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Cat71

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  1. I have an unwanted train ticket, single journey from Ashford International to Dijon. 20th October at 11:00 from Ashford, arriving 16:31 at Dijon. Selling for around half price! £30/40euros.

    Thanks.

     

  2. Hi Arnold,

    No didn't receive your email. Address still the same!

    You know I'm definitely not a techie so.....when we signed up with our current hosts we thought they were UK based but they turned out to be from the US.  When I used the internet to search I'm convinced they initially said .co.uk! I'm confused as to what the difference makes ie US or UK hosting. We are getting lots of hits on our site even though I realise it needs improving etc.

    So, are you suggesting that if you want UK visitors you use a UK based host and if you want USA visitors you use a USA host?

    I need more explanation and what are nameservers?

    Thanks.

    Catherine

     

  3. Hi Gus,

    Have already done this to loads of UK clubs and USA sites! We've had lots of visitors to our site from the USA but no bookings. I've a PDF here if you would like me to send it across to your club?

    With regards to my soul, perhaps I'll rename myself Madame Faustus! Could be my next marketing ploy[6] Well at least it's different. Thanks,

    Catherine

  4. Thank you Paul,

    I've tried to remain positive and not responded to what I class as the 'arm chair' viewers, although sometimes it is very tempting!

    I have tried to analyse and act upon various suggestions and most have been more than helpful. Thanks to all who have given me thoughtful and positive responses.

    I still have a long way to go to improve my site but I'm not terribly computer literate and when someone suggests a change it doesn't happen overnight! It often takes me days to work on the site. Plus, I'm actually living in France which = paperwork, more paperwork, paperwork again, industrial grass, spiders that spin human catching webs and a teenager and a cat and various other life forms that need attention! And I'm also attempting to advertise a cookery experience here in the deepest darkest depths of south Burgundy/Jura, where no one appears to know about. [:'(]

    I agree with you and I'm glad you have responded. The photos do not do the bedrooms justice. I just can't quite get the right image! I'm probably going to scrap them but I have taken all comments on board about people wishing to know where they are sleeping. With regards to en-suite... well, the bedroom at the end of the house has a private bathroom next to it that is 3.80 metres x 2.50 metres with a large walk in s-shaped shower, bidet, wash basin, WC, Italian tiles, a couple of exposed beams etc. It is so much nicer than the pokey add-ons in bedrooms, that are classed as en-suite! We decided not to do that to a nice airy bedroom.

    The other room has a shower room opposite but the whole area is totally private so why have ensuite? There's no one there to see if you decide to go to the shower room stark naked!!!! And, it's much nicer. No nasty smells in the bedroom after eating my delicious roasted garlic with olive croutons and fromage de chevre, if you know what I mean.

    Niche market? Yes. If I had a whole lot of lolly, I'd know exactly where to place the ads! C'est la vie.

    Thank for the positive.

    cat

  5. I think it is swings and roundabouts with the different advertising companies. Some work for some, others for others. At the end of the day one couls spend thousands and if I had a decent budget, I'd know exactly which mags and publications to put ads in!

    Like you Cerise, we have no passing trade at all and are in a very non touristy spot for passing bed and breakfast. It may sound a bit odd, but that is why we chose this region. There is not a huge amount of competition here and certainly no one too close offering painting and cookery breaks. That is why we are attempting to specialise or offer holidays with a flavour in a part of France that is still very French!  My husband truly is an artist but I am not a professional chef. However, I'm perepared to offer cookery experiences as all my guests who have stayed here have suggested it to me. Survival is all about re-inventing oneself and utilising ones skills! At this moment in time, I'd sell my soul to the devil.

    Our local tourist offices do not appear to want tourists. I've been in several times to try and promote the B&B side but they really are not interested. I gave up trying to explain about our painting holidays. It appeared to be a concept they couldn't quite grasp!

    I'm now net working with other businesses in Burgundy to try to link with them in some way to offer 'package type hols'. It all takes time.

    Catherine

    ps. Your ark idea may take off if the storms that are threatened in the next few days are bad! Why don't we get together and offer painting, cooking and sailing courses?!!!!!!!!!![:D]

  6. Thank you Coco,

    I've still got loads to tidy up on the site. Will keep at it.

    No I haven't advertised a great deal this year. We were with Visit France last year but only got one booking! We're still with but only just, Goin2Travel which is an American site and we've advertised with a really good local site Burgundy Eye, which covers all of Burgundy,  is very classy and full of information. If fact we also have an article about painting hols on the site. So much better than any official tourist site.

    We are also with Ourrins and several free sites. Of course I've linked with British Arts and othe art sites and quite a lot of traffic comes via these. Hopefully, now the site is looking clearer, we'll  get some more bookings.

    Regards,

    Catherine

  7. Hi,

    I am in dire need of a sit on mower but can't afford one at the moment. Is there anyone out there who has got a one that they would like to get rid of? We have about 3,500 sq metres of industrial grass.

    I could exchange it's value for a few days B&B, or if anyone needs an extra pair of hands for helping out at their gites or other, I'm a good cook, am ace at tiling bathrooms, looking after animals etc.

    Any offers?

    Regards,

    Catherine

  8. Thanks Angela sound advice.

    Yes, the Sydney Opera house photo is in fact Lyon airport (which I thought was quite good)but I'm inclined to leave it as the search engines pick up on it I think! My links page is a mess at the moment.

    With regards to the terms and conditions, it is always difficult to know exactly what to write. I may even just cut it out altogether and just ask for deposits. I'll have to think about that.

    Good heavens! I hope we don't come across as perverts! I added the artist quotes for arty interest especially the Renoir one. My husband has been trying to convince me for years that the naked form is a fantastic thing to capture on canvas: shape, texture, shadow, etc etc so I kind of understood what Renoir was saying. I'll leave them in for now but if I feel they are off putting I'll change them. We also have clients' quotes in but I didn't want to do over kill!

    The question of materials is always difficult as art supplies are expensive. It is just knowing how to approach it. So thanks again. If it rains today I'll be back at it.

    I may be trying to sell a romantic dream but of course realism is a totally different matter! (Things to do all the time).

    Catherine

     

  9. Hi everyone,

    Yes I am listening but not responding often as I'm busy revamping our site which is not finished, I hasten to add.

    I've sifted the wheat from the chaff as some of you can imagine but it is quite hard to please all! People read things differently!

    Firstly I'm using a web programme that is quite complicated and I haven't the time or money to change for now, so the look, even if amateurish is because I'm not a web designer. However, I do try. I've just found some navigator buttons, downloaded and used Illustrator to name them. I've tried to add more photos and have resized them in Photoshop so I hope they will not be too slow to download.

    As for my prices - well that is subjective. We are offering quite a lot. Having ones husband spend maybe 8 hours a day with just 1 or 2 guests giving them total individual attention and me devoting the whole day to offering breakfast, lunch and really good quality evening meals, plus all the refreshments plus wines etc, then remaining with our guests until mid-night plus, is time consuming and I do give a good service. I'm sure quite a few people running a similar set up will understand.

    We are not dealing with the masses but a slightly niche market. One person critisised me for not accepting children and another for explaining about not smoking. Well, I have 3 children myself (now in their late teens)and am also an x-primary school teacher. I don't dislike children but, our house here is not set up for children. Our primary aim was to attract painters and not families. We do not have any family sized rooms and that is that.

    With regards to smoking, I've again chosen to live in a smoke free environment indoors. Anyone can smoke outside. Even I do on very very rare occasions. 

    So, quite a few comments have been great. It is the reason I posted the thread. Thanks to the ones who have been helpful and encouraging. I run a friendly place here and all my guests so far, who have spent time with us, keep in contact as friends. I must be doing something right!!!

    Regards,

     

    Catherine

  10. Thank you everyone for your comments. They have certainly got me thinking. Unfortunately, just concenttating on B&B will not pay the bills as we only have two rooms. Therefore the painting and cookery holidays have to remain our main focal point. Niche markets I know but that is why we moved here - to run painting/cookery holidays for a small group of 2 to 4 people.

    I'll get to work on our site.

    Regards,

    Catherine

  11. I've more or less done what you have suggested Anton. It is really just a case of writing 'words' or 'expressions' that are acceptable to all. The problem is everyone interprets things in a different way.

    I'll just have to keep at it ie the website, until I think I find a happy medium and please all on-lookers which I think will be an impossibility! But thanks. I'm all for constructive critisism. It all helps.

    Catherine. 

  12. I'd love to be able to advertise with all the necessary mags but alas, can't do it! A wee bit pricey and yes I do know the expression "speculate to accumulate!"

    Catherine

  13. Thanks Benjamin,

    Maybe I'll have to make it less specific!

    Regards,

    Catherine

  14. I'm taking all this on board and thank you for your encouraging words.

    I'll obviously have to redesign our web site. I attempted to make us sound not too commercial and as friendy and welcoming as possible. I have obviously failed! However, I have had French people to stay and have had only very, very satisfied clients to date. The problem is I need more.

    Catherine

  15. Yes, I'm down in the French dumps! We have a more than lovely house, are offering painting holidays (run by hubby) and I'm now offering cookery experiences as well as B&B but have no bookings![:'(] 

    Our website which has been running for the past two years is attracting visitors as google is doing its bit. I have lots of great links, am competitive in price BUT no one appears to want to come to south Burgundy. Why? I don't know! It's lovely here and not too difficult to get to. Yes, it's not the most well known of regions but surely that must appeal?

    Someone please advise without the armchair lectures about "doing ones homework before moving to France!"

    Catherine (A very very worried person!)

    www.pictureburgundy.com

     

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