How to Keep Your Blog From Losing Weight During the Holidays

How to Keep Your Blog From Losing Weight During the HolidaysWhen the holidays roll around, we people worry about packing on the pounds. But your blog has a tendency to lose the ability to throw its weight around.

More distractions, parties, and yeah, good food means we’re more prone to neglect our blog writing during the holidays – and that means your blog looks mighty lean come the new year.

So how do you avoid slimming your blog down during the holidays when you have other stuff to do? Here are three ways to keep your blog nice and solid.

(As for managing your own weight, you’ll have to find a different blog. I, for one, intend to eat so much pumpkin pie that my freckles nearly turn to cinnamon and nutmeg.)

Store Up for Winter

During the fall, lots of animals store up food for the lean months ahead. That way, when winter rolls around, they don’t have to spend precious energy foraging in the snow to find food. The other reason they store up food is that they know they can’t find any food out there even if they tried, but I don’t have an analogy for that particular aspect of animal behavior, so let’s focus on saving energy.

You don’t have a lot of energy to spare when the holidays are here. Your relatives are in town, your mother’s stressing you out, you have food to cook and presents to buy and very possibly some sort of holiday-timed disaster to cope with. Your washing machine knows there’s no time like the day between major holiday parties to break down, too. It’s wise. It’s onto your plans.

What with the washing machine’s evil machinations and everything else to take care of, you’re not going to want to blog much.

So do as the squirrels do and store up for the winter. Look at your calendar and figure out the days that you’re going to be busy with holiday-type-things. Then go write a post for each of those days. Right now. Make yourself a big ol’ stockpile, and you’ll never lack fresh fodder.

And should you happen to think of a great holiday post to write about the washing machine fiasco? Then you’ll have a head start on next year.

Maintain a Solid Diet

As you start building that stockpile of posts, the temptation to bang out light, fluffy pieces just to fill in the blanks happens. That’s a good idea when you’re exhausted and you just need to slam up a post really quickly before morning comes. You can get away with it once, but if you feed your blog light little fluff pieces all the time, it’s going to become airy as a helium-filled meringue.

Delicious as that sounds, it’s not what you want people to associate with your blog.

Make sure that your posts are solid fare. If you have to, go through and compare the posts you’ve just written to the posts that have been most popular since you started writing. Are they up to that standard? Are they even close?

If not, re-write them. Feeding your readers this sort of meager stuff means they’re going to seek out their meals elsewhere – and eventually they won’t even bother to show up to your blog to whet their appetite. By the time the holidays end, you could’ve lost them all.

Get Some Exercise

This one’s the same whether you’re trying to keep the pounds off your butt or if you’re trying to keep the readers ON your subscriber list.

Without exercise, your hips are going to widen with all the holiday indulgences. Without exercise, your blog is going to waste away to nothing. Its muscles atrophy and its strength dwindles. It will be so weak that a newborn baby chick could knock it down and call it its bitch.

So what’s exercise, to a blog? Your exercise involves going for a run. Your blog, remarkably enough, needs much the same.

We’re talking about running around to other blogs and leaving a comment. Plan yourself a regular course to run a certain number of times a week. Blogs you enjoy that you know also create strong content – because having an exercise buddy makes it much more likely that you’ll keep working hard, too.

That course you’ll run also means you’ll be drawing readers from strong blogs to your own, at a time when other blogs lacking attention get weaker and weaker.

And way less impressive.

Your turn: What plans do you have for your blog during the upcoming holidays? How will you keep your blog in its weight class?

Post by Taylor

Taylor Lindstrom (fondly known as Tei) is a twenty-something copywriter and journalist from Boulder, CO. She’s the team’s rogue woman who wowed us until our desire for her talents exceeded our desire for a good ol’ boys club. She loves the color green, micro-point Uniball pens, and medieval weaponry.

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  1. I’m a firm believer in your “storing up for the winter analogy”. I keep a stockpile of posts. It helps during those times that blogger’s block takes my mind hostage. I think my problem is going to be getting around to other blogs and posting “meaningful” comments. I’m definitely going to have to work on that aspect.
    .-= Roschelle´s last blog ..If Content is King Then SEO is Heir to the Throne =-.

  2. Some fine points here. I’d like to emphasize something you kind of hinted at. The calendar can be a great tool to help maintain a steady flow of posts and to help plan your blogging. I try and use a simple spreadsheet calendar to map out my posts for the coming months. Combined with your suggestion to look for the busy days ahead it could be really helpful.

    It’s important to remain relevant during the busy days. Maybe a three or four part series would be in order.

    Anyway, thanks for the good thoughts!
    .-= Bryant´s last blog ..Readership Survey =-.

  3. I’m with Roschelle, the storing up is what I do. I actually do this on a regular basis. You never know what may come up to hinder your writing time. Or when you’re just not in the writing the mood.
    .-= Heather Villa´s last blog ..8 Ideas for Twitter Lists =-.

  4. I haven’t been that good at stockpiling lately. I’ve just been writing them as they’ve popped into my head. I do have a handful of drafts in various stages of completion. It wouldn’t take much to wrap them up. Thanks. A very good tip. I think I have some work to do.
    .-= Wendi Kelly-Life’s Little Inspirations´s last blog ..How to be Happy. Now. =-.

  5. I can really relate to this one. I DO have relatives coming for the holidays. Unfortunately, I’ll probably wind up working through the holidays, yet again… Yet again, they probably won’t understand why I am chained to my PC.

    This is good advice, though. I do use a calendar. I have tried to store up (it’s hard to get time to write extra, though).
    .-= Laura Spencer´s last blog ..How Freelance Businesses Can Measure Social Media Results =-.

  6. Love the metaphor, Taylor.

    I’ve got nothing at all planned for my half-dozen blogs for the holidays. Heck, I only recently started using a blog editorial calendar. Which I highly recommend, by the way.

    Lexi
    .-= Lexi Rodrigo´s last blog ..Meet Savvy Freelancer: Jarrod Thalheimer =-.

  7. These are great ideas that I’ll use to tweak my plans for the holidays. I’ll be working through Thanksgiving probably, so I’ll try to save my Christmas from too much work. I use a large desk calendar to jot things down and note target dates. It will be good to put these together to make stockpiling my new habit. Thanks.
    .-= Shari Smothers´s last blog ..why a plan can help =-.

  8. I, too, love the metaphor, and found this post really helpful. my blog is a n educational one, and over the holidays the number of visits goes down noticeably. On that basis, I have tended to ease up on the writing, but I think your advice makes a lot more sense: it means people have lots more to look through when they return after their break. Thank you!
    .-= Terry Freedman´s last blog ..Web 2.0 Project: Chris Leach’s work =-.

  9. Roschelle – Yeah, it’s definitely hard. Try doing it at the same time you check your email in the morning; I know you won’t let a day of the holidays go by without doing that!

    Bryant – A calendar can be good, yes, if you have time to sit down and post during those days. We so often get derailed by obligations to friends and family at the holidays, though, I find it best not to count on being able to work in the time for a blog post, and just prepare in advance.

    Heather – Ah, yes, the regular basis. You’re one of those SMART people, aren’t you?

    Wendi – Yaaaayyy Wendi!

    Laura – Ah, see, but this is one thing you can do in advance so you have just a little more time to spend with them. You can’t do all of your work in advance, but blogging . . . . a lot of stuff is evergreen. Ha! Evergreen. See what I did there? Because of Christmas and . . . yeah, never mind, I just thought it was funny.

    Lexi – Plan, darling. PLAN!
    .-= Tei – Men with Pens´s last blog ..How to Keep Your Blog From Losing Weight During the Holidays =-.

  10. My co-writer and I plan to not post on thanksgiving or Christmas, does this strategy make sense? We usually don’t publish on weekend either.
    .-= Eric C´s last blog ..Oh, And What About Pakistan? =-.

  11. I was just thinking about this subject the other day. And yes I was also thinking of blasting off some smaller posts. But it is our longer well-researched posts that get all of the attention.

    Thanks Taylor for breaking this down and reinforcing the need to maintain the integrity of one’s blog. I’ve written down 12 future post titles. Now it’s time to get to work.

    -Jay
    .-= Jason Thibault´s last blog ..Arik Roper’s Mind-Altering Art and Illustrations =-.

  12. I like the metaphor too. I am trying to stock up on posts (like a squirrel). I also just refined my list of potential topics (so it’s easier to write new posts).

    No washing machine issues here (I use commercial machines). No personal weight issues either, since I have to carry the laundry (and everything else) up four big flights of stairs.
    .-= Jodi Kaplan´s last blog ..Free Gift: Email Made Easy E-book =-.

  13. I’ve heard there’s less traffic during the holiday season, is this so?

    Are less people reading blogs during this time? If that’s the case, I think it’s kinda sad if you’re writing up good, solid posts.

  14. I have such a hard time applying this. When I get an idea, I want to launch it right away, so storing up for winter is a challenge for me, but I need to do it.
    .-= Brandon @ WeBlogBetter.com´s last blog ..Five Ways to Be a Trendy Blogger =-.

  15. I’ve always got a stockpile of Drafts, Pending and Scheduled articles. Not worried at all.
    .-= Dave Doolin´s last blog ..News of the New – Another WIAW Week in Review =-.

  16. Shari – Excellent well. Take time out for pumpkin pie. It’s the best part of Thanksgiving.

    Terry – It also means that your loyal readers don’t get bored. You want to reward them for sticking around, not punish them. Also, we often catch up on blog posts for the week at one time when we’re vacationing – doesn’t mean they don’t still want great content.

    Eric C – Not on the holidays themselves is just fine. Though you might want to pre-schedule a post that simply says something like “Happy Thanksgiving! We’ll be back tomorrow.”

    Jason – Good man. Carry on, sah.

    Jodi – Lucky lady. I am on a ground floor. I have to sweat the old-fashioned way.

    Bamboo – There’s less traffic because you have fewer daily visits, but many people will catch up on a week’s worth of blog posts all at once when they return from vacation. If they don’t have good content waiting for them, they might just take your blog off their subscriber list when they do the New Year clean-up.

    Brandon – Me too, man. Me too. I always write about stuff I can’t manage myself. 🙂

    Dave – Well, then you should probably know we all hate you. Just sayin’.
    .-= Tei – Men with Pens´s last blog ..How to Keep Your Blog From Losing Weight During the Holidays =-.

  17. Nice! Posting about this topic is really helpful and I think your tips make a lot of sense. I just hope everyone can read this. Very nice.

  18. Great ideas for getting ahead. I think I need to start putting that into practice. I have actually never thought of that for blogging. But it sound very useful for the time I know I am not going to be able to write.

  19. I am absolutely awful when it comes to doing work during Holidays. But I don’t feel guilty. Holidays are a day of rest. IMHO you should not be working (unless you have a full time job.)

  20. Great post. I will try to use these tips for my blogs. I often get problem in managing topics for blogs.
    .-= Chandan´s last blog ..Top 5 Reasons – Why You Have Not Made Your First Dollar Online Till Now? =-.

  21. I’m a big believer in batch writing. I always have 3-4 posts in the hopper, so for some reason I never have any issues with coming up with content. I ‘m actually going on a cruise to mexico from Dec 21-27, so this will really be a useful strategy to incorporate.
    .-= Srinivas Rao´s last blog ..When to hold and when to fold: Why I left my job in two weeks =-.

  22. Great analogy Taylor.

    I’ll continue to do what I do. I don’t change my routine according to what the calendar says. Up early, posting 3-4 times a day, commenting on others blogs, building up relationships, and tweeting consistently.

    I will spend a little more time with the fam but I view my online endeavors as a Purpose, and everything takes a backseat to my Purpose because I’m creating a greater good for all through it.

    Keep your vision definite and clear throughout the year and your blog will have a beach body year-round 😉
    .-= Ryan´s last blog ..How To Promote Cash Gifting With Free Methods =-.

  23. I have so many rough drafts in the backend of my blog it’s not even funny 🙁
    Oh well. I start the post and then go to another one and so on.
    I better focus on not starting any new posts but just finishing the ones that I already began. The other thing is that I could finish them right now and put off publishing them so that I have something ready for those busy holiday moments.
    Thanks for reminding me,
    Eren
    .-= Eren Mckay´s last blog ..Free Twitter buttons, icons – Follow me on Twitter images =-.

  24. Thanks Tei, thats what we were planning on doing.
    .-= Eric C´s last blog ..A Million Little Memoirs =-.

  25. Thanks for the solid holiday season tips.

    I usually never stock pile posts, but I think I will have to create a reserve for a rainy day.

    Peace

    Jonathan
    .-= Jonathan | EnlightenYourDay.com´s last blog ..Inspiring FNL Speech =-.

  26. I do not really mind my web space works when I am on holiday. I just go out and relax not thinking of any links, words, or anything about blogs, or for any web spaces. ^_^
    .-= ClaimAttorney´s last blog ..Find Property Loss Attorneys in your state! =-.

  27. Taylor- I love this post!

    So much wisdom here. Stocking up is a great lesson for me in being patient and not overly excited or anxious. I have just now started to stock up- I never did before and I found myself frustrated when I couldn’t find time to write and I had missed the opportunity to impact my readers.

    I used to always wonder “how do people blog every day or even three times a week” who work, have kids, and all other responsibilities but I think I’m started to get how people do it.

    It’s all about time management.

    Great writing!

    Thank you.

  28. Great analogy there between the blog and the body. I find though that if we gives our blogs lots of link love over the year, it will be well-fed during the holidays. And this is one area where too much food is a good thing!
    .-= Rhonda´s last blog ..Giraffe Pictures =-.

  29. What did I get from this?
    Store up for winter. Great idea. I don’t know why I didn’t think about it before. That way I can keep my blog with fresh content over the holidays with out putting in the extra hours. Now that I think about it, I want to store up for the year : )

  30. I’m also firm believer in your “storing up for the winter analogy”. Nice post

  31. Christmas is on the way, should start stocking up the posts right now.

  32. Thanks for the tips. I will try you suggestion.

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