Most of the blogs I write for are low-level product centered; meaning I sometimes blog about products but more often I post tips, news, or advice. Still, I do post products, if one, I think it might be useful for my readers to know about the product or two, if it’s during the holiday season.
During this time of year you can get some decent traffic by focusing on gift guides (examples: 10 kooky gifts for your neighbor, 15 sustainable toys for Christmas, etc.) or products that suit the season – decor, costumes, table settings, and more. I’m not a huge fan of product driven blogs, but in the case of my blogs, posting about products some of the time works. In fact, one of my most popular posts ever was a holiday product post; although it’s been a year, I still get big traffic from it.
If you’re interested in blogging about products, it helps if you can find some unique products. No one wants to see the same old thing that every other blog is showing. While it’s tough to have 100% unique product posts at your blog, you can find some spiffy fresh products if you know where to look and where to avoid.
For unique product finds avoid the following:
Blogs on your blogroll: I don’t tend to look for products at other blogs covering my topic, because I’d rather find something that my favorites haven’t already blogged about. That said, I will look at blogs that cover other topics. For example, for my green blogs, I’ll sometimes check for cool products at say, an office or tech blog
Books: Products you show or review on your blogs should be timely, and books tend to become outdated quickly, which means searching books can be a huge waste of your time. The only exception I’ve found is in how-to books, like home building or home design for example. Often the resource section in these sorts of books will still be current, but not always, so for me, books are a last ditch effort for product reviews.
Where to look for unique products to post about or review:
- PR.com and ProfNet: Both offer press releases about new products. We posted about ProfNet before in Where To Get Blog Contest Prizes.
- Consumer Reports: Consumer Reports doesn’t show the most unique products, but they will give you some great ideas about what’s hot in product news. Also, because they show so many products, you’ll be able to link out to online shops quickly.
- This Next: Bad because you’ll see duplicate products often, but good because once in a while you’ll see an extra fab unique product or a link to an unusual online shop.
- Magazines: Unlike books, magazines update product listings monthly. You can check in the back of a magazine hard copy, or look at a magazine’s webpage (most now have a shopping section).
- Interior design magazines: IDMs, are to me, in a different league than other magazines. You can find some very neat and unique home products, art, clothing, and more in these publications. Dezignare has a great listing of tons of interior design pubs.
- Local stores: Local shops are good places to visit and look for products. I hate shopping, so I usually don’t go to the store directly, but will check my local business chamber website instead. You can find unique local merchants who carry items you may not see in any other part of the world. In line with this would be local galleries, although, you have to be careful, because not all galleries sell online, and I’ve had readers complain when I show something impossible to purchase.
- Show websites: Green home shows, home and garden shows, parenting expos, and other events list plenty of sponsors on their websites.
- Local and national business directories: You could choose a single profession like the Toy Industry Association, or choose a large general guide with a focus. Since I blog green topics, I tend to frequent directories like Co-op America and my local ReDirect Guide, but of course, choose a directory that focuses on your topic.
- Etsy: Etsy always carries fresh products – most handmade and unique. Plus if you post an Etsy product you’re usually helping out a self-employed artist.
- Online shops: I collect online shops related to my topics, sort them into bookmark folders, and then bookmark the new product page.
*Bonus tip: Ten Sites for Finding Wonderful Things
Are you offering gift guides and product reviews this holiday season at your blog?