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Content Marketing Strategy: Blogging Do’s & Don’ts

Last updated on October 24, 2019
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Why should you write a business blog?

Looking for an extra boost in organic traffic or hoping to create more engagement with your website? Blogging drives more traffic to your site and is a fun and effective way to hook potential customers with informative, helpful content.

In fact, according to SEO Tribunal, companies that blog get over 55% more visitors to their websites, and 57% of marketers say they’ve gained customers through blogging alone.

Not convinced? Check out these benefits of blogging.

  • Blogging can establish your company as an authority in your industry when you write high-quality, relevant content about common industry topics.
  • Blogs garner long-term results. Writing content that is evergreen, or not specific to a certain date or period of time, means your posts will continue to get views.
  • Blogging builds trust and engagement. 60% of customers feel engaged with a company after reading content on its blog (ContentPlus). The more you post, the more your readers can interact with and look forward to reading your articles.

Think you’re ready to enter the exciting world of blogging? Use this list of blogging do’s and don’ts to inform your content strategy and start spreading the word about your company.

Blogging Do’s & Don’ts

quillDevelop your brand and writing style

DO: Write for your audience: Above all, blog posts are a chance to help your readers find what they’re searching for. But how do you know who might read your blog posts? Begin by thinking about the services you offer and the guests you’ve had in the past. What kind of people have participated in your tours or activities?

Use this information to write blog posts addressing these specific types of people. They might be families looking for fun vacation activities suitable for all ages, couples searching for romantic date night ideas, or a group of friends looking for the best nightlife in the area. No matter who you’re writing for, keep them at the top of your mind when searching for topic ideas and creating content.

DON’T: Forget about search intent: Once you’ve determined who will read your posts, be sure to keep their interests in mind when writing your article. Blogs must be written as a service to help the reader find what they’re looking for.

Don’t write about topics that would only interest your company. Consider your audience’s search intent, the reason behind their search, and cater your content to them. Put yourself in their shoes. What do they want to know about? What will resonate with them on an emotional level? What are they searching for? By thinking about these questions, you can personalize content to meet their needs.

DO: Choose a topic that will educate your reader: Keep in mind that blogs are a service to your reader. Select educational topics to pique the interest of potential customers. Here are some topic ideas that will teach readers something new about your company and area:

  • A guide to your area’s flora and fauna
  • A list of the must-visit landmarks in your city
  • Tips on getting around the city or area (taxis, Uber, public transit, etc.)
  • Local holiday traditions (parades, annual events, light shows, etc.)
  • How to dress for the weather or prepare for whatever tour or activity you offer (on a general level)

Pro tip: Ask your tour guides or employees what they wish guests knew about your area, activities, or industry as a whole to come up with fresh content ideas.

 

DON’T: Write exclusively about your company (unless you have a good reason to do so): As you’re coming up with topic ideas, it can feel really tempting to write about why your company is better than the competition, but what readers really care about is what they can expect to get out of their experience in your area, whether they’re just there for a quick visit or are planning to book a tour or activity with you.

Remember, you’re using a blog to attract traffic to your site, and you’re likely targeting people who have never heard of your brand. If you only write about your company, people who aren’t familiar with it might not find you through search results.

Broaden your scope to your industry or location in general, with the potential to get more specific and highlight your company within the body of the article.

So when should you write about yourself? If you just scored the top spot on TripAdvisor, you can definitely highlight that in a fun update article. Celebrating a major company milestone or anniversary? Write about it. Your regular readers (and hopefully some new sets of eyes) are sure to be interested.

DO: Develop a unique brand voice: Is your company casual and witty? Elegant and luxurious? Warm and welcoming? Depending on the feel or vibe of your company, you can create a signature style of content that is unique to you and says something about the experiences you offer. When your brand voice is well developed, readers can get an idea of who you are just by reading one or two of your blog posts.

For example, content about adventure tours could use language that is fun, bold, and descriptive, while being somewhat informal and friendly. Content about luxury experiences like five-star yacht cruises or wine tasting tours could use language that reflects indulgence and comfort since your guests are likely seeking leisure and extravagance.

DON’T: Convey yourself as unprofessional: If you’re going for a friendly or informal feel, be careful to keep your writing professional. No matter which tone or brand voice you choose, maintaining a professional image is a way to establish yourself as an expert in your field or industry. No matter your style, provide readers with information that is meaningful to them and satisfies their search intent while showing off what makes you unique.

Digging into the content

DO: Write longer, in-depth articles: While 500-word articles used to be the norm, today search engines (and users!) favor longer, more thorough articles that take a deep dive into a specific topic. Try to write articles that are at least 1,000 – 1,500 words in length.

Longer, more in-depth posts generate nine times more leads than short ones (Curata) and the average word count of Google’s top-ranked content is between 1,140 and 1,285 words (SearchMetrics).

Pro tip: If you’ve written long blocks of text, break up your content by using smaller paragraphs (around three to four sentences each), headings, images, and bullet points.

 

DON’T: Use fluff to hit the word count: When it comes to quality vs. quantity, never sacrifice quality to hit the recommended word count. Long-form content isn’t just about reaching the word count but also providing readers with quality information that serves a purpose and satisfies their search intent.

Don’t overwhelm readers with fluff or useless content just to be able to write a longer article. Try to get to the point and give readers exactly what they’re looking for, even if it results in a shorter article.

Pro tip: Choose topics you know you could write at least 1,000 words about.

 

DO: Target long-tail keywords: Blog posts are an excellent opportunity to rank for keywords, specifically long-tail keywords, or keywords that contain more than two words. These reach a smaller, more niche audience, giving your article a higher position on the SERPs.

Consider the keyword “Maui tours.” There are probably many companies on Maui that offer tours of every kind, and they’re all trying to target this keyword, so an article trying to target this keyword would have a lot of competition.

However, the keyword “best snorkeling tours in Maui” is going to have much less competition because it’s a more specific term that will reach a smaller audience, giving your article a better chance at ranking.

For more information on how to choose keywords, see our guide on using keywords.

DON’T: Keyword stuff: As you’re incorporating long-tail keywords, it can be tempting to add them wherever you can in order to drive more traffic to your site. This practice is known as keyword stuffing and it can actually harm your site’s ranking on Google.

In order to determine whether or not you’re guilty of keyword stuffing, read your text aloud. Paragraphs should flow naturally and keyword placement should not be obvious. If your content sounds normal, or like any other blog or article you could find online, you likely have not keyword stuffed.

Don’t worry about missing out on keyword opportunities. Well-written, relevant content ranks better on Google, even if you didn’t hit every possible keyword opportunity.

Want to see an example of keyword stuffing in action? See the keyword guide!

DO: Add photos: Photos are not only a great way to break up long-form content, but they also garner real results. Articles with images get over 90% more views than those without (Jeff Bullas). They also keep readers’ eyes moving down the page and encourage more engagement on social media.

DON’T: Choose blurry, boring photos: Not all photos make the cut. Choose high-resolution, vivid, and intriguing images that will get people excited about visiting your area or participating in one of your events.

Do you have pictures of people enjoying themselves on a tour or gorgeous shots of the local wildlife? These are the shots you should include since using photos of real people instead of stock photos can result in a 35% conversion increase (Marketing Experiments).

DO: Include a CTA: As you’re wrapping up your article, it’s important to end by telling readers exactly what you want them to do next by using a call to action or CTA.

CTAs are phrases that prompt readers to take action, such as “book a cruise,” “dive into our snorkeling tours,” “uncork a wine tasting,” “select an experience,” and so on.

Depending on what you’re telling your readers to do, you can link the text of your CTA to a specific page on your website. If you want them to “select an experience,” you would link to your all activity page, and if you want them to “learn more about us,” you could link to your About Us page.

DON’T: Be vague: Don’t leave any room for interpretation within your CTAs. Readers like having a clear next step, so use language and links that send readers exactly where you want them to go. Avoid terms like “learn more” or “book now,” as they’re not very specific.

DO: Use internal links: Internal links are links that take readers from your blog post to another page on your website, usually that of a tour or activity. The best way to include these links is to think of ways to organically relate your content to one of the items your business offers.

For example, a guide to the best landmarks or places to visit around the city is a great place to link to one of your sightseeing tours where guests can see the places listed in the blog post.

DON’T: Overdo it: Internal links are most successful when you don’t overwhelm your reader with too many throughout the article. It’s best to use between two and four depending on the length of your post.

Pro tip: Always link to content that is relevant to your blog content, as this helps users navigate your site.

 

DO: Use external links: Any time you link from your website to another, you’ve created an external link. When used sparingly, these are a great way to build relationships with other credible sites, expand your reach, and improve authority. They also show search engines that you’re “honest,” or not only linking within your own site for the sake of promoting your tours and activities.

DON’T: Link to the wrong resources: Links to credible, authoritative, relevant pieces of content are great resources for your reader since they offer more information on whatever topic you’re covering.

For example, if you offer wildlife tours and you find a National Geographic article about your area, that could be an interesting and credible resource for readers.

Don’t link to spam sites or articles with content that is in no way relevant to the content on your website. Legitimate sites tend to link to other legitimate sites, which strengthens the linking between them.

Only use these links when it makes sense to do so, like every third blog post or so.

Pro tip: Set the links to open in external tabs so that you don’t drive readers away from your own website.

 

Maintaining & Updating the Blog

DO: Publish during strategic times: If you’ve written an awesome blog post and are ready to publish it, take a look at these common traffic patterns to determine when to post.

  • Morning: Between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. as people are starting their day before heading to work
  • Lunch: Between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. as people are taking a break from work and surfing the internet
  • After work: Between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. as people are finishing work and have free time
  • Saturdays: This is the day of the week when most people have plenty of time to read blog posts and comment on them. If you’re hoping for a lot of comments, Saturday is a good day to post.
  • Mondays and Tuesdays: These days are popular for social sharing on Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms, so get those posts out there!

DON’T: Forget to look at Google Analytics: If you’re looking for an even more detailed idea of when to publish your blog posts, and you’ve blogged before, track past blog posts on Google Analytics to see your users’ traffic patterns and when they viewed the blog posts.

Even if this is your first time blogging, you can track traffic patterns for other pages on your website to inform when you should post. See our guide on Google Analytics to learn how.

DO: Write for longevity: Wouldn’t it be great if you could publish your articles and not have to worry about updating them for a while? If you write about evergreen or long-lasting topics, you can set yourself up for success and keep driving traffic to your site with old blog posts.

Examples:

  • How to travel around [your city]
  • The origin of food tours in [your city]
  • 10 essentials to pack on a hiking tour
  • 5 tips for packing light
  • How to get to know your tour guide

DON’T: Forget to refresh old content: According to HubSpot, three-quarters of their blog views are for old posts, and 90% of their leads come from these posts. The key to continuing to convert on old blog posts is to refresh them.

It’s a good idea to routinely go through your older posts and see if any information needs to be updated or changed so that the content is always relevant, no matter the date or time of year. Luckily, evergreen content doesn’t need to be updated often, so you shouldn’t have to spend too much time doing this.

Now what?

Starting a blog can seem a bit daunting, but you can get the ball rolling by choosing a topic you’re passionate or knowledgeable about. Before you know it, you’ll be blogging like a pro! For more content tips, check out this guide or watch our video on getting started with blogging.

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