Welcome to Blogging for B&Bs, a series of posts exploring blogs and their uses and usefulness for B&Bs. In this series, we’ll explore what blogs are and how they can help you connect with your guests, coming up with ideas for blog posts, and writing the posts themselves. We’ll also discuss when a blog might not be right for you, and some alternatives to blogging that will still help you connect with your guests.
Today in Part I, we’ll discuss why starting a blog could be the thing your website needs to connect with more and future guests.
Let’s get the basics out of the way first: What is a blog? A blog is a dynamic website or addition to a website, which allows site owners to publish updated and timely content easily and quickly. You’re reading a blog right now; click here to see another example of a blog (my personal travel blog). It can encompass any type of content, from the latest breaking news to a personal journal. The format and frequency of posts are up to the site owner, and vary as much as site owners do.
So, why would a blog help a B&B attract and connect with more guests? 4 reasons:
1. A blog is a way to demonstrate your USP (last month’s Newsletter article was about USPs: subscribe to learn more). If you’re a bush pilot and the people at your B&B are always entertained by your stories, by all means, publish their favorites on your blog. Fascinated fans will return to your site again and again, even after they’ve stayed, and they’ll forward your posts to their friends. Then, when their friends decide to take a vacation, guess where they’ll stay?
2. A blog is an SEO tool. Search engines consistently rank dynamic content higher than static content. In other words, if your site changes often—if more content is published on a regular basis—Google will look on it a little more favorably. This doesn’t mean adding a blog will automatically skyrocket you to the #1 spot—far from it, really—but it does tell Google that you’re updating your site often, and that you care about delivering timely, appropriate material to your audience. What Google’s all about, after all, is delivering the best possible answers to the questions people type into its search box. The latest information is likely more valuable, so Google tries to deliver that information first. Your blog, provided you post regularly and consistently, might be the timely information your searchers, and thus Google, are looking for.
3. A blog helps you provide relevant information to your guests, both past and future. Announce the switch to winter rates, promote your end-of-summer specials, write about your new weekend getaway packages. Or, post about the current maintenance to the B&B and how you’re compensating your guests for the noise, or the current weather reports and how it’s affecting your area. Keeping your guests apprised of the situation at your B&B lets them feel confident you have their well-being in mind.
4. A blog allows you to connect with all of your guests before they even make their reservations. When guests find your website and read your blog, they’ll learn about your personality, your goals, and your style of hospitality, in addition to they rooms you offer and the breakfasts you serve. When all of those come together, you’ve got a marketing tool more powerful than any one of those other things on their own. Your guests are reading blogs; maybe they should be reading yours too.
Convinced? A blog is more than an online brochure, more than a website, more than an SEO tool. It’s all of those put together and more. A blog is a powerful marketing tool, and it could help expand your guest list and your reach.