As an affiliate, it does not get any better than the holiday season. During this time of the year, people all over the world are shopping online – and willing to spend quite a bit of money.

While the industry does not necessarily change during the holidays, there are several things you can do to leverage this time of the year and increase earnings.

1. Use “best of” or “top” lists. For example, you could make a post on your website with the title “5 Best Computers for the 2012 Holiday Season.” By including a description of each, as well as a link to the appropriate store, you are in position to increase conversions. Consumers are interested in buying the best, so it is up to you to tell them which products they should be considering.

2. Don’t ignore special offers. Affiliates are not the only ones trying to earn big during the holiday season. The actual stores are doing the same. For this reason, many offer special offers and promotions. It is your job to put these offers in front of your audience.

3. Email marketing, email marketing, and more email marketing. Do you have a list of people who are interested in what you have to say? No matter the size of your list (although bigger is better) you should send out regular emails during the holiday season. Remember, consumers are always looking for hot deals and the “next big thing” during the holidays. With the help of email marketing, you can get your affiliate link in front of impulse buyers who are ready to spend money right now.

4. What is hot this year? Every year, there are products that are talked about throughout the world. Regardless of the industry you are promoting, you should make a list of the hottest products right now as well as those that were popular during the past few months. Now is not the time to promote slow selling products. You want to focus your time and energy on products that are getting the most mainstream attention.

5. Ask for coupons and promotions. This is when having a good relationship with your affiliate manager will come in handy. By asking for coupons and special promotions, you may be able to offer your audience something that others cannot. There is nothing better than leveraging your site’s brand to bring special offers to your visitors.

Not all advertisers and affiliate managers will be able to accommodate your request, but you never know when you will come across a special promotion that can take your conversions and earnings to the next level.

6. Take advantage of social networking. In the months leading up to the holiday shopping season, make sure you add as many Facebook friends and Twitter followers as possible. By doing this, you are able to expose your offers to more people as the holiday season wears on.

Tip: Don’t use social networks to spam others. Instead, you want to provide quality content with a lean towards “soft selling.”

7. Ask for higher commissions during the month of December. This is one of the most overlooked ways to earn more money during the holidays. Why not ask your affiliate manager for a higher commission on certain products? You may be surprised at how many agree to this request.

You have a much better chance of earning a higher commission if you have proven yourself as a high volume affiliate in the past. Most affiliate advertisers have the ability to increase your commission. However, this is not something that is going to happen unless you ask.

8. Increase content production. One of the best ways to increase traffic and sales during the holidays is to post as much original content as possible. This can be anything from product reviews to top 10 lists and everything in between.

In addition to strengthening your site in the search engines, you can share each piece of content through social networking sites.

9. Watch out for the competition. As you know, you are not the only affiliate promoting a particular offer. You need to be on your game at all times during the holidays. This means beating your competition to the best deals, offering the lowest prices, providing high quality reviews, and working with affiliate programs to provide coupons and special offers.

Anything you can do to position yourself above the competition is well worth your time.

10. Be unique. It is easy to fall into the trap of following the crowd. While there is nothing wrong with promoting the same offers as others, you should always be looking for a way to set yourself apart from the competition.

Do you have any other tips for leveraging the holidays? Leave a comment below!