How to Make More Readers and Money This Holiday Season

image In my recent posts, I wrote how Orkut (Google’s social network) and Kontera (in-text advertising network) are planning to cash out coming holiday season! If planned well you can also squeeze some juice for your blogs/websites. 🙂

From my more than 2 years experience of blogging, I know few things about these holiday seasons which can be used to make some extra bucks. So here I am posting part of my TO-DO lists, of-course in more organized manner.

Two major changes during holiday season…

  • Traffic: A tech-blog like this gets higher traffic. We are expecting 2-3 time more unique visitor in last week of December. Unless you are blogging about investments or stock markets, you can expect more or little rise in your blogs traffic.
  • Advertising: As more people come online for shopping, advertisers compete more to grab ad-slots. Obvious result is direct increase in revenue. Keep watching your AdSense eCPM over next 2 weeks and you will see the difference!

How to handle rise in traffic!

Its time to put your best foot forward! Find what posts are getting maximum traffic from search engine. When you discover them…

  • Update them to make them more relevant, more readable.
  • Try to stuff links to other posts which you think your visitors will find useful.
  • Also check if you have any unanswered comments. Its better if you answer them.

Above TO-DO list is for individual blog posts. There are things you can do blog-wide…

  • Add prominent email as well as feed subscription options.
  • Make your most popular, favorite posts, etc easily accessible.
  • Use caching plugins/techniques to sustain rise in traffic. WordPress users can go for wp-super-cache plugin!

If you want to analyze your traffic, nothing beats Google Analytics. Even if you don’t use it, its better to start using it right now. You will gather enough data before Christmas and that will help you optimize your website for last week of December, when traffic will be at peak!

How to make those extra bucks…

As its holiday season, you will need some extra bucks to party hard! Thankfully advertisers spend extra on advertising during season as people do a lot of online shopping.

If you are running a travel or products blog you should go for as many affiliate program as possible. Not a single product should be referred for free! 😉

Try following tricks for AdSense

  • Keep only one single ad-unit on a page, above the fold.
  • Do not surround AdSense block with anything. Not even feed subscription box, etc.
  • No matter how ugly it will make your theme, go for one of rectangle ad-format like 336×280, 300×250.
  • Also follow usual AdSense tips like blending ads with your site, using section-targeting, etc.

There are reason for each of above tactic but I will explain them in detail some other day. For time being note that, above all highlight AdSense block in ways that will attract more clicks! Why???

  • You get more new visitors in holiday season. They are also in hurry!
  • When you visit a site quite often, you develop ad-blindness for it. So you almost never follow ads. But a new visitor, that’s too in hurry, if find himself on wrong site, will give AdSense links a try in attempt to find next direction.
  • You can notice whitespace beside AdSense block on top of post pages which I can reduce by using ad-format 468×80. But that will make AdSense less prominent and will expose main content too early to a visitor. Thou shall never expose more than needed! 😉

Of course, all of above are based on my personal observations. I am following these things myself. For example, there was a box listing related, most-popular posts & recent posts on top of every post. That was pushing my dear AdSense block little-down. Now I moved that box below the post to give AdSense more room!

Different things works for different blogs. The best way to get best for you is to keep trying! So go on trying and let us know your findings! 🙂

Recommended: Get $25 Cash Bonus by Joining Kontera before Jan 15

(Image credit: iStockPhoto)


Debajyoti Das December 19, 2008

Really Gr8 post !!!

This is what happens every year. In fact on special days I get a lot of Visitors coming into my Blog Google Searching For “Orkut Friendship day Scrap” , “Scrap all Christmas scrap” etc…

I wasn’t careful enough to utilize that sudden Burst of traffic…
After reading this Post i think I will this Season..

Rahul Bansal December 20, 2008

@Debajyoti & Pavan
Thanks guys! I am already seeing rise in my eCPM but I guess current rise is because shifting of related post box.
I hope to see more rise in traffic and revenue next week… 🙂

@Debajyoti: Even I don’t use caching much but wp-super-cache is really good. It offers a lockdown option which I will activate before leaving home for new year eve celebration! 🙂

@Pavan: You should try moving text-area near adsense below the post as you already have subscription form near it, in your sidebar.

Pavan Kumar December 20, 2008

Nice article Rahul…

Though I am reading this post first time, I am happy that my blog is ready with almost everything you told. The only thing is the adsense part… I will remove the text next to adsense and give it a try… Thank you 🙂

Pavan Kumar December 20, 2008

@Rahul Bansal

Anyway, I have removed the welcome note, let me check its performance for a day or two and then think of what next…

Ed Kohler December 23, 2008

Great tips. Cross linking posts is a perfect way to help people find all of the useful information you’ve written in the past and make the most of it today.

Jay Simcic December 23, 2008

You gave a lot of great ideas. I wanted to second on Google Analytics.

It’s robust and provides more than enough information to make the right decisions about your site or blog.

@Ed Kohler, I like the idea of cross linking posts too. It gives your visitors more of what they’re looking for and builds that sticking power.

Rahul Bansal December 24, 2008

I agree that Google Analytics presents too much information but one should only look at parts of interest and ignore rest. 🙂
Remember the fact, more time you spend on analyzing your site, less time you will get actually to improve it. 😉

Rahul January 9, 2009

nice article,simple things but it will change your earning dramatically. depends what is working on your blog, test on regualr basis.i will use google analytic.

Nishu January 14, 2009

I wonder if people looking for a code snippet to post scrap to all friends will positively influence your eCPM at adsense. Idea of contextual advertising is to advertise most relevant products on your page which can be sold. If your ads keep sending traffic which is not going to convert for advertisers your CPC will rapidly fall.

So better keep number of ads low on the pages providing tips and free stuff. And keep number of ads high and visible on pages with product/service reviews.

My 2 cents.

Rahul Bansal January 15, 2009

Even if your eCPM and CTR remains same, but page impression gets two-fold, your earnings will be double!
Thanks for your 2 cents (suggestions) as well! 🙂