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Use a Gift Guide to Grow your blogging income
One of the biggest ways that bloggers can earn money is through affiliate marketing. The major holidays provide an ideal opportunity for a blogger to highlight the products they love while also helping their readers kill a pain point. I mean who doesn't get stumped during the holidays trying to figure out what to buy for all the people in your life?
By creating gift guides you can help point people in the right direction and ease their holiday load by making their shopping easier. If you use affiliate marketing as part of your strategy you can include your affiliate links to products you like – it costs nothing more for your reader and you will receive a small compensation for sending people to the seller. It's a win-win situation!
What Is A Gift Guide?
A gift guide is essentially a list post. It’s a list of recommended gifts for a particular person. Gift guides can be easy to write and follow some simple steps:
decide what will go into your guide
If you’ve decided that a holiday gift guide sounds like a good marketing idea and fit for your blog, it’s time to make some decisions. First, decide what you want to promote. If you are a traditional blogger you can use any number of affiliate programs to find products that will fit your guide. Amazon is a great example – there are literally millions of products to choose from. If you run your own online shop you can choose products from your own range to feature and promote. If you own your own direct sales business then you can focus on grouping items from your companies range and direct readers to your own online portal to make purchases.
Choose Your Theme
They should always have a clear, narrow focus relevant to your blog’s readers. A few examples:
- Gift Ideas for Your Cosmetic-Challenged Sister
- Age-Appropriate Gifts for a Beauty-Obsessed Tweenager
- Top 10 Gifts Under $20
- 10 Best Stocking Stuffers for Girls Under 10
- DOWNLOAD THIS LIST OF OVER 100 GIFT GUIDE THEME IDEAS
When deciding on your theme keep in mind your audience and what they will be looking for. Have fun and get a little creative. Consider the age of your audience, their interests, their family situations, etc. Once you have an idea – start making a list of items that will fit into that theme and make sure you have at least 7-10 related items that work.
With your theme and initial list of included items, do a quick scan for anything that might cause issues. Remove any products that:
- Are frequently out of stock
- Are very expensive or have additional fees
- Take a long time to create, alter, or ship
- Don’t match or coordinate with your other products (even if they’re otherwise popular)
Your guide should include quick, simple, reasonably priced items — nothing that will take six weeks to order from the supplier or needs to be custom printed.
Customers are going to want to make their purchase immediately after viewing your recommendations, so avoid suggesting anything that might cause unhappiness.
Your audience doesn't just want a list of products. They want to know why these are the gifts they should buy. Put in the time. If these are not personal recommendations based on your experience, do the research into reviews and consumer discussions before making a suggestion.
Offer options, but not too many! Giving your readers 100 gift ideas to choose from may be too overwhelming for them to decide. They will go elsewhere for their final recommendations. A nice list of 7-10 usually does the trick.
Use Great Images and links
Make your images appealing! Remember your readers want gifts that will be memorable and they need to be able to visualize how great their gift is going to look.
Make sure you use shortened links in your posts – something like bit.ly or Pretty Links – long links aren't attractive in your post and you want your guide to be appealing.
Make sure you are including a disclaimer in your post if you are receiving any type of compensation (product to review, affiliate commissions, sponsor payment, etc).
Optimize and Promote Your Post
Don’t forget your keywords when writing your guide. You'd be surprised to find out how many people search for gifts year round and you can be getting traffic all year from Google searches. The Google Keyword Tool is a great, free tool for beginners.
If there is only one social network on which you will share your amazing gift guide, make sure it is Pinterest. Pinners love to shop and they love repinning to wishlist and idea boards. Make that post image stellar and Pinterest optimized!
Don't forget you can download this huge list of gift guide theme ideas to help get your juices flowing.
Here's to your success,
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