Our Story: How a Hobby Blog Became A Publication with A Mission
Hi! My name is Blake Reichenbach, and in 2017, I started this website as "BlakeWrites."
Prior to launching BlakeWrites, I was working as a freelance writer and content marketer in the men's fashion and fitness industry. While I liked a lot of my clients on an individual level, I always felt that something was missing.
Every few weeks, my clients would send me content briefs of what to write about and who my audience was for each piece. The audience was always the same: educated men in major cities who exercise at gyms like Equinox, have plenty disposable income, and who like to present themselves as having a certain status. The undertone was that they were white, cis, and– even when we knew the target audience was primarily gay men– heteronormative.
There's nothing wrong with being those things. But, I wanted to write for guys like me. Guys from small towns who wanted to find their community. Guys who had to save up cash for special occasions. Guys who wanted to give back to their communities. Guys whose waistline, skin color, education level, and gender expression weren't all confined to such narrow dimensions.
In those early days, BlakeWrites was enthusiastic about our mission to more broadly represent all different facets of the male experience. We were also... let's go with all over the place. We hadn't quite figured out who we were or what our core focus was supposed to be.
But, there was a spark of potential within the chaos. Even as a fledgling hobby blog, we connected with some fantastic freelance writers from around the world and published some really meaningful content that explored underrepresented aspects of what it means to be a man.
As time went on, I realized that the publication needed to, for lack of a better phrase, get its shit together. I audited our content that performed best, analyzed the data available to me about our audience, and ran failed test after failed test to figure out what was going to be more useful for our readers.
Coming out on the other side of this exploration, BlakeWrites was reborn. Or perhaps I should say it evolved. We had our Magikarp to Gyarados moment and became what we are today: Self-Himprovement.
As Self-Himprovement, we focus on publishing content that helps folks get out of their own way and build the life they want to live. Whether you want to feel better in your body, learn to dress a bit better, or improve your communication skills and your relationships, Self-Himprovement is here to help with that.
We publish new content regularly and have a podcast about Finding Fulfillment amidst the disorder and stress of everyday life. Additionally, I, personally, offer one-on-one coaching to help folks clarify their goals, gain insight into the bigger picture of their life, and forge impactful action plans that help them get where they need to go.