Updates, wrap-ups, top ten lists — the end of the year is the perfect time to highlight posts that still deserve attention.
2017 is in its final weeks! Before we grab 2018 by the horns, it’s time for the wrap-ups and top ten lists that help us reflect on the year that was (and that make great blog posts when you’re crunched at holiday time).
As you plan your 2017 year-end blogging, here are our favorite bits of advice:
The Art of the Roundup
Is a roundup post “cheating”? Hardly! Year-end roundups shine a spotlight on pieces you read and loved — or wrote and are proud of — and how you curate them tells readers a lot about you.
Most of us blog because we enjoy creating and sharing original posts. Roundup posts don’t undermine that, they complement it. When you choose links to share with your readers, you’re not just sharing links. You’re introducing other perspectives, highlighting topics you think are important, providing context for all the original content you do create, and telling your readers more about you. The things you choose to share give us insight into what makes you tick.
You also turn yourself into a trustworthy source of good stuff, and that has long-term benefits. The internet is a vast trove of wonders (or a black hole or horrors, depending on your mood), and it grows ever-vaster each moment. When you help readers find the nuggets of brilliance floating among the detritus, you add value to their lives. Sure, they might leave your blog to visit a site you recommend — but they’ll remember that you’re the one who told them about it, and they’ll come back to you for more.
Your Blog’s Year in Review
Doing a year-end roundup of your own work? You get to choose what’s important enough to be included. It doesn’t just have to be your popular posts — there are lots of ways to shape a roundup:
Which posts have earned their spot in your end-of-year review? Obviously you’ll want to include your most popular posts. If a post got a lot of comments and tweets when you first posted it, now’s an excellent time to shamelessly wring even more traffic out of it.
This is also a good chance to call attention to any posts that you think were unfairly overlooked the first time around. We all have those posts that we’re positive will go viral, that will get us a book deal or our own HBO special…and yet they garner barely a like. Who can say why? Maybe the internet was just on vacation that week.
Use this opportunity to give that criminally unappreciated post one more shot! If it still falls flat, well, all geniuses are misunderstood in their own time.
Three Reasons to Love Lists
You don’t have to focus on your own blog posts (especially if you haven’t been the most prolific blogger in 2017, not that I’m admitting to anything). Think back — what did you read that made an impact on you this year? End-of-year lists are fun, popular, and shareable, and learning to do them well will enhance all your non-list posts, too:
Go to Facebook. Or Twitter. Or Google+. Scroll for a minute. Count the number of list posts you see. We’ll wait here.
Why? Posts that can be consumed quickly, are easily skimmed, and have clear highlights make the rounds — they’re useful, either as education or entertainment, and it’s simple to pull out the important bits.
Should you publish all your posts in list format to increase your odds of viral superstardom? Please don’t. But do be aware of what makes list posts such regulars on the social sharing scene, and think about how you can inject those elements into your own.
Repurposing Evergreen Content
For better or worse, most blog posts are published, shine brightly and briefly, and then slowly sink down the page into the depths of our archives. But that doesn’t mean they’re no longer relevant! The end of the year is a great time to dig through your year’s oeuvre and pull out the evergreen gems:
Create an annual habit: In a comment on another post here, Andrea Badgley mentioned referencing older content on Facebook with the status: “A Year Ago Today.” This is a nice way to call attention to older posts, but you can also reshape this idea to revisit something — a moment, an event, an emotion — and commenting on what has changed. After all, memoir and personal musings are richer with perspective, so go ahead: reveal your new self. Infuse an older piece with a fresher voice. This approach works for other genres of writing, too.
Are you planning any year-end posts, or have you already published one? Please share, that we all may be inspired!