Affiliate Tips Tuesday: Holiday Promotions

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Gift Baskets

Consider Offering Gift Baskets for Holidays like Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Christmas or Hanukkah

Offering affiliate products and services related to specific holidays is an excellent affiliate strategy and an easy way for bloggers to generate some much-needed income.

Even if you have not monetized your blog there is nothing wrong with recommending some holiday related gifts that you hand-selected.

The best thing about holiday related gifts is that they work for any niche. To prove it I will use many of the DoFollow CommentLuv KeywordLuv blogs I collaborate with as examples.

What blog reader would begrudge you for writing about
Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or other major holidays?

WAHM: Work at Home Moms

WAHM: Work at Home Moms

There is always a way to tie a holiday into the theme of your blog.

If you are a Mommy Blogger what could be more natural than offering Gift Baskets for Mother’s Day?

Many Mommy Bloggers are also Product Review Writers or write about WAHM Tips so all they have to do is find products that would most appeal to their readers.

What few will think about is that Father’s Day gifts are also a perfect fit for Mommy Blogs because, as Adam wrote about properly targeting your ads: “would the Men be buying the Men’s Gifts for themselves?

“Think about it, if you have Moms on your site, chances are there is a Dad somewhere (otherwise there is a good chance they wouldn’t be a Mom).  Around Father’s Day many of them will be looking for Father’s Day Gift Ideas and they are the ones who will be buying the gifts, not the Fathers (even though the Fathers may have to foot the bill lol).”

Daddy Bloggers can write about their favorite Father’s Day gifts or about what they are considering buying the mother of their children for Mother’s Day. Although Executive Gift Shoppe is known for their men’s gifts, they also have a growing selection of women’s gifts too.

If you write about Internet Marketing, Blogging Tips or How to Make Money Blogging, share your ideas on how to use affiliate marketing during the holidays and use affiliate links in your examples.

Other bloggers can write about gifts related to their own niches. If you write about Sports, feature Sports gifts related to your favorite Sports Teams.

Golf Gifts

Golf Blogs can promote Golf Gifts

If you blog about golf, there are tons of Golf Theme Gifts plus Golf related products.

I can just hear some readers thinking, sure that works for them but there is no way it can work for me. Even if you can’t think of a way I bet I can.  TRY ME!

Even real estate bloggers can use this strategy. Although this is a little more of a stretch for them, if you are a CommentLuv blogger with a personal relationship with your readers they will be interested.

It won’t matter if you sell homes in Tampa or homes in San Diego – you still have a personal life and other interests so blogging about them once in a while will endear your readers to you more than being serious all the time.

What gifts could a real estate blog possibly write about?  Since many homes for sale are located near golf courses, golf gifts would fit.

Many of your readers are probably other real estate agents or business people. Here are some other ideas:

Blue Business Card Holder

Blue Business Card Holder

Many would appreciate some assistance deciding which wallet to select. You have the inside track on which ones to suggest because you know about the best selling wallets page. [And you know me so I can provide you with custom spreadsheets for any niche!]

Our friend with the Wine Club Blog has a ton of excellent products they could offer:

Manicure Kit

Manicure Kit

Maybe you’re a vacation travel blog? Review some unique items such as:

What if you write about SEO for accountants? What in the world could an accountant recommend? How about these:

Music bloggers could review these Swiss Army MP3 Players. Photography blogs could offer personalized picture frames and photo clocks.

Gardening blogs could offer gardening tools. A fishing charter blog could offer gifts for fishermen. There are even green executive gifts.

Swiss USB Flash Drive

Swiss USB Flash Drive

Almost any blogger could suggest technology related gifts like these:

What if your blog just really doesn’t lend itself to this idea. Maybe it is a blog about weight loss tips or top rated auto insurance companies or day trading or alternative energy.

If all else fails there are always holiday themed ideas like these Super Dad Father’s Day Mugs.

There is no reason bloggers should not use affiliate links as long as they write very clear disclosures and are careful to make it clear what they are recommending and what they are only sharing but have not personally used. See my updated disclosure policy for one way to do that.

HOLIDAY PROMOTION TIMING

The best strategy is to create content early so you can promote it through Social Networks, bookmarketing sites, incoming links and possibly article marketing.

Now that search engines, blog directories, and Zemanta feature recent content, publishing close to the holiday can also work.

Remember that the optimum window for online shopping is early enough for regular shipping. Be sure to include a Call to Action in your post reminding your readers to shop early to save money on shipping.

Mommy Bloggers should check out the Mother’s Day Gifts from the Kids Mother’s Day Event at BrainFoggles.

Mother's Day Event All April on BrainFoggles

Mother’s Day Event All April on BrainFoggles

All of the products I have mentioned in this post come from the Executive Gift Shoppe gift affiliate program. I have know the owner for many years and know him to be a very ethical person.

He and his family do their very best to provide exceptional service which is why I asked them to let me collaborate with them.They offer the best guarantee of any online gift store I’ve come across.

I manage the ExecGiftsBlog and their @ExecGifts Twitter account. Adam Riemer (@Rollerblader34) is their Affiliate Program Manager who makes it easier for his affiliates to succeed.

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I hope you will consider joining our gift affiliate program. You know that Adam and I will both do everything we can to get you started growing an affiliate income.


AFFILIATE MARKETING RESOURCES for AFFILIATES:


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Gail Gardner

Small Business Marketing Strategist at GrowMap
Creator and owner of GrowMap.com, Gail is primarily known for mentoring small businesses and encouraging bloggers to join collaborations to share skills and support small business.

Comments

  1. Great post.

    Thanks for sharing this one. I find it quite hard to let my affiliate marketing efforts work at firs, but these tips could really help.

  2. This is something I clearly want to consider.
    It sounds really very interesting.
    Amazing web site and interesting stuff you have here.

  3. I think its a great idea for bloggers to make some income and equally good for marketing! You can easily find great gifts for your loved ones with help of the fellows here.

  4. so.. i’m gonna wait for the next holiday…. nice tips anyway..
    Paduka would love you to read ..Paradigm Fitness Walking Electric Treadmill Best Choice with Affordable PriceMy Profile

  5. Yes, I agree with you. I usually get the a lot of sale on holiday.
    NganSon would love you to read ..WooCommerce 1.4 is released with new functionsMy Profile

  6. Awesome! This is a season of gifts n holidays and this is the perfect page to go with it.

  7. job at home says:

    Hi, I like this very much thank you! As a matter of fact I look for good job from home and I’ve just found something interesting…
    job at home would love you to read ..Network Marketing Equals More FreedomMy Profile

  8. magnetic spice tins says:

    I think more stategic to promote your affiliate product without waiting the special days. But this is need more effort so that you can get more sales.

  9. We have just started being an affiliate for a holiday package website and we have started to earn some decent income in only about a months time!

  10. I liked your style of explaining affiliate tips. I am very interested in this niche and to touch the peak in this field.

  11. I really impressed by your interesting blog. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Send Champagne says:

    It’s a really great tool for the blogger and the product, like you said though it is for the buyer to decide who and where to buy from and they need to know when someone is recommending something and when a link has been paid for.

  13. Promotions are a great way to spread word about your company while also getting a sample of your product out into consumers hands. It really is a great and cost effective to marketing your company.

  14. The Swiss USB flash drive looks interesting..

  15. I like beauty items as a gift than anything else. I guess boys like modern gadgets.

  16. Wow a great idea, I never thought about that I always thought it looked a little spammy.

  17. Referring to these kind of blogs gives a good idea about the products we can select for our loved ones. I was just going through here and got the idea of giving the Swiss army flash drive to my teenaged brother who helped me a lot when I had my leg fracture. It’s about promotions for the bloggers, but for my kind of persons, it’s a great place to get some good idea about the products. Thank you

  18. I dont think bloggers should have to make it obvious its an affiliate link. If you are going to buy something based on the bloggers recommendation, why shouldnt they get a little something for referring you?

    • Hi Shane,

      People have been conditioned to want someone else to protect them and this is yet another example of that. Buyer beware has always been true and we simply must use our own discernment to know whether to believe a recommendation or not.

      It boggles my mind that so many willingly follow famous bloggers giving poor advice rather than listen to bloggers who clearly only make ethical recommendations.

      In this blog when I recommend something it is VERY OBVIOUS and when I simply link to something that is for further research and information and NOT a recommendation.

      Affiliate products come in both those varieties too: things I personally recommend and other things I might link to for my readers to check out but that do not specifically recommend.
      growmap would love you to read ..Best of GrowMap – Our Most Important Posts All in One PlaceMy Profile

  19. Christmas Hampers says:

    Great article and just in time for the upcoming holidays that will be here very soon.

  20. Like this way of marketing. Reading your blog is the best part of my day.

  21. Thanks for sharing the information on Holiday Promotions. It was nice going through your blog. keep on posting.

  22. Wow,

    This products are so interesting and perfect for all holidays..

  23. Yeah, I had this same idea last year when I was just starting out with affiliate marketing and tried to get into the christmas gifts niche. Big fail but I learned tons of it.

    Pretty nice to use a normal blog for this just to monetize it a little. Haven’t tried it but will definately for the upcoming holidays.

    Btw I love the swiss army knive USB stick gadget!
    .-= Alex@Zahnaufheller´s last blog ..Braun Oral-B Sonic Complete DLX – Testbericht =-.

    • Welcome Alex,

      Generating an income with affiliate programs requires far more than simply writing a post that has affiliate links in it. It takes far more traffic to generate each sale than most bloggers realize and that is especially true if most of the people clicking are curious but not really ready to buy.

      I wrote a post some time ago I called Success is a Numbers Game that talks about average conversion rates and before that one on why conversion rates are more important than traffic.

      Bloggers and ecommerce store owners both have to clearly understand how to improve their conversion rates. There are some excellent blogs mentioned in those posts and I want to specifically mention the very best blog on increasing conversions Grok Dot Com.

      I recommend making a point of saving that link because for some reason I never see their blog come up in the many searches I do online for topics I know they have covered.

      I expect that to become more of a challenge so I save all my research and the best content I come across each day in Tomboy Notes so I can get back to it.

      I already have 1548 individual notes on every subject I ever write about saved for future reference and to include in new content here and on many other sites.

      If my German were not so rusty and I had more time I could use your site as a refresher course. :-) You do know many bloggers would consider the topic covered in that site spam. I’m not sure why since I have no doubt there are many who ARE interested in home tooth whitening.
      .-= growmap´s last blog ..Freelancers: How to Get More Freelance Work =-.

  24. Did you try Omnistar Affiliate http://www.osiaffiliate.com it has tons of great features.

    • Hi Dan,

      I have not tried that particular affiliate tracking software. There are many affiliate solutions that some merchants prefer to use to manage their affiliate programs in house.

      We recommend this post for Learning AdWords and other pay per click engines.

      They use iDevAffiliate Affiliate Tracking Software. That solution has advanced features such as the ability to offer training videos for your affiliates and create PDF training documents. It contains graphs showing affiliates their traffic and commissions.

      Some ecommerce solutions including Yahoo Stores offer tracking links that can be used for affiliate tracking as explained in the information about Executive Gift Shoppe’s in-house Gift Affiliate Program.
      .-= growmap´s last blog ..Affiliate Tips Tuesday: Three Ethical Affiliate Marketing Experts I Trust =-.

  25. Nice tips, worth considering if you have monetized your blog or sell your own products. And yes, people are willing to buy more stuff during holiday seasons. Those gifts won’t buy themselves :)
    .-= Elena@Russianize This´s last blog ..Submit And Share Your Russianized Images =-.

  26. If I have the time I will usually do a post promoting what I believe to be a good gift idea for occasions such as Christmas and stuff, my only problem is that I’m so busy I usually miss out because the occasion has already passed. On those occasions when I have had the time to do a post I have actually manage a few sales and so it is worth the effort.
    .-= Sire´s last blog ..Is Disqus Costing You Comments? =-.

    • Thank you Sire for sharing that offering gifts at the optimum time does work for your blog. We are all always so busy that it is a challenge to make it happen but I am confident that eventually we will find a way to write our posts in advance. :-)

      I am so out of touch with holidays and shopping that if the bloggers I read did not mention holidays like Mother’s Day or Father’s Day I would never remember when to buy Mother’s Day gifts or Father’s Day Gifts in time to get them shipped on time.
      .-= growmap´s last blog ..New Weekly SMM, WOMM, Affiliate Columns =-.

  27. I am concerned in that my scholarship sponsor is the target of Akismet.

    Not that they have offered Affiliate products. However, since they have been so generous with students at Linda Christas College, I am just concerned with any “service” who can, just because as few as three Akismet members don’t like the ethnicity, sex or political/religious position of a commenter get a site banned all over the internet.

    That can’t be good for business.

    Now the ACLU is getting into the act because, it is one thing when a person bans someone from his or her site (That’s their right). It is quite another when three people can get together, not like the skin color of someone, and decide to get them banned from participating on all WordPress sites, which is what happens for WordPress bloggers who subscribe to Akismet.

    That means that ANY affiliate business can be banned in like manner. And, it’s all anonymous, all illegal, and being done daily by Akismet.

    I have brought this subject up on forums and always get booed down. Evidently Akismet users don’t want to believe that they are part of a racist system.

    I ask anyone to contact Akismet and ask them about what they are doing. If you can get a response at all, they will tell you that they just do what their members want. Well, not actually what they all want, but what some of them want, and then they apply it to everyone.

    I guess it is convenient for WordPress blog owners to have the spam filtered for free, and, hey, if a few hate crimes are thrown in there, well, that’s OK.

    It’s a free country.

    Just an evil system. And, it’s all anonymous. Might as well just put white sheets over our heads again and decide who to lynch.

    Sara
    .-= Sara´s last blog ..New Product: LEGO 6442 Sting Ray Explorer Town Divers Underwater Set New =-.

    • rob sellen says:

      Sara, no offence but get over yourself…racist??? wow!!!
      .-= rob sellen@portland bill´s last blog ..The Portland Bill site and what’s next =-.

    • Hello Sara,

      I sympathize with your college but you do not clearly understand this issue (in spite of the great amount of time I have spent trying to explain it to your Dr. Ann).

      Leaving comments like this in forums or blogs is not an effective way to address this and is giving your school a very bad reputation online.

      Akismet does NOT delete your comments. This one was not moderated by Akismet and I rescue every single valid comment I receive here. You are NOT banned. It is NOT illegal and it is NOT racist. It is a necessary evil to deal with spammers.

      All bloggers MUST moderate their comments. If I did not use Akismet every post in this blog would be full of offensive language and links to sites that I would never visit on subjects that I do not believe are appropriate for mixed company. I can simply not allow that.

      What do you and Dr. Ann hope to accomplish with your continued campaign against Akismet and WordPress blogs? We are NOT going to stop using WordPress and to not use Akismet is FAR WORSE than to use it.

      I guarantee you that if I did not use Akismet that EVERY SINGLE COMMENT in this blog would have to be approved before it could appear and then you would probably think you really were banned or censored.

      Look, Akismet is NOT evil. You are NOT banned. You are NOT being censored. Yes, some bloggers may not be wise enough to rescue your comments from the spam section.

      A better solution for you would be to use their contact form and let them know you left a comment and ask them to see if it might have ended up in spam so they can approve it.

      P.S. If you provide me with your desired anchor text and appropriate landing page I will add a link for your scholarship sponsor and you can do that yourself using the KeywordLuv plugin installed in this blog. I guarantee you that I WILL find and approve your comments provided they are relevant to the post where you leave them.

      .-= growmap´s last blog ..Twitter Censoring @Tweets to Non-Followers? =-.

  28. This is my favorite way of shopping. I think it’s very fun and useful. many beautiful things we can get at affordable prices!

  29. Dump Trucks says:

    What I personally feels that the affiliation is much more tricky than that of the adsense. So for the promotional things, it is more necessary to work in such a manner that affiliation will get promoted and the benefits come around. These are the superb tricks. I will try them.

    • Hello,

      While AdSense is an easier way to make money and it does benefit some real businesses, there are problems with that business model. One of the largest is that for a business to benefit from ads on content sites they have to be willing to buy all kinds of poor quality traffic that will never convert. Pay Per Click experts call this Distribution Fraud.

      Both the merchants and the bloggers who create content would do much better to use affiliate marketing to offer products that are highly relevant to the readers of each site.
      .-= growmap´s last blog ..Merchant Affiliate Management Tips =-.

  30. Affiliate Programs like Click Bank are the best ways of get an extra income every month without spend money. You can join for free in just minutes with Click Bank and start offering Digital Products to your customers.
    .-= Jaqualine@website traffic´s last blog ..Our Weekly News is Changing – What Do You Want? =-.

    • Hi Jaqualine,

      While I am a big fan of books and learning, most people are reading far too much and doing far too little. (I have been guilty of this myself for a very long time.)

      I encourage people to recommend practical products and services instead of focusing on high commission digital products. The only people who will live fairly comfortably when the economy gets far worse – and I guarantee that in the U.S. that IS happening and can not be averted – are those who support local and small online businesses that offer what people need more than what they just want.

      The gifts that Executive Gift Shoppe sells are both useful and emotionally appealing so they fit my vision of a good business to support.
      .-= growmap´s last blog ..Why Marketing is NOT Evil =-.

  31. Dennis Edell says:

    Big tip from a direct sales point of view – if you’re targeting holidays, especially big ones and even more especially if it’s an e-commerce physical product site (harder to SEO), start MONTHS in advance…if you want to be entrenched in the search engines when the time comes. ;)

    Great post, tweeted. :)
    .-= Dennis Edell @ Direct Sales Marketing´s last blog ..Theme Customization 4 – NEW Social Media Icons & RSS/Newsletter Subscription Box(s) Coming – You Need to Settle an Argument! =-.

    • Hi Dennis,

      While that was certainly true in the past (and is still important long term) there are many new ways that brand new content can gain visibility such as:

      1) Tools like Zemanta that feature your recent content when others are blogging about it so they can include your lin

      2) Search engines featuring recently published content

      3) The ability to drive traffic from Social Networking sites

      4) Pulling in traffic using CommentLuv featured links

      There are so many new ways to increase visibility for specific content and seasonal content at the optimum time that traditional SEO is not always necessary in the short term (although it is certainly better if you do both).
      .-= growmap´s last blog ..Keyword Tags, MetaTags, Tags: How Many Are Best? =-.

      • Dennis Edell says:

        I did write, “if you want to be entrenched in the search engines when the time comes. ;)

        I was also referencing static websites, not product selling blogs. I thought “harder to SEO” might give that away.

        While bloggers may have swiped the term in later years, *e-commerce* will always = static physical product sites in the minds of those of us around since the early days. :)
        .-= Dennis Edell @ Direct Sales Marketing´s last blog ..Comment Contest: 5 Days Left! =-.

  32. You are 100% correct. Holiday seasons are simply amazing that anything will work during that time :D yeah, irrespective of the niches. I am also pretty astonished by the gift affiliate program’s guarantee. Not many websites offer such promising thing to their customers.

  33. Sheesh Gail,

    Why don’t you share a link or two with us too? :P

    Great post and I agree with the fact almost every site, blog could use one of the many holiday times, not only that, there are so many spread through the year, so always a new chance too at some point, not forgetting it also impacts on your blog the following year… if done well I guess. ;)

    Like saying in a way starting a Christmas blog now is not a bad thing, due to the fact by Christmas you got a great start but the following year and so on will be a big improvement.

    Good to tie times into blogging, always something to capitalise on. :)
    .-= rob sellen@portland bill´s last blog ..Blogging is endless improvement =-.

    • Hi Rob,

      That’s just me – wanting to “invite everyone else to the party” as Marty at Aimclear used to say. I’m glad you liked the post. I was beginning to wonder if there was something about this post that my readers didn’t like.

      Power affiliates do build sites many months in advance so they can build links to get better search engine positions before the prime shopping period for what they are offering. The search engines used to favor older, more established content and in some ways still do.

      With the new focus on live search and Social Media they need to remember to also write new content just before the peak time to make sure they get maximum visibility in the search engines that are now focusing on the latest content and to get incoming links and mentioned in other’s blog posts thanks to services like Zemanta.

      Did you mean to link that keyword phrase to that site? Don’t you have another site? Let me know if you want me to edit that for you.
      .-= growmap´s last blog ..Why Marketing is NOT Evil =-.

  34. David from Natural Sleep Aids says:

    I really need to learn more about shopping with affiliates I guess. I really have not got in the habit of recommending affiliate product on my blog, but there is certainly nothing wrong with it if you believe in the product.

  35. With Mother’s Day quickly approaching, it would be an excellent time to get some related affiliate products on websites as a friendly reminder to anyone visiting their blog that they have something coming up soon to shop for.
    .-= Kristi@Blogging Tips´s last blog ..Latest WordPress Hack – Symptoms, Solutions & Resources =-.

    • Hi Kristi,

      I suspect that many bloggers are still on the fence about whether it is acceptable to make money or recommend affiliate products. Many may have not yet overcome their feeling that marketing is evil.

      Ironically, some bloggers accept paid advertising or write paid reviews but think affiliate marketing is unacceptable. (I feel just the opposite – that real recommendations sincerely offered are better than being paid to do something.) Others are afraid to monetize at all.

      As Kristi mentioned I am thankful when someone mentions an upcoming holiday in time for me to order a gift. Without those reminders I would definitely forget!

      Bloggers who don’t feel comfortable marketing affiliate products yet could ease into the idea by just blogging about what they like – either gifts they have received or those they would like to give.
      .-= growmap´s last blog ..Merchant Affiliate Management Tips =-.

      • I don’t know if they feel marketing is evil. I feel like there has been a drop in affiliate marketing since the FTC guidelines came out, even though I haven’t heard of anyone who’s received any problems in relation to them. Something about having to tell people that a link is an affiliate makes a blogger feel like the link will be ignored for that reason, and therefore might be pointless.

        The real thing is, like you said, to put up affiliate products that you believe in. So long as you write an honest review of something, then it isn’t a bad thing at all. I have actually seen a few negative “sponsored” reviews on blogs recently – they got paid even though they told the truth about the product (in one case, the blogger even said to go with another service).

        Honesty really counts – the more you promote things you believe in, the more people will come to trust your opinion and be apt to following your affiliate links / product suggestions in the future.
        .-= Kristi@Blogging Tips´s last blog ..Latest WordPress Hack – Symptoms, Solutions & Resources =-.

        • Hi Kristi,

          Saying marketing is “evil” might be more than most ill admit but many people and even those who own businesses are very uncomfortable with selling. That is especially true for those who work with their hands.

          I suspect the FTC ruling did throw some ice water on affiliate marketing; however, it is like everything else intended to create fear. We must decide whether we will allow ourselves to be controlled or simply do what we feel is right.

          Nothing we do – not even doing nothing – is without risk so we may as well do what we believe in. The main thing is to be sure to have a strong disclosure page and – most importantly – as you mentioned – be TOTALLY and COMPLETELY honest.

          Sugar-coated reviews and recommendations do not do any of us any good. Most every product will have pros and cons and the more detail we can provide the better.

          The reason there is such a negative perception about marketing and sales is that there has been too much dishonesty and sensationalism in both for far too long coupled with too many who will do and say anything for a buck.

          Those who are willing to share honest opinions can change all that for the better. I hope many bloggers will start doing that whether they choose to use affiliate links or not.
          .-= growmap´s last blog ..Social Media Marketing Monday – SMM Overview =-.

  36. Great post on holiday themed affiliate marketing!

    If I had a weight loss tips blog ( ;) ), I would probably write a list of the top ten gifts to buy a woman for Mother’s Day. None of the gifts would involve weight loss because weight loss products are terrible gifts to give to women unless they request them. Even if they request the gift, it still may be a bad idea. The gifts would probably involve stress reduction because stress reduction leads to weight loss.
    .-= Dr. Kal@Weight Loss Tips´s last blog ..Acupuncture For Weight Loss =-.

    • Hello Dr. Kal,

      Excellent insights! I totally agree. While some women MIGHT like a weight loss product as a gift, only someone they had actually TOLD they wanted to try something could give them one. Otherwise even if they were interested that kind of gift could lead to hurt feelings.

      Stress reduction is always a good idea. Music CDs or movies (especially comedies) could be good. Even though Executive Gift Shoppe starting out as a men’s gift store, they now have many fine gifts for women too.
      .-= growmap´s last blog ..Affiliate Tips Tuesday: Three Ethical Affiliate Marketing Experts I Trust =-.

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