Affiliate partnership expert, Ashleigh Macro, shares what it takes to be an Ecommerce Editor

Ashleigh Macro, Ecommerce Editor, IDG UK

Hi Ashleigh – tell us a little about yourself.

I’m the Ecommerce Editor at IDG UK, working across our B2C titles, including Macworld, Tech Advisor and Digital Arts. I also work closely with the B2B teams on Techworld, Computerworld and CIO, as well as our European titles Tech Advisor FR, Macworld ES and PC World ES

How long have you worked for IDG?

My career at IDG began in March 2011, when I spent a week as an intern on Macworld during my degree. In May 2011, just before my graduation, I officially joined the company as Macworld’s Editorial Assistant.

I became Staff Writer in 2012, and began working on Digital Arts as well as Macworld. In May 2014 I added PC Advisor (now Tech Advisor) to my repertoire along with a new job title: Senior Staff Writer.

It was around that time I became interested in user engagement. I took on social media responsibilities and was in charge of using interactive elements to encourage users to stay on the page for longer. I also dabbled with affiliate, which at the time was a reasonably small, unexplored area of revenue. Those new interests became a promotion in June 2015, when I became Engagement Editor.

It wasn’t long before we realised the potential in affiliate partnerships, so I ended up spending the majority of my time as Engagement Editor focusing on that. Then, in November 2017, I was promoted to Ecommerce Editor to focus solely on affiliate from an editorial perspective.

What does your job role entail?

As Ecommerce Editor, I look after affiliate partnerships and come up with new article ideas that will help increase affiliate revenue, which we call ‘comtent’ or ‘ecommerce articles’. These could be buying guides and product round-ups, or how-to articles that lead readers to make a purchasing decision. We also write deals articles, which are particularly successful around Black Friday and the busy Christmas shopping period. I write many of those articles, but the whole editorial team is on board with the affiliate goals and also write lots of ecommerce articles.

Why would affiliate partners want to work with Tech Advisor and Macworld?

I always enjoy meeting new affiliate partners and discussing the ways in which we could work together. With such huge audiences with a wide range of interests and buying needs, we create new article ideas that fit perfectly with most partners’ visions.

Working with us can also lead to inclusion in our reviews price comparison widgets, which we often see huge success from within a matter of days. We publish deals in our deals site and on our deals pages, and we send deals newsletters every week. Affiliate partners can also book sponsored widgets and articles with us that can add to their success. Last year our readers spent £19 million with our affiliate partners, so it’s an audience not to be missed.

Have there been any specific campaigns over the last few months that have been a triumph?

Particularly successful articles for our partners include those that round up Mac components and peripherals such as hard drives and monitors. Many of our readers also purchased iPhone X cases from our round-up of the best. Tech Advisor readers are currently particularly interested in buying fitness trackers and Bluetooth speakers, too.

When it comes to sponsored content, we’ve seen success from promoted widgets within round-ups such as those described above. Your deal (or deals – you can feature up to 10) could be featured in a prominent place within those articles, resulting in huge numbers of sales that you may otherwise have missed out on if your product was lower down in the round-up or not featured at all.

What does a typical day look like for an Ecommerce Editor?

I spend most mornings analysing our recent successes and planning future content based on those. I’ll often have a call or meeting with a partner to discuss new opportunities, and I’ll catch up with the rest of the affiliate team to make sure we’re all working on things that are at the top of our priority lists. The afternoon is usually spent actioning anything that came out of earlier calls and meetings, working on optimisation and development with our Head of User Experience, Neil Bennett, and creating or updating Ecommerce-led content.

What’s the biggest challenge you face in your role?

One of the biggest challenges is the technical integration of affiliate partners, which can be extremely complicated, involving APIs and matching and link tracking across all platforms and article types. Then there’s the reporting that follows. Thankfully we have Neil and a team of developers that work hard to solve those problems and make sure everything is running smoothly.

What’s the best part of your job?

I love the challenges that come with the role. Trying to beat previous records, and knowing that I’m truly contributing to the success of the company. It’s quite terrifying, too!

What are you most excited for in 2018?

2018 is already shaping up to be a good year. We have some huge new plans and we’re set to be in an incredibly good place ready for Black Friday and the holiday shopping period.



For more information on affiliate opportunities please contact

Follow Macworld and Tech Advisor on Twitter:

@MacworldUK      @TechAdvisorUK