How to blog so your business benefits from the Holidays

How to make your blog posts benefit from the Holiday season by Suzan St Maur

It’s that time of year again. Are you blogging to make the most of the opportunities the Holidays (a.k.a. the Festive Season) have to offer?

If you haven’t already started thinking about your blog posts over the upcoming Holidays, you need to do so now. Not only are there the Holidays themselves to think about, but also we’re coming up to the time of year when many, many businesses are offering special deals, savings, sales and more.

Although you don’t want to be an also-ran, you also don’t want to miss out on any opportunities to get your brand out there and attracting attention.

(For a list of the top 10 most helpful articles on blogging for business as chosen by our readers, click here)

Here are some of my ideas on how you can make the most of the Holiday season, depending on the type of business you’re in…

So what Holidays are we talking about?

First of all, the actual Holidays themselves …
Thanksgiving (USA)
Hanukkah
St Nicholas Day
Christmas
Boxing Day
New Year
…which all occur within about five weeks of each other.

Then, we have the associated commercial occasions like

Black Friday: supposedly the mega-most shopping day in the USA, being the Friday between Thursday which is Thanksgiving Day and the ensuing weekend

Cyber Monday: another remnant of the US Thanksgiving, this time supposedly the day of the year when people do the most online shopping, although why they aren’t back at work on this Monday I can’t imagine…

Boxing Day sales: more usual in the UK, where people camp outside major stores on Christmas night just so they can be first in to grab the bargains when doors open very early on December 26th, and online sales become very busy, too

January sales: less popular than they were in the UK now that the sales start on Boxing Day, but are still very much around in the USA, Canada, many other countries

Opportunities the Holidays provide for themed blog posts

Thanksgiving (USA) – you’ll need to get a move on because it’s only just over two weeks away, but it’s still a good time to blog about anything connected with families and family relationships … food shopping and cooking, what to do with leftovers, etc … beverages … transportation and travel … things for children to do … sprucing up your home … how to squeeze extra overnight guests in

Black Friday – this is the time of the year when companies try to offer the best possible Black Friday deals, often by “bundling” two, three or more products or services together for an all-in-one price. I did this last year with four of my eBooks and it went over quite well. In theory there is no limit to what products or services can be “bundled” in this way, so you may well be able to offer something and promote it through a blog post or two. Black Friday is huge in the USA in both bricks-and-mortar and online capacities and is becoming more popular in other markets, including the UK.

Cyber Monday – not as big as Black Friday but growing. All about offering big discounts on online sales for a limited time only. Will make a pretty “salesy” blog post, but you’re allowed a few of those each year!

Hanukkah – blog about gifts and gift giving … food shopping and cooking … beverages … preparing your home … children’s activities and themed stories, etc. … juggling work and school during the 8 days … games to play … etc.

St Nicholas Day – not normally celebrated in the UK, USA and other English speaking countries but widely celebrated in Europe. There, children receive their gifts from St Nicholas on December 6th (differs in some countries) so if your business is related to children’s activities, toys, clothing etc. sold from your website and you can promote your blog posts across Europe, this is a good opportunity.

Christmas – gift shopping is the Big One in the run-up to Christmas and you see nothing but advertising covered in sparkles and tinsel and cute little red robins flocking together (did you know that British robins are vicious little b*ggars and in real life you would never see more than one male at a time because they fight like tigers?) In some ways it’s almost better to console your readers with blog posts that suggest the easy way to handle the whole gift shopping issue – not only by buying from you, but also by taking your advice on how to make the whole Christmas production easier. Further topics are too numerous to list … food, obviously, decorations, beverages, how to handle family disagreements, keeping the children entertained, gift wrapping, Christmas cards, etc. are just a few.

Boxing Day (and Boxing Day sales) – doesn’t offer that much in the way of softer blog posts like what to serve in food and drink, but in the UK at least is easily as big a deal for bricks-and-mortar sales bargains as Black Friday is in the USA. Boxing Day sales are growing online too and like Black Friday, it makes use of a day when 90 percent of people are not at work and so are presumed to be tickling their IPads all day. At least they will have time to read your blog post!

New Year and January (sales or not) – after the hoo-hah of the Festive Season is over and New Year’s hangovers are cured, it’s a very good time to lift people’s moods with your blog posts, especially if you’re in markets like travel and holidays. Blogging about New Year’s Resolutions is always popular and you can align those to your readers’ interests. You probably won’t sell much in January unless you discount it like mad, because people are still appalled at how much they spent over Christmas. But in the UK people begin to think ahead about vacations, both for skiing and for summer trips, so by offering them good deals – especially if they don’t have to pay yet – is a useful thing to do. January sales in North America are still very effective.

Business-to-Business – there is also the (softer – i.e. not direct selling / discount selling) business side of the Holidays you can blog about to a B2B market. Not only could you write about organizing office parties, gifts and bonuses for staff, holiday arrangements, etc., but also you can advise on whether or not to close down for the whole two weeks across Christmas and New Year, as many British companies do and how that may affect cash flow … upcoming tax and other obligatory business activities descending in January and requiring attention before the Holidays … financial implications of Christmas bonuses, tax-deductibility (or not) of Christmas entertaining … business gifts for clients/customers … office decorations or not? … dealing with multi-cultural staff issues …  bonuses for working over the “Bank Holidays” as they’re called in the UK … and so-on.

What other Festive Season opportunities can you think of for us to blog about?

photo credit: Origami48616 via photopin cc

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