As the holidays approach, you may be struggling to balance family, friends and seasonal activities with blogging and social media responsibilities.
There are several things you can do to ratchet down the amount of time and energy you are spending on your blog during this time of year so you can take a more passive role and make time for important things like food, family, festivities and fun!
P.S. These tricks work any time you hit a busy point in your schedule.
Image: Kevin Dooley via Flickr
#1 Schedule Social Media
Take advantage of free scheduling tools like Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule your social media posts over the holidays. If you have been avoiding them because you don't want yet another new tool, stop! You can get set up and start scheduling your posts quickly and it is so much easier than trying to do everything in real time.#2 Recycle Old Posts
Rather than spending precious holiday time creating new content, try recycling something from your archives. Think of all the new readers and followers you have gained in the last year that probably haven't seen these posts. Republish this great content to get as much mileage from it as you can, and save yourself the time and effort of creating brand new content.#3 Publish Guest Posts
You may have published your own writing on other magazine-style sites before, but have you considered accepting guest posts for your own site? Reach out to a fellow blogger with content you know your readers would enjoy. Ask if you can republish their content, giving them credit and linking back to their blog with the original post link of course.
Offer to promote it on social media (see #1!) and even offer to exchange guest posts if they are interested in re-publishing something of yours. They may be busy as well with holiday cheer and jump at the chance for some quick content. You can always solicit original guest posts, but these can be harder to come by if you are not offering payment.#4 Quality Over Quantity
You will most likely find that readership and page views are lower than usual over the holidays. Why not adjust for this by offering less content on your blog, social media, and newsletters. Instead, publish fewer items of higher quality.
I was busy over Thanksgiving with sick kids, a move and holiday travel. Instead of my usual weekly podcast plus 2 new posts, I published just one great guest post and had steady views at or above my usual page views all week! Sometimes less is more!#5 Work Ahead
If you can't bear to cut back on content, consider devoting more time to your blog before your holiday plans kick into full swing. Schedule posts to publish ahead of time so you can drink eggnog and kiss under the mistletoe without pausing for WordPress time-outs.#6 Front/Back Load
Consider the decreased readership that often happens over the holidays and front and/or back load your content. If you write a recipe blog, it might make sense to publish double your normal volume of posts in the weeks leading up to Christmas, and take off the week after Christmas when less baking may be going on.
If your blog is all about fitness, you might decrease your content before the holidays when people are loading up on popcorn balls and ramp up for New Years when resolutions are in full-swing.#7 Take Advantage of Video
Video can be a quick way to share content on your blog. Rather than writing a lot of content, consider what video footage you can quickly create or promote.
For example, I was recently interviewed by a blogging group via Blab, and received the recorded video link afterward that I can embed for a quick and easy post on my blog. This requires much less effort than my usual blog posts and gets more mileage out of an informative event.#8 Publish Round-Ups
Consider putting together a quick round-up post featuring content of your own as well as content from other bloggers. Maybe you're curating links for '25 Best Eggnog Recipes' or '15 Best Elf On the Shelf Stories'. Schedule the round-up to publish ahead of time and use it to drive traffic to some of your older posts.
Bonus: Round-up posts are great for getting social media action from other bloggers you have linked posts from in the article. Be sure to schedule social media promotion for these posts and tag those you've included. You'll likely see shares and social action even as you are taking advantage of down time.#9 Use A Virtual Assistant
Why not give yourself a little gift and hire a virtual assistant to handle some of your blog tasks over the holidays? Check out sites like Fiverr or Upwork for options.
You can also Tweet about it and you may get responses from other bloggers looking to make a little extra money around the holidays who are willing to fill your drivers seat for a few days or weeks. Virtual assistants can help with tasks like screening and answering emails, managing comments and social media, promote posts and more.
Now go turn up the WHAM! Christmas song while you take steps to set your blog to cruise control!
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