Use a Blog to Share Your Local Knowledge

Competition is fierce in many vacation rental locations, and potential guests can find it tough to distinguish between properties.  This is where building a personal connection can make a real difference and where sharing significant local knowledge can boost interest.  Creating a blog and posting regularly on topics that appeal to vacationers can help to drive traffic to your listing and boost the potential for bookings. You can even add a link to your blog on your listing.

Why blog?
People want local information before they get to their vacation destination so they can plan their holiday.  They don’t want to waste valuable time researching restaurants, or places to take the children in bad weather so if you can provide a comprehensive resource for them, it will become a go-to place for their vacation planning.   Your listing should appeal to their accommodation needs, but lookers want more and if you can create a connection with them by delivering the information they need, they are more likely to book with you.
What should I write about?
New bloggers often ask this question.  They think they have little to offer and won’t be able to write anything of interest to readers.  In fact, any information is better than none at all, and if you know your area well, you’re a source your guests will want.  Make a list of all the things you know about your area or region such as  hiking and biking trails, dog parks, best beaches, craft stores and antique malls, outlets, upcoming events, as well as general tips on how to enjoy the area.  Download the blog idea sheet and get brainstorming!

How often should I post?     
There are no hard and fast rules on this but a good rule of thumb is to post regularly and at least once a week.  In an area where there is lots to do and see, you could probably increase this to twice or three times weekly.  The key is to have a post schedule – a plan on what you are going to write each month with titles to spark your creativity.  Aim for a variety of topics each month, so you could plan on a couple of restaurant reviews, two or three articles on local attractions,  a weekly list of upcoming events etc.  Writing regularly will bring a loyal following and drive traffic to your listing.

How much do I write?
This is the best bit.  People who read a lot of blog posts usually have limited time and want their information in bite size pieces, so short bulleted or numbered posts are the best.  300 – 500 words can be enough to get across a description of a local activity, a review of the best local beaches, or a route for a day trip.
How do I start?
The blog platform most people use is WordPress and it’s easy to set up and start a blog with their hosted option which is entirely free.  However, for flexibility and a lot of options for creating something really unique, I recommend self-hosting.  There’s plenty of advice and information on the web to help getting a blog started so do a little research or take a course.  It will be well worth the effort.