This week's topic focuses on how to blog and promote your travel and tour business. To be more specific—how to maintain a tourism blog.
Blogging To Promote Your Tour Business
If you're a travel professional and you own a travel business, having a blog on your travel website is an idea worth considering.
So how do you create a successful blog to attract more visitors to your destination?
I'm going to try my best to keep it short to give you a few tips and tricks when it comes to starting a travel blog to promote your tour business.
The first step is to create your website if you haven't got one already. You can use WordPress or Wix, for instance.
Setting Up A Blog On Your Website
When you have a registered domain, you can promote your tour offers and services online, accept online bookings and so on and so forth. But to make all those efforts efficient, you definitely need a blog. There are a few ways you can do this.
One is to create a blog that's integrated into your website in a subfolder, for example www.mytourbusiness.com/blog" or you can blog on Medium. Though, I recommend you go with the first option. Why? Because your goal is to attract visitors and potential clients directly to your website.
Decide On The Topics
Before you rush into writing your first piece, consider what would you write about.
Have in mind your target audience.
What would they like to read about?
Is your destination best visited at a certain time of the year or do you offer different activities all year round?
Here's a title for you: Best Time To Visit ________. You can write a lengthy blog post just about that for starters.
Additionally, you can use your blog to showcase your company, services, as well as show off your experience in the field.
Take into consideration what kind of services and tours you're offering. Check out what your competition is doing.
For example, if you're offering boat excursions on the Adriatic coast, make sure you offer quality content that relates to what your business does. Use the blog post to inform travelers about the Adriatic coast, tell them what's so interesting about visiting the Dalmatia and its many islands. Talk about what they can experience and see if they decide to take your tours.
Show and tell.
Tell them a story.
Create An Editorial Calendar
Step up your game. Write down all the topics you think of and create an editorial calendar.
You can use an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of your blog posts and topics. Devise a plan and stick to it.
As you go and keep a track record, you can tweak a few things along the way—for instance, how often are you going to blog. You might start with once a week and see how it goes. It really depends on the type of travel business you run.
Storytelling Is Everything
I'm pretty sure you already know this by now, but it's doesn't hurt to go over it again.
Every destination has its own unique story. Even your tour business has a story which you can use to establish your brand.
The thing with stories is that they get tourists interested and curious to find out more about a place they're going to be visiting. It sheds new light on a destination.
Before you start writing, you need to recognize who you're writing for and what is the story you want tourists to hear about. This means you need to do your research. Get to know the history behind your destination and places of interest. Take notes on every single detail you can get your hands on.
What is it that brings people to a specific destination? Use that to your advantage.
Let's take the island of Hvar in Croatia as an example. It's known for its extraordinary beauty, history, lavender fields, olive oil, the oldest theater in Europe, etc. There are also a lot of legends and tales about Hvar, such as the origin of the Tudor family in Milna on Hvar. Or take the island of Brač with its mystical tales about how dragons ruled the island.
Write about hidden gems, coves, architecture, historical events, local cuisine, etc. Tell tourists how exciting this particular place or activity could be.
Name all the reasons why they should come and visit.
You can always use the historical data and folk tales to make your destination or tours more tempting. However, don't get carried away and start making things up.
If you're a tour guide then you might even know all those stories by heart, you just need to put it in writing.
If you don't want to reveal the whole story right away, save the best parts for the tour and give people only a sneak peek.
By telling a story, you're basically presenting your storytelling talent and the power to grab peoples attention with interesting topics. Also, travelers get to meet you and your brand by following your blog. They get to virtually meet you and how you do your business before they actually book anything.
How To Blog
1, 2, 3, GO!
Sounds simple enough, right?
You may think that writing is easy and that you can carelessly open up a Word document and start typing.
That's not always the case. Sometimes it's best to check out a few best practices before you get started.
- Decide on the language you're going to use. Or you going to write in your mother tongue or in English? It all really depends on the audience you're targeting.
- Have a proofreading tool, such as Grammarly. You don't want any typos to sneak up on you, now do you?
- Be sure how to model you post. Tourists want information that's easily digestible, credible, and timely.
- Use plenty of headings and keep your paragraphs short and interesting. The goal is to spark people's curiosity.
- Have in mind that longer content ranks better as long as it's relevant and useful to your audience. Spend as much time promoting your content as you do creating it.
- Always include a call to action and make them perfectly clear. For example, tell people to subscribe to your weekly newsletter, book a tour, read related articles, etc. It doesn't really matter, just decide on one CTA and don't make people think what they're supposed to do after they read your blog.
- Don't overwhelm potential clients with information. Prioritize your content. It might be a better idea to blog periodically but offer quality content than blog randomly about every little thing that pops into your head and has no actual meaning to your target audience.
- Write persuasively. After all, the main purpose of maintaining a blog is to sell (tours, excursions, accommodation, tickets, and other). You're selling an experience.
- If writing is just not your cup of tea, you can hire a freelance blogger or a freelance content writer to be in charge of your tourism blog. Or... you can make an arrangement with a travel blogger to come up with a guest post from time to time. (further reading: How to Make sure Travel Bloggers are Right for your Tour Business?)
- When running out of ideas, don't panic—you can always turn to customer reviews and build an interesting post, especially if they've attached quality photographs when taking your tour.
Don't forget that it's OK to be honest and don't be afraid to show your vulnerability. Your clients will appreciate the honesty.
Should You Worry About SEO?
If you're using WordPress, you could try a plugin called Yoast which takes care of everything you need at the beginning. However, it doesn't hurt to know at least a thing or two about search engine optimization.
First things first, a single blog post isn't enough to rank for a certain competitive keyword. I'll be upfront with you guys, matching the exact phrase is becoming irrelevant.
And no, I'm not saying you should ditch SEO altogether. Focus on user intent rather than wasting your time with stuffing your blog posts with keywords. Keyword stuffing is dead. I repeat, keyword stuffing is dead.
Nowadays, you must focus on building multiple keywords into one blog post if you want to see any real results. This is called keyword clustering and you might want to read up on that after finishing this article.
There are plenty of tools you can use to measure and optimize your blog's performance. Here are some powerful tools to help you with SEO:
Use Social Media To Share Your Blog Posts
Ok, so you've successfully written a couple of posts, now what?
You share it on your social media accounts. Honestly, I can't stress enough just how important it is to have an online media presence and share your content on the Internet with your audience.
For a detailed guide on this matter, check out this blog post:
Enrich Your Blog With Prominent Visuals
Make sure you use quality photographs, preferably your original ones and not stock photography. By adding amazing photos you can strengthen the effect of your blog.
Photographs help you tell your story. How else are you going to promote your tour business if not with the help of great content AND gorgeous photos?
- Tour Provider’s Cheat Sheet – Win Customers with Authentic Photos [Infographic]
- How to Make Remarkable Tour Photos
- Best Free Photo Editing Apps for Breathtaking Tour Photos
Implement An Online Booking Button
Blog posts offer a great opportunity for you to add a "Book Now" button so your customers can book your tour, activity or service directly from your website while they're reading your blog post.
- Advantages of Using Online Booking Software
- This Is What the Most Effective Booking Button Looks Like
- How To Grow Your Tour Business Via Online Marketing
Use Orioly to add a customizable BOOK NOW button to your website and close bookings 24/7. The advantage of this is that your customers can then book directly on your website at lower rates.
More On Marketing Strategies For Tour Businesses
Are you struggling with the idea of how to grow your tour business through various online marketing channels and strategies?
For a detailed guide on best digital marketing practices, we've prepared a comprehensive 60-page eBook that you can download for free.