good; then at the end of the day you have a customer who you hope will keep using service/goods you have provided, but instead the customer will come back to Groupon to get another discounted deal.

  11. I have been thinking of building a site like this. Maybe you can help me out or something ?

  12. Edgar says:

    Good advice.. find a niche before it comes to competitive. ride the waive first.

  13. Kanyinulia says:

    Thanks for this wonderful advice.

  14. Sinnary Sam says:

    That’s amazing John! How is it that you’re always ahead of the curve?

  15. Eric says:

    This sounds like some valuable experience and someone that has been there and done that! I honestly can not believe that Groupon has been been able to survive this long personally.

    Your right it’s about riding the wave and making sure you keep on top it and let it carry to cash!

  16. You must always be first with the latest, if you will earn any money. There are lots of web sites and blogs that write about the latest, maybe you can find some good ideas there.

  17. Hello, this experience was awesome John. I’ve thought about doing something like this for a long time, but money to get stuff going is always an issue.

  18. faisal says:

    Never thought of this idea, good going and thinking too.

  19. That was a bright idea and I like your advice about riding the wave rather chasing it on. In reality we would never thought when was the right time, I guess it all boils down in one thing that the right time will always be now and if we truly wanted to be successful we should start making our actions today and not tomorrow.

  20. Paul G says:

    Even I am trying to do some work with RSS Feeds but it looks like it will take some time to finally get going, novel idea i liked that.

  21. Lewis Saka says:

    I always seem to miss the deals even when I sign up for the alerts. It would be good if someone set up a premium alert list for a small fee with limited subscribers that way you have a better chance of getting to the deal in time

  22. JamesW says:

    Hi John, this is a great idea and great way to make money online. And you’re buying some really interesting stuff for sure 🙂

  23. Kobi says:

    Great Article! Sounds like you get in just at the right time. 🙂 Good for U guys!
    One thing I think people need to understand is that doing a daily deal site is a cool idea, but also one that needs to be thought out really well, and planned as when it comes down to money and advertising for ex. a company like Groupon I am sure has NO problem paying maybe $15/click for ads…..and since there is Living Social & a couple other bigger names there are also thousands of copycats out there….so my 2 cents is not to “copy” something or someone but to take their basic ideas and expand on them–put your own twist on things—that is what I believe would make one’s site stand out from the crowd! Good luck searching for a domain name though 🙂
    Great Article-Thanks

  24. Great post and very interesting content. I am trying to do the same with flash sale sites in Eastern Europe.

    Wish me good luck 🙂

  25. Dean Saliba says:

    Nice story, John. I have thought about setting up a daily deal site here in the UK but I think the market is flooded now, isn’t it?

  26. Paul says:

    Really great idea for making money online, thanks for sharing. I’ve also found that daily deal sites are also a great way to get traffic and leads to your website. Even people who don’t take the deal often visit your website to check you out.

  27. Hello,
    I think i will trythis in france, here isn’t too late to do something like that especially with nich websites .

  28. Matt says:

    Wow. Certainly thinking outside the box here with this process. Though I don’t see it being a huge source of income, it definitely sounds like something worth checking out!

  29. Guy says:

    Great advise john chow for starting a coupon site ! right now I am targeting a niche figure for coupons, hope it works. I’m actaully researching a script right now to install as part 2 of my site ( coupons ). Part one is a classified site…done. So I’m thinking out the box, here combining a classified site with a coupon site. Let’s so how people react…in my country > South Africa

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