4 Compelling Reasons You Need a Blog Right Now
by Catherine Heeg

The following guest column was contributed by social media strategist Catherine Heeg.

Fact or fib? 19% of travelers visit a blog site when planning their trips. Fact or fib? 65% of daily Internet users read a blog.

Travel professionals frequently ask me what blogging has to do with selling travel and growing their business. Let’s explore four reasons you’ll want to tap into blogging.

#1. Showcase your professionalism & credibility

Catherine Heeg
heeg

Blogging is a proven way to set yourself apart from the crowd and enthrall fans with your experiences.

What better way than blogging to showcase your fam trip photos and highlight your expertise? You can also blog about the knowledge you gain from supplier webinars.

These tactics will maximize your professionalism and boost your credibility.

#2. SEO! SEO! SEO!
Search engines LOVE new material. When you blog on a regular basis, you’ll find that your SEO rankings increase.

The bonus is that the unique content you create provides fodder for your social posts. Imagine writing one blog post and using it to create a series of tweets, Pins, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ posts – all with valuable links back to your original blog post.

Here’s an example of how that looks.

Tip: Make sure your blog is part of your website. Keeping your online footprint in one place improves your search engine optimization.

#3. Blogging is fun – and easy
Many travel pros think they’re not good writers. Guess what? There’s a trick to creating blogs without too much writing. Use photos and video instead.

Simply upload your favorite photos to your blog and write a brief description of each photo. Photo blog – done! How fun is that!

The more unique your content, the more likely it will be shared. Here are my “25 secret content ideas” to fire up your creativity. 

#4. Blogging builds connections
When people share your blog with family and friends, it adds a piece of social trust and affirmation. The individual sharing your blog is giving you their stamp of approval, and that gives the recipient of the shared blog post an automatic connection to you.

We’ve all heard that people buy from people they know and like. Well your shared blogs will increase your “know” with potential new clients.

Tip: Gain new eyeballs and potential new clients by marketing your blog on your social sites as well as on blog directories. Check out these directories: Technorati, AllTop, Bloggeries, Blog Catalog, Trail of Ants.

Fact or fib? Fact!
Both of my earlier statements are facts – 19% of travelers visit a blog site when planning their trips, and 65% of daily Internet users read a blog.

Is your blog on their radar?


Catherine Heeg is president of Customized Management Solutions. An international speaker and trainer, she delivers interactive social media, marketing and communication workshops and webinars for clients in the travel industry. Connect with her at http://www.cmsspeaking.com/contact.php and socially: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedInGoogle+ and Pinterest.

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Tip of the Day
A good online strategy involves 50% asking questions, using images, and getting likes and shares; 30% giving useful information that shows your expertise (and don't be shy, use the word "expert"); and 20% promoting your business.
 
Ron Cates
Social Media Expert, Constant Contact
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