Curious how to create a gift guide for your blog?
Then you’re in the right place, as that’s exactly what we’ll be covering in this episode of The Profitable Travel Blogger Podcast!
By the end, you’ll understand:
- What is a gift guide?
- The benefits of creating evergreen and holiday gift guides
- Different ways to earn money from gift guides
- Ideas for promoting your gift guides
- How to create a gift that is profitable
- And more!
I’ll also be sharing some gift guide examples to help bring the strategy to life.
On that note, let’s dive into the episode.
Disclosure: This episode + post on how to make a gift guide for your blog contains affiliate links to trusted partners I think you’ll love!
How To Create A Gift Guide For Your Blog [Podcast Episode Audio]
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Tools For Writing Evergreen & Holiday Gift Guides
Jasper AI. Use the power of artificial intelligence to easily create and promote your gift guides! In fact, Jasper can help you quickly craft marketing copy, come up with content topics, outline and draft content, and more. My link gets you a 10,000-word free trial.
Help A Reporter Out (HARO). Send out public queries about your gift guide for brands to pitch you their products for inclusion — often with the offer to join their affiliate program and/or receive product samples!
Create Gift Guides & Other Profitable Content With These Helpful Past Episodes:
How To Create A Gift Guide With Links [Episode Transcript]
Have you ever thought about creating a gift guide? Because if not, I highly recommend you add this to your blogging workflow!
You’ve probably seen loads of holiday gift guides published by bloggers, though I want to make it clear that you do not need to wait until Valentine’s Day or Christmas to create a gift guide.
In fact, evergreen gift guides that make sense any time of year — like “gifts for frequent travelers” or “gifts for adventurous couples” — can help earn you a steady income month after month.
The beauty of gift guides is that they naturally attract searchers who are looking to spend money. So while that hiking backpack you linked in your Italy travel guide may not be making you much money, linking it in a gift guide for hikers can see much more conversions.
Now before we dive into the gift guide creation tips, I want to direct your attention to the show notes, where I’ve linked my free Travel Blogger Resource Library — which includes a Content Creation & Promotion Workflow Trello Board you can use to successfully publish your gift guide.
Or, if you’re in the US or Canada, you can text the word “blogger” to 1-833-818-0342 to have it sent to you by text message. Again, you can text the word “blogger” to 1-833-818-0342.
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Feel free to even pause this episode to go grab those resources. You back? Then let’s chat about how to create a profitable gift guide.
Monetizing Your Evergreen Or Holiday Gift Guide
Now, there are many ways to monetize a gift guide. For this episode, we’ll be focusing on affiliate marketing — meaning you’ll make a commission each time someone purchases a product through your affiliate tracking link. It’s a smart way to monetize your travel blog, and promoting affiliate programs in gift guides is one of my favorite strategies.
Just to recap for those who are new to affiliate marketing, to get these tracking links you’ll first need to apply to the affiliate programs of the brands that you want to promote. Many bloggers promote Amazon affiliate links as the brand sells essentially every product out there.
We’ll go over this in more depth as we go through the strategy.
Also realize as we move through these different sections, you can use a tool like Jasper AI to utilize the powers of artifical intellgience to do most of these steps quickly. In fact, Jasper can help you easily come up with content topics, outline your articles, create the actual content, craft promotional copy, and more.
On that note, let’s kick things off with:
Step #1: Come up with your gift guide topic.
For this, you want to come up with a topic that:
- Fits within your blog’s annual content plan — if you cover responsible travel you might create a gift guide sharing eco-friendly travel products
- Keeps Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in mind and is optimized for a keyword you can realistically rank for — so that your gift guide can rank in organic search engine results, which means increased blog traffic
Remember, the more people that see your gift guide, the more people that will potentially click on your affiliate link. Not only that, but if you run ads on your site, that’s additional ad revenue, too.
While I won’t be going over SEO in-depth in this episode, I will link a tutorial to my favorite keyword research tool, Keysearch, along with a code to get 20% off.
That being said, I want to share a few important tips for ranking your gift guide in organic search.
First of all, long-tail keywords — as in, keywords that are very specific and typically 3+ words in length — will be easier to rank for. For instance, writing a guide to “gifts for dads that travel” will be easier to rank for than “travel gifts”.
Keep in mind, niching your gift guide topic down like this also makes it easier to stand out against the sea of other gift guides, especially during the holidays.
Now, along with focusing on long-tail keywords, I recommend sticking with topics you usually write about. This is because the more you write about a topic, the more Google sees you as an authority on that topic — meaning it’s easier to rank in search results for.
For example, if one of your main topics is hiking, creating a gift guide talking about gifts for hikers would be easier to rank than a gift guide on a topic you never cover.
Okay, so once you’ve pinned down your gift guide topic, you can move on to…
Step #2: Outline what products you will include in your gift guide.
Not only does having an outline help you post faster, but you want to make sure that you have a nice well-rounded gift guide that also includes links to affiliate products that would truly be useful to your readers while also earning you a healthy commission — which, by the way, not all programs do unfortunately.
This step also gives you the opportunity to see if there are affiliate programs you still need to join. For instance, you might have a few products from REI you’d like to include, but you realize you still need to apply to their program.
Along with considering the payout amount as you join affiliate programs, it’s also worth looking at their minimum payout threshold and what exactly you need to do to meet it.
In my opinion, it’s beneficial to join affiliate networks that host many different programs — like ShareASale, CJ, Travelpayouts, and Awin — as the money you earn from all of your programs gets put toward your threshold.
So, if you’ve joined 10 affiliate programs on ShareASale’s network, all of the commissions you generate from those programs will get put toward your minimum payout threshold, which is usually about $50.
Getting back to your outline, another benefit to outlining your gift guide is you can see if there are any brands you’d like to request samples from and send out a brand collaboration proposal to. Especially during the holiday season, it’s very normal for brands to send out samples so that you can try out the product and maybe photograph it for a feature in a gift guide.
You might also see if any of the brands you’re featuring would like to share a special promo code with your audience to increase sales. I know for many bloggers asking for things like this can feel daunting, but the truth is many brands love getting pitched creative partnerships that can lead to increased sales for them and increased commissions for you.
By the way, working with brands through affiliate marketing is a great way to get paid for a brand partnership when there isn’t a budget.
Now, before we move on to the next step, I want to share one of my favorite tools for creating gift guides:
Help A Reporter Out, or HARO, a free tool that allows you to put out a public query. For example, you can let their database know that you’re working on a holiday guide featuring gifts for solo female travelers and you’re looking for products to include.
From there, you’ll receive pitches from brands who have products that would be a fit. You can go through these pitches, see which ones are a fit — and which ones have an affiliate program — and start a discussion from there. This is often where I’ll also ask if the brand has samples for testing out and photographing the product.
Step #3: Create your gift guide and promote it like crazy.
Once you’ve outlined your gift guide and collected your affiliate links as well as any other assets that can make the content more enticing — like photos and discount codes — you want to create your gift guide, keeping Search Engine Optimization best practices in mind.
Remember, your goal is to create a gift guide that isn’t just interesting to those who see you sharing it on social media or who come across it on your website, but that ranks in Google search. Again, I’ve linked a keyword research tutorial in the show notes.
Once the gift guide is created, along with sharing it on social media, sending it to your email subscribers, and making it visible across your digital touchpoints — like in your email signature or Instagram link in bio — make sure to link back to it from your other blog posts and pages.
Creating a content spiderweb like this helps keep people on your website and boosts your backlink profile, which can make it easier to rank in organic search results. It’s a great way to grow your blog fast!
Oh, and here is something else that should be on your blog post promotion checklist:
Letting brands know they were mentioned and asking them to share the post and link back to it if possible! You might say something like, “I’ll be sharing/linking the guide like crazy over the next few weeks. If you could do the same that would be amazing!”
Consider even sharing links to your original Tweets, Pinterest pins, and social posts with them to make it easy for them to quickly re-share!
On that note, let’s move on to…
Step #4: Create a post-guide game plan.
Once you’ve published and shared your blog holiday gift guide or evergreen gift guide and have given it time to rank — which usually takes about three-to-six months unless you’re a really well-established blogger or you optimize for a low competition keyword — you want to look at your results and make a gameplan for the future.
A few ideas:
-Create fresh pins as part of a Pinterest traffic strategy.
-Revamp the guide to rank higher in organic search results. You’ll find loads of free information in Google Search Console that can help you do this.
–Update your blog posts and republish the guide annually, removing dead links and adding new products.
-Create review posts of products that you can link to the gift guide — which can lead to additional traffic and help create that spiderweb of content on your site that I mentioned before.
-Get sponsorship opportunities — especially if your gift guide ranks on the first page of Google, you can start reaching out to brands about sponsoring a product listing.
Include Disclosures When Creating Gift Guides
Before I close out this episode I want to remind everyone about the importance of disclosing when posts contain affiliate links, links to gifted products, or links to sponsored products.
You always want to disclose this at the top of your post — as in, people should know this information before they click a link.
For instance, at the top of my Best Gifts For Hikers & Outdoor Enthusiasts guide, it says:
“Note: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning I make a commission if a purchase is made at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products I truly think you’ll love! In fact, some of the items below were gifted to me to test to ensure they were a good fit for this gift guide.”
Alright, now I hope you enjoyed this episode.
I hope you feel inspired and empowered to create your own profitable gift guides.
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