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September 2015 Newsletter

Feature Your Cottage in Our Blog

As well as moving and re-building websites, we have also appointed a new member to the My Favourites team, young James, who will be taking charge of our Social Media postings. He will be publishing a fortnightly News Blog on the site promoting self catering holiday destinations to those planning a holiday. Each blog will contain an image and a link to holiday cottages relevant to whatever the topic of the blog is about. This could be you! For an example see our Blog on British Beach Cafes or our latest one published this week on Finding The Perfect Holiday Cottage. These articles attract a lot of attention as they are often shared by readers via Twitter and Facebook – not least by owners of properties mentioned as well as potential bookers. It is well worth being included if you have the chance. The aim of these blogs are to encourage more out of season bookings for you and your fellow My Favourite Holiday Cottages subscribers. When we publish a blog that includes a link to your cottage’s listing, we’ll send you an email so you can share the link to your own databases and social media followers to help make your cottage even famous than it already is. To help us to help you, here is list of the topics we have got coming up. If you think one of these is relevant to your cottage here’s what to do: • e-mail us an image of your cottage (between 1-2mb in size for quality purposes). • The name of your cottage and the blog title in which you think your cottage should be included. • The reason why it deserves to be included, e.g. for the blog about Christmas decorations and illuminations, it could be because you really go to town with Christmas lights and decorations at your cottage – or a nearby town has illuminations worth travelling more than a few miles to see. If you’ve got an image of your cottage at Christmas - even better – send us an image of that. We’ll endeavour to track down an image and further information about the event or place recommended, but if you can provide any help with that, it would also be appreciated and make it far more likely that your cottage will be included.


Blog 1: The Magnificent Somerset Winter Carnivals

If you’ve ever been to once of these you’ll know what a stunning phenomenon the Somerset Winter Carnivals are. For the uninitiated, the best are up there with Rio - and I say that in all sincerity! If you have a cottage within driving distance of one of the main winter carnivals in October and November, e.g. Bridgwater, Glastonbury, Weston-super-Mare, North Petherton etc. then let us know. e-mail us us the details or web links and, if you have one or your own that you are willing to give us permission to use, a suitable winter carnival photo. Don’t delay though – we need it soon!


Blog 2: Bonfire Breaks

Is there a large public or community bonfire celebration near you, e.g. Lewes, near you on bonfire night? Does your village have a community bonfire, fireworks and burgers on the green at which visitors staying locally would be welcome? Send us details, web links and, if you have one, an image of past events. Deadline Date: 7th October Thanks to Alchemy Fireworks in Bedfordshire for this image from a recent Wedding Reception.


Blog 3: Christmas Cottages

Do you really go to town on decorating your cottage with trees, lights, reindeer etc.? Are there towns of villages near you that do more than just a few Christ as trees and standard banners across the High St or have a notable Christmas Market worth at least a day-tip to pick up last minute pressies? For example, Harbour Lights at Mousehole in Cornwall or the Leamington Spa Yuletide Fair. e-mail us details and/or web links together with images of previous displays in and around your cottage – or details of the town or location. Deadline Date: 15 October Image: Reindeers and Tree lights fill the Courtyard at Parkgate Cottages


Blog 4: Valentine Retreats

Is your cottage perfect for a romantic escape? Do you offer anything special, such as candles, t-lights floating in the bath or rose petals to scatter across the bedspread, or a bottle of fizz in the welcome pack? Send us a photo of a room, made up for a romantic break together with an image of your cottage and we will do the rest. Deadline date: 3 December Image: Romantic rose petals scattered in the bedroom await guests at Little Owl Cottage


Blog 5: Spring Flower Breaks

Is there is a woodland walk or country lanes brim-full of drifts of snowdrops, daffodils, primroses or great swathes of woodland bluebells sometime between late January and May somewhere new you? All we need, in addition to an image of your cottage are location details and ideally an image – or a link to somewhere we can go to get a suitably floral photo. You know the form by now: Send us your suggestion and preferably an image –or a link to a site that might be able to provide one, and we will do the rest. Thanks. I appreciate it might take a few minutes to do this – but, especially as there is no cost involved, it will help to attract more interest in your cottage so will be well worth while! Deadline date: 17 December


In Case These Slipped Your Mind...

More ways to enjoy Commission-less Online bookings: You can set up your listing to get commission-free online bookings. If you have an online booking facility on your website, displaying its calendar on your My Favourites listing should allow you to get online bookings (and, please note, there are absolutely no commission charges involved). There are, for example, over 100 cottages on the site using SuperControl calendars and virtually all of them have enjoyed at least one or more online bookings over the past 12 months. Log into your members area, select the calendar function and use the Third Party Calendar function to display it.


Upload Your Favourite Reviews

Reviews on My Favourites are different and you can use them to good effect. We invite guests (or you to upload what your guests have said in your visitors book) to tell us their favourite things about your cottage, i.e. what they liked or loved about their holiday there. No negatives – just positives. See then examples below for Derwent House in Matlock. They are easy to upload and will attract more click-throughs to your website or enquiries. You can do this from your listing or members area. We will moderate them to ensure they comply with policy, so no need to worry about asking guests to add a review and worry that it might be negative – just give them the link to your listing page. As an additional incentive to upload reviews - because we moderate their content before making them live, we will also tweet the best to our Twitter followers with a link back to your listing.



That’s it for this month. I look forward to receiving a bumper mailbox of ideas and images for our forthcoming blogs and a veritable tidal wave of reviews – all of which will push up our rankings and draw even more visitors to our site and your listing! Thanks, best wishes and get those blog nominations coming! Rick Bond My Favourite Holiday Cottages