Spread the Love. Don’t Overthink it.
Did you know? There are many ways bloggers can give back this holiday season and beyond. And all without hurting your bottom line!
You should also not second guess your actions for fear of “missing out on a sale” or some other reason. Oftentimes, life has a funny way of paying you back in some way, shape or form…
Even if you never get “compensated” for the gesture, you will always feel good just knowing your contribution has increased someone’s happiness and well-being.
With that in mind, let’s explore the various ways in which you can extend your hand as a blogger.
Support Free Plugin Developers
Chances are you’re currently using a handful of free plugins, especially if your blog is powered by WordPress. Even if you’re not relying on anything free, you have probably come across some amazing offerings at no cost in the past.
A prime example is TablePress, an open source plugin used for creating beautiful-looking tables without any programming knowledge. I have occasionally donated a few bucks to the developer due to his attention to detail and the fact that I have used it for several years without complaints.
Look into your plugin’s main Settings / options page, or visit its official website to see how to contribute and help the developer. Don’t be tempted to look the other way assuming that other people are donating on your behalf.
Regularly Highlight Fellow Bloggers
Blogging from Paradise’s Ryan Biddulph often gives shoutouts to bloggers he knows and respects. Believe it or not, this alone is a great (and easy) way of giving back to the community.
You can go even further by practicing the following habits:
- Write an entire excerpt about a blogger you respect, as opposed to a quick mention
- Highlight something someone has done
- Suggest a product or service a blogger offers (if you genuinely find it useful)
- Include this in your YouTube videos, Instagram, and other social platforms
Not only are you helping improve their recognition, but you’re exposing them to a new audience of loyal readers and potential customers in the process.
Hold Regular Contests and Giveaways
We had previously talked about the power of contests to increase blog traffic and recognition, but that scenario doesn’t have to be strictly selfish.
Giving random items away can really make a person’s day, especially around the holiday season.
Think about a $30 digital gift card that a person can then use for his little niece or nephew. Or that $50 cash prize that a lucky winner can fully enjoy without a care in the world.
The best thing is that you get to control the amount of money spent, which makes for a win-win situation. As a personal suggestion, try to implement contests as a regular “feature” on your blog, whether you do it monthly or even quarterly.
As more people become aware of your giveaways, this naturally increases your brand and keeps you in good standing with the community.
This truly is a gift that keeps on giving.
Do You Sell Products or Services?
Products and services are naturally meant to be profitable, but you can also get creative and flexible with these. Again, win-win scenario!
Give a percentage of sales to charity: Make it well known on your blog and shout it from the rooftop.
For every sale of your product or service, you would donate a certain amount to a charity of your readers’ choice. This is a great way to keep everyone involved and make a small difference in the world.
You can then write this off during tax season, depending on the circumstances. Be sure to research the charity in question and keep careful records and receipts.
Give things away to those who cannot afford it: Granted, you shouldn’t get in the habit of always giving things away to everyone.
That being said, use your best judgment and randomly surprise someone who has expressed interest in your products or services without the ability to access them.
This is not likely to leave you bankrupt, but can make a world of difference in that person’s life. You may otherwise consider a major discount for any given individual on occasion.
Make things free once per month: My local gym gives away free pizza on the first Monday of every month. While they’re not necessarily doing it 100% out of the goodness of their heart, they aren’t forced or obligated to do this in the first place – and yet, they still do it.
Their monthly strategy reminded me that you, too, can make something absolutely free for a very limited time each month, whether it’d be temporary access to a membership or simply one free ebook.
Make it free in exchange for a mention: Do you want to give back to the community while also receiving a little something in return? There’s nothing wrong with that, so don’t sweat it.
How about giving your product or service for free to those who give you a mention on their blog or social media? This all depends on how valuable your offerings are, of course, so use your best judgment here.
If you offer a membership with multiple tiers, consider giving away the most basic option in exchange for an honest review. While this isn’t exactly “free,” at least you’re giving people the opportunity to join without paying cash.
Ready to Start Giving?
These suggestions are so valuable that you should embrace them throughout the year, not merely during the holidays.
I’m sure you can think of more ways to give back as a blogger, as new ideas largely depend on your own niche, your main audience, and the things available on your blog.