Copyblogger is about to go on our annual holiday hiatus. We’ll be taking a break from posting while we catch up, get rested, and get excited about what we’ve got in store for you in 2010.
You may be taking a little time off yourself. Or you may still be going into the office, but the last week of the year is often a time when routine tasks slow down or stop altogether.
So what’s the smartest, most productive use you could make of the next seven days?
Here are five ideas that will let you take what some people think of as “dead time” and use it to jump start your year in 2010. Doing any or all of these will get you energized and excited for the year to come.
1. Create a quick product
The biggest obstacle most bloggers face when they want to make money is they don’t have anything to sell.
And the biggest obstacle to creating something to sell is that it seems overwhelming. We feel like we’ve got to distill everything we know into a 400-page ebook or 30-hour marathon audio course.
That’s why I was so impressed by a recent post from Dave Navarro about creating a product over a weekend, and his follow up post on
how to know if it’s the right time to create a product.
If you’ve got even one or two slow days coming over the next week, take Dave’s advice and create a small, low-cost product. It doesn’t matter if you have four blog subscribers, three of whom are related to you.
A few people may buy it, and that’s great. They’ll tell others about it, and that will start attracting the targeted audience you need in the future (generating more sales).
More importantly, it will elevate you in people’s eyes as a solution producer and not just a blogger. Big difference.
2. Write a series
If the idea of creating a product is still too scary, put it on your calendar for January. And instead, every day for the next seven days, write a post for a series for your blog or email newsletter.
What should your series be about? It should be about the most compelling, thorny problem your audience regularly faces that you’re passionate about fixing.
Solve some problems worth solving. Don’t wimp or waffle around, and don’t sell yourself short. Give your audience real answers they can start using right away.
3. Reconnect with your favorite bloggers
Sometimes the “social” in social media threatens to eat every minute we’ve got to give.
If you find yourself with a little down time next week, spend a few minutes and reach out to some of your favorite bloggers in your topic. You know, the ones you haven’t had any time to read in the last six months.
Read through their last 4 or 5 posts. Look through their archives or popular posts. Make some intelligent comments. If something useful presents itself, link to them in your series.
4. Create some audacious goals
I know, I know, nothing is more boring than telling you to set goals around this time of year.
But here’s the thing. Wildly exciting goals lead to wildly exciting results. (Not always, or even often, the precise results you visualized. Don’t let that worry you.)
Some time before December 31st, take an hour and write down the most perfect imaginable day for yourself. Where you wake up (and with whom), what you see, what you have for breakfast, what you do and where you go and how you do it. How you feel about everything you’re doing and seeing. How you look. What you smell and hear.
Use every ounce of writing skill you’ve got to make this description vivid. Sell yourself on it.
And try not to be too “realistic.” Let your dreams soar a little.
Then set a reminder in your calendar to take a look at this “perfect day” once every three months in 2010. Each time you revisit it, re-copy what you’ve written, making any tweaks you want to.
I promise you, in December next year, you’ll be a little spooked by some of the “unrealistic” things you wrote down this year, and how much more realistic they’ve become.
5. Sign up for some high-quality (free) education
If you haven’t joined us yet for Copyblogger’s free Internet Marketing for Smart People e-newsletter, you should sign up for it now. It starts with a 20-part course on some of the most important building blocks to marketing your product or service online.
The newsletter will give you the marketing tips and techniques that work in the real world, including the smartest strategies for marketing with social media. And we do it without the annoying sleaze and hype you see from too many other “gurus.”
If you’re planning on putting one (or all) of these into action by December 31, let us know in the comments! (And then come back on January 1 and let us know how you did.)