Elements of a Good Tourism Blog
A tourism blog discusses topics related to recreational, leisure and business travel. Travel and tourism are often used in place of one another; however tourism seems to point to traveling with a purpose. So chances are these travelers “with a mission” are doing some research before their trip. Oftentimes, they consult multiple sources when planning travel, accommodation and attractions. The number of tourists using the Internet and tourism blogs to gather information and also book their trips is growing exponentially. However, the most trusted source of information is still friends and family.
So what if there was a way to combine the Internet and information from real people… wait, there is! A tourism blog lets you use your voice to provide a credible resource for the growing number of etourists!
When thinking about creating a new tourism blog or evaluating one that is already in existence, consider the following key elements:
· Quality Content
The goal here is to provide information on your tourism blog that can be easily converted to use by tourists. This may include itineraries, insider tips, top tourist sites and useful information like where to eat, sleep, drink and play. Quality content also includes information that is visually attractive, links to other sites, has pricing info and is up-to-date.
· Images and videos
A tourism blog that is visually attractive usually contains nice images, which also make it easier to read by breaking up the text. Also, I found this video for Montreal Tourism and thought it did an extraordinary job of creating user-friendly content. As the video plays, there are points when you can click to get more information on what you see at that moment. Of course, not every tourism organization has the budget to create this type of video. And the truth is, people appreciate a good ol’ fashioned home video, because they feel assured knowing “what you see, is what you get”!
· Embracing user-generated content
Being able to engage visitors will allow you to grow online community and your content. The reality is that oftentimes, new visitors will judge your tourism blog by the number of comments. And it would make sense – they want to be where the party is! More important is the authority that fellow travelers have on your tourism blog. Also, sharing insider tips that one might not find on an official website also gives points to your tourism blog.
· Consistent posting
Decide how often you’d like to post on your tourism blog and then stick to it. If your posting frequency is inconsistent, this will have an adverse impact on traffic. Also, fresh content on your tourism blog keeps search engines happy. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can’t be a tourist yourself and leave town. However, consider scheduling blog posts in advance for when you will be away or bring in a guest blogger in order to maintain the reliability of your tourism blog.
If a tourism blog sounds like it’s been scripted, it probably won’t reach its full potential. That’s because the very essence of blogs and also traveling is a very personal experience. And your audience will immediately notice if your tourism blog is not authentic. Even if visitors occasionally contest your tourism writing, it’s ok. Honesty is always a good policy.
And now…Your Tourism Blog’s Mission
The Internet is dramatically changing the face of tourism and the way tourists and making decisions. Gone are the days when it was necessary to rely on an intermediary to assist in planning a vacation. Tourists are more informed consumers and hence, more empowered. So one of the challenges that tourism blogs face is how do you complete with all the travel blogs that are already talking about the same topics that you plan to discuss.
Here’s your mission…If you can figure out a way to be different, your blog will succeed.
You can do this by adding elements that encourage user interaction such as occasional promotions, allowing reviews or featuring guest bloggers to name a few. Perhaps your tourism blog can have “Tweetpic Fridays” where visitors can send you their tweetpics of local attractions and at the end of the week, you select one to post on the site. Ultimately, your blog will be judged by the personality you bring to your tourism writing – are you knowledgeable, empathetic and honest? If so, there’s a good chance your tourism blog will take off into the world of etourism!