The challenge...

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Should you accept it...

A couple years ago an innmate and myself put together a list. I can't recall if her list was the same as my list in length, but my list was "100 things to see/do within 100 miles of this B&B"

It began as 50 things to see and do and grew from there as we challenged ourselves to go further out seeking cool sites of interest.

Now posting this in one fell swoop really defeated all the hard work we put into it. But I think that was what we did, on our blogs and websites, maybe, I can't recall now.

So from that excel spreadsheet - I am following suit of that Craigend B&B in Scotland (I encourage you to visit their FB page) and doing a blog post (one per week, not one per day on Facebook like they did which I really loved following!) of 100 things to do/see within 100 miles of our B&B.

              This includes HOW FAR and a google map from our B&B to the site of interest. A link with contact info and a disclaimer stating to call first as this innformation is provided for travel planning only. Call for hours of operation.

The reason I am not JUST posting on FB, even though that would be miles easier, is that I want the SEO from this labor intensive operation. I want the link love and people to find us via searching Google.

Here is the challenge, you knew it was coming... ARE YOU UP FOR IT?

The blog posts are simple, a photo, content about the site, location, map, and links. I recommend you put your thinking cap on and compile a list of sites near you first, you will be amazed at how many you can come up with:

  1. A local creamery for homemade ice cream?
  2. A special walk in a park?
  3. A farm
  4. An historical landmark
  5. Unique building?
  6. George Washington Slept here
  7. Recreation
  8. Quirky sites
  9. etc

In the end if you feel this was not challenging enough, you can even add a personalized Google map of your entire list!  This would be a cool feature on your website itself. This is much more work, of course, unless you compile it as you go.

I will never stop encouraging you to blog, never ever ever! cool

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Arks's picture
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Staurolite. Learn something new every day!

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I am commenting on this thread, so it all flashes back to everyone. I just wanted to say that I took notice of the BWTS campaign on FB the last two days. Each one is a "something to see of significance" (my terminology) near one B&B.

Don't you love it that people watch what we do! We do have some great ideas, no don't we!? heart

https://www.facebook.com/BetterWayToStay

 

(The 2nd one is incorrect in the description however, and the inn should know this, but apparently doesn't, you cannot HUNT for these stones at the state park, it is 3 miles away on a different property). 

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

I am commenting on this thread, so it all flashes back to everyone. I just wanted to say that I took notice of the BWTS campaign on FB the last two days. Each one is a "something to see of significance" (my terminology) near one B&B.

Don't you love it that people watch what we do! We do have some great ideas, no don't we!? heart

https://www.facebook.com/BetterWayToStay

 

(The 2nd one is incorrect in the description however, and the inn should know this, but apparently doesn't, you cannot HUNT for these stones at the state park, it is 3 miles away on a different property). 

I've noticed the trend as well JB.  They latched on because it IS a fabulous idea.  Just like the idea of INNREWARDS.COM  This forum (as is awesome and is because of great people here!!! 

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What I've discovered as I am putting this together is that a lot of interesting sites are clumped together in the same area so I am now creating 1/2 day and full day self-guided tours for the guests to take with them. So whether they are heading to the big city or taking a day hike up north or visiting covered bridges I have a list of things for them do, sites to visit, and  places to eat along the way. This has been challenging but fun. How to blog about it is another thing. I'm not sure if I should list it as 100 things to do and see within 100 miles or to blog about the self-guided tours. Maybe I can do both. 

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Our CC is so amazing & helpful!  They have come up with quite a few "Self-Guided Tours" that you can download & print. They also offer them nicely printed in their office for visitors to take.  I keep a stack of them at the Inn & hand them out depending on what the guest is looking for. 

Here's a link for some ideas in case you need any.  They really are invaluable and I'm thrilled to have it as a resource.

http://www.blueridgemountains.com/selfguidedtours.html

Country Girl's picture
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Oh, I would love to do something like that!

Iris's picture
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These are fantastic. Thank you for the link

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Iris's picture
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These are fantastic. Thank you for the link

Madeleine's picture
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Oh, I do like those! Who knows how to make a map like that? Using Google maps isn't always easy as I found out trying to make a running map for someone.

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I just did a quick Goo gle search and found this: http://www.imapbuilder.com/

It says it's a free Windows download.  I'm going to give it a try.  I did a search for their company name just to see what came up & I found links to maps on some respectable websites that used the program. 

 

UPDATE - It says there is a watermark unless you buy full product.  I should have known...

(I would have deleted this msg if it'd let me)

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I did a floor plan like that once. Watermark unless you buy the program.

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Country Girl wrote:

What I've discovered as I am putting this together is that a lot of interesting sites are clumped together in the same area so I am now creating 1/2 day and full day self-guided tours for the guests to take with them. So whether they are heading to the big city or taking a day hike up north or visiting covered bridges I have a list of things for them do, sites to visit, and  places to eat along the way. This has been challenging but fun. How to blog about it is another thing. I'm not sure if I should list it as 100 things to do and see within 100 miles or to blog about the self-guided tours. Maybe I can do both. 

Now that's cool!

I know what you mean about it, make them up a 2 or 3 day itinerary from your inn. But what do they want to see, mountains, lakes, museums, history... It is neat to see all there is to see and do, that is what I love.

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This is a great challenge JB! Thank you for the push!

Kay Nein's picture
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I have officially accepted your challenge!  I wasn't sure if I would only because I am forever starting things I never finish.  So I considered just doing it without committing to the challenge.  But, here ya go - my commitment *whew*  "Hi, My name is Dena and I'm commitment phobic" 

I have started a blog and I'm learning how to do it as I go.  I've only put two entries on there as introductions to some of the content I expect to include.  I tend to be wordy when I write - I've edited the two posts down a little bit.  Let me know what you think.  I'd love some feedback & have come to trust y'all as being honest & fair

http://blueridgeinnbandb.blogspot.com/

 

Joey - I'd rather you wait until I post my first "thing to do" before you add it to Innteractive (unless you suggest otherwise).

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First a big pat on the back, nothing like a lit match to get you fired up to start this!  hehe

Yeah, thanks for the 'professional' status.  Now a couple things to get you in the right direction, this from someone that needs direction as well, Make sure you have your blog identify with your b&b.  More than the name,  need complete info just like your website and yes include your website.  Each post should also mention B&B name and website.  A plug for every post. 

Also make each photo be it's own minie ad by adding your B&B name & website.  (something I keep forgetting) This way if someone reposts it, there is your ad being shared as well.  I think it was JB who started a thread on this not long ago - spread the word every way you can. 

And don't forget to share your posts on FB and all other social media... 

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Thanks Copperhead!

I thought about adding text & our website to the photos, but I wasn't on the computer that had the right software.  I can always do that later.  If I had done everything that crossed my mind, I'd be at it until midnight!  

Good idea to put the Inn name & website on each post. 

As far as adding more info about our Inn - I played with the "About Us" section and it wasn't working out as I thought it would.  I was expecting a sidebar on the right with all our information, but it wasn't working. It's definitely a work in progress, so as soon as I figure that out I'll get it up there. 

As for now, I have to do some paid work.  My clients are bugging me (how dare they), so I must move on.  I'll tweak it more later.

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That blog template has the least additional space for other things, sidebar etc. That is the major drawback, I tried to fuss with it the other day and just left it. Other templates give you more area to add stuff on the side.

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

That blog template has the least additional space for other things, sidebar etc. That is the major drawback, I tried to fuss with it the other day and just left it. Other templates give you more area to add stuff on the side.

Yes, little did I know how important the template is as you get more and more into blogging!  Some of the extra bells and whistles don't work with all templates i.e. pages (called pages on blogger, but they are tabs which help you create a folder of sorts for certain topics)  I have just started using pages because of this challenge and it made sense for other topics as well.  Now viewers can find previous posts about a topic by clicking the tab.  But talking to other bloggers, found out that pages were not an option. 

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You are all Professionals to me!  I still feel like the awkward Intern who has to get everyone's coffee and take the meeting notes *lol*  

 

Luv Y'all heart

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Awshum Dena!

BTW In case anyone is interested, Feb is black history month, if there is something significant in your area re this. We have Booker T Washington Nat Monument here so I might try to squeeze that into Feb.  (I know Gillum has a connection to that in WV as well). Smiling

 

PS Thanks for calling us professional. tee hee

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Great Idea!  We have a small black cemetery from the 1930s hidden in a neighborhood adjacent to downtown.  I came upon it while walking one day.  That will make the perfect post.

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Working on it. So far with just golf courses, covered bridges, and museums I have over 50 - and these are all within 60 miles of my house!! Haven't even started on attractions, lakes, State Parks!

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If you take on this challenge, let me know and I will add your blog URL to innteractive inns.

Like this: http://innteractiveinns.blogspot.com/

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Phew! I've got the first post published and 3 more waiting in the wings that are done and scheduled.

I decided instead of writing more, I should make the list of all 101 things to see and do within a day trip of the inn so I don't just stare at my computer next time I sit down to write. The last few were tough to come up with, but it also could have been that I finished it at 2:00am! We haven't had guests for a couple days, so I've gone back to my old ways of staying up late and sleeping in.

Between the blog and recaulking one of our big tubs, it feel like I accomplished something today. Thanks again JB.

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I am on your first article and it already has me totally interested in the area for a visit. See how it works! Great job, and uh, 2am? wow.  cool

I love your first of the 101 Things to see and Do.

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I want to do something similar but want a nice picture for each - just don't have the time to go round all the places. Sad

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Last summer I started compiling a "things to do in the area" list for my guest info books and eventually came up with 50+ things to see and do in and around our county. I ended up selling ads and having it made into a color booklet. Had a few thousand copies printed. Of course, my place has a full-page ad on the inside of the front cover.

We put stacks of them in stores all over town and people have really been complimentary. The tourism office and Chamber of Commerce send them to anybody who contacts them about coming here. The school heard about them and some of the classes went through the whole book as an exercise for the students, who had no idea most of the stuff even existed here. Some people are keeping a checklist with the aim to do everything in the book.

It was fun to put together and see the response, and it gives some excellent books to put in my guest rooms!

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WOW! That was wonderful of you to do thatenlightened

Breakfast Diva's picture
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When I saw it on your FB this morning, I thought what a wonderful idea it was! The challenge is on!

This is great, because as you mentioned above, it's much easier to do a FB post rather than blog which is the trap I've been falling into lately. I rarely do any blog posts anymore. I think instead of once a week, I'm going to aim for every 5 days. Keeping them short and sweet will be the key, as well as doing more than one at a time and scheduling them to post every 5 days.

Thanks for the kick in the butt!

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Breakfast Diva wrote:

When I saw it on your FB this morning, I thought what a wonderful idea it was! The challenge is on!

This is great, because as you mentioned above, it's much easier to do a FB post rather than blog which is the trap I've been falling into lately. I rarely do any blog posts anymore. I think instead of once a week, I'm going to aim for every 5 days. Keeping them short and sweet will be the key, as well as doing more than one at a time and scheduling them to post every 5 days.

Thanks for the kick in the butt!

We all need to stop giving FB all the SEO and give it back to ourselves! Yes, it is SO much easier to post on FB but that doesn't help our own websites! Now a LINK to our blog post from FB would be the way to go!

Says me who hasn't blogged in weeks and got 'yelled at' by my own mother! 'Where's my stories?' she asks me. Sigh. Can't disappoint mom...

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Madeleine wrote:

Breakfast Diva wrote:

When I saw it on your FB this morning, I thought what a wonderful idea it was! The challenge is on!

This is great, because as you mentioned above, it's much easier to do a FB post rather than blog which is the trap I've been falling into lately. I rarely do any blog posts anymore. I think instead of once a week, I'm going to aim for every 5 days. Keeping them short and sweet will be the key, as well as doing more than one at a time and scheduling them to post every 5 days.

Thanks for the kick in the butt!

We all need to stop giving FB all the SEO and give it back to ourselves! Yes, it is SO much easier to post on FB but that doesn't help our own websites! Now a LINK to our blog post from FB would be the way to go!

Says me who hasn't blogged in weeks and got 'yelled at' by my own mother! 'Where's my stories?' she asks me. Sigh. Can't disappoint mom...

I think what I'm going to do is to post the blog post and instead of having it automatically post to FB, I'll do a separate FB post with the same information. I've noticed that in the past when a blog post auto feeds to our FB page, I get far less 'likes' and comments. I think it's much better if they see the whole post instead of the blog pic & link.

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You are such an inspiration!   The most difficult part about blogging is not time, it is the topics....  That is why you are such an inspiration to me.  You are doing the hard part for me coming up with ideas!  Now I need to light the match!  This topic is an easy one for me, the hardest part will be which ones to leave out (I hear you now, post everyONE of them). 

Madeleine's picture
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I cannot seem to blog once/month and I see you're blogging every day. Arrrggghhh!

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OK, I'll do it. A simple one liner with directions and photo where available. It will kill me. But I will do it. And I'll start a new category on my blog to list them all in to make it easier down the road to find them again!

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what the Yorkshire Dales National Park (which I am in) did as part of their marketing and also excellent is things to do in the Park when its raining! this is very important!

It is important in the Yorkshire Dales as they are seen as very much a do things outside - which is fine when its not raining but one needs a back up plan! they did this in response to the Flooding which was all over the news (but was in about 4 places in the entire county) we got good PR coverage.

Very psyced as they announce the route for the Tour De France tomorro! we are very excited as it may run through our town!

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I went ahead and posted my first one so you can see an example. Click here MABRY MILL.

I did three in advance and post dated them. I will get to the rest of my list when I can. Just got a jump start on them.

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