By Taylor Davies
Olympic swimming concluded this week, and with it, our excuse to ogle those gorgeous, Speedo-clad men during work hours. (If you're like me you've moved on to water polo…) When all the hype was on Michael Phelps in 2008, I was on Team Lochte. He was a relative up-and-comer, crazy talented and yes, wildly attractive. Since Beijing, he's taken his training to the next level, amassed a cult following in #LochteNation, and showed up in London ready to challenge Phelps in every race.
While his showing at the 2012 Olympics may have been a little underwhelming, he was never short on publicity, appearing in commercials, on the Today show, borderline NSFW lisitcles on Buzzfeed and much to our benefit – Twitter. You wouldn't think it initially, but you can take away some great blogging and social media lessons from our man Ryan Lochte – as well as his (incredibly darling and handsome) teammate Nathan Adrian. Don't believe me? Read on…
5 Blogging Lessons From Ryan Lochte…
Make up your own hashtag(s).
#Jeah. #LochteNation. I wanted to just leave it at that, but I suppose I might have to explain a bit. Lochte has taken ownership of the word “jeah” which is sort of an affected way of saying “yeah” and it's meant to rally enthusiasm indicate when he really likes something or is excited. While I can't guarentee that it will catch on (or that it's not kind of ridiculous) making up a #hashtag for yourself or your blog is a great way to keep track of your posts or certain topics you want to talk about – but just remember not to take it to seriously, okay? Okay. #Jeah
Embrace your branding.
If there's anyone who's really chosen to capitalize on his relative popularity and the support of his fans, its Ryan Lochte. On his website you can purchase all kinds of Lochte gear, most specifically novelty sunglasses, that are all about “reezy” and “jeah.” (Whatever “reezy” means…) The whole #LochteNation thing has really taken off, and his fans want to show their support. Is it a little cheesy? Sure. But is it consistent? Is it working? Jeah, it is.
Let your personality shine on social media (but double-check your spelling and grammar).
Oh, Twitter. That glorious outlet for news, entertainment, and self-expression. Lochte has really embraced Twitter as a way to interact with his fans, share news and, well, express himself. From inspirational pearls of wisdom to commentary on the Olympics, you really get a sense for who Lochte is, what's important to him, and little everyday insights to his life. While I don't recommend tweeting half-sentences and misspelled words regularly, I do appreciate Lochte's raw, on-the-fly updates. Being yourself on social media is the best way to build a loyal following of engaged people who care, who want to know and who will love you… even if you spell “won” as “one.” (Just ask one of Lochte's 800k Twitter followers.)
Look great and produce great content, the rest doesn't matter.
Listen, maybe Ryan Lochte isn't the most eloquent Olympian we've ever had. Maybe he misspells some things and wears $25,000 grills at inappropriate times. But let's remember something: The man is gorgeous and he is a gold medal-winner. He works hard, he trains hard, and he performs when the pressure is on. (He took home 5 medals this Olympics.) There may be times when you are put on the spot and your weaknesses are revealed. Perhaps you don't give a great interview, perhaps you're a better writer than you are a photographer. Focus on what makes you great, what you're excellent at, and promote the hell out of it. Let your talents speak for you. Make your blog amazing, make your content irresistible and don't worry so much about what you're not great at.
And 1 from Nathan Adrian…
Sometimes the dark horse comes out of nowhere and wins over everyone.
Alright so maybe I just wanted an excuse to talk about my new-found love for gold medal winner Nathan Adrian. He came seemingly out of nowhere, won the 100 meter freestyle race and earned gold (along with Lochte, Phelps and Cullen Jones) in the 4×100 meter freestyle relay. He competed in the Beijing Olympics as well, but really made his mark this time, with a smile you could see from space and humble, grateful, truly authentically sweet attitude. Keep your nose to the grindstone, work hard, do your thing. Produce great content, be excited about every opportunity and thankful for the blessings that come to you. It's the Nathan Adrian way.
In case you've missed it, there have been some hilarious, gorgeous, drool-worthy and completely ridiculous features about Ryan Lochte (and Nathan Adrian) making their rounds on the Internets. It would be a disservice of me not to share them here:
- Buzzfeed: Ryan Lochte: Great At Swimming, Less Great at Talking About Swimming
- NY Mag: Deep Thoughts From Ryan Lochte
- Jezebel: 10 Reasons Ryan Lochte Is America's Sexiest Douchebag
- Buzzfeed: 19 Reasons Ryan Lochte is the Best Olympian on Twitter
- Buzzfeed: Let's All Be Obsessed With Nathan Adrian Now