How was your September?

The October 2010 Newsletter 1

It’s difficult to believe we are already in October. How was your Summer?

We spent a couple of weeks in France during the month – one week at the house near La Roche Bernard waiting for Lapeyre to install some new doors, windows, and shutters, and the second week with my wife’s family in Bordeaux. Whilst it was expensive we’re reassured that the house is a little more secure against the elements for the Winter and looks so much better.

I’m pleased to welcome a couple of new guest bloggers to the site. Nicola Harrington is a gite owner in Southern Brittany who moved to France in 2003 with her husband to escape the fast pace of life in London. Nicola writes about all aspects of her life in France and is a prolific blogger – so will never be far away from the home page!

Anne Williams also joined us in September and is writing about her experiences searching for, and eventually purchasing, her ideal house in the ideal location in the Pays de la Loire.

All in all, September was our most successful month yet for traffic and new blog posts. I hope that you find the blog a real quality read and that you will help us achieve an even better result for October.

By the way… if you are a keen writer and would like to keep us updated on your life in France, please see the section at the end of this issue. It’s easy and fun and can help you get a little more traffic for your own website in the process. You don’t have to be a holiday property owner – an interest in Brittany or the Pays de la Loire region of France is all that it takes.

French holiday bookings are down this year

I’ve been running a poll on the blog for the past few months asking holiday property rental owners to tell us how their bookings have gone this year compared with 2009.

35% of respondents say that their bookings are lower than last year, with 31% reporting higher bookings. From the comments received, there have been some spectacular successes too.

Are you a property owner? How strong have your bookings been this year? Now that your summer season is coming to a close let our readers know how the year was for you…

Take part in our survey and leave us a comment to describe your experiences.

Whilst on the subject of holiday rental properties…

Some time ago I ran a short series of tips to help holiday property rental owners to get their websites to work harder at delivering visitors and converting them into customers. Most are obvious – some less so – and some are relevant for other types of websites too. Why not take a look at the series and let me know if you would like more like this?

How to improve your holiday property website

On the Trail of George East

George East is an acclaimed travel writer who has been writing about France for more than thirty years. His latest book “French Impressions – Brittany”, which I read and enjoyed, was published several months ago. In a new series, ‘On the Trail of George East’, we are publishing excerpts with George’s opinions on places in Brittany that he has visited and we would like you, our readers, to add your comments, letting us know if you agree or disagree with George.

The first two excerpts in the series have now been published on the site, so if you have visited either the Mont St-Michel (we know – it’s in Normandy really!) or Concarneau (our first two towns), take a look at George’s comments and give us your views…

Read ‘On the Trail of George East’

As an aside, George asked us to supply a feed of all articles that feature him on our site so that he can display them on his website. RSS feeds are an easy way for you to deliver relevant and constantly changing content on your website. Your visitors will enjoy the content and will visit you more often, and search engines appreciate frequently changing websites too.

If you would like to feature any of our content on your website, or if you would like to ask us about RSS feeds, please contact us to find out more.

Can I help you?

From helping to vent your issues with French bureaucracy to building the trust of like-minded individuals, a regular blogging spot could be for you. As well as enlightening our readers it could help you to do more business – blogging is a great way of developing a passive following from people who could be more inclined to do business with you if they can see that you have a knowledge of, or interest in, a subject relevant to their needs…

Find out more about contributing regular posts

My blog is based on WordPress architecture and uses a premium theme to deliver what I think is a neat design. Whilst WordPress has traditionally been associated with blogging it is rapidly becoming a framework suitable for the development of fully functional websites too, with integrated blogs, nice SEO features, and an easy content management system so that website owners can add and edit pages, add images, change navigation etc without having to ask an expensive web designer to do it for them.

If you are thinking about a new website and would like a little help setting up, building, and hosting your WordPress site, please get in touch. Here’s an example of a WordPress site that we built for a client recently…

Normandie Rentals Website

Until next time…

Martin Jarvis, Blogger and Website Developer

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