In the hectic daily grind of running a hotel or bed & breakfast, we know that it can be hard for innkeepers to find the time to maintain their blog. Creating content for your site can easily get pushed aside by the more pressing concerns of managing your property. You’re an innkeeper first, a digital marketer second. But what if we told you that you can write a high-quality blog post in just one hour? By implementing these simple tips & tricks, you can create fresh & marketable blog content that will drive traffic to your site and encourage more direct bookings. All you need is 60 minutes.
Keep It Simple
Writing exceptional blog posts isn’t as easy as simply pouring all your thoughts out onto the page, but it also isn’t something to waste any blood and sweat over. First things first, don’t take things too seriously. No one expects you to be writing a Pulitzer-prize winning piece of journalism here. Visitors to your site want clear and well-organized information that will help them plan their trip, learn more about your property & destination, and get a taste of the experience they will have if they choose to stay with you. That means that you should feel confident to write in your own voice about what you know. You are likely already an expert on your area, so use your knowledge and expertise to your advantage and write about the things you know and love. Write about the restaurants, events, outdoor activities, people, and local quirks that make your destination attraction and unique. For more tips on selecting stand-out post ideas, click here.
Feel free to keep your writing casual and conversational. Be yourself and don’t worry about using ornate or academic language. Avoid adverbs (truly, magnificently, beautifully, ect.) or big words you think will impress your readers. They won’t. They will be impressed by the content of what you say, not the flowery way you say it. Other easy & time-saving tricks include:
- Write directly into your blog software: Writing directly into your blogging software, such as WordPress or the Odysys software, saves you the time you would spend copying and pasting from Microsoft word or other word processors
- Keep your topic clear & focused: Avoid picking any ideas that are to general or undefined, such as “Why Ashland is the Best Place to Visit.” You could probably write about this forever, and it might turn out a little rambling or poorly organized. Instead, write about “The Best Restaurants in Ashland” or “5 Things to Do in Ashland This Summer.” Narrowing the focus of your post will help you write a better blog post in a shorter period of time.
- Draw from the content that’s already on your site: Do you have an About your Stay or Things to Do page on your website? This is a great jumping off point for post ideas or content creation. You can use some of the content you already have for a blog post, and vise versa (use your blog post content for your Things to Do page.)
- Use bullet points: Using bullet points keeps your page streamlined and well organized. They can actually help you get your thoughts to the page faster and prevent you from worrying to much about how your sentences sound or “flow” together.
- Avoid passive voice: Chose active voice, Kent wrote this blog post, over passive voice, This blog post was written by Kent. It keeps your writing sharp and direct.
- Link to outside sources of past blog posts: Provide links to helpful websites or to past blog posts you have written on a related topic.
- Include visuals: Blogs don’t just have to be words. You can include pictures, videos, and infographics to tell the story or convey the information as well. In fact, this makes your blog posts even better.
Break Into Your Marketing Tool Box
Luckily, there are many free online tools that can take some of the pressure off. From grammar correcting apps to graphic design websites, keep these in your marketing tool box to have on hand when you are writing your blog post.
- Hemingway App: Hemingway App will help you write bold, clear, and grammatically correct sentences. Put your writing into the Hemingway App and it will highlight any sentences that are long or overly complex. It will also show you places where you can shorten or simplify your prose and point out when you use passive voice, adverbs, or other grammatical practices that may weaken the force of your writing.
- Grammarly: Grammerly corrects spelling and word usage (aka. there, their, they’re). It will also connect common grammar mistakes with commas, hyphens, semi-colons, and apostrophes.
- Cliche Finder: Cliche finder will point out the cliches in your writing that may keep it from sounding original and fresh.
- Unsplash, Stock Snap, Picography: If you don’t have photos of your own to use in your post, try one of these stock photography sites to jazz up the visuals of your post.
- The #1 Headline Analyzer: CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer will help you pick bold and declarative titles for your posts that will draw readers in and encourage them to click.
- Canva: Use canva to create beautiful and professional graphics to use in your post or as headers. It is quick, easy, and free.
- 35 Bed & Breakfast Post Ideas: Pick from Odysys’ own massive list of blog post topic ideas, or check out our blog post on the 12 Blog Posts To Write This Year.
Use Your Time Wisely
60 minutes isn’t a lot of time, so you need to ensure that you are making the most of every minute. It might seem silly to stick to a schedule when you only have an hour, but trust us, it helps. Spend one hour without any distractions, such as the TV or your cell phone, and you will be surprised by how easy it is to get a post done. We recommend allocating your time like this:
- Research: Research should take up about 20% of your time. Since you should already be writing about something you know, this should be one of the easier parts. Use this time to visit websites and re-familiarize yourself with the things you are going to write about.
- Draft: The next 20% of your time should be writing a draft. Don’t worry about making edits or writing pristine sentences. Just say what you want to say. You could even start with a detailed outline and work off that. I like to write all my thoughts down and worry about grammar and sentence structure in the next stage.
- Edit/Revise: Spend the final 60% of your time organizing and cleaning up what you just wrote. It may be helpful to walk away from the draft for a minute or two so you can come back to it with fresh eyes and a clear head. Once you’ve done that, you can worry about structuring your post in an effective way and correcting any grammar or clarity issues that you might have missed. This may also be a good time to put the post into Hemingway App or Cliche Finder. You can also do some polishing, like adding images, graphics, and links. And remember: always re-read everything before your post. You can always go back and edit any mistakes you find, but you want it be as strong as possible when it first goes out into the world.
At Odysys, we are always talking about the importance of maintaining a blog. Whether you post once a week or once a month, blogging has the power to improve your rankings, drive more traffic to your site, boost your conversions, and dramatically increase guest satisfaction. And now, you can do that all in just 60 minutes. Using these tips & tricks can help busy innkeepers find the time to write a high blog post so you can focus on what you do best: running your property.
Want to know more about improving your blog post writing? Download our Odysys Guide to Blogging to learn about everything from picking topic ideas to sharing your posts on social media.