Over the last few days I’ve been sharing a lot of posts on the types of content you should be creating for your blog. I began with the four awesome types of content that every blog needs. and have since moved on to looking at the most under-used form on that list: Seasonal Blog Posts. Today I’m covering the final weather season and the perfect content for winter.
Why am I posting a blog about Winter in the middle of Spring? Well, a really successful content marketing schedule takes a lot of planning, as far in advance as possible. This ensures your content fully supports your business goals and objectives. It also gives you chance to batch and schedule content well ahead of time to create a perfectly consistent schedule (super-important!).
So whether you’re looking to plan your winter content in advance for the year, or you find yourself penning a few last-minute posts in late December, here’s how to get awesome mileage out of seasonal content for winter…
Great Seasonal Content For Winter Warmers
Black Friday/Cyber Monday
Another celebration from the States that now gets global attention is Black Friday and Cyber Monday. These are great opportunities to run special offers and sales, and careful planning ahead of time you can get a lot of attention for things on the days using social media and email marketing to promote your stuff.
Key Hashtags For Black Friday & Cyber Monday: #BlackFriday #CyberMonday #deals #sale
The most obvious and biggest event during winter (especially if you’re outside the US and don’t celebrate Thanksgiving) is Christmas and Hanukkah. I mention Hanukkah specifically because it’s important to remember there are a lot of faiths around the world and they don’t all celebrate Christmas. It’s a good idea to share a little of your own beliefs around this time of year, and highlight the fact that – whatever those beliefs are – there are many other holidays that all deserve equal attention.
The commercialisation of Christmas has led to it being unavoidable (in the western world at least), and even if you don’t personally celebrate anything at this time of year you can still work it into your marketing.
I generally shy away from religious content, unless I’m specifically writing for a brand with a religious element, simply because it’s so divisive. That being said, the occasional post that shares an opinion or perspective that it contentious can actually be really good for your tribe.
Here’s an example: I struggle to deal with individuals who have very strong religious beliefs and are easily offended by people who don’t share those beliefs, to the point that they get offensive themselves, even aggressive, and either try to convert the people disagreeing with them, or simply insult them for believing something different. I’m also aware that this particular type of person also finds it difficult to work with someone when they know they have this religious divide. It’s by no means true for all religious people (not AT ALL!), just the odd few.
But that odd few can be very stressful and unpleasant to deal with.
My personal perspective is that all religious viewpoints are equally valid; just because you don’t share that viewpoint doesn’t mean it’s wrong, or that you should try to change it, or that the person in question doesn’t have every right to express their opinion without being insulted or told they’re wrong. I also try very hard not to judge the overall person based solely on their religious beliefs – I still love Tom Cruise and John Travolta despite all the insane Scientology! Their beliefs don’t diminish the respect I have for them as people, or actors.
I’ve had a couple of clients in the past who have asked me to create content that I personally found offensive because it was so deriding to people of other faiths. This put me in a really difficult position, as I either had to keep my mouth shut and write something I found vile, or share my perspective. Clients are often grateful as they hadn’t realised it was a potentially offensive subject, but the ones who were aware of that and didn’t care tend to blow up when you question them (no matter how politely you do it!).
As a result, I find it helpful to occasionally throw out my own religious views to see how people react to them, like this post from last Christmas.
Most people loved this post, but I had a few unsubscribes from my list, and one person who specifically emailed to tell me they were unsubscribing because they found it offensive.
And that was fine.
In fact, that was exactly what I wanted.
It’s a lot better for people who are your ideal client in all respects but one to count themselves out than it is for you to be faced with the prospect of working with them, realise it’s a bad fit, and be forced to explain why.
In this case, the prospects who left my list were a bad fit, because they were easily offended by my views, and it’s very difficult to work with people who take offense at your intrinsic beliefs. You either end up censoring yourself, which is not conducive to an authentic brand, of having a lot of stress when you have a clash of personalities. There’s nothing wrong with this – it’s not that they’re bad or unpleasant people – it’s simply that you’re aware of a potential clash and choose to avoid it.
There are a few different ways this can manifest in your business, and you can use any subject to do this if you know it’s a sticking point for you where ideal clients are concerned, but for me it’s religion. So I choose to be completely transparent about my beliefs and allow my tribe to decide for themselves if I’m a good fit for them.
It’s better for both of us to know about an issue right at the start to avoid any potential unpleasantness!
That doesn’t mean you should purposefully try to offend your audience! But it DOES mean that you should never be afraid to share seasonal posts around holidays that are true to your genuine beliefs.
If people don’t agree with you, that’s fine. In fact, it’s good. Some members of your audience will find the different perspective refreshing and interesting, while others will have a negative reactions and remove themselves from your tribe.
It’s one of the most dignified and polite ways of weeding out people who aren’t a good fit for your business! And to be completely clear, my Christmas post wasn’t intended to weed out anyone who is Christian, or of any specific religious persuasion, but rather the people who get actively annoyed and even angry when someone has a religious belief that differs to their own!
Key Hashtags For Christmas (Brace Yourselves…): #Christmas #ChristmasWish #ChristmasSpirit #ChristmasCheer #ChristmasFun #ChristmasMagic #ChristmasIsComing #Christmassy #ChristmasMusic #ChristmasVibes #ChristmasStory #AdventCalendar #ChristmasParty #ChristmasBloggerBash #ChristmasJokes #ChristmasSale #HolidaysAreComing #ChristmasDog #ChristmasCat #ChristmasPet #ChristmasLights #ChristmasList #ChristmasShopping #ChristmasTree #ChristmasMarket #ChristmasGiveaway(s) #ChristmasCompetition #AllIWantForChristmas #ChristmasJumperTime #ChristmasLunch #ChristmasCake #ChristmasKitchen #ChrimstasReading #ChristmasBook #tistheseason #ChristmasBooks2018 (remember to change to the appropriate year!).
Key Hashtags For Hanukkah: #HappyHanukkah #hanukkah #menorah #chanukah #latkes
No winter blog schedule is complete without a post acknowledging the turning of the year. I really like to spend the Christmas and New year period reflecting on the year that has passed and planning for the year to come. There are loads of ways you can play with the theme of new beginnings, fresh starts, and blank slates on your blog, as well as ways you can reflect on your year, here are a few ideas:
- Roundup post of your favourite/most popular blogs of the year.
- Sharing your achievements for the year and plans for the year to come.
- Sneak peeks of any new content, products or services you’re planning for the next year.
- End of year stats, especially compared to the previous year – exactly what they are will depend on your business model and offerings but the obvious ones are profits, revenue, list subscribers, social media followers, and things like the number of blogs written in the year, or vlogs recorded etc. One I really like is ‘number of people helped’ with the form of help tying to your paid offerings and/or major lead magnets. For example, 10k books sold is 10k people helped, 50 places on an eCourse is 50 people, 1000 signups to a mini course is a 1000 people etc.
- Planning posts – detailed how to posts teaching your tribe how to effectively plan something fundamental over the Christmas break to help them through the year.
- If you missed the chance to do a ‘top trends for next year’ post in your Autumn content get one out now!
- Decluttering of life, business, and the everyday systems and activities of life are popular at this time of year.
- Inspirational posts to motivate people to take advantage of the fresh new year and change something fundamental – if you have a story about you doing the same all the better.
- Lessons learned through the year, or from a particular source that’s trending at the time of posting.
- New year’s resolutions.
- Setting your goals for the coming year.
Key Hashtags for New Year: #NewYear #NewYearsEve #NewYearsResolution #Goodbye2018 #Hello2019 (remember to swap in the appropriate years!) #HappyNewYear #NewYearNewYou #NewBeginnings
If you missed them, check out my Spring, Summer and Autumn posts for more seasonal content ideas. And if you’re looking for even more help planning a killer content marketing schedule download the first chapter of my book, Divine Blogging, now – it’s totally free!