Diaries of An Independent Vacation Rental Owner Part II

By May 1, 2016 Blogging

In the first episode of Diaries Of An Independent Vacation Rental Owner, we covered the basics of getting a website together and what we created for vacation rental owner Gila.

If you missed that episode, make sure to check it out here.

So now that you have a website, what do you do next?

A lot of owners ask this question.

Well the first thing you will need to do is get your website seen.

And there are a lot of tools and resources you can and should use to do this.

One of those is your blog.The biggest thing an owner needs to have is a blog on their website.

If you notice, Gila’s blog is not hosted elsewhere. It’s on her website, and yours should be too!

You have to make your blog unique. There has to be something different about it so that they are engaged longer in the initial visit.

Watch the video to see how we created her blog page for optimal engagement.

Gila had some questions about blogging that I’m sure you might have too.

How often do you blog?

Where do I get the information to write the blogs? 

Can I take something that someone else has written?

Today I’m going to answer some of those questions.

You can watch our episode below or follow along by reading this post.

For owners who are not familiar with what a blog is, I’m going to give a quick description.

A blog is a marketing tool. It is communication. It’s very useful because you can do a lot with a blog.

As an owner, do you find yourself getting the same questions from people?

You can answer some of the most common questions that you get from people through your blog.

Gila said she gets asked about certain items that are included in her vacation rental.

So what she can do is basically answer that question in a blog post.

She could create a blog titled ‘All-Inclusive In Our Maui Vacation Rental’

(Notice the title has keywords in it)

And when someone asks the questions, she could say, “That’s a great question I actually posted a blog with those answers.”

Each blog will have a specific URL. So you can copy the URL and post it in an email and say “here’s the blog post for that question.”

Every time you create a blog, it will take the title and make it part of the URL.

Every blog you post will have a separate page and URL.

Gila can streamline day-to-day processes with her clients by taking the commonly asked questions and leveraging them as marketing tools and so can you.

And you’ll get more traffic to your website because you created a title and content with keywords in them!

Keyword Master List

Every owner should have this to maximize their blogging potential.

A keyword master list is broken up into two things. Primary keywords which are keywords used on the website to describe the property and then blogging ideas.

A keyword master list sheds light on the path of your marketing. And without it, you don’t know what you are shooting for.

In fact, yesterday I was contacted by an owner who wanted to start blogging but didn’t know where to start or what to write about.

With a keyword master list, we don’t have to think!

Google thinks for us.

You can get blogging suggestions using Google’s database and keyword tools and include these in your keyword master list.

For example, a top search could be ‘things to do in Maui with children’

Take this prefabricated title and create content for it.

The title should always contain the keywords that you’re going for.

And make sure the content you are creating has those keywords within the body of the text also.

You will want to repeat that a few times in the content- at least once in each paragraph.

Gila is armed with an keyword master list, and you should be too!

You can check that out in my store here- Keyword Master List 

Once you create a blog post, make sure you have a great photograph to go with it.

Visuals are stimulating and it’s ok to post more than one photo.

Lets say you’re writing a blog about the 7 top things to do in Hawaii.

Maybe one of them is a stingray excursion or a fishing excursion.

With each one of these activities, include a photo.

It will engage them with the activity you’re writing about.

The idea is to create content that has keywords in it, and create visual assets that go along with that content.

Even photos should have keywords within the blog post.

Which brings me to my next SEO tip!

Meta Tags

It’s all about getting found online. And your images can help you get found online.

Let’s say you are putting an image of a manta ray dive in your blog post.

Label the image ‘manta ray dive in Hawaii’

Like when you save an image on your desktop and name it, do the same in Word press.

People will search for these excursions on Google images.

Statistics show that over 55% of people go to Google first before they go to Home Away or other listing sites. They wind up on other sites through organic sites like Google.

So as owners we have to leverage Yahoo, Bing, Google, and other social platforms.

Google images are another way to come up with Google searches, and there is a lot less competition for Google images.

It’s a sneaky little way to get more attraction. 🙂

Make sure all of your images have descriptions of what the image is.

How many posts should you post?

 As many as you can!

As an owner you are a marketer, so naturally, you need marketing tools.

To get found on Google, you need a plan.

And your blog is a huge part of that.

The first step is to write down your plan.

Create a commitment to how often you will blog and write that down.

Create reminders within Gmail or your phone that tells you “I’m supposed to be writing a post today.”

That will help you to stay on track with your marketing.

Getting Ahead Of The Blog

Remember that list of blog ideas from the keyword master list?

Since you have that, what you should do is use a content management calendar to write down exactly what you are going to talk about on each day you post.

This helps you to stay committed and focused.

To get ahead, you should work on creating about ten blogs. That’s where I recommend owners should start. It’s a little bit of work, but it fills the pipe full of content.

It’s not going to be one thing that you do. It’s going to be the constant effort that will pay off.

So create a drip campaign of ten blogs.

Before you post the first one, you’ll have all 10 created. This is called a content current and it is a necessary strategy to turn that marketing wheel on.

It creates some space between you and that pressing obligation to post and you buy yourself a lot of breathing room!

Set it and forget it!

In Word Press you can preschedule your blog posts in the backend.

You can plan the days you will post and once the content is ready, you can upload it in the backend and put a date and time of publish.

One thing you want to do is be consistent to the audience. If you’re going to post on Thursdays, post on Thursdays!

You could experiment initially to see what days work best, but once you find it, stay on it.

And when you don’t blog, your website traffic will see a result of that.

How do people know when you post a new blog?

People can subscribe to your blogs.

A sign-up option can easily be added to a Word press site.

Example:

Love what you’re reading? Want more free tips? Sign up to my blog!

One effective tool to get people to sign up is to offer them something free.

COUPONS!

With coupons, there is monetary value. You’re giving them a form of savings and you’re giving it to them for free!

All they have to do is give you their email address.

What’s the purpose of that?

When someone signs up for this free material you are giving them, they are giving you the open door to communicate with them.

Sometimes people visit our websites but don’t do anything with them. In fact, 40 percent of your inquiries are not ready to buy when they inquire. It’s a process.

When they are searching, they are not ready to buy. But there is something for them to take with them.

Now that you have their email, offer more help.

This doesn’t mean you go and do a hard sell.

But what you can do is be a concierge and offer some assistance.

You could say something like “Thank you for downloading our free guide! I’m very familiar with the area so if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.”

Explain your expertise and willingness to help them.

Next time you write a blog, send a follow up email.

“Hey, I thought you would be interested on the ten tips to save money in Hawaii.”

Now that you have an open door, you are able to nurture leads and build trust through the process.

And that’s part of the content marketing strategy.

It shows you are taking it seriously as a business.

That, my friends, is lead nurturing! 🙂

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