For the past several years, I’ve created a Christmas Gift Guide here on the Koala Mom. I started doing this because clients asked for it, but I really had no idea what to do. I looked at a few other gift guides for ideas and then played around with my own until I was happy with them. When Anne reached out to me about beta testing her new gift guides course, I said yes. I wanted to know what I was doing wrong—or right!—and what I could do better in creating gift guides that make money.
What Motivated Me to Take Perfect Gift Guides
Christmas is approaching again (I’m sure some of you are counting down!). I’ve already seen a few bloggers advertising spots in their gift guides. And I’ve been debating whether to create one this year. To be honest, gift guides are a lot of work. I haven’t always felt like I’ve gotten a great return for my time on the Gift Guides I’ve created.
That’s why I decided to take Perfect Gift Guides. Either I’d learn something that would help me to rock my gift guides this year, or I’d decide this wasn’t the best option for my blog. And honestly, I almost didn’t take the course.
The biggest struggle I have with my blog right now is TIME. I don’t have time to take a course on creating gift guides that make money, much less time to create another big, huge gift guide this year—unless it’s actually gonna make me some money.
I signed up for the course. And then I got busy with a few other things, and ignored the login details in my inbox. When Anne emailed me to ask what I thought about the gift guides course, I decided I’d better do a couple units just to give her some feedback.
I logged in one night after I’d gotten the kids to bed and hubby was out. And very quickly, Anne drew me into the topic. I began to get excited as I thought about my existing gift guides—and some new ideas for creating gift guides that make money.
Why You Should be Creating Gift Guides that Make Money
As a mom, I’m constantly making lists. I make lists of blog posts I want to write, books I’ve read, homeschooling materials that could be useful. As the holidays (and birthdays) approach, I think about what gifts the girls want—and what gifts they should want or could use. On Pinterest, I save lists other moms have made. I enjoy browsing gift ideas, because honestly, buying gifts is hard.
Creating gift guides is a great way to be helpful to your readers. You do the research, either with your own
guinea pigs children or online, so your readers don’t have to. You make it easy for your readers to get that gift, because honestly, who’s got the time to drag 5 kids to the mall to pick up a birthday present for that party next weekend? (Um, not me!)
Gift guides are not only helpful to your readers, they are great evergreen content. Even if you target your gift guide for Christmas or Mother’s Day, those events come around every single year—and give you another chance to promote that great list you made. Google likes evergreen content, as it keeps drawing readers back to your site.
Anne’s keyword advice will help you do this even better, because SEO is really important with gift guides. I definitely need to go back to some of my old gift guides and improve their SEO based on Anne’s tips! (Although my Valentine’s Day Ideas for Him is always one of my most popular posts in January, so I did something right there!)
Perfect Gift Guides Review: Why I Loved this Course
Perfect Gift Guides has 11 units, from picking your topic to avoiding legal trouble to generating traffic. Each unit had specific, actionable steps that I was able to implement immediately in my already-published gift guides. If you’ve never created a gift guide before, that’s great too! Anne walks you through it step-by-step. She had some quick-and-easy tips that would make the whole process a lot simpler than what I’ve done in the past!
Most of the units in Perfect Gift Guides were written, which made it easy for me to scan. As a busy mom, I rarely watch videos on my computer. As soon as I turn on a video, I’ve got three kids peering over my shoulder asking me what it’s about. I really appreciated being able to open the course, read a couple units, and apply what I’d learned. The text lessons also make it easier to go back and look up information while working on a blog post (for example, I had Unit 5 open while editing last year’s gift guide so I could grab Anne’s code recommendations!).
There are a couple video units, where Anne demonstrates specific tips (like an easy way to add Amazon affiliate links to your post). Here, it was helpful to actually see what Anne was doing. Her on-screen demonstrations made it easy to follow along with her advice for creating gift guides that make money. I thought the mix of text and video instruction was great in this course.
Anne’s advice is relevant for almost any blogger, whether you’re starting out or have already created a few gift guides (like me). Having the lessons in text (rather than video) made it easy for me to scan the information I already knew a bit about (like signing up for affiliate programs), and spend more time on the units I needed. It was also easy to navigate back and forth between units, so I could review the ones that I need to work on with my own gift guides.
If you’re ready to start creating gift guides that make money, I recommend signing up for Perfect Gift Guides now and getting started! The sooner you publish your first gift guide, the sooner it can begin to rank in search engines!
Why This May Not Be the Right Course for You
There are two approaches to creating gift guides, and I’ve done both:
- The first is sponsored gift guides, where you work with brands to feature their new or upcoming products. You may pitch the brand, or the brand may approach you. All links in your gift guide point to the brand’s website. You receive compensation in the form of either product for review and / or cash payment for the listing in the gift guide.
- The second is affiliate gift guides, which is what Perfect Gift Guides is about. In this type of gift guide, you create your own list of product recommendations with no input from sponsors or brands. Your list is based upon your affiliate networks and products you’d recommend. If you’re an Amazon affiliate, that can include basically anything. You don’t earn any money up front, but your potential for earning is higher as your gift guide can keep making you money over and over every holiday season.
If you already have brands approaching you to work on sponsored gift guides, then Perfect Gift Guides may not be as useful to you. You may still learn from the sections on formatting your gift guide and doing keyword research, but the parts about affiliate marketing will be less relevant. (Although some brands do have affiliate programs, and allow bloggers to use affiliate links when writing reviews and sponsored posts.)
Consider which type of gift guide you wish to create before investing in Perfect Gift Guides.
A Perfect Gift Guides Discount Code
Because I enjoyed this gift guides course so much, I asked Anne if I could be an affiliate as soon as I’d finished. I’m still implementing what I’ve learned, but I really believe it’s going to greatly improve my gift guides this year! And I don’t want to wait until after the holiday season to see the results before I tell you about it! I want you to get started creating gift guides that make money too, so we can both maximize our incomes this year.
I’ve already added Perfect Gift Guides to my list of recommended resources for bloggers. I firmly believe in the value of investing in your blog. That’s another reason why I signed up for Perfect Gift Guides, and why I’m telling you about it. Anne’s gift guides course is definitely worth the money!
Sign up now for Perfect Gift Guides with my code koala15 to get $15 off the price. That means you get the entire course for only $62 (a steal of a deal, compared to other courses I’ve taken and seen offered online).
And once you’ve bought it, don’t sit on it like I did! Schedule a babysitter for a night or tell your hubby you need an evening out to take this course and start a gift guide. (The money you’ll make on your gift guide should pay for the babysitter—and maybe a few date nights too!)
Have you tried creating gift guides that make money? Do you want to take this gift guides course?