Regardless of your background or culture, there’s no getting around it – December is one of the busiest months of the year. So busy, that it can be difficult to remember to step back and enjoy it. So it's time for tips on blogging through the holidays and keeping your sanity intact!
As food bloggers, we know that the first few weeks of December can be one of the heaviest times for blog traffic. People are looking for recipe and entertaining ideas, places to go for an office Christmas party, and gift suggestions.
If monetization is part of your overall blogging strategy, you know that ad revenue can be at its highest during this busy time of year as marketing departments want to capitalize on the season’s crazy shopping and use up any surplus marketing budgets they may have for the year. And you probably want to make the most of that.
But what about keeping your sanity and making time to enjoy the season, no matter how you celebrate?
It can be done with a little bit of planning and strategy! And here are some tips to help you blog your way through the holiday season.
If you don’t already keep an editorial calendar, December is a great time to put one into action – even if it’s just for the one month.
Odds are good you have a lot going on this month, including your own parties to attend, host and cook for. Take those into account as you plot out your content for the month. Don’t commit to posting 5 new posts in a week when you have an office Christmas party to attend as well as an open house to host. You’ll go crazy!
Repurpose Old Content
This is one of the easiest ways to make it through the holidays – especially if you’ve been blogging for more than a year!
If you've been blogging for a while and have a few years worth of Christmas content already on your site create some "collection" or "best of" posts Creating a post like, "My 5 Favourite Holiday Cookie Recipes" is a great example:
- it's extremely quick to create - photos and links to the original recipes on your blog is all it takes
- it breathes life into old posts that might have gotten buried or have been missed by newer readers
- all the internal links are great for SEO and for increasing page view/session
Even if you're a new blogger you can make useful recap posts by linking to posts you've written throughout the year that might not have had a Christmas focus but are still seasonally appropriate. Other ideas for best of posts for the holidays are entertaining tips, appetizer ideas, potluck recipes, etc.
Promote Old Posts on Social Media
There is no rule that says you can only promote your latest post on Social Media. Give some of your older posts from years past a little more press by sharing them with your followers on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram again. You'll get some new eyeballs on them (and if you can schedule tweets and Facebook updates to work with your schedule).
Contribute Old Posts Recipe Roundups or Holiday Links Ups
So many blogs do recipe roundups or link up posts, especially during the holidays. You can either host your own to create new content for your readers and send some additional traffic to your fellow bloggers or participate in linkups with older posts.
Not Every Post Needs a Recipe
Recipes take time - there's testing and baking and shooting. Not every post needs a recipe Consider writing some handy "tip" posts such as your Top 5 Entertaining Tips or your Top 5 Suggestions for Budget Holiday Baking. It's likely they'll come to you easily and you can write them quickly.
Consider a Short Term Stock Image Subscription
You can get some free 7 day trial stock image subscriptions. We use bigstockphoto.com (not an affiliate link - it's just the service we use right now). If you're not writing a recipe post it's not as critical to use an image of your own. Stock images can give you some beautiful photos quickly for those quick tips posts.
Got a great instagram account or some great seasonal photos on your phone? Do a quick photo update post. It's likely you'll be out and about doing interesting things so snap a few photos to share with your readers. They're easy to post and can still capture the spirit of the season in a way that personal and fun. And they keep your site fresh.
Create A Gift Guide
Yes, gift guides are everywhere but they're fun and everyone is always struggling for fun gift ideas this time of year - there's always that one person on the list who's hard to buy for. Create a gift guide for your readers. If you monetize your blog, it can also be a great way to earn a little extra income with affiliate links
Carve Out Time For A Digital Detox
Every year for the past 4 or 5 years, I take a digital time out starting on Christmas Eve until end of day Boxing Day. I only touch my phone if it's to make or receive an actual phone or skype call with friends and family who can't be nearby.
I'm not going to lie... it can be sheer panic for the first 24 hours - but in my mind, that's a sure sign for me that I'm way too attached to my devices and social media and not present enough in my own world.
But surprisingly, after that first 24 hours it's pretty easy. And even more surprisingly (or maybe not!) at the end of the three days my mind has calmed and I find I'm revving to go with new ideas and my creative juices are flowing faster than I can keep up.
Spend time being in the moment with your loved ones. They are used to us being attached to screens and talking to people we've never even met, sometimes at their expense, all through the year. Give them all the gift of your undivided attention for a few days. It's one of the most precious gifts you can give!
Read a book, do a jigsaw puzzle, knit something, paint something, cook something, go for a long walk, take some photos, sled down a hill, roast some marshmallows - make something with your hands that's not for your blog. You don't need to facebook them or instagram them or tweet them. Do all these things with people you love, or on your own. It doesn't matter. Just take some time to be very present in your surroundings.
It will do wonders for you and your blog in the new year!
Share your tips for blogging through the holidays in the comments - we'd love to hear how you manage your blogging time!