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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.

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?

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(Running) Podcasts I’m Loving

(Running) Podcasts I’m Loving

After going through entirely too much Amazon Prime, Lifetime movies, and Netflix, I’ve turned to the next form of entertainment.  For the most part, I listen to podcasts while running on the treadmill, or as background noise while I’m at home.   I don’t like to sit (or run) in silence.

Here are a few Podcasts I’ve Been Enjoying Recently:

Lindsey Hein’s: I’ll Have Another

I’ve followed Lindsey for years on Twitter (maybe one of the first people I ever followed?).  She has had everyone from bloggers, to professional runners (like Desi).  Lindsey’s podcast is very casual, and you feel as though you’re hanging out with friends, going for a run, or going to a diner…

C Tolle Run:

C Tolle Run is an Olympian herself, and every single podcast has me glued to my headphones absorbing everything.  She usually interviews professional runners and elites.  One of my favorite podcasts she has done was actually with the high school superstar: Drew Hunter.

Man Bun Run:

I actually had the honor of meeting Riley at the Runners World Festival last year.  He is one of the most down to earth and casual bloggers I’ve met.  Man Bun Run flows well, and it’s very relaxed.  I always pick up some interesting information from each episode.  There are multiple podcasts, and it’s just not professional and well-known runners.  You can learn something from anyone, and many podcasts I went in not knowing who the interviewee was!

Ali on the Run:

Ali on the Run is the newest podcast for me so far, and I haven’t listened to a lot of episodes, I have found each one intriguing. I like how calm and her casual interview style.  I appreciate how candid and open Ali is with all her guests.  She wasn’t afraid to ask Nick Symmonds last week if he went on a date with Paris Hilton.

BibRave Podcast:

The BibRave Podcast talks mostly about running and racing.  I haven’t listened to all (I believe there are about 75 episodes), but it has the most extensive variety dedicated to running.  Instead of covering elite or interviewees lives it focuses on topics nutrition for new shoes and gear, runners, and best races.

Finally, I asked twitter if they had any Podcasts and here are a few more.  I haven’t listened yet so I can’t speak from personal experience!

 

  • I’ve been enjoying Human Race on my run recently, but sadly it seems to have ended!

Alicia M Eno ‏Recommends:

So here are just a few.  Podcasts have picked up in the last few years so there seems to always be more coming out.  Which is great!

Question for you: Running related or not, do you have any Podcasts you are like right now? 

 

Facebook Ads: Are they Worth it?

Are facebook adverts worth it?

facebook like

On facebook you can pay to have posts and ads inserted into more mini feeds.  You can manipulate the algorithm for more views to your facebook and blog post.  It isn’t a secret either.  Pages that pay to boost posts are labeled as “sponsored” on the mini feed.  On a boosted post, More people will see the post and it will drive awareness to your website and facebook page…but is it worth it? 

I help a personal friend with her coaching page.  She is a great coach and someone I would highly recommend in the South Jersey area.  We have played around with facebook adverts to boost her page and client base.  It has been working rather well.  She has signed more local runners and the page boosts have helped her build her community.  I couldn’t be happier for her!  It made me think, how would a facebook advert post for fueledbyLOLZ blog fare?

Unlike coaching, I’m not really offering anything.  I’m not offering coaching or a product.  I’m not offering the secrets to stay injury free, healthy or breaking news.  By reading my blog you are not eligible to win millions of things.   I just assume people put up with my poor grammar and spelling because they can find a LOL in there somewhere.

FueledbyLOLZ offers morning amusement with your coffee.   That is what I offer and probably will continue to offer. 

I decided to do an experiment and spend a whopping 20 dollars to boost one of my recent posts.  For my experiment, I chose a post many people responded well with without the boost.

Running on the Cheap: 

Basically a post about why Running doesn’t have to be expensive.

There are many cost options but I chose the 20.00 option.  It costed $20.00 for an extra 1000-8,000 people to view the facebook post (not my blog post but the facebook post (with the link attached) to be inserted into the minifeed).

You can pay more for more views.

Just because you boost your post, it doesn’t guarantee will see it or that they will like your page at all.

It doesn’t guarantee they will click the link to your post.  The only thing a paid boost guarantees is that the post will be inserted into at least 1,000 mini feeds (it could even be the same persons mini feed 1,000 times).

For instance (spoiler alert) when I payed 20.00 for a fueledbyLOLZ advert, about 6,000 people viewed the post.  The post itself, received 176 clicks to LOLZ blog.

facebook ad

The post was inserted into 6,082 feeds and I received 172 clicks to my actual blog.  It cost 11 cents for each feed it was inserted in.

The real question: Was it worth it?

First I must ask myself this: What did spending $20 to promote my post get me? It got me 176 extra clicks to my blog.  What did those 176 extra page views get me?  Possibly new readers or possibly readers who like the page but never read the post…it got me 176 clicks.

What did I learn?

I thought a paid boost would receive more interest or “boost” than 176 clicks (I’m not upset or sad, I just thought it would).

Overall Thoughts: 

I can’t tell you if it’s worth it to pay to grow your blog.

If you are offering a product or service, it makes sense to use facebook to advertise.

If you want to grow your blog and following then it makes sense.  Is it the best way to grow your following?  No probably not but if you gave enough money, you could probably gain hundreds of facebook likes and new readers

At the end of the day, having more or less facebook likes, twitter followers, blog readers doesn’t change who you are or your blog.  I might occasionally use facebook adverts again.  I don’t think it’s something I would use frequently but I can see how it would help bloggers trying to “make it big” and make money (FYI: I’m not sure what making it big means in blogging….).  If your main goal is to grow your blog and profit, then perhaps this is a route to experiment with.  For me I have no interest in blogging for a living and main source of income.  I can barely write a coherent 600 word post.

In cliff notes: You’ll probably get a few extra clicks from boosting your posts.  For blogging purposes, it doesn’t make as much sense to use.  If you are offering a product, service or something of value than it makes more sense to use.   For me I’ll spend 20 dollars on a bunch of coffee next time.

Questions for you:

Do you use facebook adverts? 

Facebook users: What do you think about facebook ads?

 

Living YOUR Life

The other day someone asked me that awkward question of “What do you do for fun?”

I said I enjoyed running.  Since we are both runners, we chuckled at the response.  Then I added but when I’m not doing that I enjoy hanging out and blogging.

That’s when I got their attention (and mine for that matter.)

Rather curious, the next question they asked was: what goes on that blog?

For that I responded with: Whatever is going on in my life.  Sometimes I blog about my running, sometimes life in general, diners and occasionally food.  Basically it’s my space to write whatever I feel like writing.  (At that moment I thought I should have just said my fun is planning a wedding…since that is what people expect anyways ha ha).

People are genuinely curious about blogging.  Is it like a longer version of a facebook status?  A longer tweet?  Why do you do it?  Why not?

It did make me think a lot more about why I do blog.  I generally am asked why I blog once or twice a month.  Since I don’t hide the fact from friends and family (and have a lot that read…hello!) people are genuinely curious about blogging.  Whenever someone asks me that question I always think about my reasoning for blogging.  Do I blog for myself?  Do I blog for companies?  Do I blog to make millions?

While I can truly say I blog for myself (whether a post gets 1 hit or 1000), there have been times I’ve questioned that.  There have been times I’ve had to take a step back and realize that I’m never going to change my life or my plans to make it better fit the blog.  I’m going to change the tone of my blog or my beliefs to make a profit.  Once my computer turns off for the day or evening, you won’t find me on the media.

—————-

But then there is this side of blogging…Each of these thoughts has crossed my mind at least once while blogging. 

I do it for social media.

Riding a bike...for the media

Riding a bike…for the media

I logged a run to post it on dailymile…or twitter, instagram, facebook…my blog.

Smile and say "facebook"

Smile and say “facebook”

I went out to a restaurant to blog about it…to tweet about it…to take a photo of it.

Hold on don’t touch that, I need a photo. 

mastoriscakeme

 

Want to go for a run and TAKE A PHOTO so we can put it up online?

I would do this…but what would my readers think?  (this generally pertains to companies asking to guest post) 

Blogging for me is a love/ hate relationship.  I love blogging and writing.  I love sharing my life whether good or bad.  I enjoy sharing my struggles, my good times, bad times and everything else in between.

There is a fine line about living your life for blogging and blogging while living your life. 

I’m guilty of having done things “for the blog”.  Would I have taken 983 photos of coffee for myself (instagram #coffeeaday)?  I don’t know but I highly doubt it.

It’s funny because you start blogging with the most basic goals.  You want to blog for yourself and look back on your life.  That is great.  Then as time goes on you find yourself reading and commenting on other blogs.  You find other blog authors reading and commenting on yours.

At a certain point it would seem weird if people didn’t respond to your posts.

You have built up a following and want to see it continue to grow.  You want to be one of those popular blogs that seems to effortlessly make money.   You spend all this time doing a hobby you enjoy but aren’t seeing monetary rewards.  That is when you ask yourself…are you doing this as a hobby or is it controlling your life?  For me, blogging is truly a hobby I enjoy.  There is an on/off switch.  I turn on the switch…write a post, then turn it off.  Whether blogging is your full time job, your part time job, or your hobby, you still must have that switch.  It is only one aspect of your life and should never be your entire life. 

When does it get to the point where it is too much?  When does it get to the point where your blog comes before friends and family? 

It shouldn’t.

You began a blog to chronicle your personal life.  If you begin living your life to blog then you have lost that.  You’ve lost what you started a blog for in the first place.  You’ve lost your voice.  You’ve also lost truly living your life.

It’s almost like back in grade school when one person starts a trend and we all follow.  One person raves about coconut oil, a few studies come out about how it is the greatest…now suddenly everyone loves it.  Now suddenly everyone is going out of their way to buy coconut oil to post about it (This is just an example…).

It’s a very interesting point to me.  Would you blog if you had no readers?  If no one knew you were blogging?  When a tree falls and no one is around to hear it…does it make noise?

Staying Connected on the Medias

Facebook has allowed me to stay connected with so many high school friends.  I remained facebook friends with my high school friends after graduation.  Even people I went to high school with and wasn’t sure if we were actually friends.  Did we hate each other?  Were we friends?  Were you my best friends ex boyfriend?  Should we be facebook friends?  Is that drama?

All of those answers were…who cares I’m in college 700 miles away from home now.  None of my high school friends knew my college friends and vice versa.  Worlds Seperated.

Then I went to college and had some of the best four years of my life.  My freshman year roommate and I explored our new found college life.  I fell in love with a lot of things.  I entered college as a math and education major who swam and was still seeing someone from high school.  I left college as a community health major who ran seeing a pilot (Tim).  A lot happened and changed in those four years, none of which I regret.  I, once again, met a lot of people became close, became distant and remained good friends.  Each year people shifted in and out of my life.

Add that to another addition of facebook friends.  After college I asked myself…will we remain close?  Are we good friends?  Were we good friends?  Did we meet at a college rager once, never to talk again (um delete)?  Were you a good friends side piece that actually I didn’t care about (also delete)?  Of course I didn’t delete anyone I knew or to occasionally see what they were up too.   Sometimes you know that deleting someone as your facebook friend is better.

Then I went to Oswego and worked.  Once again I met a great group of people who really helped me assimilate into a college town when I was no longer a college student.  The same questions applied except this time, there is no college reunion.  There is no high school reunion.  I would love to see my friends and I hope I do make it back up there at some point soon.  (I am going to try!).  But I found myself with lots of new friends, all in different areas of the country.

Then finally when in all three phases of my life, I have a completely different realm of facebookfriends that I didn’t mention.  Those who live in VA Beach and run.  Virginia Beach and the Tidewater Striders will always be where my heart of running lies.  I love coming back to races, seeing friends and it’s where my love of running began.  I’ve met so many great people from age 6 to 80 and we all share a common love: running.

Now I’m living in New Jersey and I add a fifth depth of facebook friends that don’t know each other.

So why am I even using facebook?  As obnoxious as facebook is, it is allowed me to stay connected to my personal friends and see what they are up too.  It wasn’t until this week when I was looking through my friends list that I realized my friends and ties are all over the country.  Without my friends, I would be lost.

Social media has always been very good to me.  It’s allowed me to stay connected with friends from middle and high school, college, jobs and just people I’ve met through running!

Questions for you:

Do you like facebook? How long have you had a facebook?

Do you stay connected with high school or college friends?

 

 

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