While each city we visit will produce different results, we felt that our Wichita, Kansas visit would make a good case study. The local culture and attraction variety offered an excellent cross section of life in the Central U.S.
Creating an Effective Timeline
This research trip occurred in May 2017, when our blog was only five months into existence. We began our preliminary discussion with Visit Wichita at the end of February, and had a finalized itinerary by mid-March. In the following weeks we worked simultaneously, with the Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB), to contact all of the businesses on the schedule. Arrangements were made for hosted tours and admissions. Contacts at each location were identified. Communications with businesses included; gathering digital stock photos to be used for social media prior to arrival, arranging a meeting time and location with the contact, and determining if any specific feature of the business should be highlighted.
When producing an article, we try to stay open to writing about a section of an attraction or business that may be overlooked by visitors. While this approach will not always work with the flow of the article, it is an option we try to offer. An example of this is our article on Tanganyika Wildlife Park. Unlike a standard zoo, this attraction focuses on breeding a variety of species, including many on the endangered list. Staff requested the article include information about this important service they perform. In the end, we were able to incorporate this theme into our finished article. You can read it here.
To be successful travel writers requires the ability to be creatively flexible. Our May Wichita visit was scheduled to begin with a visit to Tanganyika. The day before our departure we received a call from staff at the park to inform us of an unexpected cold snap. We quickly altered our itinerary to move the park visit to another day, and were able to add a couple additional stops to our schedule. During our stay in Wichita, we stayed in close contact with a staff member from the CVB. They joined us for lunch one day, and asked if we would be able to squeeze in a visit to a recently new start-up microbrewery. Not only did we manage the visit, we were able to produce a well received article from the stop. You can read it here.
Adding Up The Numbers
From our research trip we were able to:
- Write 6 attraction articles
- Produce 11 locally-owned business articles
- Create 2 overview articles with backlinks to individual pieces
- Share 103 photographs
- Receive over 7300 article views
The articles produced an average viewer session of two and a half minutes. To compare, according to research conducted by NNGroup, “users often leave Web pages in 10-20 seconds”. (Resource)
The articles were released over a two month period, and were shared across our social media sites. We messaged a link to the article to each of the featured businesses for their own social media use.
Where We Are Today
Our readership continues to expand, and now numbers over 70,000. Our writing style and unique miniaturized photographs have a well balanced appeal, which is reflected by a 54% male and 46% female split. While we may be Baby Boomers, the majority of our readers come from younger age groups.
When we reviewed these numbers, we realized that all of the research we did, before launching our website, was well founded. Our desire to boost tourism has helped us create one of the fastest growing travel websites in the Midwest. We invite you to work with us in promoting the great businesses in your city. To start the conversation, simply complete the form.
We hope to hear from you soon, but until then, Travel Safely!