3 Reasons You Need A Blog ASAP – Vacation Rental Marketing Foundations

Today’s episode is all about why you should start a blog. I go into detail about how SEO works, how you can be more competitive with your content, and how you can write better, more personal content that creates trust. Finally, i share ideas for repurposing your blog to other types of marketing.

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Transcript
Jodi Bourne:

Hey there. Welcome back to the savvy host podcast. I am excited to have you with me today. I'm going to be talking about blogging. And don't run away Quinn. You hear the word blogging and one of the questions I get the most is do I really have to have a blog? And I'm here to tell you that no, you don't. But if you ever really want a long-term strategy to send traffic to your website, Then blogging is a must. And. Even if you don't have a book direct website right now, You can still start a blog and it will start generating traffic and that's going to just serve you more and more in the future. When you do decide to get your own book, direct website and there's tools that you can use for blogging. That you don't even have to have a real quote unquote, real website to use. So I'm going to talk about those on Friday's episode today. I'm just going to be telling you about three reasons why you should start a vacation rental blog ASAP. let's make that your 20, 24 goal because it is really important and it's going to help you tremendously. The first reason that you need to start a block is for search. Engine optimization. And search engine optimization is a big, scary, three word phrase that lots of people say and don't understand. And lots of people don't even know what it means at all. My husband, Michael, he's always. He always says. To tell us. I'm sorry, I'm laughing. My husband, Michael, he always tells people S Jody, how to help your your Google SEO. And it's so funny because he doesn't know a damn thing about Google SEO, but he thinks he sounds smart when he tells people that anyway. Search engine optimization. What that means is you create content and you optimize make that content. Perform better. For search and that can be Google search, which of course that's what we think about when we think of searching. And, but that can be other search too, that can be being has a search engine. There's definitely other search engines is just Google is the big one and the leader. So they're definitely the one you want to think about the most, but you can also think about Pinterest. Pinterest is also considered a search engine. So is YouTube a search engine? Even though you wouldn't put a blog on YouTube, when they go to Pinterest, you can search for keywords and get results. So Pinterest and Google are two of the search engines that I actually recommend. You use when you're thinking about creating content for your blog? So the way that. Blogging content works to bring traffic to your website is you create content and the better the content is. The more likely it is that Google is going to show that content to people when they search for it. And the words that they use to search for it are called key words or key phrases. So there's. Keywords are like one, two word. Little short phrases, vacation rental. Is a key word or key phrase, but then there's, what's called long tail keywords and long tail keywords would be. Dog-friendly vacation rental in Charleston, South Carolina. Fewer people search for long tail keywords than they do for the shorter keywords. So of course, that gives people the opportunity to get seen more by Google when they use the longer tail keywords and create content for that. So again, the better the content on your website, the more likely it is for Google to show that content to people when they search for it. And by better, I really honestly mean better. It needs to be. Longer. It needs to be well-written it needs to be engaging. You can't just throw a 500 word article that chat GPT spit out at you. And expect that people are going to spend time reading that it's boring. It doesn't give them any information that they can't get from chat GPT or any other website out there. So you have to create engaging content because Google. Knows how long people are staying on your website on the page. They know how far down they scrolled. They know really based on that data alone, how much time they're spending and how much, how far down they scroll. They know if they're reading your content. If you have a video or an image gallery. Google knows it. If people are clicking on those buttons, Google was smart like that and they know. And so they know if they click on an article and spend time on the article and then click on a link in the article to go to another article. You want to do things on your blog articles that make people want to take those actions. It makes people want to scroll down the page. It makes people. Want to actually click when they see it in the SERPs, that's the search engine results

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Jodi Bourne:

So when you type in something in Google and the results come, that's called a SERP. They, when you see. An article in the search engine results. And somebody clicks on it. Then that sends a signal to Google that content is relevant to their search. Then if they spend time on it, it tells Google that content was very relevant to their search. So that's going to increase the likelihood that the next time somebody searches. For that particular keyword or some of those keywords in some order. That your content may be shown. And over time. The more people that click on it, the more people that read it, and the more people that click through spend time, scroll, watch videos on your page, then more and more of your content is going to be shown when somebody else searches for it. That's how it works. When you have content on a blog, you definitely want that content to be what I call meaty. I'm sure other people call this content meaty too, but that means it has bones. It has. Structure and it is something that people really want to digest. So you can have a website that doesn't have a blog that has keywords on it and is optimized for keywords. And no matter if you use a blog or not, you should definitely. Learn about search engine optimization and how to do on-page optimization for your website, which means how to make sure that Google is going to see as much of your content as possible. But it is very difficult in almost any destination that you're in and almost any place where you are marketing your vacation rental for you to show up as just a. For just the keyword vacation rental in Whatever wherever you are or cabin rental in the smoky mountains cap kevin rental in gatlinburg It's really hard for you to show up for that term Because there's so much competition not only from your next door neighbor who's got a vacation rental but airbnb vrvo tripadvisor they're advertising for those keywords Other big property management companies they have either created a lot of content for those keywords they have a lot of properties that can show up for those keywords or their advertising as well So when you are creating a blog when you have Blog content Intent You're not necessarily competing with those bigger companies and those Those other Other sites for the keywords that you would use for the blog so what does that mean exactly Let's say you have a vacation rental in. in charleston i did. did some research on this right before I recorded if you were just going to have a website and you concentrated on the keyword vacation rental in charleston Then All your pages with your property was optimized for vacation rental in charleston or some combination of those words charleston vacation rentals charleston south carolina Vacation homes all of those different keywords that go with just vacation rental in charleston i looked in there were 80, 8800 searches Ms for that combination of keywords 8,800 people per month on average According to google search for that combination of keywords so how in the heck are you going to show up With your vacation rental company in charleston If you haven't two or three or four properties in charleston you're not going to i hate to say that but you're probably not going to unless you're in a destination With very little competition however If you have a blog and you are Using content marketing Then what you're going to write about And write for are the keywords the long tail keywords where people are still searching for this content the keyword phrase the long tail keyword phrase Things to do in charleston with kids It's 840 searches per month So when you're looking at 840 searches per month versus 8,800 searches per month 840. sure that's less people But it's also Less competitive there's not as many people or businesses creating content for that

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And then if you look at the keyword phrase, Dog-friendly things to do in Charleston. There's only 90 searches for that. The phrase is Charleston dog friendly has 170 searches. Historic walking tours in Charleston has 210. Searches per month. Things to do for young couples in Charleston has 140 searches per month. Couples, getaway ideas in Charleston has 70 searches for month. Charleston for foodies has 50 searches per month. If you're in Charleston, then I've just given you a heck of a lot of ideas for blog posts. Because when you look at that, you might say, and I've had people say this to me before it will, but if only 50 people are searching for it, then why would I want to write content about that? And 50 people is a lot of people. 50 people is yes, it's not 8,800 or 840, but your content is going to be more likely to be seen. Faster. If you writing an article about couple's getaway ideas for Charleston, and you use other keywords within that article. Maybe you talk about how young couples in Charleston or where they can get engaged in Charleston. A whole series of articles about things to do for couples in Charleston and around Charleston. If that's your guest avatar or young couples or couples, then you've created this whole series of articles just for them. And you've used these keywords and intersperse them throughout your content and you link articles back and forth to each other. I call that the spider web content spiderweb. Then, if you do that, then you are going to rank pretty quickly and pretty highly for those terms. And if your content is great, like I mentioned earlier, then you're really going to do well with those terms because people are going to love that content. They may share it. They're going to read it, all of the things that not only you want them to do, but Google wants them to do. And of course your goal with the blog is not only to get traffic to your website. But it is to develop a relationship with people so that they trust you enough to book from you. So you want them to come to your website, you want them to read your content and you want them to. I make a decision to take the next step, which is either booking with you or oftentimes they're not ready to book. So that would be signing up for your email newsletter, reading another article, connecting with you on social media. That's content marketing in action, right there. So that's the second reason. That you should start a blog ASAP. Is so that you can start developing content that creates a relationship with your guests. So you want your box to show personality? You want them to get people interested in what you do and what your business is about. So when you're writing cheap kid-friendly activities in Charleston, Then you want to give a first person account of the time you and your kids went around Charleston doing things or make it fun and interesting. If you don't have personal stories to share, you can still make it fun. Make it interesting. Share who you are. Add details, add little anecdotes here and there. And that's really sounds hard. It sounds daunting, but you can learn how to tell better stories with your marketing. You can learn how to write better. Content. You just take some practice. I promise. I have worked with a host. Her name is Shereen and she owns my star VR. Out in Canab Utah, which is in the middle of the desert near all those national parks, which now I've forgotten. The names of, and she and her husband also have a they do a four Wheeler tours and Jeep tours. So she has a blog on her vacate on her website. It's my star vr.com. If you want to go look and I designed her website. So if you like it hit me up. But she writes the most amazing, you can see some of her blog posts. She writes very personalized. Blog posts and they're great. I pulled an example from one. So she's talking about Going to the grand canyon from canal, because they're like the closest town to the grand canyon in that area. And she says, Everybody wants to go to the grand canyon, one of the seven natural wonders in the world, but wait. Stop at Jacob lake, not really a lake, just a gas station. Named for a guy, Jacob lake. Stop on the way. The lodge there has great cookies. Grab a few for enjoying at the rim. So she personalized her blog post about grand canyon. And of course she does in other ways as well, just by telling people this. Fun little tidbit of information. Grab a few cookies on your way at this extra stop. And that adds personality, she also talks about her grandkids and her hobbies and her husband and all of his hobbies. They you have to go see their website and you have to look at their properties because they put them together. They're so great. One of them is based on movies. One of them is based on old cars. So they're themed properties. They get tons of reviews. But what is exciting is she has people asking her all the time, actual guests asking her about her grandkids. Because they've read her blog posts and they've signed up for her email newsletter and they have gotten to know her through her content. There's no better relationship than when somebody has fallen in love with your blog post or with any of your content and wants to book with you. Not only because they see that you have a great property or that you're in an O an amazing area, or you provide the amenities, but because they fallen in love with you. That is the difference between you and the guy next door to you with a vacation rental. That is one of your unique selling propositions. Is who you are. To other people who your personality is. So I want you to think about that when you're thinking about. Blogging. I want you to think about ways that you can personalize the details in your blog posts and make them more engaging and make people want to read more. The third reason that you should start a blog ASAP. Is because your blog content can be repurposed to other platforms over and over and over and over and over again. One blog post about things to do in Charleston for families. Can become Facebook and Instagram post once a month for eternity. You can even use the same exact post. You can copy the images. You can copy the caption. You can just repost it because guess what? Nobody is going to remember. And most of the time, the people who are following you. Don't see it because A smaller percentage. Our own Facebook or Instagram when you're posting content, so they're not going to see it. If they do see it, they're not going to remember it. If they do remember it, they're not going to care. So you definitely can do that. Now, if you're doing it on Instagram, I do suggest you change out the photo. If it's going to stay in your feed, just because people might go through and see it, but really you don't even have to do that. Just set it and forget it. You can link to the article. You can talk about the article and link to it. Or you can take little tidbits from the article and turn that into a social media post. Maybe you have six ideas you want to share. For a dog friendly hiking trails. And over the next six months, you have one post every month about one of the different hiking trails and why it's a great dog friendly trail and how much you enjoyed it. And maybe here's a picture of you and your dog enjoying this hiking trail you can turn it into additional content. You can turn it into an email newsletter. You can turn it into just a story for an email newsletter. You can turn it into a real or a Tik TOK video by creating a storyboard of the shots that you want that go along with the outline from the blog. So once you have the blog down, Then you really have your entire content marketing strategy down for four year and for more. cause, you can just keep regurgitating that same content over and over again. The other thing you have when you have a blog is you have a reason to put your content on Pinterest. A lot of people want to start a Pinterest for their. Vacation rental. And what they do is they just start posting photos of their vacation rental. Leading them back to their website. And people on Pinterest may see that and they make Pinot or whatever. But really what people on Pinterest want to see are articles like this, that they can pin and save and share and read because they want to. Learn more about things to do. Pinterest is a place where people plan. Vacations where they get ideas for vacations. So Pinterest is a great place for you to be as well. If you have blog content, but if you don't have blog content, don't even mess with Pinterest Those are my three. Reasons why you should start a blog today. And what are your action items going to be? I want you to make a commitment to yourself that you're going to start a blog. And even if you don't have a website right now, Then you can get the ideas together and start writing the content and getting it ready for the day. When you do have a blog. On then on Friday's episode, I'm going to go over some ways you can start a blog now without even really any money invested in it. And just to start getting it out there, get used to it. That's what you want to do, even if it's not getting any traction, even if you're not doing direct bookings, it's going to get you. Into practice of doing it and it's going to help you. Now people make tons of money with their blogs just by being engaging and developing an audience. You can get people to read your posts. And follow you more and learn about you and sign up for your newsletter and book your vacation rentals, just from reading a blog. I have clients who have done just that. So I know it can be done in all sorts of different locations and destinations you can do it too. Your next action item. Is I want you. To think of. Blog topics. Even though you may not don't know how to do the keyword research that actually tells you the amount of searches and all of that. That's something that I teach in my. In my marketing or coaching program and in my content marketing courses, but you can definitely start by just coming up with ideas that are perfect for your specific guest avatars. I want you to just jot down some ideas, maybe get some post-it notes. Go through and create a list of topics that you can write about. If you already have a blog. Choose one and write about it. And again, in my vacation rental marketing group coaching program. I go over ways to make your Bo blogs better, make them more personable, make them reach the right audience, make sure that they're targeted to your guest avatar. So even if you're not great with that right now, you can get better. I think it's important for you to just start today. Okay, this is all I've got on blogging today. I hope that this helped you decide that you need to start a blog and that you're going to take action. To get started with the blog, or if you already have a blog. You're going to improve your blog and make it the bad-ass blog that I know that you could have. I on Friday's episode, I'm going to be going over some ways you can start blogging without a website. If you don't have one yet. And I'll also be answering any questions that I get about bogging between now and then. I'm actually a day late on getting this out there. So you don't have as much time to get back to me with a question, but if you do, then I'll answer it on Friday. And if you have a question in the future, feel free to email me. DM me hit me up. Anyway that you can, and I will try to answer it for you. If you want to join my group coaching program, you can go to the wait list. It's Jodie borne.com backslash wait list. Okay, I'll see you later. Bye y'all.

About the Author

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Jodi Bourne

Vacation Rental Coach

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Do you have a podcast idea or a topic suggestion? I'd be thrilled to hear it! You can email me at heyjodi@jodibourne.com.