Tips for Avoiding Summer Blog Death

Every summer, comments and participation tend to drop off on most community sites, and we’re no exception. You have to have some serious critical mass for it not to affect you. But now is not the time to slack off on posting, on providing value to the users who aren’t out having fun in the sun. The folks who are still commenting represent the core of your audience, the absolute die-hard, passionate, and above all loyal, cream of the crop. So clearly you should use them as guinea pigs for your summer blog experiments heh….

Tips for Avoiding Summer Blog Death

Some of these I’ve tried and some are just ideas, but off the top of my head here are a few thoughts on beating Summer Blog Death:

  1. Post shorter posts, but post more often.
  2. Experiment with new features, newsletters, styles and designs, community tools (you can lay the groundwork here for when september comes, try to work out what will be killer, and what will be shit)
  3. Hold competions, polls, and generally break out of the norm for a bit
  4. Arrange a blog carnival
  5. Recruit guest authors from your core audience, and go to the beach for the day
  6. Do reader spotlights, the Blog Heralds How I Blog series is a great example of this and the point above
  7. Invite readers to ask a question on your topic, make a series of it.

I’d love to add to the list, buti i have to go play in the sun… If you can think of more, add them in the comments, or tell us what you’re doing to get through the summer…

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10 thoughts on “Tips for Avoiding Summer Blog Death

  1. I don’t think they’re necessarily referring to (comments are very much alive and well).

  2. Honestly? I think the main reason you’re not getting as many comments as you’d like is because people have to register, fill out a profile, wait for an e-mail with a password, login, and then leave a comment. It’s a huge hassle. And if they ever want to comment again, they’ll also have to change their password to one they can remember. Maybe you can make registration & logging in optional, but highly encourage it? I guarantee you’ll get tons more comments that way. If spam’s an issue, there are many plugins to help control that.

    Hope that helps. I registered and everything because I wanted to try to help. 🙂

  3. Chris, your first comment contains the best point so far: “we would often build projects for xmas in summer”. It is always worth to build up subjects through announcements in advance.

    Hip and Lip … that’s how I called that in my article Timing Content Creation to Match Interest Peaks.

    Low Interest Periods are perfect for covering keywords you normally would not write about … even pool, laptop and summer holidays 🙂

  4. As we have seen this week, work at it as the effort does pay dividends but the effects might be months down the line

  5. Glad this helped someone

    It can be horribly disheartening even when you know what to expect. But the best course of action really is to dig even deeper, go the extra mile you know/

  6. I just got started into serious blogging early this spring and have been going full force over the summer and have been a bit discourged that I have not received as many comments as I would like. I have received a few and the traffic is not to bad considering I haven’t done a lot of marketing yet. A few blogs I am holding off on blogging until a get some more posts in as background info for historical context. Thanks for the encouragement. Looking forward to an active Autumn!

  7. Personally after Nick has been constantly bragging about his new pool I am looking to buy one … once I find a waterproof laptop.

    Oh, you mean blogging-wise? heh.

    Summer or national holidays where your audience plummets is an ideal time to do critical housekeeping stuff or move hosting, anything where there might be unavoidable disruption. You want this to happen with the least amount of audience. It’s never good to mess your audience around but if its inevitable its best to do it with a smaller audience of core loyalists rather than a big audience of first-timers.

    If you do find things slow you might also build up additional content for the busy times when you are not going to have time to breathe. When I worked for a marketing agency we would often build projects for xmas in summer, there are things that take a long lead time, and search engine placement is no exception.

    One thing to remember is while the other blogs in the niche are away sunning their bods you could be attracting new readers by maintaining momentum …

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