Interview with Heather Tyreman of The Bronze Antler Bed & Breakfast

by Jenny on August 17, 2011

Bronze Antler Bed & BreakfastHeather Tyreman and husband Bill Finney both retired from US Army service in 2000 & 2001, and opened the Bronze Antler Bed & Breakfast in picturesque Joseph, Oregon (Northeastern Oregon), in June 2001.  With a background in finance and logistics, Heather takes the lead on marketing, accounting and blogging for the 4-room B&B, plus cooks up mean omlettes for the guests.  You’ll find more about Heather, Bill and the inn at http://blog.bronzeantler.com

1. What made you decide to have a blog? 

In Spring 2008 we attended our national Professional Association of Innkeepers International conference.  The conference emphasis that year was on the importance of social media–especially blogging and Facebook.  I immediately came home and established a Blogspot blog on Google and Facebook pages for both me and the Bronze Antler B&B.

2. Do you ever have people ask you what a blog is?  How do you describe what it is and what is does for your business? 

The guests occasionally ask–I tell them it’s quick bits of information about our business, or the local area, etc.  If they’re very much into the details, I talk about the difference between business blogging and journalistic blogging.  Mine are short posts–geared for the "short attention span" theater.

3. How did you discover Compendium?

I was searching the Internet for more information about blogging for business and bumped into Compendium’s website and a presentation about business blogging in summer 2008.

4. How long have you had the blog with Compendium?

Since Autumn 2008.

5. Did you look into other blogging platforms before going with Compendium? 

Yes–as mentioned, I started with a Blogspot blog.  The advantages of comprehensive training, multiple keyword blogs, Google Analytics and great customer support were definitely influential in my decision-making process.

6. What makes Compendium worth the money for you? 

Initially, I think I benefitted extensively from the training webinars on how to blog, what to blog about, how to incorporate keywords, images, etc.  Three years later, I appreciate the outstanding customer support–the periodic check-ins from Allison, my Compendium customer service representative; the template tweaking to improve performance; the webinars on improved marketing, etc.

7. Why did you choose to put your marketing money into a blog and not into direct mailing or something else, for example? 

I’d rather put money into places where I know my potential market is already looking–they’re already searching the Internet for what I offer.  Direct mailings, for example, cast too wide a net and are not necessarily cost effective.  I particularly like the broad reach of keywords associated with the blog.

8. What sort of success have you seen with your blog? 

My blog includes a direct link to our reservation software and occasionally guests will book through it.  More importantly, however, is catching the potential guest who isn’t necessarily looking for my product (lodging), but it looking for related information about my area (speciic area events, things to do, restaurants, etc.).  It’s funny–looking at Google Analytics results shows that more people seem to use us as a source of information about whether seasonal roads are open!

9. How many folks in your company write for your blog? Do they find it an easy or a daunting task?

My husband (partner), our senior housekeeper and our cat, Madigan, write posts for the Bronze Antler B&B blog.  I usually do the typing (especially for the cat) but we all participate.  The key is writing the first post.  Once that’s over, the rest is easy.

10.  Is there anything else you would like to add?  

I encouraged the Oregon Bed & Breakfast Guild to give the Compendium blogging platform a try.  We’ve been using it for three years with three "corporate" bloggers and regular content input from our membership of nearly 100 bed & breakfast inns across Oregon.  Results are good and drive a considerable amount of traffic back to the OBBG website.  We believe expanding this net of "hits" yields more business for our member inns.
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Thank you to Heather for taking the time to do an interview with us about The Bronze Antler Bed & Breakfast’s experience with Compendium.  As freelance blog writers, we prefer to write on Compendium because we know the platform is setup for success.  In other words, we know that we will be creating web content for companies that have their blogs on Compendium for years to come because of the success it has on Compendium.

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