11th August 2015
I carried out a little experiment on Sunday. (A girl has to find something to amuse herself when she’s got nothing better to do than wear her son’s squirrel onesie and sulk about a running injury.)
My Pinterest account lies languishing in a dusty corner of the tinterwebs and I have a vast following of about 5 fellow pinners. Similar to my blog following, really. Except this is read by a cat, too, so that gives it kudos.
As a relative newbie to the blogging scene, I’ve done lots of reading about “how to blog.” Before I started, I’d heard of blogging and was vaguely aware of some of the blog royalty like Mrs Woog at Woogsworld, but I got into this simply as a medium to channel some creativity. (If you’ve read any of my other posts, you might think the channel was pointing elsewhere – hah!)
The thing was, I couldn’t quite figure how you could make money out of writing the first thing that came into your head and then popping it in something that resembled an online filing cabinet.
So, I was interested to find out how it could be possible, and as I researched away, it dawned on me that there is an entire blogging industry out there that services “how to grow your blog”. That kind of blew me away. It’s the pyramid selling of the virtual world!
The wisdom that I found was that readers will come if you have good content. Your tribe will find you, so long as you maintain an authentic dialogue. But how do they know you’re there, when the blog is filed away in your online filing cabinet, my confused little brain wanted to know? The answer, it seems, is exploiting social media, and the holy grail of driving traffic to your blog is going viral. And there are very many people out there that are willing to sell an e-course on how to make a blog go viral. I salute their cunning. Their viral blogs are the ones that teach others how to make a blog go viral. The perfect virtuous circle!
Fascinated, I was idly researching what makes a pin go viral, and I decided to pin a picture I found to a new board. This is the pin.
Then I made a pin and stuck that there.
The board has 2 pins. I gained 46 followers within 15 minutes! Crazy!! We all want to know how to win the popularity stakes, it seems.
And then I started to wonder, what’s the fascination with a blog going viral? Why is it something that creates so much interest? Why was I even researching it?
Which is when it struck me that it’s a motif for life. And running.
Because, what I really like is a nice training session that is a few short sprints. I had one of those on my plan: a fartlek that involved several quick sprints. And I have to tell you, it was AMAZING. I could hold the pace. For each of the sprints. And at the end, it felt like I’d won the gold medal at the Olympics. In fact, it felt like I should be able to go out and win the gold medal at the Olympics. Because if truth be told, I just want to go zipping along, win, and get to spend the rest of the day with my feet up, eating McVities Chocolate Homewheats (the one British biscuit that truly rivals Arnotts) and being hand delivered cups of tea. I want the quick fix. The path of least resistance. The easy option.
But when I was riding high on that training session, it dawned on me why I run long distance.
At heart I am a sprinter. Not a true sprinter like the ones that actually win medals. Because they put in serious effort. But a life sprinter. I want to take short cuts and the easy road. But I’ve come to realise that running (and running is a perfect metaphor for life, in my opinion) isn’t like that. Running is about what you put in. If you want to have a good run, you have to put in some good training. At times you have to grind it out. Goodness knows, I know. I’ve put in some seriously long, painful and soul searching runs in the quest for Comrades completion. But those gruelling runs, when the only thing on your mind is throwing the towel in, but somehow you choose not to, those are the ones that are the difference. Those are the ones that build character. They prove that you’re not as flaky as voice in your head is trying to tell you you are. And that’s when you grow. As a runner. As a person.
If you found this blog because you were looking for someone to tell you a secret, the key to the blogging door, then sorry. You have been deceived. You have been reeled in my evil experiment to see if using the word viral is the magic ingredient to grabbing attention and getting people to drop by and say hello.
Yes, I’d love to tell you that there’s a secret formula that will give you the win with very little effort. But, I’m not sure I can. Quality training, quality content, quality time with the people around you – repetitively, consistently and without holding back – that’s what achieves results, whatever game you’re trying to win.
It’s time I got out of the squirrel onesie as I think I already won the internets as the Sulkiest Squirrel of the Day. So, thanks for dropping in, but I’m signing out for now. Gotta go do something worth doing. xxx
How did your tribe find you? And what’s your best tip for keeping them coming back?