I have got to admit to being in a holiday mode myself and only working on half power construction wise since our last guests left. Although maybe if I really count the little jobs, like build a set of terrace step, point in the wall, hang pictures and other little mundane chores I suppose its not all been idle lounging around. Next monday we see the start of a busy 6 weeks.
Of course researching and writing for my new blog is time consuming as well which brings me onto my point.
We have now been successful in booking out 7 weeks here on the Pigeonnaire and considering we only completed on the 20th July, half way through the season that is pretty good going. I don't want to appear smug but that is more than a lot of established gites have done and judging by the traffic through the site the interest is still keen.
I spoke with a few gite owners before we even completed the work about my blog and the exposure it gave us and that I was hoping to maintain that exposure ongoing. I was told that the Internet is not as good as I felt it was and that no matter how you tried it would not add to bookings without the use of one of the popular booking sites like Chez Nous or French Connections.
I disagreed strongly with that view and now I have statistics to back up my theory. I am active in promoting Perigord Vacance as I would have been in the UK promoting Philip Voice Landscapes.
In my view you have to work at the advertising, and pushing the available lets and it has to be relentless. I hear so many stories from disgruntled gite owners who say that business is slow and they do not understand it.
Well if you are going to spend a lot of time and money building up a gite you are proud of then sticking a sole advert in a directory and hope that you are going to be selected above all others is ludicrous.
Active blogging such as Typepad or Blogger is a great way to keep traffic freshly flowing through your cyber arteries. Constant use of the words like gite, holiday, Monflanquin for instance in our case as the nearest bastide and place to eat or Ryanair, Flybe, Easyjet and Eurotunnel for instance because they are words all associated with destination France.
These are all words that search engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN or Technorati and RSS feeds index as they crawl through your pages and the fresher they are the more likely they will be hit when someone does a search.
I hear often people say that there are too many gites to make a living. I would argue there are too many gites for everyone to make a living but there is space for enthusiastic and innovative gite owners to get their lets high up onto the radar of prospective buyers.
Take a look at This French Life, Craig McGinty, has greatly helped and advised me on Blogging for Business and is very active in this field. Craig helps small business' like mine forge ahead with links to the related business communities that they are in.
You have to remain patient and I can spend at least 3 hours per week writing and sometimes much more, but the fruits are already plain for me to see .
Get blogging for business and good luck.
For information on booking a holiday here at Jean Blanc, please peruse our site or email me directly