Queen Anne Bed & Breakfast joins state association

The Iowa Bed & Breakfast Innkeepers Association has welcomed the Queen Anne Bed and Breakfast, located in Nevada, Iowa, into  membership.

The Iowa Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers Association has been affiliated with the Professional Association of Innkeepers International for over 26 years and has served the tourists and lodging industry in the State of Iowa well for over 27 years.

The Queen Anne Bed & Breakfast offers four spacious rooms, each with their own theme.  The gracious Queen Anne Victorian home is listed on the National Historic Register.  As with all the Iowa B&Bs, the Queen Anne serves a full breakfast to guests and it is always included in the price.

The king room bed.  Very large and comfortable with a private bath.

The King Room. A very large and comfortable bedroom with a private bath and sitting area.

 Queen Anne Bed and Breakfast
1110 9th Street, Nevada, IA. 50201
Phone: 515-382-3022  Fax: 515-382-3022  www.QueenAnneBedandBreakfast.com

Every B&B Innkeeper Needs to Blog

Amelia Painter, Author

If I had a quarter for every time I’ve urged an innkeeper to connect a WordPress blog to their website, and then post on it regularly, I think I’d be included in the Forbes magazine annual list of the 400 richest people in America this year.

Just this morning I received an e-mail from yet another client asking, “How in the world will I find time to create posts on my blog, on top of everything else that must be done for the B&B?”

So, guess it is time, once again, to share a few tips. The first tip is all about time. It is my opinion that most innkeepers can easily find 30 minutes a day to post new items on their blog, if they are motivated to do so.

Practically every innkeeper running a successful business in our digital age must check their email daily for inquiries about reservations and new reservations, so why not make it part of the routine to create a blog post immediately after checking e-mail? Sounds simple, right? YES, it really is just that simple.

Don’t Waste Time

  • It is easy to loose yourself, and your time, web surfing. Don’t fall victim to this time-waster.  Use your computer as tool, not an excuse to waste your time away.
  • Take advantage of WordPress plug-ins that push your message to several of your social media accounts at once. Jetpack is a very stable and popular plug-in you can investigate and consider using. It is a GREAT time-saver.

Keep A List Of Ideas

  • Most innkeepers carry a notepad of some sort on their person most of the time.  Start a written, or digital, list of ideas or topics you’d like to post about.
  • Organize your writing as you post.  Bullet lists like I am creating here make it easy for your readers to quickly take in information.
  • Keep your posts short.  I try to keep mine between 400-500 words or less — often it is much less.
  • Be concise and make every word count!

Use the WordPress Draft Function

  • If you start a post and suddenly find yourself stuck for words, don’t worry! Simply click on the “Save Draft” button and leave it for now.  You can come back later, and finish the post, then publish it.
  • It is also nice to save a draft and return with an image to include.
  • You can begin one or more drafts at a time, getting ideas that easily flow into your posting system quickly.  Flush them out later.

These are just a few of my tips.  If you have a couple of your own, please feel free to submit them here. Who knows your tips may end-up in my next book with a complimentary plug for your B&B.

Barn on the Bluff in Elkader, Iowa, Gets Website Update

Barn on the Bluff is located in Elkader, Iowa

A Picture-Perfect Snapshot of Barn on the Bluff in Winter

Barn on the Bluff is a very unique lodging experience for groups of 8 to approximately 30 people and it is located on some of the most picturesque landscapes in northeast Iowa, specifically Elkader, Iowa.

TotalWebDesigner.com recently completed an update of the website for Julie and Rick Dengler, owners of Barn on the Bluff.

TotalWebDesigner.com launched the updated site with Amelia Painter acting as the lead designer.  Painter annually teams with the owners to update their site.  She emphasizes the guest features the 106 year old “post and beam” barn has to offer groups.

When a group reserves the barn for lodging accommodations, they are reserving the entire barn, including the 30×60 foot hayloft that has been converted into five levels of living and sleeping areas. The barn can easily sleep 20+ individuals. Groups enjoy access to a full kitchen, dining for 20+ guests, 3 bathrooms, a fireplace, game room, covered porch and a fire pit.

Call 563-245-2820 to make reservations or go to http://www.barnonthebluff.com to learn more about this unqiue lodging experience in northeast Iowa.

Creativity and innovation peak later in life

Recent research from Encore Careers show that “Approximately 25 million people – one in four Americans ages 44-70 – are interested in starting businesses or nonprofit ventures in the next five to 10 years.”

And, research from the Kauffman Foundation Americans between the ages of 55 and 64 had the highest rate of entrepreneurial activity of any age group from 1996 to 2010.

In Marc Freeman’s article “Why older Entrepreneurs Have an Edge” he points out that “University of Chicago economist David Galenson has shown that genius clusters into two categories. Conceptual geniuses tend to do their best work while young, producing breakthrough ideas early in their careers. But experimental geniuses, by contrast, need a long period of time to reach their peak, moving forward by trial and error, slowly accumulating the elements that will be integrated into their fully realized work.”

In my travels across America, my husband and I find that some of the most efficient and unique B&Bs are operated by individuals between the ages of 45 and 70.  And, often, these individuals have a very creative nature about them along with a spouse or partner that has a solid business background.  The combination seems to be a factor in the overall success of a lodging establishment.

It is not at all difficult to agree with the current research that show creativity and innovation peaking later in life for many Americans, including myself.    ~Amelia Painter