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Positioning Your Blog for a Profitable Christmas

There are 82 Days until Christmas.

Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year for many ProBloggers – especially those with product related sites. The number of people searching for information on products that are given as gifts as well as the numbers of people actually buying presents online leap in the lead up to Christmas – the question is – ‘Are you Ready?’

If you start preparing your blog for Christmas in December you’re probably too late. The Christmas rush starts late in November and escalates right through until the big day.

Bloggers need to take account for the fact that if they want Search Engine traffic to bring Christmas traffic that you need to think ahead. It takes day, weeks and even longer to get posts ranking in SE’s.

So how are you preparing your blog for Christmas?

Here are five areas I’ve been working on:

  1. Deep link Affiliate links – I actually did a lot of work on my blogs in preparation for December a month or two back. In addition to my normal blogging I’ve added hundreds of individualized and relevant Amazon text affiliate links to individual posts on some of my blogs. You can add links to affiliate programs in your sidebars – but the most effective affiliates actually add links to actual articles and posts (hence the name ‘deep linking’). I found last year that my Amazon earnings for November and December were triple my normal levels – so this year will be watching for similar or even better results.
  2. SEO – I’ve also been going through a lot of older posts and each of my blogs and have been tweaking them on an SEO front in the hope that it will help increase my rankings in Google and the other SE’s. Search Engines like fresh content – so consider adding new information and updating some of your older posts to give them some freshness.
  3. eMiniMall Optimization – I’ve so happy to have found the eMiniMalls – they are almost the perfect type of ad for the Christmas rush as they give readers a picture, price and comparative options for making a purchase. I’ve spent the last couple of days adding them to most of my blogs and working on their integration into the blogs in terms of positioning and design. I have a feeling that they will be my big winner this year. In terms of optimization tips for eMiniMalls – I’ll write about this later in the week – but I’m finding that the best positions so far similar positions to clever Adsense positioning and design.
  4. Adsense Optimization – Similarly I’ve been casting a critical eye over my blogs and their Adsense ads in terms of design and positioning. Sometimes things get a bit stale over time if you leave them in the one spot and its worth doing some review in this area and experimenting with new ways of configuring them so that in the last month or so you can have them fine tuned.
  5. Christmas Posts and Suggested Gifts – I generally don’t target specific ‘Christmas Words’ (there is so much competition) but I will be running a few posts over the coming weeks on a few of my blogs witch suggested Gift items which I’ll link prominently in my sidebars and menus. Of course these posts will have affiliate links embedded into them as well as the normal Amazon ads.

So on a blogging front – what are you doing to prepare yourself for Christmas this year? Are you thinking ahead about positioning yourself to be a part of the increased traffic and earnings that it generally brings?

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. David says:

    ‘over the coming weeks on a few of my blogs witch suggested’
    Wrong which, I guess someone is thinking about Halloween as well.

  2. IO ERROR says:

    I hadn’t even thought about Christmas. Thank you for the reminder! I have a lot of work to do.

  3. Jon Gales says:

    I’m going to be rolling out a review of a phone about once a week from now until Christmas. It’s going to be interesting (I already have almost too many to keep track of). I hope that it will continue through Q1 as well, but we’ll see how long I can stand always using a new phone.

  4. Danny Foo says:

    Well, I’m wondering if I should run a lost wishlist post or a design campaing. Hmm..but Darren, you’re already taking the bigger piece of the cake. LoL!

    Cheers.

  5. Jacob says:

    I’m not so sure that Chitika eMiniMalls are (almost) the perfect type of ad for the Christmas rush. While in the two days that I’ve tested them on one site, they’ve performed admirably, there’s no indication of whether those clicks have become sales for the merchants. If they are not, the eMiniMalls are monetizing what normal affiliate programs would not monetize, as no sale results. But if a sale results, one would likely be better off with their own affiliate link to that merchant or product.

    eMiniMalls would be infinitely more profitable if they integrated Amazon Associate, Commission Junction, and other affiliate IDs.

    Adsense has third party trackers, (which I’ve yet to test), that say which ads are being clicked. An eMiniMall tracker would be remarkably helpful if it could identify which products are showing up and which are being clicked. That way, a person could also link directly to that product through an affiliate merchant. I wonder, though, if MyBlogLog currently catches those clicks out? Can someone confirm?

  6. Last I checked MyBlogLog didn’t have the right javascript to capture Adsense clicks, but that was a couple months ago.

  7. Thanks Darren, for reminding us on Christmas. Like you said, December is closer than we think.

  8. Dave says:

    Christmas creates a great surge towards my sites for an altogether different reason than seasonal purchasing – its all those families getting a new computer and an internet connection – I tend to get an increase in visitors between Christmas Day and New Years Day.

    I’m going to have a think about how I can associate some of my sites with a Christmas theme.

  9. Darren Rowse says:

    Jacob you’re right. Affiliate programs might pay more – depending what they are for.

    Here’s my experience so far though:

    Amazon affiliateships are earning me less than 10% of what the eMiniMalls are earning me and they have not decreased since I started adding the MiniMalls to my sites.

    In my mind – the MiniMalls are much better performing than any affiliate program I’ve ever used.

  10. Andy Merrett says:

    Yes, I’m just getting into “Christmas mode” and will be adding stuff to my product blogs in preparation. Thanks for the kick though, I need to get it sorted in the next week or two.

    I’ll be writing or adapting some articles to make them seasonal – ie “What’s the best first keyboard / piano / synth to buy [relative] at Christmas?” – and looking around to see if the major manufacturers will be doing any special deals.

    On a less product-related note, my family relationships blog is a prime one to add seasonal articles, given how stressful Christmas often is. Even on this blog, I find that AdSense performs fairly well.

    Just on a definition note, I thought ‘deep linking’ meant linking to specific products within an affiliate program (ie Amazon) rather than just the home page. Not that it matters much, but you use the term to mean ‘embedding the links in your own page’.

    However it’s defined, the most effective method, as you say, must be linking to specific products from within specific relevant articles.

  11. This will be my first Christmas as a blogger. My outdoors blog is an off-shoot of my outdoors gear store and as such I’m going to be attempting to write a blog piece about each product I sell in order to freshen up the link to that item in search engines, perhaps gain an extra set of search engine results for each product, and hopefully direct extra traffic to it.

    In the past, with just the store, my increase in traffic has always been people searching for individual products rather than any Christmas or Gift related pages I had posted.

    Most of my readers come directly from Google anyway, though i do have some regular subscribers and I’ll have to be careful not to offend them by constant product plugging. I’ll need to include a bit of industry news in between each product post I think.

  12. x74 says:

    > eMiniMalls – I’ll write about this later in the week – but I’m
    > finding that the best positions so far similar positions to
    > clever Adsense positioning and design.

    With regards to integration– I found that I have the best luck integrating eMiniMalls right into a post relating to the product displayed. I’ve seen (fairly consistently) that this increases my eMiniMall CTR.

    To make this integration easier, I developed a plugin that lets you put an eMiniMall right into your post, using WordPress’ Quicktags Toolbar. The plugin lets you insert an eMiniMall into your post by clicking a button.

    Visit this post for more information on my eMiniMall Plugin for WordPress.

  13. Brandon says:

    Great Advice.

    i’ve also started a few projects on my own, and doing some of the things you mentioned in preparation for Christmas.

    After all, who doesnt want a fat juicy turkey for Christmas?

  14. Mariano says:

    Is it a good strategy to review adsense configuration in such days? I mean, if your new approach doesn’t work for any reason, you’ll be losing more money and you’ll miss a great chance…In fact, I wonder how much time would have to pass to know if adsense changes are worth?

  15. Matt says:

    I thought I’d put the minimalls into my blog, but since it is on blogger.com, it won’t accept java script inside the posts, which would be the best place for a minimall on a product specific blog. Soooo…. I guess it’s just me, AdSense, some other affilliate programs, and a prayer, this holiday season! LOL

  16. Dee says:

    Since I have a kindergartner at home I’ve been surfing for the new christmas toys. She’s been helping me. :) So I went into my chitika minimall and added some new item that she likes. My blog subscribers are mostly young mothers, so I hope something good will come of it.

  17. Matt says:

    I decided to throw a minimall up on top of the blog, underneath the blog name banner and see what it does. Maybe I’ll have another 2 digit month! (another $10!!! WOOHOO!)

  18. gerkhis says:

    Hi Darren,

    Could you tell me what is “SEO”?

    thanks,
    gerkhis

  19. Darren Rowse says:

    Search Engine Optimization – or working on getting your site ranked as highly as possible in Search Engines

  20. This information was very useful indeed, i have been coming to this for a while now and the articles are very intereting even thou i do not do any of this work just good to read.

  21. Dr. BLT says:

    I had a profitable Christmas last year when I discovered this song hit the top 30 mp3 downloads on the internet, landing at #21:

    Black Santa
    Dr. BLT
    words and music by Dr. BLT (c) 2005, 2006
    http://www.drblt.net/music/BLKSanta.mp3

    This year, I’m that Black Santa will become a seasonal classic, and I’m hoping to score with this one:

    You’re Not the Kind of Ho (That Santa Had in Mind)
    Dr. BLT
    words and music by Dr. BLT (c) 2006
    http://www.drblt.net/music/hosong.mp3

  22. Hey everyone,

    Theres a blog out there thats trying to keep alive the Holiday happiness and keeping it affordable!

    http://thevirtualchristmaself.blogspot.com/

    Happy Holidays!

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