Duncan has a good post unpacking the Blogging silly season a little. The ‘silly season’ traditionally starts the day of US Thanksgiving and extends into the first few weeks of January. It’s silly because traffic levels can vary incredibly. Every blog has it’s own pattern (depending largely upon it’s topic – ie product blogs tend to explode for the next month and die in January) but it’s a good idea to expect the unexpected.
If you’re an Adsense or YPN publisher you can expect variations not only in your impressions over the coming weeks but also in the CPC (cost per click). Advertisers are often willing to pay a bit more in the lead up to Christmas and in some industries in the first weeks of January (to capitalize on new year sales). Some are predicting that it really gets going this coming Monday – which apparently is becoming known as ‘Cyber Monday‘. If this is the case I can’t see what happens on Monday because yesterday was my biggest day ever in terms of earnings.
As Duncan says – in some ways there isn’t much you can do except let the roller-coaster run it’s course although if you have a product related blog I would recommend that this is the time to think about some of the following (in fact a lot of it you should already have been doing for the past month or so):
1. SEO – ask yourself what people will be searching Google and other search engines for in the next month. Optimize your blog for these keywords. Read more about Search Optimization for Blogs.
2. Optimize Hosting – if you don’t have server capacity for big traffic it might be the time to do something about this
3. Work on Read Loyalty – if you get a lot of extra traffic over the next few weeks it’s actually an opportunity to convert some of your new one off readers into regular loyal readers for the coming year.
- Adsense Tips for Bloggers Series
- Adsense Optimization Case Study
- Adsense Optimization – the Holistic Approach
- How to Increase CTR for Chitika eMiniMalls
5. Optimize your Affiliate Links – You might want to consider how you use affiliate links over this period. I find that my Amazon sales triple over this period even without me doing anything extra – but there are ways that you can increase their potential by using deep links, positioning them in the hot zones on your blog etc. I’ve written more tips on using affiliate programs on your blog here.
I’m interested to hear what others are doing to prepare for the silly season.