It’s time to line up and get your Valentine’s Day promos going. Whether you are blogging about chocolate and how to have a romantic date or even just loading a newsletter with coupon codes for different vendors, here are 5 ways you could potentially earn more this Valentine’s Day by being smarter than other people. Feel free to share your own tips and tricks for Valentine’s Day if you’d like to in the comments section.
1. Skip the name brand merchants and earn more money with the same products, but smaller stores with clean programs.
This is something I tell people over and over again. I sell designer underwear on one of my sites and I never push the designer’s program on major networks because it’s full of adware, coupon sites and they usually have lower commissions. Why would you want to get paid less, have people poach your sale with adware or even from the coupon code box when your users see it and go to Google to find a coupon by typing in merchant name + coupons. I don’t. Here’s what you can do instead.
Find a program like Gift Baskets Overseas.com or Crazy for Bargains.com on Share a Sale that doesn’t have this happening (as of 1/24/2013) at noon EST. GiftBasketsOverseas.com carries chocolate gifts like Godiva, Designer and Expensive wines like Dom Perignon and other in demand valentine’s gifts. Crazy for Bargains has all of the same valentine’s day pajamas, boxers and other accessories that you’ll find in the major department stores. Instead of making lower commissions (from what I have seen when I looked them up today), having the chance of a coupon poach or adware steal, promote these guys instead (I also manage their Affiliate Programs so it’s a shameless plug). You can potentially make more, have a better chance of keeping your sales and also be able to promote the same product lines that you would have promoted anyways. These companies also offer coupon codes and other things to help which can help reduce your costs. With your referral, there is no reason why you couldn’t earn more and why you should have to risk having your commissions overwritten. I like keeping my commissions and earning more which is why I do this instead of the larger brands.
2. Think about where there is little to no competition right now.
I was shocked to find a gigantic opportunity for Affiliates with military families, couples who have one person over seas, parents with kids studying abroad or even business travelers. Last Valentine’s Day someone sent me a bottle of Dom and a dish of Strawberries and Chocolate Sauce to my hotel in Hawaii while I was speaking at Pubcon. There is a giant demand for international and long distance Valentine’s Day gift shipping and nobody really taking the long tail keywords, high volume keywords, etc… With programs like Gift Baskets Overseas (sorry to mention them again), you can easily take over some of these niches and put a widget or storefront that is dedicated to that specific country, city or theme. This is an easy no brainer for content sites or sites with traffic that could be traveling or in a relationship. By attracting these people, bidding on the keywords they are looking for in one country and then having the products available for the people in the country they are shipping from is a huge opportunity you shouldn’t be passing up.
3. Impulse Buys.
I ended up getting suckered into another one of these again. They are awesome for the holidays. Everyone has the single friends who do the anti-valentine’s day parties or go to the bars and they love things like this. (This is my Affiliate link. I do not manage this program and do not actively promote it. If you decide to, that is your own decision and at your own risk.) Think about the anti-valentine’s day gifts and gags you can promote to people. You could also look and see if the major dating sites are doing valentine’s parties or speed dating and see if that works as an impulse buy. Gag gifts, anti valentine’s wear and other things sell just as well, sometimes even better, for Valentine’s Day and they are something you shouldn’t pass up, even if your site is for married couples who buy roses and make dinner reservations.
4. Hotel rooms.
A program that is managed by a friend of mine (Bookable.com on Share a Sale) pays really nice commissions, especially for single night stays. Instead of recommending they go out for dinner, why not recommend they stay out as well. What’s the fun of a great night of Valentine’s Passion and Romance when you have to clean up your own home in the morning. Don’t forget to upsell or cross-sell a hotel room for the night to your readers. If the restaurant they are going to is in a hotel, tell them to not drink and drive and go upstairs right after to have fun. You could even make a joke that because they don’t have to drive, why not split a bottle of wine instead of just a glass each. You could sell people on room service and breakfast in bed in the morning or even just simply not having to clean up or make your own bed. Who cares if you get lipstick on a pillow, you don’t have to wash it out. Have rose petals waiting on the bed, you don’t have to vacuum them up in the morning. This should be an easy commission to earn. You’ll love working with the Affiliate Manager as well.
5. Put on the things that are embarrassing to buy.
Another program I love and think is perfect is Shop in Private on Share a Sale which is managed by my friend Tom Nardone. People can be embarrassed to buy things like condoms, certain types of adult toys and things that are fun to play with on Valentine’s Day with your loved one. By using a widget or storefront on your post with these products or by just letting people know that they are there to offer you secure and discrete shipping in plain packages, you could earn a sale for Valentine’s Day and then each time they want to order more products, they may come back and you can make sales throughout the year.
The trick between a successful Affiliate and someone who makes ok money is finding niches that aren’t capitalized on, ways to provide a service to an audience that exists but doesn’t have a site catering to them and by also offering everything else that their readers didn’t think of. By providing them with the things they need, things they are dreading buying because they are embarrasing and cross selling them another product or service, you can make even more this valentine’s day. Remember to also make sure that the Merchant’s you work with don’t have Affiliate’s ranking for their trademarks or urls + coupons or work with adware.