Summer tends to be a slower time for many bloggers. Many bloggers take advantage of the flexibility to cut back on hours and enjoy the summer to the fullest. Many notice their audience gets quieter and traffic slows a bit naturally as well.
That’s all about to change!
I LOVE Quarter 4 as a blogger. Traffic starts picking up. Advertising budgets get reset. There are so many holidays! Things get busy fast. And I like busy.
While we still have several weeks before things get into full swing, there are some preparations you should take now. As a blogger, you always need to think two steps ahead.
1. Content Calendar
Now is the time to decide what holidays and events you will go big on this year. Maybe it’s back-to-school (you better get busy). Maybe it’s Labor Day, Thanksgiving or Christmas.
Think about the upcoming holidays and how they relate to your audience. For example, I don’t publish back-to-school sales. Much of that wouldn’t be a good fit on my blog. But I have already published a few ways my readers can make extra cash to cover those expenses.
If you are a lifestyle or recipe blogger, now’s a good time to start thinking about Labor Day recipes. If you cover fashion, now’s the time to start thinking about how to help your audience switch out that closet for cooler weather. Are gift guides a good fit for your blog? Start brainstorming those ideas.
Speaking of gift guides, you should be reaching out to potential holiday sponsors in August. Update your media kit and start pitching holiday sponsored campaigns.
2. Content Audit
While we’re talking about content, pull up your Google Analytics for the upcoming period last year. What content was popular? Was any of it seasonal and can it be updated, repurposed and repromoted? Do any of those seasonal topics deserve a fresh new post for 2018? Get those posts on your calendar and to-do list.
3. Income Audit
The money trail is something that always needs auditing. Where is your income coming from? How can you easily increase it?
If an affiliate product, or your own product, is performing really well, consider how you can promote it more. Is it a natural fit for some of your popular older posts? Does it deserve a full review? Does it deserve a dedicated email? These are tiny little things that don’t take much time but can greatly increase your bottom line.
Also, think about what new programs you can join. Ultimate Bundles, for example, has some great sales coming up that would work well for those in the healthy living, family-friendly and foodie niches. They strive to help their affiliates succeed so this is a good program to join if you are new to affiliate marketing. Check out the Marketing Training tab in your affiliate dashboard for some great tips.
4. Blog Audit
This is also a good time to take a look at the backend of your blog. Is your site taking forever to load? Are you using way too many plugins? Did you never get that one thing figured out?
Take inventory and do a little cleanup. Rip that band-aid and get those messes cleaned up.
5. Traffic Audit
This is also a good time to get real about where you are banging your head against a wall and where you aren’t spending enough time when it comes to incoming traffic.
As an example, YouTube is a platform that has taken me quite a bit of time and effort to build up, but it is also paying off in spades compared to others. November of last year, I had less than 300 YouTube subscribers. Today, I have over 15,000 subscribers. My efforts over there are bringing tens of thousands of pageviews to my blog each month. And, like my blog, I expect YouTube to take off in the next month or so. Those are numbers I can’t ignore. Even though video isn’t my favorite thing to do, and it takes me for-ever to shot, edit and publish a video, I’m sticking with it. Even compared to Facebook, the long-term payoff is phenomenal. The 67 videos I have published bring in around triple the traffic each day than who knows how many thousand Facebook updates over the course of my Page’s life. Focus on your return on investment.
6. Get to Know Your Affiliate Managers
If you don’t regularly reach out to your affiliate managers already, now’s the time to do it. Send them an email letting them know you are interested in increasing exposure for your favorite affiliate program and were wondering if there were any promotions or sales coming up. Ask them what’s working for other affiliates. Ask if you can get a special coupon code for your audience. If you are making them a lot of money, ask if you can get a raise in exchange for increased exposure.
Your affiliate managers are there to help you succeed. Take advantage of it.
This is also a good time to jot down those things you need to learn or brush up on as you move through the above list. A few of the things that have really helped me:
- Elite Blog Academy – This is a massive blogging course that touches on everything important from creating content to getting traffic to making money. It won’t be open for enrollment again until February 2019. You can get on the notification list here.
- TubeBuddy – This is a really awesome tool for YouTube Creators. It can help you streamline the process and ensure your videos are optimized. They also have some great tutorials and tips on their channel. Learn more here.
- Content Brew – If coming up with ideas to blog about is your shortfall, this course is pretty awesome. I bought it a few years ago and still use the techniques in here to generate new post ideas.
- Six-Figure Blogger – This is a course from Create and Go that I purchased earlier this year. It focuses solely on monetization – specifically, more advanced monetization techniques like sales funnels and creating your own products. If you aren’t to that stage yet or are struggling with traffic, they have a Make Money Blogging for Beginners course you may want to check out.
Get these tasks on your calendar. Get ahead of the game. Nothing is more stressful than finding out you are missing out on traffic and income because you failed to look ahead on the calendar and do a little planning. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Originally published August 2018. Updated August 2019.