Tired of consultants nagging you to post regular blogs? In this article I share why you absolutely need a travel blog and how to maximise your outcomes.
If you think running a blog sounds too daunting, or will take up too much time, I promise it’s time well-spent. This "how-to guide' for tourism blogging is an easy and practical series of steps to launch a blog that can inspire and motivate travellers to make you part of their holiday experience.
But let's start with reasons... why do you need a blog?
Strengthen your SEO with specific search keywords. From Google's view, blogs are new indexable keywords to your website, showing Google you're adding regular value and engaging with travellers. Blogs are one of the most effective ways of improving your website search rankings
Increased social media reach. Segment specific blogs (i.e food lovers) should be shared through boosted posts on Facebook and Instagram... precisely targeting your segment audience by interest and age
Drive sales. Blogs should link back to product and services so make sure the blog story ties back to a product that you own, make commission from or whom supports your business. It must be subtle, but a key element of commercialising every opportunity.
4 Step Guide
Step One: Select a specific audience
Avoiding general content. Preparing blogs by customer segment (i.e. Romantics, Wildlife Lovers, Foodies) provides the opportunity to shape conversions 100% dedicated to the needs of your potential traveller. For example "Port Douglas Top 5 Romantic Restaurants" is more likely to engage a specific traveller searching on Google than "Top 5 Things to do in Port Douglas". The more tailored the conversation to your customer need the greater the conversion to booking.
Step Two. A strong name for each blog post Titles are important. The best titles for books, films, and yes, blogs, are the ones that resonate with the audience, the ones that they remember. Your blog readers are people planning a holiday, or dreaming of taking a vacation. They are going to respond to emotive words that correspond with dreaming and imagining, words and titles that invoke emotions.
Step Three: Writing your blog
Engaging potential travellers is about storytelling. But from a more technical view we must first consider which keywords you are building your story around. The words (keywords) in your blog will be indexed by Google so its important to have clarity on what words you wish the blog to rank for. The heading is the most important element of your keyword plan which is why we often see blog titles like "Hobart's Best Hidden Bars" to reflect a question that may be typed into Google.
We can also drive original content by engaging today's travellers and staff to share their story. Collate a collection of user reviews, ask travellers to share their highlights at the end of each trip, ask staff to share their highlights of the season.
Make sure you add engaging images and video to support your post. Remember a blog can be written, video, podcast or a combination of all.
Next you need to decide if you'll write your blog or outsource. If outsourcing I suggest you i) send dot points from your own notes, staff and customer inputs or ii) find 2-3 other blogs from your destination with the type of content you seek to share iii) post your brief on www.copify.com.au to outsource writing. Simply attach the keyword list, notes and/or the example articles. The brief is re-write this content into a 600 word blog with the heading "The Best Short Walks in Cradle Mountain" and for approx $40 its done.
Step Four: Reaching out and engaging holiday seekers
Copy the Blog URL and paste into your Facebook page. This will automatically attach the blog image and title. Simply add a one sentence introduction, click the Instagram extension and your post is now live on Facebook and Instagram
Invest $50 to boost your blog post on Facebook to a specific audience. If you're a tour or restaurant boost your post to people already in your region on holiday
Tag your blog and display on relevant pages of your website. This will strengthen the story your website shares with a specific traveller. For example if you have a website page for families, display the family specific blogs
Add your blog to the next eNewsletter
Convert your blog to a podcast. Perhaps you could interview the chef about their food inspirations using a simple mobile microphone and your phone
Use a paid service such and like www.fatjoe.com to place your blog on third party websites to gain SEO benefits through new backlinks to your website.
It pays to remember that content is king. Blog posts that have the three Rs—content that is regular, relevant and relatable—will build your customer base, attract repeat business, and heighten your visibility on the web.