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Blogging Basics: Holiday Gift Guide How To

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In the weekly #LearntoBlog Hangout that I host with Crystal of Crystal and Company, we answer tons of blogging related questions, but one that has come up in my email is…

How do I host a Holiday Gift Guide on my site?

Well, the ways to run your gift guide are endless and ever-changing.  This year, I will run my 5th annual holiday gift guide at 3 Boys and a Dog and I am preparing for it now!

How to run holiday gift guides

What is a Holiday Gift Guide?

Think back to the days when you received a bunch of magazines in the mail – you know, the days before the internet and blogs were so prominent.  Around November, those women magazines would have a full section of the year’s hottest gifts, or the year’s most popular gifts, or just the ones they recommend.  That listing of hot, special, unique items that said magazine recommends you purchase is a gift guide.  As bloggers, it is now our role to help our readers determine what they should be buying this Holiday Season.

There are many reasons to host a gift guide on your site:

  1. To help your readers make the tough choices when they are doing their Christmas Shopping this year.  Going aisle to aisle can be extremely overwhelming.  Searching page to page of an online store can be even more so… especially if you are having to buy for a teenage girl and you only have young boys – or vice-versa!
  2. To pull in the search engine traffic of of new readers looking for the perfect gift guide
  3. To earn some affiliate money through the money-spending season.
  4. To get some cool gadgets and toys to help you knock out your own shopping list.

Whatever the reason, you are obviously thinking about hosting one on your site or you wouldn’t be here.  Now, we know the reasons, let’s decide on how to do it!

steps to successful gift guideHow To Plan a Holiday Gift Guide:

From a daily gift suggestions to full-length guides with lots of gifts.  From gender, age, or hobby specific to just a big round-up of the hottest gifts… the possibilities are endless!

  1. Decide on the best guide for your site!  To keep your readership happy and to keep the search bots happy, you want to stay true to your site’s Mission!  If you write about cars, then your gift guide needs to be directed to the car lover!  Maybe, top 10 gifts for the car enthusiast would be a great guide!
  2. Do your research!  Don’t just go into it blind!  Once you know your basic idea behind your guide, you need to determine the best thing to call it based upon keyword research!  You don’t want to be competing for traffic with the millions of other online sites promoting their gift guides.
  3. Make a schedule and be prepared to stick to it!
  4. Honestly, organization is key – if you are organized it will run much more smoothly!

How Should I Run a Holiday Gift Guide?

Now, this one kind of ties in with the one above. Once you have it planned, you know how to run it!

  • You know if you need to post one big thing, if you will be posting one a day for a while.
  • You know if you are having giveaways in conjunction with your guide.
  • You know if you need to sign up for some more affiliate places.

Personally, I have always run big guides each day through one month – for example, one day might be the hottest gifts for baby boys and another day might be the best gifts for the at-home chef.  This is a crazy amount of work and I wouldn’t be able to pull it off it I didn’t have some simple sheets to keep things organized.  I cleared mine off and made it into a pdf to help you stay just a bit more organized.  Get your free printable Holiday Gift Guide planner sheet right here!

How to Promote a Holiday Gift Guide

Once your guide goes live, or the first part of your guide goes live, you need to start promoting it around the web!  Use your social media influence to drive traffic, participate in linkies, you might even want to take out some search engine or social media ads to help improve the traffic to your Holiday Gift Guide.

Happy Gift Guiding!


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Tuesday 10th of September 2013

As a blogging newbie, this is a new concept to me. Thanks for the information. Need to think about this! I'm visiting from Cornerstone Confessions.

Crystal Green

Monday 9th of September 2013

Thank you so much for this helpful guide to get me rolling in the right direction. The printable is great too.

I am digging into the research portion now.


Friday 6th of September 2013

checkout for your children/toddlers gifts this season