Tag Archives: reasons

Why Bed and Breakfast Gazebos Are So Popular

Gazebo with little white rocks surrounding in a bed and breakfast yard

 

As bed and breakfast owners, you know it is the little things that make a big difference.  Did you know that just by adding a gazebo to your property, you are making it more appealing to potential guests? Attractive landscaping, including bed and breakfast gazebos, enhances the look for your bed and breakfast.

 

 

A gazebo is sometimes octagonal (or tent shaped) and can be free standing or attached to a garden wall.  It is typically built with wood and has standard roofing materials.  It can be open on all sides or have netting to keep out bugs. Bed and breakfast gazebos are popular because they have a variety of styles and can serve a variety of purposes:

  • A quiet place to enjoy the view outdoors
  • Host meals, parties, and small musical performances
  • Meditation, prayer, or spiritual place
  • Ornamental feature in landscaped lawns
  • Provides shade (even for a hot tub)
  • Shelter from rain
  • In weddings, it is used for exchanging vows and cutting the cake

If you have one, do you feature your gazebo with landscaping around it? Do you use it for outdoor events?  If you do not have a gazebo, is there room for one and, if so, do you know how you would like for it to be used?

You do not have to be a professional builder in order to build a gazebo yourself. They can also be purchased from home improvement stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot.

However, before constructing or adding a gazebo to your property, you need to make sure you are abiding by zoning laws and community regulations. There could be height restrictions, allowable lot coverage (rules about the percentage of your property with a building on it), and restricted areas (used for utilities, emergency access, and your property line).

Furthermore, if you must abide by the rules of a homeowners association, you will need to understand their guidelines concerning things like style, height, and material used. In this case, it is much better to seek permission before adding a gazebo than to find out that you are in violation of a law or rule and you will need to make (what could be expensive) changes.

You can feature pictures of your gazebo on your website. You can also talk about its addition and/or construction in a new blog post and in social media.

Bed and breakfast readers, if you have a gazebo, please comment below about how you and your guests use it. If you are considering adding a gazebo, please tell us your reasons for doing so.

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

How to Have a Better Bed and Breakfast Blog

covered patio with lounge chairs, chair cushions, coffee table, and plants

Want a better bed and breakfast blog? Here are some top hospitality blogging tips to attracting more readers and more business to your inn.

 

Be sure to blog about WHY people visit you. Because it could be for a variety of reasons, I am going to list some possible reasons.  Each of those reasons can be a blog post! Mentally answer the questions as you read on.

 

Your LOCATION could be a big reason as to why guests stay with you. Whether you offer a secluded place for them to get away from it all (a peaceful place for relaxation and romance) or exciting urban accommodations with lots to do (a thriving place for fun and entertainment), your location could be a factor.

  • What, if any, major attractions are in your area?
  • What are the top 3 reasons that people come to your city?

 

Your AMENITIES can play a vital role in why people choose to stay with you. Guests appreciate being able to experience luxuries they don’t necessarily have in their everyday lives.

  • What amenities do you have?
  • Do you list your amenities on your website?

 

Your EVENTS that you host can attract guests. Whether you host private parties, weddings, or other special events, this can attract people to become overnight guests.

  • What events do you host?
  • Do you have a blog post (or web page) about each event you host?

 

Your REPUTATION for hospitality is another compelling reason. Word of mouth can be very powerful as a way to attract new guests. When we have an enjoyable time doing something, it is only natural to bring it up in conversation with another person.

  • What is it about your hospitality that sets you apart from other inns?
  • Do you monitor what is being said about you and your inn online?

 

Your FOOD can be a major pull factor when it comes to attracting more guests. If you are one of the inns that also has a restaurant open to the public, that is another way to become known. First they dine with you, then they decide to become overnight guests. However, those who do not have restaurants can also do extra things like offer 24/7 access to refreshments.

  • Do you have a wine and cheese hour or a special time of the day for tea and goodies?
  • Are you able to accommodate those with special dietary needs?

 

Your PACKAGES can also contribute to why guests decide to stay with you versus your local competitors. Guests appreciate having things already arranged ahead of time.

  • Do you offer packages that include things like event tickets, restaurant gift certificates, local walking tours, etc.?
  • Do you offer themed packages like romance or adventure?

 

Give people a SNEAK PEEK into life at your inn. Many famous tourist attractions like Disney and The Biltmore Estate offer Behind the Scenes tours. You could share pictures, videos, and stories of what happens at your B&B.

  • Share things that ONLY you or your inn has (more details about your guest rooms, previous residents, the current innkeepers, etc.)
  • Share funny things that happen (amusing little pranks staff members pull on each other, or comical things with guests such as two people who don’t know each other yet show up to breakfast wearing the same shirt)

 

Answer frequently asked questions in your blog posts. If you get asked the same questions over and over, how about answer those questions before your guests even arrive at your inn!

  • The number of miles (and estimated drive time) to key points of interest that guests may want to visit in your area
  • How you do breakfast at your inn (time, typical menu options, in-room delivery of breakfast, etc.)
  • Checking in and check out procedures as well as coming and going during their stay with you

 

Creatively add other unique content to your blog posts, including any of the following:

  • Recipes of things you make here at the inn
  • Tips about your local area including restaurants and attractions
  • Your very own Top 10 List that relates to your B&B or local area

 

One of the most important aspects of blogging, is to consistently do it. The search engines reward fresh content by making it more visible online. Plus, you are keeping in touch with people and staying on their radar. Remind previous guest about why they should come back again and compel new people to visit for the very first time.

 

Another strong factor in having a better bed and breakfast blog is sharing pictures and videos. “A pictures is worth a thousand words.” Guests want to know what they can expect before they come to your inn!

 

You are welcome to put a link to YOUR bed and breakfast blog in the comments below and share what works well for you. If you do not have a blog (or do not consistently blog), feel free to contact me for advice.

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

Do Your B&B Headlines Get Attention?

The #1 Headline Analyzer (from CoSchedule.com)

 

Do your B&B headlines get attention?  Co-Schedule offers a free tool called the “Headline Analyzer.”  It promises that you will learn how to write headlines that drive traffic, shares, and search results.  This is especially important in the travel industry.

So why are headlines so important? It’s because they’re the first lines of your copy that customers read. They create an initial impression that either draws readers in or pushes them away.  In this fast-paced online world, it is important to stand out and capture the focus of your potential bed and breakfast guests.

The headline alone can make or break your ad, homepage, or e-mail subject line. It sets the tone for the rest of the copy. If the headline pulls readers in, you may make more money; if not, you’ll be left wondering what happened.

Headline writing tips to keep in mind:

  • Your headline should be unique.
  • Your headline should be ultra-specific.
  • Your headline should convey a sense of urgency.
  • Your headline should be useful.

The following headline ideas are just a starting point.  You can be as creative as you want to be.  The goal is to create headlines that motivate people to continue to read about your inn.

The Secret [fill in the blank]

This is an opportunity to share insider knowledge of your local area to benefit your potential guests. Help your bed and breakfast guests know more about your local area.  Where are great local places for dining, sight-seeing, and other fun activities in your immediate area.

  • The Secret To Discovering

 

Who Else Wants [fill in the blank]

By asking “who else wants” you are implying that there is a consensus about this desire.

  • Who Else Wants More Fun and Less Stress When on Vacation?

 

What Everybody Wants To Know About [fill in the blank]

This headline challenges the reader’s curiosity to see if they are missing some knowledge.

  • What Everybody Wants To Know About Staying at a Bed and Breakfast

 

Now you can have [something desirable] and [great circumstance]

This is another version of the classic expression “have your cake and eat it too.”

  • Now You Can Go On Vacation and Enjoy It Too

 

[#] [Facts or Ideas or Lessons or Principles or Reasons or Secrets or Steps or Tricks or Ways] [fill in the blank]

Numbers in headlines get attention and people love lists.  They are easy to scan and readers know how much content to expect from the blog post.

  • 10 Facts About Bed and Breakfasts You Didn’t Know
  • 5 Ideas to Make Your Vacation More Memorable
  • 7 Lessons About Spending Time With Those You Love
  • 3 Principles to Making Love Relationships Work
  • 9 Reasons To Vacation More
  • 4 Secrets To Melting Stress Away
  • 8 Steps To Relaxing While On Vacation
  • 11 Tricks To Packing More Efficiently
  • 6 Ways To Strengthen Your Romantic Relationships

No time to write blog posts?  Bed and Breakfast Blogging is here to help.  Contact us to find out more about our tailor-made marketing services.

The Power of Visual Storytelling: Twitter

visual storytelling Twitter

The Power of Visual Storytelling: How to Use Visuals, Videos, and Social Media to Market Your Brand is a fantastic online marketing book for businesses.  Authors Ekaterina Walter (@Ekaterina)and Jessica Gioglio (@savvybostonian) do an excellent job of giving practical advice that businesses can apply to better market themselves online.  This particular blog post focuses on what the authors tell us about Twitter.

 

Twitter is an innovative marketing tool as well as a keen way for businesses to connect with their audiences and provide quality customer service.  In fact, of all the social media platforms, Twitter is currently the most popular with Fortune Global 100 Companies.

Super Twitter Statistics:

  • More than half of all links shared on Twitter are images
  • Over 460,000 accounts are created every day
  • 20.6 million adults in the United States access Twitter at least once a month
  • 177 million tweets are sent every day
  • 24% of Twitter users check Twitter at least once a day
  • 54% of Twitter users are male and 46% are female
  • 46% of users are aged 18-34, so a high percentage of young people
  • 67% of users more likely to buy products from brands they follow on Twitter

Smart Twitter Capabilities:

  • Companies that use Twitter gain twice the number of leads each month that their non-tweeting counterparts
  • Twitter cards make it possible to attached media experiences to tweet that link to your content
  • Tweets that link to participating websites can be expanded by users to show a whole range of media
  • If you add the code on your own site, you can determine what sort of content will be shown by a Twitter link
  • Users interested in a particular offer or promotion will be able to fill out a field on the card
  • That field links their existing information, allowing them to quickly register

Savvy Twitter Strategies:

  • Develop your company’s voice
  • Tweet around several key passion points
  • Provide company news and updates
  • Offer unique deals to your Twitter followers
  • Give your clients (and potential clients) excellent customer service
  • Know what you want your followers to associate with your brand
  • Give them reasons to follow your company
  • The photos and videos you share should integrate with your overall strategy
  • Show a more relaxed side to your brand
  • Each tweet should be able to be understood on its own
  • Mix up your content
  • Ask questions to spark conversations
  • Use links to articles, photos, videos, and blog posts
  • Retweet your followers
  • Find out what your followers are interested in and share that
  • Use hashtags (#) to join in bigger conversations on a topic or start your own (#)
  • Use calls to action including RT (retweet)
  • Consider the locations and time zones of your audience
  • Use Promoted Tweet or Trend features to support your key messages

Given the popularity of Twitter and its capabilities, it makes sense for businesses to follow these social media strategies in order to promote their business and provide excellent customer service.  A special thank you to authors Ekaterina Walter and Jessica Gioglio for letting me share some of the content in their book.

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast

Blue Mountain

 

Innkeepers Brady and Elaine Anderson-Wood love showing hospitality to their guests at Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast in Missoula, Montana.  Missoula is said to be “the best small town under 100,000 people” in America.  With breathtaking views of the mountains and Bitterroot River as well as beautiful gardens and wildlife to watch.

 

 

They relish sharing their mountain, home, and Montana history with others from around the world.  Meeting people from every walk of life is a real treat for them.  Guests come for a variety of reasons including: visiting their kids at University of Montana, fishing, relaxing between visits to Yellowstone and Glacier Park.

Guests have visited from every state but Delaware as well as the countries of Israel, Bolivia, Jacarta, Mongolia, Honduras, Namibia, South Korea, and Romania.  One couple from France comes every year to enjoy Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast and the surrounding area. Brady and Elaine’s biggest surprise as innkeepers has been to see how people with very different view points are able to come together, share breakfast, and take away an appreciation for each other.

Elaine, who takes professional pictures, says she has always adored taking pictures because of her deep love and connection with nature.  The animals that can be found outside their B&B include: woodpeckers, humming birds, hawks, eagles, bears, bunnies, deer, wild turkeys, elk, chipmunks, and much more.

Because of her background in history and education,  Elaine was able to take more classes (including classes specifically oriented toward the bi-centennial of Lewis and Clark) to become an official tour guide.  There are so many lovely walking trails in their area.

Blue Mountain B&B is open year round and guests can stay for just one night if that is their desire.  Some choose to have one night escapes from Missoula, Helena, Great Falls, and other places. There are fun things to do all year long in Missoula.  The benefit of their particular location is that they are close to town, yet secluded.  Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast is on twenty acres of registered wildlife habitat next to National and State forest land.  The home was designed by their family and the room decor reflects their Swedish family heritage as well as their ranching backgrounds.

Their most loved breakfast dishes include their asparagus gratins, macadamia-crusted French toast, and Aebelskivers (a Dutch stove top doughnut).  Brady and Elaine would love to have fellow innkeepers as guests so they can enjoy the beauty of nature, do fun area activities and/or just relax, and taste their awesome breakfasts as well as share fellow inn-keeping experiences!

5 Reasons to Never Give Up!

reasons to never give up

 

 

Sir Winston Churchill once said, “Never give up on something that you can’t go a day without thinking about.” Whatever your dream is, there are at least five reasons to never give up!

 

 

  • You are closer than you think!  Even if you are just getting started, one new idea might really take off.  You never know until you try.  Think how one great idea spurs on several more after that.
  • You never want to wonder “what if?” Live a life of no regrets.  No one knows how much time they have left on earth, so live in the moment and do something now!
  • It is never too late to make a difference.  Everyone has something they can do to positively affect another life.  Even if it is just listening and showing you care.  That could be the best thing you can do for someone.
  • Others will help if you just ask them.  No one achieves anything of value alone.  Have you ever sat in the theater at the end of a movie, to read the credits naming everyone who helped make the movie possible? The right people would love to help you.  They do not know you need their help unless you ask!
  • Believe in yourself!  Everyone is capable of making significant accomplishments.  Remind yourself of what you do well each day.  Positive thinking only!

Think of all the world leaders, explorers, inventors, artists, musicians, athletes, and business leaders that have shaped the world around us for the good.  They never gave up!  Think of the everyday people in your life, who are not famous, but who have made an incredibly positive impact on your life and others around them.  Be the kind of person you want someone to be to you!

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

The Art of Pinning

art of pinning

 

The art of pinning on Pinterest is visual in nature.  This works very well for visually oriented businesses like bed and breakfasts.  People want to know what your inn looks like and what your breakfasts look like.  Seeing your pins helps them to imagine themselves at your bed and breakfast inn.

 

 

Pictures:

  • Motivate them to plan a vacation to stay at your inn
  • Each picture is worth 1,000 words
  • Are more appealing and stronger than words
  • Pin only images with strong visual content
  • Brighter colors bring more joy
  • Feature just one idea or product in each pin
  • Use descriptive keywords you want to be known for
  • If you resize an image, make sure it is still clear and easy to see

Social media

  • Builds relationships with guests and potential guests
  • Raises the visibility of your bed and breakfast online
  • Gets you ranked higher on Google
  • Finds you business contacts like fellow innkeepers and associations

Remember:

  • Share your story of how you came to be bed and breakfast owners/innkeepers
  • Share information you are interested in and that your followers will find useful (such as travel tips)
  • Educate your audience on the advantages of staying at a bed and breakfast
  • Pin pictures of your bed and breakfast
  • Pin pictures of you amenities such as pool, garden, spa, etc.
  • Pin pictures of your community to give guests reasons to want to stay in your area

Etiquette or “Netiquette”:

  • If you were not the first to pin it, give credit to the original pinner.
  • Share and repin to show you are interested in other things outside your own B&B

Pinterest users become part of a larger community.  When we promote other people’s pins they are more likely to follow us.  That is one of my secrets to the art of pinning and how I grew such a quick following on Pinterest.  You can too!

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

Bed and Breakfast Spas

bed and breakfast spas

 

Bed and breakfast spas can deliver the royal treatment to your guests.  If your B&B does not have a spa, an easy alternative involves scheduling massage therapists to visit your guests’ rooms at your bed and breakfast or making arrangements for your guests to receive a discount at a local spa.

 

Reasons for Spa Services:

  • Beauty treatments
  • Cleansing
  • Detoxification
  • Exfoliation
  • Improve complexion, circulation, and flexibility
  • Relaxation
  • Relieve aches, pains, and tension
  • Youthful appearance

Services:

  • Aromatherapy: relaxing with enjoyable aromas
  • Facials: including masks, exfoliating scrubs, acne treatments, etc.
  • Hair removal: waxing any unwanted hair
  • Manicure: finger nails and hands given royal treatment 
  • Massage: such as deep tissue, Swedish, prenatal, etc.
  • Pedicure: toe nails and feet given ultimate attention
  • Sauna: hot and steamy relaxation
  • Stones: strategically placed stones–hot to relax or cold to heal

Packages include a combination of services done on the same day.  Some B&B’s let their guests decide for half day or whole day treatments.  Couples love couples massages so be sure to promote them to couples who are newly engaged, honeymooning, or celebrating an anniversary!

Guests can be pampered all day long at bed and breakfast spas!  All guests will love receiving care from the outside in!

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

What Motivates You?

what motivates you

 

 

What motivates you?  What inspires you?  If you know the answer to those two questions, it can give you the strength and energy you need to persevere day in and day out.

 

 

 

How did you come to be bed and breakfast owners?  Whether you are new to inn-keeping or have been hosting guests for years, we all need to remind ourselves why we do what it is we do.

Your reasons can include:

  • Like to have your own business
  • Love entertaining guests
  • Enjoy cooking gourmet breakfasts
  • Get to tend a beautiful and fruitful garden
  • Appreciate meeting new people
  • Skilled at managing the books
  • Having fun decorating and remodeling
  • Have a vision for its growth

When you remember why, then it becomes easier to tackle daily chores and responsibilities. You are building your future and allowing your guests to have a wonderful experience they will always remember.

When your guests have a great experience, they are likely to let their friends know all about it and to return at a later date. Some of your best visits will be from returning guests to which you had a special connection.

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

Top 5 Reasons to Stay at a B&B

 

reasons to stay at a B&B

Do you know that your blog is the perfect place to promote reasons to stay at a B&B? Bed and Breakfast Blogging will write a blog for your B&B that entices your website visitors to book rooms!

The following are excellent reasons why a potential guest should choose to stay at your bed and breakfast versus a hotel.

 

1. Bed and breakfasts treat all of their guests with special care and attention.  You may personalize their visits with little extras like flowers in their room and chocolate on their pillow.

2. B&B’s can be very romantic places to stay at. Several bed and breakfasts have honeymoon suites!  You may offer dessert and wine served to their room in the evening.

3. Your guests will enjoy the best home-cooked breakfast they ever have because you cook delicious gourmet food including Eggs Benedict and French toast!

4. Your visitors will be staying in the comforts of your bed and breakfast home and have the amenities of a hotel.  It is important to have pictures (even a video tour) of your bed and breakfast on your website for potential guests to see all your B&B has to offer.

5. Their special event is happening at your B&B.  Many bed and breakfasts specialize in doing weddings or hosting meetings–yours may be one of them.

Bed and breakfast owners, it is important for your blog to highlight what makes your particular bed and breakfast unique. Give them reasons to stay at a B&B. Bed and Breakfast Blogging can write you online content that is targeted to market to your ideal B&B guests.

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

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