Welcome to The Creative, a series that gives content creators actionable advice from professionals in the creator economy. Whether you’re a seasoned creator or just starting out, read The Creative to learn how to grow your platform, improve your content, and stay ahead in the ever-shifting creator landscape.
If you’re anything like me, you’re probably still racking your brain trying to find the perfect gift for your loved ones this holiday season. And if your favorite person is a content creator, you may be even more confused about what to get them.
Fortunately, I’m a seasoned content creator plus an expert gift-giver, and — with the help of a few other knowledgable creators — I crafted this list of gifts to consider for the creative in your life.
So, whether you want to spoil a friend or treat yourself, here are some items on almost every content creator’s wish list.
8 Gifts for Content Creators
1. Planner or Calendar
While there are plenty of digital content management tools and platforms out there to manage these tasks, I’ve found it doesn’t hurt creators to have a physical calendar or planner on hand to keep organized.
“It’s a bit old school but still a great way to stay on top of projects,” says Lisa De La Cruz of the website and podcast The Wonder of Anime. “You can write your monthly, weekly, or daily to-dos down and complete them.”
“The act of physically writing something down also aids in memory retention, so things aren’t slipping through the cracks,” she explains.
And I agree.
I struggle with remembering deadlines or checking digital calendars on my phone or laptop, so I’ve found writing on a large calendar like the one below and placing it in front of my bed helps since it’s the first thing I see in the morning.
If a giant calendar is a little too extreme, opt for a planner like the PLANBERRY Large Weekly Planner, which Lisa highly recommends.
“It has monthly and weekly spreads as well as sections specifically aimed at goal setting,” she says. “Each month and quarter has a reflection section to review your goals and what worked versus what didn’t work.”
2. High-quality microphone or Mic Accessories
I remember one of the first videos I filmed for a music blog I ran in college. I was interviewing a pop-punk band outside a sold-out venue without a microphone, so you can imagine the noise from the crowds and the bands playing on stage.
Actually, you don’t have to imagine. You can watch the video below and hear how the background noise practically drowned out the artists I interviewed.
I learned the hard way the importance of quality audio equipment, and if you want to avoid the same fate or help the content creator in your life create quality content, consider buying a high-quality microphone or mic accessory.
Podcaster Victoria Johnson of the Sailor Moon Fan Club podcast recommends the Blue Snowball microphone for upcoming creators.
“This is a good, affordable microphone for a content creator who’s just getting started in their journey,” she says. “I’ve been using one since 2015, and it’s sturdy, reliable, and provides good quality for its price.”
If you’re willing to invest a bit more money, professional wireless microphones and mobile adaptors are excellent gifts for creators who often film on their smartphones, according to cosplayer and content creator Kumar.
“If you make a lot of videos where you’re talking or interviewing other people, a good microphone that is compatible with your phone is key,” he says. “Sure, a phone’s internal mic can pass on some occasions, but it usually doesn’t sound as crisp as it can be.”
Kumar warns relying on your phone’s microphone can pose a problem if you’re interviewing or recording content in a crowded place, such as a convention or large event.
“Your voice is going to get washed out by everything else in your environment,” he explains.
Kumar suggests the DJI Mic Mobile Phone Adapter and Wireless GO II by RODE as potential gifts.
“The audio sounds so crisp and crystal clear, and people who watch your content will notice that, too,” he says. “And if you ever get a DSLR or any kind of professional camera, these mics will be compatible with those, too!”
3. HULKEN Bag
This next gift suggestion also comes from Victoria, and honestly, I might snag this one for myself this Christmas. Victoria recommends the Hulken Bag for creators who often carry equipment or accessories.
“If the content creator in your life starts selling products or has a booth at a convention, the HULKEN bag is one of the most convenient things to have,” she explains. “You can throw it over your shoulder to go upstairs or wheel it around.”
The HULKEN even has a zippable flap to protect items inside from rain or snow, which can be extremely helpful if you carry equipment during less-than-ideal weather.
“It’s also good if you just have a bunch of stuff you’re carrying around like a cosplay or cameras and other tech to record content outside your house,” Victoria says.
Prices for the HULKEN bag start at $89.99.
4. Ring Light
I didn’t have a ring light when I first started filming YouTube videos and would often rely on natural lighting from a nearby window.
This sufficed for a while, but it meant filming before the evening or hoping for a sunny day to get the best lighting.
So, I invested in a ring light to have more flexibility with filming, and I suggest getting one this holiday season if you or your creator friend don’t already have one.
Ring lights are especially significant because they’re usually diffused via a frosted lens or cover over LEDs, resulting in softer shadows and flattering lighting.
On average, ring lights cost between a few dollars and $500, but you don’t have to break the bank to get excellent quality.
The one below by Blackmore Pro Audio is similar to mine and can double as a tripod holding your smartphone. It’s available for $66.15 at Home Depot, and you can get similar models for as little as $20 from Amazon.
5. Personalized Workplace Decor
You can get creative with this kind of gift.
Many of my favorite content creators include items like posters, figurines, toys, plants, and home decor in the background of their videos to showcase a bit of their personality or tie the backdrop to the theme of their content.
For instance, I talk about anime on my YouTube channel and typically include plush toys of my favorite anime characters in the background.
So, for the creator in your life, think about their content’s theme or quirky interests and find items that could make their background pop.
Websites like Redbubble offer a variety of posters and tapestries based on comics, manga, and pop culture.
You can even commission an artist from Etsy to craft a custom neon sign with the gift recipient’s username, logo, or tagline.
6. Online Course or Workshop Subscription from Their Favorite Influencer
HubSpot Academy also offers a variety of free content creation and digital marketing certifications to boost a creator’s skillset and build their audience.
Follow content creators you or a loved one admire and see if they have any courses, webinars, or workshops.
7. Subscription to their Favorite Software or Platforms
Though there are free and low-cost ways for creators to edit, schedule, and promote their content, many creatives find investing in platforms and software beneficial to crafting their best work or staying organized.
“It has every creative tool you could need for creating content,” he says. “If you’re a student or faculty member with a school email, you can access everything the cloud offers for $20 monthly on a year’s contract.”
Lisa says a 1-year subscription to Notion, a productivity and note-taking app, could also be an excellent gift for creators.
“It’s a connected workspace with hundreds of free templates perfect for managing content creation, deadlines, finances, and more,” she explains. “The content creation calendar is a game changer, making it easier to take an idea all the way to the finished product seamlessly.”
Notion has a free tier for solo creators, and packages for groups start at $8 per month, billed annually.
8. Gift Cards
When I’m unsure what to get someone but want to show them I care, I get them a gift card so they can purchase items they love or need. Gift cards can be a valuable gift for creators, too.
“There are so many tools or subscriptions that content creators have to use, like Headliner for podcast editing or WordPress or Squarespace for their website,” Victoria says. “A gift card could be the perfect way to offset the costs of these many monthly or annual plans.”
With the money I spend to host my podcast, access Adobe Premiere, or buy manga to review for my YouTube channel, I can attest that content creation can be costly.
I know I personally would love a gift card or two to lessen the costs (subtle hint to any of my friends reading this).
So, whether you’re a creator looking to treat yourself for the holidays or you want to show your favorite content creator that you support their goals — you now have several thoughtful gifts to choose from.