Blogging as content strategy
As a travel business, content marketing is a great way to build your brand in a positive way. It’s a marketing strategy in which valuable, relevant, and consistent content is distributed to reach your (potential) customers.
There are several types of content, but blogging can be an important part of your SEO strategy and promotional toolkit. In this article, I’ll answer 8 key questions to help you start blogging for your business.
In this article
1. What is a blog?
A blog is an online collection of stories or articles. In the beginning, blogs were personal sites created by individuals. They simply wanted to find a channel for self-expression, much like an online journal. For a long time, bloggers were dismissed by journalists and “proper writers”. But blogs have evolved to become a powerful business tool. In 2022, there are more than 600 million blogs on the internet (according to Hosting Tribunal).
2. Can every business start a blog?
Absolutely! Writing a blog gives you an opportunity to share your knowledge with the world and set yourself up as an expert in your given subject.
3. How can blogging promote your travel business?
Blogging is the perfect medium for sharing travel experiences. We put a lot of effort into building new websites and writing itineraries, but your website needs to be regularly promoted. Google loves new content!
Google’s ‘spiders’ are constantly crawling the Internet looking for new travel-related content. “Feed Google” and your website will be rewarded with higher rankings.
If you’re travel business, think seriously about starting a blog but understand that it is a long-term strategy. You’re unlikely to have instant wins but regular blog posting can help build trust with potential customers.
4. Where should I host my blog?
A blog doesn’t have to be a stand-alone website, although some companies do choose to go down that route. A blog can be part of your existing website. Generally speaking, this is the best approach as you only have one site to manage. A blog can replace the news section, for example.
My first blog was a free Blogger one. As I gained more confidence (and wanted more technical features), I moved to a WordPress self-hosted option. I purchased a domain name and hired someone to transfer my first three years of blog posts to WordPress. Over the years, we have adapted the graphic design and improved the user experience.
Website must-haves for tour operators in 2022
In 2022 having a great website will be more important than ever. Create a competitive website experience with the 5 tips shared in this article.
5. What shall I blog about?
How do you differentiate yourself from the competition? What are your unique selling points as an individual or as a company? Hopefully you will already know this. If you don’t, ask one of your customers why they chose you. How can you write content that reflects that?
What are the frequently asked questions you receive from potential travellers? What questions are people asking before landing on your site? Look at your Google Analytics. Think about these questions and you will have a long list of potential content for blog posts.
Always start with your audience in mind. You may have answered their questions a hundred times, but have you blogged about them? Think niche. It’s tempting to have a blog that appeals to everyone, but you don’t need everyone as your client, do you? If you run a travel business, you need just a few quality clients every month. Therefore, home in on your ideal customer’s questions and concerns.
There will be a lot of search traffic around terms such as “African safaris” – and intense competition too, so you need to go deeper. Think about unique content that answers more specific questions that relate to your strengths and the types of tour that you offer.
If you are promoting African safaris, these could be “which is the best Kenyan safari destination for young families” or “what is the best place in Tanzania to see lions.” Set yourself apart. Be the “go-to” person for your niche and you will attract the right kind of reader and customer.
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6. How often should I write a blog post?
You know what it’s like when you have a new hobby: sometimes you get so excited that you forget everything else for a while. The same thing happens to a lot of us when we start a new blog. Resist the urge to blog three times a week when you start. Consistency is key. It’s better to have a slow long-term burn than to be frantically posting for a few weeks and burning out.
The important thing is to start writing and promoting your content. If you have a ton of ideas, great! Start collecting them and add the topics to the spreadsheet. Then start planning when you will release them.
Once you provide interesting content, you will attract readers who look out for your updates. To keep them engaged, aim to blog once a month or once a week, for example. Be realistic. Think about your other commitments. In six months’, time, do you think you will have maintained this schedule? Studies say that for every hour you spend writing, you should spend three hours promoting your blog.
The Internet is littered with unloved blogs. Statistics say that 95% of blogs are redundant after one year. Don’t let yours be one of them.
7. How should I promote my blog posts?
I’ve been blogging since 2008. It’s brought me all kinds of amazing opportunities. It’s a delight but on days it feels like a chore. If you don’t promote your blog well, you won’t get comments or social media shares and you will get disillusioned. You will question whether blogging is the right strategy for you.
There are a zillion ways to promote your blog posts. Each post should be well optimised for search engines so that Google can bring new readers to your site. You can also publish your blog on social media, numerous times. Here are some examples of how I promote a blog post:
- Do a Facebook status update and boost the post.
- Update the link in your Instagram bio.
- Send an update to everyone on your email database.
- Add the link to your email signature.
- Tweet a link. In fact, why not compose a thread (series of tweets?).
Did you know you can automate the blog promotion process? It takes time to set up these options, but the payback can be substantial.
8. Where can I find inspiration for blogging?
The Internet has tons of resources that can help you learn how to blog successfully. There are thousands – millions – of bloggers with strategies, templates, and content ideas that you can emulate. Important is to have a strategy. That will give you focus.
A good blog post starts with a good story or a simple observation. What do you like reading? Think about what moves you, the stories that you like and the articles that inspire you to travel. I read a lot. I always want to be a better writer.
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Consistency is everything
Good to keep in mind is that you’re unlikely to go viral with your first post. You may not get many comments – or any at all – for a long time. That can easily demotivate you unless you have a consistent promotional plan.
Once upon a time, the only person who commented on my blog was my mum. But you will need more than that if you’re trying to promote your travel business! If you post new blogs in a consistent manner, you’ll see your followers and comments grow. Keep going and be consistent!