Happy “Most Wonderful Time of the Year!”
I just adore December for two specific reasons: it’s almost always the month where we see the first snowfall of the season and it’s the month I get to eat my weight in Christmas cookies. December. Is. Perfect.
This is the time of year when searches for recipes go through the roof, so it’s the perfect opportunity to plan out that editorial calendar in preparation for a successful end to 2018. Here are some topics you can focus on in December:
I know you’re probably giving me a “duh” right now, but hear me out. Obviously your readers will be looking for holiday-themed dishes and treats, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned from putting these “Trending Now” articles together each month, it’s that people plan and search for recipes way before the week before the holiday.
Try posting your more elaborate holiday dishes in the first few weeks of the holiday, and leave all of the quick and easy recipes for the end of the month. You’ll find some winter holiday recipe #inspo below, but because this is generally the time spent with family and friends, you could also try and post recipes that have a more personal story and meaning behind them.
Here’s a list of holidays to remember this month:
- Start of Hanukkah: Sunday, December 2
- Christmas: Tuesday, December 25
- Start of Kwanzaa: Wednesday, December 26
- New Year’s Eve: Monday, December 31
Holiday baking is the best, because it’s one of the only times of the year where calories don’t count. All kidding aside, people are more willing to indulge when it’s the holidays, so try posting your most indulgent cookie recipes this month. Better yet, give your readers tips on hosting the perfect cookie swap or on shipping baked goods to their loved ones.
You can also find some trending ingredients to put into your cookie creations this month. For example, searches for brown sugar unsurprisingly spike two times per year: once around Thanksgiving, and once around Christmas. I’m already dreaming up a brown sugar snickerdoodle recipe. Yum!!
Another option? Make it an entire month of cookies! One of my favorite bloggers, Sally from Sally’s Baking Addiction, holds her Sally’s Cookie Palooza every December. It’s where she publishes ten cookie recipes in a row to get everyone ready for the holiday season. This recurring recipe series is a great way to:
- Capitalize on the trend
- Establish trust with your readers
- Establish expertise in a certain topic
Peppermint & Ginger
Let’s talk flavor! Two forerunners in the flavor department this time of year are peppermint and ginger.
You can combine these delicious seasonal flavors into your holiday/New Years recipes and/or into your cookie recipes (hello, gingersnaps!). Perhaps you can write about the health benefits of these flavors and share your favorite festive ways to use them this month. The possibilities are endless with peppermint and ginger!
Tis the season! Your readers are looking for gift ideas, and gift guides are everywhere this time of year.
Buying the perfect gift. We all have those people in our lives who are impossible to shop for, I can definitely attest to the fact that holiday shopping is a source of December stress. Gift guides are huge this time of year, and they may be able to alleviate some of the gifting stress your readers are feeling. Not to mention that these guides can be a great source of affiliate income – win win!
We talked about New Year’s Resolutions and indulgent holiday-themed dishes, so is it really a shock that diet searches start to spike this month? It shouldn’t be.
Readers are more willing to try out different diets – such as vegan, vegetarian, paleo, and/or gluten free – at the end of December/the beginning of January because the new year always signifies new beginnings. If you already run a diet-niched blog, great! Keep doing what you’re doing, and you’ll hopefully see a nice little traffic spike at the beginning of the year. If your blog doesn’t focus on a certain type of diet or cuisine, you could try posting some lighter options for your readers at the beginning of the year.
Questions: Have you planned out your December editorial calendar yet? Which trends do you think your readers are looking for?