Running a French Holiday Gite in Rural Brittany

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Happy blogsday!

1st Birthday
Yesterday (1st January) was this Blog's first birthday and so in among the festivities I thought I'd look back at how well things have gone.

In the last 12 months since the very first posting about setting up a CSS print stylesheet so I could print out the website pages for a neighbour who was interested in renting the Gite (which in the end didn't turn into a booking), I've written about a wide variety of subjects related to running a small Brittany Gite business and also to our life in the UK.

I've written about diverse things like advertising on Google, using Vistaprint to produce cheap business card advertising magnets, the many trials and tribulations of managing French builders from afar to get a new patio built, special offers and route details from different Ferry and budget airlines, the long-running saga of redesigning the Gite website using CSS instead of HTML tables, Blogging and Blogger Hacks in general, etc, etc.

When I setout the Blog I wanted it to be an opportunity to write a bit more about our French adventures, both from a self-interest angle, but also to help promote and publicise our Gite and to maybe get some more bookings as a result.

So how have we done with that aspiration? Well in 2006 the Blog's had 1700 new and unique visitors (excluding returning visitors), about a quarter of which came as a result of various Google searches (we're number one for searching for "estage agents bretagne" and number six for "rural holiday gites without pools") and about a quarter come from our Gite website.

I doubt that reading the Blog has been the sole cause for the upturn we've seen in Gite rentals, but I do know for sure that it's one of the contributing factors. I've had a number of renters who have commented that they have read the blog and that they've found it helpful to understand a bit more about the property and to put a bit more of a face to the owners beforehand. It's also nice to start to receive comments about the blog (although more would be nice!) and to build an expat and renters community.

So here's to 2007!

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