You know that the holidays are coming up and that everyone is looking to finish (or start) their holiday shopping. You want to draw all of the online shoppers to your blog, but you aren’t sure where to start. Fortunately, there are some easy marketing tips for your blog during the holidays that can increase traffic and maybe even make a profit at the same time.
These marketing tips do not mean that you should throw everything you usually focus on out the window. The first thing you need to do while considering this (and really, you should apply it to any of the suggestions) is remembering to stay true to yourself and the reason you have the blog. You’re a mom first and foremost, and that’s why your readers follow you. The more genuine and approachable you are, the more attractive you will be to new visitors.
If you aren’t already using affiliate marketing, you should consider it (find out more about one of the easier ones to join here). If you are already using affiliate marketing, add links to what you think might be your more popular posts. If you can tie products into your posts, you increase the chance of your blog coming up in a search for the products.
Focus your attention on companies that moms will be most likely to buy from. For example, take a look at Gymboree’s program and feature their holiday outfits in your blog. Partner with MindWare and give your readers suggestions on educational toys for different ages. You can never go wrong with promoting Amazon's products. Learn more about their associate's program. Utilizing affiliate marketing can help people build their shopping lists, give people new ideas for gift exchanges.
(Note: Make sure to read the guidelines of the affiliate programs carefully, as some have restrictions that may make you ineligible).
You can make this as big or as little as you prefer, but creating a gift guide is probably the number one way to utilize your blog to its full potential during the holidays. Yes, there are a lot of gift guides already out there, but make yours unique and follow a theme.
For example, instead of the usual “20 gifts to get your animal lover,” do a guide that covers gifts for the entire family, i.e. “Have a soccer player? Gifts for everyone in the family to take to the fields.” And then suggest everything from gear for the kids to the best camp chairs or insulated mugs for Mom and Dad.
Be creative, but choose items that you can suggest with authority; do not pick items that do not stay true to your brand. You want to be the trusted person to your readers. Moms are generally loyal readers because they will find a common bond and hold onto it, however, they can also be easily turned off by something that feels forced or unlike your usual material.
This doesn’t mean overdoing it with snowflakes and holiday decorations. The key is to stick with your brand and your focus. Discuss fun kid crafts that can be used to decorate a holiday table. Talk about family-friendly places that have holiday events. Give tips on how to make memorable holidays without breaking the bank. These are things that moms think about all of the time, so give them the information they are looking for.
Revisit blog posts of holidays past. Update the content, check to make sure links are still active, and make new graphics or update pictures. For example, if you posted about your kid’s excitement about the “best gift ever” that he received last year, update your readers on the status of the gift. You could cover several years in a retrospective approach ("Whatever Happened To…”). Readers will love revisiting memories with you.
Any readers you have gained over the past year probably haven’t gone too far back into your archives, so all of this will be new material for them. It will give them a better feeling for who you are and help to create that bond and loyalty even faster.
Take some time and put together a calendar of holiday festivities. It is not feasible to do one that includes every single event, but you could do one that highlights local activities and other events within a certain radius.
You could also look at the bigger cities and find the exact dates of their holiday events. For example, knowing when the tree is lit in Rockefeller Center in NYC or the hours of special shopping events at malls or holiday markets. Amusement parks often have special winter wonderland hours; find all of the big ones and post them in one handy place. (Remember your readers aren’t always just local)
People are often traveling for the holidays and sometimes find themselves with extra time after all of the family commitments are winding down. How helpful would it be for them to know what might be going on near them, especially if it’s an area they are unfamiliar with?
If you can make yourself useful at a particular time of year when people want quick answers, you can create loyal followers who will bring others with them to your blog.
Moms are going 100 miles an hour in 7 different directions during the holidays, and they often do not have the time (or, let’s face it, the energy) to do all of the research or planning that they should. Be a good resource for your readers. Make your blog the “go-to” place for gift information. Loyal followers will know to trust you and your recommendations.
Review products, or do some “shopping” and report what you have found. If there is a hot ticket “must-have” gift that everyone is talking about, do the research on it and post it on your blog. (This would be an opportunity to work on sponsorship for your blog that could carry into the New Year as well). If the gifts turn out to be successful, you may gain yourself some new followers in the process!
People are stressed out during the holidays, so give them a place to have a little bit of a brain break. Do a holiday-themed quiz (“Name the holiday movie from the screenshot.”). Get interactive and have a user-generated photo contest (“Funniest Family Holiday Card Photo”). Offer a gift card to the “winner.” If people have fun with your quizzes or contests, they’ll stay for the rest of the year.
Regardless of what you choose to do to enhance the marketing of your blog during the holidays, make sure that you are using effective SEO practices. Compile a list of keywords that you think will bring hits to your blog and scatter them throughout your posts.
To be truly effective and to see a marked difference, start earlier next year. By many accounts, it takes time for word of mouth buzz to really take effect. This doesn’t mean you have to do holidays in July, but you should start your planning early so that everything is in place to roll out at the appropriate times to catch that wave of holiday fever.
Whatever you choose to do to promote your blog during the holidays, remember: stay true to your voice and your brand. Your followers will appreciate the consistency and your new readers will get to know you even faster.
This article was originally posted at Mom Marketing Coach.