It’s the moment you’re walking through Tesco’s Christmas clearance aisle which ends with a big bunch of red plastic roses, a shelf full of discounted whipped cream and an unreasonable amount of Love Hearts (which no one likes anyways) when you realise that Valentine’s Day is here. Gift guides, themed posts and hearts spilling off the edge of your homepage – there’s a lot of opportunity for you here (all the sponsored posts on which restaurant is the best, all the PR samples you’ll *definitely* feature in a VD gift guide, all the free chocolate you’ll be reviewing).
Let me tell you this though – how many times have you actually READ a generic Valentine’s gift guide that could have been a carbon copy of the Christmas sales one and you wouldn’t even know?! I have written generic gift guides myself and you know what? Those are the ones that have the most typos in them because I couldn’t even be bothered to proofread them. FACT. So you know what?
Let’s make the Valentine’s Day special this year – and I’m going to help you with it!
HOW TO MAKE YOUR READER FALL IN LOVE WITH YOUR VALENTINE’S DAY CONTENT
?What would YOU like to read?
Despite the controversial connotation of the opinion that bloggers should be writing what their readers want to be reading (unless your blog is a diary in which case the tables flip) I still strongly stand by it. Look at it this way – before writing a blog post I always ask myself – would I ever want to read this? If the answer is I’m not sure (what’s in it for me really – is it worth the time & eye strain?) then I sit back and think of a different angle.
Write what you want to read.
I’m your average girl – I’m exposed to every day commercials (Do I really need another sofa? What?), radio ads (James Cordon, can you please stop asking me to sell you my car?!), glossy pages with little fragrances rub-me squares and how-does-Google-even-know-this-about-me online ads. I read blogs because I want to find gift ideas that are out of the box. For those difficult to buy for people. Those that already have everything.
Those that don’t like anything. I want you to show me where you got that damn cute pin badge of Barb from. Where’s your amazing hanging copper planter from? How do I make a plate of last minute heart shaped cookies? Where is the most reliable independent florist in this town? And those embroidered bras, I want one of those but I only have £20 to spend on it! People read blogs because they are looking for something more than what they already have. And if you’re still confused use a keyword tool to clear up the fog for you a little bit – try this one.
Proper prior planning prevents piss poor performance. If one motto was to rule my life then it would be this one. Plan your Valentine’s Day content in advance – rather than doing a shoddy job on the night of 13th February, give yourself a couple of weeks/days to gather your thoughts & ideas. Do you just want to do a brief gift guide this year or do you want to go all out? A lot of people will be searching for Valentine’s Day tips presents you with an opportunity to take a bite of that huge traffic influx. On the other hand are there other content ideas you have planned that would be worth prioritising over this year’s Valentine’s? You know that not blogging about this year’s VD is an option, right? A completely and fully acceptable one.
over AND form
I always say this – if your content is the most brilliant piece of writing the world has seen but you bury it under very poorly lit blurry iPhone 4s photos then chances are it won’t get as much praise as it deserves. Substance and form go hand in hand when it comes to blogging. Gather some quirky love props (nothing naughty I’m talking confetti hearts and a ton of pink & red flowers), gather all your items for your gift guide piece and book yourself an hour or so on Saturday morning. Snap snap. Now your genius content comes in a sexy little outfit, the way things should be on Valentine’s Day!
? Get inspired!
I know, I know – it can be bloody hard to beat the creative rut & do something out of the box when you have your routine. I’ve scribbled down (read: spent a good couple of hours thinking the hardest I’ve ever thought) 39 super creative blog post ideas which will make you want to sit down & type away like right now. You can download the one-pager by clicking below!
? Up your font game
If there’s a place and time for swirly handwritten fonts then it’s right now – on your blog. There’s a lot of fancy fonts places you can get your graphics from – I usually get fonts from Creative Market (I’ve curated a little collection of beautiful fonts for you here – see them at the bottom of this post too) or you can grab a few free ones on Font Bundles here.
? Graphics & overlays to spice up your date…
…your date ideas post, that is. Yeh. Especially when pulling together graphics for your gift guide or just adding a little oomph to your Pinterest Pins there’s always room for a rose or a floating heart. I get my graphics from Creative Market (again, here‘s a little curated board for you) or you can download free illustrations via FreePik here – just make sure you credit them properly!
? Don’t be afraid of affiliate links, you’ve worked hard for them!
Add those affiliate links into your gift guides and don’t feel guilty about it. Sometimes it might feel like you’re tricking your readers into clicking on them but the truth is your readers know about them (it’s in your disclaimer, right?), and if they care about reading your blog then they most definitely won’t mind. It’s their good deed done for the day after all!
? Hashtag love, hearts, couple, cute, adorable, VD
Don’t forget to promote your work as much as possible (without being spammy)! Hashtags are key for seasonal content and if you’re a little lost then you can use this tool to give you some suggestions! Some bloggers even do roundups of their favourite Valentine’s Day posts – you have nothing to lose if you just ask whether they would perhaps like to include your post too.
I hope this post has inspired you to create an amazing attention-grabbing heartthrob of a content for this year’s Valentine’s Day & please leave links to your posts below, I’ll be sharing my favourites on Twitter!