Saturday, December 20, 2008

Growing audience


My original intention was to make the Emerging Runner a personal journal that I would use to track my early progress. About two weeks into it I asked a friend (who happens to be an accomplished online media executive) to look at my site and suggest any changes. She mentioned a couple of things to help make this site more "findable" and I've since incorporated those changes. The real effect was to make me think about an audience broader than my wife and the "Emerging Running Advisory Board."

I have done a number of things to increase the reach of this site including using freely available SEO resources from Feedburner and Google Webmaster tools. I've also posted on the CompleteRunning.com network and tried to get Runner's World to link to it. I've also begun to leverage social networks including Facebook, which I joined and then ignored until I had something to talk about. In addition, I've put the site on both my LinkedIn and MapMyRun profiles.

Another great outcome from this (owing more to Facebook than Emerging Runner) is that I have been able to connect with some people that I have not seen for a while. One of those people will be running in the Boston Marathon next year and I hope to have him write a guest column about that experience. I've modified the look of this site to allow more content on the opening page and can now expand it so guest writers can get their own page. After about a month I have seen traffic grow slowly but steadily. The Emerging Runner has been accessed by a couple of hundred "absolutely unique" (Google Analytics' term) visitors with over a thousand pageviews. I can't wait for that first $0.02 check from Google Adsense.

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