Why We Love to Blog at CFSBK
The original version of this article appeared on Coach David’s blog Inside the Affiliate.
At CFSBK, our blog is an essential tool for communicating with our members and cultivating an authentic, exciting community. There is a psychosocial element built into our business philosophy that recognizes that people don’t just walk through our doors to get fit, but also to be part of something larger than themselves. We believe we have an enormous and meaningful opportunity not just to facilitate athletes connecting deeply with the CrossFit program, but also with other likeminded people. And of course, that connection does nothing but make our business more exceptional, by encouraging retention, loyalty, and investment.
Our blog has racked up 2,100-plus blog posts over the last six years, with almost every single post highlighting gym members and in-house events. We average about 15-30 comments per day with some 40+ days and bizarro 100+ days. Our daily page views total about 3,000 on average, a number that slowly crept up over time through our dedicated commitment to blogging.
While all CrossFit affiliates are required to have and maintain a blog, many prioritize other forms of social media, such as Facebook, in providing information to members. In my opinion, blogging is a better medium because it allows us to curate the tone more, whereas with Facebook, you’re entering a space with pre-existing norms for what’s appropriate. There is already an abundance of good (and not so good) information and attitudes on the Internet, but we don’t want to underestimate how important our individual and collective voice can be. That being said, below is a bit of the rationale behind why we do things on here the way we do. (So meta!)
We feature photographs on each post, so that means that over 2,000 times, someone has clicked on the blog and gotten excited to see themselves or one of their friends on the site. Having new and interesting pictures from and of our affiliate is an invaluable feature of the blog. How many websites have you visited and never returned to because they didn't stimulate your eye? Not only do photos enhance every post with something new and visually appealing to look at, but the images themselves help build community by putting faces to names on a daily basis.
In the early days of CFSBK, I used to take pictures from each class, but I eventually started bartering with members who happened to be excellent photographers (offering them discounted memberships based on their workload). We currently have a few different photographers that shoot for us—both at normal group classes and at events—and then upload their shots directly to our public Flickr account (which is also quite popular). Each of our photographers stands out because of their eye for movement—and that they're not too intrusive to folks working out. A good photographer should be able to capture candid and interesting moments that flatter their subjects, since we know everyone doesn’t necessarily look their sexiest when sweating under a heavy barbell.
Workout of the Day
It’s perhaps obvious that a CrossFit blog should post our WODs, but we also use the blog to provide additional notes about the day's programming and workout before you guys arrive at the gym. Reading the blog beforehand gives you an opportunity to start thinking about how you’ll approach the day's training, and advises you of the programming’s intent and objectives. Of course, we always review the workout in detail at the gym, but the more information we can provide ahead of time, the better.
Our staff writes regular content for our blog, and we also share various events in which our members participate (such as volunteer work, art shows, and classes they might be teaching), and keep up with our wider community in Brooklyn. Additionally, our blog has been a critical component in running successful events at our gym, serving as a central hub for information and planning details.
In addition to engaging our members about their training, we also often pose a direct question in the vein of our Questions of the Day. Sometimes these questions still relate to training but are more general (i.e., How do you establish pre-lift confidence?) and sometimes they don’t (i.e., What was the most beautiful thing you’ve seen recently?). These non-training related questions enable members and coaches to get to know one another even better, and readers often look forward to these comments just as much the blog’s content.
The Comments Section
As we talked about in “Starting Class with Introductions,” we prioritize having an on-going, continual conversation with YOU. We consistently request that members post numbers from their workouts, and any debriefing thoughts, to generate conversation. The online dialogue generated from these comments provides an invaluable asset for coaching. Reading the training notes of people taking group classes gives us feedback about how people are responding to our programming. It also provides insight into the specifics of how our members’ training is progressing (or not progressing). In the end, we both benefit from learning more about your experiences.
The blog ultimately serves as a digital scrapbook for our affiliate—providing plenty of photographic ammunition for loving jokes about peoples’ hairstyles in years to come, and offering members a permanent, written archive of their past workouts or experiences. Ultimately, our blog chronicles all the successes, events, and tribulations of our members and gym as we continue to grow, while also contributing significantly to that growth. If you don’t already post regularly, there’s no better time than RIGHT NOW.
So, tell us: If you were blind for the rest of your life, what would you miss seeing the most?
- Happy birthday, Ellie M.!
- Sunday is coming, and that means Stella Z. is hosting pub quiz again! Check out Smart in DUMBO trivia, 7pm, this Sunday night, 68 Jay St Bar in DUMBO.
- There's a new treasure trove of Lost and Found items, displayed on our Flickr. Claim your thingz by June 15 or we're giving 'em away. David is also lost and needs to be found, so feel free to claim him along with your wrist straps/fancy kicks/t-shirts/flip-flops, etc. etc.
Living on Purpose New York Times
How to Make the Narcissist in Your Life a Little Nicer The Atlantic
Why Are You Here? Catalyst Athletics