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I used to walk 3 miles, then that felt like old hat and I started running, first slowly, then a little faster, then a little further. I always try to top yesterday. Daily. Every day was a competition with yesterday.
Then I would go to the gym at 5 a.m. Sixty minutes was plenty of time. Then that turned into going at 4 and sometimes I even go at 3:30 because I was ready to compete. My body was just kind of wired that way. The alarm didn’t even go off and up I got up anyway. Easy breezy once I made it a habit. Time to go compete.
I started tracking different things. My weight (at one point I lost 130 pounds), my waist size (at one point I shaved off 10 inches), etc. The point was to beat yesterday’s version. Numbers help us keep score.
I do the same with my blog. Every day, I want to be better than yesterday. Yup, that’s easily measured by visits, engagement or whatever the latest buzzword is.
Numbers matter. Why else could you track them? We measure something to have some yardstick of progress. When I wasn’t keeping track of my calories, for example, I went from 196 to 268 pounds in just a few months. So keeping track and trying to be better or healthier or more relevant than yesterday works.
We have to have something to look at to see where we stand. It’s always a competition and that’s OK.
Now, competition doesn’t mean we can’t work together with others. I’ve said plenty of times that I want to work with as many as possible on their authentic storytelling content marketing initiatives. But, given that just about anyone can participate, it would be impossible for me to work with every single person or organization out there. Plus, the key is for them to learn how to do it themselves for true long-term success.
Being competitive also doesn’t mean we don’t share valuable information in blog posts, by the way.
And then we have those data analysts and digital strategists out there who talk about how it’s not about the numbers but about what the numbers mean. That is very true.
When my weight goes down, I lost some weight. But sometimes it might go down and up because I just gained some muscles. (Which is always the case when I gain weight. Ha.). But that’s easy to miss when we measure the wrong things.
Think about a football game. One team can have a lot of yards – way more than the other team. But if they scored fewer points, they still lost.
Blog traffic might go down but more people are reading my book or are hiring me to speak at their events. And some new social network might spring up and we need to adjust our Create Once, Publish Strategy. And then sometimes things don’t correlate. I recently seen blog traffic increase quite a bit when I speak at large conferences, for example.
I use metrics and the analysis of all available measurements as a guiding tool to go where I’m trying to go: To be healthy and add value to the authentic storytelling content marketing community.
Together, those two goals can help me live the best life for myself, my family and community.