December 12, 2014
The holidays mean a lot of things: great sales, promotions, tons of tailored marketing, and a whole lot of people looking to score a great deal. For us bloggers, it’s the season to maximize this influx of readers, shoppers and gift-givers. Regardless of your blog’s purpose, be it a business, a niche blog, or anything in between, you stand to gain a lot from high-quality holiday posts.
So how do you tailor your content, your posts, and your schedule to produce high quality blog posts during the holidays? There’s several ways actually, and these tips don’t just apply to the holidays either. In fact, for more tips for every day of the year, check out this new blogging resource.
When the snow melts and the summer heat returns, keep these tips in mind throughout the year as they will continue to benefit your blog. Take down the decorations though, no one likes a blog covered in reindeer in March (unless it’s a reindeer blog).
Maximize Everything with These Holiday Tips
There’s 100 different lists out there of holiday blogging tips, so what makes this one different? I’ve read a whole lot of them and I’ve used 100 more, so experience + knowledge = the best list on the Internet. I’m not much of a math person, but that one checks out, so let’s see get your blog prepped for the holidays.
- Create Content That Speaks to the Season
This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many blogs just throw up some fancy decorations, drop a few discounts, and call it day. The holidays need to run through the veins of your blog like thick eggnog. Everything needs to reflect the season, especially your content. We all know that Google’s latest algorithm updates are pushing us toward a world where SEO isn’t just about keywords, it’s about valuable and useful content.
For the upcoming holidays, start creating posts that are themed to the season. Gift giving tips, travel destinations, funny stories from your childhood, infographics about the holiday season in regard to your niche, anything like that is gold. Make it useful, and make it valuable to the reader. High-quality content is the name of the game every day of the year, but even more so during these holidays.
- Change Your Landing Pages to Reflect the Season
Holiday-themed landing pages are an absolute must during the season. If you’re using digital advertising to bring in revenue, creating a themed landing page will bring in far more traffic and revenue than a generic one you use during the normal course of the year. Your content is the most important, but high-quality posts need to lead somewhere, so make sure the landing is decorated accordingly.
This is something you should start doing weeks in advance. Make sure everything is optimized, prepped, and designed to reflect the season and drive readers toward your call-to-action. This season is infectious and if your landing page is designed to get people in the holiday mood, they’re far more likely to click ads, sign up for newsletters, or purchase your products.
- Find a Problem and Solve it For Your Readers
This is always a great goal to shoot for in everything you create, but during the holidays, your readers are running a mile-a-minute and they have plenty of stressful problems that need solving. If you get started early enough, create a quick post on your blog where you ask your readers what they stress over most during this season. Read the comments, check social media, find out what’s on everyone’s mind.
Then, figure out a way to solve it for them. This answer could be your product or service, or it could be a handy guide you put out in time for the holidays. Providing value to your content is not only great for SEO, but during this time of year, it’s also something everything is looking for.
- Ramp up Your Influencer Outreach
I always recommend providing useful links in your blog posts and reaching out to other influencers to have them promote one of your posts and vice versa, but this time of year absolutely demands it. If you don’t have the answer to something, but someone else does, place a link to their blog in your post and show people that value. In most cases, the other person will be willing to repay the favor.
Another major recommendation I always make is to remember that while we all want to succeed, we have to help each other to get there together. Blogging isn’t a cutthroat business, it’s a network of like-minded individuals working to answer the questions of the world. Reach out to other bloggers, and share their content and ask them to do the same. This will also provide you with some great inspiration for you own posts.
- Make it Easy to Read and Share Your Content
Creating a post that runs rampant across the Internet is hard to do, but it’s not impossible. The most important thing is to understand what types of content are being shared the most. Even though most people will tell you that Internet readers have short attention spans, this does not equivocate to shorter posts. In fact, posts that are more than 1,000 words tend to be shared a lot more than shorter ones. What’s the secret here? Well it’s all about making your content easy-to-read. There are several ways to do this:
- Break up paragraphs into three to four lines each;
- Include numbered and bullet point lists;
- Utilize italics and bold fonts to illustrate important points;
- Don’t be boring, add in humor and emotion, this captures reader’s attention far more than stiff written content;
Avoid These Mistakes during the Holiday Season
Just because I know how to do a lot of things right, doesn’t mean I’ve never slipped up before. We all learn from our mistakes, and I’ve certainly learned from mine. There’s something to be said about avoiding a mistake altogether though. In the spirit of the season, here’s my gift to you: five mistakes to avoid during this holiday season.
- Don’t Get Caught on One Holiday
It’s easy to get caught up in one holiday like Christmas or Kwanzaa, but don’t alienate other readers who celebrate different occasions. The best way to avoid this is to keep your holiday content generalized and focused on the emotions of the season, not the specific celebrations.
- Don’t Forget That Your Readers are Super Busy
Holidays are hectic and crazy, so don’t lose track of the fact that people don’t have a whole lot of time. Time your pitches and your posts early in the season and don’t be posting content on a major holiday because most people won’t be reading blogs on those days.
- Don’t Just Reuse Last Year’s Ideas
Duplicate content is a cardinal sin with SEO, but even reusing the same concepts as the prior years is still not recommended. I know it’s tempting to just take the same ideas and throw them out there again, but don’t. Get creative, check out influencers, brainstorm, just do something new each year.
- Don’t Be Insincere
If you push your product or service too much or too often, people will think you don’t really care about the spirit of the season. Make it personal, make it natural, and the product will sell itself.
- Don’t Start Too Soon
We’ve all seen those stores that put up holiday merchandise just after Halloween, and we roll our eyes because it’s too early for all that. Well, don’t do it on your blog either. Start early, like November, but don’t start throwing out candy canes in September or people will think you’ve lost it.
The holidays represent a perfect time to bring in new readers and great revenue from your blog. It’s an art though, not a science. These tips and friendly warnings will keep you from falling into common mistakes and help you tailor your content and your blog to meet the season with open arms. Tell me about your holiday blogging plans in the comments below and as always, thanks for reading.