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Websites, social media, etc

So, there have been several posts and I’m looking for some assistance to those who have already done so:

  1. what are the best websites for creating your own website?
  2. have you used any online booking/payment sites for your website?
  3. what has worked for you to market your site and get attention?
  4. do you have a good option that builds blogging into it?

I’ve just started with a social media presence, etc, but I’m wanting a way to attract repeat guests and referrals and save them money by avoiding booking fees. I also want it to be attractive to people who find it and make them have confidence in booking directly with me. I just signed up with square to take credit card payments, I figure that if nothing else it will be nice for those who want to extend their stay.

Those who market themselves directly, would you want to partner with me? I was thinking we could share each other’s listings since many of our guests of course will travel in other areas and we can increase exposure for each other by building our own brands and sharing each other’s posts. We aren’t each other’s competition!

Hi @Sarah_Warren,

  1. For me, the best and easiest way is to use Wordpress (on your own domain name). It’s easy to use and search engine friendly.
  2. Yes but since we started using Air we now link directly through (it keeps life simpler). There are many Wordpress booking plugins you can use.
  3. The site plus plenty of social media. Plus I have a couple of my own sites that I use to promote the listing.
  4. Wordpress sites are perfect for both pages and blog posts.

I’m also starting a travel-only website. (I’ve been saying that I’m starting it since February!) But on my main site, which is a general purpose ‘magazine’ site, I’d be happy to have articles from hosts here about their listings.

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@jacquo - any thoughts about those of us with individual websites linking to each other? Especially not being in the same area?

I have heard that if a bunch of us all link together, then it will boost our search relevancy in Google. Any thoughts on this, and the best way to do it so that you aren’t drawing attention to the links? I wouldn’t mind putting other’s links on my site, if it helps us all…but I don’t want guests to be curious enough to click on a listing in NY and then leave my page altogether - and then forget how they even found me.

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Another thing @jaquo - I have wordpress, and heard that the default when linking is “no follow” so it doesn’t really help with google juice. Then it may not even be worthwhile :angry:

Even if you made it “do follow” - would it only be benefiting those with little google juice. For example - you have a well -established site, so wouldn’t you just be giving away some of your juice, while us little people are mostly just benefiting from yours?? - I sure hope I am making sense.

Yes, it will help if we all link together. I’m not sure about it having no-follow as default but if it does, that can be changed. On my own sites, I have it set to no-follow in the comments section only - that way, I don’t have to check the links people leave attached to their names.

I was working on a page for one of my sites which was intended to show Airbnb locations that are near to motor racing circuits throughout the world but I didn’t get very far!

But it’s a great idea for us all to link. I’ll start working on a page soon on my site :slight_smile:

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I read about the “no follow” recently when a blogger was going to stay and write up a story on a hiking blog that gets tons of traffic. Then I read that unless the blogger changes it “follow” then it will not help my site at all with google juice.

I read that people were spamming the links to their websites in comments sections of blogs, just for google juice, and that was the reason for the default change to no follow.

Hmm…

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Yes, that’s true. Spammers don’t seem to realise that links in comments are no-follow and that they are wasting their time!

Was this someone who used the Wordpress blogging system rather than uploading Wordpress to their own URL? When you have the site on your own URL you’re in complete control.

Just so you all know, for non-techies, reading this thread was like this Far Side comic (only, in my head it was, "blah blah blah Google blah blah):

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Yeah, I need some help with the “no follow” jargon.

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If you’re using Wordpress, there are several plugins (free) that let you choose whether links should be no-follow.

Basically, when a link is no-follow, you’re telling Google ‘I have no idea what this link is so please don’t penalise me if it’s a dodgy site’. If it’s a follow link, you’re saying ‘I fully approve of this link’. For example, Google doesn’t like a site that has too many links to affiliate (sales) links such as Amazon. If you have them, it makes Google think that you’re not providing useful content but are just trying to make money.

So links to affilate sites should always be no-follow.

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Hello

I work in marketing and communications, so here are my thoughts.

I agree Wordpress is probably the easiest to use for your listing and blog - go for the paid for version - you get a better URL and other benefits. Lots of plugs for taking payments.

No real value in linking to each others sites. What are the chances that people will want to stay at random listings around the world.

If you want to promote your listing;

a) get links from authoritative relevant sites i.e. if you are on ramblers/hiking trail - get yourself reviewed on ramblers/hiking sites. Make sure you are linked on all the local tourism sites
b) speak to your local tourism people and become a member - you can then benefit from joint tourism initiatives
c) if you have something unusual about your listing - talk to relevant media/bloggers i.e. perfect honeymoon (wedding mags), treehouse/island - travel mags, you offer cookery courses - food mags
d) speak to your local university - put together a package they can use for visiting parents/students
e) do some research - do local companies have stay over visitors - if so can you make your listing business friendly
f) promote through your social media and ask friends, family and colleagues to share too
g) every time you have a new blog post promote through your social media and use hashtags for example #honeymoonhaven #NewYorkloftlet and ask family/friends/colleagues
H) if you have an intranet/staff magazine at work ask them to do an article on your business

Helen

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Sarah, I am whit you. I am in the process of putting it all together. Will let you know once I do have my website. In the meantime let me connect with you true Facebook.

We as Host are in no way in competition. We have all a niche, that is distinctly ones own.

Great Idea!!!

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Helen, I agree with you with one exception. By linking true Social Media like Facebook, you are reaching wider audience meaning exposure, and Yes having your own Niche is important.

Jaque, you have great Ideas! I am in super slow season, so have plenty of time. Love to connect with your site.

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Hi @Violetta49

I think we are agreeing here - no exception :slight_smile:

My point f) says ‘promote through social media’.

I have an old wix site that I set up years ago and haven’t logged onto in forever.
Will check out wordpress thanks to all the comments in this thread!

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So, I just thought I’d share the awesome logos my husband made for me:


We’re branded, lol.

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Are you a hotel?

(post must be at least 20 characters)

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Not at all. Just the old fashioned variety of several hundred years ago, lol. We’ve always jokingly called our little apartment the hotel above the garage.

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