What are you doing this Christmas holiday season? Stuffing the turkey and then stuffing yourself? Slumping in front of endless hours of television “specials”? Getting stuck in hours of traffic jams in the snow as you travel to relatives to have an argument?
Christmas time is the most stressful part of the calendar. More marital break-ups happen following Christmas and it’s the time of year when suicide rates are at their highest. For two weeks, people who mostly only ever spend a few hours together, are thrown together for days on end with little else to do. It’s the stuff of Big Brother or I’m a Celebrity – chuck a group of people together, provide them with few distractions and sure enough the fights soon begin. In addition, the large numbers of families spending ages together provides an added pressure on the single people and those apart from their families, further increasing the stress for them.
Added to this, Christmas time sees Internet traffic fall overall. For the two weeks surrounding the holiday season, Internet traffic plummets. There is usually a surge on Christmas Eve, with people sending messages around the world, but overall traffic in the latter half of December in in early January is pretty low. Most people are not spending this time online.
And all of this means it is a perfect time to launch your blog. Far too many people (especially in business) have a blog “in mind”, but not on screen. The longer you take to get your blog off the ground, the greater the opportunity for your competitors to steal your audience in advance. Blogging is an essential business tool these days – yet, still, most businesses don’t do it. Those that do are currently amongst the most profitable businesses online.
Blogging is also somewhat cathartic. Sitting down and writing your views, ideas and your latest theories can often provide a feeling of relaxation and achievement. There is some evidence that the process of writing releases “happy hormones” (endorphins) which make you feel more relaxed.
So, when you face a time of stress this Christmas, blogging can actually make you feel better. Similarly, taking a break from the family group activities will also make them feel better. Add to that the fact that the online traffic is relatively low and you have a time when you can experiment online with design and layouts, with blog structure and with the set-up of your blog without too many people noticing.
Furthermore, many people complain that the gap between Christmas and the start of the new business year – which will not be until 11th January 2010 as schools don’t return until the Wednesday beforehand – is rather boring. By setting up your blog you can ease that boredom too.
So, after the turkey has been eaten and the Christmas pud is lying half-eaten in the fridge, while the rest of the family is snoozing, take a moment to fire up the laptop and start on your blog. The easiest way to do that to begin with is to go to somewhere like blogger.com or wordpress.com and simply begin – it will take no more than three minutes to get going. Later on in your holiday experiment you can transfer your blog to your own website or host it separately to these blog companies (besides which having a commercial blog on these sites is not acceptable). You could also download my Blogging for Business free report to help you understand how blogging can work for your company. Take a look also at these blogging for business books.
But whatever you do over the coming two to three weeks, your biggest Christmas present to yourself could be setting up that new blog you have been thinking about for ages.
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+