Black-Friday-2010

The Biggest Shopping Week Of The Year: Are you cashing in?

The biggest, most extreme shopping day of the year is upon us…Black Friday. The day of long lines, early openings and crazy deals are all part of the deal as shoppers all over the world are looking to cash in on the busiest day for retails stores of the year. As an affiliate, this day marks the first of a 30 day hammer of trying to cash in on online shopping and pick up your percentage. If you are not preparing for this largest revenue time for bloggers while holiday shoppers look to decrease their stress by buying online, you are behind the 8 ball and are leaving a ton of money on the table.

There is an art to making sure your the one that gets credit for the sale on this ever illustrious day, so let’s take an in depth look at what I am doing and hopefully it will help you out with your blog.

The Black Art Of Black Friday

While this is the biggest shopping day of the year, it does require a bit of planning on the blogger’s end if you want to be the one watching your affiliate sales rise while you lay in bed sleeping when everyone else is shopping. During this week, you are going to need to take a serious look at how you are positioning yourself with the largest online retailers and their cookie recording. For example, Amazon has a 24 hour cookie, so when you send a shopper from your website to Amazon, anything they buy within the next 24 hour period gives you a commission, so after that all bets are off. Other online retailers have 30 day cookies or even as high as 60 days, so know who you are dealing with as you plan your content and affiliate promotions.

On Bike198, my largest black Friday participant is going to be Amazon.com, so I need to make sure that my referrals are recorded within that 24 hour period when purchases are at their highest. Since the cookie period is short, it requires more careful planning than if it was longer.

The Days Leading Up To Black Friday

In the days leading up to Black Friday, I make sure the content on my blog is heavily skewed towards product reviews and articles that lean themselves more towards product based links that I can point towards Amazon.com and other online retailers participating in Black Friday. This way, I can insure that my cookies are getting recorded for the longer duration affiliate programs and it gets me a head start for the push in the hours leading up to the largest shopping day of the year. If you are planning on just spamming links in the final hours without any real planning, do not expect great results.

Some great ideas for articles are:

  • Reviews of hot products for this holiday season.
  • Buying guides related to your niche highlighting different products.
  • Informational articles that are complimented with product links (ex: I do riding tips that include equipment suggestions).
  • Comparison articles.

All of these types of articles are very product based in nature and naturally lead themselves to linking to products, but they are also a source of high-quality content that attracts readers to your blog. By hitting both birds with one stone, you are able to build the confidence and trust in your content while also preparing to cash in on the affiliate revenue.

The Hours Leading Up To Black Friday

With the longer cookie affiliate programs, the work you did on articles leading up to this week will already be reaping benefits, but what do you do for the shorter 24 hour cookies that are going to require immediate action? There is a ace in the hole that you hold as the blogger that is going to exponentially increase your income during this shopping day and you don’t even know it…

Just like with any product launch or affiliate promotion, your newsletter subscriber list is your largest asset you have in blogging (mine is serviced by Aweber). About 12 hours before Black Friday, I send out an email to my list highlighting the best reviews, buying guides and other product related content to my readers. The 12 hour window gives them enough time to open the email, click on the links and get that cookie recorded for the next 12 hours when shopping is going to be the highest online for the entire year. By providing this value in a way that greatly benefits my success rate during this shopping experience, I am able to continue to gain trust, provide quality and do this without my readers thinking I am spamming them in an attempt to make more money online. The reality…I am not spamming them…I am just continuing to deliver what I promised but timing it in a way that increases the bottom line for my blog.

So on Black Friday, I am sleeping in and watching my blogs make money while other people are out shopping. Through the careful planning of content and the release of one email, I am able to cash in on the biggest shopping day of the year. What are you doing to prepare?