A Writer’s Guide To Great Content
Submitting Content to lewisandclark.travel
The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Experience is built around the Geotourism methodology and provides a platform for stakeholders and residents of destinations along the trail to tell their story. The following guide provide tips and advice for how to write outstanding content that will appeal to potential visitors and bring them through your doors.
When applicable, relevance to the Lewis and Clark Expedition should be the primary area of focus, however it is critical to note that businesses and attraction that don’t share an affiliation with the Corps of Discovery are still welcomed and encouraged to join the program. Though a site may not be part of a destination’s history, it is most certainly a vital part of its current culture. After all, at its core Geotourism links the past to the present.
This top portion is for the name of your attraction, attraction or business. This may be a museum, restaurant, park, trail, shop, interpretive center, etc. Any place that makes your destination unique would be a fine nominee.
This section is where you will find your voice. Memories of experiences is what tourism is built around, and this is your chance to tell your story in a fashion that expresses all five senses. Answering the following questions will help to create appealing content:
- What might visitors expect to see when entering into your establishment?
- Are there are unique sights, sounds or smells that might entice feelings of nostalgia?
- What separates your attraction from the competition?
- What is the history of the site? Every place has a unique story of how it was created.
- How is your site a valuable stakeholder in the local community?
The staff and employees inside a particular attraction also may play a role in the storytelling efforts. No matter where you are, the people make the place.
- A minimum of 300 words is HIGHLY encouraged, though not required.
- Use descriptive words
- Find your voice. Don’t hesitate to use imaginative and creative verbiage.
- Avoid long paragraphs, and when possible use lists and bullet points. Website visitors tend to skim content and move quickly down the page.
- Be specific. A quality description of one product or service stands out more than a vague description of many. (ie: A BBQ restaurant should write, “Our mouth-watering beef brisket is cooked for 12-hours daily and seasoned with a family recipe that has been passed down from the generations,” instead of, “We offer an array of smoked meats, including pork, beef, chicken and burnt ends.”)
Adding a Feature Image
The feature image will appear prevalently at the top of your personalized page and thus should be chosen with care. As with the written content, the feature image should be a colorful, vivid, and preface the story of your attraction through imagery.
- Images should be in landscape form (width larger than length)
- Width size should be between 1200 pixels and 3800 pixels
- Length size should be between 600 pixels and 2000 pixels
- The caption of the image should describe the image and should be limited to 10 words or less
- The alt text is how the search engine crawlers will read the image and thus should include your business/site name and should be limited to roughly 100 characters
Choose no more than three categories that your attraction fits into. Though many of these selections are similar to one another (ie: History, Historic Site, Historic Place), use your best judgement in determining which categories best suit your destination.
- Contact Name: Who is the most likely to answer calls/emails at your site or business?
- Phone number: If there is more than one line, use the general customer service extension.
- Address: When entering your address, the digital map guide will automatically pin the location. The software will generate suggested addresses as you type. Be sure to click the proper address when it appears in the drop-down below.
Enter your attractions website here. The homepage will most always make for the ideal landing page.
- Hours Open describes the daily hours
- Seasons Open should be utilized only when there are certain months (or seasons) when the site is not open to the public.
Prices and Fees
Is there a cost of admission? Do prices differ for children, students, senior citizens, local residents, etc.? Is the site free for all?
- Accommodations: What is the average or range of room rates?
- Restaurants: What is the price range for items on the menu?
Other Site/Attraction Notes
Each of the following line items MAY BE LEFT BLANK IF NOT APPLICABLE
- Accessibility: How might the site be accessed for those with mobility, visual or hearing impairments? (ie: Are there steps that might be of concern for those with wheelchairs, walkers, or strollers? How far away is parking? Is there a shuttle service offered?)
- Eco Friendly Notes: Does your site/attraction have any practices that help environmental conservation efforts? (ie: farm-to-table restaurants)
- Locally or Family Owned Notes: What is the site’s story as it relates to a specific family or community? Any main-street type business should be considered locally owned.
- Tribally Owned Enterprise or Tribal Member Owned Business: If affiliated with a specific tribe along the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, list the tribe name here.
Click here to add your site or attraction to the digital map guide