It’s Just Dirt…

Posted on May 10, 2010

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For roughly five years, I’ve been promoting motocross races in west Texas. With my PR schooling, I’m able to put into practice everything I was taught in a classroom. I felt it was a great way to gain real-world experience while making a little side cash.

Putting these events together required direct mail packages, an information-heavy website, advertising with niche magazines and websites, budget control, and staff management. All of which are great for an up-and-coming PR professional, right? Oh, one other task – track building.

Building a creative, fun, and safe track for racing can be a challenge. I remember, in the beginning, standing in the center of a field with my dad and arguing different ideas for the track. A jump there, turn there, no that doesn’t work, move the jump here, a long straight there, no… We would go on “discussing” (as my family calls it) for close to an hour at a time. I’ll never forget when our dirt guy, who builds our dreams, came up and listened for about 30 seconds. Obviously getting impatient, he said, “Guys, if it doesn’t work, we’ll move it back. It’s just dirt.” He then jumped back on the dozer and took off.

Today, I read an article aimed at easing SEO nightmares, written by Jill Whalen. It reminded me of the knowledge our dozer operator had gained in his many years of pushing dirt. “Never be afraid to change things up — you can’t hurt anything permanently,” Whalen says in her article. This was a point my dad and I missed five years ago and one I try not to not forget today. When there are choices that affect a design, a website, an article, I choose the best one – BOTH. Anything that is not irreversible can be tried many ways. In regards to SEO, Whalen promotes testing and trying and then choosing whatever works the best.

These days, track building is much less stressful. We push some dirt and see how it works. If it doesn’t, we push it back. I’ve taken that approach to my design and writing as well. I’ll put something together and see if it’s good. If it works, I’ll change it anyway. If it gets better, great; if it gets worse, “command+Z” is my best friend.

Don’t be scared.

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