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Blogging the Festive Season

It’s that time of year: the silly season is upon us!

Festive spirit

Photo by Axel Bührmann on Flickr.

The bricks-and-mortar stores have had the Christmas trees and fake Santas up for months … but what’s the blogosphere doing to prepare?

The answer depends on who you talk to. Every blog and every audience is different, after all. Still, we can learn from each other’s ideas and get inspiration from niches outside our own.

Today and tomorrow, we’ll look at a few different blogs, and see how their owners are preparing for the festive season:

Some of the blogs have been around for years, while others are barely 12 months old. Some of the bloggers work full-time on their blogs, but others are part-timers fitting in blogging around their day jobs. We’ll find out:

  • how they’re planning to optimize festive season sales and promotions
  • how they’re fitting blogging in around all the other stuff that happens in the lead-up to the end of the year
  • how they’re planning to keep in touch with clients, followers, and fans over the New Year break
  • how much they’re expecting to work over this period, how much time they’re hoping to spend with family and friends—and what they’ve done to make that possible
  • what they’re doing to make sure they hit the ground running in 2013—and what they’ll focus on then.

I hope you’ll find this series inspiring. To kick off, let me give you a bit of a behind-the-scenes peek into what I’m doing on dPS, a product blog, for the festive season.

The product blog

It’s a busy time for dPS in the lead-up to the festive season. As well as maintaining our publishing schedule, we’re starting to prepare for our annual 12 days of christmas celebration. It’s always a lot of fun … and a lot of work.

Festive promotions, content, and visitors

For each of the 12 days leading up to Christmas, we offer a special price on either one of our own products, or that of a hand-picked partner. So there’s a lot of work getting those deals in place, and getting the pages and promotions ready to go ahead of time.

This sale is something that the dPS audience really loves, so we keep trying to improve, and we’re ramping things up again this year. Past experience has shown that the sale should create a lot of additional traffic to the blog, but not just to the sales pages themselves—we’ll start to see increases in the visitors coming to certain tutorials, too. Posts on portraits and family shots are always popular at this time of year, as are more specific topics like photographing fireworks.

And while we do promote the 12 days of Christmas deals as great gift ideas, we also encourage our regular readers to buy a special gift for themselves, too.

Time off

I always like to take some time off at Christmas to spend with family and friends, and preparation is the key. I’m fortunate that I can share some of the preparation with my team, but we also plan and schedule content well in advance so that everyone who works on the blog can enjoy the time off.

With all the activity happening in the lead-up to Christmas, I’m pretty busy. In the period between Christmas and New Year, I’ll do check-in from time to time but I do limit that to as little as I can.

Looking forward

Taking time off means I need to prepare for the time when I get back to work in 2013. That preparation’s been going on for a while now—we already have our first new product ready to launch in January, so that will take some of our focus early in the year.

I’ll also start plotting our roadmap for the rest of year in January, with my team, and of course the publishing schedule is an ongoing task.

A festive plan

Understanding seasonality is an important part of maximising the sales of products for those with a product or affiliate-product blog.

The products on dPS are well suited to festive events, so we ensure our campaigns are timed to maximise that potential. But even if you’re products aren’t really relevant to Christmastime, there will be other times during the year when demand will be at its highest.

For those of us who rely on product sales income, it’s important to have a plan in place so you can meet that demand.

At the end of the series, I’ll provide you with a five-point checklist to help you prepared your product—or other—blog for the festive season. But for now, I’m interested to hear your stories. What do you have planned on your blog for the coming weeks? Let me know in the comments.

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. Ivan WIdjaya says:

    Darren,

    Well said – I particularly like the “time off” part.

    As a web publisher and blog owner, “time” is a luxury. So, just like you, I will definitely outsource my workloads to my team and enjoy some quality time with the people I care. I badly need that :)

    Enjoy your day!

  2. Vikash Yadav says:

    Sir,
    Blogging the festive season but my dreams to become a big blogger, Please help me sir.

    • Ivan WIdjaya says:

      Vikash,

      If I may offer an advice, I would give you this one, single tip: Don’t blog for money. You need a bigger purpose with your blogging endeavor: Sharing what you know about something; talk about your interests; helping others to achieve something, etc.

      Blog about XYZ because XYZ is giving you high earning from AdSense, affiliate programs, etc. won’t get you far – especially after Google Panda and Penguin updates, slamming niche blogs and “over-optimized” blog that geared toward money making first and content second.

      My 1.95 cents… :)

  3. Anurag says:

    Waiting for the Discount in a Product you choose.

  4. Tony Nguyen says:

    Holidays is the gold chance for any internet marketers, especially on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. These days this year, I got myself quite well, enough to have a good Christmas, thanks on many unique techniques learning from this blog.
    Thanks Darren, for all things you have been making for community. Best wish and happy holidays

  5. big.sale.and.discount.interest?

  6. Great Idea for the 12 days of Christmas, I am stealing that idea :) Thanks for the share

  7. I decided to write a post on ways to save money for Christmas. Fits perfectly with my niche and was a fun blog post to write!

  8. Richard says:

    Everyone wants to enjoy the festive season with his or her family. Its nice to wrap up the pending work before Christmas and enjoy holidays with your family.

  9. Rita says:

    I write a blog for baby boomer consumers. My readers like consumer information about all the holidays. For the upcoming holiday season, I write about possible frauds, shopping tips, what bargains are expected, food to serve, getting along with relatives, trends, travel, how much consumers will spend, and more.

    As the holidays approach, my page views start to go up because readers are clicking on the articles I’ve written in previous years.

    Rita blogging at The Survive and Thrive Boomer Guide