When you hear the reason many people start a travel/miles/points/deals/etc. blog, the most popular reason given is that “I started my blog for my friends and family.” While that is a good reason to start one, and I am sure that most people mean it, does it actually always work that way?
Starting The Blog
A little background and history of Running with Miles. I actually never planned/thought of starting a blog. It was never on my list of things to do. However, I was booking a large amount of travel in my free time for friends and family with a larger portion of that travel being booked using miles and points as time went on. That meant educating them and helping them with the earning and using of the miles and points.
For Friends And Family?
Fast forward a bit and it became that every time I was around a group of friends, they always would start asking me which card they should get next, what they should do with their recent mile haul, what is the best deal out now, and many other things. Sometimes, I would get the same question 10 times in the space of 30 minutes from various people! I loved helping them but that was obviously not the most efficient way to do it, for me.
Around that same time, I began thinking about developing a blog for runners to realize how many more races and places they could run for way less than what they were paying. Surveys done showed that runners spend well over $1,000 for a race weekend to some of the large races around the US, with it costing way more than that for international races. I would go to marathons all over and people would be surprised to find I had traveled all that way – they were even more surprised when I told them that it cost me a few dollars for taxes and everything else was miles and points. Then, their surprise grew when they found out that I got those miles by opening a credit card and spending $1 on something (ahh, the great US Airways credit card!).
There was nothing around that really targeted more of the running crowd with the travel angle, even though there are many travel agencies for runners that are booked up long in advance for some of the most expensive trips in the world. I thought it was time to take some of my knowledge and experience with running and traveling and marry them in a blog format (and be able to make a little bit of money doing it!).
Since the beginning, the blog readership has really grown and now includes many more readers that are not runners than are. That means I am still working to reach those runners that spend all of that money on travel! But, I am also hugely thankful to all of you that take the time to stop by and read this blog! Believe me, I feel humbled everytime I see any stats on blog numbers knowing that you have taken your time to stop by – so thank you!
Back To The Family And Friends
But, back to families and friends. I thought it would be a good idea to start with some guides and how-to posts and then I could just refer my friends and family members to the blog when they had questions I had already answered. Perfect, right? I wasn’t starting the blog just for them but was trying to build a resource over time that they could use instead of me answering the same question 10 times.
“You Went Where?!”
Fast forward to now, almost 4 years later. The reason I am kind of making fun of the “friends and family” line is just because that is not how it worked out for me. When I see friends, I am still answering questions about miles and points – even though I know I have it all written on the blog. I will get e-mails from friends about things that I wrote about 2 weeks ago suggesting that I “may want to use it on that blog.” I get surprise from friends (and sometimes family) when I mention something about someplace I had been (Iran was a good example) and they respond – “You went to Iran?! When?” Again, that was something I had covered on the blog for a few posts but I just smile and tell them about it. (note: not to suggest everyone should remember every post I have written – I don’t even remember every post I have written!)
“Ever Hear About This Credit Card?”
The best part is when it comes down to credit card. I will sometimes get some friend or family member mentioning how they just got some new card and have I heard about the bonus on it. My first question is “sooo, you didn’t get that card from my site?” (for those who don’t know, I do not get any referral money from applications made through links found in blog posts but I do if you apply through the links on the pages here – thanks!). They say, “No, I didn’t think of it” or “I forgot about that”. In other words – no, many friends and family members do not read my blog! 🙂
My blog readership is largely made up of people that I have never met and only have met so far as e-mails or comments. So, now you know that you likely know more about things on this blog and even travel plans than many of my friends and family members because they certainly do not read the blog! 🙂 And I am okay with that – until I get the question of “So, have you ever heard about the Chase Sapphire Preferred card? I heard that you can get $400 in gift cards with it!” 🙂 I understand that many people have very little time and I appreciate any time that people take to read the words written on this blog. It is just funny how the friends and family bit didn’t really work out too well for me!
For all of those bloggers who started your blog for family and friends, I hope you have more family and friends reading your blog than I do reading mine! If that was why I started mine and kept it just in that direction, I would have probably 2 people reading this blog! Hi, Aunt Cathie! 🙂