April 6th, 2012 by InsideOut Solutions
Prepare to blog
- It’s better to blog regularly with less-than-perfect posts than to be so concerned about writing perfect posts that you don’t blog at all.
- The goal of your blog is to attract search traffic, especially from people who don’t yet know you exist and who aren’t necessarily looking for a place to stay.
- Keep a blogging calendar to remind yourself to blog about specific holidays and events.
- Write several posts at once during your down times and schedule them to be posted during your busy times.
Decide on a topic
- When you decide what to write about, ask yourself, “What are people searching for?”
- What questions do guests often ask you?
- What is your town known for?
- Give an “insider’s scoop” on local attractions and businesses. You’re already a concierge for your guests – you’re an expert on your area.
- Let your blog become a recognized resource on a niche topic. Here are some ideas:
- Walking/driving tours
- Festivals and holidays
- Cultural events: music, art, theater.
- Cultural attractions: Amish communities, historic districts.
- Local businesses: antique shops, restaurants, Amish furniture, wineries, universities.
- Nature: birding, national parks, fall colors.
- Outdoor activities: hiking, snowshoeing, boating, fly fishing, horseback riding, geocaching.
- Recipes and cuisine.
Write a title
- Be specific and descriptive. A title like “Beautiful November” is less useful than “Preparing for the 2010 Sequim Thanksgiving Turkeyfest.”
- Use a maximum of 65-70 characters.
- Don’t include your inn’s name or “bed and breakfast” unless the post is about your inn.
Write the content
- Aim to write 300-500 words.
- It’s also okay, on occasion, to post a single nice photo with a few lines of text.
- Include one or two links back to your main website.
- If you want to paste from Microsoft Word or another text editor, use the Paste from Word or Paste as Plain Text tool.
- Include at least one image in each post. Upload a photo from your computer, use an image in your site’s Media Library, or add a publicly available image through the Insights tool.
- If you use an image on your computer, rename the image with a descriptive file name.
- Categories usually appear as a list in the sidebar of your blog.
- Assign one category to each post.
- Stick to 6-12 categories.
- Here are some suggestions for useful categories:
- Sample Inn News
- (make this the default category, not “Uncategorized”)
- Sequim Events / Happenings
- Sequim Attractions
- Breakfast and Recipes
- History of the Inn
- Restaurants / Dining
- Shopping / Antiquing (or other local businesses)
- Outdoor activities
- Seasons at the Inn (or in your city/town)
- Inn Specials
- Elope in Sequim / Sequim weddings
- Anything else you might write about often
- Tags often appear as a “tag cloud” in the sidebar of your blog.
- Assign several tags to each post.
- Be descriptive; don’t keyword stuff. For example, don’t add the tag “bed and breakfast” to your post unless you’re writing specifically about bed and breakfasts. Search engines already know that your site is about your bed and breakfast.
(Information compiled by Laura Alisanne & Rachel Covault).