How to Write a Magic Blog Post

Travel Copywriter Jessica Vozel

Me, being defiant about starting my own blog.

I’ll be honest. Blogs are kind of a thorn in my side.

I’ve had this website for a couple years to advertise my copywriting services, including my blogging services. On top of that, I enjoy writing blogs for my clients. And yet I found every excuse not to create one for myself.

I generate enough business without it. My free time is too scarce and too valuable. The conversation going on in my industry is already really robust; if I add my voice, it will just get lost in the crowd.

It’s hogwash, and I know it. 

And if you’re in the travel industry, especially if you’re an independent vacation rental owner, these excuses aren’t valid for you, either (sorry!).

 

A blog establishes you as an expert on your destination. They drive traffic to your site, especially if your posts are compelling and relevant to your audience (this is where the content marketing mantra of helping, not selling comes in).

And they show that you’re someone who truly wants yours guests to love your corner of the world as much as you do.

Who wouldn’t want to stay with you?

As for me, I’m writing this inaugural post not only because I ran out of excuses, but also because I found a way to make blogging fun. And I just really wanted to share it!

Writing “The Magic Blog Post”

Las Vegas Welcome sign

 Credit: Marco Verch on Flickr

 

Maybe you’ve heard that vacation rental marketing guru Matt Landau is working with Vegas-based vacation rental owner Amy Firmani on a complete marketing makeover for her stunning rental, Palazzo Paradiso.

With new photos, new copy, new website, new blog, new everything, Amy’s marketing is just singing.

As part of that project, I put together what Matt and I nicknamed “The Mother of All Blog Posts.”

(Its real title is actually “15 Top-Secret Las Vegas Travel Tips.”)

For this post, we gathered a bunch of Las Vegas experts, asked them to give a quick (just a couple sentences) piece of little-known Vegas travel advice, and use those tips to build a really great post to add to Amy’s blog.

To fill in the gaps, I also did a bit of digging on my own to find tips from various Vegas-related blogs. (More on that in a minute.)

I quickly discovered that this is the perfect post to kickstart a blog.

The Magic Blog Post is compelling, it’s low pressure (you don’t have to come up with 15 amazing, exclusive travel tips all on your own) and you can make valuable connections as you write it.

Thinking of writing your own Magic Blog Post? Here are some tips:

 

Use your connections (or make some new ones). 

Likely, you have connections in your rental’s destination. Fellow small business owners, friends, family, staff, etc. And likely they are brimming with travel advice, whether they realize it or not. Ask them to jump on board with an insider tip (a way to avoid crowds, the best non-touristy seafood joint, what to do in town on a rainy afternoon, etc.). 

Your insiders will benefit here, too. For fellow small business owners or bloggers, promise a link back to their website in exchange for their short tip. Links are like gold in the world of online content! 

Don’t know any bloggers or small business owners in your area? Reach out to some. Introduce yourself and say you’re working on a post to help get exposure for your rental and destination. Would they like to help out and get a link to their website in return?

For small business owners, also mention that you’ll direct your guests to their restaurant, shop, bar, etc. Who knows, you might even establish a mutually beneficial connection that last well beyond this one blog post.

Cast a wide net, and be patient

It’s important to create content that people will feel like they can’t get anywhere else. This post does that! Because we contacted (most) of the insiders ourselves, we got info that feels truly “insider.”

To get a diverse and interesting response, reach out to as many people as possible…. and realize it may take some time to build the post. In the thick of July, only a smattering of people responded to my emails. But come August, once we passed peak travel season, the tips started flowing in.

And by wide net, I mean really wide! You might even send out several dozen emails just to get 15 responses.

But, if you create a template email requesting an insider tip, you can save time by essentially reusing the same text with each email you send to bloggers/editors/business owners.  Just be sure to add one personalized sentence, perhaps in praise of their business or blog, so it doesn’t feel like an impersonal transaction.

Fill in the gaps by doing a targeted internet search

If you’re not getting a robust response, you can easily do your own digging and move forward with your project on your own. When I was worried about getting 15 responses from “insiders” I did a Google search based on various aspects of Vegas travel.

For example: “family-friendly Vegas tips,” “gambling tips Vegas,” “Vegas on a budget.”

Then, I scanned the results specifically for blog posts (as opposed to articles from Condé Nast Traveler, Frommers, etc.).

Blogs (usually) have an individual attached, and including that individual’s name alongside the tip makes it seem more personal.

If you do this, just be sure to give appropriate credit with a link back and even add the blogger’s Twitter handle for good measure.

Consider your guests as you write

When researching and writing the blog post, always keep your guests in mind.

If your visitor demographic tends to be multigenerational family reunions or families with kids, reaching out to only nightlife bloggers in your area is probably ill-advised. One tip from a nightlife expert won’t hurt; but too many and you’ll lose your target audience.  In this case, you’re better of reaching out to parent bloggers to gather  “family-friendly” tips that speak specifically to your guests.

As you compile the blog post, be sure to include some bridging content between the tips, or categories of tips (as I did in the post). That means having a nice introduction, some funny or interesting commentary throughout, and a send-off that encourages people to get in touch with you to book your rental.

This way, your audience gets to know you as they read and learn about your destination. Which establishes a connection between you and your perspective guest, always a good thing, and one of the biggest advantages vacation rentals have over hotels.

Want to create a blog for your rental, but don’t have the time? Or looking for the right “spark” to ignite your blogging endeavor?

I’d love to help.

I’ll create a “15 Insider Travel Tips” blog post for you for a discounted rate of $125. And I’ll do everything, from the research to contacting bloggers and experts, to writing the post and its introductory and send-off material. 

If you like the sound of a great, traffic-driving blog post with very little effort involved, I highly encourage you to get in touch with me using the contact form below. I’d love to hear about your rental!

And I write other stuff, too. Send me a message below for more info about my  newsletters, website content, and other copywriting services for vacation rentals!

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Comments

  1. Great article Jessica. Looking forward to read future articles.

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