Christmas gifts - seasonal content

Christmas gifts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So you want to promote a web store or authority blog. You write, and then you write some more, but should you write evergreen articles as most guru’s suggest, or should you write seasonal content?

There are lots of problems to oversome and one of the biggest is finding stuff to write about so that your content is always  unique and interesting.  There are many experts telling you what to write, and their advice is usually to stick to ‘evergreen’ posts and articles, but is that the best content strategy? A couple of years ago I went on a course run by an internet marketer who made more money in a month than most people I knew did in a year. His secret was seasonal content. With everyone trying to be evergreen, there was a lot less competition. So he cleaned up when it came to Halloween.

Articles and blog posts are like a portfolio of investments. You don’t want to have all your eggs in one basket, so when the experts tell you you should write evergreen articles, things of interest at all times of year, I think that’s equivalent to putting all your investment in a single company. You need to balance your ‘portfolio’ of links, you also need to balance your portfolio of content and learn to write content appropriate to the time of year.

Yes, you need evergreen articles, and blog posts which are useful and interesting at all times. But you need seasonal stuff too, because people are seasonal. Remember the most basic blogging advice. Find out what people want to know. Tell them.

At Christmas, people want to know what to get their friends and relatives for Christmas gifts. Is that useful to a store owner, blogger or affiliate marketer? Of course it is. That’s the main buying season for most products.

People also want information on cooking, entertaining, and decorating their homes. It is well worth spending time and energy on writing articles with the ‘gift’ theme, and make them as specific as possible. Publishers love them around the holiday season, so if you submit these articles to directories, they are very likely to be picked up on blogs across the web. What’s more, they are likely to result in sales.

What do I mean by ‘be specific?

If you own a store, think of all the different types of people who would be delighted to receive one of your products as a gift.  If you sell nightgowns for example, think about all the people who would like to get one, you can write ‘Top Ten Gifts for Moms’, ‘Top Ten Gifts for New Brides’ and mention lots of items, of which your product is only one, or you can be even more specific with an article like ‘Buying Nightwear for Christmas: What Teenagers Really Want’ and discuss the different styles of nightwear (romantic, practical, brief etc.) and how you would choose for the teens, or the Moms, or the newly weds, or the kids, or even the pets in your family.

If your product is something like scrapbook supplies you can write ‘Top Ten Gifts for Scrapbookers’ but could you be more specific? How about ‘Top Scrapbooking Gifts for New Moms?’, or ‘Top Scrapbooking Tools for Grandmas’. Is this cheating? Absolutely not. We all have special requirements. By giving consideration to different types of customers you increase the value of the information you provide. This is not a sales tactic, it’s just common sense. If you want people to buy, they have to understand what’s in it for them.

Take the example above. Scrapbooking gifts for new moms could include every possible way to keep equipment tidy and away from tiny hands and mouths, in fact, I’d go so far as to recommend digital scrapbooking, it’s much easier to tidy away and new moms need every spare second. When it comes to grandmas, tools with a comfortable grip and containers that are easy to open can make a big  difference.

If you’re more into affiliate marketing, then  a ‘gift’ article is ideal, no matter what your area of expertise.  If your blog is about cake decorating – you can build great content around ‘The Best Gifts for Newbie Cake Makers’, ‘The Best Gifts for Expert Cakemakers’ , ‘The Best Cake Making Gifts for Moms’, ‘The Best Cake Making Gifts for Newly-weds’,’ The Best Cake Making Gifts for Dads’ (yes, some Dad’s make cakes, don’t be sexist) and of course ‘The Best Cake Making Gifts for Kids or Teens’.

If your authority or niche site isn’t immediately related to a product, this can be an opportunity to create one to sell or give away in exchange for an email address.   Most families find big holidays a strain, and in the UK January is boom time for divorce lawyers, so anyone in the relationship field will find the season ideal for articles about ‘How to Survive Thanksgiving with the Family’ and ‘Your Guide to Stress Free Holidays’, but why stop at posts or articles? Write an ebook or a series of tutorials in video and email form. Create a checklist designed to help people have a stress free holiday.

Weight Loss sites can add articles about wise choices to help prevent the pounds piling up, and even advise on good gifts to give serial dieters.

While it might seem a bleak time for gardeners, they have a whole new year to prepare for.  If your site is about gardening you can write articles about how to prepare for the new growing season, write about the new plants available for the coming year  and you can write about great gifts for gardeners.

In short, there’s a LOT  of potential for content in this seasonal stuff.

OK, you’ve made it so far, but admit it, you think I’m a bit mad. It’s nowhere near Christmas, and you think I’m just a bit too early with this stuff.

Well, yes.

And no.

While Christmas is the major holiday in the UK and  Europe, in the United States there is a tradition of decorating the home in the Autumn; October means Halloween and November means Thanksgiving. Seasonal content applies at any time of year, and yes, of course, it can be reused. Perhaps not word for word, but you can regard it as a head start. Write an article about planting bulbs in the spring and next year you can update it with new information, but you won’t have to start again, from scratch. I’m writing this at the end of July, in a couple of days it will be August, and we received our first catalogue featuring artificial Christmas Trees two weeks ago. It may seem early to be prepared, but there’s nothing wrong with being ahead of the game.

The thing is, don’t you ever get bored, or just run out of steam with your normal round of posting, commenting and linking?

I know I do. It’s one the reasons I started writing my novel Knightsbane.

And one thing I do to ‘break the cycle’ so to speak, is write something completely different. I was completely fed up yesterday, lots to do, it’s just that I didn’t want to do any of it. So I wrote something different, I wrote an article about the things I’d like most for Christmas, and since, as many of your know, I am something of a fool for flowers, I found myself writing about the best gifts you can give someone who loves flowers, and that made be realize I had done this before. When writing blog posts etc for clients, I often stockpile.

The great thing about writing is that you can build ‘stock’.  I create ‘collections’ in Google Docs and just add to them. If they are posts, I add them to WordPress and schedule them for the future. If they are articles, I keep them ready to submit until the month before I want them to have maximum effect.

So, apart from articles and posts about ideal gifts, what sort of seasonal article will you write? Add ideas as comments please!


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