Starting Outside In Duluth pushed me way outside my comfort zone.
I am what marketers call a “laggard,” which means I am one of the last to adopt a new technology.
Evidence #1: I still use a flip phone, which is held together with duct tape (because Finley bit one of the side pieces off when she was a toddler).
Evidence #2: I took a community education class in 2014 to learn how to use Facebook.
Designing, building, and running a blog seemed an unlikely endeavor for somebody like myself.
Yet, I love Duluth. And I love being outside with my kids.
So, about a year and a half ago, I got the idea to document our family’s outdoor adventures on a blog for two reasons. First, not being a scrapbooker or journaler, I wanted a way to catalog our memories as the kids grow up. Second, I hoped by making it public others would be inspired to make their own memories in Duluth’s great outdoors.
It took me nearly 6 months, going page by page through a book (for dummies), to learn how to build a website. Widgets, menus, categories, and tags became my new vocabulary.
At one point, I was brought to tears when an “easy, one-click” software install didn’t work.
How was I going to run a blog if I couldn’t even get the “click-here-stupid” button to work?!?!?!
Outside in Duluth was officially launched in July of 2014 when I sent an email to my friends and family who kindly visited the site and wrote comments.
It steadily grew in readers from there.
As of today, on the 1-year anniversary of its launch, Outside In Duluth has 63 posts on ways to get outside with kids and its Facebook page has over 1,400 followers (my latest post on Lincoln Park has been shared over 1,200 times).
Thank you to all who have supported my passion for Duluth’s great outdoors.
I love hearing about the ways Outside In Duluth has impacted you.
- A man at a gathering told me that he and his wife decided to have their child attend the free ski school at Chester Bowl after reading about Daley’s experience learning to ski.
- A mom who has lived in Duluth her entire life said she took her family to Bagley Nature Area for the first time after reading my post about its hiking trails.
An added bonus is the impact beyond the Twin Ports.
- A woman in California emailed after stumbling upon Outside In Duluth because she and her husband were researching places with more outdoor opportunities to raise their kids. Make your move!
- A recent St. Scholastica graduate, who now lives in the Twin Cities, took the time to send an email that said following Outside In Duluth helps him feel closer to the town he misses.
To celebrate overcoming my fear of technology, Tim and the kids had Outside In Duluth t-shirts made for our family. A very sweet present.
As the t-shirts say: Get inspired. Get involved. Get outside.
P.S. If you would like to get every new idea in your inbox, sign-up for Outside In Duluth’s free e-newsletter.