Looking for a good Christmas present? Stumped? Well if the special person you’re Christmas (or birthday or just gift) shopping for happens to also be a blogger, here are some great gifts to consider:
Give the Professionalism of a Domain
I remember when this blog was at mrsmicah.blogspot.com and then mrsmicah.wordpress.com. Having one’s own domain means a lot to a blogger. If yours is still using a subdomain, consider a gift card to somewhere like GoDaddy. That way the blogger can pick out their own domain, register it, and go from there. Even free hosts like Blogger and WordPress allow you to use your own domain.
Generally domains cost $10ish at GoDaddy, including privacy. Or give more if you know your blogger has several sites or intends to create them. (I enjoy building small sites and already have hosting, all I need is the domain.)
Give the Freedom of Self-Hosting
If your blogger is using a free blogging service like Blogger.com or WordPress.com, perhaps they’d enjoy the freedom of being able to host their own WordPress blog. A year’s shared hosting typically costs anywhere from $60-$120, depending on discounts available. This isn’t premium hosting, but it’s an upgrade from what they currently have.
Give Blog Consulting
Pushing my own services a little bit here, but many bloggers do want site work that they don’t know how to do or don’t have the time to do. I don’t offer gift cards, but you could give your blogger an IOU for $X of blog consulting.
Give Logos and Other Design
What makes a blog unique? Its logo, for starters. So give your blogger a new look by hooking them up with a logo designer. Or get them a professional entrecard. Designers range from highly expensive to budget-friendly (but still good). Two designers I’d recommend you look into are Pete at Logos for Websites and J’s Graphic Design Shop. But if you don’t like either of their styles, there are thousands of designers online for every taste and price range.
Make sure you get the blogger’s input on the logo.
Give a Premium or Custom Theme
A blog’s theme can give it a real look of professionalism. There are plenty of free themes out there, but sometimes a purchased theme is the right choice.
The first kind of theme for sale is a Premium theme. Premium WordPress themes you may have seen around include Thesis and WordPress Magazine Theme 1.0. They can be customized via options pages but retain an overall look. Both cost less than $80 for a single-use (you’re probably not buying for a developer). Most premium themes are in that price range and you can find them all over the web. Start with a Google search.
Again, you’ll want the blogger’s input. I don’t actually want Thesis. It’s interesting, fun to tinker with, but I don’t want to use it for my site. On the other hand, I think that it’s perfect for a number of other people. I just have fussy tastes and like to have more control over the code.
Some suggestions of themes you think might fit the site would be a thoughtful but not overbearing gesture.
Custom themes are made specifically for the blogger and the site. They’re not generally built from scratch, but they involve a lot more work with the designer. These are usually more than $80 too. But if you’ve got a lot to give and know it would make your blogger happy, start looking into custom theme designers. Since I haven’t worked closely with any, I’m afraid I don’t have recommendations here.
Give a Membership
Joining some premium sites gives bloggers access to training and information which they couldn’t otherwise get. For example, many bloggers would like to learn more about driving traffic to their site via good SEO strategies. You could give a month’s membership to a site such as SeoBook or SeoMoz.
Or your blogger may be trying to earn more money for their site. PPC Coach may be the answer. And these are only a few, if you ask around you can find sites that help you do keyword research, affiliate marketing, etc. Look out for scams too, but many of these are legitimate organizations.
Memberships allow access to premium materials, interaction with professionals, and many resources. A month’s membership runs $80-100 for many of these sites.
Give a Niche Tool
If your blogger is interested in branching out to niche sites, consider offering Build a Niche Store (BANS). This one-time buy can be used over and over again. Or the phpBay plugin allows you to easily build niches in WordPress sites. It may even have the advantage over BANS because it’s run on WordPress instead of BANS. Search engines can recognize BANS and know that it’s meant entirely for niche stores. Whereas WordPress runs millions of sites on thousands of topics.
Give a Comment
Comments are free and they make every blogger happy, at least if they’re supportive and thoughtful. So if you don’t have a big budget or have another gift in mind, support your blogger in the coming year by stopping by and leaving comments. It’ll mean the world.
Talk to Your Blogger
I know this goes against normal gift-giving interactions, but I suggest you decide what to give and then give an IOU instead of actually purchasing it. All of these gifts are the sorts of things that bloggers want, but because each person has their own wants and needs, it’s most thoughtful to offer one gift and be prepared to switch it if it’s not right.
For example, you may know that self-hosting would mean a lot, but your recipient might have preferences on where their site is hosted. Or they may have had their eye on a different premium theme.
So what are you giving the blogger in your life?