Want to Become a Running Blogger? Things to Consider First
While some of the biggest names in the business have recently announced the death of the blogging industry, others feel that it has simply evolved into a more “mature part of the publishing ecosystem.” How so? A multitude of casual bloggers (most of whom hopped on the blogging bandwagon during its boom in the early 2000s) have now fallen by the wayside. And while the boom is definitely over, a bunch of very committed, talented bloggers have stuck it out… which has ultimately led to an increase in the overall quality of the blogging industry as a whole.
So while having a personal blog is no longer the “in” thing to do, many runners still feel that sharing their running adventures through a blog would be fun. Plus what’s not to love about getting free running stuff from many of willing running gear manufacturers, right?! Here are a few things to consider before taking the plunge.
Blogging is not a get-rich-quick scheme
Many outsiders incorrectly view blogging as a quick and easy way to make money. It’s not. Just like many other online professions, blogging – even if it is about your favorite thing in the world, namely running – is hard work. Constantly coming up with original, new content, taking creative, good quality pictures, editing those pictures, writing posts, reviewing posts, interviewing fellow runners, doing research on specific events or products, sharing posts and building good relationships with readers and brands all take time and effort. Especially if you want to do it well. And, sometimes all of that effort only translates into a few hundred views per post.
So if your reason for joining the blogosphere is to make quick money, stop and reconsider. It just ain’t gonna happen.
That said, if you’re willing to work hard and keep at it, there are many ways in which you can make (anything from a little to plenty of) money from a running blog. These include:
- Doing sponsored posts.
- Running ads on your blog.
- Writing for other blogs and publications in your capacity as a running writer.
- Doing public speaking engagements on blogging or running or both.
- Selling your own branded merchandise online.
- Obtaining the necessary qualifications and certifications to offer paid services as a running coach.
Building a loyal following takes time and effort
Yes, some well-known running bloggers have obtained a large following relatively quickly. But even those bloggers will tell you that they didn’t sit around and wait for it to happen. They made it happen. They spent endless hours commenting on other blogs, building online friendships, creating new content and sharing posts via their other social media channels. So while some running blogs definitely grow faster than others, all growth takes effort.
So make sure that you’re willing to put in the hard yards before reaping any rewards.
The chances are good that you won’t become famous overnight
The blogging industry is often over-glamorized. While some running bloggers do spend time attending fancy events and mingling with big names in the running industry, that’s only a small part of the picture. Most of these events only take place in bigger cities, which means that out-of-towners are often left out. These events are also often unpaid and have to be attended at one’s own cost, meaning that you may go home with a fancy new step tracker (your fourth one), but little else to show for your time.
So if you want to join the blogosphere to mingle with the famous, think again.
Consistent blogging is hard when you hate writing
You live and breathe running. So surely doing anything running-related for a living must also be fun, right? Don’t be too sure. Do you honestly love writing enough to want to do plenty of it on most days? And by writing we mean proper writing, using full sentences, good grammar, and spellcheck?
Make sure that the running/writing combo is the right fit for you before getting started. In an industry where consistency is key, you don’t want to end up with weeks or months of radio silence just because you can’t bear the thought of eeking out one more grammatically correct sentence.
You can’t eat new running shoes
Many a passionate runner has longingly stared at those gear unboxing videos and wished that they were on the receiving end of such lavishness instead. Because, let’s be honest, what could be better than a box full of the latest running gear being delivered to your door, ready to be ooh-and-aah’d at?
Here’s a little secret: You can’t eat new running shoes. Yes, it’s wonderful to have generous sponsors and brands to work with. And yes, there’s nothing quite as exciting as a running press drop. But, in the end, you can’t raise a family on freebies. So if you’re thinking of becoming a blogger because of the potential running gear perks, you might want to reconsider. It’s no use having five pairs of the latest running shoes in your cupboard, but barely enough cash in your pocket to feed your family.
Some of blogging’s biggest rewards are often non-monetary
Having said that, becoming part of an online running community is rarely listed as one of the reasons why someone wants to start a new running blog. But, in the end, it’s often listed as one of the best and most unexpected perks of blogging. Through sharing your stories and experiences, you’ll inadvertently cross paths with some incredibly inspirational, like-minded souls. Some will become your online cheerleaders, some will share valuable advice, and some may even end up running with you in person. But if there’s one thing you won’t be able to get away from, it’s the ability of blogging to connect you to a tribe that, eventually, you won’t want to image your life without.
Go forth and do your thing
So while this post may seem discouraging, it’s not. If you have a passion for both writing and running, you’re willing to put in some hard work, and your expectations are realistic, then go for it! If it’s the right fit for you, being a running blogger can be an extremely fulfilling and exciting endeavor. Plus, if you work hard and persevere, there’s no reason why you won’t be able to earn an income from it as well.
So get out there, set up a blogging site and be you!
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