Marketing My sister owns a beautiful cottage on Clear Lake –in fact there are two cottages together that she rents out either individually or together for larger families. She really enjoys talking with guests, helping them with their vacation plans and making sure the cottage is right for their needs. She has a great website and an organized system for managing the rentals. The ‘problem’ is she is so successful at presenting and maintaining the cottages that her renters keep coming back, to the degree that the larger one is almost fully booked for summer 2008. Why is this a ‘problem?’ Isn’t maximum occupancy what we are all looking for? Sure it is, but the continued enquiries come from people who have seen the website and are interested in booking. Simply showing a calendar that shows every week booked may turn those potential renters away before they make contact, and this means losing valuable leads who may be interested in offers for low and shoulder seasons, or for any cancelled weeks. The other issue that comes to mind was that a static website that simply offers a cottage to rent, has finite financial opportunities. Once the weeks available have been booked, that is it – no more income. But here’s the deal. Build a blog to market your property and the potential to create more income is much greater. Blogs have a couple of distinct advantages over a website. Anyone with the most limited technical ability can set up a blog and maintain it themselves. Many of the blogging platforms are completely free. A blog can be’monetised’. This means several streams of income can be built into it, through advertising, affiliate programmes and/or ebook sales. I’ve been seeing more vacation home owners using the blog model to market not only their properties, but additional products and services. Over the next few weeks I will be setting up a new blog for my own cottage to demonstrate just how easy it is and will be charting the progress on this site. I’ll be learning along the way as I have used expert help to develop my blogs and sites so far, and on this one, I’m on my own, so I’ll be passing on that learning too. Watch out for regular updates.