According to data I made up just now for the purpose of this blog post, only 3.6 people read your blog during the holidays.
Well, people are busy this time of the year.
There are trees to decorate. Year-end projects to complete. Shoppers to wrestle at Wal-Mart.
Who has time to read blogs when there are stale fruitcakes to distribute? And what about ugly Christmas sweaters? Those things won’t wear themselves, you know.
I guess what I’m trying to say is… If you have completed what will one day go down as “the world’s greatest blog post,” now is not the best time to publish it.
(The same is true if you’ve written a regular ol’ blog post, too.)
Sure, some people will read (and love) it.
3.6 people, to be exact.
Your posts deserve better.
What To Do Instead
Update and republish old blog posts you’ve written.
Yes, I realize this is the kind of suggestion you’d expect “Wally” to make in a Dilbert cartoon.
It sounds too easy. Too simple. Too, well… lazy.
Hear me out.
There are many good reasons to regularly update your old posts, and some great articles out there helping you go about doing so. But one often-overlooked benefit makes republishing old posts particularly attractive this time of year…
It takes far less time to update an old post than to write a new one from scratch.
This time saved can be spent shopping online for gifts at Amazon, making eggnog for some inexplicable reason, or mailing awkward-looking Christmas cards to your friends and family.
Just in case you aren’t yet convinced, here are three more reasons you should update and republish old blog posts during the holidays…
Your Blog Needs A Sacrificial Lamb
Maybe it’s because my thoughts this time of year often turn to what’s called by many as “the reason for the season,” but I believe?your blog needs a sacrificial lamb?during the holidays.
It needs a?post to step up and take one for the team. A post that, yes, might not get read, commented on, or shared as much as your regular posts due to the date it’s being published.
Yes, this post could be a brand-new, never-before-seen post.
But it makes a lot more sense if it’s a post you’ve published previously.
Because such posts are immune to…
Negative Social Proof
When you have a post with lots of comments and social media shares, it has positive social proof.
People see the numbers and think, “Wow, this post is popular… I should read it, leave a comment, and tweet it.”
Of course, social proof can work against you, too.
When people see a post with few comments and social media shares, they assume the post — and by extension the entire blog — is unpopular.
And that makes them far less likely to read, comment, and tweet.
Since you have 3.6 readers when you publish during the holidays, a new post is going to have horrible social proof.?And that’s going to negatively impact you in the minds of new visitors who discover?your site after the holidays.
A previously-published post already has comments. It already has social media shares. It is immune to the negative social proof that often accompanies forgotten posts published during the holidays.
(You know, assuming you don’t choose to republish an unpopular post.)
Plus, let’s not forget…
Yes, I realize I already listed “time.” But it’s so big, it bears repeating.
Your blog is important. It’s the bee’s knees and all that jazz.
But you know what it’s not?
It’s not your family. It’s not your loved ones. It’s not what really matters this time of year.
Beyond the trees to decorate, the year-end projects to complete, the Wal-Mart WrestleMania, the stale fruitcakes, and the awkward Christmas cards there’s something that actually matters…
Time with those you love.
You need to update and republish old blog posts during the holidays because spending precious time writing a new post only 3.6 people will even read is insane.
Believe me… I know insane.
I taught freshmen in high school for three years.
Spend Time On What Matters, My Friend
And spend less time on the things which don’t.
Have I convinced you? Let me know in a comment below!
I hope all of you have a wonderful, blessed, and merry Christmas! And to?any who are lonely or struggling, know I’ll be saying a prayer for you.
I must respond?by shaking my head and muttering, “tsk tsk tsk.”
What about those poor 3.6 readers? Do you really want to deprive them of reading material?
It’s Christmas, you Scrooge! 🙂
Flickr Creative Commons Images via Kevin Dooley.