8 Tips for Better Travel, Tourism Blogging—And 8 Blogs Doing It Right
Eight tips for better travel and tourism blogging and companies doing it right
In researching this article, I was shocked at how many travel and tourism websites lack a simple blog and consistently updated content. So before we begin, ask yourself: does your travel or tourism website have a blog and is it easy to find on your site? Are you updating it regularly or is the last post circa 2012?
Well, now’s time to start blogging for your travel or tourism business—and start incorporating consistent blogging and content marketing into your online marketing plan.
Why blogging, you ask?
How are customers finding you? Are you spending heavily on online ads and pay-per-click campaigns when you could be enticing travelers/customers through excellent posts and articles? Are you creating a brand and business that people love because you produce inspiring, share-worthy content? Or are you still just advertising?
Creating great content is where the game changes. And a vibrant, exciting, and relevant blog can be the marketing hub of your travel or tourism business that keeps the love alive—and the customers coming back for more.
Here are eight best blogging practices for your travel or tourism blog, as well as eight blogs to look to that are doing it right:
1. Hook ‘em with one helluva headline.
The headline should answer, what’s in this for me? What will I get by reading your post? Joy? Information? A deal? A great story to share with my friends and loved ones? One tactic: tell the good news up front, right there in the headline. Or try teasing the reader with the promise to reveal some secrets (“Discover 5 Gorgeous, Off-the-Beaten-Path Trails of Gold Country.”)
Don’t be boring. Do use alliteration, a pun, alluring word choices, or a clever turn of phrase. Use numbered lists, or a pop culture reference: “6 Reasons Why The Duchess of Cambridge Would Stay Here—And You Would Too!”
Here’s a great headline example from Just One Way Ticket that’s well-phrased, slightly mysterious (as I’m unfamiliar with Boracay), and says right up front, what’s in it for me: “Boracay on a Budget: A world-class island in the Philippines on $23 a day.”
2. Engage the senses to lure travelers to your destination.
If you’ve ever been, you know that New Orleans is a premiere city for the bon vivant, one who delights in all the sights, sounds, and tastes of life. And what traveler doesn’t want to be lured to a destination for this reason? We travel and adventure to feel all our senses come alive, and GoNOLA.com knows this well.
Take their recent posts in anticipation of Mardi Gras. They offer a recipe for a “Purple, Green, and Gold Parade Route Cocktail.” They share an Instagram photo of beautifully colored king cakes. And they explore Mardi Gras costume ideas, all while taking us straight to New Orleans with their stirring, sensory descriptions: “I could SMELL that Mardi Gras was in the air.”
Remember to engage all the senses in your travel or tourism blogging to make the experience of travel come alive for your readers.
3. Keep it current and connected.
Ski.com is all over Sochi right now—and they are winning!—from an adorable post about U.S. Olympians adopting Sochi puppies to capitalizing on #SochiProblems while showcasing ski resort “accommodations fit for an Olympian.”
Take advantage of the social climate, and connect your blog post topics to current events, news, trends, seasons, or even a popular celebrity.
4. Make social sharing easy.
Explore Georgia’s recent post, “Love Stories of Oakland Cemetery,” gets extra points for being timely, interesting, and super easy to share. Make social sharing just a click or two away for your readers with snazzy share buttons like these from Shareaholic.
5. Multimedia is your friend.
YouTube videos, Vines, Instagram pics, infographics, podcasts, inspirational graphic designs, animated GIFs, and more… the list goes on for ways to excite your customers with multimedia in your travel and tourism blog posts. The internet, like life, is a visual realm—so you should make fast friends with multimedia and use it regularly in your blog.
6. Include a clear call to action.
Of course you want to bring lots of readers to your amazing blog content, but you also want them to take action. It doesn’t have to be in every blog post, but do remember to post some clear calls to action, discounts, promotions, and special offers from time to time. Give your readers a reason to make that call, click, or purchase now.
Take a lesson from this post by Tahoe Mountain Sports. It includes several calls to action, including a link to RSVP to the event on Facebook.
7. Post often. At least once a week.
One of the number one struggles of maintaining a blog or social media effort is time. Consider hiring a freelance blogger or content manager to help keep up with the demands of weekly blogging, or try inviting local community members to submit their destination-related stories, photos, and videos to you. It’s well worth it to maintain a consistent blog. It’ll keep web traffic flowing to your site and customers knocking on your door.
Visit Palm Springs does this well with a full team of professional bloggers.
8. Personal stories create a lasting impression.
I invite you to consider this thoughtful entry by Nomadic Matt, a very popular travel blogger, on the meaning of “home.” No matter where in the world he’s traveled, nothing quite feels like home to him as Bangkok, the place where he “first really stopped and lived.” It was the place, he says, “where I built a whole life and got a job, friends, a girlfriend, and a routine.”
Most of all, your travel and tourism blogs create meaning for others when they are written from the heart. So, here’s to your better blogging!—and I urge to remember: your readers, customers, and fellow travelers are waiting to be inspired.
Also check out 5 Tips to Improve Tourism, Travel Industry Social Media.