Christmas is almost around here! It's crazy. I was just in the store the other day and they had all kinds of Christmas displays up and I think I may have heard Christmas music playing over the sound system. Well all of that got me to thinking about holiday shopping and what would be on my gift list this year. Outside of home decor my list would be full of things I could use for blogging.
So I put together a list of 10 gift ideas that would be great for the blogger or small business owner in your life or you could buy as a treat for yourself.
Related post: What's on My Christmas Wish List
Tech equipment1. Laptop - Apple MacBook Pro
I used to be a PC girl. I grew being a PC girl, but a few years ago I got my first taste of a MacBook at a company I worked for. It took some getting used to, but I ended up loving how few problems I had with it and how awesome and clear the screen resolution was. Now when I use my personal PC I get in a funk. It doesn't help that the laptop is almost (cough) years old. Since I don't have the extra cash right now, I'm saving up so my next laptop can be the Apple MacBook Pro. I actually have my eye on one in case I happen to come into a few thousand dollars.
While you don't need a MacBook to be a serious blogger, I highly recommend one if you want to start creating designs for yourself or other. With a MacBook it's easier to get and use professional design software and have an overall better experience.
If you're not looking to get serious about designing or don't have the money for a MacBook (I'm raising my hand) a nice PC is the way to go. As a backup to the MacBook I've got my eye on a Toshiba Satellite that has a 1TB hard drive so it can handle all the pictures, graphics and videos I'll be working on. They can run in the neighborhood of $500-$700.
2. Lighting - Diva Ring Light
Getting good light for photos can be tricky. Especially when the time changes and the days are getting shorter. When that happens I end up only have the weekend to capture a few photos. Well some of this could be solved with the Diva Ring Light. This light gives off white light instead of yellow and has a mount for your phone or camera so you can get good beauty shots.
From what I've read the Diva Ring Light is perfect for rooms like the bathroom where you don't get a lot of light, but would like to take more pictures. I've wanted to do videos or take pictures in my bathroom, but the light most of the time is horrible. If I had one of these Diva Rings you would probably see better lit pictures from me and probably a lot more with me in them.
3. Camera - Nikon or Canon DSLR
I've been taking photos with my iPhone and lately the quality has gotten better because I'm shooting only in natural light and taking more time to setup each picture. That being said I'd still like have a more professional camera, and a tripod, to take even better quality photos.
Lots of bloggers and professional photographers swear by digital single lens cameras or DSLR cameras. The most popular brands among bloggers seem to be Nikons and Canons. Mostly because they provide high quality pictures and come in a variety of price points. So if you have just a few hundred dollars to spend you can find something that will work for you. They also allow you to not just take pictures, but also shoot videos.
Doing some research here are the Canons and Nikons that seem to be most recommended by bloggers
- Nikon D3400
- Canon EOS Rebel T5
- Nikon D5500
Canon EOS Rebel T6i
Related post: Blog and Social Media Resources
Office equipment4. Poster board
As I mentioned above, I been taking more and more pictures for my blog and I found that poster board is a cheap way to get a good white backdrop. It's also good if you're looking for colored backdrops as you can get poster board in many different colors. I like to get my poster board from the Dollar Tree since I can get two big sheets for $1. It's really cost-efficient to replace which happens to me every few months depending on how often I use the sheets.
5. Colorful pens and notepads
While I use my Google calendar for a lot of my planning I'm still a little retro in that I like to write out a lot of things. And it's more fun to write things out when you have colorful, fun notebooks and pens.
Online subscriptions6. Pinterest scheduler - BoardBooster
This is an online tool that helps with managing your Pinterest profile. I use it to pin new pins to my boards and also loop existing pins on my boards. In addition to pinning and looping BoardBooster can help with board clean up, improving pin quality and group board management. In my post How to Easily Manage and Boost Your Pinterest Performance I share how BoardBooster has helped me grow my Pinterest following with very little effort.
The great thing about BoardBooster is plans start at $5 a month. So it's not a gift that will break the bank.
7. Pinterest schedulers - Tailwind
Another Pinterest scheduler option Tailwind. Plans start at $9.99 a month. While I'm currently not using Tailwind I did do their free trial. Two of my favorite things about Tailwind is 1) the amount of data and analytics they provide and 2) they optimized my pinning schedule based on when my followers were most active.
Design or graphics8. PicMonkey
This online design and photo editing tool has been helpful to me as a blogger. While I don't use the design tools much I do use it for image editing quite often. With PicMonkey I feel I get better editing results with images that have dark lighting. The PicMonkey auto adjust does a better job than other free image editors, so I'll start there and then make adjustments as needed. I also like that PicMonkey has a tool to remove backgrounds from images.
I use the free version of PicMonkey, but to really do some serious design work a paid subscription is the way to go. With a subscription you get access to templates, additional editing tools and can save your designs so you can go back and edit them later. Subscriptions start at $3.33 a month.
9. Creative Market
One of the things I wish I had some money for is a new design theme for my blog. I've seen a few on the Creative Market that I really like, but can't afford right now. Getting a gift card to the Creative Market would be awesome and could go towards that purchase.
Another thing a Creative Market gift card could be used for is images, new fonts and graphics such as product mockups so you can showcase your creations for sale.
A gift card to Etsy is a good idea as this is another place where you can find awesome design themes and graphics that can be used for your blog or other business materials.
What gift is at the top of your list this year?