No buts about it: building your blog calendar can be daunting. And time-consuming. And a lot of hard work.
But it’s also rewarding—there’s no satisfaction quite like watching your strategic thinking and content reel in new guests.
The good news: knowing what to consider when planning is half the battle. Read on for a breakdown of the four big factors for creating a blog calendar.
Our best advice for generating blog ideas: creating guest personas for your rentals.
Once you’ve stepped inside the mind of potential guests, you’ll have an easier time understanding what entices them to read. And once you have that understanding, filling a blog calendar is a cinch—especially if you have multiple personas to address.
As an added bonus, you can use them to build a content strategy that attracts guest demographics you haven’t hosted before.
Let’s say you’re popular among young families, but you know your rental would also be ideal for wedding parties. By creating a guest persona for a bride-to-be hosting a wedding in your destination, you can hone in on relevant topics—like the best places to host a day-after brunch near your rental—and work them into your calendar.
It’s a simple way to give your plan muscle. Rather than taking a shot in a dark, you’ll create content around people that you want staying at your rental.
During our vacation rental content marketing boot camp, our friends at Lodgify gave us the low-down on how they execute their super prolific content marketing strategy.
One of our favorite tips from them? Organizing your blog calendar by marketing funnels.
Lodgify color codes their blog topics to correspond with different phases of the decision-making process. One color may represent first-time site visitors, another is for those in the researching phase, and yet another is reserved for those ready to make a purchase.
You can easily adapt their strategy by peppering your blog calendar with posts that specifically aim for folks in different phases of the booking process.
Creating a profitable vacation rental property means leveraging the marketing funnel to achieve success: Porch.com gives an excellent background into going from beginner to pro in their article here.
Include broad topic posts like top 5 lists to attract readers who are casually learning about your destination. And don’t forget a few posts that feature your rentals—whether they feature activities within walking distance to your rentals or focus on your property’s unique history—to target guests making their final decision on where to book.
Social media is a great place to share blog posts with those who are already acquainted with your business. But to get discovered, you need to show up in search results.
We never advocate ditching quality content for keyword-stuffed posts that cater solely to algorithms. But with a bit of finesse, you can build a calendar around keywords while still creating blog posts that help your readers.
Keyword research doesn’t just increase reach—it spawns new content ideas. Looking at search terms for your destination can give you a fresh take on what to write about. You may discover unexpected topics—like dog-friendly pubs or best swimming holes—that you didn’t know travelers were interested in.
At Guest Hook, we use Moz Pro to build our clients’ blog calendars around engaging topics that attract new readers. For us, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as crafting useful content that guests love as much as Google does.
A blog calendar is, after all, a calendar. Be sure to use it to mark noteworthy happenings that you can create posts around.
Is your destination home to a big festival? Use your calendar to jot down not just the dates of the event, but also the dates when tickets go on sale. Plan posts for times when travelers will be most enthusiastic—like when musical acts or vendors are being announced—and channel that excitement in your posts.
Plus, you can include your own benchmarks in your calendar to create a comprehensive marketing strategy. Want to make a push for off-season reservations as the summer winds down? Remind guests of special winter rates to fill up your holiday bookings? Note these initiatives in your calendar so you can plan your blog posts accordingly.
As always, if you need a hand building your blog calendar and creating killer content, Guest Hook is here to help. Ask us about our blog offerings—from full-service strategy to a la carte posts.