Every year I’m shocked with how quickly the next gift guide comes around. Having been blogging for almost a decade, you’d think I’d be used to this by now but I’m not. Life moves fast. The blogging industry moves even faster. Brands and products are always on the move and to be organized with gift guides, you need to be ahead of the curve.
As I’m writing this post (20th December), it’s not even Christmas, yet I’m already securing products for my Valentine’s Day gift guide for next year. It seems ridiculous and for people that aren’t in this industry, it probably is. But gift guides take a lot more time and effort than it seems like they do and it’s very easy to get disorganized with them over the course of the year.
Perhaps you’re new to gift guides and are a bit daunted by the prospect of them or maybe you’re finding your organization skills need to ramp up when it comes to creating your gift guides but regardless of the reason, here are some tips for getting more organized with your gift guides in 2022:
Pencil them in your diary months in advance
I always go on about the benefits of having a blogging diary or planner. It doesn’t matter if it’s a paper or digital planner, as long as it works for you. My blogging planner is literally a Google Spreadsheet. But utilizing this planner and jotting in your gift guides way ahead of schedule is a good idea so you always see they’re coming up and you’re not likely to forget about them.
If you get closer to the time and realise you don’t actually want to do a gift guide, just remove it from the diary and add in another piece of content instead. Don’t forget that your blogging diary isn’t set in stone. It can be changed and moved around as and when needed.
Know the type of gift guide you want to do
There are endless ways to create a gift guide and endless people to create gift guides for. So before you’ve started collating your guide, it’s good to know what type of gift guide you’re going for. Is it for him? For her? Beauty themed? Under £10? Whatever it is, make a note of that, too.
Outreach for products early
Brands and PR people are often looking for bloggers to work with on gift guides. And some of them work VERY ahead of time to secure those gift guide slots for their products and clients. You don’t have to wait to be contacted by them about gift guides, you can reach out to brands yourself to enquire if they’d like to be featured in your gift guide.
You might want to email them directly with a pitch (learn more about how to pitch to brands in my eBook!) or send out tweets using the #prrequest hash tag, which often gains some traction when gift guides are involved.
Make a spreadsheet for your gift guides
I started doing this last year and it made the world of difference to the organization of my gift guides. A simple spreadsheet will do, you don’t need anything fancy. But it’s worth adding the name of the brand, the product you’re receiving, the email address of the brand representative you spoke to as well as any discount codes they might have offered you and your readers.
You can add a check box to the end of each column where you can check off each brand or product when you’ve completed the work for them within your gift guide.
Don’t say yes to everyone
It’s tempting to say yes to every single brand that contacts you about gift guides but it’s not necessary. Not every product will be a good fit and gift guides can sometimes get too long. If that’s the case, you might want to think about splitting your guide into two parts, which I did at Christmas (read part 1 here and part 2 here). But even after splitting them, I still said no to a ton of people!
And don’t feel bad about saying no to brands either. You can’t be expected to say yes to everyone and as long as you’re polite, that’s all that matters. You might reply with:
- “Thank you for reaching out but I’m afraid I’ve already finalized my gift guide for this occasion. Please do feel free to reach back out in a few months when I might be able to accommodate your request.”
Take your images in bulk
Taking blog photos is far from my favourite blogging task to do. But when it comes to gift guides, there’s usually a lot of photos involved. So the easiest and most stress free way I’ve found to do this is take your images in bulk. Wait until ALL your products have arrived before taking your photos so you can take everything at the same time, with the same lighting and background set up.
Gift guides are a lot of hard work but it’s great seeing them come together when the final result is fantastic for both blogger and brand. These tips are here as a guide, if you’re struggling with the organizational aspect of creating gift guides.
Do you find creating gift guides difficult for organization? What other tips would you add to this post? Let me know!
Liked this post? Here are some of my previous gift guides to check out:
[…] mental sh*t in regards to my own self worth, my career, my blog – basically everything. And gift guides are a LOT of work. And I just don’t have that energy reserve in me right now to create a well […]
[…] has come around again because last Christmas felt like… 2 weeks ago? Incredible. Although gift guides are a lot of hard work, I always enjoy creating them, discovering new brands through them and promoting amazing products. […]
[…] think I ever quite noticed the dramatic and accelerated passing of time more than since I started creating gift guides. So basically if you want to feel like you’re getting really old, really quick, become a […]
I did a few gift guides last year, but I kind of stopped doing them as I didn’t have the time to keep doing them, but this post has inspired me to start creating them again! x
Lucy | http://www.lucymary.co.uk
I’d love to see some from you this year if it’s something you want to do! I hope these tips help 🙂 x
Another tip is that these gifts can be of general use, for example to give away shirts or shoes we have to know the garment’s size of the person to whom we’ll give the gift, something that if we do not know and ask for it, we lose the surprise, because ¿ Someone would ask for your size if it is not for a gift ? …
These are great tips! I’m so new to blogging and gift guides are one of the things I definitely need help with. I definitely don’t start planning far in advance, which I really should! Thanks for the advice here
Glad these help!
Reaching out for products early is a great tip Jenny, thank you for sharing these helpful tips x
Earlier the better!
Thanks for the advice!
Great tips! I agree, its good to wait for all gifts or products and take pictures all of them. Thank you for sharing!
Yes absolutely – that saves a bunch of time!
Jenny, this post is going to help sooo many bloggers and my feed is going to be filled with amazing gift guides once again! I feel that some gift guides have got silly in recent years – bloggers accepted everything so I’d see a post proposing skincare and then windscreen wipers!
Hahahaha oh dear! Yes I agree, I do love a gift guide if they’re done well!