I can’t believe I’m typing this…but, um–the holidays are almost here?
Yes, despite being the last week of October, Thanksgiving and Christmas are around the corner, and you know what that means.
BUSY SEASON for bloggers! The online shopping market is only getting bigger, and as bloggers, that means major monetization opportunities. If you didn’t jump on the holiday bandwagon last year, we promise–it’ll be worth your while! Here are 5 tips to ensure you have the most lucrative holiday season yet:
1. Start NOW
This might sound silly to start thinking about Christmas in October, but it’s truly just a few weeks away! Savvy shoppers start thinking about their gifts now, so the sooner you get cracking, the more lucrative your holiday season will be! Aim to start posting your holiday content in early November.
Why so early? Well, with many affiliate networks (such as RewardStyle), affiliate links are cookied for 30 days. That means if someone clicks through your affiliate link a few weeks before Black Friday, and then they make a big purchase during Cyber weekend–you still get all that commission! This means it literally pays to start posting awesome clickable content right now. Plus, the earlier you post your holiday content, the more you’ll be rewarded in the SEO category as well!
2. Create your own holiday guide
We’ve found it very helpful and lucrative to build our own holiday e-magazines, complete with gift guides, shopping tips, holiday outfit options, entertaining suggestions, and more. Not only are these amazing for generating affiliate link revenue, but they’re also great opportunities to team up with brands–giving you several more “work with me” options to add to your media kit. (Pssttt we talk all about media kits over here!) This gives you a slew of options to pitch in addition to your regular sponsored blog & social posts!
We create our holiday guides (and link each of the products) in Adobe InDesign–but want to know an easier secret? Create it in Keynote! It’s free and really easy to drag and drop and design however you’d like! Then, we upload our guides into Issuu–which is a free platform that allows you to embed your holiday guide on your site, and your readers to browse it like they would an online magazine.
3. Think local, too!
If you’re a newer or smaller blogger and are just getting your feet wet working with brands, start small! Local boutiques and companies are great to reach out to and establish partnerships with. If you haven’t grown your following enough to ask for money (by the way, you’ll get there soon enough!) negotiate a clothing trade, or perhaps they have a beautiful space that would be great for a photo shoot! Maybe you can email a few restaurants to arrange a complimentary holiday menu tasting in exchange for a feature in your local holiday guide. (Who doesn’t want free brunch, lunch, or dinner?!) Get creative, and think outside the box–there are tons of win-win situations where you can team up with a brand for something other than money.
4. Short on time? Team up!
Do you have a great blogger friend with a similar audience? Team up with them!
For example, Kelly, of Kelly in the City is one of my best friends. Instead of doing holiday stuff on our own, we decided to team up to do one big holiday guide. Over the years, our friendship has become integrated into our brands, and because we share similar audiences, it was a no-brainer to team up together! Plus, a couple other bonuses: when you pool your blog traffic and stats together, you’re stronger than one blogger alone, and it makes it much more enticing for brands! Additionally, two people makes for half the work!
One thing to keep in mind: This works best when you share like audiences and cover similar, or complimentary content. For example, if you’re a budget-conscious preppy blogger and your friend is a high-end, edgy fashion blogger, that wouldn’t work out well for either of you, because you don’t share the same audience. Make sense?
5. Be mindful of dates
You should’t be promoting the same type of content each week throughout November and December. There are several key dates to keep in mind that your content should be tailored around. This will result in the most helpful content to your readers. (And more $$$ for you!)
November 1st-24th should be pre-black Friday content. Think a pre-Cyber Week checklist, items you’re excited to purchase this Black Friday/Cyber Monday, etc.
November 25th-30th is Cyber Week, which means everyone is buying online. This is where the majority of our affiliate link revenue comes from–so plan ahead accordingly, and update your site often with the best deals and your favorite sales to be had during the week!
November 28th is Small Business Saturday, which is a great opportunity to team up with some of your favorite local companies, boutiques, and also to promote smaller online shops!
December 16th is free shipping day–which is a HUGE incentive for shoppers to buy online. Make a list of your favorite “free shipping” websites and create a gift guide around items with free shipping.
December 18th is the last day for standard shipping! Make sure your readers know the cutoff!