Seasonal Content: 12 Tips to Better Use Seasonal Blog Posts
Blog posts come in a lot of different varieties. You have your time-sensitive, newsworthy content on one hand, and you have your time-agnostic, evergreen content on the other, but this isn’t a binary, either/or choice. In reality, it’s a lot more like a spectrum, with a bunch of different kinds of content in the middle.
One of those kinds of content is almost squarely in the middle; it’s the seasonal content. Seasonal content has attributes of both evergreen and news content, but when done right, it can be some of the best content you produce. The trick is that you need to do it right; otherwise, you’re going to pin your hopes on a seasonal traffic spike that never materializes.
So what, exactly, is seasonal content, and how can you use seasonal blog posts to your advantage?
Table of Contents
What Are Seasonal Blog Posts?
Seasonal blog posts are blog posts that focus on a topic that is only relevant for some part of the year.
How long the “season” is, or what the season is, can vary. The one requirement is that it’s a recurring season, something that happens every year. “iPhone 14 Release Season” isn’t a season; it’s a one-off event that won’t happen again. On the other hand, Summer, “Football Season,” or “Back-to-School Season” are all viable seasons.
So, seasonal blog posts are blog posts that tie into that season somehow. But they don’t just tie in at a surface level. Writing a blog post that uses a football metaphor doesn’t make it Football Season Content; it just makes it generic content with a few mentions of football. True seasonal blog posts need to be primarily about and relevant only during that season.
Holidays are a prime example of this. “10 Halloween Costume Ideas for Introverts” is a seasonal blog post idea, for example. Most people aren’t going to be looking for that topic at all outside of October, so it’s only going to be getting any real traffic and interest in that season. But – and here’s the critical point – seasonal interest returns. That post might only get traffic during October, but it will get traffic every October until such time as it’s supplanted by other content in the search results.
Producing and using seasonal content to give your blog an edge can be a great strategy. The question is, how can you do it effectively and make it better? I’ve put together twelve tips to help you out.
1: Use Google Trends to Know When to Publish
The first thing you’ll want to do is head on over to Google Trends and make it your homepage.
Okay, well, you don’t actually need to make it your homepage. You do, however, need to get very used to using it.
Google Trends has a lot of uses. It’s good for keyword vetting, it’s good for comparative analysis between topics, and it’s good for estimating when and for how long different topics stay relevant.
It’s the last one that’s most important to us for seasonal content. You want to plug in keywords related to your seasonal content idea and see when the peak of the trend is. Great; that’s when you publish, right?
Look for the trail leading up to the peak. People start searching for seasonal content quite a ways before the season, and it varies depending on the season and the kind of event we’re talking about. Major single-day events like Christmas have different focuses and trails than larger, broader seasons like “winter” itself.
Your goal is to find the right point in the timeline to publish. You want it early enough to capture a lot of that early traffic and to be established when the season itself rolls around. But you don’t want it to be so early that it feels like it’s completely out of phase when you publish it. For example, publishing a post about Thanksgiving Dinner Ideas in August is a little too far out of sync; you can probably wait until late October or early November.
2: Promote Last Year’s Seasonal Content (With a Fresh Coat of Paint)
Timely content is easy because you produce it, you let it do its thing, and you let it die. Evergreen content is easy because it’s always there, always relevant, always at the top of your mind. Seasonal content tends to slip through the cracks.
One of the biggest tips I can give you for making the most out of seasonal content is to build yourself a calendar that shows you what seasonal content you have in clusters around the relevant dates. Then, each year, go through and spiff these up a bit.
Your goal is to do three things:
- Give the content a new shine so it looks and feels fresh for readers and for the algorithm. This should reflect any changes in style or ethos you have in your content production.
- Remove or update outdated references that would make it obvious the content is from last year or earlier.
- Add and update the actual substance of the content so it’s new and relevant.
Many of the best pieces of seasonal content out there didn’t start where they are; they’ve been built up over years of iterative additions.
3: Make Sure Something Applies All Year
The other pitfall of seasonal content is relying on seasons only when you need a quick blog post idea and otherwise not really planning for it. When you do this, your timing is off, but worse, so is your coverage. If you only dip into seasonal content for the winter to cover all of the various winter holidays, it leaves your blog feeling uneven and disjointed when there’s no similar coverage for summer and the transitional seasons.
This is also an area where you can benefit from making that visual content calendar for seasonal content. You can much more easily see the gaps in your coverage when it’s all laid out visually.
4: Focus on Evergreen Seasonal Content for the Bulk of Each Post
I already kind of mentioned this, but to make it more explicit, seasonal content should, as much as possible, be evergreen content. While it has a seasonal spin on it, the goal is something that people will find every year and find useful each time they find it.
Now, this doesn’t mean that the seasonality of the content is fluff. Something like “The Best Method to Cook an Easter Ham” is technically non-seasonal, but the actual core topic is seasonal enough to make it a seasonal post. Would it do better if you stripped “Easter” from it? Maybe, maybe not; that’s something you’d need to explore.
Regardless, the goal is to make your seasonal posts require as little work as possible to keep updated and relevant each year when the season rolls back around.
5: Produce Seasonal Content Ahead of Time, But Not Too Far
The first tip on this list was about finding when you should be publishing your seasonal content. This one is similar: when should you produce your seasonal content?
Technically, you can create seasonal content any time you want. You can write your blog posts about Christmas in the middle of summer if you like. However, I find it easier if the season is approaching, so I’m already feeling the vibe of the season, thinking more about it, and seeing more about it from the content around me.
The other reason to produce content a little closer to the time of publication is in case there’s anything significant or relevant that happens. If you were to write a big post about Christmas events to attend six months in advance, only to find that, by the time December rolls around, the collective will of society decided Christmas was canceled this year, well, you’d be left in a lurch. It’s an extreme example, yeah, but the point stands.
6: Cover Both Narrow Topics and Broad Seasonal Trends
I mentioned above that seasonal content comes in two kinds of topics: the broad and the narrow. Broad are topics like Summer, Football Season, or Back-to-School. Narrow are things like the 4th of July, Christmas, the Super Bowl, and so on.
There are also less firmly defined seasons. “Spring Break” is something that happens in spring, but different school districts schedule it differently. The Olympics is seasonal, but it’s not every single year. I wouldn’t necessarily target the Olympics because a post that only gets traffic every 2-4 years isn’t nearly as valuable as one with annual returns, but maybe it’s worthwhile to you.
Either way, the tip here is to cover both kinds of seasonal topics, so you have some seasonal content that spikes for a week or so and some that can perform better for a few months at a time. As usual, it’s all about covering all of your bases.
7: Couple Seasonal Content with Promotions and Sales
Some people argue that seasonal content shouldn’t be promotional. That’s nuts; seasonal content is the best kind of content to have be promotional.
It’s incredibly easy to combine it with promotions, sales, coupons, and other short-duration, high-value offers that can draw people in and hook them into your ecosystem. Any time you can, come up with promotions and sales to go with your seasonal content.
8: Don’t Be Afraid to Target Off-The-Wall Events
For every Super Bowl and Christmas, there’s a National Donut Day. Don’t be afraid to target the lesser-known seasons. Some of them might be niche but have powerful communities and followings, like the Vlogbrothers-created Pizzamas.
Others might just be gimmicks made up for individual communities or small events and won’t get you much attention at all. Those you can still benefit from making even more evergreen-with-a-theme, and it can still work well enough. Still, cover the bigger holidays first.
9: Make Use of Templates for Similar Topics
A lot of times, you can make a sort of template for the kinds of seasonal content you want to produce. The actual content between the posts will differ and will vary according to the season, but things like the number of items, the format, and the general overview can all be done with a generalized template.
The goal is to speed up your content creation and maintain a consistent pattern across seasonal content, but you don’t want to look like you took a generalized post, slapped in a few seasonal keywords, and called it a day.
10: Curate Seasonal Content from Everyone Else
Another way to round out a seasonal content calendar is to see what everyone else is doing and curate the best content you find. I love curating content, making top 25 lists of whatever strikes my fancy, and seasonal content is no exception.
A lot of people are going to be out there producing seasonal content, and if you curate the best, add some commentary and additions of your own, and, of course, have some good offers to keep people around, you’ll be positioning yourself as a sort of directory or resource people can use to find other seasonal content.
11: Partner with Seasonal Influencers for Promoted Content
Influencer marketing sometimes seems played out, but the truth is, it has just shifted. We’re no longer seeing people with tens of millions of followers making influencer deals. Instead, it’s all about micro-influencers. And, truthfully, that’s better. Micro-influencers, the kinds of people who have a few thousand or a few tens of thousands of followers, generally have much more engaged audiences than massive mega-influencers. Sure, you won’t get a single post to bring in a million hits, but the hits you do get will generally be a lot better.
You can find these influencers in the middle reaches of sites like Twitch, YouTube, Instagram, and elsewhere. They’re almost guaranteed to be making seasonal content of their own, and a partnership can help you both out a lot more than the more one-way relationships other larger influencers have.
12: Join or Support a Seasonal Movement
To round out the list, one thing you can consider doing is joining or supporting a seasonally relevant social movement or charitable foundation. A lot of causes tend to be centered around the more charitable holidays like Christmas, but most holidays have something going for them. And, if not, you can always partner with certain charities like Extra Life to do your own more free-form fundraising.
This is a way to help make your seasonal content less about you and more about the season, which can work quite well for getting people to view your efforts in a more positive light, ascribe a better reputation to you, and boost your exposure.
What about you? Have you done any seasonal content production in the past? If so, what tips do you ascribe your success to? If I’ve missed something, I’d love to hear about it in the comments. And, if you’re looking for ideas for topics you can target with a seasonal slant, Topicfinder’s free trial is right here for you to try out. Give it a shot!
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