Hey listen – blogging is serious business! Like literally – it is! And if you friend, family member, loved one or spouse is a blogger (or vlogger/video blogger) than you know just how serious it is to them! I began blogging in the early part of 2000, while it was nevertheless in it’s beginning. Back then, it was nevertheless taboo and most people kept their online hobby on the down low. Now here we are, a decade later, social media has taken over the internet and blogging has become a way of life for many. As we approach the holidays, birthdays or other special occasions – you are probably asking yourself – “What special gift can I give to th blogger in my life?”. I’ve put together a list of the top gift ideas for the blog fanatics!
1. sets: There are a few basic items that a blogger will need when he or she decides to take their website to the next level. Many will begin on free platforms such as Blogger (formerly known as BlogSpot), WordPress.com or Typepad, however if they want to be taken seriously – moving to a dedicated great number (i.e. an independent.com) is a must. Having your very own website is a comparatively simple course of action – you just buy your domain name from a provider like GoDaddy.com and register for hosting service, with a company like HostGator.com. You can buy a domain for as low as $1.99 with coupon codes, and hosting packages for as low as $4.99 – $9.99. Give the gift of a complete year of hosting service paid upfront. For less than $100 – your loved one will be on their way to super blogger position!
2. Website Templates and Design: After your blogging friend upgrades to a dedicated hosting service and their own.com, they will then need to decide on a blog platform and begin to build their website. WordPress.com is the most popular CMS (content management system) obtainable. It’s a free software that’s obtainable in a one-click install via the HostGator.com hosting service. It’s the most versatile platform on the web, however – the “out of the box” install comes with one standard template that is pretty boring and plain. What I personally love the most about using WordPress is the ease of building a great looking website. There are literally thousands of web templates obtainable on the net, a great number of them are free. Now, I’m not one to turn my back on “free” – but when it comes to establishing yourself as a reputable blogger and building your brand – it’s best to go with one of the Premium WordPress themes. Premium themes can cost anywhere from $25 to $150 – but it’s money well spent in my opinion. You get a streamlined, modern looking web template that you can edit to your discretion – and most packages come with sustain for a limited (or unlimited) amount of time. My favorite WordPress premium template sites are WooThemes and StudioPress. These are, hands down, the go-to sites for quality themes and sustain.
3. sets: As a blogger, I know there are a ton of monotonous responsibilities that must be done on the back-end if you really want to be successful in your chosen blog niche. Some of these assignments include managing a Facebook Fan Page, building back links, banner or logo design and building your social network. As mundane as they are, they are crucial to the success of a website, I like to outsource many of this responsibilities – doing so frees up my time to do other things (such as the actual blogging!). My favorite outsourcing site is Odesk.com – I’ve been able to hire workers to do responsibilities for as little as $2 per hour (yes, it’s true!). If there’s something that needs to be done, and it’s able to be outsourced – Odesk.com is the best place to go to find quality pre-screened talent who are competitively priced and ready to work!
4. Organization: An organized workspace is basic for successful bloggers. Similar to your office workspace – a website owner needs a place to store important books, items, drives, and a quiet place to work. If you’re bedroom has turned into a blog headquarters – it is a good time to dedicate a portion of the house just for their online hobby. If you have an additional room – spring for a high quality desk and chair. The desk should have enough space for multiple computers and/or computer screens, in addition as a printer, scanner and hard drives. If you’re pressed for space, opt for a mobile desk – like the FoldAndStow mobile desk from StacksAndStacks.com.
5. Gadgets: In taking a fleeting, informal survey – there was one item that every blogger chosen for their holiday wish list, and that was a new laptop! We aren’t casual internet surfers, there are days when I can use hours working on my laptop, researching, writing, editing photos or doing general maintenance on my websites. Because of this, the computer of a dedicated blogger goes by more use and tear than average. We need computers with a ton of space, wireless capabilities, easy to tote, and multi-media friendly.
Of course you can always go for the top of the line, desired Macbook Pro, just keep in mind that there tends to be a bit of a learning curve when it comes to the Apple products. Macbook Pro will run between $1999 and $2500, but they are known for security, durability, and includes all the bells and whistles. Generally speaking, Macs last a long time, although you’ll pay more on the front end – you will save a ton over the years in addition.
If a Mac is impossible, you’ll want to look for a laptop that is portable – thin, light with a decent sized hard excursion. Netbooks are affordable, sleek, effective, and strike a balance between mobility and performance. I also find the standard notebooks to be great alternatives to Macbooks. I’d recommend the Sony Vaio Laptop (notebook) above anything else.