10 ways to generate ideas for great content

Writer's block: 10 ways for tour operators to generate ideas for content

Posted by Colm Hanratty on Nov 4, 2015

Content marketing is extremely important when it comes to marketing your tour or activity company. The place to do it is on a blog, and I’ve written before about why your website should have a blog.

But having a blog is only half the job – you need to keep it updated, and to do that you need content - lots of content. Generating ideas can be tough, but by using these ten tips you should have a never-ending list of blog posts to write.

1. Brainstorm ideas with a friend

The age-old but extremely reliable method of brainstorming is perfect when it comes to devising ideas for content. Simply get some colleagues, sit down together, and begin to fire ideas back and forth. Once one idea develops, the others will follow.

2. Ask Google

Google has the very handy capability of predicting what you’re about to search for – this doubles as a way to generate ideas for blog posts. For instance, you might run pub crawls in London. Type "bars in London" into Google and see what suggested searches comes up. It might spark an idea for your next blog post.


3. Use Google Keyword Tool

Another way to use Google to generate content is by using the Keyword Planner. Simply add a search term you think people are looking for, and find out what sort of volumes the term is getting. You can also use this for suggested ideas too.

4. Answer your customers' questions on your blog

Is there a question you’re constantly being asked by your customers? If so, there are probably more people looking for the same answer. With this in mind, write a blog post about it.

5. Dissect your business to find new topics to write about

A good way to get ideas for your blog is by dissecting your business. To do this look at your website, divide each category into different sections, then do it again. Then if you can, do it again! You’ll soon see that ‘tours’ actually means multiple things. Think about the details of your business, then write about them on your blog.

6Think up blog titles you can easily tweak to create new content

When I worked with a budget website we used to publish posts titled ’15 things to do for free in…’ They all received a decent amount of traffic, so we used to publish them regularly. As a result, it was one less type of post to think about writing as we already knew there was one in the pipeline.

The tip here is to create a title for a blog post that you can alter repeatedly to create new content.


7. Think of questions to ask your customers

If you’re on social media, which you probably are, make sure to actually be social! This means engaging with your fans and followers as well as simply using it as a broadcasting platform. It also gives you an opportunity to create some UGC (user generated content). Simply ask your Facebook fans for their top travel tip or something similar, then put all the answers into a blog post. Here's my advice on creating a social media strategy for your tourism company.

8. Photo essays

Since you’re in the business of travel, the right imagery is key to a strong content strategy. While photo essays don’t have a lot of written content, they’re perfect for blogs as it means users can skim through a host of images without having to read through much. They can provide enough content for a new blog post once a week, fortnight, or month.



9. Share tips in your blog posts

If you constantly write blog posts about special offers, competitions and new products, your audience will soon get tired of you as you’ll only be talking about yourself. But chances are you’ve got lots of good travel tips for your specialist destination to share. A blog post is the perfect place to share them. Do so and your audience will like you even more for it.

10. Showcase your team of guides

Tour and activities have three main products: 

1. The destination
2. The tour
3. The service

If you’ve got an extremely enjoyable tour in a beautiful place, but your tour guide is awful, customers are not going to like your tour. I’m presuming your tour guides aren’t awful, though which is why you should showcase them. They’re just as important a part of the product as your tour. Posts could be simply ‘meet the team’ features, or something like ‘check out John’s top tips’. Experiment and see what works best.

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Colm Hanratty

Written by Colm Hanratty

Colm is Founder and Managing Director of digital marketing agency Sixtwo Digital. After running Hostelworld.com’s content and social media for almost 11 years he felt it was time to branch out on his own, using all his experience to educate others in the travel space.

Topics: Marketing tips

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