Written by Sheridan Hatcher, PADI Marketing Executive
Blogging is not a new concept – it’s been around for many years. In fact, the first year that we introduced ‘Blogging’ as a presentation topic at our PADI Business Academies in Asia Pacific was back in 2013. At the time, I could comfortably say that next to no PADI Retail & Resort Members were engaging in blogging and majority didn’t really understand what a blog was and how it would help their business.
What is a Blog?
A blog is simply an online newsletter, sometimes traditionally named ‘News’– when set up correctly, it is housed on your website domain or on a sub-domain. It is the place where you can write relevant articles related to your dive centre or resort to not only retain your current customers but also to hopefully acquire new customers. Blogs are also considered the middle ground between your website and your social media channels.
Why Write Blogs?
There are two main reasons to adopt blogging as part of your digital marketing strategy.
- To increase your website presence – blog articles add to the size of your website as they add additional pages that include important keywords in which you hope to rank on within Google and the other search engines. Adding a blog article to your website also aims to keep your website updated with fresh content – something that Google favours within their algorithm.
- Customer acquisition and retention – by posting relevant content that suits your target audience, the articles that you add to your blog can help to attract new customers and also keep your current ones informed, therefore assisting you to retain them with the aim to have them continue their PADI scuba diving education with you.
How Often Would I Need to Write a Blog Article?
When deciding whether you have the time to start a blog, you need to consider that you need to have the resources and time to write a blog article that is of a decent length (approx. 500-600 words) at least once a month, continually throughout the year. Of course, the more articles that you post each month the better however this of course depends on what your PADI Dive Centre/Resort can handle.
But I Don’t Know What to Write About!
Being in the scuba diving industry, we are extremely lucky as we have so many topics that we can write about! Our industry is fun and exciting and ever-changing so the list of topics that you could write about is endless! Some examples include –
- Hints/tips on becoming a better scuba diver
- Fascinating facts about marine life
- Promotion of PADI courses
- Environment and marine conservation/Project AWARE
- Top lists
- Local dive sites
- Equipment reviews
- Promotions/events happening at your PADI Dive Centre/Resort
- Staff/Instructor profiles
- Instructor Development Courses/Go PRO nights
When deciding what topics to write about, always stick to the 80/20 rule – 80% consumer focused and 20% brand focused.
Breakdown of a Blog Article
So you’re now interested in blogging and see the benefits that it can provide your business however you just aren’t quite comfortable in knowing how to write an article – no problem, below you will find the items that make up a decent and attractive article for the reader –
- Blog Title – use keywords to explain what your article is about (approx. 65-70 characters including spaces). Make sure it explains clearly what the reader will be informed of if they read the blog article.
- Headings/Sub-headings – using headings is a great way to break up your content, making the article look more attractive to the reader.
- Content – needs to be informative and include keywords and keyword phrases however ensure it’s written in natural language for the reader, not for the search engines.
- Imagery & Videos – add attractive images/short video clips to attract the reader and also use them to break up the text within your article, so it looks more pleasing on the reader’s eye.
- Humour – if you can, add some humour into your writing. This can also help to build/add personality to your brand/content.
- Links (internal & external) – hyperlink any keywords within your articles back to relevant pages on your website to help flow traffic back/through your website or alternatively link out to external websites to provide the reader additional information/resources.
- Call to Action – add one to the end of your article to provoke an ‘immediate action’ – this can assist to encourage the reader to seek more information, contact you, make a booking etc.
As you can see from explanation the above, blogging is a valuable tool that can assist your dive business in order to improve your search engine ranking, acquire new customers or retain your current ones – plus, it’s not that hard! Enlist the help of your dive staff to help lighten the load – have brainstorming sessions to come up with topics/keywords that can be blogged about and use a social media editorial calendar so that your staff are clear on when their article is due to be posted online. Plus, before hiring new staff, make sure you add blogging as part of their role – in the end it’s only going to help your business and save you time!
For additional information or assistance in setting up a blog, please contact your PADI Regional Manager today.