I learned something from reading Milan Kundera's "Ignorance" and RBR's blog (the two intellectual touchstones of the early 21st century). It's about why some blogs are more popular than others and what people really want to read in them.
First, there's the whole question of why women follow women's blogs almost exclusively and men tend not to follow anybody's. I write a guy's blog; guys read it looking for something that might help them in their own endeavors. About once a month, I go to Geoff Roes' blog and end up going to the link to his training log to "see how he does it." I've never learned anything by doing that, but I still hope I'm going to learn something. That's sort of the way guys think.
On the other hand, women tend to look for experiential blogs, the "this is what it felt like" posts. I think of Bobby Knight being asked a question like "You came two points short of the championship. How does that feel?" and his answering something like "You're an idiot." We can all guess how it feels, but we want to hear it nonetheless. If you want people to come back to your blog, the best way to do it is to write about experiences that others have had and can relate to; you could write a version of "I had a bad day and, though I felt guilty about taking time for myself to go for a run, I did it anyway. As the miles added up, I felt better and I was able to return, refreshed and more ready to tackle the problems I'd left behind." every single day and people would eat it up, because they know it already, it's their story you're telling as well as your own.
I'm always taken to task for not documenting everything with photos. There's a number of reasons I don't post many photos, but part of it has been that people's imagination is always better than the real thing. Readers want to see it anyway. They want to better recreate the "yes, that's what it's like" feeling. Readers like it when you run places they've been, so they can compare notes and relive their own experience and they like it when they can live vicariously through you, win or lose. They want to know the people that are important to you, they want to share the excitement of new adventures, they want to know you struggle as they do.
Or you could just give away some crap to people who sign up as followers. That works, too.
Sunday Night Musings
6 days ago