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 where you get to eat your weight in Christmas cookies. December. Is. Perfect.
This is also 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 an end to 2021.
Here are some topics you might want to 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 keep in mind:
- Start of Hanukkah: Sunday, November 28
- Christmas: Saturday, December 25
- Start of Kwanzaa: Sunday, December 26
- New Year’s Eve: Friday, December 31
Holiday baking is the best because it’s one of the only times of the year where calories don’t count. Who’s with me there?
All jokes 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 gingerbread decorating party.
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!
Since diets are trending this month (more on that in a bit), you can create cookie recipes that adhere to a certain diet. Keto cookies! Vegan cookies! Low carb cookies! There are so many opportunities here.
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
So pull out those baking sheets and start planning all the cookie recipes!
What… exactly is eggnog? Good question, huh? Maybe it’s a question your readers have as well since searches for “eggnog” unsurprisingly spike in December.
Eggnog is a really interesting food item because this is literally the only time of the year when it’s consumed. And because of that, you have an awesome opportunity here to create some hyper-seasonal content around this oddly thick liquid.
Eggnog-based cocktails, a detailed history of eggnog, a roundup of the best eggnog recipes on the internet — while this content won’t perform year-around, it has the opportunity to be one of your shining stars each Q4.
Peppermint & Ginger
Let’s talk flavor! Two forerunners in the flavor department this time of year are peppermint and ginger.
There’s no shortage of ways to combine these delicious seasonal flavors into your holiday or New Year’s recipes. Try your hand at inventing a recipe for homemade gingerbread pancakes (inspo here!), or write about the health benefits of these unique flavors and share your favorite festive ways to use them this month.
The possibilities are endless with peppermint and ginger!
‘Tis the season! Gift guides are everywhere this time of year and for good reason — your readers are most definitely looking for gift ideas at the moment.
And I don’t know about you, but finding the perfect gift for someone can sometimes make me feel like this: 😩
We all have those people in our lives who are impossible to shop for, so there’s no denying 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!
Shopping Small Business and Local
Along those same lines, your readers might be looking for ideas to help them shop from small or local businesses this year. These last few years have been tough, and the holidays are a great time to support the small, local businesses you love.
Put together some gift guides of your favorite local businesses! Figure out which products you’ve loved this year are from small businesses and write about them! Tag your favorite small businesses on social media!
There are so many ways that you, your voice, and your platform can help all those wonderful small businesses out there; this is a great time to think and shop small.
We talked about indulgent holiday-themed dishes above, 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 or 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.
And for those on the other side of the globe…
While we’ll be cozying up with warm, hearty foods this December in the Northern hemisphere, our friends in the Southern hemisphere will be opting for lighter, more refreshing options.
They’ll soon be heading into summer and looking for recipes filled with fresh fruits, veggies, and produce. And if a lot of your audience is based in the Southern hemisphere, you might want to create some holiday content tailored around what they’re looking for this time of year!
Questions: Have you planned out your December editorial calendar yet? What content do you readers love to see from you this time of year?