What is Boom’s Playground?
Hello! I’m Nick, or as I’m better known on trail, Boom. In 2019, my best friend and I hiked the Appalachian Trail. This once-in-a-lifetime journey inspired me to write a book. In July of 2020, I finished the rough draft of the manuscript. I had no idea what the road ahead would bring.
After much consultation with friends in the literary field, I decided to shoot for a traditional publishing deal. I did my research, sent agents queries, and soon found much more work would need to be done. Part of this work is making a name for myself as a writer.
So, I started this blog. I am open to submissions for guest articles, but so far I have written all but one of the posts on here. From the start, I knew I wanted to write an uncensored outing blog open to all opinions, but for much of this time, I wasn’t quite sure “what” this blog was. Now, we’re starting to get a feel.
We? Who is Boom’s Playground?
I run the blog, but I can’t do it alone. Friends and family help bring the articles to fruition. In time, I hope to build a network of contributors.
How is this blog different from other blogs about distance hiking?
Glad you asked. We strive to be different. Here are some of the ways we do it:
We don’t interrupt your reads with ads or pop-ups.
Seriously. What’s more annoying than having to sift through extraneous material strewn among an article? On PC, readers only see ads at the bottom of articles. On mobile, readers have a thumbnail ad they can X out of at any time. That’s it. These minimal ads wave the fees of maintaining the site.
We only publish original articles.
Before we dive into an article, we sweep the board to see what’s already out there. If articles are already written on the topic, we approach it from a new perspective, or ditch the idea.
We pay guest authors for their hard work.
Our revenue is scant, but this doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate our authors. On other distance-hiking blogs, it seems there is little transparency with income. Writers are often unaware of the amounts their articles yield, and not a cent of it goes to them. Here, if an article is approved for publication, the writer will receive a $10 stipend and all ad revenue garnered from their post. In time, we hope this offer can increase.
We don’t focus on gear, and if we publish articles on the topic, we avoid bias tactics.
What shoes should I wear? What filter should I use? This topic needs not be mulled over. If you’re new to thru-hiking, check out these unbiased gear lists from Dixie Wanderlust (top to bottom: AT, PCT, CDT):
Now, pick your gear, stick to it, and hit a trail. You’ll figure the rest out in the wilderness. There is massive bias in the gear-reviewing industry. Companies want to sell their products, and people want to get paid. This creates many problems. Gear sponsorships and affiliate links (links that yield commission) create much bias and steer consumers in the direction of lucrative snowballing instead of truth. If a website has these features, it is quite possible they are masquerading advertisements as veracious, genuine reviews.
We’re not influenced by the top dogs.
Free speech can be hindered by partnerships with powerful organizations. Here in the Playground, we are not and never will be affiliated with The Appalachian Trail Conservancy or The Pacific Crest Trail Association. While these organizations make the trails what they are, they understandably need to keep a conservative image.
We’re not exclusive to thru-hiking.
While thru-hiking is a great topic, it is only one part of who a thru-hiker is. When I meet thru-hikers, I wonder what brought them to the trail. I know I was beckoned by background and circumstance. Part of this background includes my love of all forms of the outdoors, including skiing, survival, and simple living. If there is an audience for all these fields, why leave any of them out?
Our articles can be read and listened to.
Don’t knock the robots. Cassidy and Remy are darn good at speaking considering their artificiality. Reading blogs takes time. Consume our articles passively by listening. Perfect for car rides, runs, and everything between. In addition to the “Listen” tab, you can find an article’s audio link by clicking on the text article.
We respond to everyone.
Engaging with our readers is paramount. We respond to all inquiries, not just “serious” ones.
How Does Boom’s Playground Promote?
Boom’s Playground promotes by sharing articles in social-media groups. This can be a tricky one, and often the line is thin between promotion and spam in this facet. Therefore, it is key we differentiate between these advertising methods. We consider spam to be anything that takes more than is given in a group and promotion the opposite.
Our goal is to either inform, praise, or guide, and to do this in the most entertaining way possible. With this, we can assure our contribution outweighs our gain. If a social-media group rejects a post, or if a post does not receive positive or notable feedback, we withdraw, and do not post in the group again.
Note from Nick
I’ve had a ball with this blog. It means the world to me to receive positive feedback, and seeing my articles help fellow outdoorsmen is reassuring to the mission of this project. I hope this blog will continue to grow and have more contributors over time. If you have feedback, please provide us with it by filling out the form on the contact page. Whatever we can do to be better, we will do. Thanks for reading. I wish everyone the best of health and happiness.
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