There has been some question and confusion about what is the best, and appropriate, use of all the great content being generated on Houfy by so many talented users. On Houfy, we are united by our content. The goal is for everyone to share their own content and others' content on their listing. Why?
I had an expert in a class on SEO, Search Engine Optimization, describe the net like a spider web. The internet search engine results that come with increased connection and interlinking through SEO, Search Engine Optimization, come from the places with the most and best activity. If you think of the the search engines as spiders crawling along the web, on the threads that link us together, you can visualize how Houfy will benefit. Each strand that connects us to each other and to other sites (tourism, Facebook, , restaurants, attractions, and more) makes a knot of activity that is attractive to the search engines. So if I link to outside sites, and you link to me, I am also linked to the sites YOU are linked to. If you can get others to link back to you, it just makes the knot stronger and more attractive.
Herein lies the problem though. If someone just cuts and pastes the content, and make it their own, they have tipped-off those spiders that the content in it is just a ruse. It isn't "quality." Or if you link to something that is no longer available or a broken link, it can hurt as well. And they will pass right by. They are attracted to unique content, pictures, graphics, relevant keywords and LINKS! Houfy posts are copyrighted and protected. Keep that in mind.
Stories for "Use"
I have started making Houfy Generic posts (stories) for all the Houfies out there to put in their own guides. This is not just for those who don't like to write but want to add content to their Houfy listing to help guests. These stories have outside and back links that will help with SEO. It is for all Houfies to connect and contribute to the marketplace and help get the Houfy brand out into the greater vacation rental market. But "using" these posts does not mean copying and pasting. It means linking or referencing them.
These generic posts do not have a link to any specific listing, but link back to the Houfy main page. By using or linking these Houfy Generic posts by adding them to a guide, you are uniting and connecting us all. Don't worry that they don't have your listing on them. They are either in YOUR guide, or in your own story. We have to get away from the idea of competing against each other. Like those extra properties that the OTA puts at the bottom of your listing description, they are there to help SEO! Don't worry about the competition. The real competition are the big OTAs. Not each other. When Houfy wins, you win!
Find help with stories, posts, guides and more at Houfy Help Social.
How Can You "Use" Others' Stories? To add a story to a guide (or bookmark it), you click on the "flag" icon at the top and check off the guide you want to add it to. Any Houfy post someone writes and you see can be added to your guide. Or you can copy and paste the URL to link to it and build a story around it. To do this, use the "+" and link button to have a link with a thumbnail, or highlight text and add it as a link in the text.
What works best, depends on you and your comfort level with writing stories. If the post is one you or your guests could benefit from and would work in one of your Guides, you can simply click on the flag and add it to your own Guide. Yes, the post may have a link to someone's property in it, but they did write it after all. Stop worrying about competition and start focusing on community. This is the beauty of a marketplace. You aren't alone and you will certainly attract more people by being a part of it.
Another way to use a post, is to allow it to be a source piece for you. Maybe it has some good points you wish you had thought of. Write an abstract of the post, a summary, and provide the link as reference for reading more, as a thumbnail link or as a text hyperlink. This is great for people who want to share the info, but don't need the whole post or don't have the time for full research.
If you feel you can do better, use the piece as research instead. Read through it, write it in your own “voice” and use your own pictures and add some links of your own. You can even use the same links someone used, but in your own format. If you really like the way the original author worded something, put it in quotes and attribute it to them with a link to the original post.
All Stories and Posts are Copyrighted. Respect. Link, don't copy.
If you have already improperly used someone else's story, graphics, or art put it on your to do list to correct. Rewrite the story in your own words, add a reference link to the original story if you quoted the material. Or just delete the story and add theirs instead.
Check out Bridget Johnson's story on Posts, Stories, and Guides.
The sharing of local information is what differentiates Houfy as a "market network" versus a standalone "marketplace" (ex: listing site). Layman terms: Marketplace + Social Network = Market Network. Houfy is so much more than just a place to list...
How can I contribute? Connect, Share, and Grow! If you write a Generic Post, and don't have your listing linked to it, you can tag it when you post it with “Houfy Generic.” People can then search in the search bar for “Generic” when they are hoping to find something quickly to send to a guest or to add to their own Guide. But always add a link to the Houfy home page to redirect people to where to search for a vacation rental. Adding your own listing isn't "generic." Adding Houfy.com will also result in the cool Houfy logo appearing. Use the separator text feature to set it apart at the bottom for a more polished look.
Some Ideas to Connect - Make a Guide for That! I have a Favorite Beach Drink Guide. I have added many posts that aren't mine to it. People who rent our beach house, might see your recipe and want to rent yours next! That is fine with me, especially if you are reciprocating by adding my recipe to your own Guide.
This Guide is made up of other owners drink "posts" and "stories" with recipes!
Facebook and Houfy! Be a booster, not a buster!
Since people don't know Houfy as well as other sites, they may be skeptical that it is real or reputable. When you see someone's Houfy listing promoted on Facebook, “Like” it or comment to let others know you know and approve. Remember that once they are on Houfy, they might find you next! And when renters start seeing the Houfy site and name frequently, they are going to recognize its legitimacy. That helps us all.
Make a Guide - Add a Story - Write a Story!
Start being a contributor too! Start by making a Guide for yourself to save your favorite stories and story ideas in. It can be private, only for you. Or make a Guide for Owners that includes useful information and How-To's you find you reference often. Then make a Guide for your guests.
Houfy is a market network for property owners, agents and managers. All members can post stories on Houfy and, as long as it's not in violation of our rules, have the potential to find an audience. Good stories can come from anywhere including your...
Be part of the community and support each other. Write something and make a Guide about anything! A welcome guide, a weather guide, a restaurant guide, an amenities guide! I even have operational manuals for appliances in a guide. Then write a story and add it to your guide.
Need Ideas? Go to Houfy Social and click on “Popular Posts” or “Popular Guides” to see what is working for others. Read and be inspired!
Good luck writing, sharing, posting, and supporting Houfy and your fellow Houfies! And watch us Grow!
To find some suggestions on what works, check out the Top 10 analysis.
The Top 10 Viewed Houfy Posts/Stories And What You Can Learn from Them So you want to write some stories (or posts) on Houfy to get views? You know when you make a quality post, with information that people want or need, you will get "eyes on" your listing!
Houfy is an online network that enables its users to advertise properties, discover accommodations or find real estate for sale, and share or connect with their clients as well as make new connections on its social platform.
Houfy is a market network for property owners, agents and managers. All members can publish posts on Houfy and, as long as it’s not in violation of our rules, have the potential to find an audience and indirectly your listing(s).
Writing Houfy posts is easy once you get the hang of it–it's even easier to get started on the wrong track. There's no need to go down the same bumpy road some of us already walked! To speed up your learning curve, I've compiled this list so you're not figuring things out alone, and can avoid a "Post clean-up" later down the road. I highly suggest spending 3 minutes reading Introduction to Post, Story, and Collection before continuing.
Engage more readers with aesthetically pleasing and easy-to-follow content. Not only should your Stories be well-written, they should be visually appealing as well. Utilizing all of Story's formatting options increases the chances of gaining followers on Houfy–and in turn, the likelihood your Stories will be shared on social media.
Updated March 8th, 2021 Q: How long should my post be? There is no exact length and will vary depending on the topic. Keep in mind even very engaged readers will reach the fidgety "abandon article point" around the 7 minute mark.
Hot tubs are wonderful amenities. We want our guests to enjoy the hot tub and be able to enjoy without interruption their entire stay. With weekly chemical balancing and cleaning, the hot tub should remain sanitary for you use. But abuse or misuse can result in an unusable or unsanitary mess! Make sure you know and follow the rules.
Do you want your Houfy listing to stand out? One of the many advantages of Houfy, is for owners to use the Stories and Guidebooks functions to create a personal resources for your guests. Many of us have a Welcome Book at our rentals but Houfy Stories and Guidebooks put your best information at your guests fingertips as they are still making their vacation plans. Wondering how to get started with Stories and Guidebooks? Here are a few tips for your success.