How To Make Your Adverts Work Better.

“When things are good you should advertise, when things aren’t good you MUST advertise.”

Advertise your website, not your services or products. 

Traffic is the lifeblood of your website, without traffic your site is dead.
If no-one sees it, it might just as well not exist.

  • To attract visitors to your website, advertise your website not your services or products.
  • Your website does your selling so don’t make the mistake of making your adverts a mini version of your website.

Include a wide range of keywords and key phrases in your adverts.

  • As well as the keywords for your own business, think wider. Include key words and phrases people might use when they aren’t specifically looking for you.
  • For example, if you provide accommodation, include words for nearby attractions and activities. People searching for tours, scuba diving, sightseeing etc. will often need somewhere to stay so use these kind of keywords in your adverts,

Be friendly, helpful and contactable.

Make it easy for people to get in touch with you. Many adverts fail because they’re not user friendly or don’t tell visitors what to do next.

  • Don’t forget your Call To Action. Tell people what to do.
  • Include your name and contact details and encourage people to contact you.
  • Keep adverts short and to the point as many are read on mobile devices.

Use Social Media to promote your business – it’s free.

  • Always include links to your social media sites in your advertising and emails.
  • Link to Facebook, Twitter, Pinit and Linkedin. These four cover the widest range of prospects.
  • Limit it to four. More than four can look like spamming.
  • Promote your Blog in the same way you advertise your website. Then use your Blog to promote your website.

One more thing …

If your advertising isn’t working, stop doing it. Do something else.
You run your business to make money so find out how, where and when to advertise to get the best value for your money.

More for small businesses …

Cliff Chapman

Not New – But Worth Seeing Again

Thanks to whoever posted this first.
If you tell me your website I’ll give you credit.

Bless the Aussies and their sense of humour.

Aussie girl characature








These were posted on an Australian tourism website, and the answers are the actual responses by the website officials, who obviously have a great sense of humour.

Q: Does it ever get windy in Australia? I have never seen it rain on TV, how do the plants grow? (UK)
A: We import all plants fully grown, and then just sit around watching them die.
Q: Will I be able to see kangaroos in the street? (USA)
A: Depends how much you’ve been drinking.
Q: I want to walk from Perth to Sydney – can I follow the railroad tracks? (Sweden)
A: Sure, it’s only three thousand miles. Take lots of water.
Q: Are there any ATMs (cash machines) in Australia? Can you send me a list of them in Brisbane, Cairns , Townsville and Hervey Bay? (UK)
A: What did your last slave die of?
Q: Can you give me some information about hippo racing in Australia? (USA)
A: Af-ri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe.
Aust-ra-lia is that big island in the middle of the Pacific which does not …
Oh, forget it. Sure, the hippo racing is every Tuesday night in Kings Cross. Come naked.
Q: Which direction is North in Australia? (USA)
A: Face south, and then turn 180 degrees. Contact us when you get here and we’ll send the rest of the directions.
Q: Can I bring cutlery in to Australia? (UK)
A: Why? Just use your fingers like we do.
Q: Can you send me the Vienna Boys’ Choir schedule? (USA)
A: Aus-tri-a is that quaint little country bordering Ger-man-y, which is …
Oh, forget it. Sure, the Vienna Boys Choir plays every Tuesday night in Kings Cross, straight after the hippo races. Come naked.
Q: Can I wear high heels in Australia? (UK)
A: You are a British politician, right?
Q: Are there supermarkets in Sydney and is milk available all year round? (Germany)
A: No, we are a peaceful civilization of vegan hunter/gatherers. Milk is illegal.
Q: Please send a list of all doctors in Australia who can dispense rattlesnake serum. (USA)
A: Rattlesnakes live in A-mer-ica, which is where YOU come from. All Australian snakes are perfectly harmless, can be safely handled, and make good pets.
Q: I have a question about a famous animal in Australia, but I forget its name. It’s a kind of bear and lives in trees. (USA)
A: It’s called a Drop Bear. They are so called because they drop out of gum trees and eat the brains of anyone walking underneath them.
You can scare them off by spraying yourself with human urine before you go out walking
Q: I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth. Can you tell me where I can sell it in Australia? (USA )
A: Anywhere significant numbers of Americans gather.

Q: Do you celebrate Christmas in Australia? (France)
A: Only at Christmas.

Q: Will I be able to speak English most places I go? (USA)
A: Yes, but you’ll have to learn it first.

Why You Need Travel Insurance …

… so never travel without it.

travel insurance

Are you looking to save money on your travel costs?

Have you thought about cutting down, or even cutting out your travel insurance? Are you looking for cheap travel insurance? Before you do anything else, do yourself a favour and read this.

Why you need travel insurance.

When planning a vacation or business trip, travel insurance is often one of the last things you think about, if at all, yet it’s one of the most important things to ensure your trip is stress free.

You carefully plan your holiday making sure you get exactly what you want and the best deal, but what if things go wrong? This is why you need travel insurance. You never know what might happen. At home you have a pretty good idea how things work, what risks you can take and where to get help when you need it. But when you travel, it’s quite different. Especially if you’re traveling abroad but even when traveling in your own country. You don’t know what kind of unexpected setbacks could affect you and your family while you’re away.

Here’s what to protect yourself against if you’re to have a safe, enjoyable and stress free trip.

1. Things do go missing, get lost or stolen

2. You can have an accident or become ill and need medical attention. And make sure your children are properly covered. It’s very easy for children to have an accident and need medical care.

travel insurance 1






3. Your travel arrangements can get cancelled or changed by your tour company

4. Bad weather can affect your plans. Recent events across the world, floods, storms, cyclones, earthquakes etc have affected thousands of people’s plans resulting in additional travel costs, extra accommodation etc.

5. Travel companies do go out of business

6. You may incur legal expenses

7. Things can go wrong back home and you may need to return early

8. Medical attention, dental treatment etc can cost a lot more abroad than they do at home, especially in the United States.

9. You may need foreign help, with language or legal situations.

10. You may need to change your plans for many different reasons.

11. The world is unstable today with terrorist threats and actions, and countries and regions do become unsafe.

12. Hired equipment such as skis, snowboards, surfboards etc do get broken.

13. Luggage does get damaged or get lost on flights

14. Family illness etc can prevent you going on holiday.

15. If you run your own business and can’t return, who will run it for you?

16. And finally, the thing no-one likes to talk about, what happens if you or member of your family is injured or even dies?.

Your travel insurance will give you peace of mind that if anything goes wrong, you have the protection and help you need.

Cliff Chapman

In Business? – Then Use Your Lists


list 2


Not just your customer list … but all your other lists.

“What lists?” you might ask? “I don’t have any other lists”

Don’t you? Think about it!

First of all, what do you do with your customer list?

Do you send them a newsletter? How often? What do you say?

Are you trying to sell them more of what they’ve already bought?

Or are you helping them in some other way?

And what about your other lists?

Oh yes, your other lists!

Have you got a list of them somewhere?

“I DON’T HAVE ANY LISTS!” you shout!

Think about it. 

Here’s a few for starters ….

Your family
Your friends
Your neighbours
Friends of friends
Your prospects
Your enquirers
Your suppliers
Your advertisers
Your competitors
Your networks
Your groups
Your organisations
Your clubs
Your local shops
Your local businesses
Your local publications
Your trade publications
Your local telephone directory
Your local schools & university
Your Chamber of Commerce
Your local Government
Your Facebook friends
Your Twitter followers
Your LinkedIn contacts
Other people’s lists
The list here in traveljunkies
The junk mail you get
The business cards you’ve collected
And what about the reps that call on you, they’re a great list.
And how could you forget the Internet?

So you do have some lists don’t you?

(If not – go and get some)


Blogging Tips From Top Travel Bloggers…

Top Travel bloggers Tips …

(Please share with your friends and business contacts if you find this useful)

Blogging on the beach

Whether you’re starting a new blog, and if you’re in business you know you should, or already an established blogger there’s always more to learn.

Vicky Philpott (aka Vicky FlipFlop) compiled this list of blogging tips from top travel bloggers

  • What to Blog
  • Travel Tips
  • Make Some Money
  • Using Audio & Video
  • Using Social Media
  • Networking is a Must Do
  • Develop Yourself
  • Manage Your Time
  • Keep Going
  • Photography – Getting it Right
  • How to Design Your Blog
  • Getting Sponsored
  • Technical Bits.

See Vicky’s 69 Travel Blogging Tips From the Top Travel Bloggers

For the best travel holidays and deals visit us at

How Many Stars Would You Give This Hotel?


Here is a review in TripAdvisor by one of my friends who went to the Elias Beach Hotel, Limassol, Cyprus, in August.

Hotel Elias Beach Limassol Cyprus

Unbelievably (to me anyway) he gave it 4 Stars.
Based on his review, how many stars would you give it?

The Elias Beach Hotel is an excellent hotel, but, if you’re planning a trip there, then there are many things you should be aware of.

Firstly, if it’s a quiet get-away-from-it-all hotel you’re looking for, then this is not the place for you.
In the time we spent there (11 nights), there were 6 different wedding parties staying there. Large groups means lots of people having a good time; no problem, except that they often have little consideration for those around them, especially as they tend to have their hen night/stag party there as well !!
Their after-wedding party not only closes the greek-style restaurant for other guests, but the noise goes on well into the early hours.

For all-inclusive guests, the food is excellent. If you can’t find something that suits you here at breakfast, lunch or dinner, then you won’t find it anywhere. The staff who wait at the tables are as good as I’ve seen in any hotel.
However, don’t be fooled by the promise of ” a choice of 4 restaurants”. Flavours and Amadeus are actually the same place, with just a different seating area, and as the dress-code was totally ignored by everyone, it meant that there was no difference between the two.

The Japanese is good, but you’re only allowed to go there once, and it is isn’t open every night. As I said earlier, if there’s a wedding on, you can’t use the other restaurant either. The bar is great, the waiters attentive, and the area cool and relaxing.
I was horrified to discover that their red wine was the same temperature as their white wine (ice cold), but the staff did everything they could to rectify this.

The rooms are clean and comfortable, but we paid for an upgrade to a Junior suite. As someone else said, this was a long way from my definition of “suite”, in that a Junior suite here is, in fact, just a bigger room with a settee that could be turned into a 3rd bed.
The free Wi-Fi is abysmal. I’m glad I didn’t actually have to rely on it. They need to seriously upgrade their system.

There are pretty much enough sun-loungers to go round, but there is a 7 a.m. frenzy to get the best spots. Some people reserve 10 beds, and then use 2 of them for half an hour a day. I can’t blame the hotel for this, but it doesn’t make for a relaxing holiday. 

Whilst we were there, the hotel guests were probably 50% Russian. As someone else commented, not your average, decent Russian folk, but more the nouveau-riche arrogant Russians who think they own the place. They have no manners, treat the staff like dirt, and sit around smoking their foul Russian cigarettes at every opportunity.

There are lots of comments about the “Entertainment” that goes on. Pool zumba dancing at full-volume, catch the tennis ball in the tennis ball tube, darts, and bingo, are, however, more Butlins than I was expecting. The evening entertainment reminded me of the bad bits from “Britain’s Got Talent”.
In short, if you have small children, are in a large group, or wished you’d been an extra in Hi-De-Hi, then this is the place for you.

If you want to be able to fully relax, then you might want to think again.

In fairness more than 700 people have rated it with the majority rating it Excellent or Very Good on TripAdvisor, so It seems my friend just picked the wrong time to go.

Based on his review, how many stars would you give it?

Cliff Chapman

Are Big Businesses Putting The Squeeze On You?

In a recent survey of more than 3000 small businesses in the leisure industry we asked the question …

What are the two or three things that concern you most in your business?

Not really surprisingly two of the top three were about customers namely …

  • Not enough customers
  • Not a regular supply of customers
  • And followed by … not enough time to do everything

But a number of replies were concerned about the way big businesses use their size, budgets and influence to put the squeeze on small businesses.

So is competion fair?

Big v small 1






One of the replies was from Nick Marshall who with his wife Lizzie has been running holiday rentals for nearly 25 years and owns Cairns Holiday Homes in North Queensland Australia.

Nick has seen lots of changes in this time and none moreso than the effect the Internet has had on his business and no doubt on many other small businesses

Here’s what he had to say..

Dear Cliff.

Thank you for the feedback regarding the effect of large corporate interests taking a huge bite out of holiday rentals for doing little more than listing properties.
This was bound to happen. The internet, in its early days at least, offered a far cheaper method for small businesses to potentially be seen. The only way that small business could advertise in the mass media was through the traditional media of the press, radio and tv. For most of us that meant small ads in the classified columns or, at much greater cost, taking out an ad in the weekend travel pages of a national newspaper. 
Twenty five years ago that was costing me nearly A$300 per week. In Australia the “rivers of gold” as the Fairfax newspaper group’s weekend advertising columns were known was decimated by the swing to the internet and the rise of eBay and many other alternatives. Not surprisingly they took action and bought a site called Ozstays which became Stayz. 
That site had been started as a listing site for holiday homes and apartments in 2001 but soon started listing hotels, motels and resorts – probably because the founders realised that the more listings they had, the more they could sell the site for. Stayz was purchased by Fairfax for about $12 million in 2005 and then sold to Homeaway for around A$220 but that included more than A$150 million of debt. Even so, it was a very good return on investment. Homeaway, which has grown by a string of worldwide takeovers, was after the 50,000 odd listings and gross margin that exceeded 56% in 2012.
None of this should surprise but I really do not see how these very large businesses can survive with their present business model. They are all actively trying to separate the supplier from the customer until after the booking has been made. 
Unfortunately, the majority of holiday homes do not have a brand name (such as a hotel might have). Customers are taking a real risk when they book a home without the opportunity to talk to the managers or the owners. 
The large sites like Homeaway, those operating under its name and AirBnB are expecting the public to trust their own brand name. Unfortunately, problems are happening ( trashing of properties, theft, prostitution etc) because none of these corporate sites are able to check out their clients. Flipkey is, I think, in a slightly better position because of its association with TripAdvisor which is the giant in customer feedback for all things to do with holidays.
Sure, these large listing sites do now attempt to verify ownership but their whole model is based on the owner or manager providing all the details of the property (copy, photographs, calendar data) when they list. 
Homeaway recently passed 1 million listings worldwide and AirBnB has around 600 thousand listings.
With the amount of debt these corporations are carrying, there is no way that they can support their customers by providing a service that answers questions about individual properties. By preventing the pre-booking connection between the customer and the owner or manager, they are essentially saying  “Trust Us!”
I do not think this will work because trust is breaking down everywhere at the moment. This provides an enormous opportunity for home owners and managers to get off their butts and build their own websites which will better serve their customers. 
Of course, it is very hard to have a one property site which is going to be seen because the gateway is Google and there are only so many page one spots. Having said that, there are still many home owners who are not making use of Google Local for Business to be seen. 
Property owners have to get together with other property owners in the same region or even the same suburb in large cities. Some areas already have well run websites specialising in that area. Support them.
Getting a good domain name is not as hard as it might seem. A name containing the name of the suburb, the village, the town, the region or sub-region or region is often available. Building a wordpress website is the easiest and least costly part. The hard bit is keeping the website updated and running an interesting, relevant and useful blog on the site to build up authority. 
It is hard work and very time consuming. The days of list and forget are over – unless an owner wants to spend thousands more for elevated listing positions. It takes commitment and contribution by the owners to make it work.
Those who don’t take the plunge now will be lost in the listings. There is a wealth of good advice on the web – Matt Landau and Heather Bayer for example. This subject was touched on at the  Vacation Rental World Summit this year. The cost of the webinar recordings is a small price to pay for the great advice offered.
The web is about doing it yourself rather than expecting others to do it for you.
Yours sincerely,
Nick Marshall
Some pretty insightful words from Nick not only about the effect of large businesses but also about the difficulties businesses of all sizes face in the rental property market, and some advice to owners and future owners of rental properties.
We also heard from Christopher de Hrussoczy-Wirth, Kitsilano Cottage, Vancouver, Canada who sees the financial clout big businesses have on the industry and how they infliuence local government, and from Uwe-Dorte Bockwoldt of Tyll’s Dive, Roatan, Honduras who says that much of the solution is in their own hands.
Christopher wrote … 
First would definitely be the incursion by big captial into the highly successful realm of residential based accommodations industry. The folks behind the vast infusion of capital into the directory listing and booking parts of our industry are ill suited to support and cater to the actual needs of what started out as a bunch of Mom & Pop operations. We really don’t want or need corporate types telling us how to run our businesses. Yet their deep pockets have given them a strangle hold on a segment of the accommodations industry that is now being victimized by its success.

Another concern that is escalating is the prospect of increasing local government regulations, mostly being driven by major hotels who see our industry as a threat to their bottom line.


Uwe-Dorte wrote … 
Hi Cliff
Have enjoyed your tips and hints.
The travel and tourism industry is very competitive and as small businesses we are invariably stretched for time and in many cases don’t have the necessary skills to compete with bigger businesses.
As a very small business, The ups and downs during the year can be concerning. We are aiming to get a a more steady flow again. 
We do not need to be crazy busy, but need steadiness. We are building it up getting more and more repeat divers. 
We are sliding down our rank in Tripadvisor. We do encourage new divers to make a review. But having so many repeat divers coming several times a year for years, it is hard to expect them to continue putting on reviews after each visit. The bigger shops have bigger turnover and many more people writing reviews.
Am afraid I am not promoting what we do good enough.
So many thanks to Nick, Christopher and Uwe-Dorte for their feedback and to the many otheres who took time to reply to us.  It is very much appreciated.
Cliff Chapman
If your businesses is being affected by “Big Business Practices” then we would love to hear from you.