With the Track and Field events about to start in the 2012 Olympics, it got me thinking: How has running affected how I blog? Sure, being a runner and having a running blog means the two directly rely on each other, but what about simple tips that can be applied to blogging? I decided to leave out the tips on clean socks and dri-fit clothing and came up with these 5 things running has taught me about blogging.
Less is sometimes more.
In running, quality is just as important as quantity. A strong 10 mile run can be more beneficial than a 13 mile run littered with frequent rest and walk breaks. The same goes for blogging. Try not to worry about getting a post up every single day and letting the quality of your content suffer. Focus on making sure that what you write is beneficial and entertaining to your readers. They’ll appreciate it and are more likely to come back.
Utilize what’s available to you.
I may blog under the name Pavement Runner, but I also run on trails, the beach and, on occasion, treadmills. Taking advantage of what is available and convenient allows me to maintain my fitness and become stronger on all terrains. Using various resources to write your blog will allow you to be more flexible when you write. I’m currently writing this post on my iPhone in an e-mail. I’ll later send it to myself, copy and paste it into the blog and be steps away from hitting the publish button. WordPress and Blogger (two popular publishing platforms) have apps that allow you to create and edit posts on the go. You could also (gasp) use a paper and pen and transcribe it later. You don’t always have to be in front of your monitor or laptop to start a post or come up with an idea. Sometimes inspiration may present itself and putting something down will help you keep the idea fresh when you are ready to go.
Find your comfort zone.
When running an endurance race, finding your comfort zone can help those miles fly by with ease. You can find yourself in trouble in the middle of the race if you decide to pick up the pace too early causing you to crash and burn before the finish line. When blogging, you should also stay within your comfort zone and with what your audience expects. If you have a fitness blog and catalog a week’s worth of cross training, your readers might be surprised and turned away if one day you decide to write about something random and out of character. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try something new and creative; it simply means you should stay within the focus of your blog’s subject matter. It would be fairly strange to go to your favorite fitness blog and find a random post about how much they really like their state-of-the-art vacuum cleaner.
Let it be.
This may be the song title to one of your favorite songs, but it also works for running AND blogging. As a runner that frequently runs through the busy streets of San Francisco, I have come across angry motorists, cyclists and startled plenty of tourists by coming up behind them unexpectedly. They may give you dirty looks or shout at you as you run by, but it does no good to engage and it might simply add fuel to the fire. The same goes for angry or hateful comments on your latest post. You could always reply and try to reinforce your opinion with facts or counter points, but chances are they will simply reply with more negativity. It’s best just to either leave it alone, or delete their original comment. It’s always great to start an intelligent and positive discussion in your comment section, but sometimes you just have to know when to “let it be.”
Embrace the community.
I became a much faster and more efficient runner by surrounding myself with members of the running community. If I had questions, there were plenty of resources willing to offer suggestions. Additionally, if I had a long run coming up or simply wanted some company on a lunchtime run, I was able to find runners also looking to log a few miles. The same goes for the blogging community. Feel free to reach out to your favorite blogger or contact them through social media to ask a question. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to interact with them on THEIR blogs. Some of my most consistent comments come from fellow bloggers that I frequently share or comment on their posts. It’s always great to find bloggers willing to share the love right back, and you’d be surprised what great connections can be made from regularly sharing and commenting on someone else’s blog.
There you have it. Just a few thoughts about how being a long distance runner has helped me think differently about how I blog. Hopefully these tips will help you in either running or blogging. Heck, maybe it will do both, I know it has for me.
Do you have any other suggestions that can be added to this list?
Brian Kelley is an endurance runner at various distances, including10+ full marathons and even more at the half distance. Ultras have started to join the party and after a few 50k’s, a 50 miler is up next at the end of 2012. He can be found blogging over at PavementRunner.com or frequently tweeting as @PavementRunner.