Mack Collier, writing at The Viral Garden, has a very informative post about how to get the most out of the blogging “lull” in December:
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.
This is always good advice. “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it”, right? Have you done your measurement? How do you track your traffic and how your readers navigate your site? I use a combination of Sitemeter (the free service)and Google analytics. Sitemeter is great for me because it is much closer to real-time than Google, and I like to keep an eye on my referral logs.
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.
This is a no-brainer, but time can be an issue. Like the old saying goes, the best time to plant an orchard is 10 years ago, the best time to prepare for the December lull is earlier in the year. How do you do that? Well, for one thing you can compile your posts on book reviews as you do them, creating an uber-list for gift-giving ideas. And use those Amazon links to generate a little extra money for your own holidays…
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…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.
Again, get out your calendars right now and jot yourself some notes for August, September, and October 2010 to write some draft posts that you can complete for that first week of 2011. Getting a head start like this is a real motivator and can help you get a jump on your competition next year. And remember, in the US November 2010 is an election for the Congress, who knows what might happen. Uncertainty will likely be highin January 2011 – think about how your business can capitalize on that.
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. … December is a great time to examine different tools and see if they work for you to complement your blogging efforts.
If you have done your homework and prepared for your December/January content, then this is a great time to play around with all of those applications that you have been meaning to try. In addition, this is great new content! Blog about your experiments, and create conversations with your readers and social media network about what works and what doesn’t.
5 – Become a commenting superhero. Remember, traffic is going to come to a crawl on many blogs. … If many people aren’t commenting, this is your chance to get noticed. And not just with other readers, but by the bloggers themselves.
Commenting is definitely one of the best network- and traffic-building strategies. It is time-consuming and feels like real work sometimes, but it can also be fun and can pay off in increased traffic for your site, increased credibility and authority for yourself/your company and may even lead to guest-posting offers.
What is your December strategy? It’s not too late to do at least a couple of these activities this year.
(cross-posted at stephenpsmith.com)