Next steps in the blog

It’s that time of year again to look back at 2020 and start reflecting on things. In the coming days I’ll be posting my traditional biking, running, and overall reflection posts. However, I wanted to take a little bit of time today to talk about what I think the blog will look like next year.

Perhaps one of the most surprising things about 2020 and SecondRunnings.me was how much my stats increased this year. I saw a 130%+ increase in traffic this year, despite being one of my lowest posting years in a long time. For three years I was posting content every single day, and my stats were nowhere near what they are now. I decided to start digging in a bit and seeing what was driving this large increase.

Very quickly I discovered that my highest viewed post ever was my review of the Salsa Vaya gravel bike. Considering what 2020 did to the biking industry, I’m not terribly surprised. However, even with this huge splash of an article, I still had a general uptick in readership, and it was almost all focused on product reviews.

When I dug into my best performing posts over the past 5 years, almost everything that did well was about a product, piece of media, or a race report. What this tells me is that the posts that perform the best are the ones that convey information, whether it be race reports, or insights on things that I use (race reports are really just product reviews of an event frankly). What it also told me was that my philosophical musings often performed the worst. As someone who was trained as a pastor, and enjoys the art of waxing academically… that stings.

However, it causes me to reflect on what my goal is with this blog endeavor. It’s clear that I have an audience that wants to hear what I have to say about products and events. People are seeking out my opinion on things that I’ve done or things that I use, and as most people in my life will tell you, I’m not one to shy away from sharing my opinion (yes, I can hear my friends laughing out loud right now). I enjoy writing many of my reviews so I’m not complaining about building an audience around that. But, if that’s going to be a major focus of the blog then I should actually take the time to be planful about it.

What are my goals for 2021 for this blog? When I first started blogging on boolah.dupadee.net (long before social media was a thing) I wanted a space to share about things going on in my life and give space to things I wanted to write about. However, times have changed, and creating a space where I can create long-form content vs. status updates, has shifted my focus. I enjoy sharing my opinion on things, and frankly, I feel like I’m a pretty decent reviewer. Yet, I don’t want to give up on having a space to do more philosophical musings as well.

One option would be to create multiple blogs, but that’s just a hassle to manage. So instead, I’m going to engage in a little bit of rebranding for 2021. My tagline for this blog has been “Musings on the second half of my life”, and that was appropriate for a place where I’m spouting off intellectual diatribes. However, I want something that reflects what this space has really become. Additionally, I want to connect with how I’ve presented myself to the world over the past couple of years.

Therefore, starting in 2021, the new tagline for SecondRunning.me will be “Reviews, opinions, and insights on living my best life”. In addition to a tagline change I’ll be updating the look and feel of the blog to allow for easier navigation, with a focus on helping direct people to my review writing and race reports. I’ll still be doing general musings and opinion pieces, but I’ll give them their own category. My travel logs and photography will also get their own category for folks who like those areas as well.

With this change I still need to decide on my post frequency level. I’m still working out the specifics of a schedule, but I’ll be sure to share that when I nail it down. I know that I’d like to challenge myself with a more regular posting schedule, but I need to decide how much is reasonable for each of the areas that I want to post about. More to come.

As I approach 8 years of SecondRunnings.me (plus almost 12 years on my previous blog), I think I’m finally feeling out what the future holds for this space. As life on social media has changed, blogs have had to adapt, and so that’s what I want to do here. I think I’ve started to create a fun little community that loves the things that I do, and wants to hear more about how I’m exploring the places that mean a lot to us, and examining the tools we use. The goal is, as always, to explore what it means to live my best life.

Now it’s time to buckle down and get to work…

Jamison

Beer, running, and geeky things.

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