Hi and welcome to my new blog where I will discuss all things related to starting a new business, vacation rentals, traveling with dogs, visiting Hot Springs with dogs, dogs in general (can you tell I love dogs?), my personal experiences in and around Hot Springs, fun things to do with kids in Hot Springs, local recommendations, and likely some renovation before and after scenarios. Basically, I am going to let the topics flow naturally and hopefully someone, somewhere will find value or inspiration in my ramblings.
Let’s start with why I started writing a blog:
#1- My Website Developer, Annie (who is really great btw), with Azzarello Consulting, - suggested that it would help me with “search engine optimization,” “SEO” for short. To summarize why blogging is a good idea without getting too technical, it was explained to me that regular additions to website content will help Google prioritize my website better, and better prioritization means more website visitors and more visitors turn into more happy guests who get to experience #hotspringsarkansas and #twistedwillowlodge! - and that’s a pretty great reason! (I also call this reason: "Because she told me to")
#2- I want my guests and visitors to be able to experience all that Hot Springs and #twistedwillowlodge have to offer. Most people will learn about happenings and fun things to do by researching via the many tourist information sites for the area: Read about Arkansas's Diamond Lake region or Hot Springs travel.
However, I personally think vacations are best when planned including a local person’s viewpoint. Therefore, I will give you insight to some of my favorite things around the area as well as how I spend my time. See a future post on “Making my Mother’s Pickles” which was a fun and nostalgic way to sample (and save) some local produce.
#3- There’s only “so much” you can put in a vacation rental listing to describe the property and the expected experience, so this blog is where my guests can learn more about the history and design choices they will find when they stay at #twistedwillowlodge. In addition, this is where I will provide updates on all the new ideas and improvements we are implementing at the lodge, kind of like a “newsletter” for guests to see what we have been up to and all the great things to look forward to for your upcoming visits!
Bonus sneak peek- this is the new Arkansas Rock Firepit just installed. It was my personal first ever firepit to build, and I am SO PROUD and CAN'T WAIT to have my guests and my friends experience it! I love everything about it- each rock hand picked due to its individual beauty, and lovingly placed into its position in the greater finished product. Arkansas is well known for its beautiful natural stone and I am proud to display this as a functional piece of natural art for everyone to enjoy.
#4- While I would say that this first new business venture of starting a vacation experience business has been very rewarding and that I don’t have one regret for taking the plunge, there are some lessons learned that I can share and continue sharing as I continue learning- that will help someone else as they are starting out. Look for future blog articles on “What really goes on behind the scenes when it comes to maintaining a cleaning program for a rental?” and “What to look for in a cleaning company for your rental” and “How to fire a cleaning company and Why/When you should.” And one of my favorite topics to explore “How to prevent an unsavory organization from renting under the guise of a ‘family reunion.’” All great topics for the new vacation rental owner!
#5- Finally, the 5th reason I started a blog, and the most personal of them. I have a lot of passion for this gem of a town that is Hot Springs, Arkansas, and for the vacation experience I am creating for my guests, and it permeates almost everything I do and talk about. So much so that I can hardly contain it!
This blog gives me an outlet for that, which provides some respite for my friends who, though they have been SUPER supportive, “possibly” get fatigued of hashing out every fascinating detail of this adventure as I experience it firsthand.
So, the 5th reason is simple: For me, and for [the sanity of] my friends.
Enjoy what you like, ignore what doesn't interest you, and follow me for more!
I welcome your comments, personal experiences, and shares because everything is better when experienced with more perspective and when shared together!