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Photo from shebytes.com
Last week I wrote a blog about some tips, tricks, and strategies I've used to grow my blog. (Not that I'm an expert, but I like to share with others, which is why I have a blog in the first place.) This week I've had "Blogger's Remorse" I guess. You know that feeling that you should have said something but didn't think about it until after the fact? Yeah that's what's going on now. So I've decided to add a Part 2 to my Blogging 101 post. 



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Photo from http://kbear.com/
Pay It Forward
If you are on Twitter, you probably have seen this hashtag on Fridays; #FF. It stands for Follow Friday. It is a way for you to Pay It Forward and help your followers get more followers. So here's how it works. You send a Tweet with #FF and then tag a couple of your followers and maybe add another hashtag like #runners. This let's people know you are suggesting that they follow your friends and they may have a similar interest in common. Then if you are lucky, the people you tagged will ReTweet it, and you'll show up in their feed or maybe they send out their own #FF tweet and tag you next time. 



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Photo from http://annehornyak.com/
Pay It Forward Part Two
RETWEET! If you see a follower of yours post a tweet asking a question, posting a blog, or maybe something else of interest, ReTweet it for them. This is like the Share feature on Facebook. Then it will help them gain more exposure to your followers and maybe help them with their question, contest, event, etc. But, use your ReTweet powers with caution. I have un-followed people before because all they do is RT stuff that is of no interest to me. So use this strategy with good judgement. 



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Photo from http://marcuspcannon.wordpress.com
Change It Up
Don't blog about the same thing week after week. That can get boring for your readers. Change it up a bit, keep things interesting. Having a blog is a like a relationship. You have to keep things interesting or it gets stale and both parties lose interest. It's OK to have a niche but sometimes add something else to keep your readers coming back for interesting topics or conversations.

Here are some ideas for run bloggers:
  • Race Reviews
  • Running Product Reviews
  • Running Events - Think One Run for Boston or the Olympic Marathon
  • Running Injuries
  • Cross Training
  • Food Recipes
  • Giveaways
  • Running play lists



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Photo from http://www.womenyoushouldknow.net/
KISS
Keep. It. Simple. Stupid.
I personally don't care for blogs that go on for days or for blogs that use such extravagant language that it makes me feel like a dummy because I don't know half of the words. Also, use paragraphs or pictures to break up  your blog post. I hate it when I see a post that is just pages of text that go on and on. Pictures help you get your vision across and keep it visually interesting. Paragraphs just make it easier to read and less intimidating.  

 
 
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I started my blog in October so that means I've been blogging for about 8 months. That is enough time to make me an expert right? No? Ok, fine! So I'm not a blogging expert in any way, shape, or form, but I have learned a couple things along the way. Recently a fellow blogger reached out to me and asked how I got started and how did I grow my blog. I wrote her an email back and decided to turn it into a full blog post for the rest of my fellow bloggers.


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Twitter

Twitter has been my #1 go-to place when it comes to finding my target audience. Twitter itself makes it so easy to find other people with similar interests. I started a Twitter account that was named after my blog to keep things easy. Then I just started finding people who were into running and started following them like crazy. Twitter will even suggest people with similar interest to you so you can follow them. Twitter etiquette is to follow the people who follow you, so that is how I initially grew my followers. #TeamFollowBack

Next, I started participating in #Runchat. It is a Twitter chat that is held every week on Sunday evening that discusses everything from running products to nutrition for runners. A lot of brands and runners participate and connect. Also people use that hashtag all the time when they post a link to their blog or questions, or whatever. It's kind of like a TV channel on Twitter so if people are looking for running stuff, they know to search for #RunChat

Follow me on Twitter by clicking here. 

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Facebook

I started a Facebook page that was named after my blog too. 
You can grow your "Likes" on FB by inviting your friends to like it, asking your friends to share your page, or by holding a contest and having people share your post, like your page, and comment on your post to get your page to show up in their feeds. Then their friends see it and hopefully like it and so on. 

In my opinion, it is a little harder to grow your likes on Facebook nowadays due to the somewhat recent changes to how Facebook handles pages. They don't really suggest your page to others unless you pay to promote it. Also your posts won't show up in everyone's feed either even if they Like your page. So it can be a little tricky at times but you have to be creative. I do a Facebook Poll every Sunday morning to keep the engagement up on my page. 

Like me on Facebook -----> RunGingerRunBlog 

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Post Your Link Everywhere!

I not only use Facebook and Twitter, I use Instagram, Pinterest, and DailyMile to post links to my blog.
Instagram doesn't actually hyperlink when I type in the address but it does notify my followers there is a new blog post and they can go directly to my blog to see it.
Also, things go so quickly on Twitter that I post my link 3 times. I do it morning, after work, and later in the evening to catch the most people. You can use an app called HootSuite to schedule those for you. Facebook also has a feature one your page that will allow you to schedule posts too. 

Find my board on Pinterest here.
Find me on DailyMile here.
Find me on Instagram here.

I hope this helps! I'm still pretty new and learning all the time and would love to hear tips from other bloggers! 

Photos = Google Images. Not mine. :)

 
 
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Sore muscles suck. I've been out of my running/workout/fitness routine since March and now that I'm getting back into full swing, I've been spending a lot of time with some sore muscles. Trust me, it is not quality time. Last week I did Zumba, Boot Camp, ran, and another Boot Camp and my body hated me for it! 

Oh you want me to bend down and tie my shoes? No dice.

Ladies, you know how we do the I'm-Not-Sitting-Down-In-A-Public-Bathroom-Hover-Move? Terrible idea. I almost fell and that would be way worse than sore quads muscles. Trust me! 

However, I do have some good news. I've recently partnered up with Medi-Dyne Healthcare Products and timing couldn't have been better. I've been using the RangerRoller and I love it! 

So why do I like it so much? Here's why.

I was using a regular foam roller that you have to use on the ground. The RangeRoller (RR) is a little easier to use on different parts of your body that the regular foam roller can be difficult to get to. The areas I'm talking about are my inner thigh or calves. I can also use it easily on my lower back to get a nice massage instead of having to be on the floor. I can easily take this to work with me too. I put it in my gym bag and then as I getting sore throughout the day after a hard workout, I can quickly get a little muscle relief in my office without being on the ground in my work clothes. 
I'm sure my co-workers in my hall would really enjoy the site of me rolling around on the floor of my office but I'd prefer not to. Sorry second floor west hall co-workers!

The RR does take a little getting use to at first. The rollers are harder than my typical foam roller but I kind of think of it is part foam roller part trigger point massage. Which are both things that runners need. I've learned this the hard way. You just need to find the right amount of pressure so your muscles will benefit from it. I’m getting better at it each day.

Here's some info on how to use it properly. Which, you know, is always a good thing if you want to avoid injury. 

Instructions:
  • Warm up before use
  • Relax muscles before rolling
  • Use directly on skin or through light-weight clothing
  • Use before, during, or after activity

Massage:
  • Apply the RR directly to trigger points and areas of muscle tightness
  • Roll it forward and backward with both hands firmly applying pressure

Guidelines:
  • Generally, 20 rolls in any one spot are sufficient
  • Too little massage make keep your muscles too tight, too much may cause soreness

I highly recommend adding the RR to your running product collection to help with your sore muscles. Will it replace your other foam roller? No. But they are great partners. At least in my routine they have both become necessary. 

Want your own RR?
Click here. They have a few different sizes and even a combo called Runner's Relief that would be super great for tight calf muscles.

Happy Rolling!


 
 
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It's hard to believe that the Boston Marathon bombing was 6 weeks ago. I saw a news article earlier this week that said all of the victims who were hospitalized have now returned home! Such great news! Even though this is a huge step towards recovery, there is still a long road ahead for these survivors. Many more doctor visits, physical therapy, among other things. 

You may be wondering how you can help? Well Timex Sports is hosting an amazing event tomorrow for National Running Day

Do you want Timex Sports to donate up to $15,000 to One Fund Boston? (I know you said yes!)

Do you want Timex Sports to giveaway 60 Timex Ironman Watches and maybe win one of those? (I know you said YES to that too!)

Here are the details...

Timex is celebrating National Running Day on Wednesday, June 5 by asking consumers to tweet or post to Instagram with #IMARUNNER. In return for each eligible submission, Timex will donate $5, up to $15,000, toward One Fund Boston which helps those individuals most affected by the tragic events of April 15, 2013. Timex will also be giving away 60 Timex Ironman watches to runners who use the hashtag.

For a chance to win a Timex Ironman watch simply submit your unique running story on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #IMARUNNER on June 5th. Users can also enter by submitting a photo or story directly on the Timex Sports Facebook page “#IMARUNNER Tab” (http://bit.ly/12qH3Xb). Winners will be selected at random and official rules are located here: http://bit.ly/147ilKy.


Happy National Running Day! 
Happy Tweeting! 
Happy Instagram-ing!

Good luck! Let me know if you win one of the watches! 


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The Hubbo and I love a good zombie movie and we are insanely addicted to TV series, The Walking Dead. All this talk about the Zombie Apocalypse with the movie World War Z coming out soon, has us talking about what we'll need to do to be prepared to defend ourselves. We aren't paranoid, just getting prepared!
Lately I've been thinking about preparing a Bug Out Bag and it hit me! My running  bag is perfect for this! Runners are actually way more prepared for an apocalyptic event than most people and here's why.

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1. Shoes. Your Running Bag (RB) and Bug Out Bag (BOB) need to have a good pair of shoes that can help you travel several miles. My running bag always has my shoes in there.

2. Socks. You don't want to be traveling cross country style with painful blisters on your feet do you? Every RB and BOB needs a good pair of socks.

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3. Water bottle/belt. If you are like me you have both in there. Water is essential for life so obviously you'll need these in your RB and BOB.


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4. Nutrition. I have a TON of nutrition products in my RB. I could probably live a couple days alone just on my running nutrition that I have stock piled in there.


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5. Workout Towel. Even in the Zombie Apocalypse you'll need a towel to dry off or to clean wounds with.

6. Tech Shirt. Tech shirts are good for layering, good for keeping you cool, and good for not causing chaffing which could turn into a painful and infected mess during a wide spread Zombie problem.

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7. Blinky Light/Head Lamp - Use this tool with caution. You don't want to draw the attention of hungry zombies, but you do want to draw the attention of the people trying to rescue you! And you know, seeing is cool too.



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8. iPod - How else are you going to drown out the sound of zombies moaning and eating people???



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9. Sweat Band - You can't get sweat or your hair in your eyes when you are in hand-to-hand combat with a Zombie. You'll lose. Duh.



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10. Rock Tape or KT Tape - Good for fixing up injuries.

11. Pepper Spray -While there is no scientific research on if Pepper Spray will affect a zombie or not, it sure can slow down an enemy so you can get away! Jk! Don't do that! Be sure to love thy neighbor during a Zombie attack!

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Here are a few items you wouldn't normally find in a RB but you might want to consider adding. You know, just in case the Zombies attack your town!

1. Sword/Machete - Everyone knows the only way to kill a zombie is with a head wound. Plus a gun will run out of bullets. Swords and machetes don't.

2. Walkie - Talkie - Preferably linked to the National Guard

3. Bike - If you can fit a bike in your RB, more power to ya! Let me know how you did it. Bikes  make a good travel choice being as they do not require gas. Just human power!