The ability to earn income from sharing products you love and promotions you believe in is a wonderful benefit of being a prominent creator. Unfortunately, it can also be a significant source of stress.
In addition to the many moving parts of an affiliate-marketing strategy, many bloggers and influencers feel an internal sense of pressure to capitalise on all the earning opportunities available to them – especially the major shopping moments of the year. While it’s true that there’s a lot to do and a lot at stake, it’s also true that you can be fully prepared to take advantage of these big opportunities while still minimising stress. It’s a matter of having a solid plan and working ahead.
How To Prepare For Opportunities
Need some pointers? You’re in the right place. Below is a timeline of to-dos for ensuring you’ve done everything you can to maximise your earnings during peak e-commerce events. No matter the time of year, you can pick this up at any point to whip your affiliate marketing into shape. Here are the nine essential steps…
1. Make A List Of The Big Shopping Moments For Your Brand
The process starts with compiling a list of the days, weeks, and seasons that are big shopping moments for your audience. There are the universally popular shopping events, such as Black Friday, of course, but there are likely some other big days that are unique to your niche. For instance, if you focus on parenting topics, the ‘back to school’ period would be prime buying time for your community members. If you’re a fashion blogger, then fashion weeks may be especially big shopping moments. And are you missing out on some key cultural events?
2. Add Each Event To Your Editorial Calendar
This step is pretty straightforward: plug all your key shopping moments into your editorial calendar. You don’t have to nail down specifics in terms of individual topics or content types at this stage, but just having the placeholders in there means you’ll reserve or make room for associated pieces and activities. If you don’t have a calendar set up, there are a number of great tools on the market, such as this Universal Marketing Calendar to check out.
3. Block Out Your Big Days
Beyond making editorial space for related content, it’s a good idea to clear your calendar as much as possible on your major e-commerce days. These are not ideal times to hold important meetings, be in the middle of big projects, or even work in an unfamiliar, potentially unreliable, environment. You want to have plenty of focused time and internet connectivity to troubleshoot issues, answer questions from community members, modify promotions on the fly, etc. Put time-blocks in your calendar now, to avoid overscheduling yourself later.
4. Strategise For Upcoming Moments Regularly
You probably have your own established approach to editorial strategy. For major shopping moments specifically, make sure your process includes mapping out broad content plans quarterly and more detailed plans monthly. Quarterly, you’ll want to get a sense of the time, space, and effort required for upcoming shopping events. Think through things like: will you run blog posts? If so, how many, and on which days?
And what resources (research, interviews, graphics, custom development, etc) do you anticipate needing? What’s the plan for each of your social-media accounts and what resources will you need for those posts and updates? When the event is a month away, decide the specific topics, content types, and timing, and lay it all out in your calendar. Then line up all your resources – you’ll be creating soon. Have a look at some of the sites out there that offer advance insights into offers, such as https://blackfriday.com.
5. Curate Or Refresh Your Product Guides And Idea Lists
As your product recommendations are the backbone of your Amazon Associates strategy, you’ll want to ensure they’re up-to-date and that you’ve put plenty of thought into them. As you finish off outlining your editorial and promotional plans for the month’s upcoming shopping moments, take a look through your existing product picks and, if you’re an Influencer, your Idea Lists.
Evaluate your current recommendations and prune as needed, then spend some time ‘shopping’ for the occasion on behalf of your audience to curate a comprehensive list of your top picks – for example, the Friendsgiving Hosting Kit in the image above. If you use Idea Lists, make one especially for the event for easy sharing and streamlined shopping.
6. Create As Much Content Upfront As Possible, And Schedule
Time to do what you do best: create! You’ve already documented your content plans, now it’s time to draft as many pieces ahead of time as possible. Get your blog posts and social-media updates ready to run (here’s some info on using social media to increase your audience, and schedule what you can to auto-publish. It’s worth it to put in the extra hours now: the more you have ready and the fewer you have to tackle in real-time, the less stress and more focus you’ll have on the big day. If this is your first time preparing for a big shopping event, have a read of our tips for improving your copy and conversions.
7. Check Available Promotions
The day before and the morning of key e-commerce days, check in on the current deals, discounts, trending items, and so on in the Promotions tab in Associates Central.
Especially around big shopping moments, you’re likely to find many exciting opportunities – on which you earn commissions or ‘bounties’ – to share with your audience. Pick your favourites and work them into your day’s content. If it’s a particularly popular shopping day, there may be several exceptional deals you want to share; this makes for a great (and easy) round-up post.
8. Publish Remaining Content, Then Monitor Your Social Media And Site
Today’s the (shopping) day! Input any final details into your ‘day-of’ content, and put it live. Confirm that everything that was set to auto-publish went out, and get yourself – and whatever else you need for any planned real-time content – ready to go. Throughout the day, continue to monitor your social-media channels and your website. Be there to answer questions, offer suggestions, troubleshoot issues, boost popular posts, etc.
9. Take Time To Unwind
You did it! You put in the work and capitalised on the opportunity. Take some time to rest and recover. There’s always another big shopping moment right around the corner… but you’ll be ready. If you’d like more ideas and advice on how to prepare, here’s our guide to making the most of Prime Day and other events.