Every year, I live for the weekend after Halloween. Not because candy goes on sale at the grocery store, but because the Hallmark Channel starts showing their original Christmas movies.

You know the movies I’m talking about. The heartwarming, family-friendly, made-for-TV movies that all take place during the holiday season.

My favorite subtype are the romantic comedies: boy and girl meet cute at a department store, an ice rink, or an office holiday party, and as one (or both) of them rediscovers the true meaning of Christmas, they fall in love.

Dozens of movies have this plot. TV movie writers use and reuse that basic storyline because millions of viewers like me keep tuning in. The formula may be predictable, but it works.

Turns out, predictability is a great strategy for building and maintaining an audience. And that strategy applies to small business blogs just as much as it applies to the Hallmark Channel. Small businesses create blogs so they can connect with new potential customers and build their brand. Predictability helps your blog achieve those goals.

If you want to attract more readers to your blog, try the tactic of predictability. Hallmark Channel’s predictable Christmas movies offer three marketing lessons you can use for your small business blog.

1. Give the Readers What They Want

I’m pretty open about my deep and abiding love for these movies, so I’ve discovered that people either share my passion—or totally disagree with it. I’ve also learned that people love these movies or hate them for the same reason: the predictability.

Sure, I know within the first three minutes which characters will be confessing their love for each other before the credits roll. But that’s what makes watching enjoyable for me. Real life never has that level of predictability, so these movies become an escape, a fantasy, a calorie-free holiday treat.

The screenwriters know their audience craves those predictable plot lines—and they write for that audience. They aren’t trying to attract people who prefer action-packed superhero movies or socially conscious documentaries.

Follow this example. When you blog for your company or brand, write directly to your target customers. Consider what you already know about them, especially their needs and values. Use your insider knowledge to craft posts specifically for them.

For example, maybe different customers repeatedly ask similar questions. Answer those FAQs in separate blog posts. Both existing customers and potential new clients will see you as a helpful source of industry know-how.

2. Bring Back the Most Popular Stars

After you’ve watched enough TV Christmas movies, you recognize that some actors have starring roles in these films every holiday season.

Consider the track record of Candace Cameron Bure. She’s a Hallmark Channel Christmas movie staple. This year, she’s in A Christmas Detour. Last year, she starred in Christmas Under Wraps, a movie that attracted 5.8 million viewers during its premiere. And in 2013, she played the lead in Let It Snow (one of my personal favorites). More than 6.1 million people tuned in to watch the first airing.

Who are the “popular stars” of your blog you can turn to again and again? Look at your blog’s analytics to find out. First, make a list of the types of blog posts you’ve written multiple times, such as how-tos, lists, or holiday-related tips. Then, look at which post types people click on most. Make sure you write and post a blog of that type regularly.

If your blog is still new and analytics offer limited insights, create posts that match your own online reading preferences. Are you a huge fan of quizzes? Do you love list articles? Are you a news junkie? Once you know your favorite article types, mimic those styles as you write blog posts related to your products or services.

If readers click and comment on those articles, keep using that formula. If not, try different post types until you have an article that becomes a hit.

3. Post on a Predictable Schedule

Between November 1 and December 31, the Hallmark Channel airs Christmas programming 24/7. That may sound like overkill to anyone who doesn’t play holiday music until Thanksgiving. But fans love knowing they can always find a Christmas flick on—and some even keep the TV on Hallmark Channel all season.

If you want to build a blog following with similar loyalty, set up a schedule for when and how often you’ll post. Adjust the following suggestions to your own blog’s needs:

  • Slowly increase your posting frequency. In 2015, Hallmark Channel will premiere 17 original holiday movies. But they gradually worked up to that number. Follow this example. Don’t succumb to pressure to blog weekly or daily if your company doesn’t have the resources to do so. Set a realistic timeframe so you can avoid blog burnout.
  • Share theme posts on the same day every week. Hallmark Channel premieres its new seasonal movies at consistent times—typically Saturday and Sunday evenings. Adopt a similar idea for your blog. Try posting a fun fact about your industry every Friday or sharing a positive customer experience every Wednesday.

When you use the tips above to schedule your blog posts, you can build your blog’s audience. And don’t forget to promote your blog on social media sites to increase your readership further.

Hallmark Channel’s Christmas movies prove that predictability has its benefits. As you create a blog for your company or brand, embrace the aspects of predictability described to increase your blog’s audience and connect with more clients or customers.





  • Matt Christensen, November 10, 2015 @ 12:44 pm

    I like tip #3 where you set up a schedule your visitors can depend on year to year. Think about going to any department or grocery store. We know that as soon as Halloween is over Christmas decorations are up and ready to buy. As long as you have good content year to year your visitors will always have dependable content to look forward to.

  • Tonya Davis, November 10, 2015 @ 1:14 pm

    You really can’t deny that Christmas sells. Even if it’s the day after Halloween, and you bust out your Christmas themed products/deals, there will be someone out there who will buy it. I know some people are sticklers about waiting until after Thanksgiving, but for me, I love Christmas, and the earlier I get my shopping done, the better. Even on my Etsy shop, I had people message me before Halloween, telling me they wanted to buy something as a Christmas gift. Knowing your audience is very important. If the majority of people who visit your site, enjoyed that you had Christmas themed content up before Thanksgiving, then by all means, repeat that strategy!

  • Josh Virchow, November 13, 2015 @ 10:26 am

    I’m for tip #2 all the way! Every store has a best seller. So I agree that it’s a good idea to always bring back the MVP products right before the big holiday shopping rush.

  • Jamison Michael Furr, November 13, 2015 @ 12:57 pm

    I just wanted to say that this was the best idea for a blog post title/topic ever.

  • Robin Johnson, November 13, 2015 @ 5:18 pm

    These are all great tips, and what I think is especially awesome is that I already feel that the Boost blog follows all of them. Way to go Boostability!

  • Maria Williams, November 13, 2015 @ 9:13 pm

    This are a great tips and the perfect time to post it. The holidays are my favorites and I love the tip #3 because I think is important when you post blogs.

  • Sani Nielsen, November 15, 2015 @ 12:45 pm

    I agree! Why reinvent the wheel. If you’ve got a timeless product/offer and you know your customers like it, then you KNOW you will get sales year after year.

  • Sani Nielsen, November 15, 2015 @ 12:46 pm

    I agree. I had to read the entire article just to know all the ways a blog was like a Hallmark Christmas movie…and I don’t even like those movies.

  • Sani Nielsen, November 15, 2015 @ 12:47 pm

    You are right, Tonya. It’s all about knowing your audience. While I don’t like to get my Christmas things out before Thanksgiving, I would happily sell my products to those who want to get a head-start. It’s just good business sense.

  • Parker Wood, November 17, 2015 @ 10:22 am

    Give people what they want…My wife loves the Hallmark Christmas movies. I’ve been known a time or two to sit down and watch them because they make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Give your consumers what they want and they will feel warm and fuzzy too!

  • Caz*, November 22, 2015 @ 9:34 pm

    Do you feel like the BoostBlog is predictable enough?

  • Caz*, November 22, 2015 @ 9:35 pm

    What do you think the most valuable tip is?

  • Caz*, November 22, 2015 @ 9:35 pm

    I have a brother in law that just loves those movies! It cracks me up every Christmas. How?!? HOW?!?! This is an awesome topic. I do agree with both @SaniDee:disqus and @jamisonmichaelfurr:disqus on how click-worthy this title is. So awesome!

  • Caz*, November 22, 2015 @ 9:36 pm

    Do you think bringing them back around for promotion is good enough or do you think updating/rewriting popular topics from time to time is preferred?

  • Caz*, November 22, 2015 @ 9:36 pm

    Do you think the BoostBlog runs a predictable schedule?

  • Robin Johnson, November 22, 2015 @ 9:43 pm

    Hmmm. That’s a tough question. But I think the first tip, giving people what they want. If you don’t do that, the other tips are a little pointless, because without it you won’t have popular topics to bring back and no matter how regularly you post, no one will read it unless it’s what they want to read.

  • Matt Christensen, November 23, 2015 @ 11:50 am

    I do. I also like how the blog is categorized by Marketing Topic. Just makes things more simple when searching for information. I think the difficult piece is always trying to top a past article, especially when you have a series that is consistent.

  • Caz*, November 29, 2015 @ 8:25 pm

    That’s good feedback! I know we want the Marketing/Business topics to seem like separate blogs even… just presented together. The Culture area would also be separate. It is like a Boostability magazine! I’m glad you find it helpful and reliable. You’re absolutely right about trying to top your previous years and keep fresh content going. It can get really tricky. 🙂 The key is to always pay attention to what your clients and readers are asking.

  • Caz*, November 29, 2015 @ 8:27 pm

    Do you have any tips for deriving what your audience “wants”?

  • TJ Mitchell, December 17, 2015 @ 1:51 pm

    That’s a great strategy for any blog. Making sure you not only provide what your viewer/readers want, but when they want it! People are creatures of habit and if you post the same time every week/day/month you can easily capitalize.

Comments are closed.