Fishing reports help guides make money. Period. If you’re not writing them, you’re giving away business to the guides who are.
Let’s say “Tom Jones” from Chicago is searching Google for “Flats Fishing Guides in Miami”. Studies show he’ll visit 6-8 websites on the front page of Google (on average) and 5 out of those 6 sites he visits have extremely outdated fishing reports (or none at all). Let’s say the latest reports on those 5 sites are 2 years old and the other site has fishing reports posted twice a month. What do you think “Tom” is going to think? 1 guy is busy and the others may not even still be in business. Right?
Even if you have nothing spectacular to report, frequent fishing reports show that you are actively working your business and clients like to hire guides who are actively working their business.
Why you should be writing fishing reports:
- It shows that you are working and that you care enough about your business to make the effort to write a report.
- It helps with search engine rankings. Google LOVES fresh content.
- It’s great for sharing on Social Media to keep your name fresh and in the forefront of potential client’s minds (and EVERYONE is a potential client).
- It gives potential clients details about what’s happening in your area right now. Someone might be interested in catching what you catching right now.
- The return on investment is ridiculous. Spend one hour a month writing 2 fishing reports and it could net you 1 charter per month (or more). That’s $400-$1,000 per hour return (depending on your charter rate).
The 3 Excuses:
#1 But I suck at writing.
I hear this one a lot from my web design clients. But listen, it’s not hard. You don’t have to be an Ernest Hemingway to write an effective, informational, fishing report. Here’s all you have to do to get your fishing report on paper.
- Write down the 5 questions you get asked most often. Which will most likely match this pattern… How’s the fishing? What are you catching? Where have you been fishing lately? What are you catching then on? What do you think this weekend will be like? (if you get asked other questions, write them down and use them)
- Use a digital voice recorder and record yourself answering these 5 questions. Answer just as if you were answering a real live human being at the gas pump while you’re you’re being grilled while trying to fill your boat up.
- Sit in front of a computer and play your answers back to yourself and type them up.
- Add pictures to the report (people love pictures)
- Publish your new report to your website, link to the new report on Facebook, and send it to local magazines and papers.
It’s that simple.
You most likely have good communication skills or you wouldn’t be a fishing guide. You just need to know how to translate your thoughts onto paper (well… most likely digital format these days). Follow the steps above and you’ll find that you are a much better writer than you think you are.
#2 I don’t have time.
Whatever! You can’t find one spare hour a month (should only take you 20 minutes)? You must have 9 kids, a radio show, a TV show, be a rep for 12 tackle companies, and be the busiest fishing guide on the planet. In that case, hire a writer, you must have the money for it!
#3 I don’t have a website, my website gets no traffic, or I don’t know where to publish my fishing report.
- Get a website if you don’t have one. A good website will run you $2k-$5k but it will pay you back in the long run.
- If you’re website isn’t generating traffic, lack of fishing reports isn’t helping! Google loves fresh content! Also, consider at least a minimum of 12 months of SEO work on your webssite by a professional.
- FACEBOOK…. even if you don’t have a website, you can post fishing reports to Facebook.
- Local papers and magazines. They are always looking for content. It’s what they sell.
You can do it, it’s not hard, and it’s worth doing.
Did you know that the most often searched search terms for the Tampa Bay area, regarding fishing, include the word “report”? If you aren’t providing it what they are looking for, someone else is. And that guy is getting his name in front of thousands of people each month. What would that kind of reach or exposure be worth to you?
You have valuable knowledge. If you make the (minimal) effort it requires to provide that info to others, it can reap big rewards. Put away the excuses, take an hour each month, and share what you know with others and you’ll get more charters and be a more successful fishing guide.