Going viral, versus “slow and steady”: The June stats report, Part 1

The theme of today’s blog is simple:

On the benefits of small, gradual improvements – in fitness, blogging, and life

When I was running with a beloved coach back when I lived in Boston in the 1998-2001 era, he sent a strong message that gradual improvement was all we needed to shoot for in order to become better runners.

I chose this photo today for the blog because it reminds me that every great achievement begins as a seedling, and it has to be nurtured carefully over time in order to fully bloom. Such is my life as a newly-healthy person...and the growing audience for Every48. Thank you for being here to celebrate the blog's first six months. (Image courtesy of amenic181 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
I chose this photo today for the blog because it reminds me that every great achievement begins as a seedling, and it has to be nurtured carefully over time in order to fully bloom. Such is my life as a newly-healthy person…and the growing audience for Every48. Thank you for being here to celebrate the blog’s first six months. (Image courtesy of amenic181 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

This was back in the day when I was trying to use exercise alone (or mostly alone) to control my weight, so I was gamely meeting up for a Wednesday evening track workout with my coach, Martin Duffy, and a cohort of others who were runners of various levels of ability. Martin would do things like have us run 200 meters (halfway around a standard-sized track), and then, on the next 200-meter repeat, shoot for an improvement of…wait for it…one-tenth of a second.

That’s right. One-tenth of one second. That’s the kind of world we were living in. An uptick is an uptick. In Martin’s world, patience and small, gradual improvements led to success. And this was from a guy who ran forty consecutive Boston Marathons. He knew what he was talking about.

Fast-forward fifteen years or so, and we live in a “going viral” world. People make a billion dollars on an idea they’ve been working on for three years. Stuff goes viral on the Internet faster than you can say “Beyonce’s sister” (or whatever is going viral this week). And – a personal issue of mine – a lot of folks out there will make insane, viral-esque promises when it comes to rapid, lasting weight loss, just so they can sell stuff to people looking for hope. (”Lose 10 Pounds in 10 Minutes!” is only a slight exaggeration of the kinds of wacky, viral, superfast promises this crowd wants to dish out.)

Both because of my passion for realistic, substantive education on what makes weight loss “stick,” and because I’ve seen a little too closely at times just how much a for-profit entity will promise the moon in order to sell the latest, “hot” new weight loss fad, the message that you can either “go fast or go home” bothers me.

Especially now that I live in a world where gradual weight loss is fully sustainable, after having struggled with my weight for my entire adult life. I’ve been maintaining a significant weight loss for almost five years now, and I know many others who can tell the same story – so I know major life change is possible if we focus on small, gradual improvements.

And that brings us to the June 2014 stats report for Every48 (Part One).

The June blog stats are a great reminder that small, gradual improvements are the most important kinds of improvements to string together – because they’re going to last over the long haul.

Great quote from a fellow professional speaker and blogger who knows what she’s talking about:

The first year that you’re blogging, the only people who are going to read your blog are your friends and family.

Welcome to the Every48 party! (Image courtesy of Idea go / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
Welcome to the Every48 party! (Image courtesy of Idea go / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

So, it’s official. All of you are my friends and family. Welcome to the party!

Put another way: Today, I’m here to say thank you, once again, for tuning in to Every48.

This past month, the blog hit both the 3000 and 3500 page view thresholds, when it didn’t even exist six months ago. The number of unique visitors was the highest it’s been in a single month, with the exception of April when I was writing a bunch about the Boston Marathon and a whole new audience found the blog for that month.

The uptick in unique visitors was a small one: 292 this month, versus the previous high (minus April) of 274 for May 2014. What I like about those stats is that, every month, the number of unique visitors has increased (minus April, which was insane with 418 visitors).

The blog is finding an audience. People are stopping me to tell me how much they appreciate it. And here’s today’s big takeaway: this appreciation of small, gradual improvements is exactly the same mindset that leads to success when we undertake any type of health improvement.

The get-thin-quick, going-viral, making-a-billion-dollars stories are out there…but they’re not the usual experience, just the wacky five-standard-deviations stories that create clicks and noise and all the “metrics” that website people use to determine who’s using their site. That’s okay. The numbers for this blog haven’t gone viral (yet). They’ve just grown slowly and steadily. And for that, today, we celebrate.

Tomorrow I’ll offer a few more thoughts about the June stats, including my workout stats for the month and thoughts on the first six months of the blog – lessons learned from having made a goal out of doing a vigorous workout once every 48 hours of 2014.

Now get out there and get your workout on – and remember to notice the slow, gradual improvements that lead to long-term success.

Yesterday’s #Every48 workout: I had a run planned but slept in (it’s a big ol’ rest week at Chez Every48, even though I’m keeping up the blog). Hubby and I did get out for a fairly significant WALK and spent a good amount of the day on our feet, but I still feel a little less than super-fit today. Looking forward to a more extensive workout this afternoon.

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