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Everything You Need to Do to Be Ready for Big Shopping Moments

The ability to earn income from sharing products you love and promotions you believe in is a wonderful benefit of being a prominent creator. It can also be a significant source of stress, unfortunately. In addition to the many moving parts of an affiliate marketing strategy, many bloggers and influencers feel an internal sense of pressure to capitalize 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 — without totally stressing out. It’s a matter of having a solid plan and working ahead. 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 maximize your earnings during peak ecommerce events. No matter the time of year, you can pick this up at any point to whip your affiliate game into shape. These 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 like 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.

To aid your research, we’ve created monthly content calendars with all the well-known (and little-known) holidays, notable events and celebrations, and even typical top-of-mind interests. Use these to identify your big opportunities and make your list.

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.

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 ecommerce 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 timeblocks in your calendar now to avoid overscheduling yourself later.

4. Strategize 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 you’re a month out, 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.

5. Curate or Refresh Your Product Guides and Idea Lists

As your product recommendations are the backbone of your Amazon affiliate strategy, you’ll want to ensure they’re up-to-date and that you’ve put plenty of thought into them. As you wrap up 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. 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, 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 less you have to tackle in real-time, the less stress and more focus you’ll have on the big day.

7. Check Available Promotions

The day before and the morning of key ecommerce 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 favorites 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) roundup post.

8. Publish Remaining Content, Then Monitor Your Social Media and Site

Today is the (shopping) day! Input any final details into your day-of content, and push 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 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 capitalized on the opportunity. Take some time to rest and recover. There’s another big shopping moment right around the corner — and you’ll be ready.
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