By P.J. Harmer — Rattling Chains staff
So the answer has to be given … did we rattle the chains?
As readers will remember, we came out of the gate quickly when we started six months ago. We were super pumped and the possibilities were endless. The ideas that were being thrown around were plenty.
When we initially started this blog, we said we’d revisit it in six months. At that point, we’d decide if we wanted to continue or shut it down. As someone who has been a writer for most of my professional life, I didn’t want to let the blog go to hell. If we weren’t doing well, we’d shut up shop and move along.
But it wouldn’t come without a fight, that’s for sure.
Over the course of the first half year, we’ve had some ups and downs. We started quick, we slowed up, things looked bleak and we’ve kind of bounced back.
We also got lucky to get some quality contributors right off the bat in Jack Trageser and Steve Hill. Since then, we’ve added Andre Fredrick and Jenny Cook. We also have a few people who have submitted things to us here and there, giving us some great things.
What I’ve really liked about this blog is all those different voices. From men to women, we’ve tried to give what we can.
This three-day schedule on a weekly basis hasn’t been the best for visits, however. And that’s understandable. After all, if there are fewer stories, people won’t come back every day.
That meant is was decision time. We’re at that six-month point. So what to do?
Do we continue?
Or do we say it was a great run and let it ride off into the sunset.
I don’t give things up that easily!
So, we’ve been working quite a bit behind the scenes. And we’ll continue to do so. Starting with the first week in October, we’re going to go to a five stories per week schedule. We’ll run things Monday through Friday. Monday will, of course, remain our poll days. The rest will include original and entertaining content. From instructional posts to stories from the road to guest posts to anything else disc golf.
We learned a lot the first six months.
Things like “What’s in Your Bag?” and the weekly tournament roundups didn’t seem to get people going. But the in-depth stories or the fun things really did. See, that’s something most other disc golf blogs don’t have and with the journalistic background that several of us on staff have, it’s silly not to exploit it.
We’re in the midst of adding a few writers as well. That should give us some fresh voices and ideas. I’m excited to welcome these people on board and we’ll have a post announcing all the recent people joining as soon as we get things solidified.
Our goal is to stay 10 stories ahead of the curve. In other words, we’ll always have 10 stories ready to go in case somebody can’t get something in. That way, we won’t have a situation where we’re skipping days.
One thing that will return is a photo of the week, but we’ll only do it probably twice a month. We’re going to, again, encourage people to send in their best disc golf images. In the next week or so, we’ll have some guidelines that need to be followed for a photo to be considered.
Stories and stories. We’re going to continue to cover all aspects of the game. From the grassroots level to the professional level.
And we have a few surprises up our sleeve, one of which will be announced next week. This one is something that I am super stoked about and one that I think will be a treat to our readers.
We’ll also be bringing back contests (and for those who haven’t received things won in the past, fear not — they will be coming soon. Our apologies). However, the contests will run monthly and will require a little more than commenting. But we have some really good stuff to give away — from autographs from some top pros to shirts to plastic and more.
I won’t lie — this story is kind of a filler piece as we bridge our way to the “expansion.” But at the same time, I wanted to keep our readers up to date on our future plans and thank all of you for reading and being a part of this blog.
That being said, if you have some ideas you think we should cover, shoot me an e-mail and let me know. I have a nice list of things I hope we’ll be writing about, from Company Closeups to new products to broad topics, and I’d be happy to add more to the list.
And as always, we’ll do our best to get more original and quality content to give you everything you’re looking for in disc golf reading!
P.J. Harmer is the founder and lead blogger with Rattling Chains. E-mail him at pj [at] rattlingchains.com.
0 thoughts on “Six months with Rattling Chains — what’s next?”
Glad to hear the blog is continuing! Keep it up!
I’m glad you’re staying the course.
I don’t know what the demo is of your readers but, you are online so it’s safe to say that your readers are tech-savvy.
You might want to consider disc golf app reviews, or promote hash-tagging (#) on twitter and/or personal blogs (Blogger, Tumblr, etc). While you’re at it, utilize Tumblr as a little brother to this main site, allow it to direct traffic from Tumblr to Rattling Chains. Easy. Create and Instagram account, you can use tagging in the same way as twitter. Have tagging contests once you guys get the disc flying.
You’re probably way ahead of me on this but you should try to contact Avery Jenkins, I follow him on Facebook and (by the way, you need more likes on FB… There’s a contest for that). Haha. Anyway, Avery Jenkins is always reposting your stuff I bet he’d be down for an interview.
DY — Thanks for the comments. Some of these things, definitely, could be useful for future use.
We’ve done a few disc golf app reviews and would like to know more we should do. If you have any ideas on which would be good, please drop me an e-mail (pj [at] rattlingchains.com).
I’d be all about promoting hashtagging and it’s probably something we should do more of. We have a Tumblr account (http://www.tumblr.com/blog/rattlingchainsblog), but I’ve never really utilized it like I should. Again, something to definitely think about. The social media thing is probably something I need to push more of.
As for Avery, he has actually written a few things for us (link at top of page)and I’ve written a few things about him as well! We’ve even given away a few of his autographs in the past.
Thank you to all the contributors of this blog, the only blog I read. I look forward to Rattling Chains’ first birthday.
This is excellent news… can’t wait to see what you all come up with. This is one of my regular stops on the web.
Essential reading for me. Thanks for doing the blog. Glad to know you accept guest contributors. I’ll keep that in mind in case I feel like writing something sometime.
Some ideas I’d like to see in series form:
Interview some of the top players about how they got started, thoughts on their progress through the pro ranks, thoughts on equipment, tourney advice for AMs, how they choose which tourneys to play, etc. Also, how do they manage being a pro disc golf player (do they make a living? what do they enjoy about the sport? how do they recover mentally when having or after having a bad round, etc.)
Have someone break down a favorite disc once a week (or every two weeks or whatever). Could be pros, experienced AMs, beginners (or a variety of perspectives on one disc). A really detailed analysis of the pros/cons of the disc. Could also be done with plastics. Most of us know Innova/Discraft, maybe Lat64 plastics. But what are the plastics of other companies like? (Hey, maybe the blog could even get some product placement support …)
Putting: Feldberg/Locastro say “pitch it like a horseshoe.” Cale Levistra says he is a “spin putter.” Some people do the “turbo putt,” though I can’t imagine why. I get the horseshoe from their videos. But what the heck are these other styles? What other approaches are used? And what are the pros/cons of the various approaches?
Have a blogger go to a tournament and watch. Give an hole-by-hole analysis of the top card on the final round–not play-by-play, but analysis. Who tried what when? What were the keys to victory and defeat in the blogger’s opinion. I’d like to see articles that are basically what a baseball columnist does in a newspaper.
Thanks for doing any of these, or whatever else you do instead.
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