Summary: After developing a golf blog, create effective, politically inert content using these tips.
Your golf blog needs a purpose. Do you want an informational blog to explain your golf course management or a social blog, used for personal reasons?
Let’s assume your blog will be directed toward members of a private golf club.Your blog will inform the membership of issues relating to golf course maintenance. You must decide what content, or information will be included in its pages.
- Upcoming maintenance programs
- Proposed projects
- News about staff members (retirements and births)
- Description of golf equipment and how it is used
- Historical information about the golf course
- Proposed new equipment purchases
These blogs should not include:
- Defensive responses to complaints
- Bragging or boasting about your accomplishments
- Bad news
- Confidential issues
- Important announcements that should be done at the general manager level
- Member gossip
- Sarcastic comments
Most blog formats include optional password accessibility to insure that your content will have a restricted audience. An informational blog, directed to members of a private golf club, may be a closed blog. Any information posted on an open blog will be subject to Internet exposure. Anyone can read it.
Posts are individual comments written by you. They are added to your blog in chronological order. You can write posts in Word and copy/paste them onto your post form. This process adds extra code into your blog. Some blogs have formats that permit Word copy/paste functionality without adding extra code.
I write directly into my post form. WordPress includes most of the functions of Word, including a spellchecker. An autosave feature prevents content loss.
The Internet has many websites that describe how to write web content. All agree that users don’t like to read on a computer screen. They scan. You have seconds to get your message across.
Web writers use a journalistic concept called the reverse pyramid. Important content starts the post, and less important information follows. Most readers scan content, and they may not get past the first few sentences.
The first sentence must include the most important information. It must be all business, without any fluff. Make it ten words or less. Chop out any nonessential words, then chop again. Write in an active voice, not a passive voice.
The sentence: ” I looked out at the fourth fairway yesterday morning and I decided to aerify this fairway on September 4th” should be written as ” Aerification of the fairway on hole #4 will begin on September 4.” Note how the latter sentence is more assertive.
The next few sentences should include information that explains why you will be aerifying. Don’t get too technical. Use simple words. Get your message across and stop writing. A post can be one sentence long. Long posts are rarely read. If you have nothing to say, don’t write that day. Think about your next post while you tour the golf course in the morning. Write during your most productive time.
If you want to impress with your knowledge of cationic exchange, write a technical article for a trade magazine, don’t bore your members. They assume you know the golf course business, and they confirm that with a paycheck every week.
A list helps break up a sequence of dense paragraphs, improving the user experience. For example, the following list explains the reasons for a fairway aerification. Be sure to preface this list with an appropriate introduction.
Fairway aerification provides the following benefits:
- Introduction of topdressing material into the soil
- Improvement in air exchange in the root zone
- Increased water penetration
After writing the post, think about what you wrote. Will it offend anybody? Is it essential information? You can revise the post after you add it to your blog, but it’s best to get it right the first time. It’s good practice to write a post and keep it in the draft folder for a few hours. If you feel emotionally involved in the content, let it cook in the draft folder for a day. Many crisis get resolved quickly.
Check spelling with a dictionary or spellchecker. I keep a dictionary accessible in an alternate tab in my browser.
Blogs are an important communications tool for golf course superintendents. If you start a blog, post often. Don’t let it sit without adding content; your users will disappear if there is nothing new to read. Change images often.
Accent the positive. Don’t mention bad things; members play golf to relax, not get stressed out. Bad things will happen in the golf business. Work them out in the committee level, not in a blog post. Respond to comments quickly. Your blog will improve your credibility. Clearly written content will assist in this process.