25 Ideas For Your Vacation Rental Blog

blog blocks Writing a blog can be a challenge particularly if you want it to drive traffic to your site, or your listing. You need to attract a loyal audience and people who will talk about it to their friends on Facebook and Twitter. To do this, you’ll need to write regularly, create interesting content and consistently deliver a great read. When I saw this great blog post from Judy Mick – 50 Things To Blog About – it offered some great ideas so I have adapted it for our unique business and made some suggestions on the topics you could use for your vacation rental blog. There are 25 ideas here – you can find an expanded version plus the next 25 ideas on Renting For Profit in a new member post this week!

Thank you Judy for some great suggestions – I’ve used them all here with adaptations for my readers.

1     Take a photo. Share a picture instead of words!

Post a regular photo of something at your property – try a close-up of a piece of art work or special feature.

2     Share a relevant YouTube video. Perhaps even analyze it a bit in your post. It doesn’t require a lot of work to watch and then find the best videos.

Find a video featuring something going on in your area. Maybe your local tourist office has a video or two you could use. Comment on why you think it’s great.

3     Shoot a video of your own. People love to see a blogger’s face rather than just read their words.

Create a personal connection with your audience by introducing yourself and talking about what you love about your area and why people should visit. Make it short but appealing and friendly.

4    Comment on another blog post on your blog. For example, if another well known blogger makes a strong statement, respond to that statement on your blog.

Just like I have done here, if you find a post on another blog that is relevant, link to it and add your opinion. An example would be a post someone else has written about an attraction or event in your area – even a restaurant review.

5    Comment on a news event and on how it relates to your field.

Easy one – Tansy Forster uses this method to write about WW11 remembrance events in her area. This type of post attract blog visitors who are looking for information on the event.

6    Write a How To post. Walkthroughs, tutorials and how to’s tend to do very well online.

I wrote a post on my cottage blog called, “How to get out of a kayak?” We offer kayaks with our rental and I found this was a highly searched key phrase. It resulted in a lot of interest in our web site and a booking for an off-season weekend by a couple who had wanted to kayak but didn’t know how. Write about something you know and could share with those who are looking for an answer.

7    Bust a Myth. What are common beliefs people hold in your industry that simply aren’t true?

Here’s one – “All vacation rentals have poorly equipped kitchens & blunt knives” You could bust that myth by writing a post about your kitchen that is fit for a gourmet.

8    Tell an entertaining and educational story. What were some turning point moments in your career?

What made you buy your property? What interesting thing happened in your latest renovation? What have you learnt about the history of your area?

9    Create a Q&A post. What are common questions people have and what are their answers?

Collect all the questions you receive on email and create a post answering them.

10    Examine a Problem. Take an issue that people often get stuck on and go in depth into its causes and solutions.

Think about the issues new renters have and provide a solution. Write a post on what they should pack; some ideas on meal planning, or a list of things to do on a rainy day.

11    Write a Top X List. For example, “Top 50 ways to get blog traffic” or “Top 12 hip hop dance moves.”

Top 10 hikes; Top 5 restaurants

12    Ramble. Just talk aimlessly and passionately about a subject. Be sure to set it aside and read it a day or two later to make sure it’s relevant before you post it.

Interesting one – really take care to make it relevant and you could have a great post just offering insights into the best aspects of your area.

13    Write about common pitfalls. What are mistakes that beginners might make without knowing it?

Write a post on what renters most often forget to pack or one on the wildlife in your area and why your guests should not feed the locals

14    Interview an expert. Post it in audio or video form on your blog.

Interviewing a previous renter is a nice touch and could be a great testimonial, or you could video a chat with a local provider on their activities. If your area attracts photographers, ask an expert about how to take the best photos of a local attraction.

15    Review a product. What are its benefits and its drawbacks? What sets it apart? Would you recommend it?

Set up an Amazon store on your site then review travel books on your area. Review a local attraction and comment on value for money and give your recommendations on how best to enjoy it.

16    Comment on state of the industry. What’s going well and what isn’t’ going well?

Write a post on how prospective renters can recognize scams and why it’s important to book with a person they can trust. This creates authenticity.

17    Ask your audience a question. What do they think about Topic X?

Duvets or blankets? What’s your favourite kitchen appliance? Favourite board game? This is a great topic to create connections and get feedback.

18    Post the top resources for someone in your industry. Give links, downloads, videos, etc that might help them in what they’re trying to do.

Help your guests to plan their vacation by offering lots of information on what they can do in the area. Post links to the best insider travel resources.

19    Make a prediction on the future. What do you think is going to happen in the next 12 months?

Get visitors thinking about booking earlier by offering a prediction on occupancy.

20    Write about an in person event. For example, “What I learned at Affiliate Summit X this year.

Have you ever rented a property? Offer your advice based on your experiences. Did you forget to pack something? What item did you take you couldn’t do without?

21    Share a provocative opinion. What’s an opinion you have that just isn’t politically correct?

Mmmmm……I’m leaving this one to you. Smushing babies comes to mind (see Superbowl Home Away ad) so I’m not making any recommendations on this one.

22    Why someone is right or wrong. Write a post about why you think someone is right or wrong about a certain subject.

There’s quite a lot of negative press about vacation rentals – there’s always someone in the media trying to find a ‘worst experience’ to write about. Find one of these, link to it, and then write about how renting your property could be so different.

23    Make something complex simple. Break a hard process down into its parts and make it easy to do or follow.

Write a vacation rental plan that is easy for your guests to follow. Offer to provide a packing list with a suggested menu plan for a week. For guests who have previously used hotels or resorts where everything is provided for them, they may find a step-by-step plan useful.

24    Share a thought process. How do you get from point A to point B in your thought process?

Take a comment in your guest book or Trip Advisor review and write about what you changed based on the insights offered by your previous guests.

25    Blog about a personal experiment. What’s something you tried? Did it work or did it not work? What would you do differently and what would you recommend?

What bait works best when fishing at your property? Is it best to take the guided tour or take the self-guided option

Hopefully this gives you a few ideas to kick off a blog posting schedule. If you comment on here when you have made a new post, your comment will show a link to your latest post so that gives some additional promotion for you.  I’ll check out every one I see and make a comment on it too.

  • Thanks, Heather. Lots of good ideas here. I have used some for my own blog and others for two blogs I write for clients, but there are a whole bunch of new thoughts in this which I will explore.

  • Some good information for those just starting. This past winter I began to blog for our vacation rental homes Seeley’s OC Sandcastle and Kindred Spirits at Childs Cove. What fun. I was also recently told by a guest who decided to book with us that when she found our home and then saw and read my blog she knew it was where she wanted to stay. When speaking with me she said it was like she already knew me by what I had been writing. She even made mention of the cream of crab soup I had listed. I try to make it personal. Through my or my family’s eyes of things to do. I also try at least once a week to blog. I truly wish I had more time, but with work, family and running 2 vacation home rentals, one day a week is currently all I can do. Thank you again for the information. I believe the more we can share with such forums/blogs the better we can do for our guests as well.

  • CottageGuru

    Hi Donna – Thank your for commenting and it was great to read your experience with blogging. I am delivering a seminar at the Cottage Life Show in Toronto at the end of this month and will use your blog as an example of how to reach and connect with your guests audience before they book.

  • Hello as well and I hope it helps with your seminar. Just last night I had someone that contacted me regarding my Lake Home state they reviewed all my links (Personal WebSite, Facebook Busiess Page and Blog) that were listed under my email signature. They had first emailed an inquiry to me with some questions from a source site, I replied as I always do with such links showing in my signature and me referring them to check them out as well. He reviewed such, even put “Likes” on my Facebook pages. Called me back and has now booked with me and said such gave such a professional presence. These social medias may not always bring in a referral, but they surely help in closing a booking in showing off that your vacation home is valid and you are a real person, not just an only line responder and with Facebook it does the same the other way in seeing your guest as well. I am very hands on and just feel blogging and these other items help in giving a total package for guests to make a decision to book with you or not. I truly think this is the new way for vacation rental home marketing- Donna

  • Megaan

    I am also maintaining a vacation rentals blog and to be frank I haven’t used any of these methods you had mentioned below.Thanks for the awesome info and I will follow it in future.

    Megaan
    http://www.thebestvillas.com/

  • Hello Heather. We have recently added a feature for vacation rental owners to create their own Blogs, free. Not many takers yet, but your post is very helpful. We will definately link to this page and all the helpful tips.
    Thanks!

  • Thanks for this, Heather. We blog for Gecko Villa, our vacation rental among the rice paddies of rural Northeast Thailand. Popular posts include Thai recipes from the location – kept simple so visitors are not afraid to try them, yet always authentic. This gives posting possibilities for a wide range of Thai recipes giving a genuine sense of place!
    http://apps.geckovilla.com/Blog

  • Excellent suggestions, however why not drive traffic directly to your sites from another vacation rental website with high authority on the subject? Some of you sound like blogging is a task, it should never have to be. Enjoy the things you wish to share, don’t just do it because you’re seeking for more traffic to your website among countless other competing bloggers. Anyway, I’d say “make a video” gets my vote since I’d look at that first before reading anything.

  • A lot of good information here. Keep up the good work. 🙂

  • Jo

    Videos make a better impression than just pictures. You really get a feel for the environment that the house is in, and you can really show off the beach!

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  • All of these are great ideas – just remember, stay original and stay on the topic of your website. Google is (sort of) punishing websites that have non-related info. I definitely agree with posting videos and asking questions – they get people involved in your blog!

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  • This is an interesting topic. You’ve done a very informative blog and I know you gave your very best to construct of this informative and educative article. I’ve enjoyed reading it. Keep up the good work. Thanks again.

    GoRenter Property Management

  • o much to say. But when it gets down to writing we expect ourselves to be perfect. I like this post especially the ramble part. Get down to writing anything, absolutely anything. Pick a topic off the bat. Just one condition be passionate about it and have fun. We vacation rental and corporate rental people have soo many interesting things the world is not aware of. Get writing.

  • Andy steven

    Most people assume that short term apartments are expensive or difficult to find, and this may have been true in the past, but not anymore – if you know how to go about finding them that is! With a little internet digging you can easily find a cheap apartment to rent anywhere you desire, for as long as you desire. As i personally got success from my own business.
    http://www.apartmentscalgary.com

  • This is a topic which is close to my heart… Thank you!
    Where are your contact details though?

  • I get a lot of questions when people are looking to rent from me. This article will help a lot. Thanks.

  • Great stuff here. The information and the detail were just perfect. I think that your perspective is deep, its just well thought out and really fantastic to see someone who knows how to put these thoughts down so well. Great job on this

  • Good Stuff Written, I am Really Searching Out Such A Good Article To Help My Travel Site. Very Interesting Keep Going Thanks

  • I have recently started a blog on my site http://jamaicaoceanviewvilla.com/jamaicavillablog/ and will be incorporationg some of the ideas you mentioned above.
    thanks

  • Your blog looks really good Cavel, Keep up the great work.

  • Nice and well written post it is really helpful who are going to create blog specially vacation related blog. which theme is best for vacation related blog. aovinc

  • This is a great blog it will help people get along with this king of business.Also i want so share this, I just finished reading ” “Profits In Real Estate Rentals by Evelina Mannarino” and it gave me lots if ideas on how to get started in real estate.

  • Janny Page

    Hi Heather,
    I visit on your blog & found very good tips to start a vacation blog. This post is helpful for me because i want to write a new blog for my website: http://goo.gl/v23mOq

  • shwangold

    A great Vacation Rental marketing plan requires a lot of time and energy. It’s basically a full time job. Make the right decisions, choose the right companies to work with, and make sure to place your effort in the right places. You’ll be surprised at how profitable and fun your vacation rental business can be.

  • wiliamjamesh

    We offer kayaks with our rental and I found this was a highly searched key phrase. It resulted in a lot of interest in our web site and a booking for an off-season weekend by a couple who had wanted to kayak but didn’t know how. Write about something you know and could share.visit us:http://feelhome.co.il/telavivsirkin24.html