a peek inside the fishbowl

22 Dec, 2012

My last gift guide: Five things you can give to your favourite blogger

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Oh! Things!

I’ve been reading and writing a lot of gift guides this past month but I wanted to leave you with one more to ponder, just in case. :)

I wanted to take a moment and hash out some ideas of things you can give to your favourite bloggers.

1) Give the gift of a comment or two. The vast majority of bloggers out there consider their blogs a hobby and a labour of love. They spend countless hours in their spare time writing and editing and tweaking their blogs. The only currency they often get from it comes in the form of comments. That’s why, one of the best gifts you can give a blogger is a thoughtful comment. If you’re a lurker, show yourself! :)

2) If a public comment isn’t your style, give the gift of a thank-you in the form of a personal note to your favourite blogger. Here’s an email I received a few years ago. It is undoubtedly the best gift I have ever been given. In fact, it makes me tear up every time I talk about it. It will stay with me forever.

3) Give the gift of a click or two. Very few bloggers are able to cover the costs of operating their blogs: web space, domain name hosting, a Flickr pro account… although these things are all optional (you certainly CAN publish a blog for free) once a blogger reaches a certain level it will inevitably start to cost money. That’s why I make a point of clicking on my favourite blogger’s ads. I want my fave bloggers to keep blogging and advertisers help them do that. Advertisers are more likely to renew their contracts if they are getting some love by blog readers.

4) No blogger really expects actual presents (er, at least I don’t think so), but I will say that when it does happen it is mind-bogglingly freaky and cool. I greatly appreciate everything that people take time to choose and deliver to me and I am constantly surprised and amazed by the generosity of Fishbowl readers. I’ve received gifts of books, cookbooks, tea and coffee (gift cards are GOLD), tickets to events, things for the girls, and more. I received a digital gift card from Chapters.ca yesterday (Note: you buy it online, and it’s “delivered” online. No trip to the store required!) and I was so thrilled that I spent it right away on books that I’ve been wanting for months. Here’s an idea: how about giving your favourite blogger the published work of another blogger? I’m thinking of Matthew Inman’s How to Tell if Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You (he’s from The Oatmeal), or Julie and Julia by Julie Powell, or Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson, or The Pioneer Woman Cooks by Ree Drummond?

5) Some bloggers keep bucket lists. If you really want to do something extraordinary for your favourite blogger, poke around and see what’s on those lists. Maybe you’re in a position to make something cool happen for them?

    But you know, actual gifts really are not necessary. I think all bloggers really want for Christmas is to know people are out there reading their posts and tweets and enjoying the fruits of their labour.

    Anything to add to the list? Bloggers, what are some of the best gifts you’ve received? I’d love to hear about them.

    9 Responses to "My last gift guide: Five things you can give to your favourite blogger"

    1 | coffeewithjulie

    December 22nd, 2012 at 6:15 pm


    Hi Andrea, As fellow blogger, I think your suggestions are great. Comments really make my day and clicks are always appreciated! :) Julie

    2 | Krista R

    December 22nd, 2012 at 6:55 pm


    Merry Christmas to you!

    3 | Fariha

    December 22nd, 2012 at 8:45 pm


    Great read! I loved recently receiving a generous personalized gift card from a brand I’ve never worked with but has appreciated my social media contributions over the past few months. Comments are always appreciated, so are retweets :) Happy Holidays!

    4 | karen

    December 22nd, 2012 at 9:41 pm


    Thanks so much for this post. I had no idea that it was important for readers to click on the ads.

    5 | Iain Robson

    December 23rd, 2012 at 8:12 am


    What a great list of gifts for bloggers. I found your third one particularly interesting because I was thinking about something very similar the other day.

    It is great to think that something as simple as a click can go to help our your favourite blogger.

    It is the little things that count right.

    Have a great holiday season.


    6 | SL

    December 24th, 2012 at 8:46 am


    Merry Christmas! You know, I really have enjoyed reading your blog over the past year and I know I will enjoy reading in the New Year! You always share such lovely stories, ideas and personal adventures! It’s fun to read and follow along!

    Here’s to a 2013 filled with all good things! :D

    7 | lara

    December 24th, 2012 at 8:54 am


    Comments always rock don’t they? Merry Christmas! :)

    8 | lacoop

    December 24th, 2012 at 3:55 pm


    Thanks Andrea. I wasn’t sure if posting comments all the time was appropriate, so these are nice guidelines to reference. Merry Christmas!

    9 | Gift ideas for the writers in your lives >> a peek inside the fishbowl

    December 18th, 2013 at 8:01 am


    […] year I wrote a post called “Five things you can give to your favourite blogger,” and I still stand by that list. :) I was tapping away in the office this morning and I […]

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    My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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