A blog can be good fun, it can also mean commitment and hard work so, does your wet leisure business really need to blog?
What are words worth?
On-line marketing is probably a given for most wet leisure businesses and the inescapable rise of social media means that you probably tweet or post a status update on a regular basis; you share news and views on LinkedIn and you might be thinking about putting a portfolio of your work on Pinterest.
But a blog is something different.
In those other channels, brevity is the soul of wit and no one is going to criticise your grammar or your punctuation. 140 characters don’t take that long to put together and half the time your status update is just a shared link that you hope people will like.
But a blog..?
Blogging is ‘long format’, you should be thinking of each piece being at least a few hundred words and maybe more.
Blogging is informed opinion or shared knowledge and that wisdom or view of yours should be, or at least appear to be, original.
Blogging is like going back to school and being marked on your spelling and your grammar once again. It’s daunting.
But people do it. Worldwide, millions of people blog and so do many of us in the pool, spa and sauna industries.
There must be a benefit to it, so what might that be?
Be heard, be seen, be found.
The reason that the Internet is so important to marketing is because of the way that so many people use it. It’s become the phone book, the Yellow Pages, the local paper, the television, radio and the library.
When people want to find a business or a product, they turn on their computer – or increasingly pick up their smart mobile device – and type in a search. If that search is relevant to your business, then you want to come up near the top of the list and a blog can help you do that.
Search engines such as Google give preference to websites that feature regularly updated content and a blog gives you the ability to provide exactly that.
Search engines are also becoming increasingly smart at understanding the meaning and relevance of copy so, if the articles and posts that you put on your blog would be of relevance to your potential customers, you can be pretty sure that the search engines will see that and move your site up the rankings accordingly.
The second big SEO advantage of a blog is that you can post links to your own articles in the social media that you use rather than sharing information that you find on other sites. So when that link is clicked, the reader is taken to your own site and that takes them one step closer to doing business with you.
It’s what you want to say and it’s how you want to say it.
The Internet aside, a lot of wet leisure businesses see that new customers come from word-of-mouth, referrals and just simply the fact that people trust them and like doing business with them.
People do business with people; and a blog can reflect your personality, your own beliefs and opinions on any aspect of pool, spa or sauna ownership and show and share your knowledge and experience.
A well designed website can make your business look professional, but a blog adds a personality and a unique style to that professionalism.
A blog is also a great way to make the most of anything topical and join in the relevant conversations; from a Royal baby to a heat wave.
You can also use a blog to spread the sort of news and stories that would make good PR. Perhaps you are launching a new product line, having an open day or are particularly proud of a new installation. They are all the sorts of things that you can blog about.
Less isn’t always more.
We are told that we live in a world where people have an increasingly short attention span.
The copy on your website should be brief and to the point.
Keep it simple.
Keep it snappy.
And often that is true. Customers want to get a quick flavour of your business, what it does and what it can offer them. But if they like that quick taste, that first glimpse, then they often want to know more and brief, easily digestible content can’t always satisfy that need.
A blog gives you a chance to put some flesh on the bones, to round out the personality of your business and to show the depth of the knowledge that you have and are prepared to share.
Content Management Systems (CMS) on your website or the freely available blogging sites such as WordPress make the technical aspects of blogging easy.
The SEO and marketing advantages are clear.
If you don’t fancy blogging, perhaps there is someone in your business who does. There are over 68 million WordPress sites alone being viewed by over 375 million people a month.
There must be something in it.