The Life Of A Freelance Tech/eCommerce Journalist During Amazon Prime Day

It all starts with a spreadsheet. The kind of spreadsheet you see in your nightmares.

Thousands upon thousands of rows of deals - many of which are either irrelevant to what I’m writing about, or just aren’t good deals at all.

amazon blog.jpg

After filtering that down, the next steps are to figure out what is worthy of editorial coverage vs what is more effectively tweeted out, figure out your content plan, then proceed to lock yourself away for a few hours and write piece after piece. For me, “locking myself away” is taking the best part of the corner sofa, much to the dismay and annoyance of my girlfriend (sorry about that).

Welcome to Prime Day - shoutout to any other editors/writers who have seen their levels of caffeine, carbs and alcohol consumption skyrocket during this time frame. It’s certainly not the healthiest time of our lives, but it’s one that - when you’re looking for an affiliate revenue “win” - could not be more perfectly timed. 

Because when it comes to gadget buying habits, nobody really thinks to buy tech in the middle of summer. That sort of big purchase decision is always left until Autumn/Winter time (hello Black Friday), so to have the world’s largest online retailer train customers into buying a lot of big ticket items in July is rather helpful to revenue!

So, on the other side of this big day for Stuff Magazine, I’ve come out learning three big lessons, which I thought would be great to share with you lot. And who knows - if this piece works well, maybe this unique introspection into this world I find myself in could be a new string to the bow of NRM. 

Pipe up in the comments if you find all this a bit naff.

1. When it comes to Prime Day, make sure you look outside of Amazon for good deals.

Other retailers are keen to crash the party with anti-Prime Day deals. One key bit of advice, always look to other retailers for a hefty chunk of deals that are slightly better than what you’d find on the big A.

As you can see from what happened on eBay, Currys PC World and Dell, there are plenty of big players throwing down a helluva gauntlet, and you don’t need to cough up for a Prime subscription for these.

2. What may seem “overwhelming” becomes easy when you do what you love

The hours are long, especially when Prime Day rolls around. 

But would I change any of it? The answer to that is a resounding “no.” 

In finding this sweet spot between my enjoyment of digital marketing and a love for tech journalism, this is something that feels special to me. For all intents and purposes, this is a hobby that I’m extremely lucky to be paid for, but it’s become so much more than that…

3. Sometimes your content can get in the way of your revenue

This one’s more for those in the fields of digital/affiliate marketing. It’s easy to get fixated on telling a great story in your piece, flowing through eloquently to some recommendation interface. But sometimes, simpler is better.

CTR is improved on flash sale pieces when you just get straight to the point - give a little context like share a short sentence about why its an essential purchase (maybe a few words from the review of said product on the magazine you work for). 

As a writer, it’s easy to get caught up in the need to up the word count and highlight every single possible reason for owning a product. But when it comes to deal-based editorial, there is such a thing as talking your way out of a sale.

People are smart - they can still see when a deal is good and put the pieces together in their head of whether they need it, without us spelling it out to them.

Don’t do in a paragraph, what you could do in a line or two. Simpler is better.