In a previous column, I wrote about how to use WordPress’ blog software to power your website, effectively making it more interactive, dynamic, and easy to maintain. This time, we will look at how to make your blog work for you by involving your clients and getting them to return.
A blog serves one main purpose: to facilitate (or enhance) communication between you and your clients. Everything you do with the blog should work towards building and maintaining communication. Your blog should be a tool to convey your professionalism, knowledge, and ability to service your clients’ needs.
Blog often – every day if you can. Give people a reason to visit – you want to give them that “I have to visit today! I might miss something!” feeling, and you want them to comment on your topics. Once a topic is position three or more posts down on the main page, people tend to overlook them. WordPress makes this easy – you can create a series of blog posts, and schedule them to be posted to the public view on a certain date. This gives the impression you’re posting every day when you’re really just writing a series of posts every couple of days or so.
Watch what you blog about. It is said that you never talk about religion and politics with people. Same with your blog posts – avoid topics that can invoke a strong negative reaction from readers. Also, keep in mind that once you put something “out there” on the Internet, it may be difficult to rescind it. Try not to write something you will regret later.
Keep your content relevant – if you focus on cruises, write about cruises. Write about things related to cruises. It’s somewhat odd to write about a really great train trip you took when it doesn’t mesh with your focus. Your clients (current and potential) come to your site for more information. Give it to them. Establish yourself as an authority – in their mind – on your focus.
Along with that, vary your content. Include photos and video as well as text. Use guest contributors. Make it interactive by holding a comment contest or some other hook to attract your clients to your site.
A well-designed blog can work wonders, but it is not a “set it and forget it!” sort of deal (sorry, Ron Popeil!) It requires work to maintain and keep the content relevant. Ideally you want visitors to your blog to see something new each time they visit. Don’t fret if you can’t do that right away but set that as your goal and work towards it.
Steve Cousino, ACC, CTA, LS is a two-year industry veteran with Sunnyland Tours & Travel in Springfield, MO. He holds Lifestyle Specialist designations in Luxury Travel and Gay/Lesbian Travel, and is known for specializing in cruises, Western European tours, group travel, and culinary-themed travel. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or through his website at http://www.JourneysBySteve.com.