Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Use December's blogging lull to your advantage

If you've been blogging for more than a year, you know that we are heading into the 'dead' season for blogging. As we get into next month, everyone's attention moves to other, frankly more important areas, and blog readership across the board goes downhill from around mid-December till the New Year. Traffic will come to a crawl and for this blog, Christmas Day and New Year's Day are probably the two lowest days of the year for traffic.

So since most people will be taking a bit of a vacation from blog reading, it might be tempting for you as a blogger to take a mini-Holiday as well. But I think that would be a mistake, and that you should use this time wisely to improve your blogging efforts. Here's five ways to make the most of December's blogging lull:

1 - Re-evaluate everything. Go back and look at what your blogging results have been for 2009. How did traffic do? Subscribers? Comments? And how did these metrics tie back to your blogging goals? Put your blogging strategy for 2009 on trial, and then tweak it for 2010. Set goals for your blog. But make sure that those goals tie back into your larger focus for your blog.

2 - Ramp up content. David Armano advises doing this, using the Holiday vacation to push out as much if not more content than usual, with the thinking being that since many other bloggers are slacking off, your content can more easily be seen. We are going to keep looking for content to share with our networks, and if you keep creating great content while everyone else slacks off, guess whose posts will be shared with my network? Use December to increase your blogging visibility.

3 - Use December to get a blogging jumpstart on 2010. Hey we all want to spend time with friends and family during the Holidays. Work in all forms seems to take a backseat, and that's a good thing in many cases. But if nothing else, use that last week of December to get your content in order to hit the ground running in January. Most people won't begin to get back into reading blogs regularly until Jan. 4th (a Monday), and this is when many bloggers will begin to get back to writing. Use December to have at least one week's worth of posts already written for January, so that way first thing on Monday the 4th, you've already got fresh content waiting on readers, while many other bloggers are thinking about getting back to writing.

4 - Experiment. Every year I spend the final week of the year spending time with social sites/tools that I've been meaning to try out, but just haven't had the chance. I started doing this 2 years ago when I decided to see if I could finally figure out what the hell was the big deal with this Twitter site that everyone was buzzing about. December is a great time to examine different tools and see if they work for you to complement your blogging efforts.

5 - Become a commenting superhero. Remember, traffic is going to come to a crawl on many blogs. Virtual tumbleweeds will be bouncing into the blogger's legs and they will probably just resign themselves to the fact that it will simply be a few weeks before the traffic comes back. So just as you can use this lull to ramp up your content and get noticed, do the same thing with comments. If many people aren't commenting, this is your chance to get noticed. And not just with other readers, but by the bloggers themselves.

So there's some ideas for being proactive in December, and taking advantage of the blogging lull. And by the way, I'll be utilizing all of these steps, what about you?

Pic via Flickr user Katmere


Unknown said...

Great content! Thanks for the tips.

JCMeier said...

I really appreciate this post, as this will be my first holiday season blogging. Happy Holidays!

Gavin Heaton said...

Oh is it that time of year again!

Great tips, Mack. There are a couple of new sites I have been meaning to check out. Will add them to my to-do list and fingers crossed, I will get time to play a little!

Michael Bertoldi said...

As you probably know, I've been at this social media thing for a long time now but I've never really taken the time to get my own blog where it needs to be! Well, the time is now!

Thanks Mack

Lisa Grimm said...

As a new blogger, this information is helpful:) Thanks. This was very timely Mack. You're great.

Jonathan Saar said...

Mack-I always appreciate what you bring to the table. Your posts and the weekly blogchat have helped me quite a bit.

Suzanne Vara said...


It is funny as I am determined to take at least 1 hour each day in December to comment on more blogs, create more posts to have them in the can for those "I do not know what to write" days and I am in need of more going back to profiles I have signed up for and never learned how to use.

The only bad that I see in bloggers slowing down is that I am left with less to read from my favorite bloggers.

Suzanne Vara said...

Me again ... I forgot 1 very important thing to do in downtime: TAKE PART IN #BLOGCHAT on Sunday nights. You will be glad that you did.

Jamie Search said...

These are some really helpful tips which I will be trying out. Thanks for sharing this information.

David Spinks said...

Great stuff Mack.

If I don't relaunch my blog on a self hosted wordpress account by the end of December, I'm a failure. I will be using the next month to ramp up a number of things around my blog.

Another good idea is to seek out some new blogs to read. Add a little life to your reader and seek some different perspectives from the ones you've been reading all year.

Also, start thinking about what the new year will bring. Can you make some interesting predictions around your industry/niche? Could make for some great blog content and you can plan your blog strategy based on changes that you can see coming.

Community Manager, Scribnia.com

Brandon Sutton said...

Great info to keep in mind - thanks for the suggestions. The past few weeks have been the crazy weeks for me, but after this weekend, I actually get freed up a lot. I'm going to heed your suggestions, especially on the comment front - I've been slacking lately.

To David's point, looking at 2010 provides a good basis for content. I'd also suggest that it's also a good idea to look back over the last 12 months to see where we can identify key insights. Our field changes so rapidly that there will be plenty to recap. It might prove useful to reflect on things that have shaped the social space this year.

Thanks for the tips Mack! Always useful...

Mack Collier said...

"It is funny as I am determined to take at least 1 hour each day in December to comment on more blogs, create more posts to have them in the can for those "I do not know what to write" days and I am in need of more going back to profiles I have signed up for and never learned how to use."

This REALLY works guys. Every single day I see someone comment here or RT one of my posts, that I commented on their blog or RTed one of their posts the day before.

Commenting is a great way to 'get on the radar' with other bloggers, and they then LOOK for ways to 'thank' you by commenting on your blog, tweeting your posts, etc.

Thanks for the comments, looks like you guys are gonna be killin' it this month!

Jason Keath said...

Plus there are so many easy post ideas in December.

Year in review
2010 predictions
Gift guide

People love this stuff.

New Orleans Tech.Net said...

We take the time in Dec to evaluate our blog, the content, and what we wanted to do for the upcoming year.

Not also a bad idea to take advantage of the holidays and write a Christmas/New Years related post.

Jen said...

Great information. I have been doing some of the ideas you mentioned such as creating content and lining up Giveaways. What do you suggest "for trying something new"?

Thanks and Happy New Year!