Q4 – the last 3 months, the last quarter of the year – is not only a great time for consumers to save on retail purchases, it’s also a great time for bloggers and social media influencers to earn revenue by helping consumers find the right products, deals, and gifts. So, we reached out to digital marketing experts to ask them for tips to help bloggers make the most out of the opportunities presented in Q4. Several of them pointed to affiliate links as a monetization opportunity that bloggers shouldn’t ignore in Q4.
Start Early – the Shopping Season is Just 33 Days Long
Andrea Bertola Shaw of The New York Website Designer LLC recommends that both bloggers and brands get started early to capture the biggest slice of the consumer’s budget:
Every year people are starting to shop for the Holidays earlier and earlier. This year, the official holiday shopping season will have 33 days. Brands should try to get early holiday shoppers before the first 6 days of the holiday shopping season (Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday). That way, there are more consumer dollars available to them.
Bloggers can prepare for the holidays in the following ways:
- Each week, write a post with different holiday gift giving guides. Examples: Top 10 gift ideas for Mom/Dad/Brother-in-Law.
- Pack your posts with links to your items (or affiliate links).
- Offer a discount with an expiration date of two weeks after the post is published.
Add Affiliate Links to Your Social Media Strategy
Nicola, the Social Media Specialist over at The Pinstagrammer suggests adding more affiliate links to Pinterest pins:
My number one montetisation strategy for Q4 is to increase Affiliate links in my Pinterest strategy, making sure to showcase seasonly appropriate items and using the affiliate links for the landing pages. By monetising my Pinterest pins, they can work for long-term and create a passive income over the core income my blog generates.
Pitch Creative Ideas to Brands
Mark Aselstine, Founder of Uncorked Ventures encourages bloggers to pitch creative campaign ideas to brands through their influencer and affiliate channels:
One thing I’ll note as a brand, that most small businesses are open to relationships with bloggers even if there isn’t an obvious fit with their current programs. I run an affiliate program among other influencer marketing tasks, but if a blogger reached out to me directly with an idea or concept on driving sales for me and revenue for them outside of those existing spots, I’d be all ears.
Refer Visitors to Where You KNOW They Shop
Ian Wright, Founder of Merchant Machine suggests sending your visitors to the place that you know they’ll be making purchases with Amazon affiliate/associate links. Even if they don’t buy exactly the items you’ve picked… this affiliate strategy could net you more commissions:
I think one of the best monetization strategies for Q4 all bloggers should consider is recommending products on Amazon via their affiliate program. The reason why this is more powerful in Q4 compared to the rest of the year can be summed up in one word: Christmas.
Basically, Amazon’s affiliate program pays on all products bought within 24 hours of a visit based on last click attribution. Therefore, if you refer someone to buy a product, you may not only get a commission on that product but on their entire Christmas shopping list. Typically in November I see a 5X increase over the rest of the year in terms of commissions and in December this increases to 10X a “normal” month.
Balance the Ads and Creative Content
Finally, Nicki Hayes, Founder of Nicole Ellen, LLC reminds bloggers to mind their media mix. Q4 is a shopping season, but consumers are looking for more than commercials throughout the holidays:
Be discerning when it comes to your Q4 editorial calendar. Make sure the content you create throughout Q4 is for your audience. I feel like too often, bloggers try too hard to cover everything Holiday. Plus, if I visit a blog or a social feed and every post is sponsored, it throws up a red flag. Audience engagement (ie. comments, likes, shares) tends to be lower for that type of blogger. If the medium was television, would someone watch a channel that was 90% commercials?
Make the Most of Q4
This is what we’ve been working for all year long… let’s make Q4 a huge success. Here are more resources to help you get the most out of your influence this holiday season:
- Monetization Connection – Check out the brands and agencies who want to connect with bloggers on promotions through Q4 and beyond. See the campaigns they are working on now and learn who to pitch your creative ideas to.
- Winning Q4 through Preparation and Communication – More tips for Q4 in this interview with an agency owner.
- The Ultimate Guide to the Business of Blogging – Working to turn your unique blog into a profitable business? Our course, The Ultimate Guide to the Business of Blogging is a great place to start.