Monthly Archives: March 2015

What Should My Inn Blog About?

what-should-my-inn-blog-about

What should my inn blog about, you ask?  Since each inn is unique, your blog should give readers a better understanding of your particular bed and breakfast.

Is your location a relaxed beach setting, a scenic mountain location, a rural country farm, a contemporary urban inn, or something else entirely?  Entice your website visitors to stay at your bed and breakfast.  Pictures are a very visual way to attract vacationers.

Why do people visit your local area?  What local leisure activities can guests participate in?  Does your area have any local tourist attractions?  Blogging about this will give you fresh content and keywords for search engine optimization.  Moreover, knowing this information helps you target different types of guests:

Do you offer any special packages or retreats?

How does your inn serve breakfast?  Some B&B inns have their own restaurant.  Some bring breakfast to your room on a tray while others have a common dining area for guests.  At some bed and breakfasts, guests can choose from a menu what they would like to have while at others everyone the same delicious gourmet cooking.

Be sure to ask guests if they have special dietary needs.  Your blog can feature pictures of your breakfasts as well as recipes of guests’ favorite dishes.

What kind of amenities can your guests enjoy?

Potential guests also like to know more about the owners, innkeepers, and staff members of bed and breakfasts.  Be sure to put their pictures on your website including their name, a couple sentences about what they do, and what they recommend guests try when they visit.  You could even feature staff members that receive a lot of compliments from your guest feedback.

Be sure to tell guests what you, as an innkeeper, love the most.  Let them know that you will be attentive to their needs, but also give them the privacy they desire.  If you have a historic bed and breakfast, be sure to share your inn’s history.

Do you have any accreditations or affiliations?  Membership in a bed and breakfast association and/or having received a certain award or level of distinction will set you apart from other bed and breakfasts.

Do you have your own bed and breakfast shop?

How does your inn celebrate the seasons?

How does your inn celebrate holidays?

You can even write about remodeled or redecorated rooms.  Improvements to your inn are worth talking about.  Previous guests may want to return based on your description of the new changes.

Do you offer any incentives for frequent stays and/or referrals?  Reward your guests for returning and recommending your B&B to friends. On the topic of frequency, be sure to have a frequently asked questions section on your website.

Let guests know how to connect with your bed and breakfast on other social media websites. Have a presence on one or more of the following websites can make a big difference in your visibility online.

 

When you share your blog on social media, this lets people know more about you and your bed and breakfast inn.  Give website visitors an “inn-side” look at your B&B from behind the scenes.  Having a blog and being active on social media is a great way to draw more attention to your website.

Don’t have the time or desire to write a blog or stay active on social media?  Let Kristi Dement and her team at Bed and Breakfast Blogging do all the hard work for you.  Her clients see results with consistently booked rooms.

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

Bed and Breakfast Curb Appeal

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Have you seen that HGTV Channel show called Curb Appeal?  That informative show is full of tips on how to attract people to want to come inside your home.  It is about becoming the best looking house in your neighborhood.  As a bed and breakfast owner, your goal is to look so appealing from the curb, that those passing by will want to book a stay.

The last thing you want is for people to visit your website that shows your bed and breakfast looking at its best, only for them be sadly disappointed when they visit and see that it has not been well maintained.  This is why first impressions are very important.

Useful Curb Appeal Questions

  • Do I have an attractive sign displaying the name of my bed and breakfast?  Well made signs can attract the attention of others from the road.
  • Does my home look inviting?  You want it to look loved and cared for, just as you will do for your guests in showing them hospitality.
  • Is there a clear path to my front door?  Guests should not be confused about the main entrance to your bed and breakfast.
  • Does my front door look welcoming?  You may need to refinish it and add a coat of fresh paint.  You may want to feature seasonal wreaths on it. Some even inns have front doors with stained glass.
  • Is there an outdoor focal point that tells guests where to look first?  This could be a fountain, bench, walkway, tree, or anything else attractive.
  • Do I have an attractive way to distinguish the boundaries of my property from that of my neighbors?  This could be fencing with landscaping inside your yard.  Or it could be trimmed hedges that add an attractive border.
  • Is my lawn well-manicured?  The key is to consistently mow and fertilize so that it is easy to maintain and you have the greenest turf on your street.  If your yard needs to be revitalized, talk to some local lawn care companies.
  • Do my windows sparkle and shine?  Make sure that windows are clean.  If they need replacing, go green with energy efficient windows.
  • Do I need to have anything repaired? This means looking at things like your roofing, gutters, decks, and siding.  Make sure that nothing is rotted.  Have regular pest inspections performed.
  • Are my driveways and walkways safe, clean, and attractive?  This could mean power-washing, repairing brick as well as repairing stonework and concrete.
  • Do I have any dead or diseased plants or trees that need removing?    Trim shrubs, prune overgrown plants, and remove dead trees and their stumps.
  • Do I have a variety of evergreens and flowering shrubs?  Group plants by height and layer the groups for visual interest.  You can also vary the colors and textures.
  • Is there something that sets my yard apart from others?  This could be a gazebo, a pond, a fountain, statues, porches, and swings.
  • Do I have plants in pots or urns in eye-catching places like near steps and walkways?  Some people prefer a symmetrical look at the front door with the same thing on each side of the front door.
  • Do I have a garden of some kind for guests to enjoy?  This could be a flower garden, rock garden, or a vegetable garden. You can even grow your own spices to flavor your meals.
  • Do I have a plan for irrigation?  Depending upon your climate, ideally you have sprinklers for hot and dry times of the year.
  • Is everything that is painted on my property look clean and bright?  You never want guests to see cracked or peeling paint.  It is amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do to revive the look of something.
  • At night, will my guests be able to see when they return to my bed and breakfast?  There should be enough outdoor lighting that it is safe and attractive for guests to come back to your inn.  Any paths they should walk should be well lit.

It is important that your property gives them a great first impression and sets your guests at ease that they made the right choice to stay at your bed and breakfast.  Help them feel sure of their decision from the very moment they see your property.

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

Bed and Breakfast Bathrooms

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Bed and breakfast bathrooms can really enhance the experience of your appreciative guests.  Your unique decorations, attractive colors, magnificent materials, fancy fixtures, luxurious linens, and plush amenities all make a big impression on them.  Likewise, it is important to have complimentary bathroom supplies made available in each guest bathroom.  Your guests will remember your attention to the details.

This blog post features links to our corresponding Pinterest pages.  These Pinterest boards show photos from a variety of bed and breakfasts as well as of various products and ideas.  Given its visual nature, Pinterest is a great way to showcase your bed and breakfast.  Share pictures of what your inn looks like (both inside and outside) as well as share pictures of your delicious food and special events you host, such as weddings and tea time.

Be sure to decorate your bathrooms in a way that complements the look of the corresponding bedrooms and overall theme of your place.  Guests will expect the décor of bathrooms to be different depending upon the style or location of your bed and breakfast.  The following are just a few suggestions and there are many more decorating options available to the bed and breakfast owner.

  • Beach bed and breakfast bathrooms
    •  feature shells, starfish, sand dollars, sea horse, fish, coral reef, a captains wheel, anchor, or surfboards
    • have water, sand, or coral colors
  • Farm bed and breakfast bathrooms
    • feature roosters, cows, horses, gardens, corn stalks, or seeds
    • have farm colors like grass green, barn red, or sunflower yellow
  • Historic bed and breakfast bathrooms
    • feature pictures of previous residents, antique furniture, vintage signs, or a claw-foot tub
    • colors like black and white (like old photos) or rust

There are a variety of materials used in bathrooms, including:

Fixtures, such as:

  • Cabinets
  • Lights
  • Mirrors
  • Showers
  • Sinks
  • Towel bars and hooks
  • Tubs
  • Vanities

Linens:

  • Robes
  • Towels (double loop with high thread count)
  • Washcloths

Luxury amenities and other extras like:

Guests will be thankful for complimentary bathroom supplies, such as:

  • Bath gel
  • Bath mats
  • Cotton balls
  • Cotton swabs
  • Drinking glasses
  • Hairdryer
  • Lotion
  • Make-up remover pads (to avoid stains on your washcloths and towels)
  • Mouthwash (travel size)
  • Shampoo and conditioner (travel size)
  • Shower cap
  • Soap (soap bars should be individually wrapped)
  • Tissues (with lotion)
  • Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste (travel size)
  • Toilet paper (individually wrapped rolls)
  • Waste basket (with throw-away liner)

You may want to reward your guests by having a frequent stay and referral program and give discounts for those returning again and recommending your B&B to their friends.  Keep in mind the image your bed and breakfast seeks to portray to your guests: comfort, luxury, eco-friendly, and more.  The possibilities are endless as to how you decorate your bathroom and what amenities you offer to your guests.

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography