Reflecting on 7 Years of Blogging
Blogging Challenge

Reflecting on 7 Years of Blogging

Blogging has changed a lot since I started in August of 2010.  You can read my first post here.  Sure, I could correct several spelling errors in my first post ever, but it wouldn’t be as “authentic”.  So I leave it as my 2010 college self-wrote it.

If anything has remained the same in my blogging, it’s that I don’t have the best grammar or spelling.  I spell check, but there is always something.  If you have ever held a conversation with me in real life, you know I talk a mile and minute, and my blog is pretty much the same.

But Back to Blogging in General… 

I feel like a crabby, old fashioned blogger even saying that blogging has changed so much.  When I first started blogging, it was just that.  Blogging.

There was no Instagrams, twitters and people did not make facebooks for their page.  You just wrote stuff and hoped someone subscribed through email.  After you posted an entry, you moved on with life.

Now blogging is more competitive and social media is far more advance.  You don’t write something and move on.  You write something, link it to all of your social media, multiple times, promote, promote, promote and maybe promote some more.  By the time you finished pushing your master piece of writing, it’s time to promote the next one.  It’s no wonder blogging can get so damn tiresome.  The least time-consuming portion of blogging is writing the post. 

Hey you!!!  Have you subscribed to my internet? 

But here we are.  I often reflect on blogging.  Many bloggers who started much later than I did make a full-time income from blogging.  They do the ten (thousand) step process of blogging, great content, and whatever else it takes.

siteheader1.jpg
The first LOLZ header is 2010.

That is their choice but blogging full time has never been mine.

Is it great to make money from something you work hard at? Of course.  The majority of the money I now make through blogging pays for the 10,000 races I run each year with it…but that is really it. I don’t make a full-time income and I don’t spend hours on content creation and sponsored posts.

An early header

Part of the reason begins with I won’t promote products I don’t personally stand behind. I can truly say I’ve used and enjoyed every product I’ve promoted on this blog.  Throughout the last 7 years, I’ve probably turned down close to 5,000 dollars worth of sponsored posts (whether money or product) because it doesn’t reflect my life or interests.

If you blog full time, you make more money by taking more sponsored posts.  You can’t “love” everything so you cannot like and use every single product you promote.  It’s a fine balance of blogging about product, life, and whatever else.  Too many sponsored posts and you are a fraud.  Too few sponsored posts and you eat ramen for dinner.  That sort of balance doesn’t interest me.

Plus, to be honest I don’t sit still well.  I don’t like sitting at home, I’m usually boring, and I don’t like to people, socialize, and network every moment of my life.  I just like to run, eat at diners and talk about various topics that pop into my mind (like reflecting upon blogging).

So How Has Blogging Changed Since 2010?

First, as I just said I’m not a professional. Many bloggers, social media experts, and internet users know far more about “how blogging has changed”.  I can tell you what I’ve noticed in the last several years.

From about 2010-2014 blogging thrived.  Page views were high.  There were months in 2013 and 2014, I would get 50,000 page views on LOLZ blog.  I wasn’t even a popular, superstar blogger, so I can’t imagine what others got!  But people were visiting blogs!  Blogging was booming!  There wasn’t a lot of excess social media.  Just people and blogs.

I remember when I first started my twitter, I kicked my feet.  Everyone had a twitter, but I didn’t find it appealing or necessary.  I was finishing my junior year of college, barely staying afloat in Spanish class and dreaming of math equations and proofs.  Then I started a twitter, and it’s still probably my favorite platform.  You can follow people and things and not be creepy.  There isn’t anything you really can’t follow on twitter at this point.

In 2014-2015, Instagram was starting to evolve and pop up.  More people had instagrams, but the captions were short.  I would Instagram everything.  My coffee, flowers, dirt, a pineapple sitting on top of a cup.  Then I would filter the $hit out of it pretending I was a professional photographer.

Now you can find Instagram captions that are longer than some blog posts.  As Instagram continued to grow, blogging began to fall.  My blog that once got 50,000 monthly views now gets about 20,000.  

In the recent few years, several of my favorite bloggers shut down their blogs.  Also, blogs that used to post weekly went to 1-2 times per month. Few people blog but more people used Instagram!  My reader has dwindled for several posts daily to 1-2 per day that consistently update.

Now in 2017,  the Instagram trend is still growing.  With the addition of Instagram stories, which I occasionally use, it’s more fun and more live. As Instagram grows, I do find myself attempting to take more quality posts (all from my trusty phone).  Personally, I like to follow friends and look at pretty photos.  So I’m trying to mirror that.  Will I ever take out a loan and buy some fancy camera.  No…

Just after college graduation header

So where does that leave the mother hen old lady LOLZ blog?

Will I continue to social media in year of blogging?  Probably.

Will I continue to use all of my social media?  Once again, probably.

Will I get a Strava?  No, I can’t even remember to charge my Garmin.

I will continue blogging about life, running or whatever else happens.  I don’t know what will happen tomorrow, next week or next month (LOLZ to think about next year).

I don’t commit to anything.  I don’t know what curves life will throw.  I can’t guarantee, I won’t completely stop blogging for whatever reason but I have zero intentions today…not sorry I love talking too much. 

Questions for you:

What is your favorite social media platform?

If you blog, how long have you been blogging for?

Blogging through 2016
Blogging Challenge

A Recap of 2016 LOLZ Blogging

I’ve been blogging since 2011, and it’s changed a lot.  When I first started blogging, I used to pretty much be able to tell you every running blogger out there.  That’s because there weren’t that many.
Thinking out loud, now with the internet explosion, anyone, and everyone blogs.  That’s not a bad thing, but many blogs get lost in the sea.  Plus with so many different social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, it’s easy to just microblog from those too.

So in 2016 what went on with LOLZ blogging?

Believe it or not, I blogged less in 2016. For the most part, I stopped blogging about my personal life. Maybe I grew up, or maybe I finally realized no one cared what my favorite color was.

I kept my blog focused on running, more gear related posts and of course diners.  Occasionally, I blogged about life too, but it was mostly running related.  It’s not that I don’t have a personal life, but due to my husband’s job, there are a lot of things I can’t share on the internet.  My life does not revolve around running but my running blog pretty much does…

Plus many of my friends don’t run and don’t use a lot of social media, it’s not appropriate for me to post about them via the blog and to be honest, half the time my life isn’t terribly thrilling.  I run, work and come home.

So what happened in the world of LOLZ blogging this year?

Since it’s my primary focus, I recapped running here.

In Actual Blogging:

Number of posts: 276

Most Viewed Posts: 
Asics FuzeX
Losing Toenails: A Runners Rite of Passage? (From 2015)
Dropping 9 minutes from my Half Marathon Time

Top Referrers (Where did people come from?)

Random places on the internet
Twitter
Facebook

blogging referers

Looking Back:

Honestly, I love blogging, and I enjoy it.  I put a lot of time and effort into blogging, and I plan to still keep doing it.  It’s not my full-time job, and I doubt it will ever be.  Due to the nature of social media and how much self-promotion you must do now, it’s very hard for anyone to make a full-time income from blogging.

I promote products that I like and have used.  Personally,  I cannot imagine promoting brands and companies I cannot foster relationships with. Would I like to make more money blogging?  Sure but who wouldn’t…There is a lot of balance with that.

I would be lying if I didn’t say several brands lost my respect as a customer based on bloggers they chose to represent them.

Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your mindset, there are hundreds if not thousands of bloggers now.  The internet is saturated with bloggers vying to work with brands.

But that is the nature of blogging!  At the end of the day, I’m fortunate enough to shut my computer down and not worry about followers, blogging or the internet because it’s not my full-time job.  I respect people who want to do that, but that is not the lifestyle or career for me.

In 2016, my blog posts, stats, and views went down, and I’m fine with that. In 2017, I predict as a platform blogging will continue to decrease.



blogging stats

Many bloggers will go the route of microblogging on social media platforms versus lengthy blog posts.  I won’t be excluded and I’ll be both amazed and proud of myself if I reach 276 blog posts next year too.

I always find it fascinating to see where people are from so here are some of the top countries!

blogging info

Questions for you:
How has your blog evolved and changed this year?  
What is your favorite social media platform? 

Blogging Challenge

How to Be a Better Runner

How to be a better Runner…

How to be a better runner

Stay consistent and track your progress!

Both concepts are fairly obvious. If you stay consistent in anything you will eventually improve.  Nothing in life is linear, and training is never an exception.

success progress photo

You could be working your butt off and see absolutely no progress.  Don’t worry, I’ve been there, and my training hit a plateau last summer and again in November and December. Those months were the hardest not to give up.  It felt as if I was working hard but had nothing to show for it.  I was putting in the time, mileage and recovery and not seeing improvements.

I consistently trained through the plateau.  It’s easier to run when you are doing well, and everything seems awesome.  It’s much harder to stay consistent when training is not going your way.  The less consistent you are, the fewer results you see, and you begin a downward spiral.  It’s important to stay consistent through both periods of good and bad training.

The second part is it’s important to track your progress.  With anything in life, we often forget what we don’t write down.  By tracking your progress, you’re able to look back at training six months from now.  You can see what worked and what didn’t.  You can see “was I really consistent”?

Do I remember what I ran February 3, 2015?  Of course, not but now I can look back and see I ran eight easy miles.

Tracking your workouts is one of the single biggest ways to improve.  You know your actual mileage and actual fitness level.  It’s something you need to know to improve.  You cannot improve if you don’t know where your starting point is.  By tracking your mileage, you can begin that process.

The importance of tracking your mileage does not just include distance. It includes the minor details such as:

  • How did I feel mentally or emotionally?
  • Did I have any aches and pains while running?
  • Are there any trends with how I feel after a workout? (For instance, if you are sore for six workouts in a row, there is probably an issue)
  • Do you excel in particular weather? Do you excel after you’ve eaten a particular food?

Other blogging challenges I’ve written about:
One Mistake I’m Glad I made
Why Training for Shorter Distances Will Make You Better at Longer Ones
Deep Tissue Massages
Steps to Increase Mileage and Stay Injury Free

Tweet: How to be a Better Runner http://ctt.ec/4dt27+ Via @fueledbyLOLZ

Questions for you:
Do you track your progress?
How do you stay consistent when you have hit a plateau?

Blogging Challenge

Steps to Increase Mileage and Stay Injury Free

Step to Increase Mileage and Stay Injury Free

During the last sixth months, I’ve upped my mileage as well as added more speed workouts.  I’ve been able to stay injury free throughout the process.

Steps to increase mileage and stay injury free

But how?

Step 1. Slow and Steady Wins the Race
If you increase your mileage too quickly, you will get injured and be sidelined.  Follow the 10% increase of mileage.  If you ran 40 miles last, adding 10% will give you 44.  I’m normally pretty good about this rule.

Step 2: Decrease with your Increase
This step has multiple parts.

First every few weeks, it’s important to take a recovery week.  It’s the golden rule, but your body must rest and recover to build muscle, speed and endurance.  Personally, I like to add 1-2 more rest days and drop out of 1 or both of my speed workouts.

Here are a couple of articles:
10 Laws of Injury Prevention
The 10% Rule

Step 2.5 Decrease Your Speed with Increased Mileage
Reducing speed is an important but overlooked fact.  You can’t run the same speed when running 10 miles a week or 100.  Sprinting a 100-mile week will result in massive fatigue, exhaustion and ultimately injury.

While I didn’t run 100 miles, it was the reason of my first stress fracture.  For example, I don’t worry about my pace on easy days.  Sometimes I run with a watch and sometimes I don’t.  You must pick and choose which runs are fast.

Step 3: Know your Limits

Injuries don’t typically come out of nowhere.  Know your personal weak spots. Running is a lifelong process, and it takes months to build a strong base.  Don’t rush the process because you’ll be sidelined with a minor or major injury.

Other Running Posts I’ve Written Lately:
Why Training for Shorter Distances Will Make You a Better Distance Runner
There is no Perfect Running Shoe
Deep Tissue Massages

Tweet: Steps to Increase Mileage and Stay Injury Free http://ctt.ec/7M8fL+ via @fueledbylolz

Questions for you:
How many miles do you run weekly?
How do you stay injury free and healthy?

Blogging Challenge, Running, Running Reads, Training

Deep Tissue Massages

Blog Challenge 4: Reasons Why I Always Make Time for Deep Tissue Massages

Should you get a deep tissue massage

It’s not a thought provoking or “change your life” post, but deep tissue massages are something I make time in my schedule as well as the budget for each month. Deep Tissue Massages keep my muscles healthier and my body recovering from workouts, races and training faster.

I’ve been injured several times in my running career. Most of my injuries are bone related but like any runner I’ve suffered from sore or tight muscles.

So why get deep tissue massages?

The scientific answer: A Massage works to lengthen muscles and restore the range of motion, relieve muscle tightness as well as improve circulation.

First, anyone can foam roll and improve circulation, but if you are like me, then you never get deep enough into your muscles.  Deep tissue massages are done by a professional who knows how to find trigger points, adhesions or tight muscles that are specific to you.

Deep tissue massages will leave you sore at first. They break down scar tissue and muscle adhesions and then flush them out of your system. Personally, when I receive a deep tissue massage, I am sorer for 48 hours and then feel significantly better.

It’s important to tell the masseuse what is sore and what gets the most sore.  Every person and runner is different and a massage is tailored to your needs.  You will get the most benefit by being vocal of what you need.

When should you get a deep tissue massage? 

The timing of a deep tissue massage is necessary. Similar to a workout, it’s important not to get a massage right before a goal race. My personal rule is 3-5 days before.  It allows your muscles to recover.

Your message will also not be as beneficial if you get it the same day after a race. The masseuse will not be able to go as deep into your muscles because they are already swollen. My rule of thumb is waiting 1-2 days afterwards.

I am just speaking from personal experience with deep tissue massages. I’ve found they keep the majority of my muscles injury free and keep my running well too.

For anyone in the South Jersey and Philadelphia area, Dr. Kemenosh has just added deep tissue massages back into the list of methods they utilize over there.  (Dr. Kemenosh and his team fixed my glute, hamstring and butt issue injury after my marathon).   I can’t say enough positive things about their team!

Here are more articles I found interesting as well:
When Should Runners Get a Deep Tissue Massage?
The Pros and Cons of Massages for Runners

Questions for you:
Have you ever gotten a deep tissue or any massage?