So you’ve been to a marketing event and you’re told you need to have a blog on your hotel & website. And you should!
Fresh content helps your site stay visible in search results. And query searches (“do I have to pay for minibar drinks in American hotels” for example) can help you circumvent those costly aggregator websites.
But writing new content on a regular basis is tough. And the more you do it, the harder it gets. Eventually you hit a wall.
So here are a few ways you can kick-start your creative juices and generate with fresh ideas. We’re not talking about going for a walk and clearing your head. No mindfulness here!
Here are some practical, proactive ways you can come up with ideas that deliver traffic and engage your audience.
What is Your Blog For?
This is the first question you should ask yourself. Why are you writing content for your blog?
This is important because the purpose of your content will inform the structure and style.
Content serves a variety of purposes:
- Enquiry conversion
- Useful information
SEO content is keyword targeted and designed to help you appear higher up in organic search. Content designed to generate enquiries will be shareable, with strong calls to action. Informational content might be an in-depth city guide.
Ideas for Getting Ideas
1. Talk to your guests…
People visit hotels for all sorts of reasons. You have business customers, holiday makers or people just passing through. Having access to so many people from different walks of life is great for generating ideas. And since they’re staying the night, take the opportunity to ask them some questions.
Ask them what they like to read, what their difficulties are. Find out why they’ve come to your hotel and your location in general. Not only does this help you generate new ideas, you stand a better chance of your content being engaged with.
Take their responses and use that as a jumping-off point to write content. If they visit your hotel for travel purposes only, write blogs about something they care about – travelling comfortably and safely, for example.
2. … use their stories
Your customers all have stories of their own that you can use. Testimonials and reviews are great pieces of content for hotels because they’re all about people. And we all love getting inspired by other people’s experiences. It gives us the push to say “we could do that! Let’s book!”
Chat to your guests. Use direct quotes and photos to bring your content to life. It will give people a personal insight into what it’s like to stay at your hotel in a way a Trip Advisor review just can’t.
The best part of harvesting your guests for ideas is that every day presents a fresh crop. Every new guest is a new potential blog post.
3. Watch the competition
This hotel business is competitive, we all know that. So there’s nothing wrong with keeping tabs on the competition. Read other hotel blogs and sign up to their newsletters to see what they’re doing. Check out the industry news on sites like this one. They are great sources of content and inspiration.
If you’re doing SEO or have a company that’s doing it for you, get your hands on a competitor backlink analysis. This shows you all the places your competitors’ content is located. This can provide further topic ideas for content.
Don’t just plagiarize people. Firstly, it can be a crime if you’re infringing on people’s intellectual rights. Secondly, it serves no SEO value. Google can spot duplicated and copied content. It favors the original piece over the copy pretty much every time. So, you’re only wasting your time. Instead, see how you can improve it. Read the blog and think about what else you’d like to know and create that.
4. Google it
Google has a handy auto suggest feature. Start typing a query into Google with “hotel”or your location in it. Then see what Google suggests.
Google’s suggestions are based on other people’s searches. This means that people are asking these questions. Answering those questions in an engaging and useful way can be a springboard toward future ideas.
Change up your queries (Who, What, When, Where, How, Do, Is, Are) and see what sort of suggestions you get.
5. Expand on previous topics
Your own content is a great source for generating ideas.
This article has several sections and ideas. Every single one could be expanded into a completely unique piece of content, like so…
1. What is your blog for? = How to Get the Most Out of Your Hotel Blog
2. Ideas for getting ideas = 5 Ways to Attract New Guests
3. Talk to your guests… = The Importance of Good Guest Relations
4. … use their stories = How to Turn a Negative Review into a Marketing Win
… and so on.
Go back over your existing blogs. Is there anything you’ve glossed over that you can explore in greater depth? If you can, great! You’ve got some new content ideas right there.
The common thread that links all these ideas is reading and searching. The best way to generate ideas for content is to read and expand your horizons. Hopefully, these tips will help inspire you to create new ideas.
Sarah Richards is a professional writer and a regular contributor to Essay Writing Service UK’s blog and various business publications.