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How lifestyle blog Gothamist maximized shoppable content to increase revenue

gothamist affiliate marketing

How to increase revenue without affecting quality and authenticity of content


Created timely commerce-related content and maximized its exposure with social media amplification

  • Affiliate revenues increased twenty-fold in 30 days
  • Shoppable content increased Gothamist’s affiliate revenue and opened potential advertising opportunities while maintaining the site’s popular voice

Gothamist is comprised of five city-centric blogs including the flagship New York-based Gothamist, LAist, Chicagoist, SFist and the DCist. The sites cover each city’s regional news, events, food, culture and media all served with humorous commentary and each city’s unique personality.

With 34 million pageviews each month, 8 million monthly unique visitors across the sites and a combined social media reach of more than 1.2 million, Gothamist sites serve a substantial, engaged audience.


Gothamist began their Skimlinks journey simply running the Javascript on their site. This ‘set and forget’ approach garnered them some revenue but not a significant amount considering their wide audience reach.

Though their site had an impressive 8 million monthly unique visitors, the Gothamist sites weren’t optimizing commerce-related content on their sites. Gothamist’s own data showed that their audience was the target demographic for this type of curated, shoppable content. However, they weren’t creating the type of specialized content that could earn them a significant amount of affiliate revenue.


Gothamist started devoting resources to writing timely commerce-related content. The content included gift guides and deal roundups related to a particular season or holiday, all written in the site’s self-described “snarky and viral” voice. To increase the content’s exposure, the Gothamist promoted the articles across their social media channels, including Facebook and Twitter. Not only did this increase the chances of attracting their audiences’ attention, it also provided readers with an easy way to access the content.

Gothamist enabled the Skimlinks Javascript code across all its properties and focused on creating quality commerce content across its five city sites.

Skimlinks broadened horizons for our sales team, making us more relevant for certain advertisers and young city-dwellers who normally weren’t regular readers of our site(s).

Julia Tuohy, Director of Accounts at


Placing a greater emphasis on creating shoppable content that encompassed the site’s popular voice helped increase affiliate revenue, while allowing Gothamist to churn content at the high standard their readers are used to.

Using the insights found in the Skimlinks analytics suite, Gothamist saw that the articles including commerce-related content were not only being read by their audience, they were also bringing in much higher affiliate revenue than previous Gothamist content.

It was nice and refreshing to be able to integrate more retail-focused content on the site(s), because we have no synergistic content to speak of currently. In a broader sense, bringing more lifestyle and gift-giving content created additional opportunities to take our product out into the marketplace and open doors to advertisers that didn’t see us as a clear fit in the past.

Julia Tuohy, Director of Accounts at

Affiliate revenues

Increased twenty-fold in 30 days

Commerce-related content tailored for their audience

Created timeless content that remains relevant and drives revenue long after the publish date

Gothamist’s keys to success:

  • Create quality retail-oriented content that your audience will respond to.
  • Keep your voice authentic when writing posts.
  • Use seasonality to your advantage. Create and promote gift guides and deals posts around the busy holiday shopping season to increase your revenue potential.
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