The last post in this year’s Gift Guide series is a Gift Guide for Bloggers. I’ve been blogging for over eight years now (which makes me feel REALLY old) so I’ve learned a thing or two about what bloggers might appreciate to find in their stocking on Christmas morning (please don’t go back and look at some of the posts from the really early years – it may get a little scary). Let’s just step away from that for now and talk shop.
When you have a beloved blogger to shop for, it can seem a little overwhelming at first especially if you yourself are not a blogger. You have no idea what SEO is and why its so important and CSS and HTML look like some secret code but its not as hard as you think to shop for your beloved blogger.
Let’s talk planners.
Something every blogger needs is a great planner. Some people really love doing everything online and using tools like Evernote and Google Drive to stay content ideas organized (especially since they can be used across multiple devices) or even blog plugins like CoSchedule or the WordPress Editorial Calendar in order to outline a post schedule. I love using Evernote and CoSchedule* is my new BFF but there is something about pen and paper that my brain needs to stay organized.
Starting at the upper left corner and moving in clockwise motion, these are some of the most popular planners on the market: the Erin Condren Life Planner, the Plum Paper Planner, the Passion Planner, and the Create 365 The Happy Planner (which I think is the newest on the market). In addition to using planners to stay organized, there has suddenly become a recent trend to not only keep track of your schedules and to-do lists in your planners but to go hog-wild decorating while you are at it. If you do a search on Etsy for “planner stickers,” you will see pages and pages (and pages) of all types of varieties of stickers and embellishments to keep your planner not only organized but beautifully decorated as well. You can also find supplies at craft stores like Michael’s and Hobby Lobby and I’ve seen things even start to trickle into the Dollar Tree (which is where I pick up most of my supplies). Think of it as a modern day “Pimp My Planner” instead of “Pimp My Ride” (I am really showing my age now aren’t I?). There are even oodles of Facebook groups dedicated to planner decorating. I personally use the Erin Condren Life Planner and I do enjoy doing some simple decorating using washi tape and organizational stickers but on the scale of 1-10 of being a simple planner user versus a mega planner decorator, I probably fall somewhere in the middle. I’ll do a separate post on that.
The only one of these planners that doesn’t lend itself as easy to the decorating trend is the Passion Planner but in its place, it offers a uniqueness that really focuses on goal setting and creating step by step guides to achieving those goals (even including pages for mind and bubble maps). Another cool thing about the Passion Planner is that you can download a couple of pages of the planner to try to see if you like it before ordering or you can download the entire planner for free and then take it to your choice of stores, such as Staples or Office Max, to have it bound which I think is a pretty amazing option.
There are also all kinds of ways to build your own planner with free printables (Pinterest is loaded with them) and you can even find planner printables that are blogging specific. If you don’t want to purchase a planner as you aren’t sure what your blogging loved one might prefer there is always the option of purchasing a gift card or you can create a basket full of goodies such as a cute binder, nice pens, and fun decorating and organizational items.
Let’s talk books.
If your loved one is just starting out with blogging or is a seasoned blogger that wants to up his or her game, I highly recommend 31 Days to Build A Better Blog (affiliate link). It has been listed on my Blogging Resources page for ages because it is that good. I went through the book the first time with a group of bloggers with SITS and it totally changed my blogging game. I am actually planning on going back through it starting January 1 since 2015 was kind of an off-year with blogging because of the what felt like one health crisis after another this year so I really want to start 2016 off on the right foot (I would love to have you join me!).
I cannot say enough amazing things about the book Blog Design for Dummies and I won’t linger on it too long since I did write a complete review of the book. I know the author, Melissa Culbertson, personally and she is AMAZING and runs an amazing blog called Blog Clarity and teaches a variety of amazing courses so I would recommend anything that she puts out as a gift idea for your blogger loved one.
The next book is the one that I am dying to get my hands on for 2016 – The Badass Blog Planner by Sarah Morgan. Per the book’s description:
Packed with over 60 worksheets, this one-year planner will help you review the past year and hatch a plan to improve your online presence. It includes worksheets to evaluate and plan blog content, social media posts, products and services, email newsletters, marketing, advertising, your budget, and website design. No more late-night post idea panic or stressing over social media! You’ll take action with the confidence to create compelling and shareable content, promote your brand, organize your website, set goals for growth, plan product launches, and feel excited and inspired all year long.
Sounds like just what any blogger needs to start the year off right, don’t you think? This book doesn’t take the place of a traditional planner but would work wonderfully in conjunction. I use my Life Planner to obviously keep my family life managed as well as my blogging but this takes it up to a whole other level. Santa, if you are reading this, I would really love to find this under the tree!
The last book I am recommending is called Blog, Inc: Blogging for Passion, Profit, and to Create Community by Joy Deangdeelert Cho. I have already read through this book once and plan on reading through it again next year. It is another book that is great for a beginner but will also help take a seasoned blogger up to the next level with their blogging, especially if they would like to start running their blog more like a business and make a career out of blogging. It is packed full of great and useful information and written in a way that helps you put that information straight into practice.
There are a lot of other great books on blogging available (I have some that I read myself on my Blogging Resources page) but obviously I cannot list them all here. If your blogger loved one prefers reading on a Kindle (or using the Kindle app), a Kindle Unlimited gift subscription would be a great idea so that he or she could have access to all the amazing books on the market.
Let’s talk Conferences & Classes
If you really want to get your loved one a big gift and your budget allows it (and they have expressed interest in it before), gifting a trip to a blogging conference is another great option. Bloggy Bootcamp is a great one day conference offered in various cities throughout the year and it is only $75! This was my first conference experience and I loved every minute of it. The 2016 schedule is not yet posted but you can always create your own gift voucher and wrap it up for your loved one and they can choose which location they would like to attend once the schedule is posted!
Type A Conference is another great blogging conference option. It started as one three day conference usually held in Atlanta or Charlotte but in efforts to make it easier on attendees to travel for the conference, they now have a Type A Conference West in Santa Fe and Type A Conference East at Disney. DISNEY! Santa, are you hearing me? Disney! And it just just happens to fall right after my birthday. If Santa doesn’t pull through on this, I know what I’ll be saving up for for my birthday! I went to Type A Conference in 2013 and had a great experience and would love to go again. Who’s coming with me?
And last but not least, there are tons of e-courses and online training seminars that would also make awesome Christmas gifts for your beloved blogger.
As I mentioned before, Melissa over at Blog Clarity offers a variety of course with many of them being self-paced so you don’t have to worry about course dates. I have taken Content Brew* (which teaches you how to plan and create fresh content and equips you with tools on how to organize and share content) and Media Kit Smash* (which teaches you how to make a professional media kit to work with brands and professionals) and Pinning Perfect* (which will dig into strategies for driving traffic to your blog from Pinterest and build followers) are both next on my to-do list.
The Nectar Collective which is headed up by another Melyssa is another great resource for classes and seminars to help your beloved blogger get down to business and keep their numbers rising. In addition to paid courses, she also hosts free webinars so that is a great thing to keep an eye out for. One class that I took that I greatly benefited from and highly recommend is Social Media Superhero which only costs $27,
These are just a few of my ideas of things that I put together for the Gift Guide for Bloggers so you can be on the lookout for when shopping for your beloved blogger! The best part about shopping for a blogger? A lot of these things can be bought online at the last minute! December 24th sign him or her up for a course, create a nice pretty gift voucher showing that you are sending them to this course they’ve been wanting to take (Canva.com is great for that – they even have templates!), and pop it into a pretty box and BOOM. You’re all done!
Do you have any bloggers on your shopping list or are you a blogger and have an idea about what needs to be added to the list?
Disclosure: Any link marked with an * refers to an affiliate link.
P.S. Have you checked out the Gift Guide for Beauty Lovers Giveaway yet? I keep adding to the box so I’m not sure how I’m going to get the thing to close! You’d better go check it out! It’s almost time to draw a winner!