This is the 2nd post in a series about blogging to improve your SEO. Click here to download the full guide.
Now that you have decided to start a blog, you are probably ready to get writing. Not so fast. There are many important things to consider before you write a single word. Lucky for you, you have already solved some of the most pressing concerns of an emerging blogger. You don’t need to worry about picking a relevant topic for you blog (ie. music, film, fitness, ect.) because you already know you will be blogging specifically about your property and what to do in the area. You also don’t need to stress about choosing the perfect blog name. The name, of course, will just be “[Your Property’s] Blog.” Here is everything else you need to know to start your blog off on the right foot.
8 Tips to Set Your Blogging Efforts Up for Success
You’ve got to lay the groundwork so that you get the most benefit out of your blogging efforts.
- Ensure that your website is fast and mobile friendly. Take care this step before you do anything else. If your blog takes too long to load or scroll through, visitors are highly likely just to click away. And since more people than ever are searching the web on their mobile devices, you will need to make sure that your website is optimized for mobile if you want to capture that traffic.
- Make sure you blog is hosted on your domain, not a separate site. Ideally, the URL should look like this: www.yourwebsite/blog. It is less ideal to have your blog on a subdomain. A subdomain is a domain within your primary domain, and the URL will look like this: www.blog.yourwebsite.com. NEVER host your hotel’s blog on an entirely separate website, such as Blogger. This provides no SEO value. Viewers might not even connect the blog with your property. Odysys websites have blogs built in and so did many other web platforms, making the process a lot simpler.
- Establish a Firm Marketing Persona. Before you start writing a blog, make sure you know and understand your audience. Knowing the age, sex, location, interests, or travel needs of your target audience will help you write successful blog posts. What questions does this demographic have that your blog can help solve? For you, this will likely be about places to see, eat, and explore while they are visiting your hotel, or other travel tips you think are important for them to know. Download our Guest Persona Template here.
- Choose Bold, Effective Titles. Coming up with effective blog post title is a tricky art. A good blog post title will grab readers attention and make them want to click. If your title is boring, no matter how fascinating the content, it is likely to be skipped. Your title should show that you have important or coveted information and know-how that visitors will want. And don’t be afraid to do an internet search and see what other similar posts are titled for inspiration.
- Make a Visually Striking Header Image. All blog posts should include visual images along with text. One of the most important images is your Header. A beautiful, well-designed Header will grab visitors attentions and entice them to read your post. See our blog post: How to Make Your Blog Posts Stand Out With a Stunning Header Image
- Categorize your Posts. Come up with a few categories you know you’ll consistently write about. Contrary to popular belief, it is actually more effective to use post categories than tags. Some categories might be: Food & Recipes, Local Events, Inn/Hotel News, Things to Do, etc.
- Include Social Sharing on all Blog Posts. Promoting your blog is just as important as creating fresh and well-written content. You should not only post links to your new blog posts on Twitter and Facebook. You should also include social sharing in all blog posts so other people can share them easily too.
- Include an Email Sign-Up Form. Your website should have an email signup form. Send your blog posts to your newsletter subscribers (see “email” below)
Get Your Writing and Content Marketing Toolbox Together
Blogging is easier than ever thanks to a continually expanding suite of free writing and content marketing tools. These will help you fill your post with visually striking images, write clear and bold sentences, craft a strong persona, and much more. Here are the things that we keep in our “toolbox” here at Odysys.
- Graphics: Use Canva, a free online tool, create and edit beautiful, well-designed graphics.
- Stock Photography: Free stock photograph is great for dressing up blog posts with high-quality images. Use Unsplash, Stocksnap.io, or other free stock photography sites.
- Sources for Topic Ideas: Use Google Suggest or Answer The Public to brainstorm blog post topics. You can also download our epic list of blog post ideas here.
- Writing Apps: Hemingway App will help you write clear, bold, and grammatically correct sentences.
- Headline Analyzer: Use the handy CoSchedule Headline Analyzer to turn your post topic into a clickable, shareable juggernaut
- Social Sharing Tools: Bufferapp, CoSchedule, Tweetdeck, and Hootsuite allow you to schedule out your posts and share them to social media more than once.
- Email Newsletters: To create email newsletters and share your new blog posts with all your followers, we recommend an email marketing platform like MailChimp or Constant Contact.
Related Posts: Guide to Blogging for Your Hotel
Part 1: Why Does My Hotel Need a Blog?
Part 2: 8 Tips for Starting a Successful Blog
Odysys offers a Blog Post Writing & Social Distribution service to our customers. Learn more here.