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Blogging
Three Reasons for Resorts to Blog More Than Ever in 2011

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GREGG
BLANCHARD
   

Recently I read a headline for an overly-hyped product pitch that read, “Blogging is dead!” Unfortunately, they are wrong. Blogging is not dead. He’s alive and well…and training for a marathon…and volunteering part time at the local food bank. Blogging is one stellar guy to have on your side in 2011.

It’s a common theme, marketers are beginning to think blogging is “so last year” because, just like a lot of people are realizing with Twitter and Facebook, most people don’t have a plan, they just do it because everyone else is. I wonder how soon people will start thinking of Facebook as passe and move on, only because they never had a strategy and thus never saw it’s full potential.

So, now that I’ve built up a position (that blogging should be a top web marketing priority), let me defend it with these three, simple reasons:

1) Your Website Rocks
Let’s say your awesome content on Facebook draws in a visitor. They see it in their news feed and they click on it to see the rest on your fan page. Great, they’ve consumed the content…now what? Where do they go next? Click on a tiny text link in the left column? Shuffle through your tabs for fun? Right. Contrast that with a blog post. Your awesome blog content draws in a visitor, they read the post and then what? Suddenly, they are on YOUR turf, you control the rest of the layout and content. If this post is about season passes, stick a fat offer in the sidebar that gets them to check out your options. Want them to see your webcams? Throw a live stream below that. Growing an email list? Add an opt-in form between the two.

2) Blogging is Social Media
Yes, blogging is social media. You write a post, people comment on it. Others write posts, people comment on it. Wait, did I just say “others write posts”. Yes, one of the great things about blogging is that you don’t have write all the posts yourself. Why not get a few prominent ski bloggers in the area to be a guest blogger for your resort’s blog? They drive traffic to your site (because they tell their own readers about it), they provide some high-quality writing and content, and you enjoy further discussion that is taking place on your website (like I said, where you have control over the rest of the content/layout/offers), not somewhere else. When your blog stops being a source of “Recent News” and becomes a source of discussion, good things happen.

3) Gives You a Reason to Bring ’em Back
Your website is always changing, but not a lot at a time. You’ve got new offers, deals, specials, etc. And, more than likely, you are sharing many of these on Facebook. How often to people purchase on their first exposure to an offer? With all the time and effort you put into your website, blogging gives you a reason to bring visitors back again and again and get those offers in front of their eyes one more time. One extra note, make sure a prominent call to action and RSS button is visible on each post. Getting a few hundred subscribers means you’ve got a long list of people that are extremely likely to come to the site whenever you blog, with no extra effort on your part.

Do you see a pattern? Your website holds more power to convert visitors into paying customers than your social media pages. Let me say that again, in bold, your website will almost always do a better job of converting people into guests at your resort than Facebook or Twitter. Combine the fresh content that blog posts provide with the ability social media gives you to reach into your skiers’ daily lives to get them to your website as much as possible.


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