I always get the best shopping ideas from the gift buying lists! Here’s a list of gifts for writers that I’ve compiled that are sure to thrill any writer on your list. Or maybe you’ll pick up a gift or two for yourself.
With the exception of my HIGHLY recommended leather journal, all items on this list are $25 or less!
FYI: The TITLES are the links to the products!
I thought long and hard about suggesting a blank journal for the writer in your life. Frankly, we all have something that is “the perfect journal” and I always get a little cranky when I get a journal that doesn’t match that ideal. But Leslie’s stuff is just fantastic and I can’t recommend it enough. I have three or four of her journals!
This isn’t under $25 BUT it is 100% worth the investment!
I have a much loved, much dog eared version of the original. Even if you don’t like King’s terrifying stories, he offers fantastic insights into writing novels that can be applied to any type of writing.
Writer’s Block: when your imaginary friends stop talking to you
Because writers drink copious amounts of coffee!
I think one of the best types of articles I can post to my blog is an honest product review. And I’m not talking about a review for a product or service that you’ve contacted and begged them to send you a sample so you could write about it! (Although that type of review can be a ton of fun!) Nope, I’m talking about writing an honest review for a product or service that you use every day in your business.
Because I get asked all the time for my opinion about a service I use or how I do something. And I ask others for feedback and suggestions all the time as well. For example, just yesterday, I asked one of the business groups I belong to on Facebook for a recommendation for a service I could use to record a phone call with a client. Several options were tossed out but what really stood out was the comment: “Try XYZ. I’ve had great success and they’re easy to use.” Hello! Personal validation.
This wasn’t a suggestion from somebody who typed into Google: “What’s the best way to record a phone call with a client” and then gave me an answer. I can do that myself! It was a recommendation from one client of XYZ company to me.
What’s the difference between a testimonial and a review?
First off, a testimonial is posted on the other person’s website. Secondly, while giving testimonials is a GREAT way to gain exposure, thank a company for their product, and extoll all it’s virtues, a testimonial is by nature one sided: only the positive. A review, on the other hand, will talk about all the things you love about the product or service but also what isn’t so great. Maybe you love everything about it EXCEPT that you can only reach the customer service on Monday mornings from 9-9:45 am. Or that the software loads slowly. Or it has great functionality but only comes in three colors.
As I’ve been marketing my ghost blogging services, I’ve been told a few times, “I don’t need a ghost blogger, I have guest bloggers.” This comment made me realize that maybe business owners don’t necessarily realize the differences between the two AND know the advantages of each.
A guest blogger is someone who has been invited (or offered) to write a guest post on your blog. Usually, a guest blogger will be an expert in their industry and will work in the same industry or a complimentary industry.
- Using a guest blogger from time to time can give you a much needed break in posting. Lining up a guest on your blog is a great idea when you know you’ll be too busy to writ
e great content, like when you’re launching a new product or going on vacation.
- You can offer your readers a perspective on something that is outside your area of expertise. For example, I have a guest blog post coming up that is written by a healthy lifestyle and success coach. It will be about healthy, computer friendly snacks. This relates to what I write about since I assume that most of my readers and clients spend large amounts of time at the computer.
- You can feature a client, business associate, or vendor and build your relationship with them. It’s a great way to help somebody else build their credibility by getting in front of your people.
Cons: Keep Reading!
I look at a lot of blogs: friends’, business associates’, clients’, for-fun blogs. One of the items that I always check out is how often are the blogs being updated. Weekly? Monthly? Not in a while? Or, the kiss of death, the “I’m-Not-Sure-How-Long-Ago-This-Was-Updated”.
You know the date stamp I’m talking about, right? It appears somewhere on a post and gives the date (and sometimes time) the post was published. Here are some examples:
I think there is a school of thought out there that says, “If I can’t update on a regular schedule, I’ll take off the date stamp so people can’t tell I don’t post weekly.”
Not posting the date of your post is a kiss of death. Not because it makes the reader think, “Oh this is a recent post” but because it makes the reader think: “IS this a recent article? Is it still relevant?” Or, the even scarier thought: “Is this business still in business?”
Sure, no date stamp on a post means your reader doesn’t know for certain it’s been three months since your last blog update. But it also means that your reader figures out quickly that you don’t post regularly on the blog. If you did post regularly, you’d want to make sure the reader was aware so you’d have a time stamp!
Circular logic? You betcha!
But it doesn’t change the fact that your blog needs a date on each post. If you only post once a month then your reader will clearly see from your post’s dates that you update once a month. If you post weekly then she’ll clearly see that it’s important to you to offer her new contact every week.