Why You Should Publish New Content on (Most) Holidays (and How to Do It Effectively)
“summer turns me upside down
summer summer summer
it’s like a merry go round”
— Lyrics by The Cars
Right now, people in the upper hemisphere of planet earth are enjoying Summer (Hang in there my Aussie and South American friends, summer will be back soon.)
Ah yeah, the warm rays of sunshine relentlessly whisper your name while working indoors… “Come outside, Matthew. You’re missing out.”
People love playing in the sun. The most popular days to flock to the lake, beach or swimming pool are typically national holidays observed during this season.
Every country has them. Here in the U.S., Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day are extended weekends filled with camping, boating, swimming, outdoor grilling, and more.
So it makes sense to NOT post a blog on these holidays, right? Because most people want to be outside doing stuff, not reading your blog, correct?
No. (Does this answer shock you?)
New blog posts on summer holidays are not automatic duds that fail to bring traffic to your website.
Holiday blog posts can be a win-win for you the blogger and for your readers. This applies year round, not just in the warm months.
For the blogger, publishing a post on a holiday is easy. Simply write the post ahead of time and schedule it to publish at the exact same time you’re canoeing down a crisp, clear stream.
I Know What You’re Thinking
“But Matthew, nobody is going to read my blog post on Labor Day or Thanksgiving or New Year’s Day…”
Contrary to popular belief, website traffic doesn’t have to drastically fall on a holiday.
The exact figures aren’t in front of me, but I can tell you that on the recent July 4th holiday, Build Your Own Blog helped an unexpectedly high number of folks start their blog.
I was a little surprised, honestly.
Then as I started thinking about the audience, it dawned on me how many people actually stay home on Independence Day, preferring their cozy air conditioned comforts over outdoor activities. The holiday provides them with more free time to do what they want…like start blogging.
This is 2015, Not 2005
If someone has the numbers to prove that desktop computer usage drops significantly on holidays, I won’t argue the point. Wouldn’t surprise me at all.
It’s just that those figures don’t mean as much now. Smart phones and tablets have transformed our world.
Next time you’re on a holiday, observe your own behavior and those around you to see if you catch yourself or others looking at their phones and tablets…
•During their wait in the airport, on a plane, or while riding in a vehicle
•As they digest their meals sitting around grandma’s living room or their best friend’s deck
•On a cool bed indoors after a long day outdoors
•While lounging at the beach
•Waiting in line to return a Christmas gift
•Under a patio umbrella
•In between trick-or-treaters
•During a dull period of a ball game
So nobody reads on a holiday, eh?
Holiday blog posts provide a lot more opportunity for traffic than we give them credit.
And since people now read from their ever-present electronic device…
It’s a no brainer. You should blog post on a holiday.
One thing I can guarantee–folks who take time to look at their phones on holidays may not be reading a novel from the Kindle App, but there’s a high probability they’re spending a significant amount of time on social media.
So if you write a seductive headline for your blog post, the social media posts you schedule on holidays are going to get some traffic from Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus to your blog while you stick a hot dog on the end of a tree branch and roast it.
One last point to consider: If most other bloggers in your niche don’t post new content on the holiday, or repost old content, this gives you a BIG opportunity to take advantage of.
If you have a good angle that somehow ties your article to a particular holiday, go for it. That can draw traffic. That is not a hard, fast rule, though. Your post DOES NOT HAVE TO BE ABOUT THE HOLIDAY.
Holiday Blog Posts I Did That Performed Strong
At the beginning of this year, I decided to write a motivational blog post to kick off 2015. I posted it on New Year’s Day, which is pretty much a global holiday, I think.
The post resulted in one of the highest levels of engagement ever on this blog. And this might surprise you: most of the comments came on January 1st.
Now it was wintertime in the U.S. (and much of the world), so perhaps that helped the post perform better than it would on Labor Day?
I have an idea…I’m going to schedule another motivational post on Labor Day 2015. I think it should focus on last January’s new year resolutions and how to close out the year strong. The topic for this experiment doesn’t particularly matter–the point will be to post content on a holiday that is traditionally known for it’s popular outdoor events and “summer’s last hurrah.”
Only those reading this will know it is an experiment. (Sssssh. Don’t tell anyone.)
I’ll report on the results.
3 Ways to Be Productive and Still Enjoy Holidays
1. Give Your Blog a Little Extra Before You Build a Sandcastle – Every blogger has their own goals and ambitions. If you do want to spend a little quality time with your family or go water skiing or whatever you enjoy on a holiday, you will need to put in a little extra effort beforehand. Write your post ahead of the date. Get yourself a blog editorial calendar and stay organized.
2. Schedule Your Post, Then Dust Off Your Fishing Pole – WordPress and most blogging platforms enable you to do this easily.
3. Be Willing to Go the Extra Mile While in the Great Outdoors — Quick engagement makes a huge impression on your blog readers. While camping today, you can sit by the campfire and reply to blog comments with a tablet or phone. Make sure your comment plugins are working before the holiday so these folks get notified you replied. Getting back to fans three days later doesn’t have nearly as much impact.
Here’s one final thought on holiday blog posts…
One holiday you might want to consider skipping a post on is Christmas. At least that seems to be true here in the U.S. from what I’ve observed.
I mean, today it’s the one day when most businesses still close. Even Wal Mart closes, for pete’s sake.
For the most part, I’ve noticed Christmas Day to be the one day when most people do tend to take a break from their devices. Why exactly this one holiday and not the others, I’m not sure.
So, feel free to schedule a post on Christmas Day if you want to test it. Just don’t be surprised if it doesn’t get much traffic on Dec. 25th. No matter how stellar the content.
If You Work Hard, a Holiday Might Do You Good
We all have “batteries” that need recharging.
If you’re consistently posting content, picking up new skills, making connections and growing in results, enjoy the next holiday. Whatever it is for you.
If you’re reading this and today is not a holiday, then get back to work. 🙂