Today was a big day for us. It was the online equivalent of being invited up on stage to sing with Bruce Springsteen or being asked by online sensations Pat Flynn and Chris Ducker to share our website and have them critique it. Oh wait…. that is what happened…… the bit with Pat and Chris that is.
Let me give you a bit of a back story here to give you a foundation for this amazing event.
Mike and I have been working tirelessly for several years with Cottage Blogger and it has propelled me to a position of some authority in the vacation rental space. I've been invited to comment in main-stream media, featured on podcasts, and asked to be a guest writer on high profile blogs. I was asked to be the Director of the Owner Community for a leading rental listing site. Most importantly to me, I'm the host of a podcast that has thousands of listeners, where I spend close to an hour every week speaking directly to you, my amazing and engaged audience.
Why do I do this…. it's simple. I love the Vacation Rental business and want to help you be as successful as you can, while improving the industry by raising standards and challenging misconceptions about the market.
CottageBlogger.com has grown dramatically since I launched it in 2006 and has grown to nearly 500 articles, downloads, videos and ebooks. It was extremely overwhelming to keep on top of all the technology so I brought Mike (my son) on board in 2011 after we closed our struggling membership site rentingforprofit.com to help me technically. Since then we have started building an email list, improved our SEO and engaged significantly on social media. All of this with our goal of building our audience to help them in the VR space, and eventually monetize some of the more valuable information.
From everything Mike and I have learned about online business and audience building ‘The List' is everything. Having a group of people who trust us with their email address in order to receive valuable and actionable information about the vacation rental industry right to their mailbox, is gold. To do this we have been fumbling around for years with email marketing software like Aweber and more recently Infusionsoft and exploring ways of attracting people to join our community. This in itself is the biggest challenge in todays over-saturated online marketing world.
How do you get someone to allow you to send them great information right to their email inbox?
This is only half the problem. Once your wonderfully trusting new community member has given your their address, how do you engage with them and ensure that their time spent with your information is of value and is measurable.
Along come Pat Flynn and Chris Ducker.
Mike and I are both long time listeners of Pat's podcast over at SmartPassiveIncome.com. Mike's online skill-set has been changed so extensively by his learnings from Pat that he even had a bobble-head doll made to sit by his computer to remind him to keep going and ‘Let Go' of the idea that success online is unachievable. I even got one and I believe there is an extra put aside for Pat, as a thank you, for when they finally meet. (my son the groupie….sigh!)
Chris Ducker is also an incredible online expert and business guru. Chris specializes in Virtual Assistants and created VirtualStaffFinder.com to help match you with a great assistant located in the Philippines. This is a huge cost and time saving business relationship that has paid off for us with the hiring of our wonderful assistant Hana who works for my rental management agency, as well as our projects here on Cottageblogger.com.
Pat and Chris have been doing live events over the past few years called ‘1 Day Business Breakthrough' where they meet with 20-30 online entrepreneurs and coach them through the changes they need to make to their existing business to improve their positioning, SEO, marketing and many other online business topics.
Today they released the 1 Day Business Breakthrough Podcast. They had asked for listeners of Pat's Podcast (Smart Passive Income Podcast and AskPat.com) and Chris's Podcast ‘The New Business Podcast‘ to submit the challenges with their online business and see what Pat and Chris could comment on. So I did!
So we have a few changes to make and we would love for you to keep updated with the changes and the steps we go through that will bring us more members to our community and improve our engagement with our audience. Also don't forget to comment below with any suggestions you might have.