How to attract guests to your property by highlighting the best of what you & your region have to offer using a blog, and sound like an authority.
It’s at this point where I have heard many hospitality property owners say,
“Sure, that sounds easy enough, but I don’t have a clue about what to write and I’m not an authority on many topics.”
Here are a few ideas of the type of things you can write about:
- About you
- Your hospitality properties history
- The region’s history
- Local attractions
- Local delicacies
- Specialised shops in your area
- Write about things that interest your guests, etc.
You now might be saying to yourself
“I don’t know anything about some of these topics or am not sure where to find information.”
In a perfect world, you will find lots of topics to write about that you are well-versed in.
In the real world, you might have to write about topics that fall far outside your areas of expertise or interest and step outside your comfort zone on a regular basis. You’ll have to get good at learning new things fast, and learn how to reach out to the right people that can help you gain insights on new subjects.
“So, how do I research?”
Wait – STOP!
Before you jump into any research you should take a few moments to consider what content you wish to share and use the following as guidelines.
- Unexceptional or boring content will hurt your properties image more than nothing at all. It is a good idea to ask the opinion of family, friends or colleagues before you start researching and writing a post.
- You should be writing for your customers and not your brand.
A smart hospitality property builds its marketing strategy, which includes blogging, around user-generated content. In other words, created content around your customer’s needs, not the needs of the social platforms. This can be hard for some owners who have a difficult time seeing outside their own space. Can’t see the forest for the trees.
- If possible find topics that offer strong opinions. Often opinions lead to shares, and shares can lead to more potential guests.
An art exhibit at a local gallery has sparked some controversy. Write about the exhibit and then make an offer, “Stay with us and get an entrance ticket ½ price and judge for yourself.”
- When choosing a topic to target, use Google search to find terms related to your keywords and phrases, and then do the same again with keyword.io. Find the words that are related to your content, then use those in your blog post. This will make it easier for Google to find you and generate organic searches. http://www.keyword.io/
- Use keyword search to help find what people are actually searching for. No sense writing a great post if no one is looking for that information.
- Giveaway great advice in your blog posts and on your website. If you are willing to share many will see this as a sign of a quality property and make it more likely they will choose you over your competition.
- What do you like about your region? If you are passionate about something special in your area it will shine through in your writing.
- Ask your current guests what they enjoyed about their stay. You might find topics that you missed or took for granted.
Alright, now you have an idea of how to choose a topic. How to research.
You can start by doing a general research search on Google & Facebook.
The first step is getting an idea on the subject you’re covering. What information already exists? Is there any current information about the subject that should be considered? Does this subject have enthusiasts and critics, or is it a pretty neutral subject?
Spend a lot of time simply reading during this step. Identify credible sites to draw actual information & facts. Facebook can be an asset with a feature you may have noticed: related articles or videos. Related articles or videos are listed below some of your News Feed posts.
There are some hits and misses in Facebook’s Related Articles or videos, but you might find good sources. Make sure to fact check what you read before writing as fact and take things with a grain of salt.
Read social media posts to get a sense of what the general public opinion is about your region.
This method can offer some helpful insights by providing context some experts might be lacking.
Reach out to experts.
A quality piece of content for your blog should include an expert’s opinion for information and facts. If the expert is an outside source, it is worth the time to make contact for an interview and fact checks.
There are a couple of ways you can do this.
- Pick up the phone and make a cold call explaining your request.
- You could ask people you know if they can introduce you to a specific expert.
- Reach out to people on social media or via email for a quote or interview.
*(Before any interview, make sure you’ve done significant research on your own. Prepare questions so you can make the most of your time together. When the conversation ends, ask whether they’d be willing to answer any follow-up questions should they arise and whether they’d be willing to perform a fact check for you once the piece is complete.)
Even just one conversation from your efforts could be valuable by getting a new point of view from which your writing will benefit and could possibly help you uncover the things you might not have known before.
Once you have gathered all the data and relevant quotes, you can act as the voice of authority.
If you’re not the expert on your specific blogs subject-matter, your credibility will not come from personal experience. You need it to come from others’ experience and expertise.
Here are a few resources to find good data and quotes:
- Go to credible sites and perform a site:search on the topic about which you’re writing. If you don’t know how to perform a site:search, HubSpot has a great article explaining how.
- Ask your sources for quotes. Be sure to ask for permission to quote them.
You are ready to start writing your post.
Once you have done all your reading, talked to the experts, asked for others opinion — it’s time to start writing.
If you’ve been taking notes on everything you’ve researched up to this point, then you have already started writing the post. In other words, all the elements are there, you simply have to whip it into a rational story.
Finally, fact check.
Even after performing your own fact check, you should submit the piece for a second fact check and review.
This can go to a family member, friend, and colleague or to the subject-matter expert that said they would be willing to perform this duty.
You can ask them to look for two things:
- Is anything in this piece that is factually incorrect
- Is there anything missing in the post that another expert would consider a red flag?
That second question helps you catch those “I didn’t know I missed that” moments that might happen when you’re writing about something unfamiliar to you.
Perform any additional edits that come back from this fact check, and –
Ta Da! You’re done!
Writing about subjects you know little or nothing about is certainly more difficult and time-consuming than writing about the things you are familiar with, but it’s a great way to get exposure to new ideas, learn about your region, and get connected with people you otherwise might not and could possibly partner with in the future.
If you have any stories about writing posts and being an authority and would like to share, or have any questions or feedback you can leave them in the comments section.
Let’s work together to put heads in your beds.
Until next time, have a fun day.
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