Hotel Blog Ideas: 22 Posts to Convert Readers Into Guests

16 October 2017 / By David Ort
Hotel Blog Ideas: 22 Posts to Convert Readers Into Guests

The most important step of creating a blog for your boutique hotel is deciding to do it. Have you arrived at the point where you’re committed to having a blog and have decided on some general parameters but aren’t sure what to do next? Are the “who” and “why” of hotel blogging covered without completely understanding the “what”? This post is here to help. Today, we’ll introduce 22 hotel blog ideas for effective and highly useful articles. They are to be immediately attractive to your target audience and make the job of hotel blog social media sharing easy.

Recapping the Essentials of Hotel Blogging

Not every good idea for a blog post is a good idea for a boutique hotel’s blog. Let’s take a moment to review what makes the content you post on your site successful. As discussed in our post covering everything you need to know about hotel blogging, they should:

  1. Use a regular, achievable schedule. Sticking to a plan builds credibility with your audience and helps them trust that you’re serious about delivering content they want to read.
  2. Have a look at what your competitors are doing on their blogs and strive to be different in a way that emphasizes solving problems for future guests.
  3. Keep your goals clearly in focus. Some blog posts will be designed to attract organic search traffic by ranking well on high-traffic, low-competition keywords. In other cases, you’ll want your blog posts to find their audience via a large number of social shares. In either case, it’s critical to remember that a blog post needs to be valuable both to readers and to your hotel.
  4. Connect to an experience that guests can have at your hotel. While we’re solving problems for readers we should also be quietly considering how to convert these readers into paying guests.

Hotel Blog Ideas for Those in Destination Search Mode (or Earlier)

Since this is such an obvious audience for hotel blogs, it is important to stand out from the competition who are also probably publishing this type of post. Focus on quality and keep common pinch points that guests have in mind.

1. Embed a Facebook Live Video Tour of Special Features

Attention is the currency of all marketing activities and video is one of the best ways to capture it. Facebook is currently putting on emphasis on rewarding businesses who produce videos by showing their creations to more of their followers than for a text post. Take advantage of this opportunity by broadcasting a Facebook Live video that takes guests on an insider tour of your hotel.

Insider is the operative word. No one will be willing to give up their precious attention to see you stand in front of your hotel and read a speech that sounds like a press release. Instead, take them to the rooftop garden or inside the allegedly haunted attic.

After the broadcast, the video remains on your Facebook page and you should embed it into a blog post.

2. Connect with Readers Around Shared Values

Originally, all blogs were personal and acted as an opportunity for the blogger to share what they were up to. But they quickly also became about expressing personality and a point of view and that’s where you can take your hotel’s blog.
If boutique hotels are about personalized experience, your content should also have a personal touch to it. Let readers know that the solar panels are on the roof because your organization cares about the environment. Or show them what you’re doing to conserve water and why it matters.

3. Guide to your Off Season

Every hotel, boutique or otherwise, wants to land more bookings for the time of year when business is slow. But the pitch for this business should be based on more than price and the idea of thinner crowds.

Help potential guests plan an off-season hike to a nearby ski hill.

Help potential guests plan an off-season hike to a nearby ski hill.

Instead, this hotel blog post idea should feature all the great activities that guests can only enjoy during off-peak season. From hiking a mountain known more for skiing to visiting a beach town for the excellent restaurants when the surfing crowd has left and local seafood is in season, every area has its own hidden gems. Your success with this idea will hinge on how well you keep in mind that writing a guide like this is about sharing useful information rather than just pitching your services.

4. Event Guides for a Targeted Audience

Is your hotel in a city with lots of craft beer events?  Is August busy enough with festivals that guests would appreciate a guide to this season? Putting relevant and interesting events in one place is a great way to solve a problem for readers in a way that they will appreciate.

You also tend to build goodwill with other members of your community, especially those whose events are featured in your blog’s guides.

5. Specialized Food Posts and Recipes

Food is a vehicle that can help us bring travel experiences home. It also can build an expectation and anticipation for upcoming vacations.

Show guests how to make that special chocolate cake at home.

Show guests how to make that special chocolate cake at home.

Help potential guests see how much your property values the care and talent that goes into the food you serve by building a blog post around one of your chef’s special creations. As well as granting an insider look at your hotel’s experience, this post will also make guests feel like their stay with you is more permanent.

6. Employee Journal for Direct Guest Contact

Guests of your hotel will come into contact with the hotel’s staff and this hotel blog idea turns faces into people by detailing their tasks and duties for readers.

For this post, stay positive, but also remember that it is critical to be honest and relatively unvarnished. Readers want to know about both the accomplishments and struggles that are part of a realistic view of what goes on behind the scenes at a hotel. The shortest way to accomplishing this is to put an employee with a natural sense of this unpretentious tone in charge of the blog post.

7. Behind-the-Scenes Look at Renovations or New Features

Throughout a boutique hotel’s life, there will come times when updates and renovations are necessary. Regular guests might be frustrated by the inconvenience that construction causes but the negative feelings can be mitigated by helping them understand the process.

Don't let renovations derail your blogging plans; take readers behind the scenes.

Don’t let renovations derail your blogging plans; take readers behind the scenes.

Do this by taking hotel blog readers behind the scenes to see exactly what you’re doing to make your restaurant more modern or improve the oceanside pools for all future guests. Don’t skimp on the details.

Hotel Blog Ideas for Guests in Make-a-Plan Mode

Here again, your competitors will also want to capture the attention of those who are set on visiting your area. Help make a potential guest’s decision to stay with your boutique hotel by publishing these blog posts that will make their planning easier.

8. Guide to Local Blogs and Magazines

When we travel, we want to feel like we’re having a truly local experience. Many boutique hotels have the same priority. Those who are especially committed to this priority will also want to feel like they’ve done their own research and gone to the sources locals look to for the best bars and restaurants or off-the-beaten-track activities. Make this task easier by pointing readers in the direction of best local blogs and magazines for your area. This hotel blog idea will be especially useful for building goodwill if you link directly to articles or blog posts rich in information that travelers want.

9. Packing Guide for the Gear Needed in your Part of the World

Packing guides are a golden oldie of hotel blog ideas. Despite that, there is still plenty of value to deliver to readers if you stick to a specific audience. For instance, does your boutique hotel appeal to those interested in day hikes to a local nature preserve?

Make your packing guide both practical and specific to a particular group of guests.

Make your packing guide both practical and specific to a particular group of guests.

Provide a packing guide for these guests and you’ll definitely catch their attention. Or can you offer some advice on what the shoulder season traveler should bring in order to be prepared for cooler, rainy weather in the evenings and hot sunny days? Give them that guide in exchange for their attention.

10. Tips for those on a Budget or Traveling with Kids

As we continue to think about ways to reach your guests when they’re in the time-to-make-a-plan mode keep in mind that narrow, specific audiences will often be the most fertile ground for attention-grabbing blog posts. Segments of travelers — those on a tight budget, motivated by environmental causes, or traveling with the whole family — have similar problems so it’s easier to create a blog post that does a complete job of offering a solution.

Put some effort into the specifics for your tight-audience post. So, instead of a “guide to taking the kids to Tokyo” create “how to avoid getting sick while traveling to Tokyo with your kids during flu season.”

11. Plan Your Guests’ Weekend

Have you noticed a trend in the reasons guests come to visit your part of the world? Are many of them there on their honeymoon? Or maybe as part of a specific holiday celebration?

Build loyalty with the honeymooning crowd by planning their weekend.

Build loyalty with the honeymooning crowd by planning their weekend.

This concentration of interest is a good opportunity to create a hotel blog post that makes the lives of these guests easier. Put together a full guide on the best places to eat, things to do, and other sites to see and tie each item to the theme of the post.

Hotel Blog Ideas for Guests in Travel Mode

Even when they have their plans set and are only a few days from setting out there is still an opportunity to reach those traveling to your area. These hotel blog ideas will help strengthen the relationship between your hotel and those who have booked a room with you or could help attract the attention that brings in business for your added services like your restaurant or spa.

12. Local Language and Lingo Primer for the Traveller to your City

When I visited Spain a few years ago, I wasn’t by any means fluent in Spanish, but I had figured out almost enough to get by in most situations. I could check into a hotel, ask for a table for two, and inquire about a bus route.

Ordering food was my specialty — or so I thought until one particular run-in at a breakfast counter in Seville. I had just come from northern Spain whose word for orange juice means cheap orange-flavored drink in southern Spain. My accidental mix-up caused enough offense to make things a bit awkward.

Help your guests out with a list of words that is targeted and short enough to be useful. This idea is the type of post that has a good chance of attracting attention from potential guests in other modes.

13. The Everyday Life Guide

Some people go on vacation to disconnect and decompress entirely. Others want to stay in the rhythm of home and need to keep in touch with their regular routine.

For the second group, a short list of the best cafes with wifi or coworking spaces will be indispensable. Your hotel might have coffee and ubiquitous internet access, but remember that the reason many people stay in boutique hotels is to maintain their personal preferences and for some, that means a by-the-hour desk or a comfortable chair in a buzzing coffee shop.

14. 8 Tips for Living Like a Local in your Town

When do locals go out for dinner on Fridays? Do they tip cab drivers? What’s the proper dress code for historical or religious sites? Once upon a time guidebooks answered all of these questions, if rather awkwardly because they were written for a general audience and usually for an entire country. Solve a problem and tell guests about the local flavor of your part of the world all in one blog post idea.

15. Apps and Tech Gear that Make Travel Easier

Some of your ideas here will be general to all (or many) travelers — the best noise-canceling headphones that pack into carry-on or a good language learning app. Others, like a great app for figuring out public transit schedules, will be more specific to your hotel’s city.

Boutique hotels cater to guests on specialized vacations; make sure they know what gear to bring.

Boutique hotels cater to guests on specialized vacations; make sure they know what gear to bring.

Because this kind of post continues to be valuable to readers for at least as long as the apps and gear aren’t obsolete it’s a good candidate for the evergreen category of hotel blog ideas.

Hotel Blog Ideas for Staying Connected with Past Guests

One of the goals for your boutique hotel’s marketing strategy is probably to help guests become ambassadors for your brand. Blog posts can definitely play a role in nurturing this relationship.

16. Customer Testimonials Over Images

I first covered this idea in 27 Boutique Hotel Social Media Post Ideas. It serves an obvious purpose, plus two secondary objectives that might not be immediately obvious. Namely:

  1. Future guests are reasonably likely to take a positive endorsement from an actual customer seriously.
  2. If the guest who left the testimonial see that your hotel has reshared it — social media makes it easier to make this connection — they’re bound to feel positively about your brand and work harder to tell their friends about the great time they had staying with you.
  3. Other current and former guests will see that you value contributions from your community of customers and may be more likely to leave a review themselves.

Remember that the image you choose for the background should be positive, on-brand and (if possible) relevant to the testimonial.

17. Share the Wins with your Fans

When your hotel wins an award — especially if it’s relatively high in perceived authenticity or is voted on by the public — let your blog readers know about it. A sincere thank-you is good, but a deeper discussion of what the award means to the people who work at your hotel or what new doors it will open is even better. Happy news is easy to spread, so blog posts of this type also have a decent chance of reaching a bigger-than-average audience.

18. Help Guests Vacation Brag

If there’s more to Instagram than bragging about your vacation, we haven’t come across it. I’m partly kidding here in service of the point that you should absolutely use your hotel’s blog to spread the reach of guests’ photos far and wide. Poolside shots will never struggle to find an audience, but if you can find photos that capture experiences and demonstrate the personality behind your boutique hotel that’s even better.

Help spread the word about the great time guests have at your property by posting their photos to your blog.

Help spread the word about the great time guests have at your property by posting their photos to your blog.

Asking for permission might seem like a bit of a hassle, but it’s a great way to engage guests in the process and will hopefully inspire them to share your blog post with their followers.

19. How we Responded to the 9 Most Unusual Guest Requests

It’s easy to say “we want to go the extra mile” or “if you need anything, just ask” but some guests will still hesitate to make the requests that will truly give your staff the chance to shine. For this blog post idea, let actual (fulfilled) guest requests do the talking.

Does your hotel go above and beyond when it comes to pet friendliness? Tell readers about it.

Does your hotel go above and beyond when it comes to pet friendliness? Tell readers about it.

Are you a pet-friendly hotel with a stash of dog shampoo behind the front desk? Can you track down a charger for a first-generation iPod? Is your kitchen equipped to handle each and every dietary restriction? Let the world know about it.

Hotel Blog Ideas to Reach Your Local Community

Boutique hotels are at the point where travelers who want to have a local experience meet locals who want to do something different. A guest might visit your city two or three times, but a local will live there for years, so don’t forget to include them when planning your hotel blog ideas.

20. Throwback Archival Photos

Was your property a whiskey factory, medieval castle, or prison in a former life? It seems like many boutique hotels had a former purpose that many of your neighbors might be interested in hearing about. Connecting to your shared history helps build bridges to your community, so dig up those old black-and-white photos and post them (again, with permission!) to your blog.

Sharing old photos is an easy way to connect with those interested in its history.

Sharing old photos is an easy way to connect with those interested in its history.

21. Share Details of an Upcoming Event

Hotel guests might be interested in a book launch or one-night art show but they will probably find out spontaneously about it. Those who live in your city can be encouraged to attend with a blog post giving them plenty of lead time to make plans. Go beyond the basic details and tell us about why you’ve partnered with a particular collaborator for the special occasion and what makes their work interesting.

22. Profile a Star of your Creative Community

In the same vein as the previous hotel blog idea, this is about making the case that your hotel is part of a compelling community. For these posts, seek undiscovered artists, chefs, or activists and help them tell their story about what drives their passion. Even if their creative work isn’t particularly visual, it’s important to include plenty of attractive photos with these posts to help readers make a personal connection.

Use your Hotel Blog Ideas to Connect with Guests

These 22 hotel blog ideas are the tip of the iceberg. As long as you keep your goals in mind — do you want to attract an audience through search (SEO) or social? — and continuously strive to solve guest problems there are plenty of other ways to reach travelers. It might help to organize your hotel blog ideas into categories like I have:

  1. Readers in destination-search mode
  2. Travelers in make-a-plan mode
  3. Guests about to travel
  4. Past guests
  5. The local community

At Otium Boutique, we specialize in helping boutique hotels create content that works to accomplish the goals set out in their marketing plan. Get in touch and we’ll figure out how to best accomplish your objectives.

About The Author

David Ort

David specializes in creating content that connects with readers and designing social media strategies that get results. When he's not digging into digital marketing theory, he can usually be found touring Toronto's craft breweries or trying to keep up with his Brittany Spaniel.