I recently created my holiday gift guide using ShopStyle Collective, and I was so excited about the result. Once I started sharing on social media, I had a lot of bloggers and creatives ask me how I created it. I decided to create this tutorial to help them build their own gift guides.
What is Shopstyle Collective?
ShopStyle Collective is an affiliate service by the makers of ShopStyle. It allows you to earn money using tools like links or widgets from their retail partners. You can place those tools and links on your blog, website, or social media accounts.
Why ShopStyle Collective?
Here a few reasons why I prefer ShopStyle Collective to other affiliate link programs:
You can earn commission from links and sales. Unlike other programs, with ShopStyle Collective you can earn commissions from people clicking on your link! So if a visitor clicks a ShopStyle link on your blog or your website, you will make a commission off of that.
- It’s easy to use. ShopStyle Collective is easy to use and embed without the use of a web programmer to help you. You don’t even need to install a plugin. You can simply copy and paste embed codes. For the links, you copy them and use them in your content or social media. It’s that easy.
- It’s beautifully designed. Most importantly, it’s beautifully designed! The ShopStyle Collective embed widgets and collections are minimal, beautiful, and can fit into any blog. The layout is nice and modern, much like what you would see in a magazine or an e-commerce website.
- It’s mobile ready and responsive. All of ShopStyle Collective tools and widgets are mobile responsive! Everything automatically adjusts based on how your visitors are viewing the content.
- There are plenty of options. Lastly, with ShopStyle Collective there are plenty of options to customize or showcase products. Just enough to make the tool complex but not enough to make it too complicated.
Okay, let’s get started. The rest of the blog is assuming that you already have a ShopStyle Collective Account.
How to Create a Holiday Gift Guide Using ShopStyle Collective
Step 1: Decide on Your Gift Guide Organization
Before you get started creating your gift guide on your website and selecting all the beautiful products, you’ve got to decide what type of gift guide you’ll be creating. There are two types that I create for my clients.
- Non-Categorized Gift Guide. A non-categorized gift guide is just a group of products on one page with no clear headers or sections.
- Categorized Gift Guide. A categorized gift guide is a group of products one page that are sectioned into categories that fit your targeted audience.
For categorized gift guides, you’ll need to create categories that fit your targeted audience. For example, if you are a fashion blogger it may be “gifts for her”, “gifts for them,” etc. If your focus is real estate or interiors, you may have categories like “modern and clean decor” or “bohemian chic living.”
Whatever you choose, you’ll need to brainstorm your categories first and write them down. You’ll need these to create your lists in ShopStyle Collective.
Here are some tips when creating your holiday gift guide categories:
- Think of your targeted audience. What type of gifts would your targeted audience be interested in? What categories would fit their lives? Remember, this isn’t about you; it’s about your audience and the gifts they want to buy. To increase your click-through rate, you’ll want to catch their attention.
- Keep text short and sweet. You’ll want your categories to be short and to the point. No more than 3 to 5 words. If you want to say more, you can add a description below your category titles when you create your page.
- Keep it simple. You don’t want your gift guide to be too long and lose your audience’s attention, so I suggest 3 to 5 categories with 10 to 15 gifts under each.
Step 2: Shop for products in ShopStyle Collective and organize them into lists using your category names.
Now for the fun part! Shopping! You’ll want to open the ShopStyle Collective app and shop for products to go inside your categories.
- Open ShopStyle Collective and click “Search.”
- Start searching for products that fit into your categories.
- When you find a product you like hover over it and click “Add to List.”
- Click the + sign next to “Create New List.”
- Name your list after you gift guide category.
That’s it! Keep doing that until you create a list for each of your gift guide categories and have put products into each.
Tips for finding great gifts:
- Looks Matter. Your visitors are visual, so you’ll want to create gifts that are visually appealing to the eye. The goal is to get them to click on the product.
- Choose High Commission products first. When you search in ShopStyle Collective, you’ll see the words “High Commission” on certain products. Those products will pay you more if someone clicks or buys that product. You can even filter your products by High Commission only to see those first. I like to try my best only to have High Commission products in my gift guide. So I start there, and then I remove the high commission filter if I still need more gifts.
- Keep it diverse. For each category, you want an array of different types of gifts. For example, if you are doing fashion, you don’t want all shirts. Instead include shirts, pants, socks, jewelry, etc.
Step 3: Convert your lists to product widgets
Now that you have your lists created, you need to convert each one into product widgets.
- Click the “Create” button and then choose “Product Widget.”
- You then see an option to click “My Lists.”
- Find the list you want to convert into a product widget and click “Add All.”
If you want to remove any gifts, now is the time to do it before you click next.
Click next and customize your product widget.
There are no set settings or instructions here! You should make these decisions based on your blog.
If you need help, here is a quick guide to each setting:
Name Your Widget: You can name your product widget here. This is for your eyes only and helps you find your widgets easily in the future.
Display: This controls how much information you want to show on your products inside your widget.
- Show Brand: Choose to show the product brand.
- Show Retailer: Choose to show the retailer selling the product.
- Show Price: Choose to show the price of the product.
- Show Sale Price: Choose to show any sale prices if available.
- Show Caption: Choose to add your own custom description to the products.
- Shop Info on Hover: Click this show all of the information above only if the visitor hovers over each product.
Width & Height: Here is where you can set the size of your widget after you embed it into your blog or web page. This should be based on your website width. You may need to speak to your blog designer to get the exact size, or you can play around with different sizes and test them yourself. Once you know your width add it here and the height will automatically adjust.
Rows & Columns: This controls the layout of the products in your holiday gift guide. Again, this depends on your style and how you like to do things. For narrow pages, I suggest doing three columns and for wider or full-width pages do five columns.
Image Size: This controls the size of the individual product images in your widget. You can make them larger or smaller as you see fit.
Edit: This allows you to rearrange the products in the order you want them to show on your website. Once you click edit you can scroll down and click and drag each item until you get it just right.
See the illustration above to see all of these options in action.
You may need to play around with these settings more after you embed your product widget into your gift guide, and that’s okay. You can go back and edit any of these settings, and it will change your widget in real time without you having to embed it again!
Step 4: Publish your product widget and embed it into your website
This is the easiest part of the process! Click Publish and copy your embed code. Take that code and paste it into your web page. If you want the text version of your gift code too, you can scroll down and copy the text options as well.
That’s it! You have you embed code, and now you can embed your gift suggestions in your holiday gift guide. Repeat this process until you have all of your list created for your different categories.
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