Coming up with fresh and exciting topics to blog about may be greeted with a serious case of writer’s block. You might worry that your posts can become redundant, often hitting similar topics from the past. While you don’t want to become overly repetitive, it is okay to touch on a topic that has already been discussed, especially if the topic brings new insights to potential guests. The ultimate goal of a great B&B blog, besides converting readers into guests, is to also convert the readers to subscribers. Another aspect? Fresh content can yield favorable results on SEO for your website.
For any number of reasons, it may not be the right time for your readers to make a trip and stay with you, but if you can manage to keep them coming back to your blog and connected to your establishment and your surrounding area, there’s a likelihood they’ll become a guest in the future, or maybe even recommend you to a friend. So how can you create a blog that is not easily forgotten?
Mashable notes that it’s important to “solve your readers problems”, this is not new thinking; sales people have known that for quite some time. In thinking about your blog, come up with common questions or needs guests might have when traveling to you. Provide insight and answers before they can even think to ask. Guests at B&B’s and inns often search for a place that features specific amenities in the local area, for instance restaurants, wineries, shopping, or various natural attractions (hiking trails, waterfalls, etc.). They also might be worried about being too disconnected; do you offer WiFi, telephones, or even a television or refrigerator in the room? Creating a post highlighting one or a few of the many things that are available in your spot and even the surrounding area gives the reader even more incentive to become a future guest. Not only will this give them a more detailed idea of what they can enjoy at your place, but it also also increases the potential that a search engine will lead the readers right to you! Finally, by promoting various other businesses/attractions in your area, it increases the chance that they may in turn promote you. This kind of symbiotic cross-marketing can certainly help your guests, but also the local economy.
Stay on Topic, Have More to Say Later
It is important to keep the posts on topic and straight to the point. If you choose to suggest a restaurant in your area, stick to discussing the restaurant and the restaurant only. Readers can quickly become bombarded with information which in turn may result in them merely skimming your post or even skipping it entirely. By focusing on one topic (or local merchant at a time), it gives you more material to feature in future posts. Also, be sure to include a link to the website of whatever place you are reviewing.
Another key idea is to include past consumer reviews (the positive ones!). Facts now support that a majority (84%!) of the population tends to lean heavily on user-generated content when making buying decisions. If your blog subtly self-promotes itself through guest reviews, it adds a level of trust and security in the minds of potential guests.
As mentioned in a previous post highlighting mobile influence, sites such as Yelp or Foursquare also allow innkeepers to claim their business and offer mobile users an incentive such as savings for visiting your place, plus you can change the deal linked to your B&B seasonally, following other annual events in your area, or essentially whenever the mood strikes you. Reminding readers of these types of deals on your blog gives them a jumpstart in doing the research involved in finding the best deal. You hand it to them right in the blog post.
Blog posts do not need to solely revolve around reviews and suggestions for other attractions in your area however; posts can range from many different things, as long as they are related to your target audience. If the majority of your guests tend to come to your B&B for the quaint and quiet nature of your area, it might be a better idea to leave out a post detailing and promoting the upcoming rock concert the next town over; this may result in turning people away, rather than encouraging them to come. Knowing your target audience is key; most people want to stay somewhere that mirrors their interests and personality, somewhere they can feel at home and relax. Reminding your readers that your inn may be their home away from home, and why, may be all the difference in the world.
As one final note, while the majority of this post has outlined more of the “DO’S” in blogging about a B&B or an Inn, it is vital to never use your blog as a soundboard for your own personal thoughts, lives or complaints. ALWAYS keep it professional, keep it relevant, and keep it informative in regards to your business. Need any pointers? We’re happy to help, just give us a call or shoot us an email. Photo Credit: Sarah Elizabeth Simpson