Hostel Blogs

From Hostel Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

A hostel blog is an excellent way to build targeted traffic to your hostel's Web site.

Hostel Blogs

Blogging is one of most effective and versatile online marketing techniques. Blogs are one of the fastest ways to bring traffic to a Web site. There are not many hostels that are using blogging techniques, but I think that most hostels could benefit from a blog.

Blogging can be a way to bring a site's traffic into the thousands of visitors per day range.

To get a quick overview of what hostels are blogging about, check out HostelBlogs.com.

Blogging Platforms

It is best to have your blog on your own domain name. If your hostel's Web site is located at example.com, a good place for your blog is example.com/blog/. One benefit of blogs is that they attract links from other Web sites. Inbound links from other Web sites help increase your site's rankings and traffic. If the blog is on the same domain as your own Web site, those inbound links will benefit your search engine rankings and traffic.

There are other possible domain configurations like putting the blog on a subdomain like blog.example.com, but (with certain exceptions) it is generally better to place your blog at a URL like example.com/blog/.

Externally Hosted Blogs

Blogs that are hosted on other services like blogger.com, blogspot.com, typepad.com, wordpress.com, myspace.com or other blogging sites have much less benefit than building a blog on your own domain name. Having an external blog on Blogspot.com or WordPress.com can be useful as a secondary blog, but they are less effective for a main blog.

Self-hosted Blogs

If hosting a blog on your own domain name it is best to put it in a folder of your main domain instead of a subdomain. For example, example.com/blog/ is generally better than blog.example.com.

If your Web site is already using a content management system, it may have a blogging module already. If you are not using a content management system, the easiest way to create a hostel blog is to install WordPress on your Web site.

Blog Content Topic Ideas

Here are some ideas for content to add to a hostel blog:

  • Past event posts – A few paragraphs about a party or event that happened at one of the hostels. Posts like this can be image-heavy, for example just a series of 5 to 10 images with a sentence or few words about each one. Holiday parties, New Years parties, BBQ parties, etc.
  • Future event posts – A post about an event or party that is coming up, for example, “Our Hostel is having a party on Friday night with a DJ, etc...”
  • Photo posts – Do you have any funny photos that tell a story? You could post the photo in a blog post and tell a short story about it. A post made up of a collection of colorful photos (perhaps 5 to 15 photos) can have great results.
  • City attraction posts – A post about something interesting to do in the city, like a list of clubs/bars, museums, or cheap places to eat (e.g., 10 Best Falafel Shops in Paris). These kinds of posts could also cover a single attraction like the Eiffel Tower, the local aquarium, or lesser known attractions. If the front desk gets asked a question over and over by backpackers, that question might be a good topic for a blog post. These types of posts can also be image heavy. If you post good "top 10 lists" or series of perhaps 10 stunning photos of your city/region, you may see very good increases in traffic.
  • Travel logistics posts – A post about how to do something logistically, like a map of the local subway system, or a list of ways to get to and from the local airports.
  • Travel Guide Posts – You could use the blogging software to create an online travel guide to your area.
  • Things to Do Summaries - Write a summary of a trip or tour that the guests were a part of to let people know there are interesting things to do in the area.
  • Culture Posts - Introduce visitors to an aspect of your country's culture.
  • Fun posts – A post about how much fun the hostel is – e.g., “the news has been covering a lot of stories lately about the cold spell in Chicago... We're enjoying 75 degrees Fahrenheit sunny weather in [city name] right now, etc...”
A video directly embedded in Google's search results.
  • Posts about guests – A post featuring a specific interesting guest – you could even do a video interview with a guest that really loves the hostel, and then post it to the site via YouTube or another video sharing site.
  • Video posts – Videos of your hostel or your city that are hosted on external video sharing sites may give your site additional exposure through Google's Universal Search. Universal Search is when Google shows videos and other types of content embedded directly in the search results.
  • Guestbook posts – A post that features a recent entry or entries from a paper guestbook at one of the hostels.
  • Sharing posts – Anything that you want to share with visitors to the site. Blogs can be informal.

Blog Optimization Tips

Blog Post Titles

The blog post titles should be descriptive. Try to include a keyword in each title if possible, like a specific event, the name of a hostel (including the word hostel), and/or the name of a city.

For example, if you were writing a post about an upcoming party at a hypothetical Paradise Hostel, a title like Party at the Paradise Hostel - Friday, August 22 is better than We're having a party, because the latter example doesn't have any keywords in it and it will attract less search engine traffic to the site. Blog post titles should be short, but descriptive.

You don't have to target keywords with every post, but if you can try to put a keyword or two in the titles it will be more effective in the long run.

Categories

Blog software allows you to categorize posts. If hosting the blog on your own domain name you should generally choose just one category for each post.

Hostels With Blogs

To get a quick overview of what hostels are blogging about, check out HostelBlogs.com.

Follow @hostelblogs on Twitter to be notified when hostels post to their blogs: http://twitter.com/hostelblogs

Or subscribe to the RSS feed here: http://twitter.com/statuses/user_timeline/18104339.rss

Self-hosted Blogs

These blogs are hosted on the hostels' own domain names.

Externally-hosted Blogs

These blogs are hosted on external blogging services.

Related Companies with Blogs

This section is for hostel booking engines, directories, and related non-hostel companies with blogs:

Self-hosted Blogs

Externally-hosted Blogs