Wanna Be A Blogger (Part 1)

May 3 2010
Posted by deidre 10 Comments
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Blogger Link Back Love

The reason I started this series is because when I was a newbie blogger, there were so many unwritten “blogger rules & codes of conduct” I didn’t know about.   I broke them all. Not intentionally. But other people didn’t know that. There still may be blogs hatin’ on me thinking I’m a jerk.  I have learned the rules and strive to be an ethical blogger, and would love to teach anyone thinking of creating a blog, or new at their blog, the lessons I learned the hard way.

I run a coupon deals blog.   I try to find original deals, but I also post hot deals my fellow coupon bloggers post. I have most coupon blogs in my Google Reader.

  1. I browse their posts until I find one I love.  Let’s say I find a great Kraft Cheese sale at Target, on Deal&More’s site.
  2. I see who Deal&More used to help find the deal, i.e., they say “Thanks,  CouponSite” at the bottom of their post.
  3. Then I click on the link to go to “CouponSite” to make sure it is the original source.  Often, it is not.
  4. CouponSite.com may have on their post of the Kraft Cheese deal “Thanks, SamsCoupons”
  5. So I go to Sams Coupons. They have no links back at the end of their post, so it is probably their deal.
  6. I run a Google Reader search for Kraft Cheese and see which blogs post for the deal is the oldest.  I see who they linked back to.

This way I can verify who originally posted a deal.  This may seem time-consuming, but it is important to give credit to the person who originally found the deal.  Often it takes a long time to find original deals. Sometimes I give credit to multiple blogs for a deal, for example a blog added new information to a previous deal so I credit both the original deal poster and the blog that I found out new information on.

One time I posted an original deal that took me a very long time to verify and get worked up.  Another blog posted it on their site word-for-word copying me, and didn’t link back.

Virtually every coupon blog posted this deal, linking back to the deal stealer.  I was quite upset, since links back are actually very valuable to a blog and increase its ratings/views. I vowed to try to never make someone else feel that way.  So from then on, I have taken greater steps to give credit to whoever finds deals.  Also, if other bloggers think you aren’t linking back, then they won’t link back to you.  Not only is it the right thing to do, it is better for your blog to give credit where credit is due.

Now there are situations where people are going to find the same deal all by themselves.  Particularly with affiliate offers. Many companies actually email me deals to post on my site.  Other sites may post them before I do, but since I got the deal on my own from the company, I don’t have to link back to anyone.   There are also situations where I post a deal and think its completely original, only to find other bloggers have already posted it.   So if you see something on my site without a link back to anyone, that means I think I found that deal first.  Someone else might have, but realistically I can’t track all the thousands of coupon blogs and know every deal they post.  If you think someone stole your deal, more times then not they never even saw your deal.  Give them the benefit of the doubt (unless they posted the deal word-for-word).

If you find an original deal, you can always email me and if I haven’t seen it before and I think its great, I’ll post it up with a link back.

Always post in your own words.  Copying word-for-word will kill your page ranking.

Some posts you shouldn’t copy (even if you change the wording and give a link back):

Simple deal posts are commonly shared around the coupon blog world, with bloggers putting them in their own words and giving a link back.  However, I did not know this until recently, posts which take a lot of time to write up should not be copied at all.

For example, this post.  I have spent many hours on this post and would be annoyed if someone copied it.   Entire coupon match-ups for a store should not be copied (these can take up to 4 hours for one blogger to do!).  Any blogger series posts or recipe posts should not be copied.   Basically, if a blogger puts a lot of work into it, don’t change the words and post it up on your site.  You could ask them if they’d like to do a guest post, or you could post on your site “I just read about this great way to shop at yard sells at CouponSpot.com, check it out!”

A guest post: where a blogger asks another blogger if they can post a post word-for-word, with “Guest post by” and a link to your site.  For coupon match-ups, if you want to post someone else’s, just email them first to make sure its okay.  A Thrify Mom and Money Saving Mom post my Shopko & Fresh Market matchups each week.  This works great for me because I get the link back and new traffic, and they get the deals on their site.  Its not “stealing” because I have given them permission to post them in full each week.

You generally don’t have to email to ask permission if you say “Here’s my top 5 deals at Walmart this week” and then say “Here’s a link to CouponSite to see the rest of the deals”.  Many bloggers do this.

As always, if you have any questions about about this or any other subject, email me. I personally respond to all emails sent to me.

Wanna Be A Blogger Series:

Part 1 – Blogger Link Back Love (what you can and can’t copy, and how to give proper credit)

Part 2 – Hotlinking Photos (or a big no-no)

Part 3 – Comments and Followers

Part 4 – Schedules

Part 5 – When you insert a link, right under where you post the link location, where it says “Target” then shows a drop-down list, click on “open link in a new window”.  You don’t want people to click on your links and leave your site for good!

Part 6 – Rock your Ethical Blogger badge & sign the pledge

Email deidre(AT)cuckooforcoupondeals.com if you have any other topics you would like covered or suggestions.

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  • Holly

    I have a blog and do my best to link back to the person who found the deal (including you!) and find sometimes it is just plain hard to do. I also notice that abotu the time I find something it gets posted by multiple bloggers and have even noticed how my wording is very similar. Sometimes however I see a deal somewhere in blogger world but don’t post it for quite sometime (umm yeah I read blogs at work and can’t always post at that moment) then I can’t remember where the heck I saw it and by then it is all over the place. Occasionally in my haste I just forget to link back.

    I run my blog for my friends mostly so I keep a blog roll on mine to give people easy access to my favorite bloggers in attempt to get more people to visit them. I have emailed finds before to other bloggers and to my knowledge have never been “quoted” but that’s ok too.

    Here is one you might be interested in.. http://memphiscouponer.blogspot.com/2010/04/try-new-cat-litter-free.html

    I love your blog so keep it up!

  • Jacinda Walker

    I don’t even have my blog up yet, I realllllyyy want to get it started, but the lack of knowledge on how or where to start is scary. did you start out on blogger or some other network and then eventually branch out to your own site? and how did you learn all the things you may have been doing wrong in the beginning? thats what I’m afraid of because if I post something wrong, or mess something up on my blog, then I want to have the knowledge to at least be able to fix it, versus risking someone leaving the site because it looks not well put together. one thing i have always wondered is how do some bloggers get the deals before hand?? like they know the ads, etc. before they even come out. Is that just something that you catch on as you get more experienced and more affiliated with companies? I am enjoying this series!! Love this :) Thank you :)

    • deidre

      I started on WordPress. Everyone who starts on blogger moves to wordpress, so you may as well save yourself some time and start on wordpress :)

  • Heather

    This is a great series, Deidre, thank you! I’ll be reading all your info- I still am learning a lot!

  • Vanessa Barker

    I have a blog, and I always link back to the person I found the deal from. So If I found it on your site, even if you have a “thank you” spot, I still link back to you. Is that bad? Because I found the deal from you?

    • deidre

      In this case I usually link back to both sites, but its really up to you! I was just stating how I do things, and am very curious as to how others do things. I think this is a complicated subject for sure!

  • Tonya James

    Thanks! I recently started a blog http://randomdeals.blogspot.com and was wondering about a lot of this stuff. I really appreciate the info!

  • Heather Morge

    Thank you SO MUCH for this post! It is EXACTLY what I have been looking for! I am working on my blog. A lot of this information, I have already researched and discovered on my own. However, this post was quite different! It was tailored for a new coupon bloggers needs. I look forward to making a cup of coffee and reading this entire series. Thank you again for taking the time to write this series to help others passionate about helping others save money!

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