Did You Watch the marathon? Are you inspired to get fit and run it next year?

Well, if you do hold dreams of getting fit so you can don a shark outfit ready to pound 26 miles of London streets for charity, then you're going to have to start somewhere.

One thing I can guarantee is that most of those runners at the weekend didn't get up Sunday morning having never done any preparation. I'm willing to bet that most of them had already done a marathon of some sort. They may have just run around their local park until they were dizzy, but those that finished will have done some sort of endurance training, starting gently before slowly building up to marathon-style levels.

They laid down the foundations before being able to compete.

Decades ago, my dad decided I needed to get fit. I wasn't too unfit, but as he used to jog everywhere, and I didn't, he thought it would be good for me to go for a run with him.

Now, being a dad, and obviously knowing everything about motivation, sport, fitness and such like, my first run was about five miles, and when I slipped behind him, he would use such inspiring terms as “c'mon y'lazy git” and “run faster, the pain is your body's way of saying it's enjoying it” and “WHY ARE YOU THROWING UP??!!! GET GOING YOU WIMP!!”

Stuff like that.

Anyway, I didn't go running with him again. I discovered the pub, and it was much less painful.

A small failure can do this to anyone.

Keep going forward

Please allow me a second to segue into SEO.

I have to shoehorn and analogy in here somewhere, and here it is, bright as day.

Preparing to run a marathon is a little like your SEO campaign

Ouch.

But it’s true.

I was speaking to a friend in the pub a few months ago. He’d asked for some basic SEO advice, so I told him to write content to start with.

I said, “Write something that people will find helpful”

A month later, I saw him again.

“That advice didn’t work”

“How come”?

“It took me the whole weekend to write a blog post and nothing happened, I still can't find my website in Google, I'm going to try something else.”

He gave up.

The thing is, what he’d done had helped, but it had been difficult. The effort didn't match the perceived reward, but in some small way, it probably did help a little bit.

So why give up?

Instant gratification

Many people crave instant results. They want to be able to see a benefit from something straight away. My friend in the pub wanted to post an article and then get a customer.

But it doesn't work like that.

You can, of course, pay a small fortune to get a good result. You could, if you had the funds available, create an advert to show in the middle of Britain’s Got Talent and then you’d probably get some sales from it. But you don’t have that kind of money.

Or, you could do it slowly.

Your first piece of content probably won’t be very good. I bet it’s awful.

You’ll have problems with “you’re” and “your” and you’ll struggle to find anything to write about in the first place and when you do, it'll take you the best part of a sunny Saturday to get it finished.

But, the more you write, the easier it gets and the more often you can do it.

Eventually, you’ll be able to write content every other day and then create graphics to go with them.

You’ll probably also be able to create the odd video and presentation.

Finally, someone says “I saw what you did there, could you help me out with this?”

And you get a sale.

But you have to start somewhere, and you have to realise that in the early days, you’re not going to see any huge results – but you may see small ones…

Measure even the tiniest change

There will be things you can measure though.

For example, more people might start visiting your site over time, as you add more content. Or, if you share it on LinkedIn and other places, you might find that those sites will begin to bring visitors.

Even small things matter, and by looking at patterns, you might notice that certain articles do better than others.

I’ll give you a personal example.

I have a very niche satirical blog about the village I live in. It’s called KinverNotInfo.

Here’s a post I wrote ages ago:

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I thought that was worthy of a Pulitzer prize, but it only got a handful of “likes”.

However, I ploughed on with my semi-humorous (or not funny at all, in some eyes) wry take on the day-to-day goings on in the village. And then, on April the 1st, I wrote something on another blog, but still in the same vein:

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That got 497 likes!

In fact, it got over 2000 views in six hours.

Because I kept going.

Keep going

The moral of this story?

Keep at it. Keep writing content and keep posting great blogs and stories. Don’t give up, don’t think it’s not working because, like your fitness, every little bit helps.

Also, win a Fitbit!

In an attempt to further mash this article in with the London Marathon, we're giving away a FitBit Charge!

Because, you need to know that what you're doing is working, whether it's SEO or getting fitter. Knowing you're getting better is the key to ensuring you keep going at it, so enter below, and the more times you enter and share the competition, the more chances you have of winning.

See what we did there? Genius, absolute genius.

[RF_CONTEST contest='2120′]