So… it’s the silly season, and let me guess?
Things are getting silly.
You’re trying to figure out how to avoid those relatives you dearly love but would also love to strangle. You still have a few last-minute gifts to buy. And in the middle of it all, somehow you have to summon the will power not to stuff your face with all the holiday goodies and gain 400 pounds.
It’s tough, I know. So, I’ll make this quick and easy:
Stop publishing new content.
Never thought you would hear me say that, did you?
Yeah. Here’s why:
Traffic sucks during the holidays.
I don’t know what the official numbers are, but most of my older sites see a 20-30% drop across the board. The newer ones (like Smart Blogger) that are still gaining momentum hiccup and stumble and fall to their knees, their traffic not quite declining but not growing either.
Look at your traffic stats, and you’ll probably see the same pattern. Unless, of course, you operate some sort of retail or Christmas-themed site, in which case you’re probably working your buns off.
But everyone else?
You should hold off publishing anything new.
Let’s talk about why.
Your Content Deserves the Best Possible Chance
Imagine you’re trying to teach a toddler how to swim.
Do you wait until there’s a hurricane, drive to the ocean, and toss the poor little tot into 12-foot waves?
Of course not. On the contrary, you put a kiddie pool in the backyard, wait until it’s a bright, sunshiny day, and give their first lesson when no one else is around.
Because they deserve the best possible chance.
Your content works the same way.
If you publish it now, you’re essentially throwing it into the ocean during a metaphorical hurricane. It will just get drowned out.
And that’s silly. If your content is great, you want to fight for it and do your absolute best to help it succeed.
So does that mean I’m giving you permission to take a break until the New Year?
Ha! Fat chance of that. 🙂
Do the following instead:
5 Ways to Be Productive during the Holidays
- Plan your posts. If you don’t have it already, grab a free copy of Headline Hacks and plan your post headlines. It has 52 templates, one for every week of the year. Write one headline for each template, and do one post a week, and you have the entire year planned out in advance.
- Create an incentive to join your email list. Been struggling to find the time to write a free e-book or create a video series that entices visitors to join your email list? Well, now’s your chance. Work on it for thirty minutes every day from now until the end of the year, and you will begin 2014 with a bang.
- Create a new product. Already have a great incentive to join your email list? Well then, create a new product to sell. Survey your audience about their biggest problems, create an outline for a product that solves those problems, and send it to them to see what they think. If they like it, create it. All before January 1.
- Research your peers. Once a year, it’s a good idea to thoroughly check out the other blogs in your space and see how they’re doing. Use tools like Open Site Explorer, Social Crawlytics, and SEMrush to get real data on what’s working and what’s not.
- Take care of technical tasks. If you’ve been thinking about upgrading your hosting or cleaning out your WordPress plug-ins or any other technical tasks, now’s the time to do it. If you break something, a smaller number of people notice than during any other time of the year.
Here at Smart Blogger, we’re doing all of the above. Granted, we have an entire team of people working on it, so we can do that, but you can do at least one or two of these, even if you’re a one-man band.
Whatever you do, don’t waste the opportunity. This is the one time of year where you can justify getting off the content treadmill and doing something else.
So, get back to work.
And for heaven’s sake, stop thinking about strangling your relatives. Yes, prison seems like a nice, quiet place to get some writing done, but that’s taking things a little too far. 🙂
Warmest wishes to you and yours,
Jon and the Smart Blogger Crew