Suppose Your Salary Was Cut By $18,000Mike Sullivan
Maggie and Jeff Miller run a frugal blog at FamilyFrugalFun.com committed to helping families save money. I consider the domain name to be brandable, while containing generic keywords. Maggie shares information on the domain choice, the business, and their story that led them here.
Mike: Tell me a little bit about Family Frugal Fun and how you got started?
Maggie: We are a frugal blog about cheap, fun living. We show families how to shop and where to go for cheap or free frugal fun. We highlight all kinds of FREE events like the Lowes FREE Build and Grow workshops for kids on up to cultural events that are FREE at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.or the Franklin Science Institute in Philadelphia.
I had to stop working when I became pregnant with my 4th child because I had unexpected problems in my pregnancy and then when I was about 7 or 8 months pregnant, my husband received word that his salary was being cut by $18,000.00 per year, “due to the economy” . We had no choice but to cut corners and decide what was really important to our family and what was not. Our frugal journey evolved from there.
Mike: How did you go about selecting your domain name? Were there other names you considered?
Maggie: We sat down together (my husband and I) and made up a list of all the names we liked and just kept narrowing it down by checking on available domains. Our first pick was savingcents.com but that was already taken. We knew we wanted a name that expressed who we are, and what what we were doing right in the domain. We are really happy with our final selection. It’s clear and simple, it’s who we are.
Mike: How effective has the name been to the success of the site? Can you share your visitation statistics?
Maggie: I think the name has driven traffic to us. Families are always trying to cut costs and find things to do with their children and save a buck at the grocery store. Family, fun and frugal are all great key words that are searched thousands of times a day. Our site is in it’s infancy but we are growing very quickly.
Mike: What sort of marketing do you do to promote the site? Do you use online methods such as Google Adwords, SEO, offline methods?
Maggie: We have a 5 in 1 SEO pack loaded onto our Word Press blog, we spend quite a bit of time on Facebook, and we just used PRweb.com for our first press release on the 26th of September. I am the outgoing type so I walk right up to families while I’m out shopping and give them my business card, show them my receipts and talk to them. Just yesterday I gave away some of the items I’ve accumulated for FREE on Freecycle.org with a little advertisement for the blog under the FREE offer. I’ve accumulated 3 huge tubs of toiletries from shower gel to dental floss and I’m planning to make a large donation to a church or shelter. I’ll use that opportunity to take photos and write another press release so I can keep getting my name in the paper and on line.
Mike: What do you find most rewarding about running an online business?
Maggie: It allows me to be a “stay at home mom.” I have 4 children from age 1 to 14 and having an online business allows be flexible with my schedule and to work any place I can take my lap top. It’s great!
Mike: How does the site generate revenue?
Maggie:We have advertising in our side bars and we have an agreement with coupons.com and redplum.com. This means that every time a reader prints out a coupon through a link to either of those companies, we make a little money. Its a win-win for everyone. We show families how to save and have fun and we make some money in the process.
Mike: Anything else you’d like to share?
Maggie: Couponing is really popular right now and so is frugal living. Stores love coupons. Most people don’t know that a store receives $.08 cents above and beyond the face value of the coupon so the more people using coupons, the more revenue for the store. Couponing and frugal living works for everyone and I don’t know anyone that wouldn’t like some extra money in their pocket. www.familyfrugalfun.com