This post may contain affiliate links. Please refer to my disclosure.
It’s December and instead of rejoicing with all the other bloggers out there making big bucks during the holiday season, you’re watching your traffic take a nose dive…and it sucks.
The thing is, you need to know how to prep your blog for the holiday season. Without doing that, it is totally normal to see a decline in traffic during the holiday period.
People are generally focused on holiday content and want to read that…so naturally, if your blog is not geared towards it, you’re not going to see the same numbers as others out there.
This is especially true if you rely on Pinterest to drive traffic to your blog.
Never fear though, because there are definitely things that you can start doing right now to prep your blog for the holidays.
Make Sure You Have Holiday Content
The first (and possibly the most obvious) thing to work on is making sure that you actually have holiday content on your blog.
Now, this may not work for everyone because some niches just aren’t geared towards that.
However, there will be other times of the year where people are avidly searching for the information that you provide, so just make sure that you’re focusing your efforts there.
Start the process of adding holiday content by making a list of ideas.
I like to use Trello for this because it is easy to edit and super visual. You’ll also be able to keep track of what is on your to-do list and what has already been done.
At the end of this post, I’ve included the type of posts that you can focus on producing for the holidays.
Despite the fact that I said that some niches will struggle with holiday content, I still think that if you’re creative, most niches will be able to publish at least a few seasonal blog posts.
Start Creating Holiday Content Mid-Year
I’m sure you’ve thought about the fact that you’ll need to create seasonal content BEFORE the season actually arrives, but you may not realize just how early you need to do so.
Start creating and updating content mid-year so that it gives Google time to index your content and figure out what it is about.
BackDate Your Holiday Content
If you don’t want your holiday content showing up on your blog feed in August, then a simple way to avoid that is to simply backdate it.
Your content will be there for Pinterest and Google to see, but it won’t be shown to your readers.
To be fair, not many readers go to your homepage, but you can still choose to hide it if you want.
If you’re struggling with SEO then the perfect course to take is Stupid Simple SEO. Trust me when I stay it is a game CHANGER. I knew a bit about SEO, but I was kind of stabbing at the dark before taking this course. You can read more about it HERE.
Update Old Holiday Content
Updating previously published holiday content is also a vital piece of the puzzle.
It doesn’t take much to add a fresh paragraph or two and to make sure that the post is optimized for Google search.
My process consists of:
Checking the post in Google Search Console to see if it is ranking for anything.
If it is then I see if I can get it to rank higher with a few changes.
If it isn’t, then I do some keyword research and decide on a keyword to target. I then go in and update the post to reflect that.
I also check to make sure that images are optimized for speed and searchability, as well as checking that there are no broken links.
You’d also be very smart to make sure there are some affiliate links in your post if it is a natural fit.
You should be updating your holiday content on an annual basis to make the most of it.
An awesome guide for updating old content is one that Mediavine offers. It is the RPM challenge and will help you to optimize your content so that you can make more money from advertising.
Not only that, but it will improve your site overall, so it is worth checking out HERE.
Holiday Content Ideas
Now that you know that you need some holiday content and to update old content, let’s talk about the kind of posts that do well over the holidays.
- Round-Up Posts – These kinds of posts can be quick and easy to put together and can cover an array of different topics. Be sure to do it the ethical way and NOT take other creator’s images or ideas without getting permission and giving proper credit. Create by Mediavine is a wonderful plugin that is perfect for styling round-up posts.
- Activity Ideas – Whether it is family traditions, money-saving activities, or toddler crafts, people love a good activity post!
- Holiday Planning – If you’re wanting to appeal to those who love the holidays but also like to stay organized, it is wise to create some holiday planning posts. These kinds of posts work well with free printables, which can be a good way to grow your email list.
- Gift Guides – Here are the money-makers! Gift guides are never going to go out of fashion because there is always someone stuck for what to buy for someone else. I also think that this kind of post can be tailored to almost any niche.
What to Do During the Holidays
So, once you’ve created your content and done all the work…then what?
What should you actually be doing during the holiday season to really promote your content and take advantage of the 4th quarter ad spend?
First of all, utilize Pinterest. Make sure that you have a great Pinterest strategy to make the most of the traffic you can get from there.
I use and love Pinteresting Strategies from Carly Campbell. By using the tips from her course, I’ve seen pins go viral month in and month out.
I also love that she’s made it super affordable. She could be charging a LOT more for the secrets she gives away. You can find the course HERE.
Address Your Mindset
The 4th quarter is known for being the most profitable time of the year for many bloggers, but that isn’t the case for all.
What is definitely true is that the week of Christmas is notoriously quiet.
People are busy spending time with their families and filling their bellies with food. Not many are interested in using Pinterest to find craft ideas.
If you know to expect things to die off in the last week or two of December, you can adjust your mindset so that you’re prepared.
Otherwise, you’re going to spend your time stressing over something you really have no control of.
Take a Break
Finally, take a break. Your blog is not going to disappear overnight. Use the quiet traffic time to take your own quiet time.
Your blog will be ready and waiting for when you come back and you’ll be ready to set new goals for the new year.