Creating Content for Travel-Wise
Content Creation is an Integral Part of Our Daily Work
Managing the content for a travel website can be a lot of fun. What could be better than reading about exotic places and looking at images of stunning locales? Well, probably traveling to those places, but this is a close second.
With a whole world out there and an endless number of things that could go wrong on vacation, you might think it would be easy to generate content for a travel website. However, creating content for Travel-Wise.com isn’t as simple as picking an interesting topic and assigning it to a writer.
We have a specific audience that we cater to, and the content we publish needs to reflect their interests. As such, all the decisions I make regarding content are based on one question: does this serve our audience? That question functions as a starting point when I’m brainstorming topics, and acts as a filter when someone proposes a topic to me.
So, when I sit down each month to plan our content calendar for the month ahead, how do I find topics? I’m glad you asked!
Keyword research is the method I most often use when generating topic ideas. It’s a way of asking our audience “what kind of content do you want,” and getting a response that’s rooted in hard data. I type a topic into SEMrush.com and it tells me what related searches people have been performing, at what volume, and with what competition.
However, there is some creativity that’s required. Based on the data we’ve collected about our Travel-Wise audience, I have a general idea of what their travel preferences and habits are. For example, our audience is mostly interested in traveling with their families. But if I plug a broad category like “family travel” into SEMrush, I’ll get a list of results that will quickly be exhausted.
Instead, I envision what sorts of trips or tips fit within the “family travel” category. I could search for “Disney trips” in SEMrush, and in return I’ll get pages worth of keywords that will identify possible topics I may never have considered.
The keywords I select usually have a high search volume — meaning lots of people are searching for the term — and a low competition — meaning there aren’t many resources currently addressing that topic.
Being aware of trends in the travel industry, especially for specific years and demographics, is another way of generating content ideas, or at least narrowing down your search when doing keyword research.
At the end of 2017, for example, the Travel-Wise product manager researched travel trends for the upcoming year. We learned that culinary tours were going to be a big trend in the industry overall, so we noted it as a potential topic. We also learned that generation X — our audience demographic — is more likely to prioritize outdoor activities while on vacation, so I planned to do keyword research with this in mind.
Balancing Business Objectives
While we create content with our audience explicitly in mind, we also need to ensure this content monetizes. This involves working with our team of travel campaign managers to generate topics they can successfully market.
Sometimes it’s as simple as a campaign manager telling me what topic they’d like to see on the website, while other times it requires a conversation about how I can accommodate their request.
Often the best topics stem from personal experiences. We employ a range of well-traveled writers who have been to a variety of destinations, and, as a result, have experienced their fair share of obstacles.
Having them write about a destination they’ve just visited makes for valuable content because they are able to provide a fresh perspective on a place that’s undoubtedly been written about before. Contrastingly, because they are so well-traveled, the only travel issues they tend to experience are less common. This allows our content to diverge from the run-of-the-mill travel tips that are present across all travel resource websites.
Likewise, content ideas often emerge from conversations with coworkers, family, and friends about trips they took. Rather than scouring the web for topic ideas, sometimes it’s best to just listen and let the ideas come to you.