The holidays are a reflective time of year. We slow down with the weather and bundle up with loved ones. Our internal cups fill with gratitude, altruism, and compassion — values imparted by the merry buzz in the air and on the airwaves, by the collective conscious.
Lessons taught by this magical time of year transcend our rituals. In fact, we can apply these holiday lessons to almost any time of year and to any activity. Content writing included.
Here are four holiday-imparted lessons to inspire better content.
1. It's All About Giving
Whether we give presents or presence, the holidays are about giving. Similarly, our content should give value to whoever receives it. It is about the receiver, after all, not the giver — the reader, not the writer. So how do we provide value in our content? By making it
Don't feel limited to one type of value. Mix it up and see how people resonate with it, then give more of that!
2. Spend time with those you love
Write about topics that light you up like fresh snow under a full moon. If you don't feel what you're writing, neither will your audience. If you're struggling to connect with your content, it may be because it's boring. Oomph! That can be a tough cookie to swallow.
Ask yourself how you can inject fun into creating your content. Take this article, for instance; as much as I love writing, I don't always enjoy writing about it, but once I connected writing with the holidays, my fingers lit up!
Why should you enjoy what you write? I believe you should always put your energy into pursuits that feed your spirit. Plus, if you enjoy writing it, your audience will enjoy reading it.
3. Stop counting boxes and bags
Publishing content for the sake of meeting a daily or weekly goal is bound to land you in a slush pile (I was so tempted to say "on the naughty list," but as it turns out, I have some amount of self-control).
Sometimes, we focus too much on strategy and lose sight of what's most important when it comes to written communication: meaningful content. Don't publish content for its own sake, no matter how tempting. It will impact your reputation. Ask yourself: Would I/my business rather be known for quantity or quality?
4. Share your gratitude
Although showing gratitude should be a year-round practice, the holidays are an especially touching time to do this. Show appreciation for your customers, your community, and your fellow entrepreneurs through shout-outs, letters, endorsements, or personal messages. If you do this authentically, you can grow some amazing relationships. So, spread the love and watch how that gratitude grows and weaves its way through your community.
Bonus: You'd better watch out — for clichés
The holidays are rife with clichés. Christmastime seems to invite the cheeriest flavours of language — but you must resist the temptation to use overused phrases! (Revisit point three for a real-life example.)
Our shared familiarity with the season gives way to our shared understanding of its clichés. There is unity in that, true. However, using clichés in your content will only make your readers groan. The editors at the National Post have compiled this helpful list of Christmas clichés to avoid, which includes phrases like "I'm dreaming of..." and "'Tis the season..."
Do you have a content writing tip that relates to the holidays? Share it in the comments section!