A blog on your website and/or frequent newsletter can be a great way to keep people engaged and aware of your park. Keeping up-to-date and fresh content also helps your park maintain more visibility in the Search Engine’s (Google, Bing, etc…) and can help you get more traffic to your website and ultimately more camping sites booked. It’s not always easy to know how to build a good blog, so we’ve gone ahead and put together some of the key points that go into building and maintaining an effective RV park blog (or newsletter) to help you get started.
Arguably the most important part of building an effective blog on your website is writing content that your target demographic cares about. This is where the research phase comes in. If you have analytics installed on your current website, just into the reports and take a look at the visitor trends your seeing. What content did people look at most? What pages are the most popular? What are the most common questions you get from campers? All of these can give you great ideas for what people are searching for, and what you should write about.
Another good strategy here is to perform and SEO Audit on your site and a competitor analysis on your neighboring park sites. This type of report can give you extremely accurate information on how people are searching, what they are searching for, and exact keywords to center your blog/newsletter articles around.
A few ideas for quick topics would be highlighting special events in your area for holidays, conferences, or other unique cultural attractions in your area over the course of the year.
Consistency is key if you really want to provide your readers with good value from your blog or newsletter. A good way to make sure that you keep up with things is to sit down and build out a content calendar for the year. A content calendar is basically a plan for what articles you are going to write and when you are going to write them. You can choose to schedule as many as you want, whether it be once a day or once a month, just make sure you are consistent.
For newsletters, we’ve found that once every two weeks and once a month have had the best response from readers. It is important to note that this is specifically for Newsletters and would not apply to blog and on-line content posts. Newsletters are longer in nature, so shouldn’t be sent out too often or your readership might feel overwhelmed. Blog posts and other on-line content however can be published much more frequently as these are typically shorter, easier to consume pieces that people can read quickly and may enjoy on a more frequent basis.
The other key here is to also be specific on your content calendar. Choose a specific topic and deadline for each article. This will make it a lot easier on yourself throughout the year as you’ve already done the difficult brainstorming process and can just focus on writing the new content pieces. You can even go as far as setting the titles for each piece in advance, and a quick bullet point list of the ideas you’d like to cover in the post to help jog your memory later on.
Including engaging images is key to keeping your readers interested while skimming over your content. With the average attention span decreasing more and more everyday, your readers will want to see relevant and engaging images throughout the article. If possible, take pictures yourself of the things you are writing about and include them so you know they are 100% unique. If you are not a big photographer or are writing about something that you can’t really take pictures of yourself, there are tons of resources on-line you can use to find high-quality pictures to use. Unsplash, pixaby, and shutterstock are just to name a few.
Remember to always try and keep your images consistent in dimensions, and if you’re publishing an on-line post, follow SEO best practices of properly naming your picture file, including ALT tags, and minimizing your file size. These are bread-and-butter practices that will also help you gain traction in the search engines.
Getting it to your readers
After you have written your new article or newsletter, the next step is making sure it gets out to all of your readers. Just posting on your blog isn’t enough as there will be very few visitors (if any at all) that will come back to your website on a regular basis to check for your updates. Part of the usefulness of a newsletter and consistent blog is keeping your Park “Top of Mind” for campers as well, so sending them a regular “Hi there!” to their inbox will help them think of you more often the next time they plan a trip in your area.
There are many services that can help you automate the process of sending out new blog posts and newsletter updates. Mailchimp, Sendgrid, and Awebber are just to name a few, all of which can usually be integrated into most websites.
In addition to dispatching the new updates directly to your email list, we also recommend that you connect your social media accounts to share updates automatically. This will help expand your articles exposure to other people who may be browsing on these platforms, and helps show that you’re actively updating and sharing new, great content for your campers.
Wrapping it all Up
While not a complete and exhaustive guide, we hope this article gave you a solid framework for how to start and maintain an effective blog and/or newsletter for your RV Park. To bring it all together, remember to plan first, publish consistently, use engaging images, and get it out in front of as many people as you can.
Thanks for reading and Happy Camping!