If you have read our blog posts, weekly innkeeper marketing tips, or attended any of our webinars, you know we believe blogging is important. It’s a critical component of search engine optimization, social media marketing, and helps you engage with guests. However, many innkeepers just don’t know where to start. So to help you we created this post. Let’s get started!
Step 1 – Know Your Audience
Before you begin to write, determine who you are trying to target. I’m sure most innkeepers will say “new guests!” But, consider who those new guests might be. Where are they located? What do they do for fun?
For example, is there a local foodie event that attracts people from neighboring states? If so, they probably don’t need details about the event. Instead, provide them with insider tips, or your opinion about the best vendors at the event.
Step 2 – Select A Topic
Many first time bloggers focus on coming up with the perfect post title before they begin writing. Don’t fall into this trap! Instead, focus on topic or theme. Once you have written your blog post, go ahead and develop a catchy title.
There are several blog post topic generators out there. Or, if you are an Odysys customer, use ours.
Step 3 – Craft An Intro
Someone once gave me advice about public speaking that has served me well:
- Tell them what you are going to tell them.
- Tell them.
- Tell them what you just told them.
I believe the same is true of blog posts. Write an intro paragraph that grabs the reader’s attention, explains the reason for your post, and outlines what they are about to read.
Step 4 – Organize Your Content Into Easy-To-Tackle Chunks
Before you begin writing the body of your blog post, start by creating a simple outline. What are the points you are trying to make? How many of them do you have. Break down your content into easy to tackle nuggets.
Step 5 – Write & Polish
Now get started writing. Don’t worry too much about how polished your writing is. Just get the main content down. You can go back and wordsmith your post later.
I like to use different tools to help me write. My absolute favorite is Hemingway. This useful app assigns a readability score and provides recommendations to improve your writing.
Don’t forget to clean up any formatting issues. Use headings, subheadings, and bullet points as needed. Make your post easy to read!
Step 6 – Add Visual Interest
Great blog posts need to draw the reader in. At the very least your post should have a relevant featured image. In addition, you will want to add images to your post where they make sense and can help keep the reader engaged.
Be warned that you can run into trouble if you use images in your blog post that you are not licensed to use. So avoid the Google image search and take pictures yourself. If you don’t feel comfortable taking pictures, try my favorite free-to-use photo site: unsplash.com. Also check out this list of sites with amazing free stock photos.
Another great resource for creating images for your blog is Canva.com. Canva lets you add text and other design elements to your photos, and they have free-to-use images as well.
Step 7 – Optimize
Once you have finished writing your post, focus on optimizing it for organic search. Don’t worry too much about how many keywords you are using. Just focus on one or two search phrases or themes. Odds are you already addressed this in step 2.
Instead, focus on writing a unique title tag, meta description, and optimizing your images. Don’t know how to do that? Here is a great place to start.
Blogging is an important part of marketing your property and engaging with guests. If you are an innkeeper who is having a hard time getting started, follow these seven simple steps to writing your first post. Now get started!