How to find the best topics for blogging

Hi, Dorene here. I’m back to give you the gist of Part 2 of the Tourpreneur Podcast with Shane Whaley where we share essential blogging tips for tour businesses. In Part 1, we’ve talked about how to get started with blogging and focusing on your goals and mindset. Check out the audio below or this blog to know more about how to develop blog post ideas for the tourism industry.

One of the most common questions I receive from tourism professionals who want to start a blog is, “ what should I write about?”

The good news is, there are alot of topics you can write about, and you can use several approaches to build a future list of topics to make the task easier everytime you find the time to write. 

Understand who you are speaking to before you do anything else

  • Before you find topics or write anything determine who you are speaking to in your blogs. do anything – who is your customer? 
  • Put yourself in their shoes to think about what matters to them and the topics they are interested, adn searching for. to best reach them. 
  • Sure, there are topics that you will always want to write about, and you will want to get across to solidify what your brand stands for, HOWEVER, you want the majority of your topics to be what your audience is searching for. 
  • In writing (and marketing) don’t forget WIFM – What’s in it for me? (in this case Me – is your reader – why should they care about what topic you are sharing on your blog?  

Content formats for your blog 

  • It’s a popular belief that a blog has to be in a written format. This isn’t true at all. 
  • You can choose to write a blog OR you can choose a different format or a hybrid. 
  • There are many successful blog posts that are in different formats such as:
    • A video clip with a 300-word description with links and keywords
    • A picture gallery with descriptions of the photos with additional links to information 
    • An infographic – a graphical explanation of a topic in a visual format.
    • Podcast – An audio format combined with a blog post of key topics (such as this particular post) 
  • Testing and trying different formats is an ideal way to come up with your preferred format and what your audience responds to.

Best topics for blogging that you should write about

There are several kinds of topics you can write about in your blog. Here you want to think about topics that are SEARCHABLE – that your audience is likely looking for. 

1. Create a blog about what your past guests ask you about

These are the most useful topics for readers because chances are, other readers will often have the same questions. 

Eg. Questions about “best things to do in x city, or the history of a particular tour or attraction 

2. Create a blog about  what you know your guests like 

When you speak to past guests, you get to understand what they loved about your city, your service, your niche of tourism. 

Think about what they were searching for before they came to your website?   If you run bike tours, would they have also searched for bike trails, parks, bike equipment, health, and wellness? 

3. Your own interests

 You need to keep motivated and inspired with blogging. These are going to be your passion posts, which also help establish your style and your branding.  Mix up these kinds of posts with conversion posts (the searchable topics that your reader is looking for. Conversion posts should still be the majority of your blog posts. Thanks to Mitch Bach from TripSchool for this useful tip to keep bloggers motivated to continue. 

4. Review your current content on your blog

or analyze the topics you’ve posted on social media.  What topics have a good engagement for your readers? How can you write a similar or more detailed blog about that topic? You can find your most popular content on Google Analytics by doing this:

5. Use data from your  Google Analytics Account – search on the left-hand side toolbar and go down to Behavior – Click to site content –then go to  Landing pages  —See the blogs (or pages) that people land on – this is excellent content to double down on and create more topics related or more specific to these topics. 

How Do You Organize Your Topic List?

When it comes to writing, organizing puts you one step ahead. Now that you have a list of the topic ideas to possibly write about, keeping them neat and orderly is the next step.

Here are some helpful tips to organize your list to avoid wild searching from a big pile of ideas.

  • Create a spreadsheet containing all the blog post ideas you found. This spreadsheet will serve as your master list.
  • Looking at the ideas, determine broader categories and organize the ideas according to which category each fits in.
  • Setting main themes and disseminating your ideas under the appropriate themes will not only organize your list but also grow it exponentially until you have a year’s worth of topics. Isn’t that amazing?

For example, take a look at Escape Bicycle Tours and Rentals, a bike tours business in Ottawa, Canada. They have a successful blog that doesn’t just focus on biking. Their spreadsheet of blog post ideas can be organized with the key themes on the top row, such as Biking Tips, Biking Locations, Biking Equipment, Events in Ottawa, and About Ottawa

Next, they can add specific ideas under a theme or category they fit in. The main theme Biking Locations may contain smaller topics like Bike Trails in Ottawa, Favorite Biking Locations of Locals, Bike Trails for Mountain Bikers, and Bike Trails for Families with Small Kids. The main theme Events in Ottawa may include topics like Tulip Festival in Ottawa, Canada Day in Ottawa, and Food Festival in Ottawa.

Investing in tourism content is undoubtedly an excellent idea not just for tour operators but also for hotel owners, transportation businesses, event planners, and other tourism professionals. For that purpose, you will need to create a blog. Successful blogs focus on what the readers love. Great blogs are up-to-date and offer value to your audience.

Keeping in mind the tips I’ve shared here, start to create a list of topic ideas for your blog.

Need more help? Find more resources to improve your tourism marketing here.

About the Author

Dorene Wharton is a tourism strategist, marketer, coach, copywriter and full-time traveler with a 25-year career working in all areas of marketing and sales. She left her corporate job with Fortune 500 hospitality brands to start Travel Life Media to help hotels, tour, attractions and event companies improve their marketing, and live their brand with purpose.
Dorene Wharton