It might only be October but it’s not too early to start prepping for holiday season in blog land. Before you know it, you’ll be surrounded by a mound of Halloween candy and November will smack you on the head. And you’ll be all like, “HOW IS IT NOVEMBER ALREADY? It seems like just yesterday I had my first pumpkin spice dose of the season!”
Getting a jump start on the holidays isn’t too overwhelming though. It just needs to get done. With these four little steps, you’ll go into the holiday season ready for it!
1. Answer a Very Important Question.
And that question is this:
Are you going to blog more or less during the holidays?
You have 30 seconds to decide! Kidding.
Some blogger kick up the blogging during the holidays because they have loads of holiday tips and ideas to share. Other bloggers might wind down take a week or two off. Decide if you’re going to take time off then mark those days in your editorial calendar. If you’re going to blog twice a week instead of daily, then make a note of that in your calendar too.
2. Plan Out Your Content.
Any time of the year, you ideally want content planned for at least a month, even better for a quarter (knowing of course that your topics are subject to change).
Don’t wait until November hits to start thinking about what you’ll actually write. Brainstorm topics you might want to write about or stories you might want to share. Browse Pinterest for inspiration too. Do you want to share any special holiday recipes this year? Or are you stoked about sharing tips for snapping the perfect family picture? Get those ideas on paper (or digital paper)!
Plot the most promising ones in the calendar then save the rest for later. With a fresh set of eyes, the ho-hum ones might spark a kick booty idea. And of course be flexible. The best idea ever might come in the middle of holiday season so you might need to shuffle your other content around.
If you aren’t sure how to plan out content in a calendar (and you want a calendar template), then *cough* I have a course for that, you know.
3. Spruce Up Old Holiday Posts.
Ever come across a blog post someone wrote last year? Yeah, me too. Often. Some of your holiday content from previous years can really bring in the traffic! I mean, don’t people need to make cookies EVERY year? While you definitely need new posts during the holidays, thou shouldn’t neglect your old posts that still have relevance.
However, you might need to improve them a little. How exactly do you make an old post holiday-ready?
- Add a pinnable image
- Edit content where needed
- Update any outdated information included in the post
- Fix any links that might be broken (links to other websites, affiliate links, or links to your own content)
- Add call-to-action (CTA)- things like encouraging reader to subscribe to your newsletter, following you on Pinterest or buying a product you reviewed
For example, I know on my Adventuroo post about easy homemade ornaments for kids, I should make my first image more pinnable.
I made you a handy dandy checklist to keep track of all of this (with examples too). Just download the Update Holiday Posts Spreadsheet, then take 10-15 minutes and comb through your old holiday posts. Note the changes you need to make in the spreadsheet then come back later and get cracking on them.
4. Decide If You Want to Commit to a Gift Guide.
Gift guides can be a perfect way to earn extra holiday cash, get products to use as gifts, or simply share your favorite holiday picks.
If you’re unsure what a holiday gift guide is, you can see this one on stocking stuffers for the whole family, this one on favorite edible gifts or this one on tech-savvy gifts. Rather you put together a gigantic guide or a small one, now’s the time to start thinking about them.
Jot down some guide ideas and start finding products to include (you can save them to a secret Pinterest board for easy collecting). If you plan to reach out to brands to ask for products for review for a guide, then it’s time to rev that up because brands plan for the holiday season months and months in advance.
No need to freak out when you see the holiday decorations already on shelves. With these four steps, you’ll definitely be ahead of the game and ready to take on the blogging holiday season with gusto (and perhaps a pumpkin spice latte in hand too).