Blog traffic is always different on a holiday weekend
I made what I thought was a great post on a Sunday, and I tweeted about it because I wanted it to be read. I can usually expect a high volume of retweets on Twitter and a subsequent high volume of traffic to my blog.
I had just launched the newsletter, too, so I was like, Oops, I guess people don’t like the newsletter SO MUCH that they’ve stopped reading the blog!
And the ones that were clicking through to the blog were leaving almost zero comments. (Comments had been very high; dozens a day.)
I knew it was a holiday weekend – MLK Day was that Monday – but I forgot that things are ALWAYS different on holiday weekends.
And it almost doesn’t matter what the holiday is.
When I worked at a Fortune 500 company and had to do recruiting, ads never did well on holiday weekends. People are doing different things on those days. I developed a wide definition of “holiday” – and there’s basically one every month. We all know (or should know) that everybody is doing things a little differently during Christmas; you ae buying presents and going to parties and putting up a tree! Your writing schedule suffers but your overall schedule is different, and blog traffic shows that, too. Traffic peaked in October, was a little less in November (Thanksgiving is a BIG holiday that takes people out of their schedules) and of course December has Christmas, as I just noted, which screws up almost one whole month and a part of the following month.
Here’s a list of traffic-interrupting holidays. Many are small hiccups but a few are MAJOR traffic slowers:
January – New Year’s Eve/Day. The reasons should be obvious. Everybody’s partying! But it’s still basically “The Holidays.” January also has Martin Luther King Day, and because it’s a 3 day weekend, expect things to be a little different in your blog traffic. Things get back to normal around the 15th, with a hiccup on MLK weekend. MAJOR.
February has Valentine’s Day. A hiccup.
March has Easter, another biggie (but not like Thanksgiving; it’s maybe 1/3 of the Thanksgiving traffic drop) and also St Patrick’s Day – in case your hangover from New Year’s had slipped your mind. So, a minor major (Easter) and a hiccup (St. Paddy’s).
April – while not a holiday, tax returns are due on April 15 and people might be busy. Or unhappy. It’s more of a hiccup, if that.
May has Cinco De Mayo, for a little more hair of the dog. (It’s not as big as the other drinking holidays, though.) But Mother’s Day is known for travel and upsetting schedules. (Or just being upsetting. It never works out like you think it will, does it?) Then at the end of May is another a three day weekend, Memorial Day. So you have a big hiccup for Cinco De Mayo, a minor major for Mother’s Day weekend, and a MAJOR tremor for Memorial Day weekend.
June has Father’s Day, which doesn’t affect anything, really. Certainly not like Mother’s Day. Not even hiccup, but I don’t want dads feeling neglected.
July has Independence Day, the 4th of July. That’s another party based 3-day weekend, and folks travel a LOT at that time of year. Do not be alarmed if your CPs disappear and your blog traffic dies. People are on vacation. You should consider doing that, too. It’s usually a MAJOR.
August – not really any holidays, but people vacation a lot in August. Traffic will be slower almost all month. Plus, parents are getting ready for back to school. Some hiccups, but nothing worry about in general, just usually a slightly slower month overall.
September brings ANOTHER 3 day weekend and drinking/socializing with family cookouts, Labor Day. Again, expect traffic to be different. It’ll be a minor major.
October has Halloween, which didn’t seem to affect traffic but it’s worth being aware of it. A hiccup.
November. Do I need to say it? Thanksgiving, baby! Stuff some turkey and stuff your belly but don’t check your blog traffic numbers because it will be miniscule. A MAJOR major.
December has Christmas, which starts affecting things by the 15th and continues through New Year’s, the 31st. You know what I’m about to say. A triple MAJOR. The majorest.
So what do we do? Well…
None of this means you shouldn’t blog or advertise or whatever on these weekends, just that you need to be aware that people are behaving differently at those times.
- Blog traffic drops and comments drop a LOT at those times. Don’t panic. It’ll come back. If you were doing a good job before, odds are you’re still doing a good job.
- Book sales may be slower. For some budgets, that means don’t advertise cos you won’t get your usual return. For other budgets, it means spend MORE so your revenue doesn’t slide. (If book sales were good, expect them to get better!)
Now, I doubt you’ll save this “calendar” or even remember next Memorial Day that things were projected to be slow for a few days. But you MIGHT want to advertise and do certain promotions AROUND those dates if you can.
Know your business and what affects it.
Like I should have.