100000 views and counting for Omni Running!
I began this blog in August of 2014 at the urging of a few friends.
At the time I didn’t know much about social media, barely used Facebook and had never heard of WordPress.
The one thing I did know about was running. In 2014 I had been running for eleven years and had learned a lot.
Getting to 100000 views
In the first few years this blog averaged around 7,000 views per year.
Pretty modest by just about anyone’s standards.
But for a guy just starting out, it was exciting to know that someone was reading what I wrote. I could write what ever I thought, hit publish and at least a few dozen or perhaps a hundred people would read my post!
The best part was that a few times people actually talked to me about a blog post. It was amazing! I wrote something, someone thought about it and wanted to talk about it.
Even more amazing were the handful of times people told me they were moved by what I wrote. Other times, I could tell by the tone of their voice that I had struck a chord with them.
My words made someone feel something! Wow.
Was I becoming a writer?
When people told me they felt something when they read a post, I began to feel like a writer.
It’s one thing to write something provocative and make people feel pissed off.
It’s another to write about a run and have someone feel like they were with me at every turn. My words allowed them to join me on a little journey and see the run through my eyes.
I have always enjoyed writing.
In college one of my professors said she could tell that I liked to write. Somehow that felt embarrassing and neither one of us followed up on that comment.
Writing takes practice, patience and persistence, and in college I only wrote to pass in papers.
When I started my blog in 2014 I was undisciplined and had to find my way.
I had to learn how to write for social media which is different than writing papers for college. Google doesn’t seem to like complex sentences or paragraphs with more than three of those rambling run on strings of words all jumbled together that hopefully convey an idea or a feeling.
I learned to be concise and edit.
A blog is like a magazine
When you pick up a magazine you pretty much know what you are going to read about.
While most magazines have the occasional article outside of their strike zone, they mainly swing at topics right over the plate. A good magazine goes after the curveballs and fastballs, but never too far outside of the strike zone.
This focus allows them to build authority on their subject matter and attract readers who know they will get quality writing in a specific area of interest.
While some blogs are basically open diaries, most blogs have a focus just like a magazine.
A blog can be a great way to vent, and I’ve certainly done that on occasion. But unless you plan to vent most of the time and do it well, it’s difficult to build a reader base. Endless rants get old quickly.
My focus is running and I try to stick with that 95% of the time.
Part of being a writer is learning to convey ideas and feelings. Part of being a writer is knowing when to rein yourself in and when to let it rip.
As a solo writer, a blogger has to be their own editorial board and call strikes and balls.
But enough about baseball.
In 2016 I started to think more like a blogger and not just a writer.
That meant thinking more about what I was going to write. I used to just sit down after a race and start writing.
I still did plenty of that in 2016, but I began to think about subjects that my readers and I would be interested in.
While people enjoyed running a race with me, I also knew that runners wanted to learn about things and get some advice.
The advice part was why my friends encouraged me to start a blog.
I looked at my most popular posts and thought about subjects that I was interested in. A writer has to be interested in their subject.
In 2016 I turned from writing about anything and began to focus more on running.
I began to think about topics, words and how a post looked.
My Most Popular Posts
Some of my early blog posts were a mess. I think any blogger who looks at their early work would say the same thing.
In 2015 I wrote “New England Marathons Fall“. This turned out to be a popular subject.
In 2016, a year after I wrote it, I made the first updates and haven’t stopped. This type of post requires frequent updates and now it is my most popular post with over 18,000 views.
In October of 2016 I wrote “What distance can my child run“. This turned out to be another popular subject and this post has had over 13,000 views.
This type of post doesn’t require frequent updating. But as I have become a better writer and found additional resources I have edited this post also.
These two posts helped pushed my annual views from 8,330 in 2017 to 19,211 in 2018.
Moving Beyond 100000 Views
When races were shut down in 2020, a lot of my subject matter went away.
There weren’t any race recaps to write and not as many people were looking for a Marathon in New England in October.
I really thought my numbers would drop off, but they reached a new high of 24,062 in 2021.
Like any writer I would like to speak to a larger audience. As a blogger I would like to have more engagement with my readers as well.
The challenge is to remain true to my voice, write about what interests me and attract that audience.
I don’t go out of my way to attract followers and I avoid the gimmicks. I try to write well and have a presentable blog and posts.
Hopefully in 2021 I will find another topic that is popular