Happy November 1st! It’s so weird to think that the holiday season is right around the corner. As much as I love fall and don’t want to rush it, the time to start planning your holiday content is now. Or really 2 weeks ago, but you know. You still have a few weeks to get yourself organized!
In 2015, I had the most successful holiday season yet as a blogger. Not only did I hit an all-time traffic high, but it was the most lucrative quarter I’ve ever had. I’m sharing some of my tips and tricks with you today so you can knock your holiday content out of the park! And yes, trust me: start planning now!
Plan your calendar in advance
First things first: sit down and plan your content well in advance. This includes gift guides, Black Friday and last-minute sale alerts, entertaining posts and outfit ideas. For your gift guides, do you want to break them up week by week? Do you want to plan on creating a booklet including all of your guides? Do you want to start a holiday style series? Set your calendar now, and you’ll be able to prep your posts with ease later!
Look up the most popular holiday SEO terms
It would be best to plan your content around popular SEO search terms, and make sure your posts are jam-packed with those keywords! For example, the term “holiday dresses” was searched a lot more than “holiday dress” in 2015 (14,800 vs. 2,900). I recommend using either SERPs or Google Trends to find the best holiday keywords for the season!
Start pitching brands for collaborations
Now that you have your editorial calendar set for the holidays, now you can start pitching brands for collaborations. If you’re planning on an entertaining post, you might want to pitch a decor sponsor, a liquor sponsor, a food sponsor, etc. Holiday style is pretty major as well, so request those holiday lookbooks now and style some fun pieces this season. For gift guide inclusion, I send out my media kit with my rates for all packages. You could even pitch a holiday shopping event for a local shop as well. The possibilities are endless!
Take advantage of sponsored post opportunities
Let me preface this here: if a company approaches you for the holiday season, always, always ask if they have a budget. In my personal opinion, holiday season is not the time for trades: there are dozens upon dozens of companies who want to get their product out there, and they have a budget to do so. Don’t settle for trades my friends; hold out for the companies that will pay accordingly. Trust me, they are out there!
Pinterest is your friend
Guys: Pinterest is your best friend all year round, but it’s extra amazing during the holiday season! Pinterest is essentially a visual search engine: those hot holiday keywords you found in your SEO search? Make sure to incorporate them into your captions so that folks can stumble upon your content with ease! Make sure to constantly pin your new and old holiday content throughout the season, so you can drive traffic back to your site.
Update your old holiday content accordingly
If your SEO and Pinterest game were strong from previous years, you should see some new traffic rolling in (ex. my holiday bar cart post). If your old holiday posts are still getting traffic, I would highly recommend for you to update any affiliate links in the post to items that are currently in stock, and make brand new, Pinterest-friendly cover images for those posts!
Scout out photoshoot locations in advance
If you want holiday-themed photoshoots outdoors, make sure to scout out locations in town in advance! Ideally you’ll want to shoot your holiday content ASAP; right now I’m planning on shooting most of my holiday looks the weekend of Black Friday since my family is based in the D.C. area/I don’t have to head out of town to celebrate Thanksgiving.
Snag photoshoot props on Amazon
Looking for cost-effective photoshoot props (like the fun holiday boxes you see above?) I would highly recommend either saving all of the gift boxes you get early on, and/or order some props off of Amazon. If you’re doing any entertaining/food/drink photoshoots, little tinsels for drinks or cranberry accents would also be a great addition as well. I like to cruise Pinterest for holiday prop inspiration!
Always leave room for last-minute opportunities
I always like to leave a few spots here and there for last-minute post requests. I received a lot of late requests last year that were an excellent fit content-wise! That’s why I highly recommend that if you 100% love an opportunity that comes your way, don’t feel pressured to take it. More often than not, a really awesome collaboration is on the horizon.
I hope everyone has a successful and lucrative Q4, friends! Do you have any tips and tricks on how to knock holiday season out of the park? Share them in the comments below!