Let’s talk about the holidays. Yes, it’s already the holidays, folks! In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s October, and this month I’m scoping and blogging about how to get your blog found, blogging SEO, and all the important stuff about why October is special for blogs. This is definitely a money-making time. People are in shopping mode, and if you’re an online seller, you’re going to sell a lot of your products at this time of year. If you’re a photographer, you’re doing a lot of photo shoots and mini sessions, or maybe you sell other services. The last quarter is definitely the time to look toward grabbing a share of the shoppers’ attention because it’s out there scanning online every day.
Listen. I know it can feel like punishment if you’re not into this kind of thing, but you have to create some graphics. (Canva is great and check this blog post I wrote on how to get started with Canva). These graphics are to be specifically related to both the holiday season and the theme of what you sell. If you don’t sell anything holiday related, obviously that’s okay. But you want to create graphics to tell the shopper that your stuff is worth their attention as a potential gift. October is a peak-traffic month, so you’re going to challenge yourself to publish the most blogs in October, and then you can do a few less in both November and December.
Let’s talk about 7 places you can get found online during the holidays.
- The first place you really need to check is your own network. Tap into your own list of clients and send them an email once a month with any studio news, new information, and specials you may want to run at this time. So look to create a series of holiday newsletters to keep the ball rolling. Keep your products or services in the front of their mind. Maybe you could share a favorite holiday memory or story. Inform them how your products or services can enhance their holiday time. Share your latest launch.
- The second place you can start focusing your energy for getting found this holiday season is definitely Pinterest. Hello, that’s like the hugest place right now. When (not if) you go to Pinterest, you will see they have trending topics. These can help you with coming up with new board ideas and blog post ideas. So check the trending topics and look at the text. Use that trending text in your labels when you’re pinning your photos and deciding what to blog! This is going to help you spread the love while getting your work done big time. I love doing research on Pinterest to find out what keywords to use. It might not be a bad idea to try a Promoted Pin this time around, too.
- Your place. (My place? What?) Your blog, silly. Give blog tips, give advice, solve a problem. Think of your audience and what they care about surrounding the holidays. Can you solve a problem for them? Put yourself in their shoes. Or if you really can’t, ask a friend. Heck, you can even ask a random stranger. Where does their stress hide? What kind of information would help them to get through the holidays? Figure out how you can help them. Keep blogging and relieve the pain point of your readers. What I did was to create 30 tips and summarized those into a downloadable PDF calendar they could download from my blog. Anything you can think of that will tie into the holidays, even doing a series of blogs on a theme, that will get you rolling. I got this idea from Regina, and she suggested a theme for October. My theme for October is going to be blogging, and in November it will be branding plus gratefulness and giving back.
- Get some press. There are so many journalists looking for content on holiday gift ideas right now. Try HARO. It stands for Help a Reporter Out. Whatever your business is, you are your own expert on your product or service, and here’s where you can both write about your product or service and let someone else promote for you at the same time. What happens is you sign up—they send a lot of emails, so create a filter and a folder for them—and you tell them about your specialty and your company. What they do is connect journalists to people who can give them content by a deadline. There is a strict deadline involved here, so be aware that if you don’t meet that it will be cancelled. But this is the perfect time to be doing it. In certain parts of the country, there can even be television opportunities. So in general, you should be writing press releases, giving gift ideas, reaching out to journalists, and you can even get on Huffington Post—it isn’t hard to do.
- It’s also a really good time, since people are in shopping mindset, is to try out Facebook ads. Now, you know I’m not a big fan of Facebook for business, but I’m talking about actual ads here. Not promoted posts. This is a good time to test them, and I did a blog post about how to start with Facebook ads that you can reference. You can target your local market, you can target an online market, you can target people that like certain pages, women who are certain ages, men who are certain ages, it just never ends. They say that when you’re doing an ad (not a sponsored post), video ads get a lot higher rate of engagement. So you could do a slideshow or voiced video. They’re also good for offering freebies or signups. So you could potentially grow your list a lot this way. The cool thing about ads is you can add up to 6 images and see which ones are getting the best clicks. That has helped me convert the few times I did Facebook ads. Don’t go crazy and spend too much money, just try it out.
- This one is Instagram. Start using those holiday hashtags. Go to Pinterest and find those keywords that are trending, then go to Instagram to search what other suggestions you get on the recommended posts. If I just type in “holidays,” I will get a list of posts, but it will also show me other variations of a keyword that might have even more posts than that. I recommend using very popular hashtags to grow your following, and then you want to create more specific ones for your tribe. that’s a very different thing, but you want to do both.
- YouTube. Get on YouTube and do a few videos. If you don’t use it much, you may not realize it’s actually a social media site. The flavor of this place is a little like the wild wild west, and people can be on the aggressive side with their commentary, but you can avoid awkward stuff by disabling comments and just placing your website link in the text description area. Just one simple call to action is all that’s needed here. You don’t want to overwhelm them with a huge list of every place on the web they can find you. It’s fun to get on video and talk about what you do, or make a how-to video (those are popular in searches), and you can try it as many times as you want until you get it right. It’s not live like Periscope! So get out there and upload your video to YouTube, but don’t forget to include how to redirect them to your website. Very important. And catch this awesome blab interview we did with Afton Negrea on some Youtube tips.
I have a bonus for you. It’s actually Craigslist. Now wait a minute, people, you’re probably going to roll your eyes at me, but Craigslist has awesome Google juice for a link back to your site. They have a ton of users and followers. So, I don’t mean get on there and create some crazy deal or offer, but definitely post an ad with who you are and what you do. The way I found this out was I found a furniture company that didn’t even have a sign outside their door. So, I asked them what they did for marketing, and they just said Craigslist. It can actually work. Just redirect them back to your site or blog. Just tell them about who you are and what you do, and get somebody’s attention. If you do this, you’ll want to be aware that the posts are arranged in the order they’re posted starting at midnight, so if you post at 1 a.m., by the time normal people start looking for posts that day, your post will be buried. So be strategic about the time you post.
Now, whether you incorporate all of these 7 ideas or target just a few, as we like to say here, Go Get Found!