Sunday, December 23, 2012

26.2 Tips To Run A Running Blog

26.2 Tips To Run A Running Blog

Don't let the title fool you. The Truth is, I don't have a clue. In fact, I may be the last person who should be writing this article. But I have been inspired by a new book on Amazon about 'how to marathon' by a runner who has only run one marathon, so certainly I can write a post on how to blog. Right? 

In fact, the only reason I do anything at all is to give myself some street credibility to then give advice about it.  (I’ve already pre-written my advice for choosing a Tattoo, but don’t plan to be inked for many years.)

So, my wonderful, incredible, indispensable list of : “26.2 Tips To Run A Running Blog:”

1.  Make a lot of posts with a lot lists. Yes, you need lists. And they need to be numbered.  Why? I’m not sure, but maybe because:

2.  It looks more like you know what you are talking about, as if by narrowing it down to an exact number, you’ve got secret insight backed up by scientific proof.

3. It makes it easier on the readers' eyes and brain if you have categorized their thoughts for them.

4. All great things have lists: The 12 steps, the 10 commandments, the 4 noble truths, the 3 wise man, the 2 tickets to paradise, and One ring to rule them all.

5. After making your list, if the number just happens (by mistake or by chance or some kind of kabballah-like mysticism) to match up with a number that relates to your topic, you've become infinitely more cooler, smarter, and wiser. 26.2 reasons to do something in a blog about marathoning, for example.

6. Decide if your workouts are important or interesting enough to post. Sure you have to and should post them.  But do people want to know how many miles you run, how much speedwork you do, where you chaff on your body? My thoughts are that those who are on either end of the bell curve are the most interesting, where as those in the mass of the crowd at the middle are less so.  If it's your first marathon, if you've had an incredible challenge to overcome, or if you are a sub-3 hour  marathoner, for example, I am more intrigued in your day to day workouts.

7.   Have a take, an angle, a philosophy of running and life. Write from your gut.  What makes you unique? This theme may take a few months to take shape and may change course from time to time.  We all have many gifts, and in the bloggersphere, there are many rooms. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? 

8. Your place is your uniqueness.  Find it and sharpen it.

9. Some  examples:
 *Are you a Photojournalist with an eye for detail who has run pretty much every race in Michigan?
 Detroit Runner

* Do you have12 kids and training to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials? 

*Are you  a running guru artist with endless bits of wisdom so deep that half your runs are done in private, lest your secrets get into the wrong hands?   
Arty RunnerChick

*Does your fan base want you to update your blog which each meal, and will respond with 167 comments when you discuss, for example, your experiences with the costco sample-cart ladies?
The Hungry Runner Girl

10. Decide how personal you want to get and how much you want to self-disclose. This is a tough one.  But pick some boundaries, and then once in a while break them.

11.   Put up photos.  But how many, of what, and with family? See 10 above.

12.  Stick a knife in your heart and spill it all right on the page, or at least tickle your funny bone until you pee your pants.

13. Post only what you want to write sometimes, post things other folks may even want to read sometimes, but you'll probably be happiest when the two combine.

14. Don’t just write your next post, write when ideas come to you. Blog and blab away whenever the urge strikes, and then 'Save to Draft.' You don’t’ have to post them all. I have wrote, rewrote, and edited 2 posts on the Sandy Hook tragedy. One of these is a click away from being posted, but then I thought twice. While it was very therapeutic to write, it's too dark and should stay in the shadows.

15.  Have some ‘anchor' posts – these are posts that are universal, and speak to the specific thematics of your blog and your overall mission statement.  (see number 7 above). Mine would be posts that discuss the role of running, marathoning, to addiction, for example.

16. Generic posts, The race reports, the workouts, perhaps the meat of your blog. 

17.  Irreverent posts to break up the monotony. For example; ‘Why do we have a pinky toe anyways? And is it true lobbing this toe off increases your 10k time?'

18.  Timely posts– seasonal runs, holiday issues, the hot runner issue of the moment. 

19.  The "I'm more than a runner" posts. Prove you have a life outside of running and post outside of your running world as well, although, if you are like me, when training is at its highest, running bleeds over into everything.

20.  Search Terms and Labels on each posts. Choose wisely..  We all know that the reason we write blogs is, besides exaggerating our own importance and staying current in this age of narcissism, is to read the google searchs that bring readers to our blog. I get a lot of Darryl Dixons, zombies, frosty the snowmen,  all kinds of drug stuff, and other unmentionables.

21. Prepare to be humbled. Other bloggers are faster than you, run more miles than you, and have more followers. Their widgets are cooler. The look better in running gear.  They write with more wit and in general are picked way ahead of you on the soccer team at recess. That's okay.  The race is long, and in the end, you need to blog only (mostly) for yourself. Plus if you have the guts to line up for a race, you can handle the blogging world.

22. Don’t blog while you run, at least not too much, because then it becomes the  tail wagging the dog.  Sure, ideas will come forth as you run, but the danger is you perseverate over what to blog while you are running and lose the experience. Like going somewhere and taking so many pictures you never really experience ‘being there.’

23. If you have a habit and interest in writing novels, be aware that, once you start blogging, they will gather e-dust in their e-spot in your ‘my documents’ folder, never to be opened and edited again. Speaking of that, say goodbye to your kids, leave water out for the cat, and wait for the kitty litter to smell so nasty that you are about to puke, since, by starting your blog, you are opening up a time vacuum which will suck at all things in your life. You may no longer bathe, your teeth may decay, and your arse will be permanently planted in your chair.

24. Pick a pattern of updates and try to remain consistent. As a blog follower, this is helpful. Even if it's only once a week, if I love the blog, I like to know if I should expect one every week, every two days, every full moon. Generally speaking, not exact.

25. Tweet away, post on linkedin, dailymile, and read others folks blogs and comment.

26. Don’t start on Blogger, like I did, because it kind of sucks, wordpress seems to be a better way to go. Why? I have no idea, but I’ve seen plenty of folks transfer from blogger to wordpress, but not the other way around, so this says something. But if you do start on Blogger, make sure you are too lazy to transfer, so that I don’t feel pressure to do so as well.

26.2. Wish your readers Happy Holidays!  Merry Christmas! be grateful for everyone who clicks, and remember the point is just another mode of self-expression, an extension of your run and yourself, so take some risks and let it ride.

The Jade Rabbit on Amazon


Detroit Runner(Jeff) said...

Hey thanks for the shout out. I think I still have a couple Michigan races left to run. Next year.

SupermomE13 said...

Love it! Very fun post! Thanks for the shout out. :) Have a very Merry Christmas.

Anne said...

All good suggestions, except Wordpress isn't any better than Blogger (and given how bad Blogger can be, that's saying something). I use Wordpress to blog at my job and have far more troubles with it than I imagined. Perhaps I can make a list in an upcoming blog post on the 7 Reasons why we should and shouldn't chose a certain platform for a running blog????

Sara said...

I. Love. This. Post. Awesome ideas and it made me laugh too. Thanks and Merry Christmas to you and yours. You've crossed my mind a few times this holiday season and I hope all is well. :)

Cait the Arty Runnerchick said...

thanks so much for the shout out! :) u're too funny.
these are all excellent tips and ur writer guru-ism is def shining thru so don't sell urself short. :)

Kathee said...

Great tips and I love the humor! Don't worry, I'll probably stay with Blogger for a long time with their easy ready background. If I do change it will be on a whim in the dark of night during an attack of insomnia, which will prove devastating.

Smitha @ FauxRunner said...

Love it !!!
And I'm at blogger too, even though I have my own domain space waiting for me ( but too chicken to migrate. And blogger works for my simple purpose. So here I stay.
But honestly, I write because I love writing and I mostly write what's running in my head. Only recently I've started writing the general tips and lists posts. And while it is a good list, it is not "me". I feel very faux and like a poser when I write like I really know something.

Anonymous said...

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Kristi Lynn said...

I quite literally busted out laughing over at least 5 of your tips. I needed the chuckle. Great post and I hope you had a very Merry Christmas Mr. M.


Mark Matthews said...

Thanks. I'm more truly faux than you, never fear.

Matt Johnson @ Runner Academy said...

Couldn't agree more with all of these - especially with being consistent. Treat your website the same you treat your running and it will grow!

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