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If You Aren’t Involved with Holiday Gift Guides, Why You Should Be



The blogging world has quickly made the advent of the online holiday gift guide less of a one-of-a-kind idea and more of the latest super hot trend that readers now eagerly wait for and anticipate anxiously come November.  If you haven’t yet caught the gift guide bug, regardless of whether or not your blog is necessarily “product” related, I would highly, highly suggest you jump on track with the bloggers that have.  We will look at this from both sides, whether it makes sense to host a gift guide or whether you can get involved by promoting others.  And then we’ll look at just a few of the many benefits.

Hosting a Giveaway

If it makes any sense at all for you to host a gift guide on your blog, then I suggest you do so.  If nothing else, you should find yourself inundated with free products, which makes it a lot like Christmas at your house for the month or two preceding the holiday.  You have easy content to write for the product reviews, and you can reap the rewards of the benefits we’re about to discuss.  It can be time-consuming, of course.  It may require some extra site design, and it will demand some organizational skills to keep up with product offerings, writing reviews and socially promoting all your products.  But, in the long run, your payoff will be more than ample to compensate for the extra time spent on the blog.

Promoting Everyone Else’s Giveaways

If you run a strictly content-loaded site in which it would be entirely out of character for you to put something together like a gift guide, then I suggest you make it your ambition to produce top-notch content that condenses and lists everyone else’s hottest gift guides.  You can tailor this to whatever your niche is.  If you write content on economics and finance, then choose to compile the hottest gift guides targeted towards businessmen, the office worker, the hip & trendy of 2011, etc.  If you write content on SEO, I’d list all the gift guides geared to writers, readers, Google lovers, etc.  However, I happen to think the Holiday Gift Guide is one place you can very easily get away with unrelated content.  If you’ve come across the gift guides offering the coolest, most expensive products out there even if they’re recliners and wine coolers that have nothing to do with SEO, who cares?  Everyone wants a free recliner and a free wine cooler.  If you save readers time with awesome compiled lists of gift guides, there’s a good chance your lists will go viral, because we all want the best of the best, we all want discounts, we all want free stuff and we all want to save time.  You provide us any of that and we’ll probably tell our friends about you.

Benefits: The Traffic

Because gift guides typically do much more than simply offer “ideas” for gifts and in addition, come complete with discounts, specials, and in most cases, product giveaways, you’re almost guaranteed terrific increases in traffic (unless you hide the gift guide in your queue and do absolutely zero promotion).  We all know that nothing brings in readers and traffic quite like the idea of savings, especially the idea of something free, and in this economy with a holiday season that guarantees shoppers who are out to save and cut costs perhaps more than ever, a gift guide on your blog cannot help but bring in new eyes.  The giveaways, especially, can become your ticket to success.  Depending upon the value of products you can secure, you have the opportunity to infinitely boost your site traffic as word gets out about your $250 ice cream maker for giveaway or a gift of a wine-of-the-month club.

Benefits: The Linking

If you’re hosting a gift guide, your linking benefits will hopefully be achieved by the company donating to you.  Most companies want to get as much traffic to their product on your site as you do.  This means they will quite often promote you via their own blog, in which they will link out to your site.  The value of a high quality, high PR site linking out to you with a keyword or two is almost invaluable.  There’s also a very good chance they’ll promote your guide on their social media outlets, and while not producing a link, this will produce extra traffic.  If you are the blogger compiling lists of other gift guides, you’ll often find your linking benefit as other bloggers link back to you.  Sites that you promote by including them in your gift guide will often return the favor and link out to you somehow, as in: “See this Gift Guide listed in ‘The Top 10 Gift Guides of 2011’ at ___(your site here)____.”  You should also get all kinds of Tweets and Facebook likes from the bloggers you include as well as the deal savvy shoppers (who are more often than not hugely into social media).

Benefits: Increase Your Reputation

In the end, if nothing else you should have boosted your reputation.  Whether you offered the products or you helped save readers time by pointing them to the products, readers will love you.  They’ll probably at the very least, become a follower on Twitter and maybe even subscribe to your feed.  And, you can probably guarantee that if you actually put out something spectacular, that the next time you send out something saying that your readers “can’t miss it,” they probably wouldn’t dare to do so.  This means you’ve got increased and valuable reputation and credibility in your readers’ eyes, and if you can get some good, high-quality links out of it while you’re at it, you’ll also boost your reputation in Google’s eyes.  Win-win all around.

Bottom Line:  You Should Try It

I speak from personal experience here, which is why I feel so strongly about this.  This tactic works.  It’s painless and it’s actually downright fun when you get into it.  So, why not take the extra time and put something together that truly benefits your readers.  Make it your gift to them this holiday season as a thank you for sticking with you all year long.  And, if you still have any lingering doubts, just try it for a season and see how it works for you.

This guest post was written by freelancer Jocelyn, a blogger for Heater Home and has been working around the clock to get gifts like gorgeous fireplace heaters in gift guides across the nation. 

Zac Johnson is a online marketer with 15 years of experience and also a blogger at, as well as the founder of You can also follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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How to Better Handle Blogging Obstacles



Take a breath.

Now, take a deep breath.

This, too, shall pass.

Every blogging obstacle dissolves into opportunity the moment you breathe, slow down and calm down. Nothing good happens fighting obstacles because your fighting gives attention to the obstacle, making the obstacle grow into something big and scary. But breathing deeply, feeling the fear fueling the obstacle, and letting go the fear-obstacle alerts you the transitory nature of the block, and how it passes into solution.

Better handle blogging obstacles by following a few tips.

1: Take a Deep Breath

Breathe. Take 1-5 deep, slow breaths. Breathing slows down your mind, thoughts and feelings. Slowing down everything allows you to be in the moment, to feel the fear fueling obstacles. Simple process but few bloggers take this step so obstacles appear to run wild.

Take a deep breath, now. Be aware of your thoughts and feelings. Breathing deeply and relaxing expands your awareness. Do you feel nervous now or anxious? Do you fear some obstacle related to time, and losing it? Breathing deeply allows you to be here and now, to feel fears fueling obstacles.

2: Feel the Fear

Fear fuels obstacles. What is a blogging obstacle but fear you cannot get past something? Imagine seeing the white screen of death on your blog. How would it feel? Scary? Why? You fear you cannot get past your blog being a white screen. Other fears cascade into mind; fear of losing readers, fear of losing money, fear of losing reputation, fear of being criticized.

Be with these fears. Feel the fears. You cannot solve obstacles being burdened by fear for you only see what appears to stop you, not solutions, being shackled by fear. Feel fear, release and proceed.

3: See the Opportunity

Opportunities plant themselves in obstacles. Imagine facing some pressing backoffice issue, tech-wise, blogging-wise. You received an opportunity to:

  • learn more about tech, to solve the problem
  • hire a web developer to solve the problem, outsourcing
  • ask your readers and Facebook friends how to solve the problem, humbling yourself

Every blogging obstacle dissolves the moment you breathe deep, feel fears and relax, because opportunities arise in response to following these steps.  Everything is abundance. Everything is opportunity. Fear is illusion so obstacles cannot be real.

4: Invest in a Resource

Do you always seem to be getting tripped up by blogging obstacles?

Buy my eBook:

10 Powerful Strategies for Knifing through Blogging Obstacles

Resources offer you complete guides to reference when times get tough. Minds race. Feelings fluctuate wildly. But breathing, feeling fear, seeing opportunities, and having a resource in your blogging library levels you out, calms you and helps you find solutions quickly.

Obstacles Are Not that Scary

Blogging obstacles are not that scary if you know to solve these mental blocks. Few bloggers put a strategy into place for handling blogging crisis so they panic, struggle and fight foolishly through resistance. Following a few steps alerts you: blogging is not so hard and facing obstacles need not be some endless nightmare creating hours, days or weeks of panic. You are a human, not a tree. Use your awareness, follow these steps and knife gracefully thru obstacles toward greater blogging success

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3 Tips for Bonding with Blogging Influencers



Forget traditional influencer marketing. We want to go deeper.

Bloggers teach influencer marketing from a less genuine space sometimes. Imagine learning how to try to get someone to do something for you. Manipulation marketing. Fear-based marketing. Problems arise; spam folders become your landing spot. I observe a decent percentage of influencer marketing emails in my spam folder because fear-pitches get labeled as spam and become spam, 100% of the time.

What is the solution? Learn how to bond with blogging influencers.

I remember people who befriend me. I admire people who endorse me or promote me. I appreciate people who buy my course or eBooks. I love people who generously help me for months. Guess what? Bonding with established bloggers influences the influencers. I do stuff for dear blogging friends I do not do for anybody else. If a friend sends me a guest post and their writing is tight, I place it. Even if said post spans 1000 words or more – my minimum count is 600 – I place it without hesitating. Friends found my heart. Friends influenced me through kindness and generosity. I am largely putty in their blogging hands.

Instead of trying to manipulate a successful stranger, bond with a friend. Change your approach to influencer marketing. Make friends. Help without asking. In time, blogging bonds form organically. If you practice writing, the world becomes your oyster because influencers take you to new levels of success, without you even asking.

Follow these tips to bond with influencers.

1: Buy a Resource

The best way to bond with an influencer is to get inside their heads.

Influential bloggers had to influence influential bloggers on the way up to become influential. Invest in a resource like my influential blogger eBook to learn how influencers do it. Speak their language. Connect. Take their viewpoint. Learn how to be influential yourself.

When you discover how to be influential through my resource you in essence, learn how to influence, influencers, by bonding with these pros.

2: Spend a Few Months Giving Not Asking

Bloggers I remember, then befriend, spend at least a few months giving and not asking. Someone buys my course, publishes 10 comments on my blog, and retweets my posts 10 or 20 times during a 3 month period. These people pop up on my radar screen because they gave and asked for nothing. Bonds form. Friendships develop.

Retweet fellow bloggers. Help them. Feature fellow bloggers. Open your blog to guest posting. Guest post on other blogs. Comment genuinely on blogs. Buy products.

Ask for nothing, for at least 3-4 months. Allow friendships to form organically. Blogging friends help each other because blogging friends trust each other. Influential bloggers fall into this helping lot too, as you generously serve them, ask for nothing and polish your writing skills. I gained more endorsements from pros by being generous than through any other method. Help influential bloggers. Ask for nothing. Influential bloggers help you without you asking for a darn thing.

3: Never Rush the Process

Some blogger friend requested me on Facebook a few moments ago. I scanned my messages to see his business pitch in the “other” folder. He simply rushed the process of pitching an established blogger. I appreciate the friend request but pitching your business before generously helping me ensures I ignore all future messages. He rushed the process so I let him go.

Perhaps he smartens up and begins helping me generously without asking for anything. After a few months of helping me and asking for nothing, we bond. We become friends. From there, the opportunities are limitless. Even if I do not use his service, if he has skills and a reputable business model I can share his services with my readers.

Good things take some time. Never rush the bonding process.

Allow bonds to form organically to do influencer marketing right.

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How Do Blogging and Fitness Relate?



I spend 3 hours daily honing my mental and physical fitness.

In truth, you can and will succeed online following simple fundamentals from a generous, detached energy. No need to be fit to go full time blogging. But if you feel bad because your body feels bad and your mind fears losing it all, have you succeeded? I do not believe so.

I wrote an eBook sharing my daily regimen to explain what many of you readers want to know: how do I do it all? I am no blogging god. I am just human. But I write and connect quite a bit. People wish to know how I wrote 100 plus eBooks in addition to all the other stuff I do while circling the globe. Well, blogging and fitness are 2 peas in a pod for me. Both play a big role if you desiring leveling up and feeling good predominantly as you enjoy the ride.

Blogging and Fitness

Let’s say you wake up on a Monday morning as a full time employee who blogs part time. Feeling terrible and dreading work, why write and publish a post? Too busy. Do it later. Put off the post until tonight. But you feel too tired that night. Repeat this cycle for 3 months. 90 days passed. Still no blog post. Why? You filled your mind with fear and pain. Manifesting as blogging loss, backburnering the post for 3 months indicates fear in mind. Why fear? 100% of the time, fear dominates minds of people who spend zero time on mental fitness, never meditating or doing deep yin yoga or observing their thoughts and feelings. Most of the time, these same folks dominated by their own fears never commit seriously to being physically fit through exercising.

Feel good by caring for your mind and body. Vibe higher than fears crippling most bloggers. Imagine the above scenario with one difference: you devote 1-2 hours daily exercising and raising your energy via mindset training. Devote 30 minutes to power walking and 30 minutes to deep yin yoga. On waking that Monday morning, either a blog post idea finds you and you write the post, or after a few uncomfortable moments and feelings, the idea flows to you and you write the post.

I cannot explain this process logically because it flows 100% emotionally, feelings-wise. Visualize yourself in moments you feel really good. All seems possible. Ideas flow to you. Opportunities flow to you. Why? Feeling good magnetizes you to freeing, success-promoting ideas. Being fit mentally and physically is the easiest way to feel good most of the time. Plus in those moments you feel bad mentally and physically, you face, feel and release the bad feelings, quickly, because you feel mentally and physically fit, predominantly.


Being fit naturally alerts you to the success-promoting idea of gratitude. Gratitude builds blogging success because seeing every penny of income, every blog comment and all interest in your blogging courses feels awesome to you. Feeling awesome inspires you to blog for years generously. Blogging generously for years makes you successful.

Corey at the Good Oil Marketing retweeted my blogging course recently. I feel grateful he spread the word for me considering he is a successful, high level marketer. I feel these feelings and build on my success because I feel grateful. I feel grateful because I trained my mind and body to feel good, through being fit daily, in order to tune into appreciation easily.

Get fit.

Don’t quit.

Be a successful blogger by being mentally and physically fit.

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