The Mission & Direction of Horsepower & Heels
In March 2005, after dabbling in self-learned website construction for a number of years on friends and family’s websites, I finally got the idea that I needed to build a website of my own. Initially, it was a site to update my family and friends, and to experiment with the brand new world of Blogging. (Do you know how many people asked me what the heck was a BLOG back then, lol?) During that time, I was in the process of selling my radial car, purchasing the Pro 5.0 Thunderbird, and making all the changes to go Pro 5.0 racing.
From its start in early 2005, through my “golden season” in 2006, and even for a few years afterwards as we embarked on the new build, the site grew beyond my wildest expectations, averaging 10,000+ unique visitors a month. I found my voice in the racing world, and enjoyed the discussions I shared with readers who commented and contributed to the stories. During that time is when I began to struggle, and those readers really helped me through some tough times I faced alone.
The Dark Times
By 2009, I was pretty involved with fighting my personal battles. I felt myself starting to sound like a broken record of defeat on the racing front, as I just didn’t have the energy available to take on my struggles and finish the race car too. That alone quieted the blog significantly from past years, but the final nail in the coffin was actually on the technical side. Long story short, my blogging platform ceased support to externally hosted blogs, so while my content remained, I no longer had the ability to add new blog posts or update without starting over on a new website.
Not having much in the way of energy to devote to the daunting task of setting up a new website and hand-transferring 4+ years of content, I decided to try another outlet for my writing in March 2010. I signed up to be a columnist for Examiner.com, and was granted my own Women In Motorsports column after a few months of other assignments proved my merit for the site. Always a labor of love (I probably made less in the past 4 years on all of my articles than the cost of all the Lattes I bought staying up late to write them), I had always hoped that being part of a larger News organization would grow my readership and my catalog of published work vastly, until that ever-elusive motorsports PR/Freelance position would finally materialize (still waiting).
4 years and 450+ articles later, I believe I have accomplished all I set out for with my Examiner.com Women in Motorsports column. Even after I was finally able to relaunch the new site in October 2011 on the improved WordPress platform, I still had a hard time leaving my Examiner column behind. It gave me a voice when my site was broken, and allowed me to continue to support all female racers and women competing in motorsports. I am proud of the work I did and the wonderful press relationships that were made during these years.
But now that I am finally feeling 100% again, and able to invest the time and effort into making Horsepower & Heels everything I originally envisioned it could be for Women in Racing, I have re-evaluated my role with Examiner. Though Examiner is a mass-media platform, my column was a highly specific niche and thus never more than a ripple on the site’s radar. The majority of my readers were those sent to the articles via my own promotional efforts, and not a result of a larger Examiner readership. The reality is, I was putting in hours of work to not own any of the content, all for essentially free.
Women in Racing Advocacy
I don’t want to lose the work I’ve done there, so I still plan to write once or twice a month for Examiner (the minimum to keep my column active), but will now concentrate my effort on bringing content to THIS WEBSITE again. I’ve set aside an entire category for Women in Racing, from regular news updates (much like what you’ve seen on Examiner), featured sites related to ladies in racing, resources for women in motorsports, and much more. There’s a lot of housekeeping work still left to do to make it more user friendly, but I plan to continue to expand and grow this site as a powerful central source for all girls out there racing, to best tell our stories and celebrate our successes. I hope you will continue to follow my work here, as I would love to hear and interact with all of you like never before.
Thanks for allowing me to chase my passion and advocate for all Women in Motorsports, then, now and into the future.