Here’s another Guest Blogger Profile. In these interview pieces, we introduce you to the amazing guest bloggers that help us build quality content every day. They share what they do, why they do it and generously offer up tips to help you make the most of your guest blogging experience.
Today, we’d like you to meet Marty Beene, Owner of Be The Runner.
About Marty Beene
I started running in 1978 – I was terrible, but I loved it! Throughout the 80s, I learned from many other runners from joggers to Olympians, and improved my own running dramatically. I continued to learn, improve, and enjoy throughout the 90s and 2000s, but was missing something. I was asked to join the coaching staff at the local high school in 2010, and finally found my true passion.
I primarily work with the newer runners, and have had great success in both developing a love for the sport in the student-athletes and in their successes on the trails and the track. While I had been informally coaching family and friends for years, I decided to start a running coaching business in early 2012.
I celebrate my clients’ successes by donating part of their fee to a high school track/cross-country program of their choice. I love to write about what I have learned over the years, so guest-blog every chance I get.
I live in the San Francisco Bay Area with my lovely wife and multi-talented son.
Our Interview with Marty
What is your area of expertise? How did you gain this expertise?
I’m a running coach for both high school student-athletes and for adults. I’ve been a competitive runner for nearly 35 years, so I’ve learned a lot from my own experiences as an athlete. But more importantly, I’ve learned by always listening to others – other runners, other coaches, other experts.
The process of improving as a runner is always changing. Would you believe that when I first started running it was assumed that you shouldn’t drink any water right before or during a run? Another significant change in running is how to warm up. It used to be that you would jog around a little, then do several minutes of static stretching.
Now, the conventional wisdom is to use dynamic exercises, and save the static stretching for post-workout only. I’ve learned these things – and intend to keep learning – by being open-minded and continually seeking out new information.
Is this different from what you do for your “day job” – or is guest blogging part of your day job?
Yes and no. My current “day job” is as an engineering consultant. A significant part of my job is writing technical reports, many of which will be read by non-technical people, so I have to be able to write so that everyone can understand the information I am trying to convey. There’s no blogging involved in the engineering work, but definitely a lot of writing.
Do you have a regular guest spot (or spots) on any sites?
I don’t have a specific scheduled spot on any site, but do contribute frequently to Ugly Finish – the open calls for blog posts are often on topics that I can write about, so I end up guest blogging there a fair amount.
I was previously blogging regularly on a part of the Stanford University Alumni Association blogs when they had a parenting-oriented blog (they have since changed it to a more general, any-topic-welcome blog). I was recruited to do that because, at the time, my son was auditioning for, then attending summer ballet programs through Boston Ballet and Joffrey Ballet School in New York. The topic was unique, and readers enjoyed my accounts of the process and my wife’s and my experiences.
How often are your guest blog posts published?
Once a week or so.
What do you look for when trying to find guest blogging opportunities?
I really enjoy writing, especially about topics I enjoy, like running. I think with every guest blogging opportunity, there is a secondary opportunity to promote my running coaching business, Be The Runner, but the primary motivation for me is simply getting to write about something I love.
How do you decide whether or not an opportunity is right for you?
I am confident that I know what I know and I know what I don’t know. If the topic is something I know, I will take it on, otherwise I look forward to reading what some other expert can teach me.
How much time do you spend each week looking for guest blogging opportunities?
Very little – maybe an hour a week or so.
Where do you get your inspiration for what to write about?
Two primary sources:
One is my own experiences with training, racing, avoiding injuries, etc.
The other source is my experiences coaching, especially the high schoolers. It’s so interesting watching how young people react to different things like different types of training, challenges they face (both physical and mental), successes, and failures. I see their experiences as a microcosm of the rest of us, and watching them develop as athletes and as people is very inspiring.
What do you consider a “successful” guest blog post?
I like getting feedback from other people, but sometimes when I see the published post, I try to read it as if I were simply an objective reader. If I like the post from that perspective, I consider it successful.
What is the ONE, biggest benefit you see from guest blogging?
Getting people to get to know me. I think I have a lot to offer in terms of my knowledge of running, and as people read my posts and get to know me, I’m able to share that knowledge with others. There’s a lot of camaraderie in the running community, in that people always seem more than happy to share things that they have learned. I really enjoy being a part of that.
What are some other benefits of guest blogging?
One benefit is that it keeps my writing skills sharp. The medium of the blog is an interesting one in that it capitalizes on the shorter attention span of today’s public. People are not as interested in reading something that goes on for pages and pages, especially when they might be reading something during, say, a break while at work. In order to fit that model, a writer has to be concise, and limit the information to a smaller bite.
Another potential benefit might be building a platform for promoting a book. I have been working on a book about running cross-country, oriented toward young people just getting started in the sport, and publishers are more interested in a book idea for which the author already has a platform to promote it. I have a ways to go to accomplish this, but it’s a possibility.
Were you surprised by any of these benefits? If so, how and why?
I was surprised about the writing sharpness. Before I started doing this, I thought I could just hammer out a few paragraphs and that would be enough, but that doesn’t really work that well. My writing has definitely improved throughout the past few months.
Have you made any notable mistakes as a guest blogger? What happened and what did you learn?
No! I’m perfect! Well, I haven’t made any notable mistakes yet (that I know about), but I’m sure I will – no one is perfect. The key will be to learn from whatever the mistake(s) is/are.
Do you have any tactics or strategies for a successful guest blog post that you’d share with someone trying it out for the first time?
Don’t try to cover every imaginable detail. I usually try to hit a few main points and, if possible, some point that others may not have thought of. By leaving some information out, you give yourself an opportunity to expand on the topic at some later time, as well as leaving readers hungry for more.
Why do you love FizzNiche? C’mon – you know you love us!
I think it’s great to enable people like me to share information in a fun way. The frequent calls for guest bloggers make it easy for me – I don’t have to spend much time seeking out opportunities.
Marty, you are definitely one of our favs!
Big thanks to Marty for sharing his story! Marty is a regular guest blogger for us. His posts are always informational and have just the right amount of personality and humor – you can’t help but like him just from reading his posts!
Plus – as he mentions – he knows what he knows and stays away from topics he doesn’t know. So, we’re confident that when we post something that Marty has written, it will be accurate and valuable to our readers.
If you’d like to have Marty share some of his wisdom with your readers, you can find him on the Guest Blogger Network. He’s got great insight for anyone in the fitness space, or anyone who needs pieces on motivation (remember – this guy gets people to turn off that voice in their heads and just keep running – he’s a motivator!)
Thanks again, Marty!
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