This article is design to help you start a running blog. Signing up for a free hosted blog service is simple, and you could just do that, but there are many other considerations needed if you are to make it a successful blog that you will nurture and grow.
Three Keys To Start A Running Blog That People Will Read
1. What are you trying to achieve
The first thing you need to be clear (with yourself) on is what it is you are trying to achieve. Is that fame and notoriety? is it to keep your friends and family abreast of your progress?, is it to connect with other runners?, is it to get involved in the blogging community? or maybe you have financial objectives in mind – generating ad income, or getting popular enough that brands send you kit to review…
Whatever it is, and we’d suggest starting small and growing with it, you should write it down and keep it to hand so that you always have it in mind whilst creating your posts. It will help set the tone of your blog.
2. Who are your audience.
This is linked to item 1 ‘what are you trying to achieve’. When you know what you want, relate this back to your audience. If you’re looking to reach runners in your local area then consider what they will find interesting – maybe local races and meet ups, or new routes in the local area.
If you cannot connect with your audience then your blog will fail. You must keep the audience in mind as you nurture and grow your blog.
3. What will your voice be.
Your ‘voice’ is another key area, related to items 1 and 2. What do you stand for? what are the principals your articles will be guided by? How will you respond to comments (positive and negative), how will you respond to those with the opposite opinion? what sort language/jokes/sarcasm/criticism is acceptable.
Three Keys To Start A Running Blog That You Will Not Eventually Neglect
Many people start a running blog with the best of intentions, but after a few weeks or months it begins to get neglected – the initial enthusiasm wanes and the effort involved in keeping it updated and current is too much for them, or way more than they expected, so weeks or months go by between updates and before they it know it it is something that gets updated once or twice a year after a key race.
It is imperative to plan out a realistic strategy for updating the blog – one that is sustainable in the long term. Below are the three main elements for putting that plan together.
It is too easy in the initial enthusiasm to say that you can blog every day. Think about what is involved in posting an article – this varies for each blog, it might be something as simple as firing up the WordPress app on your smartphone, jotting down a few words and hitting the ‘publish’ button. However, it could be fire up the laptop, think up a topic, find a suitable stock photo, spend an hour curating a 300 word masterpiece before posting and tweaking online.
The point is, understand how long YOUR blogging process takes YOU, and then work out where you are going to ‘steal’ that time from – is it on your daily commute?, after you’ve put the kids to bed?, in the morning before the rest of the family get up?, on a Sunday afternoon? – whatever, make sure you know when and how long you can commit to and that it is sustainable in the long term.
2. What do you need to write a post.
This is linked to item 1. When you sit down to start that blog post, what services, data, tools do you need to just get on with it. it is too easy to get distracted by looking for just the right image, or forgetting your tracking app password and fighting to get your run data to write about. Then a 30 minute task can turn into a 2 hour slog. Before you start, make sure you have everything you need to hand – laptop, run data, race website url, photo of the gear your reviewing etc…
3. Technology Platform.
Now we come to the technology bit – what platform will you use – free or paid for? WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger, hosted or self hosted.
Our advice here is to use WordPress – it comes in free and paid for versions (you choose), it can be hosted at WordPress.com or on your own server/hosting, it has millions of users all over the world and it powers some of the biggest website on the planet.
So, the purpose of this is not to scaremonger or to put you off – we’d love to see you start a running blog and read about your training and your perspective on all things running. We just want to make sure you start from a good solid base that you can sustain in the long term.
Next Steps ?
- Make a plan
- Get a WordPress site
- Start blogging
- Let us know the URL
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