If you’re thinking about finally blowing the dust off your surf school blog page and publishing a post or two over the next couple of weeks, there’s one thing to know before you begin.
That is, maintaining a surf school blog takes a lot of time and effort.
From writing new posts to editing photos and even responding to comments, there’s a lot that goes into running a successful blog.
In this article, I’ll take you behind the scenes and show you what it takes to run a surf school blog.
I’ll outline how long it takes us to write, edit and publish each post, and I’ll also show you the amount of work that goes into backing up every week, fortnight or month with yet another article (hint: it ain’t easy).
So if you’re curious about what it takes to maintain a surf school blog, keep reading!
What goes into creating and maintaining a surf school blog?
As a surf school owner, you probably know by now that aside from word of mouth, marketing is the most important factor when it comes to reaching potential customers.
Blog writing is one such example of marketing that has proven time and time again to be an effective way to achieve just that.
The only problem here is that on top of all the other hectic duties and tasks you need to accomplish as a business owner, blog writing can be added work that you simply can’t afford.
Because let’s be honest… it’s definitely a lot of work.
Not only do you have to come up with blog article topics surfers would want to read about, but you also need to make sure your blog posts are well-written, informative and interesting.
The average surf school blog post takes me anywhere from 2 to 6 hours to write, edit and publish (and that’s not including the time it takes to source photos or find videos to accompany the post), but an article of the equivalent length will take you a smidge longer.
If you’re using an outside writer or even someone in-house for your work but you have the final say, you also need to account for the time it takes to review their work and approve it.
In short, it takes a lot of time and effort to maintain a surf school blog, but the benefits are definitely worth it in the mid to long term.
How long does it take to write, edit and publish a blog post?
Ever wondered how long it takes to write, edit and publish a surf school blog post?
Well, the answer is that it depends on a number of factors. These include:
- The length of the post: A shorter post will obviously take less time to write than a longer one
- The topic: Some topics are easier to write about than others. For example, a how-to guide for a complex surf product will take longer to write than a simple listicle
- The amount of detail: If you’re including a lot of detail in your post, it will obviously take longer to write than a more general article
- The number of photos and videos: If you’re including multiple photos and/or videos in your post, it will take longer to publish than a post with no visuals
- The level of editing required: Some posts require more editing than others. This is usually the case for posts that are longer or more detailed with facts that need to be checked before the article can be published
If you want an example of how long it takes me to write a blog article, a 500-700-word article with very little research will take me approx. 2 hours to complete, while a 2,000-word article that requires lots of research will take 6 hours.
Once again, it varies depending on the length, topic, amount of detail, number of photos and videos, the level of editing required plus the amount of back and forth we have about said article.
Backing up: Why consistency is king when operating a blog
Sure, you could probably bang out a blog article if you had some spare time up your sleeve.
You’ll probably even do a really good job, with alt-text for your photos, a solid keyword and an overall good choice of topic.
But doing it week after week, month after month for years on end?
This is where it gets tricky.
That’s because (for the first little while anyway), repeating that effort again and again can be really taxing.
You won’t always be in the mood to write, nor will you have the luxury of time. And if there’s one thing Google likes besides informative, authoritative content, it’s consistency.
In fact, if you’re irregular with your blog postings, it can have a negative effect on your website as a whole.
This is because Google’s algorithms are designed to pick up on patterns. When you first start blogging, Google will take note of your commitment and reward you by giving your website a small ranking boost.
Over time, as you continue to be consistent with your blog postings, this boost will become more significant.
On the other hand, if you blog or post erratically, Google will eventually catch on and remove the ranking boost from your website. And that, my friends, is what they call “No Bueno” in Costa Rica.
Why having a surf school blog is important
The benefits of a surf school blog are superior to any results you might see from a vapid social media page.
There… I said it!
Seriously though, Instagram and Facebook do have their place (read about the pros and cons of social media and blog posts here), but if you want to create a surf school brand that people can really connect with, then a blog is the way to go. Here are a few reasons why maintaining a surf school blog is important:
Increased exposure and visibility
One of the primary reasons surf schools should maintain a blog is for the increased exposure and visibility it provides.
By regularly publishing blog content, surf schools can organically attract new visitors to their website which can eventually lead to more customers. And as anyone who runs a successful surf school blog will tell you, it almost becomes a self-fulfilling exercise once you build up a loyal following.
These readers will share your content across social media and their own personal networks, further extending the reach of your surf school brand, and before long other people will be doing your work for you!
Establish credibility for your surf school
Would you ask a pastry chef how to scale Mount Everest? I would hope not. The reason being that as a maker of delicious deserts, this person has no authority on the subject of mountain climbing.
So, taking that logic into account, why would anyone believe that you’re the best surf school in the area unless you have the credibility to back this claim up?
The answer is… they wouldn’t. But if you have a blog with articles like “How to Choose the Right Surfboard for Your Wave Type” or “The Beginner’s Guide to Turtle Rolling,” then you can position yourself as a surf expert in the eyes of potential customers.
Besides, credibility is important because it builds trust, and surf schools that are trusted are more likely to be used than those that aren’t.
For example, if someone is looking for a surf school and comes across two that are exactly the same in terms of price and amenities, but one has a blog article that helps them to make a more informed decision about the destination in question, which surf school do you think the person is more likely to choose?
Chances are it’s the one that made them feel more comfortable about making a decision.
Reach a wider audience
For every blog post that you publish, you essentially add another indexable page to your website. This means you can target new keywords and use them to reach a wider audience.
A wider audience means more potential customers, and more potential customers mean more business for surf schools. It’s really that simple.
Think of it this way: if you want to attract new visitors to your surf school website who are interested in what you have to offer, then you need to give them a reason to visit your website in the first place.
One way to do this is by publishing blog content that targets the specific keywords they are searching for.
This will help your surf school reach a larger audience and, as a result, increase its customer base.
Reconnect with past customers
While it’s true that most content is designed to draw new eyes (see above), content in the form of blog articles also has the dual benefit of reconnecting you with past customers.
Whether it’s by writing about how awesome an older event was or even interviewing past guests, blog articles give surf schools a way to keep in touch with people who have already had a great experience.
This is important because it helps to create brand loyalty and can eventually lead to repeat customers. Oh… and let’s not forget either that blog articles can be repurposed into newsletters too (which I’ve already praised in another article about newsletters in the era of short attention spans).
Share your surf school knowledge and expertise
Are you a long-time local with invaluable knowledge that you would like to share with newcomers to your area? Or have you simply been coaching surfing for so long that writing about it is second nature?
Either way, blog articles give you a platform to share your expertise.
This is an often-overlooked benefit too because there are so many subtleties to surf technique and so many different features of each new location – all of which can be shared with eager readers in order to improve their surf game (or simply make sure they don’t look like a kook while out in the lineup).
Not only is this a great way to help others, but it’s also a fantastic way to position surf schools as experts in the industry, which once again ties in with the establishment of authority and building trust.
And like I said earlier, surf schools that are trusted are more likely to be used than those that don’t bridge that trust gap immediately with solid content.
Stand out from your competitors
Finally, blog articles let you strut your stuff!
If there was ever a place where you could really let your creative juices flow and expound on the awesomeness of your surf school, it’s in a blog article with lots of pictures or videos.
You can write as much as you want, go into as much detail as you want and really sell your surf school as no other medium can.
Plus, potential customers will appreciate the effort you put into giving them all the information they could ever want about your surf school. After all, they’re just trying to make an informed decision about where to spend their money!
If any of this is making sense to you, I’m glad I could help. If it’s still a bit of a mystery and you want to start a blog but aren’t sure how then hit me up and let’s chat.
I’m always happy to help where I can!