Black Friday and Cyber Monday: An Affiliate Guide

Online commerce during Black Friday was projected at $3.34 billion according to Adobe Digital.

Cyber Monday, in contrast, had topped $3.45 billion.

These two retail holidays attribute to nearly 1/3rd of the total retail spend throughout the year.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are when most individuals are doing their holiday shopping meaning it’s one of the most important sales periods for an affiliate marketer.

Here’s how to make major affiliate commissions during these retail holidays.


Must-Do’s for the Retail Holidays

to-do list

There are a couple of preliminary items you’ll want to cover prior to rolling out those Black Friday and Cyber Monday offers.

The point isn’t to make the offer perfect but to have it presented good enough that people will visit the affiliated site. Let the landing page do the major selling.

Okay, here’s a quick rundown of what’s needed:


Mobile Design

Mobile shopping hasn’t quite caught up with desktop and in-store shopping during these two days but it’s getting there. But, the main reason to go mobile first is accounting for most users accessing the Web through their mobile devices – roughly 51.3% to be exact.

Do this: Convert your theme to responsive else use a site converter like bMobilized or WompMobile.


Talk with Affiliate Managers

The seasoned affiliate managers will have the data and experience with these retail holidays. Meaning, they can give you suggestions and tips for your campaigns and offers. They’ll also direct you to advertising and marketing resources to save time with their development.

Do this: Ask the important questions when talking with an affiliate manager.


Factor the Shipping

Around the 19th to the 25th of December, the major shipping carriers begin to place cut-offs. If you’re promoting affiliate products that cut it close to this window and buyers fail to get their orders in on time for the holiday, then they’ll feel burned.

Do this: Create a sense of urgency to order now and pay extra for shipping if it cuts too close.



It’ll get hectic between promoting offers and managing your social presence. Save yourself time and hassle by scheduling social updates in batches. This may be something worth outsourcing, too.

Do this: Use tools like Hootsuite to stage out promotions and content shares.



Personalization will increase your affiliate conversions since you’re not blindly promoting products for the sake of promotion. You’ll have a detailed list of what your audience is expected to buy if you conduct surveys. Plus, it will reveal potential cross-selling products they may not have considered.

Do this: Create and send a survey through your email and social channels, then condense the data into the items like A) sites they plan on buying from and B) what they plan to buy.


Black Friday & Cyber Monday Content Strategy

Affiliate Marketing Strategy

You’ve got three weeks until the retail shopping holidays if you started at the beginning of the month.

The content strategy you’ll put in play will use a combination of:

  • New and old content
  • Flash sales and deals
  • Speculation and discussion

Really, it’s mostly going about your normal routine with creating content but placing products and services a little more center. It’s turning a piece that may have been purely informational into one that also promotes an offer that could help with hitting a goal.

So… business as usual (but ramped up).



Follow these sites:

  • Bfads
  • TheBlackFriday
  • BlackFriday

These dedicated Black Friday sites (that also cover a lot of Cyber Monday) are updated endlessly during the retail shopping holidays. They will share the latest ad leaks which will let you immediately hop into creating promotions and content.


  • Look at past shopping performance
  • Check the trending products of each market

Do a search for “Black Friday Ads” or “Cyber Monday Ads” and set Google’s custom date range to this time last year. You’ll get to see the top-performing pages covering these deals. Often, these are the same types of products that are going on sale this year which will give you a heads up.


Passable, Conversion-centric Copy

Passable in the sense that people don’t linger on the page or dig deeper into the site. The point of the piece is to get a person onto the sales page. Strip the content from CTAs leading them to other parts of the site – focus solely on the affiliate click.

Then, move forward with posts that do well with conversions:

  • Roundups
  • Top 10s
  • Gift guides
  • If you liked X, then you’ll love y
  • How-to’s

Make sure to optimize each of these posts to the best of your ability using the right mixture of keywords/phrases, on-page SEO tactics, and link building.

Use tools like Yoast SEO or Ahrefs to improve the SEO.

Also, use frequent, large images of the products (all clickable) and inject affiliate CTAs multiple times throughout the post (such as after every main section).

Now would be a good time to get into creating video content, too.


Repurposing Content

Open your analytics and check for performing older content pieces.

Take this time to do the following:

  1. Update dates and stats
  2. Remove outdated content
  3. Include new, exciting offers
  4. Add +300-500 words
  5. Optional: add video

These are still good content pieces but they’re starting to show their age. An hour spent updating a moderately performing piece is easier than spending a couple creating one that’s new.

Each one you update is another piece that could get that affiliate click.


Flash Deals & Coupons

Many e-commerce sites and businesses will use flash sales to create additional excitement and sales during these two shopping holidays.

Monitor those brands on social media or by keeping their sites open in a browser tab.

See a product on flash sale related to your niche? Quickly create content or share the hot find to your social media channel (but add something to it besides a naked link).

Same goes for coupons.

Some affiliate programs will provide coupon banners and codes for their affiliates during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. If you’re lucky they’ll include data feeds.

Otherwise, you could mock these ads and promos with visual content tools (just make sure you don’t break the advertising rules).



Lastly, make reviews.

This is asking a lot considering there’s so little time.

There are a few options:

  • Review products you already own
  • Pick up products that will go on sale

Cycle this back to those leaks – see what will go on sale – because you may have a couple products around your home or business that would make for quick and easy review items.

The fastest way to create quick reviews is with video:

  1. Grab a product
  2. Jump in front of the camera
  3. Talk for 2-3 minutes about what you like
  4. Talk an extra 1-2 about what you don’t like
  5. Add a CTA

It’s quick and dirty but it’s effective.

You could roll out a couple of these throughout the coming weeks.

Bonus: Get these videos transcribed and re-upload them as blog and social content.


The Essential Affiliate Programs

Amazon Associates

Honestly, it’s all about Amazon.

Amazon Associates gives you pretty much everything you’d want during these two shopping holidays:

  • Massive selection of products
  • Great pricing
  • Two-day delivery
  • Brand recognition
  • Recommendations
  • Wishlist’s
  • Deals

The payouts aren’t as spectacular as what you’d find on smaller programs but the value of using Amazon during Black Friday and Cyber Monday is that people will shop for multiple products during that time.

Their shopping cart fills up and you get higher affiliate payouts.

Amazon Associates Fee Rates

It’s the easiest to integrate:

  • Embed product listings onto the page
  • Create mock online shops using data feeds
  • Leverage pictures and reviews

The brand recognition, alone, is why you should use this platform as your main source of affiliate income during the two days.

Here’s the thing: just get them onto Amazon.

Amazon already has a high conversion rate so combine this with all the extras and great pricing. It basically handles itself. Once people are on there you have a 24hr cookie and since all these deals are limited… you’re bound to spike those affiliate sales.


Other Platforms


  • Walmart
  • Best Buy
  • Target
  • Lowe’s or Home Depot

You could use these as an alternative or when comparing prices. They have similar affiliate commission fees and brand recognition. They benefit from an in-store pickup, though, which could give an added incentive since people are generally out and about, shopping, during the holiday weekend.


Next Steps for Affiliates

Affiliate like a Boss

The sooner you can start on this stuff the better.

Check this out: Black Friday Niche Blueprint

This will give you a complete rundown of how to create a site dedicated to Black Friday though it’s easily repurposed for Cyber Monday, too.

Otherwise, check out our: How To: DOMINATE Black Friday & Cyber Monday as an Affiliate Marketer.

It’s another post for you covering these two shopping holidays that will give you extra ideas about the research and development of BF/CM content and promotions.

What would we do?

  1. Get the necessary social media tools that’ll be used to do the promotions
  2. Hire a couple freelancers to do the content creation
  3. Create about 10-15 posts centered around gift guides, flash deals, and reviews

A lot of people are going to do all their holiday shopping on these two days. Them dropping big bucks in a single transaction makes for large affiliate commissions.

The content doesn’t have to be perfect – just enough to entice them and send them to the site.

Meaning, the more the better.

We’ve given you a lot to work on this Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Now, get started because time’s a-ticking and there’s plenty of opportunities to be had.