How to Blog Your Way through the Holidays

This post is by Ashe Mischief

In the 3+ years I’ve been blogging, I’ve seen the most blogger burnout happen during the holidays.  It’s inevitable: we’re spending hours shuffling around airports, prepping for the invasion of our families, all while baking cookies, cleaning, shopping for food and gifts, hanging up kitschy holiday wreaths, and decorating trees.  It happens with Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s slamming in to us one after the other (at least for the US folks!).

 

Add to all of that your full-time blogging schedule AND your part- or full-time job.  You’re begging for blogging burnout. It’s hard to work you way out of holiday burnout, too– I know in January I still feel that lull, the lack of creativity and enthusiasm for getting back to regular posting.  I look at my blog and I’m emotionally burnt out and recuperating still!

 

So shall we beat blogger burnout this season (all while keeping those holiday pounds off our hips)?

 

  • Communicate with your readers– most readers aren’t going to penalize you for posting less or taking time off.  It’s likely they may be reading less anyhow! Let them know– I’m still around, the holidays are busy, and after them, we’ll resume our posting schedule!
  • Simply take the holidays off. In an ideal world the holidays become vacation time: the weekend of Thanksgiving, the week between Christmas and New Year’s.  Give yourself the days off, and enjoy a break from thinking about SEO and social media for the time being.
  • Invite guest posters– while the holidays are busy for everyone, it’s a great time to do a little outreach and ask a few of your blogger buddies if they’d be interested in contributing a guest post for the season.
  • Use your editorial calendar to help you plan ideas and schedule holiday posts in advance. If you’re not using an editorial calendar yet, the holidays are a great time to begin.  It’s a time to focus yourself on creating fewer, quality pieces while building yourself back up to regular blogging.
  • Schedule your posts in advance. Whether you take an extra day off before Thanksgiving or you start building them up in August, taking time to write holiday posts in advance will help decrease the burden of posting.  Hell– scheduling your posts is a great tool to get you through ANY busy period, not just the holidays! Most blogging platforms have an easy to use check box to schedule the date and time it goes live.
  • Focus on fewer, quality posts during the period– skimp out on light, fluffy pieces for the sake of them.  This happened to me last year.  I tried doing a gift guide, focusing on one gift idea a day during the holidays, and it just didn’t mesh with my readers.  It was probably my LEAST popular period of writing, and I felt like I was skimping on my duties in favor of something easy.
  • Revisit and update old, popular posts. In general, I find a great way to build your blog is to follow-up on old posts.  When Mardi Gras rolls around, I always revisit my old posts, update them with new, more recent information, and make sure they’re easy to find.  The holidays are a great time to do the same– share clever posts on surviving office Christmas parties, favorite recipes, and more.

 

How do you handle the holidays?  Do you keep up your frenzy of posting, slack back and enjoy the time of year, or do you find yourself wavering a bit between the two?

 

Image by Will Montague

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25 Responses

  1. Christina

    I like the updating old posts idea, and republishing. I have quite a few posts that have been getting a lot of traffic, that can be updated with new ideas. Great article!

    Reply
  2. sirdorian

    at stylishkidsinriot.com, i focus on one topic for this two weeks. so we only blog about this topic and something about holdiays. it´s easier to focus on one thing instead of many stuff. last year, it was really tough because of less time and motivation during the holidays;)

    thanks for the tipps:)

    Reply
  3. Retro Chick

    Great tips Ashe.

    I always try and take the time between Christmas and NYE off at least, I only post if something really exciting occurs to me!

    The one good thing about the holidays is that if you try and work to a posting schedule then you at least have a ready made topic to talk about!

    Reply
  4. Hana

    Loved all these tips, especially number 3! After reading that, I actually went and invited a blogger who had been talking with me through email to do a guest post for the holidays 🙂

    Also, it is good to remember to take the holiday off. This is probably what I will do, especially since I am getting married during this time!

    Reply
  5. Alys

    Lovely tips. 🙂

    On my blog, I’m planning on keeping up with the season by talking about what I’m doing: christmas shopping, parties, baking, right through to the January sales. I also have my birthday somewhere in the middle of all that.

    Happy Holidays everyone! x

    Reply
  6. lisa

    Great suggestions. I usually end up taking the time off and letting readers know I’m on hiatus. Google Analytics stats be damned, I need a break!

    Reply
  7. Diana

    I definitely blog ahead. Also, since I write for a shopping-heavy niche, it’s a good time to schedule 2-3 sales posts (I don’t typically do them.) There’s awesome clearance around December 31st, when virtually no one gets online.

    Reply
  8. SJP

    Great tips – I think these could apply to any time of year really! As soon as I changed jobs a few months ago my posts took such a nose dive. Now I’m trying to post quality once or twice a week rather than quantity every other day and planning ahead too.

    Reply
  9. Paula

    Thank you so much for this post! Being a newbie, I had no idea what I was going to do for the holidays–so thanks for paving the way!

    Reply
  10. Casey

    These are fantastic tips! Last year was the first year I actually sat down and pre-planned my blogging schedule and what I wanted to do over Thanksgiving and Christmas. In 2009, I blogged through Thanksgiving and took a small break over Christmas/New Years. This year I’m probably going to flip that and only take a teeny break over Christmas/New Years and the week of Thanksgiving off. I really liked utilizing scheduled posts last year and plan on writing like mad the next month before Christmas to beef up my scheduled posts folder! 😉

    One thing I have found is that it is okay to slack off a bit on the frequency of posts during the holidays. Because everyone is busy–so some readers may not have time to comment but do keep up with new posts, and still others don’t have time to stop by. So I give myself a little bit of a breather by realizing everyone else is just as harried as I am! Still, it’s nice to at least have a few updated (I update about 5-6 times a week right now, but shoot for 3 a week during the holidays) posts around just in case. 😉

    ♥ Casey | blog

    Reply
  11. Storm

    This is so good! I’m about to launch my website after a major re-design and hopefully my readers will love what i have planned for the holidays!

    Reply
  12. GetDressed

    I burned out early running multiple fashion efforts and finally realized I didn’t need to write the next American Novel on my fashion blog… that a ‘thought’ for the week could be enough. Since I blog as a form of fashion self expression, it really has lightened my perspective on blogging. Now, I can post a fab fashion photo and just a quick comment and be happy!

    Reply
  13. Laura Connell

    This will be my first holiday as a “real” blogger. (Last year I was only dabbling, posting a couple of times a week). I’m going to do the best I can and perhaps use some of the amazing holiday window displays around the city as inspiration when I don’t have time for a wordy post.

    Reply
  14. Emily Ulrich

    I like the “fewer, quality posts” concept. Although, I guess I feel that way for Average Joe blogging. I think it’s better to produce less with more substance in a way that keeps things fresh, entertaining, and leaves more room for creative content.

    Reply
  15. de la Pen

    Thanks for the tips! I’ve been trying to figure how to tackle Holiday blogging and so I’ll definitely be applying some of these ideas. I have some special posts planned for the holidays. Plus, last year I took the entire holiday season off but that was for my music blog, but, for the fashion blog, I don’t know.

    Reply
  16. Michelle Christina

    Scheduling posts in advance is what I’m doing now–I never have time to post much with the to-do list items you’ve mentioned (and not only that, I’d rather spend time watching Xmas specials with my boyfriend and making gingerbread houses and all of that fun stuff!).

    For people that feel guilty about not blogging during this time (my blog, for instance, is sort of founded on the recognition of festivity, so I get guilty), you can console yourself by spending time away from the computer during the holidays and spending the after-math (before Valentines day) posting about all the lovely things you did at the end of 2010!

    Reply
  17. Gwen Bell

    In all these years I’ve never kept an editorial schedule.

    At the outset of 2010 I set the intention to post daily. Then I realized my readers don’t even want daily posts. My posts tend to be quite detailed. So, I scaled back.

    Some of the most successful bloggers I know keep a schedule. (This helps tremendously when you bring new bloggers on board to share the load.)

    If you’ll forgive the promotion of one of the projects I’m collaborating on, I wanted to let you know about a project I started last year. We’re doing again this year. It’s to help creatives review their year & manifest what’s next. 31 days of prompts. Some of them by published authors.

    You’ll find some inspiration for the darkest days of the year there: reverb10.com.

    Reply
  18. Vogue & Vintage

    Great post! I did a survey on my IFB page of what times of the year do you enjoy to blog specifically because I find myself being a little more lacks around the holidays. I’m glad to see that I am not the only one, but I will stay active on my page just not a rapid as I was on the off holidays seasons. 🙂

    xoxo,
    Vogue & Vintage

    Reply