It was early October 2013 and I received an email about a race result. The email inquiry was about whether I was part of a running team. I took a look at the website and did some research since I was a new runner. The website looked like this:
It wasn’t until a few years later I decided to volunteer services to do a complete refresh.
I started with UX Design.
With each web project, a UX exercise is necessary to decide what a project needs to get done. The challenge with the DWRT website is that it had tons of content with no main driver. There was hardly 100 followers on the Instagram. I created a goal.
We started with a small team who gave suggestions. In the end, unfortunately, I became a one woman production team reimagining what a cohesive running team would look like strategically from the perspective of a seasoned runner, a newbie, and hobbyist. The main purpose was to attract the numbers. Analytics drove me and almost to my detriment. The team was going to be diverse, it was going to make each person feel loved and everyone would be a family. I decided to use WordPress as a Control Management System (CMS).
The team has over 800 paying members (cha-ching). The team charges around $30 per member meaning that it should bring in ~$24,000 yearly plus “volunteer donations.” It also runs as a non-profit.
Within 800 members, there are very talented photographers whose work I chose to highlight. I also tried to add my passion for illustration to bring the content to life.
Bringing the Blog to Life
People love talking about themselves and love being appreciated. When NYRR, a running organization in NYC, started highlighting runners on their social platform. It made sense for us to do the same. Furthermore, it made sense to focus on individuals. I suggested Whippet of the Week to break apart the announcements that were being posted (which were called Weekly Wags). On Whippet of the Week posts, the runners could write a running autobiography where they can highlight their accomplishments in life with running. They spoke of anything from going through adversity to finding an appreciative team through running. Our blog audience ate it up and kept sharing. I cross-posted on our facebook group channel and Instagram. The most popular day is Wednesday (#WhippetWednesday) with 16% of the views and best hour 11:00 am where 8% of the views were consumed. The posts were strategically posted at 8 am on the blog and in the group before noon.
Each Instagram post also aggregated at least 200 views per stories and more when there was a large event.
I left in March 2017 when I felt a new board was required for the future of the team. The numbers plateaued back eventually. The Instagram had aggregated over 2,000 unique followers like I intended.
Unfortunately, lack of new content to an audience is detrimental to any brand. There wasn’t a push to continue with the strategy it leveled back to regular traffic. I’m not sure what the future of the website is but since the previous site had remained as is for years prior, it’s possible that this one won’t change.