This is part 2 of our 2-part series on Blogging For Tour Operators. Click here to read part 1.
So, you’ve read our previous article on why tour operators should have a blog, and you’re convinced you want to start one. Where to begin? What should you blog about? Your blog should complement your website, but also be valuable in its own right. You don’t need to be a professional writer (although poorly written blogs ridden with spelling and grammatical errors can discredit you), but you should be able to offer some valuable information. You don’t have to give away all of your secrets–or even the names of your tour stops–in order to flaunt your expertise to blog readers, a.k.a. potential customers. Here are 10 ideas for topics to write about.
1. Basic evergreen content
This is content that holds up year after year, with little updating: You can talk about local annual or seasonal celebrations/festivals, quintessential local experiences, top historical sites in a destination, cultural information, local museum guides. These are your SEO titles, what people search for over and over again, and there are a lot of possibilities: “Things to do in Berlin in Spring,” “5 Sauna Rules for Finland,” “Guide to El Born Neighborhood in Barcelona,” and so on and so forth. A small investment of time in creating evergreen blog posts will reap benefits for your site (read: your business!) for years to come. With a little updating, their relevance remains steady over time, so these posts will continue to draw searchers to your site.
- “Things to do in Prague in March” by Discover Walks
- “The Rules of the Road for Bike Riders in Austin” by Austin Bike Tours and Rentals
- “5 Traditional Italian Easter Foods You Need to Try This Pasqua” by Through Eternity Tours in Italy
- “A Guide to Morocco’s 10 Tastiest Street Foods” by Intrepid Travel
- “Prado Museum Highlights: The Must-see Paintings” by Devour Food Tours
- “Best Coffee Shops in Seattle” by GPSMyCity
2. Places to Avoid
You’re uniquely aware of local tourist traps! Just as valuable as telling your readers what to do is to tell them what they can afford to miss.
- “Why You Should Avoid El Mercado de San Juan” by Eat Like a Local in Mexico City
3. How to prepare for a trip
Packing lists are always useful, but so are book recommendations, tips about exchanging local currency, public transportation hacks, or anything else you think travelers might need a heads-up about.
- “5 Books to Read Before Visiting Madrid” by Devour Food Tours
4. Special events
If you catch wind of a special event coming to town (no limits here–could be a traveling exhibition, a race or tournament, a music or food festival, Friendsfest!), why not write a post about it? These are great opportunities to show you’re constantly in tune with what’s going on in town. Even locals may find out about these events from you and share, share, share your posts.
5. Media mentions, current events and travel-adjacent topics
If your town or your company is featured in a news piece (be it local, national, or international), why not ride those 15 minutes of fame and write your perspective on the topic of interest? One of the best things your blog can do is start a conversation.
Though this could have been a much longer piece about common misconceptions about Mexican cuisine and their factual counterparts, check out:
- “Anthony Bourdain on Mexican Food” by Eat Like a Local
- “Update on Eat Mexico’s Earthquake Donation Fund” by Eat Mexico
6. Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
Any amount of time spent answering emails not directly related to your tours is too much time. Take a cue from your inquiries–they are great blog post ideas! “Where should I stay in your city?” “Where can I get an awesome view?” “I have 24 hours in X–what should I do.” Spend some time writing blog posts to answer these questions the first time you’re asked them–then simply send the link to your blog post as a response the next time someone asks you the same question!
- “What to Pack For a Visit to Ireland in Springtime” by Wild Rover Tours, a TourismTiger client
- “Where to Stay in Madrid with Kids” by Devour Food Tours
7. Guide introductions, behind-the-scenes, and company news
While some companies choose to feature their guides with a short bio on their website’s About Us page, another way to humanize your company and put a literal face to it is by writing posts featuring each of your guides, or inviting them to write one.
- “Marie’s First Month at La Bicicleta Verde” from the Santiago, Chile-based bike tour company
8. Specialty travel
There is no shortage of things you can write about, even if they’re not directly related to your tours. Gluten-free guides, vegan guides, family-friendly itineraries in your city, LGBTQ- and eco-friendly businesses in town are just a few things people may come looking for when heading to a new destination. You can be the one to tell them what’s out there!
- “Complete Vegetarian Guide to Santiago” by Devour Food Tours
- “6 Corporate Team Building Ideas that are Actually Fun” by Austin Bike Tours and Rentals
- “What it’s Like to Travel in Malaysia During Ramadan” by Intrepid Travel
9. Photo of the day
A picture is worth, well, roughly one blog post. I wouldn’t suggest posting only a photo as a blog post (stick to social media for that), but a “Photo of the Day” type post will allow you a chance to showcase a great photo of a tour group or a favorite tour stop and tell a little bit about your tours. This is an easy way to keep posts regular during a busy week in the high season, when you don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to writing.
10. More Activities Nearby
Active travelers may be on the lookout for multiple activities to do in the area they’re visiting. You lose nothing (and potentially gain a lot!) by suggesting local day trips or recommending other companies that offer activities or tours that are very different from yours. There’s no reason why someone visiting Costa Rica can’t go ziplining, surfing, and hiking all in one trip! These types of posts are not only useful for your readers and customers, but could potentially help you build or maintain relationships with others in the industry.
- “Why Visit Milpa Alta? A Day in Mexico City’s Rural, Flavor-rich Countryside” by Eat Mexico, a TourismTiger client!
- “11 Ireland Travel Blogs to Follow” by Wild Rover Tours, another TourismTiger client!
This is a great starting point for your company blog. As you’ve seen, a blog is a way to build confidence in your company, start a conversation, and show what you know without rendering your services as a guide unnecessary. For more ideas, check out this comprehensive list of 123 blog post ideas for your tour or activity company and this advice on how to create your own winning titles.
Remember: Start a blog only if you can keep up with it. Having no blog is better than having a blog that was last updated years ago. Site visitors will get the impression that your company is defunct along with your blog. The best way to avoid letting your blog fall by the wayside is to establish a content calendar and stick to it. Add new titles to your calendar as you think of them and try to post at least monthly.
Before a blog can really begin to do its job, you first need to tell people—clearly and enticingly— who you are, and the best way to do this is with a great website. If you have an established blog for your tour company, TourismTiger can carry it over to your new website. Get in touch with TourismTiger today to chat about upgrading your website. Now that’s what we call a Call to Action!
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