There. I said it.
I have been trying to find the time to sit down and write a blog post for about a week now and now that I finally am, I realize that this little blog o’ mine requires a lot more attention and thoughtfulness than I have been giving it lately! When my life gets crazy busy, as it is right now, the blog takes a back seat and falls to the very bottom of my To Do List- if I can’t find the time to figure out something as simple as my grocery list, how am I going to find the time to write something thoughtful, witty, and insightful?
Sure, I can go to the store and get groceries without thinking, I can even run without thinking (much), but I just cannot blog without the mind space and time it takes to create good content. I’m fairly new to blogging but have realized that it isn’t just about the posts, it’s about so much more…
In order to create a really good blog (meaning one that is read by many with a lot of followers), the foremost thing I think you need to be is an authority on your topic. I feel like I am somewhat of an expert on running because… well… I do it so much! I’ve been running for 5 years, race at least once a month (32 under my belt to date), recently trained for and completed my first marathon with Team in Training and now, as a TNT mentor, am getting ready for marathon #2. Having the kind of comprehensive and dedicated coaching that is provided through TNT makes me a lot more knowledgeable about running than I ever was before, and my goal is to pass all that good mojo on to my readers.
When it comes to food, I feel like I am expert because… well… I eat so much! I also worked for years in fine dining, then catering, and went to culinary school. I love cooking and finding new places to eat and am a crazy cook book collector. (I have a theory that in order to really read a cook book, you have to make every single recipe in it- I have accomplished this with 4 cook books so far. Only weirdos- oh I mean “experts”- do that!)
So an expert, I am… at least in my own head. Check.
This probably goes without saying, but to have a successful blog you also have to be a good writer. Duh. I have always loved writing and the English language, as a child I would read the dictionary for fun, excelled at writing in high school, studied writing in college (film and T.V. critique), and then worked in technology Public Relations where I wrote thousands of pitches and press releases that garnered ample media coverage for my clients.
Just because I have done a lot of writing does not, necessarily, mean I am super duper good at it. I write like I talk and I talk A LOT so that helps. I also aim to be as authentic as possible, I am not using my blog to be someone I’m not, this is allllllllll me, dear readers. (If you know me, I think you would agree!) On the other hand, I know I am the Queen of Typos, my grammar may not always be correct, I tend to write in fragments, and over use the comma, but, hey, I’m trying!
Another component of blogging, maybe the most important, is great content. I’ve had some difficulty coming up with topics (especially for the Today’s Reason posts) and once I do think of a topic, I don’t write about it right away. Instead, I take a lot of time, often several days, thinking and thinking about what I am going to say, how to make it funny, and what my profound conclusion is going to be. Now, if I was a better writer I would come up with new ideas faster, type it out quickly, post twice a day, and go on with my life, but no, this girl takes her time.
My blog is not akin to a reality television show, like so many others are. You will never see a post about the cute things my kids do, what I am buying the family for Christmas, what I watched on T.V. last night, or that I breathed oxygen today. There are a lot of blogs out there that are like that, I even follow some of them, but this one is not. This blog is about running and eating good food in order to run. That’s it. I may be limiting my content but if I want to create a personal diary about the mundane details of my life, I promise I’ll start another blog. (Or just spend more time on Facebook!)
And finally, the hardest part of blogging, to me, is reading and thoughtfully commenting on other blogs. If I could work without earning any money, I would blog as a career, definitely- it’s a full time job! Developing relationships with other bloggers is important and I love reading blogs that speak to my interests. If I want other people to read my blog, I must find the time to read theirs. That is very difficult- I am a mom, a home maker, a wife, chauffeur to my kids (5 and 6 years old), and am training for a marathon. That leaves very little time to sit and read. Very little, if at all. (For instance, I started writing this post around 10am. With all the interruptions, it is now 2:15pm and I’m still editing this sucker. Argh.)
When anyone asks me about running I always say, “Consistency begets consistency” and I’ve realized the same can be said about blogging- the more you put into it, the more you get out of it; the more you do it, the better you get.
Running, for me, is no problem. Finding the time to build my blogging muscles, well… <sigh> I’m still trying…
And with that, I now ask you, faithful readers, what do you think makes a good blog? What keeps you reading? What would you like to see more of on this one? What are some running and/or nutrition-related topics you would like to see covered?