Some days, the ideas come pouring out of your head and it’s hard to get them recorded fast enough.
Other days, not so much.
An editorial calendar can really help with “blogger’s block.” It’s simply a calendar (looking forward through the next few weeks, at least) of which topic you’re going to write about on which day.
Sit down now and project through the rest of the year what you’ll want to write about and when, in very general terms. You know you’re going to do something related to July 4 if you’re located in the US, right? Commonwealth nations will have something about Remembrance Day every year, and so on. Then, break it down by month and then week.
You can have a rolling schedule of “video post on Monday, highlight our latest package deal on Tuesday, photo of the week from Instagram or our Flickr Group Pool on Wednesday,” etc. if that helps.
For those days when the creativity fountain is dribbling rather than gushing, here are some post ideas to help kick-start your keyboard:
- Itineraries. Give visitors eat-sleep-play itinerary ideas for your destination. Go hyper-focused and do specific ones for foodies, history buffs, families, adult couples, birders/nature lovers, sports fans, genealogists, photographers, geocaching fans, etc. Do seasonally tailored ones for spring, summer, fall, winter.
- Coming attractions, highlighted by using photos or video. Yes, of course, talking about upcoming events is a no-brainer, but make it fresh. Use one WOW! photo or a fun, short (2-3 minute) video, with a link deeper into your blog or Web site for more info. Let the graphics sell the event without you pumping out marketing text.
- “On this day in 1841 (or 1917 or 1969….)” You know what to do with this one, right? Short and sweet. Make that history come alive.
- Breakfast with/Lunch with/Dinner with one of your distinctive local eateries. Economic redevelopment bonus: feature one in your historic downtown. Include drool-worthy food photos, videos of the chef at work, photos of locals eating there. Bonus round two: put those same photos on your CVB Facebook Page and tag some of the people in the photos.
- Promotions and package deals. Don’t overdo this, but it can’t hurt to remind people to check your site for exclusive deals and packages. A lot of people really have no idea what a CVB/DMO does and don’t think to check your site for offers (which is why I wrote this reminder post on my family travel blog.)
- Answer a frequent visitor question. You know the ones that you keep hearing over and over in your Visitor’s Center. No, not “Do you have a bathroom?” The other ones.
- Introduce one of your frequent visitors. Have them talk about why they love your destination or attraction, and why they keep returning. Bonus: shoot a video of them for your YouTube channel. Double bonus: upload the video to your Facebook Fan Page and tag them in it. Of course, you’ll link back to their Web site or blog from your blog post, right? Right.
- Create a custom, targeted Google Map (here’s how to do it plus more background info.) Make one with fun spots to visit on a weekend in your town. Consider one with all of your local microbreweries, or your antique shops, quilting places or bars with regular live music. Create one with your ice cream shops and bakeries; call that one “Sugar Shacks.” How about your coffee shops and inns with free WiFi; that one’s called “Blogger’s Heavenly Spots.”
- Explain how to use Twitter as a “Twisitor Center”, so visitors can ask you questions (sometimes by including a dedicated hashtag in their tweets.) Need an update on the concept? See this Twisitor Center site (update – now defunct, most DMOs just use & monitor a hashtag) and also how CVBs in Portland, OR or Kissimmee, FL do it.
- How does your community support the arts? Profile a local glassblower, painter, potter, dancer or musician – photo and video opportunities abound. Is there a special museum exhibit or gallery opening? A concert with the new work of a local composer? A book by a local author that has a setting you can talk about? What’s your town’s equivalent to what Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil does for Savannah, GA?
Good tourism-related blogging is helpful information and story-telling that gives a sense of place. Do what blogging thought leader Liz Strauss recommends: capture the irresistible ideas and tell your story.
Nice ideas Sheila, as always! Not yet embracing the neologism “twisitor center,” I’m still recovering from “staycations.”
Happy New Year and look forward to seeing you next!
.-= Elliott Ng´s last blog ..Getting Media by Being Media =-.
Yeah, I know, awkward wording sometimes abounds in travel media….:)
Thanks Sheila – this is a great guideline for A Maui Blog! And since I am very active at Twitter, I should check out that Twisitor Center Idea. Going there now. Aloha and Mahalo!
Mahalo for the nice words….I know you’ve had to deal with those “mind gone blank” blogger moments that we all flail around with….:)
Excellent for any CVB, destination, chamber, Visitor Center, or hospitality biz – will tweet!
Great post, Sheila! And if anyone has questions about what Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil has done for us in Savannah – just ask: @VisitSavannah
.-= Amy B´s last [post] ..Dead Men Don’t Speakeasy =-.
Thanks for the offer, Amy (and I love Savannah – what a lovely city, esp the pocket parks.)
Hi Sheila, got any specials on African Tourism?
very nice Blog i like it