Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Open forum day …. any suggestions for tweaking the site?

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On January 1st last year I ran an ‘open forum’ where I opened up the comments to ideas on tweaking the site.  It worked well so I thought I would try it again.

I have continued to change various elements of the site here and there throughout 2014, although many were small changes which on their own don’t really get noticed.  I also added an Instagram site and there is a big overhaul of the daily emails ready to go which will be launched in the next couple of days.

In terms of content, it is now proving a lot easier to get companies to donate competition prizes to the site.  If you like what I have given away in 2014, you will be very impressed by what I have to offer during January!  There will be a big announcement on Saturday to kick off the year in style.

However, I am fully aware that there is an element of ‘snow blindness’ in what I do. After all, I look at the site every day for a considerable period of time, and I can only second-guess how you, the readers, respond to the different elements.

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As we start a new year, I’d like to open up the floor to any suggestions you have about the site. Remember that I need to cater for two audiences at the same time – the regular readers and the hundreds of people who come here via Google each day and who I want to convert into regular readers.

Is it clear to a newcomer what the site is about and why they should keep on reading it?

Are there too many menus at the top of the page? Too few?

Are there too many ads? (Probably not, most blogs would run ads inside posts as well, which I don’t)

Are the sidebars too confusing? Should I push the social media links more?

Should there be more ‘sticky’ information for newcomers?

Does the mix of content – which veers from Tesco deals to airline deals to credit card sign-up offers – work for you?

Is the mix of news versus ‘reference / background’ articles (eg ‘How to use Combine My Avios with Iberia’) right?

Does the current format of running a fixed number of stories at fixed times every day – with a ‘lead’ story and two less important ones below – work for you? (Most blogs just post at random times throughout the day, but I am middle-aged and grew up with the newspaper tradition!)

If there is anything about the way the site currently looks that annoys or confuses you, or if you have any ideas for improvements, please post below. You can also email me at raffles [at] headforpoints.co.uk if you’d prefer.

Anything from your dislike of how I punctuate the headlines in the sidebars through to ideas for new ‘sticky’ pages are welcome – no idea is too small!  And, to be honest, small changes are easier to implement than large changes ….

Thank you, and a Happy New Year for 2015.

Comments (218)

  • ADS says:

    > Does the current format of running a fixed number of stories at fixed times every day – with a ‘lead’ story and two less important ones below – work for you? (Most blogs just post at random times throughout the day, but I am middle-aged and grew up with the newspaper tradition!)

    I quite like the 7am publication time … but I must admit, I haven’t noticed that the three items include a ‘lead’ story !

    • Rob says:

      It is only the ‘lead’ story to the extent that I try to run them in descending order of expected page views! I know what subjects and programmes attract the most interest and they tend to go at the top and vice versa. You may never have noticed but I sometimes reorder the 3 daily posts during the day if the one in 2nd or 3rd place is proving more popular than the top one.

  • Alan says:

    For those who’ve mentioned in the comments that they’re looking for some guidance regarding Tier Point runs – the FlyerTalk guide to this has just been updated for 2015. It’s a pretty comprehensive overview of things and if last year is anything to go by it will also have some pretty good-natured banter in it 😀

    http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/british-airways-executive-club/1642006-ba-tier-point-runs-2015-master-thread.html

  • Weereen says:

    This is such a valuable tool for finding cheap flights – and I’m guessing finding routes that give maximum points – but it is difficult to navigate your way around it as the google instructions are not clear, for example how to search by airline alliance, where it tells you to add ” / alliance one world ” but it does not tell you the field or show an example. I’ve tried a few options but have had no joy.

    It would be useful to have a guide which clearly shows how to use this useful tool – if this was linked to both avios and tier points it would be fanastic, a one stop shop

  • DaveB says:

    Hi Rob. As lots of people have ready said, HfP is a GREAT site that has me coming back every day. I only found out about you (and indeed the whole points game) in Feb 14, and have never missed a single post since. Thank you!

    For me, it’s going to be tricky to improve on what you’ve already got – it’s pretty much perfect. The only thing I can suggest is that you reshuffle the menus a little. When I first started, it took me a while to get beyond the Beginners tab, as I didn’t really get what the Favourites tab was about. Is it a beginners’ guide for spending miles? An overview of hotel schemes? A log of all previous posts that haven’t ‘expired’?

    Assuming your platform can support it, it’d be great to split out the Favourites tab (in particular, creating a tab for Spending Points for the “university” series) and introduce drop-downs menus to help you jump to what you want to read faster (eg. each section of the “university” series). Hope that makes sense!

    Thanks again for such a great site. Looking forward to what 2015 brings!

  • Andy says:

    I love the 3 a day posts, not too many and not too few, just right for glancing through while on the ***** in the morning!

  • Waribai says:

    Sorry to come late to the party and I’m not sure if anyone has mentioned this already but how about a post where we can add unofficial (legitimate) tips for maxmising stay benefits at each of the the big chains. I don’t mean for example (mis)using employee or corporate codes but rather for example at IHG properties if you ask them to also add your partner or other family members IHG numbers to the stay details ahead of your stay, 9/10 they will receive points too. Just checked out of IC Hua Hin and me and my partner both got the same number of stay points (8k) even though it was booked in her name.
    Also, regarding breakfast on reward stays at IHG, we always just turn up for breakfast, give our room number but I only recall one time when we were actually charged for the breakfast (in Japan where they physically asked for a breakfast voucher before alowing you to enter the restaurant!)

  • Paul says:

    I think the site is just about perfect. I’d strongly council against forums – They will dilute your style and if it ends up being anything like FT (cliquey, snarky, TP/ex EU obsessed and blind to faults of BA) I would be less inclined to visit HFP.

    I really enjoy your reviews – if you can manage to do more of them or maybe find a guest reviewer who can also write as well you then that would work for me.

  • Georgie says:

    Keep up the good work. I have been here from day one. I like the early morning nature of the posts. Not sure about having a forum as it changes the essential nature of a blog into something else.

    I enjoy the posts on collecting AVIOS most, and have no issues with the competitions, so not sure they need to be a fourth genre of post on any given day, presumably it isn’t always easy to come up with three articles per day and you need to keep some things in reserve for quiet days.

    Also enjoy your style and the quality of your writing.