2 Foundations for Your New Blog

Are you looking for new clients for your upcoming group tours? Does your client list need a boost? Here’s a stat that may surprise you:  57% of companies with a blog have acquired a new client!

I know you’re going to say you’re busy and don’t have time to be a part of this blogging trend.  I’m not going to tell you it will be easy, but I will say it can be a worthwhile strategy to grow your owned assets.

Let’s run thru some strategies and tools to get you started in the world of blogging.

Blog Platforms

Best practices when choosing your blog platform include ensuring that your blog lives on your website.  The goal is to have a button or tab on your website directly connecting readers to your blog.   Here’s an example:

CMS Blog Platform w arrow

Having your blog live on your website will increase your SEO and give readers a continuous and seamless connection to you and your brand.

Popular blog platforms include:

  • WordPress–WordPress has two options: a freemium hosted service that provides ____.wordpress.com domains — e.g. yourname.wordpress.com and includes limited customization. The completely free .org version which allows you to host WordPress on your own servers.  With this selection you’re able to have the blog live on your own website. You’ll find this version here.  I like using WordPress as the dashboard has the look and feel of a word document.  Here’s how the back end of it looks:

Blog backend

  • Blogger.com  This platform is part of the Google family and requires a gmail/Google account to get started.
  • Tumblr.com   Owned by Yahoo and more of a social network and place for curation.
  • Travel Consultants:  Check with your host or consortia regarding their blogging platforms that may be available for use on your website.

 Plug-Ins to Help Readers Share

As you begin to set up your blog you’ll want it to be as functional as possible thereby giving your readers an opportunity to easily share and comment.  Encouraging interaction can be accomplished with popular plug-ins such as:

  • Share Buttons are essential as they give readers a reminder as well as an easy way to share your content socially.  Here are some top choices:
    • ShareAholics’ Sexy Bookmarks allowing readers to easily share your blog to their social sites.  The cool thing is that as you hover over each icon is moves.  You can customize which icons you’d like to appear.  Here’s how it looks:

social links snapshot

    • Socialable.  This plug-in’s banner can be customized to your brand colors.
  • Create a tab/app on your Facebook page using Networked Blogs.   This app will automatically create a tab on your Facebook business page that shows your recent blog posts.  It’s free and easy to install.  Providing a way for your Facebook business page visitors to quickly see and navigate to your blog is crucial.

Bonus Tip

Many bloggers forget to include a call to action in their post.  This can be as simple as asking people to share the blog, phone you for more information or include their comments below.  By asking a question at the end of the blog you’ll stimulate conversation.  Popular questions can include asking readers their viewpoint, what’s been missed in your writing or what’s worked for them regarding your topic.

Sometimes getting your blog set up and learning to use the platform efficiently is the hardest part.  Stick with it and become part of the 57% of companies who have acquired a new client from their blog.

What platform do you use for your blog?

Related Articles:

Do I Really Need a Blog? 7 Reasons to Rethink Your Answer

4 Quick Tips to Make your Blog Come Alive

 

Social Marketing Strategies for Travel and Tourism

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By Catherine Heeg

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