10 reasons your hostel needs a blog

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1) To boost your hostel’s SEO Ranking:

We’ve already talked about this SEO thing, which looks so difficult but is very important!

Put simply, SEO (Search Engine Optimization are tactics to increase your hostel website visibility and placement within search engine results. To keep it even more specific, your goal is for your website to appear among the first results in a Google search for hostels in your area. And to do this without paying, which is calledSEM (Search Engine Marketing), creating a blog is extremely important. But you may ask what a blog has to do with search results? A lot! To begin with, when you write a post in your blog, a new page is created: a new page for Google to index. The more pages your website has, the better ranking you will receive, provided that these pages’ content is relevant. Google likes new and interesting content. But, besides, having more pages means greater use of keywords. (Wanna learn more about this? Check out here). And the more you use your keywords, the better you’re ranked in Google. And if this was not enough, if your blog’s content is interesting and relevant, people will link to it within their websites, blogs, tweets, etc. and this will also improve your search engine rankings.

2) To make your hostel known and popular

Let us be honest: people no longer use telephone books. Nowadays, anyone who wants to buy something (products, services, etc.) looks for it first by searching Google. You may ask if having the essential facts about your hostel (e.g., location, style, rooms, photos) is enough. It may be enough if a traveler already knows to type mylittlehostelwebsiteonthebiginternet.com into their web browser. However, a blog on your website will drive more traffic to your website, increasing bookings for your hostel!

3) To offer future guests useful information

When someone is going to travel, he not only wants to get information about the hostel itself, but also about the city or town, tourist points of interest, places to hang out, discounts, etc. Offering such information also increases the likelihood travelers find your website while looking for other tourist information, and end up booking a bed at your hostel!

4) To be different from other hostels

Most hostels still only provide essential information on their website (e.g., location, photographs, rooms, services, rates, and not much else). Except… yours has a blog! Which, as we previously said, can increase visibility and traffic to your website, resulting in increased bookings for your hostel.

5) To create your hostel brand identity.

It doesn’t matter how long have you been around, or if your hostel is small. It is very important that little by little you start creating a brand identity. And what better place than a blog to communicate that identity. Think of it like a store front window in the online world.

6) To demostrate you know what you are talking about: hostel management

Anyone running a hostel, belongs to the tourism and hotel industry. And as any other industry, it implies a level of knowledge and expertise. Showing and sharing that knowledge in blog posts will demonstrate that you know how to run a quality hostel, which gives confidence to your future guests to book a bed.

7) To link to your social networks

This may seem like a small detail, but don’t underestimate the value of social networks. People who read your blog are more likely to subscribe to your Facebook page and Twitter feed and, thus, join your virtual community. These people have friends who may discover your hostel through each other’s social networking accounts. Readers who find it easy to share your content, are more likely to do so, and thereby your content becomes viral and builds more traffic to your website. Last but not least, when writing a post, you’re producing your own content to be shared within your social networks of repeat guests!

8) As an instance of feedback and interaction

This is a very important point and is also one of the major advantages of online marketing when comparing it with traditional advertising: the possibility of receiving feedback. In the case of the blogs, we are talking about comments about your posts. This will be useful in many ways. Search engines like to see this interaction and so do potential guests. Also, these comments form what is called UGC (User Generated Content). Yes, that’s content on your website created for you by others for free! It is also likely that future guests or hostel managers leave their comments and this is vital: they are giving you the opportunity to get to know your audience better in order to see what do they need and what do they want to read about.

9) Your blog has a longer useful life than all the other marketing tools

It’s true: you need much more time to have your blog up-to-date than to update your Facebook or Twitter accounts. But have you ever thought about the useful timeframe for content on the Internet? When you create a blog post, you’re creating a new page for Google to index permanently. However, when you write a tweet, it may only appear at the top of your followers’ timeline for a minute.

10) Because it costs very little and has lots of advantages

As regards advantages, here above you have 9. We have no doubts that there must be more, so why don’t you leave them in a comment to this post? (See how I just did that?)
Regarding cost, using services like Wordpress are free. (If you wanna know how to use it, you can read this post). You will always need someone to be in charge of managing your blog. But we have no doubt it will help you to grow, rank and increase bookings. Let´s start writing!

Here are some tips to help you to make the most of your blog:

  • Writing posts regularly is important. The more you write, the better. But posts must be well written and relevant. Be sure that the person in charge of the blog knows about the topics and how to write them properly.
  • Very often, the style used in blogs is informal and casual. You aren’t writing a school text book, so have fun with it.
  • Analyze the market and the competition. Look at the other hostels in your region and see what are they doing. Do they have a blog? What are they blogging about?
  • Pay attention to analytics. Find out how people reach your blog (e.g., from another page on your website, directly from a search engine, through a link on a social network, etc.) Concentrate on this information, and walk that way.

photo credit: thatcanadiangirl via photopin cc