Posted by: Rory Brown | May 19, 2008

Sharing some readership stats – and reviewing goals

I started this blog 1 month ago today – April 19th 2008. I had just returned from a great week in Achiltibuie and wrote about my reasons for blogging here.

So, one month in, how has it gone?

Well I was delighted to check the stats this morning and see that in the first month 444 people had visited the Achiltibuiecottages weblog. I’d set a goal of 300 so that’s 48% ahead of target! Fantastic.

It is also interesting going through the blog posts that have driven most traffic:

  1. Top 10 things to do in and around Achiltibuie (part 1) – this has been far and away the most popular post and I am delighted about it. When I am visiting a new area I always look for recommendations & while these are our personal favourites I hope they help some people.
  2. Local supermarkets, shops and fresh fish – again, if you were visiting an area for the first time this would surely be one of the first things you’d want to find out about, especially if staying in self catering accommodation.
  3. Guided walks in Assynt – makes sense. A lot of people come to the area to walk and explore.
  4. Ronnie Corbett was here – a strange one prompted by a visit to Highland Stoneware and an odd picture. We’ve either got a lot of Ronnie Corbett fans searching for information or people into pottery!
  5. Listing of restaurants, cafes and pubs in Achiltibuie, Ullapool & Lochinver – again, no surprise here.
  6. The start of some family history – lots of genealogists (or undiscovered relatives..) out there!
  7. Top 10 things to do in and around Achiltibuie (part 2) – I suppose this works in the same way as film sequals. They’re never quite as good as the original 😉

These are the top 7 of 18 posts so far. I will update at some point in the future.

When I drill a bit deeper into the files I can see that visitors came form 2 main sources. Referrals i.e pointed from another site. The largest 2 drivers of traffic were:

The Achiltibuie Tourist Association

The Undiscovered Scotland website

and search traffic directed from engines like Google. The top 3 search terms that this blog has been found for are:

  1. Achiltibuie
  2. Loopallu
  3. Pubs/restaurants in Ullapool

Finally, I said in my original post that part of my goal was to drive holiday bookings for Greenhill, our house in Achiltibuie. Well I’m delighted to say that this seems to be working as well with a further 5 weeks booked since I started the blog & a lot of further visits to the booking pages.

So, that’s it. A good first month. But.. if there is one thing that I have been disappointed in over the past month it is that I have not managed to successfully get visitors to use the comments section. Even though I have been visiting Achiltibuie for nearly 40 years I am only an occasional visitor. My aim had been for this site to grow with other people’s recommendations over time – both locals and holidaymakers – and this hasn’t happened.

Please, if you’re reading this blog and feel that you disagree with something I have written or have more information to add then do so in the comments.

Thanks for reading. Next goal is 2,000 visitors by the end of this year. I’ll let you know how we got on.



  1. Rory,

    Since you said you were disappointed at the lack of comments by readers on the blog, I thought I’d drop you one.

    Thanks to the stunning pictures of the house, we’ve booked to stay there in late September. I’m already looking forward to it, and reading the blog/seeing more pictures is making me look forward to it even more!


    Ben W

  2. Ben,

    Thanks for the note. I saw your booking come through the other day & really hope you enjoy your stay.

    Please also make a note of the things you enjoy and leave further feedback after your holiday. In that way the site will build up into a bit of an online visitors book.


  3. Usually book Williams cottage at the Summer Isles hotel but feeling wary now that Bob and Mary are going as they were the steadying hand after the sale!

    Love the area and recommend the fair trade shop in Lochinver for ceramics by local potter Fergus Stewart.

    Love the wee mad road-seen highland cattle in the road,deer on the hills and seals on the rocks.Think we saw a sea eagle last time we were

    Ullapool hill walks are good for views.

    Thinking about your cottage for next year.Well done on the site!


  4. Thanks for your tips Alyson.

    I appreciate the kind words about the site. We are planning to open up bookings for Greenhill 2009 in October.


  5. Just checking that your cottage does not take pets? Was looking to book for next June but walking in Scotland without the dog-cannot be done!
    Thanks! Alyson.

  6. Sorry Alyson,

    Whilst we are dog lovers ourselves we have had some damage done to the house in the past so no longer take pets.

    Hope you find somewhere suitable.


  7. Thanks Rory-typical-inconsiderate people ruining it for the others!

    Back to Williams cottage methinks!


  8. Alyson

    We are happy to take dogs at Bruaich Rainich in Polbain.Fingers crossed we haven’t had problems yet.

    Joyce Ingledew

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