It’s been a minute since I shared some blogging advice! Let’s get into today’s topic, as it’s something that I love to talk about- getting your blog ready for the holidays, or as most of us call the 4th quarter. Don’t worry, you’re going to want to pin this for later.
So to preface, the holiday’s of 2015 were the first extremely profitable quarter I had ever had. What I mean by that, is yes, I had been making a few bucks off of my blog for about two years before that, but once Q4 of 2015 hit I was actually thinking to myself, “Oh, this is how full-time bloggers do it.” Before then, I never considered myself a full-time blogger. This period was a learning period for me, so I really love to talk about what worked for me, what didn’t. Sharing is caring, right?
I owe most of that to joining Social Fabric, a influencer community that pairs bloggers and campaigns. I took on quite a few holiday campaigns, which paid really well. (Still love this guiltless sugar cookie recipe, and NYE makeup look with Neutrogena!) The photos throughout this post are outtakes from last year’s collaboration with Braun, still to this day one of my favorite and highest paying campaigns.
But, before you can apply to campaigns or pitch to brands, I have a few tips for getting your blog ready for the holidays.
Start your holiday editorial calendar in August.
So first off, if you don’t work off of an editorial calendar, now is the time to start. (I use Blair’s Ultimate Editorial Calendar, praying she releases a 2017 version!) The reason why I’m suggesting you start this early is so that you can easily see what it is you want to accomplish in this set amount of time, and so you can pencil in campaigns, sponsored Instagram posts, etc. It’s important to keep in mind what’s trending, plan out time for gift guides, etc. The best part of an editorial calendar? They help you plan content AHEAD of time! You need to be sharing Thanksgiving recipes in October, Christmas DIY’s in November, etc. It’s hard to think this way, so writing it all down helps a ton!
Update your shop page & widgets.
Quarter four is undeniably the most important when it comes to affiliate sales. Start early by updating your widgets, shop page, etc. Some bloggers also create unique pages and shoppable PDF’s (like Mandy’s) for their readers. This takes a lot of planning and time though, so decide (hint: IN AUGUST!) whether or not this is a good idea for your brand. Starting early allows you to access mid-way through what’s working and what’s not, that way you can still make that cash in December! December was my most earning month last year from affiliates, quadrupling any other month’s revenue.
Seasonal site check up.
At the start of each quarter, make sure all of your social links are still linking correctly, update profile photos (which should be the same, cohesive photo for each platform!), and update your plugins and make sure you’re using the latest version of WordPress. This is also a great time to reread your static pages, as those are going to be a lot of your page views. Static pages are ones that don’t change, such as your about page, contact form, etc.
Update your media kit & send that bitch out!
A lot of brands are now asking for a media kit, which is where you give them an overview of your blog, your analytics, followers, and prices for sponsored posts. I recommend this only being one page, front and back. Brands don’t want to have to download a large attachment. Make sure you update your numbers to your latest, add any recent collaborations, and make sure it’s on brand to your blog. After you’ve done this start sending it out! It doesn’t hurt to hit the send button!
For every 3 seasonal posts, publish 1 evergreen post.
Lastly, I want to talk about seasonal vs. evergreen content. Evergreen content means the content doesn’t expire or go out of season. It’s important to link back to old content in your posts, and having a large amount of evergreen posts makes it easier to do this. Plus, not all of your readers are going to want to see apple orchards and Christmas gifts all day, every day. Does that make sense?
So is there anything that I completely missed and should be doing? I hope you feel completely ready to tackle Q4 now and maximize your earnings!