Reace has written a powerful and vulnerable blog called ReRouted. His blog discusses his experiences in finding his identity after he left playing football. Coming from an ex-athlete such as myself, I found myself relating to his posts which brought me comfort in realizing I wasn’t alone in my experiences of finding my identity past my sport. In saying this, I believe Reace’s intended audience is athletes of all sports. I say athletes in general because although he discusses the life of a retired football player, athletes from all sports must experience this one day and would find value in his blog at any stage of their athletic career.
Right off the bat, Reace’s stunning homepage immediately shows his viewers what his blog is all about. I absolutely love the series of images he chose as they tell his story of slowly shedding off his identity as a football player and coming into his new self. This series of images alone is a huge way he has marketed his blog towards athletes, and more specifically retired athletes, as we all can relate to this feeling of taking off our uniform for the last time. In this sense, Reace has already gained his audience’s attention on a personal level right from the beginning of their search. He also has featured his “About” section on the side bar of the front page, so if he has any viewers who may not have understood the series of images at first glance, they can easily find what his blog is about on the homepage. Both the eye-catching images and his “About” section being on the homepage is a great way to decrease bounce rate, which as our guest speaker, Monique Sherrett, explained, is the rate at which people come to your website and leave right away.
Reace’s blog content is very consistent with his theme. He shares a vulnerable part of himself, which is oftentimes difficult for ex-athletes to talk about. Although there are plenty of articles on the Internet that discuss this identity crisis athletes face when retiring from their sport, this is the first time I’ve come across a blog dedicated to it. One of our guest speakers, Trevor Battye, discussed how our goal with our website should be to create something that no one else can compete with, and I believe Reace has done this. Not many people are willing to be vulnerable and put their struggles online for everyone to read and see, but I believe that is why his blog is extremely marketable to his audience. All retired athletes face this identity battle at varying degrees; Reace’s blog gives these people a place to come and see that they’re not or were not alone in this struggle. Here’s one of his posts that truly demonstrates his courage to be vulnerable with his readers, which is something I truly admire.
A possible way Reace could increase his marketability towards his audience is through including images in his blog posts. Not only does this give the reader a visual break from the text, it also adds another personal touch to his already personal posts. It could be worthwhile to include images of himself playing football! Another way he could increase his marketability towards his audience is by including mental health resources (maybe even ones geared towards athletes) at the end of his posts for viewers to look into if they are struggling and considering getting help. Coming from experience, this retired athlete identity struggle can be difficult to navigate alone; letting his audience know that it’s okay to seek help would not only increase his marketability, but also help decrease the stigma around mental health. I believe Reace will have no problem maintaining and growing his audience as long as he stays true to them and continues to be a courageous blogger through his vulnerability!