This is a post to help bloggers monetize their sites with gift guides.
It’s that time of year again. We are starting to see holiday gift guides pop up on social media and websites. But how do you create a good gift guide that can make money with affiliate links?
In my 12+ years of blogging, I’ve learned a few tricks and tips when it comes to affiliate revenue. If done correctly, a holiday gift guide blog post can significantly increase your blogs affiliate revenue.
Here’s everything you need to know to create a gift guide and how to promote it in order to make money with affiliate links.
1. Find and Join Affiliate Programs
Look for affiliate programs in similar niches to your site.
But, how do you find good affiliate programs?
Search for programs using Google. Try search terms such as Your Niche “affiliate program” or Brand Name “partners program”. Other names and keywords for affiliate programs include “associates”, “partnerships”, “affiliation”. Use the search bar below to give it a try.
Find affiliate directories. Using these directories you can find programs sorted by category, type of commission, and more. One example is affliateprograms.com. On this site, you can get information about the base commission, payment frequency, payment type, and accepted countries. The site also provides pros and cons of each program. Visit your competitors’ websites to find out which affiliate programs they use. If they are not using a link shortener or pretty links, you can search for affiliate links on a site by looking for links that have ‘’htm?id=9014’’ (or whatever their ID is).
To save time, use a commerce content monetization platform such as Skimlinks or Sovrn to automatically monetize product links and quickly create affiliate links. You do not need to join individual programs. Each of these platforms have a network of tens of thousands of affiliate partners. Keep in mind, Skimlinks skims 25% of your commissions – the price for convenience.
The affiliate programs and platforms I use the most are Amazon Associates, Sovrn, and LTK.
2. Decide on a Theme
Next, decide on a theme for your gift guide. Keep in mind the needs of your audience. Who are they shopping for? What is their budget?
Think outside of the box. You’ll want your gift guide to stand out from the others.
3. Look for Products
The two easiest ways to look for products and add affiliate links are with Amazon Associates and the Sovrn Bookmarklet Chrome extension.
With the Amazon Associates stripe (header) you can quickly add links, images, and responsive, native shopping ads.
With the Sovrn bookmarklet, you can browse the websites of various merchants and quickly grab an affiliate link to a product page.
4. Design Your Guide
Using your blog editor you can add images and links, but to kick it up a notch and really get the attention of your audience, consider designing your gift guide with Canva. Even the free version has many template designs that can help your guide look professional and enticing.
Watch this video from May Thanda on how to Create Gift Guide Collage in Canva.
5. Get Good Images
The best way to get someone to buy a product is by personally endorsing a product you have used. If possible, takes pictures of you or a family member using the products.
Be sure your photos are good quality, high-resolution images.
If you aren’t using your own photos, be sure you have permission to use the photos. To be on the safe side, contact the merchant.
6. Write Good Titles and Descriptions
Give your guide a catchy title that stands out from the crowd.
Gift guides don’t need a ton of text because the images do so much of the “talking”. But, you still need good descriptions and captions that persuade the reader to purchase the products.
7. Add Disclosures and No-Follow Links
Per FTC guidelines, affiliate marketers must disclose that they are getting paid to promote the product. Be sure to follow the rules of the individual programs as well. For example, Amazon requires creators to include the following statement clearly and conspicuously on your Site: “As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.” For social media user-generated content, this statement must be associated with your account.
7. Promote It
Using your email list or social media accounts, promote your gift guide. Linkys are also an easy way to reach a broader audience. Do a search for gift guid link ups.
Content sharing sites like Issuu.com, Slideshare.net, and Scribd.com are another good option to promote your guide.
To create a Pinterest pin to promote your gift guide, use a Canva template with a size of 1000px by 1500px. (or you can use a different size with a 2:3 ratio).
I hope this helps you create better gift guides to generate more revenue from affiliate links. Do you have tips to share on what’s working for you? Please leave a comment below.
Rachel K. Belkin, M.Ed is an Austin, Texas blogger, entrepreneur, speaker, freelance writer, and educator. After selling her lifestyle blog for six figures in 2021, she teaches business, blogging, and influencer marketing strategies that helped her build her business on part-time hours. Bylines include MSN, Associated Press, HuffPost, Medium, NewsBreak, and Hometalk. She has been featured on KXAN, Studio 512, Fox 7 Austin, CBS Austin, and other news and media outlets.