Racing Ready Manifesto – It Needs Realignment

This is an introspective update about this blog site’s direction – the Racing Ready Manifesto.  This is a cup of coffee’s worth of reading (or a cold beer’s worth, if you prefer).  I would appreciate your taking the time to read through to the end & post some comments…

Almost 1 year ago I became inspired to start blogging & follow a dream I had squelched for SO many years.  This current blog is the result, but the initial mission has become blurred & gone on a different direction than I had original intended.

Below is a piece I wrote to myself before I started this blog:

The mission of RacingReady.com:

The enthusiast looking to visit this site wants to go beyond the normal, average driving experience. He has seen different types of racing events (live, on TV, video, etc.). He feels that some of that same excitement can be enjoyed through the driving of his own personal transportation, usually a car.

This aficionado may be simply an armchair racer watching the television images on the Speed Channel or ESPN. He yearns to attend a daylong (at least) session at a driving school. He may have some friends who are involved in some part-time racing of their own.  He may even have participated in at least one driving school session or even entered in the competitive world of autocrossing.

RacingReady.com will strive to provide to all of these enthusiasts a meeting point of contact for inspiration and information for the amateur racing community, whether actually competing or wanting to.

Besides inspiration, expect to find:

  1. Articles and interviews about driving styles, methods, and why they work – to show the reader how professionals make it happen
  2. Sources of measurement devices to help the new and experienced racing competitors analyze how his vehicle is truly reacting to the driving inputs he makes – these impartial devices never lie
  3. Modest and relatively easy vehicle modifications with products that enhance their car’s performance, and website sources for more information and purchase
  4. A clearing house of the more than 70 automobile racing schools across the country
  5. Other fun driving & racing enthusiast items for purchase, like:
  • Racing sports themed books (eBooks), magazines (ezines)
  • Driving/racing t-shirts
  • Coffee/drink mugs
  • Other car/race enthusiast related apparel, memorabilia & accessories

At this time, my blog is a sort of reporting outlet.  I have the honor & distinction of being the unofficial, but well-regarded online reporter of 2 South/Central Texas autocross clubs, SASCA & SPOKES.  I attend these respective autocross clubs’ events, and talk to new & ongoing participants.  I introduce myself to these people with my Racing Ready business card & the “draw” of getting their car and story on my blog.  This is in exchange for their own “15 minutes of fame” (in actuality it’s a much short snippet of time, although it takes much longer to post).  Then during the following week(s), I edit these peoples’ cars’ pictures, read, interpret, and edit those notes I scribbled.

The end result seems to be a (mostly) daily entertaining read.  But it is definitely missing the original mark I had intended & is “understeering” away from the originally intended focus!

I also (once in awhile) report on other various events, venues & goings on I find on the Internet (& locally).  These are items which I feel would be of interest to my audience & are of interest to me.  These are venues (& associated events) like Harris Hill Road, local enthusiasts’ car shows, a test drive of a car I think would spark amateur racing enthusiasts inspiration, tours of racing related manufacturing facilities, karting events & venues, ideas & announcements from Internet forums & other enthusiasts blogs, and so on…

One area I had intended on developing this blog for, was as a clearinghouse of amateur racing information.  I want(ed) this blog site to be more than a regional reporting tool.  I want(ed) this to become a respected information source of more than local/regional autocrossing & HPDEs.  This want is reflected in my blog’s tagline:

Go from wannabe racer to successful racing competitor!

This blog has wandered from that original focus and become very diluted.  There is quite a bit of amateur racing enthusiast information on the web.  Racing Ready was originally intended to be a source of both free information & and a store front portal for some of the following items to be available for purchase:

  • Lists (Premium reference material content)
  • How to’s (Performance Projects, for both car & driver)
  • Advice (from well-regarded racing professionals)
  • Racing Enthusiasts Schools (the first thing to modify [the biggest challenge], the “nut” behind the wheel – your primary & least expensive “mod”)
  • Products to assist/enhance the care & performance of your vehicle
  • Etc.

My current life/employment situation has recently changed so I will be able to concentrate more time & efforts to work on this missing focus.  My real desire is to make this blog/site a respected “go to” resource for all things related to the amateur racing enthusiast/competitor/community, just as my tagline is meant to inspire.

I enjoy writing this blog, but after about 11 months of almost constant daily dedication of blog writing duty, I would have expected more site traffic.  By broadening the scope of my blog site & crafting a true website, I will incentivize more visits of curiosity & have then come back as repeat visitors.  The goal?  To increase this site’s traffic and influence in the amateur racing enthusiasts’ community.  I want people of this community to seek out Racing Ready & refer others to it as a well-rounded & respected resource.  As this blog site stands now, it is sorely lacking in those other components I need to build out.

I am still happy with the look, feel & functionality of this blog theme, but it will have to evolve & grow much more in the future – expect change!

Please know that whatever & whenever I write, I feel a sense of obligation to my readers.  As I write (& edit pictures), I think to myself…

  • Is this something the Racing Ready community/niche would be interested in?
  • Would others, who are not yet my readers but are members of the amateur racing community, want to know about this?
  • Is this a topic/idea that would solicit comments and active Internet forum community participation?
  • How can I inspire readers to act upon and/or share this information with others?
  • Is there a way I could get more people within this niche to learn more about & share the content of this blog post?
  • How will this content affect my site traffic & what can I do to increase it?

Thank you for allowing me to rant & reign in the future direction of Racing Ready! I look forward to your sincere comments…

Dan

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2 thoughts on “Racing Ready Manifesto – It Needs Realignment”

  1. Good thoughts, Dan. I’m pressed for time as I’ve got to fly interstate for a family wedding, but just wanted you to know that I’ve had a read and will provide some considered feedback when I get back later in the weekend.

    FWIW – I don’t check in everyday but read the partial RSS feed.

  2. Finally….

    FWIW, I like the dot points labelled 1 to 5 in the note you wrote to yourself prior to starting. Driving techniques, enhanced equipment, etc.

    I agree that the site has departed from this purpose, which is probably by a certain amount of necessity as participating in this stuff’s an expensive biz, despite the grassroots nature.

    That’s the kind of stuff I’m after as a reader. Being out of the circle that you’re mixing in, the current review stuff has a limited appeal for me personally, though I know the locals would (and should) appreciate the work done on their collective behalf.

    But as an outsider, I guess I’m looking for stuff I can relate to, which is the broader stuff.

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