Daily Dose of Design: Holiday Content Strategy: Getting the Most Out of Your Posts

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Holiday Content Strategy: Getting the Most Out of Your Posts


This time of year, everyone is in full holiday mode. Houses are being decorated, red cups at Starbucks are flying off the shelves and bloggers have their calendars filled to the tippy top with fun holiday posts. Gift guides, recipes, holiday tips; the list is never ending! Which is exactly why it's super important to make your posts stand out, but also to get them seen in the most effective ways possible. A lot of this has to do with knowing where your posts perform the best, but it also has a lot to do with how you promote and how you write your posts. This time of year most especially, consumers are looking for time savers; cleaning hacks, hot gift ideas, great and original holiday recipes. The thing is, everyone is doing this. Everyone is sharing their favorite recipes, gifts and cleaning hacks but finding ways to stand out amongst the rest is the key. Here's how:

Plan everything out ahead of time. Having an editorial calendar that you 100% stick to is easier said than done (trust me! ;), but the more you use one to work off of the better off you'll be. Sales and talks of the holidays started back in mid October, and early November starts the craziness. So these holiday posts have been lingering for a while! I could never complain, because they're my favorite types of posts to read *and* write! The more you write about the holidays, the better. The more you'll be seen. Having a long term holiday plan is crucial to your posts' success. It's sort of like how shopping earlier rather than later pays off! See what I did there? ;) You'll have more time to decide what sort of posts you want to put out and do your research on them. You'll have time to find the best gift ideas (that are different than the rest) and to create some trial-and-error recipes while being totally original with them.

Go over last year's holiday content. Assuming your blog has been around for over a year, you likely have holiday content from last season that you can refer to. From here, you can analyze each post to see what performed best with your audience and what didn't do as great. In my case, last year was my first holiday season as a blogger. I did a LOT of holiday posts (without a lot of planning...) because I love this time of year and because I had so many ideas. My magic cookie bars recipe, cold weather essentials post and the round-up I put together of 16 amazing holiday desserts were three of my top performing holiday posts from 2015. I used Google Analytics to find out my top posts from this time of year, and from there I've been able to put together my editorial calendar for the holidays based around some of these ideas. Being able to analyze what your readers respond to the most is probably THE best way to get increased views on holiday content!

Do your research. Next to knowing what your readers specifically like seeing the best, knowing what other consumers - who aren't yet a reader of your blog - like and want the most is crucial for success! With a couple of super simple Google searches, you can find out what's 1. trending 2. in high demand and 3. working for others. For example, if you Google "Christmas dessert recipe", millions of results come up. 33,800,000 to be exact! This is a super broad search term yet likely something that's looked up SO many times per day. Can you imagine your post being on the front Google page of a search like this? The views you would have would be outrageous! From a search like this, you can take the sorts of posts that are performing at the top and try to (in this case) come up with a recipe that compliments those at the top. The same goes for every category in every niche!


Use keywords in your title and post. This is where having basic knowledge of SEO and it's importance for your blog is *so* important! Even if you're not an SEO expert (like myself - the basics are where it's at for me!) it's pretty simple to figure out the importance of keywords. In your post's title, in your post, in your post description - everywhere. Key words are HUGE. This is how people will find your post and therefore, your blog. This is also information you can find from Google Analytics, and searching for different key words also will help you to figure out what type of posts perform best with which specific words and when you can use similar wording also.

Have a great pinnable image. Having a Pinterest optimized image for every post, all year round is so crucial since Pinterest is huge for bloggers; but Pinterest during the holidays is even bigger. Last holiday season, there were over 37 MILLION people pinning all sorts of holiday content. Whether it be for a DIY ornament, a great dessert recipe or holiday party ideas - Pinterest is always the go-to for all sorts of holiday ideas. Now, think about your daily scrolls through Pinterest. What sort of pins do you gravitate toward? Strive to make your pins stand out and ones that you could see yourself pinning to a board. Have a clear and concise title; nothing too long and no super bright text. Work on your images and watch the pins and post views roll in.

Start using a holiday themed hashtag. The majority of hashtags you use are ones that are made by other online creatives/influencers/bloggers/biz owners. #ABMlifeiscolorful, #flashesofdelight - you get the picture. Make a hashtag up to promote your holiday content and/or your posts in general and share it EVERYWHERE! Work on making it well-known, watch the posts roll in on Instagram and find other creatives to connect with. This year, I started using #DDOG and #dailydoseofgifts on Instagram to promote my gift guides. It's not a super popular way of promotion, but it could become one!


XOXO -A

30 comments:

  1. This is great advice. I still have trouble with using keywords, but they are so important!!

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  2. These are great tips! I definitely agree that looking back at old content and checking your analytics to see what posts performed best is a great way to plan out the season. I also like the idea about checking trends to see what might perform well. Great post! :)

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  3. Great tips! Definitely agree that planning ahead is key! I want to get better with my SEO for sure!

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  4. Love how in-depth this is, Adriana! Love your ideas! I've been wanting to come up with a general hashtag for my blog, but can't seem to find the creativity!

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  5. I was so thankful to have holiday posts from last year to reshare. Some that didn't get much traction I redid and are doing much better this year!

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  6. Great advice. I also like to share my holiday posts on social media from the current year and the previous year. There's always a new group of readers to find!

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  7. Thanks for putting this together! Not planning is what usually messes me up, thinking about holiday posts at the last minute lead to low quality wastes of time. Totally gonna start planning for NEXT holiday season, THIS season lol.

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  8. I did not take advantage of holiday posts last year so I am excited to be in the game this year. I have been waiting for December but I totally see the advantage of starting earlier.

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  9. I love these tips! Thanks for sharing!
    Kari
    http://sweetteasweetie.com/biscuit-bar-appetizer-bar/

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  10. These are all such good tips! I really need to start planning ahead...it's something I am absolutely horrible about!

    Shannon
    Clothes & Quotes

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  11. This is great advice! Thanks for sharing! Really made me think about some things and get inspired! :)

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  12. I am definitely taking your advice. Lots of stuff to do!

    Glam Hungry Mom

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  13. This is a great post to keep me focused! Sometimes you just get burned out and stuff like this motivates again!

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  14. These are awesome tips! I need to get to planning and implementing my content.

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  15. These tips are awesome! I feel like holiday content can be a bit overdone at times (especially gift guides) and these tips ensure that your content is still different and fun!

    xoxo,
    Katie
    chicincarolina.blogspot.com

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  16. There is so much info here! Thank you! I have been blogging for several years and did not start out with a Pinterest optimized image. I really regret it and now have to go back and redo the pinned image. Thanks for putting this post together!

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  17. There's nothing better than planning ahead of time! It's simply one of the things that will make your life easier in the long run.

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  18. These are great tips - and I am in the process right now of updating last year's end of the year posts - plus I do the Google type of research - and of course your other tips - Fun to see

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  19. This was so incredibly helpful. This is the first holiday season that I really sat down and strategized for. Past years I was a bit lazy - hah. It's been a lot of work, but it has definitely paid off. I'll definitely be using your tips to get me through the rest of the season!

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  20. Some useful tips here. I generally scale back in December but these are useful all year round.

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  21. I swear I told myself to plan my content sooner. Time just flies by! This post is so thorough so thank you for sharing. Great reminder that I need to stick to my game plan and plan ahead. Cheers!

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  22. This are some amazing advice here! Thanks for sharing!

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  23. I've always wanted to start a hashtag but worry it won't catch on! Would have to do some major brainstorming

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  24. Great advice! I definitely have my editorial calendar filled with holiday posts (and a few others for balance) but I haven't gone back yet to review last year, a must do!!!

    Xxox
    Laura @ www.cookwineandthinker.com

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  25. I am trying so hard to be more organized with my posts this year for the holidays! I am not the best at it, But I am trying!

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  26. Thanks for these tips. It is such a great resource for both new and seasoned bloggers. I agree that using keywords is so important to drive traffic to your blog and I do my research very well when an idea or opportunity comes up.

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  27. You have giving me some great ideas to use. Thank you.

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  28. I started a Christmas countdown challenge with it's own hashtag and that's been great ! Loving all of these tips.

    X,
    Cristina

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  29. So many great tips! The holidays are such a stressful time of year for bloggers if you don't have a good system in place. I do my best to go into each month with a set plan as well as a backup plan for if something goes wrong. It helps so much!

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  30. Fabulous tips! It's a busy time of year with blog posts and social shares, it's tough to stand out!

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