I've started up a little family business, NwVacationSpots.com. My twin, 14-year-old sons and I are going through 8 years of digital vacation photos, making travel articles about them that we post on NwVacationSpots.com. This section of the website is meant to attract visitors off of search engines and eventually make the site a well-known destination for travel information about the Northwest. We'll orient our travels over the next few years towards gathering new photos for the website. For example, I love Ohme Gardens in Wenatchee - my favorite garden in the Northwest after Butchart, but I only have one old, grainy photo of it. We'll have to go back.
NwVacationSpots.com has two more components. It offers free listings to Northwest vacation rental owners. We then post a daily ad on Craigslist.org, rotating among our listed properties and the nearest metropolitan area. This is the principal draw of visitors to the site currently.
Lastly, the main point of the site for us is to promote our new vacation rental marketing service. This grew out of an arrangement we made with an owner in Moclips, WA on my NorthBeachVacation.com site. He was impressed with the marketing and advertising efforts I had made for my own house (BobsPacificBeachHouse.com), and asked how I might help him. Between his busy travel and work schedule, he hasn't had time to effectively update and promote his vacation rental website. We agreed that in exchange for a free weekend visit to his house (when it wasn't booked anyway) and 10% of rental income we generate, we would do the following:
1. Take new photos. We came away with 210 good photos. We also made these available to the owner, who is replacing some photos in his advertising.
2. Put up a new website (MoclipsCliffHouse.com). This is entirely separate from his current website. Our 10% fee only applies to leads we generate.
3. Post daily Craigslist ads promoting the new website.
We are starting this effort in the off-season and during a recession, but we have generated four leads and one New Year's booking in the first six weeks of operation. We figured that there must be more owners out there who need the same assistance. The program is explained in detail here: