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Saving Time with Sweet Earth

Saving Time with Sweet Earth

Recently I was given the opportunity to try Sweet Earth burritos and bowls.  Between life and work, there are some days I’m out of my house for 12+ hours a day.  Am I the busiest person? No. But do I find myself stopping somewhere and spending 20+ dollars for a meal if I don’t pack enough food? Always.

When Sweet Earth gave me the opportunity to try their burritos and bowls, I jumped at it.  Storage is easy, and they sit in my freezer until I pack one.  The burritos take about 2 minutes to cook in the microwave, and the bowls take about 3-4. It’s not like you’re taking time to cook.

Curry Tiger Sweet Earth

About Sweet Earth:

  • All foods are vegan/vegetarian and packed with plant-based protein.  I’m not vegan or vegetarian, but it’s nice to occasionally have a meatless meal.
  • Sweet Earth is environmentally friendly. They only choose ingredients that sustain and protect our coast. Along with good tasting products, the food is also sustainable.
  • Sweet Earth also listens to customer feedback. They’ve grown and adapted with new flavors, vibrant colors, and complex textures.

So Anyway a Few Products I’ve Tried:

Curry Tiger:

My favorite is the Curry Tiger which contains lentils, curried seitan, red peppers, and potatoes.  Lentils are one of my favorite foods, so I enjoyed it. It keeps me full for a while thanks to the potatoes as well.

Chana Marsala:

My favorite bowl so far has been the Marsala which has turmeric rice with chickpeas, curry seitan, potatoes, and peas all in an Indian Marsala Sauce. I had never had seitan before this, and it was good!  I found myself full for most the day. Sweet Earth food

They have dozens of more products to try, and all are vegan and vegetarian, made from sustainable and healthy good. Fast doesn’t mean unhealthy, and that is something I appreciate.

Saving Time Other Ways:

When I have a full plate of things to do during the day, saving minutes even hours, has helped me.

  • Eliminate all distractions for a set time:  If I’m working on important information or even writing, I turn off distractions. I put my cell phone in another area and turn off any notifications.  I’ve found I can get work done 50% faster and save minutes or even hours just by putting my cell phone somewhere else. Thank goodness, I went to college in a time cell phones weren’t “a big thing.”
  • Plan each day: Every morning before I go for a run or leave, I write down what I want to accomplish for the day. It takes 5 minutes but my mind is clear, and it’s much easier to get things done when I have a plan.
  • Small Tasks First: Anything I can do within 5 minutes, I do first. I might cross ten things in 20 minutes and then spend 2 hours doing the next.
  • Stop Multitasking: It seems counterintuitive, but for me, if I focus on one thing at a time I get it done much faster. Focusing on multiple things at once, means I slowly finish things.
  • Set a Timeline for Research: Often I don’t know the answer to something, so I need to research. That can lead to mindless internet browsing…how did I get on this cat webpage? Something I recently started was setting a timeline. Once my set limit is done, I go back to doing what I was doing. It’s amazing how you can somehow complete a task in less time when you give yourself less time.

Thanks to Sweet Earth Enlightened Foods for sponsoring this post!  You can find Sweet Earth at your local Kroger (my favorite grocery store LOL), Harris Teeter, Fred Meyer, Ralphs, Frys, King Scoopers, Marianos and more.  Plus nationwide.

Questions for you:

How do you eat healthy while out?

How do you save time during the day? 

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2018 in Blogging

2018 in Blogging

Around the end of the year, I like to reflect on both running and blogging. Typically around this time, I wonder if I want to continue my blog. Is it worth it to renew the $300 platform?

As it’s trended the last few years, blogging is dying.  Podcasts, Instagram, and other social media is taking over.  No one has “time” to read anymore. Not that I need anyone to read my blog.  I don’t have a coaching service or a product to sell, it’s just my life. The way the blog stays afloat is by the occasional sponsored posts as well as the sidebar ads.  To keep the blog running, it does cost about $300 a year.

blogging stats 2018

As you can see from the chart, my blog grew when I started in mid-2010, and then around 2015 began to fade.  Most people refer to quick and easy information now, and Instagram seems to be the platform of choice for race recaps, training, and whatever else. I don’t foresee myself writing long captions on instagram anytime soon.  A picture tells 1000 words, and I like to keep it that way.

I’m not sad or being negative; those are just the facts of blogging and my personal blog.  For me, the days of 1000 views regularly are gone, and that is okay.

So back to Blogging in 2018:

Most viewed posts

Tips for Morning Workouts

Blogging is Dying.

New York City Marathon Race Recap (3:07.15)

I Have a Fall Goal Race

Phoenix Half Marathon (1:22.03)

20 Running Podcasts to Keep You Entertained

What Will Happen in 2019?

I renewed my blog, so, for now, I’ll continue it.  I can’t say for 100% certainty that I see myself blogging through the entire year. I’ve said that every year, but truthfully I never know. Right now, I plan to continue blogging.  Maybe less, or maybe trying to find more sponsored posts to keep it worthwhile to keep going. I’ve thought about just going to newsletter format as well. A newsletter is cheaper and I could still have a record of race recaps and information, I could refer too. still something I’m very much contemplating but it would be a big change and a lot of work to get there.

In short 2018 didn’t change a lot. Blogging is dying. Instagram and podcasts are growing So I guess I don’t know what will happen in 2019.  Something completely new and different could happen in social media too.

Questions for you:

Bloggers and Readers, I would love to hear your thoughts on blogging, social media, and changes.

Why You Don’t See Many Negative Sponsored Posts

Why You Don’t See Many Negative Sponsored Posts

I’ll address the white elephant in the blogging room:

Sponsored posts.

As a blogger, there are many different ways to make money depending on your situation and wants.  This doesn’t include services like coaching or selling a product.  A few of those include sponsored posts, ads, campaigns, Instagram campaigns, affiliate links, and commissioned sales.  There are also Patreon pages which you can directly support or donate to podcasts or bloggers.

Why You Don't See Many Negative Sponsored Posts

The two I personally use are ads (you can usually see on the sidebar) and sponsored posts from brands.  The rest of the options aren’t for me, but they do work well for others. To add, if you start blogging to make money, you probably should choose a different career path.  I know plenty of people that make a full-time income from blogging (not selling a product, just themselves as a brand), but unless you are internet famous, you probably won’t make a ton.  Or you’ll work with a lot of brands all of the time.

Being internet famous is like having a lot of monopoly money and when everyone logs off or stops playing…what do you have?  A bunch of likes that don’t exist when you shut off social media…

Through blogging, I make enough money to cover the fees associated with having your own domain and to cover most of my race entries for the year.

Moving forward though, someone asked the other day why there aren’t many “negative sponsored posts.”

It would involve the following scenario:

Blogger and Company Talk and Agree on some sort of terms of an agreement (product, payment, whatever)

The company sends blogger thing to review (and maybe even pays the blogger for review)

Blogger bashes the company and says it’s garbage.

Therefore the company just sent and possibly paid someone for bad publicity.

The company might lose many potential customers because everything on the internet is true.  Even if that product might work for someone else.

I’ll tell you first, why you don’t see it here.

I only accept brands I’ve used for long periods of time and already like.  Some brands I’ve worked with before include Vital Proteins, Vitamin Shoppe, Runners World, even brands like Scott, and places for the military to get their hair cut like Great Clips.

I don’t try and set myself up for failure with a brand, or something I know won’t work. 

So now you must think, wow Hollie just has favorable luck with everything?

That is not the case!  There have been plenty of higher paying (for me anyway) campaigns I have turned down. While my blog does not garner the attention of $1000+ influencer “deals,” I do know, of course, they exist!

I look at every single offer that is given to me.  I’m not going to ever choose something I already know I won’t like…that’s dumb.  (just like I’m not going to go to a diner with 0 stars but 1000 yelp reviews…LOL).

Here are a Few Recent Examples of Things I Turned Down that Would Have Been Negative:

On several occasions, I’ve gotten requests to post already written blog posts.  Prewritten content isn’t a big deal, and I’ve been happy to post prewritten content if it makes sense.  I turned this particular post down because of the material.

The content was about losing weight.  While many people do need to lose weight and exercise, that isn’t that focus on my blog.  My blog isn’t about losing weight, and that isn’t the tone I want to set.  The company was going to pay me $200 to just copy and paste into my blog.  It was a lot but for me, wasn’t worth it.

A few months ago, I turned down a campaign for the promotion of an app having to do with babies.  I have no children, but because many of the readers do, the brand thought it was a good fit.  It didn’t make sense, and it makes more sense for someone who has children to blog about that!

The last and best example is recently I was sent free activewear as well as a monthly subscription to a brand (about $50 per month).  On the website, the workout and lounge gear looked nice and something I could use.

When I received the activewear, it wasn’t the style wasn’t for me. I emailed the brand my honest feedback and exactly what I planned to blog.

I actually didn’t workout in or wear the apparel at all.  In the email, I also said I wouldn’t be posting photos of me wearing the attire because I wasn’t my style nor the style I wanted to portray.  I was more than happy to send the clothing (with tags) back, and they could use it for someone who is a better fit for the style.  Instead of taking a few photos and making a few extra dollars, I sent the clothing back.  I don’t have any regrets about that.

My point is, that is why you won’t see too many negative sponsored posts.  For me personally, I don’t accept every single campaign.  I won’t promote anything I don’t like or use.  Do I have to absolutely LOVE something like a free haircut to the military on certain days?  No, but do I think it’s an awesome gesture, of course, I do.

I am fortunate that I don’t rely on blogging as my full-time income or job.  From this post, it sounds like I’m given dozens of opportunities every day, but I can assure you I don’t! Unless you are one of the top bloggers, blogging is not a luxurious job that generates an easy and high paying income.  I blog because I like to share my story and things I’ve learned along the way.   It’s nice to make money and cover the costs of blogging, so it remains a freeish hobby, but I cannot see myself pursuing trying to “grow” and making it fulltime.  (I appreciate those who have worked hard to do so though!)

I don’t have a question today, but more of opinions on topics like influencers sponsored posts and making money as a blogger. 

 

Blogging is Dying.

Blogging is Dying.

Blogging is Dying.

There I said it.

I’ve actually had a document on my computer titled: “blogging is dying” for a couple of months now.  Past that, I haven’t continued the post.  Maybe I was waiting for the best moment to post it, maybe not.  Either way, blogging is slowly dying.

I’ve contemplated writing this post for a while now, but I don’t know where to begin.  It’s probably a mismatched bunch of words that don’t flow together but when is that anything new?

So here we go:

I started blogging in 2010 when blogging was beginning to grow.  Everyone was blogging!

It was the new thing to do instead of writing a Facebook update that was 10 pages long.  I think in 2010, I followed close to 20 blogs.  I was captivated by their writing, and it ranged from runners, to triathletes, to even a chocolate blog (you know).

I followed people with similar interests.  Most people were posting at least a few times a week, if not more.  To be honest, I think most blogs posted daily, which I did too!

2012-2014, continued the trend and blogging continued to grow.  As the years went by, new social media was created.

There were so many new platforms:

Instagram: To take photos of everything you did!

Twitter: To write short burbs and updates about life!

Facebook pages: When one facebook isn’t enough, get two!

Pinterest and more (to save blogs, recipes, and whatever else you’ll read or follow up on!

I remember kicking my feet at getting twitter…ugh another thing, I couldn’t keep up.  I ultimately got most of them, except for Pinterest, because I just pin cat memes.

Then 2013 was a big year for me.  I moved four times: New York to Virginia to Texas to New Jersey.  I ran my first marathon, and moved in with a boyfriend at the time who put a ring on it (yes Tim).  It was the year where I had no idea what I wanted to do.  I lived off of savings, made some money blogging, and just job searched like any early 20 year old.

In 2014, life settled down a little bit (not much, but enough).  My husband and I got engaged, settled in NJ, and I finally set a half marathon PR.  2014 for blogging was probably my “biggest year”.

What does biggest in blogging even mean?

Most page views?  Most engagement?  Most money made?

All three!

blog stats

Then in 2014, a lot of things on the internet changed.  Social media channels began to grow, and many runners turned to Instagram to document and give running advice.  I tried to go that route with long blog post captions but quickly realized I liked Instagram for taking photos of pretty places.  It isn’t my personal preference to write a novel caption about how inspired I was to get out there.

I run and come home.  I don’t have an inspiring story about every run, I just get out there and do it.  I’m just a woman in the Garden State trying to make it look cool. I don’t like to post half-naked photos and don’t like to give advice about running.  I don’t want my account to be running only and don’t want to create a separate Instagram account for my personal life either.

My Instagram is my life whether I have a blog or not.  It isn’t limited to running, because my life isn’t limited to running.  Maybe I’ll never have a niche, but that is fine.  My blog talks more about my training and life, while Instagram is just photos and short captions.  A couple of weeks ago, my husband I celebrated our anniversary. Not running, but part of my life.

View this post on Instagram

Celebrating our 3 year anniversary.

A post shared by Hollie (@fueledbylolz) on

Anyway, with the growth of Instagram and other social media, came the slow fall of blogging.

It isn’t just blogging that has fallen, and many running publications have ceased too.  For instance, Competitor magazine only exists online.  Runners World was acquired by Hearst.

This post isn’t too bash anything or anyone.  It’s just to briefly explain what I’ve observed in the last several years.  It’s not the only view, and for some their blog has gotten bigger, which is great!

In summary, social media such as Instagram has grown.  People would prefer free advice versus paying, and to be honest, people don’t want or have the time and interest to read blogs anymore.

So How do You Support Blogs?

The easiest way to support any blogger or let them know you’re reading is occasionally comment (and no I’m not begging for comments).  Commenting or sharing posts/articles are two big ways to support bloggers without doing much.

Many people have told me in person, “love your blog” and to be honest I’m shocked they read.  Sure, right now I average about 500 page views a day, but I rarely get more than 1-2 comments per post, so I have no clue who reads, if anyone!  No one is a mind reader.  I don’t expect anyone to read, but it’s always nice to hear from people who are.

I will still blog because I like too.  I’ve stopped blogging every day, but I’ll continue to blog.  This post is not meant to be negative, or put anyone down.  It’s just the trend i’ve noticed throughout several years of blogging (which of course different people notice different things).

Questions for you:

How long have you been blogging? Is blogging dying? Discuss?

Blogging Review

The year has come and gone.  Last week, I recapped my running in 2017 and now it’s time to recap blogging since this is a Running Blog. I have begun to think a lot about blogging in 2018.  Where is it going?  Is it dying?  Will fueledbyLOLZ die?

Eventually yes, all good things must come to an end.  I have a longer post about the direction the blog will “go”.  Mentally I have written the post, but I haven’t strung 500 words together.  In summary, I probably won’t kill FueledbyLOLZ, but I will post less in 2018.

Instead of focusing on 2018 (which I will do at some point), it’s always fun to look back at the year and hanging out with friends and fellow bloggers and internet users.

danielle amelia and i

Danielle, Amelia, and I

Most Popular Posts from 2017:

My Running Story: My about me, running page.

My Running Burnout: What led to about 4 months off of running/racing.

Should You Race in Racing Flats?

Care Free Training

Interestingly enough, a lot of my shoe posts are the “top” posts.  Yet, they seem to have the least comments.  

Top Searches:

Thomas Edison Me New Jersey Isn't Boring

Hanging out with Cyd of NJ Isn’t Boring at the Edison Museum

Top Referrers:

Twitter

Facebook

Runners World Festival

Blogging brought many new friendships!
Photo Credit Marty D.

Thoughts about Blogging:

I do like blogging and I enjoy it as an outlet.  For me, blogging will never pay “the bills”.  I am lucky that I do occasionally get sponsored posts which equate to extra spending money.  Those come and go and are completely unpredictable.

Plus, I don’t accept sponsored posts from something I wouldn’t personally use or buy which also limits how many I receive.  It’s nice to receive sponsored posts, but will they pay the bills?  No.   It’s also nice to receive free product to review and try, and I’m always cautious when I do that (for instance, I’m clear in shoe reviews if I didn’t pay for shoes…which 95% of the time, I paid for them).

The platforms of which people choose to blog is also changing.  With Instagram growing, many running bloggers have stopped sharing posts or writing lengthy posts and gone to microposts on instagram.  You must do what works for you.  I am not there yet because I do see blogging as an outlet.  While my grammar and spelling leave a lot to be desired, it’s nice to connect with other bloggers and readers in that form, especially my “real life” friends (and dad) that don’t use social media but subscribe only to blog posts.

Blogging is 2017 wasn’t my highest viewership, in fact one of my lowest, but I still enjoyed it.  At the end of the day I blog for “me” but it’s nice to share the experience with others.  If I wanted to keep a personal diary (which I do keep a personal notepad), I wouldn’t press publish on a public website.  Thanks wordpress for being more organized than I am…

blogging stats

Questions for you:

Bloggers: How was your 2017 in terms of actual blogging?

Do you have a favorite post?  Do you keep a personal diary?

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