On The Run

In Pursuit Of Great Content | Blogging Tips

I recently told my friend Elisa about the lengths I’d gone to, to get a photo for social media. My plan was to go up Kgale Hill with Botswana’s flag to get a photo for Independence Day. But with a million things to do, we set off rather late. We scurried up the hill at a pace that left me huffing and puffing, and made it with only ten minutes of light left. Ditiro then got to work trying different camera angles, while I played around with some poses trying to look majestic and serene whilst being terrified of falling off the ledge. We were so relieved to get a few shots and momentarily forgot we now had to navigate our way down in the dark! When Elisa responded with “In Pursuit of Great Content” I knew what my next blog would be – so today I’m sharing some of the ridiculous things I do/have done to get the perfect shot or content for my blog!

1/ Run Every Town. When I’m told about a work trip, my first thought is, Where am I going to run?! Before even thinking of the main task at hand, I’m plotting and planning my runs – not so much for the running as much as for the blog content! My three Ghana work trips have yielded about five different blogs as well as several views and new readers. The same goes for family trips – I literally pore over the map to see what random and interesting place I can run in. One of the reasons we stopped in Bloemfontein on our trip to Addo, was because I’d heard that’s where I’d find the biggest Nelson Mandela statue. And of course, we had to run on the beach in Gqeberha before we headed back. For the love of running or blogging?!

2/ Run In The Middle Of Nowhere. Remember the time I was caught on video running in the most random of places? On my birthday trip to and from the Okavango, I was determined to run in as many new places as I could along the way. On our way back, we parked our car around 2pm in the most desolate of places and did a 4km run in the blazing hot desert sun. When we got home, Ditiro’s best friend sent him a video of the two of us running in the middle of nowhere. Turns out his brother-in-law had spotted our mad antics and sent the video to him in disbelief!

3/ Attempt To Enter A High Security Facility. I had read there was a statue of Oliver Tambo (one of South Africa’s freedom fighters) in Bloemfontein, South Africa. So we plotted a running route that would take us past the statue. But alas! We couldn’t find it. Just as we had given up, we spotted the statue in the grounds of a building across the road. Upon closer observation, we realised the building’s entrance was under heavy security. Being quite naïve, we decided it wouldn’t hurt to ask the South African police if we could take a photo next to the statue. Well… we spent the next five minutes being interrogated on who had sent us on this mission, how we had heard of this building, and what exactly our intentions were. I stood there silently in my bright pink tights as Ditiro nervously explained that we were mere tourists with no hidden agenda! This seemed to work and we were released without further interrogation. So in the absence of a photo, you’ll have to make do with this one – said statue is somewhere to the right!

4/ Say Yes To New Experiences. Before blogging, it was easy to say no to many things I wasn’t comfortable with. Now I think of the blog before saying no! This was one of the big reasons I did the ultra-trail – I knew it was completely out of my comfort zone but I also knew it would make a great story. Same with the first time I tried the #10×10 Challenge which I now do every year! Even when we go on holiday, I push myself to try new things out – like riding in this mokoro (wooden canoe) in the crocodile- and hippo-infested waters of the Okavango Delta.

5/ Get Rejected…Several Times! Ha! I’ve always been terrified of rejection but I’ve sure gotten used to it as a blogger! When I think someone has a great story to share, I reach out to them. Some don’t respond, others say yes and never get back to me, some simply say they are not interested, but there are those few who respond so positively (keep in mind I’m a random stranger!) Many of them have featured on my #RunTheWorld series (here, here and here); others have shared their running and hiking adventures in Dubai, Singapore, South Africa, Norway, Kenya, Tanzania and Eritrea! Some guest bloggers have also shared personal challenges and struggles they have overcome (or are living with), like endometriosis or asthma. All these posts have been so inspirational and received such amazing responses – so I’ll gladly take all the rejections for the resounding successes and amazing connections!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this random selection of a few crazy things I’ve done for blog content! Let me know if you’d like to see a Part Two as a few other stories have just come to mind! If you’re a blogger, have you done anything crazy or out of your comfort zone, for some great content?

I’m linking up with Kooky Runner and Zenaida for Tuesday Topics. I’m also joining the link-up, Runner’s Roundup with Mile By MileCoach Debbie RunsConfessions of a Mother RunnerRuns with Pugs, and Running on Happy! Hop on over to their blogs and others, and be inspired!

22 thoughts on “In Pursuit Of Great Content | Blogging Tips

  1. Well, you definitely got an amazing photo there!

    Your story about being interrogated — how scary! Long ago when we were in Greece we stumbled into some protests and that was kind of scary (especially as we were out without our friend, who spoke Greek).

    You are so creative Shathiso!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Judy! It was worth stumbling back in the dark, LOL!

      It was scary but I kept thinking, surely I can’t be viewed as some political spy with my pink running tights!

      Stumbling into protests would have been very scary especially when you’re in a foreign country with a different language!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You definitely have a lot of adventures to share in this blog! I agree that one of the great things about blogging is that it pushes me to try new experiences, like running in different places. I’m definitely a creature of routine and would run the same route over and over again- but it doesn’t make great blog content.
    Yes, do a part 2!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have to say that is a pretty cool photo though!

    Although I don’t travel for work anymore, I would also try to plan out a running route once I knew what city I would be visiting.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. haha I feel this! If we lived near each other we could get into some serious trouble searching for photo spots. My running friends have come to expect my craziness but my family still thinks I am nuts. What we will do for a photo!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Of course we need a part 2!! Great idea for a post!
    Ha, that story about running in the middle of nowhere and then being filmed is so funny! What a crazy coincidence!
    The things I’ve done for the blog and for the photos! I should start to write it down so I don’t forget.
    How would someone ever reject being featured in your blog?! It’s a privilege!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ah, yes indeed, the things we do for our blogs! And yes, I would love to see a part 2 to this blog post. I’ve done several “spotlights on local athletes” interviews, and like you mention, some readily agree to be interviewed and then never follow up.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is so great.

    I am so terrified of rejection and reaching out to people. It’s been a problem for me forever.

    How scary to be interrogated like that. I’m so glad it was uneventful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hear you about reaching out and rejection. I’m not brave enough to do it on the phone or in person but if it’s an email I’m okay. Doesn’t feel great when I’m rejected but I just tell myself “Hey, it’s not personal”.


  8. Such great stories. I love reading your blog.

    I definitely run in more different places esp when I travelled for work.

    I always have my phone on me. You never know when there will be a photo op.

    I mean how else do you remember your runs?

    Liked by 1 person

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