10 Things I Do for my Blog During the Holidays

Blog!

I especially appreciate the holiday season and any understood vacation days that our country celebrates because it gives me an opportunity to set aside some specific and intentional time to review a number of things about my blog.

And for some reason I feel more motivated during a break in my typical schedule to do a few things that I probably hold off on doing during the week. Funny how that works, right?

But here are 10 things that I do during a long break (like Thanksgiving and Christmas) for my blog:

  1. Review traffic patterns to a greater depth. I look for outliers and fringe traffic days. I study the “why” and the “how” as it relates to those numbers.
  2. I update any WordPress plugins that may need updating. What does this mean? It means that I don’t update the moment a new update appears in my dashboard! I read up on the changes, see if anyone has had any significant upgrade issues, and test it on a demo server.
  3. I prune my categories and migrate posts to other categories that I wasn’t fully sold on when I published.
  4. I review comments that I had marked out as “actionable” and draft starter posts.
  5. I review and re-evaluate my yearly goals to see if I’m on track. I admit defeat for some and celebrate victories when appropriate.
  6. I blog as little as possible and instead draft more.
  7. I test and install new plugins and/or 3rd party systems and applications to see potential benefit. Not as many people pay attention to changes during the holidays so I can get away with more! Any extra development is prioritized during holidays and breaks.
  8. I spend more time reading other people’s blogs and commenting on their properties and spend any excess time when available to respond on my own. I feel this is a healthy and worthwhile thing to do and helps me stay more connected with other bloggers.
  9. I prune my RSS Feeds that I subscribe to and spend time curating.
  10. I do a thorough clean up of my databases and spend time optimizing my systems for performance.  “Spring cleaning” happens more than just in the spring time!

What are some things that you get to do when you’ve got a bit more time to do it, especially on vacations and the holidays? Love to hear it!

  • http://www.blackgirlgrown.com blackgirlgrown

    These are great tips! I’ve enjoyed your presentations, style, and passion the few times I have seen you. Keep up the great work:-)

    • John Saddington

      Sure thing!

  • http://www.travisfish.com Travis Fish

    Sounds like a fun holiday break!
    And for some reason I am more motivated on Holiday breaks as well!

    • John Saddington

      It’s like you get all motivated and stuff…!

  • http://lifexpresseddigitally.me/blog Brian Alexander

    I just bought standard theme on Friday and will be re-launching my blog in the coming weeks. I should do a few of these things before getting it off the ground. Thanks for the tips.

    • John Saddington

      Sweet! Let me know when the relaunch is done!

  • http://www.philz-corner.com Phil

    Number 4 sounds a good one!

    For me I will most likely draft articles, backup my WordPress database, scout around for any new worthwhile plugins and comment on other blogs.

    • John Saddington

      Sweet! Draft away! What’s getting going these days?

  • http://www.danieldecker.net Daniel Decker

    For this past Thanksgiving break… I honestly just tried to take a break and do less digital for a few days. Now I’m getting back into the groove here on Sunday night and reading up on a few RSS feeds + drafting a few articles and preparing for the week overall.

    • John Saddington

      Ah. You had a good break then…? Awesome!

      • http://www.danieldecker.net Daniel Decker

        Indeed. Great Thanksgiving with family and friends. So much to be thankful for. : )

        • John Saddington

          seriously.

    • Dave ©

      I’m with Daniel on this one. I did nothing but hang out with my family over the Thanksgiving break. I did read each day (an actual book) but that was it. About the closest thing I did to work was nearly buying a 42″ LCD TV for $400 on Black Friday. How’s that work, you say? I don’t know either. But, alas, I resisted the temptation.

      I love #2 and # 7. These are great tasks to complete when traffic is lower than usual.

      • John Saddington

        sweet! and… i like how you add the copyright symbol to your name.

        • Dave ©

          You gotta distinguish a name like Dave somehow, right?

          • John Saddington

            i suppose you are right!

  • http://thatguykc.wordpress.com ThatGuyKC

    Definitely need to take advantage of the free time to work on #3 next holiday. Got a lot of blog-related work planned for the Christmas break. Working full time with 2 kids and getting an MBA taps out my schedule.

    • John Saddington

      you’re telling me….

  • Adam

    I always seem to come up with great blog post ideas when spending time with my family…
    Could you elaborate on item #1?
    Do you try to keep your categories to a minimum (or under a certain number)?

    • John Saddington

      i do rich keyword searches over my traffic. i’ll do some more posts on this. already planned.!

    • John Saddington

      yes. less than 8.

  • http://www.benandleanna.com/ Ben Miller

    I would love to see a blog post sometime about #10.

    • John Saddington

      ah. that might be a good one. noted!

  • http://tomjamieson.wordpress.com Tom Jamieson

    Hey great list of tips John! I’m finding that #9 applies to me the most right now. Unfortunately, I don’t have enough time to read as much as I would like. Thanks for sharing!

    • John Saddington

      all about content production right now?

      • http://tomjamieson.wordpress.com Tom Jamieson

        That, and I’m trying to spend more time getting my self-hosted blog up and running…

        • John Saddington

          hmmmmmm. doh! who ware you with?