I dropped in on the Wicked Outdoorsy blog the other day and found an interview with Steve Casimiro, West Coast editor of National Geographic Adventure magazine and keeper of The Adventure Life, his personal blog. In the interview, Casimiro fired a shot over the bow of outdoor bloggers everywhere with this remark:
Fourth, most outdoor blogs suck. They’re unprofessional, amateurish, snarky without being funny, or boring.
Your honor, I enter an enthusiastic plea of guilty on all counts! (I’m like, Steve, you know, “amateurish” is what a blog is supposed to be because bloggers have always been amateurs. We can’t all be world-class magazine
With my hackles dutifully raised, I headed over to Steve’s blog praying for further annoyance (because it inspires better blog posts). With profound disappointment I have to report that The Adventure Life is rippin’ good: well-written, newsy, informative, pretty to look at (Steve has good taste in WordPress themes). Steve also has access to the work of some of NatGeo’s best-in-the-solar-system photographers. These aerial shots from Africa are priceless.
To get back to the Wicked Outdoorsy interview, this disturbed me most of all: Steve’s polished, professional-grade blog isn’t exactly raking in the hits.
I’m averaging about 1,100 visitors a day. But I’ve seen huge spikes of visitors around marquee stories, as when Apple wrote about my review of outdoor iPhone apps on their Hot News page, followed by the classic dragon’s tail shape as it mellows out. But I try to ignore the spikes and focus on what I think is my core daily visitation–that growth has been steady and solid, with a pretty good leap in the last month or so. Tossing out the spikes, March was around 300 a day and now I’m consistently getting 800-900 a day.
So your reward for being a world-class outdoor blogger with the whole planet at your feet is about twice the traffic of somebody’s boring-snarky-yet-unfunny blog devoted to walking on dirt and posting pictures of flowers, trees and seashores. If this guy can’t rule the galaxy, who can?
But anyway, The Adventure Life is a worthy addition to your blogroll. Steve’s in the same bind I am: The water is leaking from the pool keeping print publications like NatGeo Adventure afloat, and some of us are slapping around in the water hoping the Internet will throw us a life ring before it’s too late. I hope he succeeds.