The weather is warming up and people are closing their laptops, heading outside to soak it all up, go on vacation, throw summer parties and replace their ovens with a BBQ.
And we all know what that means…
It’s summer slump time in the blogging world.
Deep breaths bloggers, don’t get discouraged by this annual trend in our industry. There is hope and if you concentrate on making the most of the traffic you are getting, you can enjoy your summer without worrying about your blog’s traffic (too much). Here are a few tips to get you through it
1- Don’t Panic!
Don’t overanalyze or freak out. Certainly don’t make any rash decisions. Remember this is happening industry wide. Luckily, if you monetize your blog via ads, CPM rates do tend to do better in the summer than they did in the first quarter, so where your traffic is lacking your ads could pick up the slack. Even still, if your income dips along with your traffic, just remember that this is an industry trend and you are not alone!
2-Optimize Your Content for Mobile
Your readers will be out enjoying the weather all summer long, but hardly anyone leaves home without their phone or tablet. If they are going to consume your content during the summer months, this is most likely the way they will do it. This is a great excuse to take some time to make sure your site is nice and polished on mobile.
Here are some ideas
Clean up your long posts by breaking them up with bold headers and plenty of paragraph breaks. Ask yourself, is is easily to skim?
Flash and Java are no longer the ways of the web and are not supported by most mobile devices, so get rid of them and avoid them in the future.
Keep in mind that the ideal navigation on smartphones is scrolling through one fluid page. That being said, having other pages is not out of the question, as long as they’re easy to find and easy to click. Avoid overly categorized sites that feel like a maze to navigate.
Remember that buttons can be frustrating on little screens with big fingers, make sure your buttons translate to mobile and are large enough to click on mobile.
Make sure you site is responsive and will size based on what device your reader is using. If your blog is hosted on WordPress, getting it to be responsive is pretty simple: from your admin panel, just head to the story and select a responsive theme that fits your brand. Boom! You’re mobile ready!
3- Focus Your Content on Fun Summer Topics
This one may seem obvious, but think about what your readers are searching for and wanting to read about as they plan their trip to the beach, family BBQ’s, camping trips, etc. Fill your site with summer tips, advice, discounts, and recipes.
4- Keep to a Consistent Publishing Schedule
Chances are you are going to be out enjoying summer just as much as your readers, but this just means that you need to plan ahead so your posting doesn’t fizzle out in the summer heat. Staying consistent (especially during this slower season) is crucial to gaining new readers and keeping your regulars loyal. It is especially important that you distribute like crazy! Your focus should be on distribution just as much as creating new content. This is absolutley CRUTIAL when you are seeing a decrease in traffic! Just remember, if you build it (and distribute it), they will come!
5- Plan, Plan, Plan
Ask yourself what your readers have in their summer calendars and plan accordingly.
Think about when your readers will be
Buying summer clothes (blahhh…swimsuit shopping)
Looking for summer book suggestions
Hosting summer barbeques
Trying to keep the kids occupied while they are out of school
Also keep in mind the Holidays when you are planning your posts
July 4th- Independence Day
September 1- Labor Day
If you have a lot of local traffic, it’s a good idea to watch for local holidays and keep an eye on school schedules in your area.
This is also a great time to work on other long-term projects and stuff behind the scenes. Set up meetings to collaborate with other bloggers and brands. Take a look at your calendar and fill your year with any conferences or trainings you’d like to attend. Start that ebook you’ve thought about 100 times, and never gotten around to.
Bottom line, just keep blogging! Whether you use this time to clean up and optimize your site, or to work on other projects, just enjoy the weather and make the best of it because for good or for bad…