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How a Summer Reading List Can Get Results for Your Site
By: Elaine Reed
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With big thanks to my mom, I have always loved books. But like most kids, I groused about Summer Reading Lists. Sometimes it was because I wanted to read when I wanted to, not because I had to have a book done by a deadline. Sometimes it was because the books on the list held no appeal to me whatsoever. Mostly it was because I wanted to pick whatever I wanted to read.

As an adult I have a whole new appreciation for summer reading and create a list for myself every year. Yes, I am that much of a nerd. My official summer reading time starts on Memorial Day and ends on Labor Day, giving me a good 12 weeks of reading. Depending on my workload and travel plans, I pick anywhere from six to ten books, and sometimes even throw in some alternates. I try to mix in some fun pop fiction, classics I never got to in school, non-fiction, and books recommended by friends and peers.

As I was reviewing my progress on my list so far this summer (six down, three to go) I thought about how this planning could transfer over to my marketing activities. Every year I take the time to plan both first- and fourth-quarter activities, since those are my busiest times. For the second and third quarters, I plan month to month, rather than looking at a bigger time frame. As of this moment, I am changing that. No, I am not creating a summer reading list for business books. I am creating a summer activity list for my site. Here are some of the things I am including.
  • Pop Fiction: I am picking at least one of the social media trends that are new or fun to try out. If it doesn’t work out, that’s okay. Summer isn’t my busiest season, so if it falls flat, no big loss. But if it works, not only will I enjoy it and learn from it, I’ll improve my numbers.
  • Classics: This is a great time to do a deep dive into analytics and make note of what activities do really well for me and try them again in another time frame. It will also help me get ready for my busy season because I will be reviewing the information when I’m not stressed and making quick decisions. I’ll have more information in my head at the ready when I do have to make quick decisions later in the year.
  • Non-Fiction: Since summer is not my busy season, it is a great time for me to catch up on industry reading and even do a little bit of training. In fact, I’m doing a webinar this afternoon.
  • Recommendations: Every so often I have a conversation with some where they tell about an idea they had for my company, or something they did that worked really well. I will be taking time to get more information on those topics and figure out what I can learn from them and whether they would be a good fit for my business.
I’m actually looking forward to diving into this list and seeing what I can get out of it. Worst case scenario, all I come away with is more knowledge. Best case scenario, I bring more traffic to my site in my slow season. Either way, for a book nerd like me that’s a big win.

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About the Author
Elaine Reed is a marketing professional with heavy emphasis on e-commerce and Internet marketing. She blogs regularly on her website and tweets often.
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