It just seems like some people are born to write. Words effortlessly flow from the their keyboard, and they get lost in the happiness of expressing themselves on paper. Unfortunately, for the rest of us, writing comes less naturally and is often more of a challenge. We can do it, but it takes a solid commitment to the process and a determination to stick with it.
The good news for you is that your audience wants to hear stories about the topics you know best. So you don’t have to spend hours coming up with blog ideas. You can easily write great blogs, just by telling the stories of your members and fitness business. But before we get to that, let me tell you why you need to start a blog if you don’t already have one.
Why Blogs Help You Bring in New Members
We all know that businesses need to be found in a Google search, and there are several things you can do to make that happen. You can make sure you’ve set up your local business listing, optimized your website for keywords and that you regularly update your website with relevant and informative content. Blogs are the easy answer for updating your website with content. Blogging just one or two times a week will make a big difference in your search rankings. Plus, since it’s likely your fun and engaged community is a big reason people keep coming back to your gym, blogs will also help you continuously build that community feel.
Like we mentioned above, blogging is going to be easier for you than it is for many other businesses. Just think, if you were in the business of selling something… let’s just say mattresses, you would have a very hard time engaging readers with stories about your super comfy mattress. They just sound boring, or snooze worthy. But unlike mattress shoppers, your community members do want to know what’s going on in their community and what you have to say.
To demonstrate how easy it is for you to write about your community, we’ve created a list of super easy blog ideas. Since they are all stories about your athletes and gym, something you know very well, you can probably write one of these in under an hour.
Featured classes, programs or nutrition challenges
Coach or instructor bios
Advice to your athletes and students
Recap of gym community events
Now that you have easy blog ideas, here are a few tips to maximize the power of each post:
Always use at least one image in each blog post- this is important for several reasons. But intuitively, we know that blogs with images are more appealing, and when there’s an image we are more likely to keep reading the blog and not close the page.
Make each post scanable– I learned this tip the hard way when I was new to marketing and started posting blogs for Zen Planner. At first, when looking in Google Analytics, all my blog visits had a very short time on page. Since I thought the topics were relevant and important for our readers, I was confused. But I soon figured out how important scanability is in a blog’s success. People are busy and scan for the parts of blogs and articles that are relevant to them. The interesting thing is that, if they see a picture of themselves or read about something they did in the gym, they will surely stop and read each and every word. So that’s another big plus about writing about your community!
But what exactly does scanable mean? Use sub headings, shorter paragraphs and bulleted lists. Avoid blogs and web content that have long, heavy paragraphs without any breaks or options for picking out a paragraph’s topic easily.
Craft a great headline- headlines attract your readers and entice them to open your blog or article. If your headline is weak or uninteresting, you’re likely to lose your readers to a world full of distractions. Studies show, 80% of people who see a headline will read it, but only 20% go on to read the full article. Your job when crafting a headline is to make it so interesting that the reader can’t pass up reading the full piece.
Some writers recommend spending half as long as it takes to write a blog on crafting the title. I don’t spend that long, but I do make sure the title is SEO friendly. That means I’m always thinking about how my blog will be delivered in the search rankings.
Don’t worry about length- the final element to consider is how long your blog posts should be. I’m only adding this to the list of things to consider because I suspect you’re probably wondering about it. But the truth is there is no specific guideline on how much you should write. Here’s a great blog that points out the different advantages of blogs of all different lengths. You can read that blog and learn more specifics, but the general agreement amongst marketers and writers is that blogs perform best if they are between 300 and about 1,500 words.
So now you know how important blogging is to your marketing efforts. We hope you decide to undertake blogging, even if it’s only one time a week. If you’re sold on the importance of blogging but your website isn’t designed to have a blog, or it’s incredibly difficult to add one, consider looking into our integrated websites. We design and build websites that are fully integrated with our software and have all the important elements a fitness business needs. Plus, it’s quick and easy to post a blog on one of our websites. We’d love to show you more in a quick demo, so schedule yours today!
Blogging is just one step towards developing a strong marketing strategy. Looking for additional ways to increase exposure for your gym? Get your copy of our guide, 10 Step Marketing Guide for Gyms.