How to Prep Your Blog for the Holidays

D.C. blogger Alicia Tenise gives blogging tips on how to prep your blog for the holiday season

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!
 

  1. 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!

  2. 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!

  3. 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!

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

  7. 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. 

  8. 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!

  9. 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!

39 Comments

  1. These are genius ideas! I can honestly say the only one I had thought of was planning in advance. Thanks for the tips!

    Posted 11.1.16
  2. Shelby wrote:

    You are a rockstar. And I’ll definitely be taking these tips & running with them!

    xo!
    Shelby
    http://www.glitterandgingham.com

    Posted 11.1.16
  3. Cristin Cooper wrote:

    This is great! Love your tips and will have to use some of them!

    cristin | http://www.thesouthernstyleguide.com

    Posted 11.1.16
  4. Such good tips gal. I need to up my Pinterest game!

    Lawren
    http://www.saltwaterandstilettos.com

    Posted 11.1.16
  5. Paige Cassandra Flamm wrote:

    Christmas is always when I get my best sponsored posts! It’s my favorite blog season of the year!

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.com

    Posted 11.1.16
  6. Seriously taking notes over all of this! This was such a good reminder for things I need to get on top of ASAP! Love it! xo

    Posted 11.1.16
  7. Awesome tips! I always make a list of my next ten post ideas + make my graphics on Canva. I find that my writing flows better if I don’t have worry about thinking up a last minute topic and can just pull up the graphic from my media library.

    Posted 11.1.16
  8. Ashley Hargrove wrote:

    Such great tips! I am so unorganized when it comes to blogging!

    Posted 11.1.16
  9. Dana Mannarino wrote:

    YESSSSSS girl, I love these tips – I can’t believe it’s that time of the year again!

    Pink Champagne Problems

    Posted 11.1.16
  10. These are all amazing reminders! It’s easy to get busy and not plan ahead…so important this time of year especially. Awesome!

    Posted 11.1.16
  11. Such great tips! I love content this time of year!

    Posted 11.1.16
  12. linda spiker wrote:

    All good ideas! I started approaching brands last month. Thanks for the tips!

    Posted 11.1.16
  13. Rebecca wrote:

    These are great tips! Thank you for this 🙂
    xoxo from http://becciqueeen.blogspot.de

    Posted 11.1.16
  14. YES to this girl! I loved sharing tips for making Q4 the best one yet, and I learned some from you! Love the tip about holiday SEO terms!

    Xx Taylor
    http://lightscameracatwalk.com

    Posted 11.1.16
  15. Christine Cox wrote:

    I also started to approach brands a couple months ago so that my guide was ready for today! I am also actively working on my social media posts for Nov/Dec so I don’t stress out! Good tips!

    Posted 11.1.16
  16. Julia Comil wrote:

    Love these tips! I did not know think about holiday props! Need to check them out

    Posted 11.1.16
  17. Crystal Marie wrote:

    Great tips. You have a great page. Following on Insta 🙂 @InterstateStyle

    Posted 11.1.16
  18. Maggie wrote:

    Officially bookmarking this!! Thank you for getting me ready for the holiday season! Now I’m off to plan!

    Maggie
    http://www.polishedclosets.com

    Posted 11.1.16
  19. Jenny wrote:

    Yes to all of these! I am currently prepping my blog for the holidays now 🙂

    Posted 11.1.16
  20. Anna English wrote:

    Such great tips, needed these today!

    Posted 11.1.16
  21. Brianne George wrote:

    Great tips, thanks!!

    Xo, Brianne
    http://www.scrubsandsparkles.com

    Posted 11.1.16
  22. Kristina wrote:

    These are amazing tips, girl! I am trying to get better about planning and the holidays are definitely a busy time. But busy is great in the blogging world so I’m excited to see all the holiday inspiration 🙂

    xo, Kristina

    Medicine & Manicures

    Posted 11.1.16
  23. Heather Gullett Denniston wrote:

    Dude. This was awesome! I love all the keyword stuff. I hate/love that whole game. Thanks for this practical and helpful post.

    Posted 11.1.16
  24. Steph K wrote:

    This is amazing girl! Such great tips. I’m def sharing this post with a few of my blogger friends!

    xO – Steph

    http://www.urbanblonde.com

    Posted 11.2.16
  25. Chelsea wrote:

    How gorgeous is that photo of you ?! I’m so excited to do some winter shoots!

    Posted 11.2.16
  26. Girl these tips are SO amazing, thank you for sharing!! xo

    Posted 11.2.16
  27. Bailey - Here's The Skinny wrote:

    Thank you so much for this! I definitely needed some tips since its my first real blog holiday season, appreciate it!

    xoxo,
    Bailey
    Here’s The Skinny
    @baileyschwartz

    Posted 11.2.16
  28. Wendy Kay wrote:

    Excellent post. The holidays have snuck up on me again! Time to get planning.

    Posted 11.2.16
  29. Kimi wrote:

    Awesome tips, thank you!

    Posted 11.2.16
  30. Angelle Marix wrote:

    Oh my goodness, this is soooo good. I just saved all of these tips. I need all the help that I can get!!

    xoxo,
    Angelle
    http://www.dashingdarlin.com

    Posted 11.2.16
  31. This post was heaven sent!!! I think all bloggers need to read this, it is packed with incredible tips!

    La Belle Sirene

    Posted 11.2.16
  32. Meghan wrote:

    So happy you posted this! I’m definitely lining up my editorial calendar for some collabs for the holidays!

    Posted 11.4.16
  33. This is my first holiday season as a blogger and I’m excited to implement all of this things! I probably won’t be working with brands but would love to meet up with other bloggers and do fun holiday things. I’ve bookmarked your site! xx

    Posted 11.4.16
  34. Shaina McGregor wrote:

    This was so helpful! I absolutely love the holidays, and this is my first holiday season as a blogger. I knew I wanted to include holiday inspired things, but I wasn’t sure how exactly since I’m not a home or fashion blogger. But now I have more of an idea. Thanks!

    Posted 11.4.16
  35. Megan Marconyak wrote:

    Nice starter guide! I’m working on getting these things in place this week.

    Posted 11.5.16
  36. Erica wrote:

    All SUCH GOOD POINTS! That last one especially…I can’t even tell you how many emails I’ve gotten with last minute opps that just so happen to have a two week or under turnaround time. It’s nuts! Always having some flexibility is a good thing.

    Coming Up Roses

    Posted 11.7.16
  37. Blossom Onunekwu wrote:

    Thanks for the tips! Although I’m not really a fashion blogger…or a drinker. What could I sell as a college student?

    Posted 11.7.16
  38. These are important things to think about. Thank you!

    Posted 11.14.16
  39. DM wrote:

    Have a great Holiday! | dailymedicine.co

    Posted 11.26.16

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