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May 2013 Newsletter

Latest Website Updates

Next week we will make some major changes to your member area to make it easier to navigate and make amendments to your property’s listing. Login to view the changes – and, if you have a moment – send us some feedback.

We’ve also upgraded our Map Search. It now features better controls, street view and the “pin” can be place more precisely. Why not Login and put it on your welcome mat? If you ever need help when making some amendments to your listing, then do use the ‘Live Chat’ function if it is live. It’s usually online from 9.30am – 9.00pm during the week and frequently at weekends.

Save more £££ with our improved discounts

We recognise that half of you have more than one property. We’re introducing a new, more generous series of discounts. From now on you can enjoy benefits for signing up for longer periods, and better discounts for uploading two or more cottages. You can also now upload up to thirty cottages. This ensures My Favourite Holiday Cottages continues to appeal to individual owners or those operating a local business – but stops the site being swamped by the big agencies.

Automatic Renewals and Quarterly Payments

We’re also including an option via PayPal to pay for your subscription automatically. You can pay in quarterly, semi-yearly or yearly instalments. After all £12 once a quarter is much better than £48 in one lump sum.

You’ll enjoy up to an extra 10% discount using this option, and not have to worry about logging in every year to renew. You’ll be able to un-subscribe at any time.

Introducing Your Personal Renewal Date

For those of you with more than one property, we’d noticed that some owners were getting swamped with regular requests for payments. This is because second and subsequent properties could be uploaded at different times during the year, and we had to send one email for each!

We want to be kinder to your in-box. So, we are synchronising your renewal dates. No matter how many cottages you list, they’ll all become due the same day. This way we only need to send you one email. If you add a new property part way through the year, you’ll only be charged a pro-rata amount based on the number of months left to your renewal date. This is something that many of you have raised with us, so we’re pleased to be introducing it.

In introducing this change, some of you with multiple cottages will find that we’ve ‘rounded up’ your cottages selecting the renewal date furthest away – so, if that’s you, it’ll mean that some of your properties will be enjoying free extensions to their listings this year in order to bring them into line. When renewal time comes around, you can then elect to pay with our automated payments to make things even easier.

Booking (or Advertising) a Holiday Cottage: Agency or Owner?

We’re probably preaching to the converted here, but this blog considers the pros and cons when choosing between managing the marketing and booking for your cottage yourself or through an agency.

Read Booking (or Advertising) a Holiday Cottage: Agency or Owner?

Easy Meals for Self-catering Holidays

Another way to make your cottage appeal to bookers without spending an arm and a leg: Don’t just tell your guests what they can expect to find in, (in this case) your kitchen, tell them what they can do with the equipment provided Describing the culinary activities possible in your cottage will make it, so much more attractive than your immediate competitors. It also contains some tips on some great cookery equipment to install.

Transform Your Family Friendly Holiday Cottage From Accommodation to Destination

It’s no longer enough just to offer nicely presented accommodation. In an era when wall-to-wall sunshine cannot be guaranteed in the UK, it’s important to present your property as a destination of infinite possibilities, whatever the weather. This article will appeal to owners of ‘family friendly’ holiday cottages.


Search Engine Optimisation – A Warning!

Don’t respond to e-mails offering to get you hundreds of links back to your website. For the more tech savvy amongst you, the phrase ‘Penguin Update’ will mean something. For the rest, it’s a name that Google has given to the latest update to the way it ranks websites on its pages. It’s important: The better your site complies with Google’s rules, the higher your website is likely to rise.

The latest Penguin update tackles those who have been cramming their site with non-relevant links to improve their rankings. Links are important and will remain important – but it’s the quality of those links that matter. For this reason, we recommend you ignore those e-mails offering to acquire hundreds of links instantly for your site. The odds are that Google will note what you’ve done and penalise your site meaning the traffic you get from it will nose dive. If this happens, you’ll need to get the offending links removed and then wait a few months before Google gets round to checking your site again. Not something you want to be saddled with!

Instead, do pursue links with ‘relevant’ sites, i.e. those where there is likely to be a natural affinity between the nature of your site and the site from which you’d like a link back. Grow them over time, adding at regular intervals – but not in one big chunk. This takes time, but it’ll pay dividends in the long run.