It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas—which also means that if you are a blogger, influencer, or creator, it is time to share seasonal and holiday content for your audience, readers, and followers to consume. I’ve said this before and it bears repeating here—the fourth quarter and the time between Halloween and the New Year is often the most lucrative for folk like us. In order to capitalize on this, it is important to create things that serve your audience’s appetite for The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, while also making some coins.
One way that I do this each year is by creating a Holiday Gift Guide. It is not only a helpful tool for my readers, but allows me the opportunity to collaborate with brands who want to market to my readership and demographic. By publishing a Holiday Gift Guide, I get to curate a snazzy list of gift ideas while sharing new products and services with my core audience who may have not known about said gadget or gizmo, or who may add it to their list because I’ve shared more details with them about the item.
A holiday gift guide is a win/win, but, in order to really make it successful, it should also be profitable for you as well. Here is my list for How to Curate a Holiday Gift Guide for Your Blog and Get Paid:
The earlier you start sourcing for your holiday gift guide, the better. Brands often get inundated with pitches and emails to review products, so the earlier you start, the more likely you are to get a yes. Right after Labor Day, I sit down and write a list of brands and products that I want to feature in my Gift Guide, and then I begin the process of reaching out. There are times that the brand reached out to me first and I was able to include them in my guide—but more than likely, I was the one who initiated contact.
One way that I set myself up early is to publish a post on The Cubicle Chick about being featured in my holiday gift guide. I usually publish it at the end of September, and use the post in emails to lure brands to work with me. In the post, I share what categories I am looking for (health, beauty, tech, etc.), some of my demographics, and positives about partnering with me.
In the post, I don’t mention a placement fee (I save that for the email), but include a contact form for them to reach out if interested. I also show samples of previous holiday gift guides that I have done.
Show the value
Be ready to share why a brand should work with you and what they would get for placement in your holiday gift guide. What’s your readership? How many followers do you have? What’s your traffic like? Having an updated Media Kit with this information is a way to get them to place something in your holiday gift guide.
I have three types of placements: paid (where I am given a fee in exchange for promotional consideration for being in my holiday gift guide), and free placement (where I am sent the product for free, but not paid), and affiliate placement, which I will cover later in this post. Yes, I do both paid and free placement because sometimes the MSRP or amount of the gift is worth me placing it for free and I often use it, then re-gift it to a family member or friend.
I look at my holiday gift guide like my blog. Too many sponsored posts and it looks too inauthentic, and not enough means I am not leveraging my platform to create an income. I have a almost a 50/50 split for paid versus free placement in my holiday gift guide, and that works for me since I also have other sponsored work.