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The case for writing (im)perfect surf blog articles and why being real is better than simply going through the motions.

Surf and surf tourism business owners wear a lot of hats.

You must be experts at managing staff, predicting travel trends and handling bookings. You also most likely need to juggle a family and that ever-present need to get in the water whenever possible.

In short, you guys and gals are always busy.

Throw in the added need to market your surf camp, surf school or surf retreat and suddenly there’s not so much time for the wife, husband, kids, strike missions etc.

But is promoting your brand such a big commitment?

That depends on how you go about it.

Social media channels such as Instagram are practically tailor made for selling the surfing lifestyle.

The idyllic locations, the simple existence and the dreamy lineups can all be captured and packaged into a tidy little post that more often than not will catch the eye of any self-respecting surfer.

Blog articles are another form of (often underappreciated) marketing too.

Compared to a 20-minute social post though, they take much more time to plan, research and write.

There’s also the issue that most surf tourism business owners don’t see themselves as writers.

Or you believe that to post a blog article, it needs to be absolutely perfect in terms of grammar, spelling, images and SEO.

From what I’ve found though, this isn’t the case.

People don’t want perfect.

They want connection.

They want authenticity.

They want to have their questions answered.

This means you can have spelling and grammar mistakes on your surf blog and an SEO strategy that’s far from ideal.

Your message just needs to resonate with the people you’re trying to reach.

This isn’t to say that you can simply bash out an article in order to meet your weekly or monthly posting quota.

You still need to put some effort into planning, researching and crafting your surf blog.

But striving for perfection will do more harm than good.

Strive to be open and honest with your readers instead.

Then, over time, they’ll learn to trust you.

So, how do we write a surf blog with sincerity?

Write about things that interest you

Write to your strengths.

It’s the only way you can tap into your natural style.

This doesn’t mean you should only write original articles though. Your interests will overlap with those of others, therefore you’ll probably cover topics that others have already covered.

This doesn’t matter.

What matters is that you provide a fresh point of view and write in the same way that you would speak.

Admit there are things you can’t know

Speaking with authority definitely helps when it comes to developing a surf blog.

However, it’s impossible to be an expert on all things.

There are simply some things that you just don’t know… and that’s ok.

I have no idea what it’s like to surf Nazare, but that hasn’t stopped me from writing articles about it.

Likewise I’ll never surf in a world tour event. You’ll still find my name on contest reports.

In this case, refer back to my first point and bring a fresh perspective to the piece.

Whatever you do though, don’t try to baffle readers with bullshit.

Keep it simple.

Keep it honest.

Keep it real.

Look to answer recurring questions

Struggling to brainstorm ideas for a surf blog post?

Let your guests or customers do it for you.

One of the most epic ways to connect with your clientele is to answer their queries.

Where are the best restaurants in your area?

What’s the best route from the airport?

Where can you buy a cheap sim card?

Which airlines charge extra for surfboards?

What type of food do you serve?

When you respond to legitimate questions, you get legitimate connections.

This is because you’re essentially helping to make their life easier without asking for anything in return (and that’s what I call being a good human).

Share personal experiences (even if they make you look like a fool)

The pointbreak at my hometown was ruled by the older crew.

I revered these guys when I was a grommet.

They all shredded. They were all cool. And when it was big, all you could do was try to stay out of their way.

That’s not to say they were dicks in the water.

They were actually good blokes.

One in particular was and still is a proper legend.

Humble, hard-working and with talent that would see him do well in most QS competitions, he was the epitome of the small-town nice guy.

Untouchable, really.

Looked up to by all.

So imagine my shame when, gripped with fear and caught inside with nowhere to go on one of the bigger (for a kid) days at my local point, I chose to bail my board while he was only 5 metres behind me.

We surfaced together after a violent thrashing.

Him with blood running down his forehead.

Me with my mouth agape like an absolute fool.

He simply touched his hand to his head and gave me a disapproving look.

A look I still remember to this day.

I’d literally committed one of the biggest faux pas in surfing. Right in front of a guy I practically worshipped in the water.

Of course, he was ok. A minor cut.

I got dragged over the rocks and walked home with holes in my wetsuit and in my surfboard.

The biggest wound though was to my self-esteem.

The moral of the story?

Personal experiences humanise you. They also add character to your brand and your surf blog.

This, in turn, allows you to forge a connection with your readers

But be warned.

They may also force you to relieve traumatic childhood memories.

The things I do for my readers, right?