How a National Holiday Can Drive Traffic to Your Site

Guest Post by Lisa Kanarek

Attracting visitors to your site can be challenging, yet it involves more than just having good content. You need to think outside of the blog box and create an event that can double your traffic or even quadruple it.

What happens, though, when you get what you wish for?

For the past three years I’ve hosted Working Naked Day, a virtual event that celebrates the freedom those of us who work from home enjoy every day. Sure, the holiday brings awareness to my site, but it also highlights the benefits of avoiding a daily commute, not working with a boss looming over your shoulder, and not having to deal with chatty co-workers.

Two years ago, a few days before the event, I submitted a news release to several free online news wires and contacted writers that had written about my blog and business in the past few years. Then I wrote a teaser blog leading up to the big day.

What happened on the day of the event was beyond what I could have imagined.

AOL News.com featured an article titled “If you work from home, you don’t need pants! Happy Working Naked Day” on its home page and FoxBusiness.com shared tips for celebrating the holiday and linked to my site. The articles from both sources were tweeted and retweeted, while my new Facebook page brought in even more visitors and fans.

My traffic jumped from a few hundred visitors a day to several thousand overnight. I checked my Google analytics every 30 minutes and I couldn’t believe what I saw.

Then the realization hit me…thousands of readers were going to read my next blog post. Although I invest plenty of time into each blog post, this time it was different.  Now more people than ever were going to read what I wrote. Moving forward, every blog post couldn’t simply be good…it had to be awesome.

I froze.

I panicked.

I had writer’s block.

If I were an actress, I would have had stage fright. My audience was expecting greatness and I wasn’t sure how I was going to give it to them. I thought about the line from the old movie, Sunset Boulevard, “All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.”  But I wasn’t ready.

When I calmed down, I realized I needed to keep doing what I had always done: provide useful information, tips and guidance that my loyal readers were used to reading. I had to forget that thousands of new readers were going to read my posts and decide whether or not they should come back again.

When in doubt, film a video
After two cups of coffee (decaf since my mind and heart were already racing), I sat down in front of my laptop and spent several hours (in-between checking my analytics and pinching myself) working on a new blog post. Then I changed course and decided to film a video instead.

Why a video? I had just received a shipment of “I’m Working Naked…Are You” t-shirts and figured that it was time to show them off.  Also, this was a good way for readers to get to know me. Maybe deep down, though, I was worried that my next blog post wouldn’t match up to the one the day before.

The video didn’t go viral and isn’t one of my top-watched videos, but it gave me a chance to further prove the benefits of working from home, which was why I created the holiday. And the video didn’t have to compete with the blog post from the day before.

Add an opt-in form where people will see it
The day after Working Naked Day, visitors were still going to the blog post from the day before. The blog post was on my home page, but visitors were coming from the AOL and Fox articles and those links went to my secondary pages. They weren’t going to my home page with my opt-in form. I quickly added the opt-in form to my secondary pages and noticed a huge jump in sign-ups.

Make sure your About page is up to date
Before I knew that the AOL article was going to include a link to my About page instead of my home page, I updated my About page. For once, my timing was perfect. Thousands of people learned about me, especially five different corporations and associations that subsequently hired me to speak at their events.

The naked truth
Last year, Yahoo.com picked up the holiday (after I promoted it the same way I did the year before) and the same thing happened…my traffic went through the roof for a week. Three months later, I didn’t have the huge amount of traffic I had during the week of Working Naked Day, but my readership is still strong and growing steadily. Also, more major sites are publishing my guest posts, which helps build traffic to my site.

There’s no doubt that hosting a national holiday can boost your site traffic and visibility. I’m already working on my post-holiday blog post for next year’s event. I want to make sure I’m always ready for my close-up.

Note: The 2013 Chase’s Annual Events edition has already gone to press but they will be accepting 2014 submissions soon. There’s no guarantee that your holiday will be accepted but it’s worth submitting your event.

Lisa Kanarek is one of the nation’s leading home office experts and the author of five books including, Organize Your Home Office For Success and Working Naked: A guide to the bare essentials of home office life. She is the founder of HomeOfficeLife, a firm that advises corporations and individuals on all aspects of working from home and is founder of the blog WorkingNaked.com.

Notes from Michelle… Check out my review of Lisa’s home office organization ebook, Get Back Your 76 Hours.  And if you enjoyed this post I encourage you to explore the other helpful posts Lisa has shared here:

 

 

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28 Comments

  1. Hello Michelle, this is very true and i am agree with you that a special day or a national holyday can bring a huge traffic o our blog. Actually i experienced this. I write an article for my blog on Indian Independence day which brought around 15000 visitors for my blog . It was really awesome and i would suggest that every blogger should use this trick
    firdosh joy recently posted… Wallpapers of Hot Parineeti Chopra – New Bollywood SensationMy Profile

    1. Yes, blogging about existing holidays can also be a good traffic draw. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… How a National Holiday Can Drive Traffic to Your SiteMy Profile

    2. Congrats on your traffic! It seems to have been a win/win. You educated others about the event and established yourself as a source for that holiday.
      Lisa kanarek recently posted… How to Be Effective and Efficient While Working NakedMy Profile

  2. Lisa,

    This is an excellent article.

    I’ve long advocated creating holidays and you’ve shown us how to best promote them. (It helps to have the word “naked” in the title I suspect.)

    I love your ideas of submitting press releases, making a video, anticipating where visitors will land, updating your About Page and having your signup box handy on pages other than just the home page.

    Looks like I have lots of work to do before my next “celebration.” Thanks.
    Flora Morris Brown, Ph.D. recently posted… What to Do When You Get Stuck–Free on 9/7/12 and 9/8/12My Profile

    1. It takes a bit of work to promote a holiday but the exposure is worth it (no “naked” pun intended!). :) The challenge for me is to keep the holiday fresh each year and find a different approach. I’m looking forward to the next Working Naked day in 5 months.
      Lisa Kanarek recently posted… How to Be Effective and Efficient While Working NakedMy Profile

      1. Ha haaaa – the exposure. *grin*

        I’ve got work to do too, Flora. Great list of tips, Lisa!
        Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… How a National Holiday Can Drive Traffic to Your SiteMy Profile

  3. I had the pleasure of speaking at an event earlier this year with Lisa and she is amazing, brilliant, and witty! Still today I feel lucky to have been able to meet her in person and sit next to her all day so we could chat back and forth. I love this tip and strategy – it’s innovative and creative — it really shows that changing the way you think, to create something unique to your own business (when promoted effectively) can do great things for your business!
    Jennifer Bourn recently posted… And We’re Live With A New Custom WordPress Child Theme On The Genesis FrameworkMy Profile

    1. Jennifer, thank you for your glowing comments! I’m still referring to the long list of web strategies I learned from you at your session. Your expert tips have already made a huge difference with my site.
      Lisa Kanarek recently posted… How to Be Effective and Efficient While Working NakedMy Profile

    2. I haven’t had the privilege of meeting Lisa in person yet, but maybe someday we’ll end up at the same event. :) Always a pleasure to host her as guest here on blog though, and I agree on the amazing, brilliant, and witty!
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 5 Steps to a Monthly Content Plan for Your Business BlogMy Profile

  4. What a great idea MIchelle. I think having the word naked in it really helped too. A great way to have it drive traffic to your blog EVERY year on that holiday.
    Lisa recently posted… Using one tweet, like & pin to spread ovarian cancer awarenessMy Profile

    1. Right — you can use it for yearly promotions and campaigns instead of just once. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… How a National Holiday Can Drive Traffic to Your SiteMy Profile

  5. Fabulous idea & great story! I suspect, as Flora suggested, having the word “naked” surely piqued many readers’ curiosity. Way to go @Lisa. And, as always, thanks for sharing this @Michelle. ~Debra
    Debra Jason recently posted… Bonnie Raitt’s Attitude of GratitudeMy Profile

    1. Yeah, that’s one of those words that makes us stop and figure out how it applies to business. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 7 Ways Partnerships Have Worked for Me (And Can Work for You, Too!)My Profile

    2. I don’t think it hurt.:-) But I still had to have substance along with it. So each year I make sure I create new tips.
      Lisa kanarek recently posted… How to Be Effective and Efficient While Working NakedMy Profile

  6. What a terrific and FUN idea Lisa! I can totally understand your stage fright issue but so happy to hear you worked through it. Keep on being fabulous!
    Bonnie recently posted… My Joyful ExperimentMy Profile

    1. Business can be fun. :) I love Lisa’s holiday concept and agree–she’s fab!
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 27 Ways to Promote Your WebinarMy Profile

    2. Thanks, Bonnie and Michelle! After that nice comment, I hope my big ego still fits through my home office door. :-) The feeling is mutual. I still have lots to learn about blogging and marketing, which is why I read Michelle’s blog often!
      Lisa kanarek recently posted… How to Be Effective and Efficient While Working NakedMy Profile

  7. The ideas you’ve shared here are fantastic and no doubt so great and it may really improve the variety of individuals visiting your website.

    1. That’s definitely the plan. :) The challenge has been following up with good content after the holiday, but I’m always up for a good challenge.
      Lisa Kanarek recently posted… How to Be Effective and Efficient While Working NakedMy Profile

  8. The challenge is that not all of us live in the USA and celebrate the same holidays but we still benefit by your generosity

    1. The cool thing about creating your own holiday is that you can base it on your area. Doesn’t have to be US based to work. :)

    2. That’s a good point, Michelle. You can create any holiday and hold it anytime.I have to admit I get a bit of flack for hosting the holiday in February, but it’s not cold everywhere that time of year. :)
      Lisa Kanarek recently posted… How to Be Effective and Efficient While Working NakedMy Profile

  9. Thanks Michelle and Lisa – I was mesmerized this post. I agree with @florabrown’s statement (It helps to have the word “naked” in the title I suspect.)

    These tips are pretty amazing. Churning thoughts: what’s the best holiday for my tribe and how to give it an irresistible name?
    Adalia John recently posted… 10 Inspirational Image Quotes to JumpStart Your CreativityMy Profile

    1. Make the holiday relate to what you do. Maybe it’s a “be creative” day or “Pump yourself up” day. Obviously i’m thinking off the top of my head. :) Then pick a date that’s not near a national holiday. I get a bit of flack for hosting WN Day in February, but it definitely gets attention. It’s not unusual to work naked in the summer, but in the winter it takes more effort. Good luck!
      Lisa Kanarek recently posted… You CAN Stay Productive While Waiting for the iPhone 5My Profile

  10. Huh, imagine that… I cannot only have my very own holiday but I can declare it, too!!
    Of course, coming up with a sexy name such as “work from home naked” might take some heavy thinking ;-) LOL
    Congrats all around!

  11. Hi Lisa,

    congratulations to your success and your enormous surge in traffic, that’s awesome. I can clearly see how this success created pressure to be even better than awesome! Drawing people’s to a specific day or event – such as holiday – makes perfect sense to me. But definitely only, if you do it consistently every year like you. No one would care about christmas if it was a one-time event…

    Best,

    Oliver
    Oliver Tausend recently posted… Social Media Automation For Small Business Owners- Curse Or Blessing?My Profile

  12. Wow! Congrats for coming up with such an amazing annual event, Lisa! =) I can only imagine the type of stress you went through to follow that up. But I think that’s what marks success. It’s not just the initial fame, but your consistency in your high quality work. Thanks for setting such an amazing example. =)
    Samantha Bangayan recently posted… Making the Best of a Bad SituationMy Profile

  13. What an amazing idea! You are such a plethora of information I don’t know how you have time to be a mom, wife, and awesome genius all at the same time!! ?
    Julie Geigle recently posted… How do I access the Fourth Dimension?My Profile

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