Monday, November 30, 2015

Life Always has Different Plans for me, Than I have Planned

I hope everyone of you had a fabulous Thanksgiving weekend filled with lots of great family and great friends! I did have a great time myself, lots of yummy food and lots of laughter and fun!

We finally have winter here, I don't think it's gotten above 30 degree's all week, and Saturday it just lightly snowed all day.

I already bought myself a Christmas present, so excited. Season tickets to Tuacahn, wish if you aren't familiar with it, it's Broadway in the desert down in St. George, UT. The plays there rivial those you would see on Broadway in New York, seriously! Next years plays are  Peter Pan, Disney's Tarzan and Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame and I will be seeing them all!  Totally excited.  YAY, me!

I did have a wedding over the holiday weekend, it went well. Oh, and I was reminded quickly how much I don't particularly like pulling a trailer on icy roads.  I had a scary 50 feet sliding down a hill, fortunately I have been pulling a trailer for years and with a great truck I was able to correct things before sliding through a red light into traffic.
But even so, I still dislike pulling a trailer on black ice roads.  Everything went great at the wedding, but towards the end I had a little accident of sorts (not with the trailer, thankfully).

In short, I have had some gradual pain over the past few months that I couldn't shake kept getting a little worse and worse by week in my L4 region, (which happens to be the same place I have a bulging disc from car accidents years ago.  )
Saturday while I was taking down the wedding.  The pain kept getting more and more intense and to the point that I could no longer use my back.

It's so bad,  I can barely move around much right now. In fact I had difficulty lifting the milk out of the fridge and pour it in my cereal bowl. I also can barely take the pain from pushing my muscles to stand up straight, so ya I am an embarrassing leaning person walking around. I am sure I look like a leaning 90 year old as I walk.


I won't see a Chiro, I will wait for a Specialist. I had a few bad experiences many years ago with dishonest Chiro's, and I don't trust them for anything. I have a few close friends who have been injured worse by them too. Plus, I have had many doctors and specialists tell me not to take the risk of seeing one.  So despite that I do know some do say they find help with them. I refuse to see one myself. So if your wondering why I haven't ran down to a nearby office of one of them today, that is why.  All that, and even though I am no doctor I am pretty sure things are aligned, this is something else.

Sleeping on my side, taking good drugs is pretty much the only thing that keeps the pain to a minimum. I cannot be on my back or stomach at all and I can only sit or stand for short periods of time.
It doesn't help the fact that of course I would come down with a flu bug as well this weekend. Which is why I attribute the fact that I slept in until 1pm today, and seriously could go right back to bed and not blink an eye right now. In fact, I just might!
I am hoping this is one of those 72 hour things and tomorrow I will wake up flu free again, wishful thinking never hurts anyone!

I meant to take last week of blogging for the most part, and just enjoy a little break.  I did, not mean for it to have to extend beyond that.  But due to current circumstances, I may have to drop post frequency down this week a little. We will see what happens.  But I wanted to let you all know what is going on, and why I might not be around quite as much this week.

There are still MANY awesome giveaways going on right now.  On my sidebar, you will see a link to the Holiday Giveaway Hop going on right now, click on it and take some time today to enter to win some awesome prizes!


So tell me, did you have a great Thanksgiving?
Do you buy yourself a big present each year like I do? If so, what are you buying yourself?



Sunday, November 22, 2015

2015 Holiday Giveaway Hop

Welcome!  If you're stopping by my blog today, you are on the first stop to entering several awesome giveaways.
I really enjoy hosting these giveaway hops, there are always so many amazing bloggers participating with us.  

Special thanks to my Co-Host Tutus and Tennies for helping spread the word so we could gather such an awesome group of bloggers to participate with us.


My giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY


First what is a giveaway hop?  
At the end of this post, you'll find a list of other blogger names.  After you enter my giveaway, click on the next name on the list HOP on over to their giveaway.
Each blog you visit, has the list posted at the bottom.  We make it easy to visit and quickly enter lots and lots of great giveaways, and give you a chance to come across some amazing blogs you might not have otherwise.




Like the new blog you stopped by to visit during the hop? Make sure to add them to your blog watch list so you can stop by and check out their future posts.


Okay, so now down to what you stopped by for today.  It's the early beginnings of the Holiday season, with Thanksgiving and Christmas on their way. What better time to enter a bunch of giveaways and increase your chances at winning some awesome prizes for yourself this year!

On my blog, you can enter to win an Amazon gift card.  The great part about this and Amazon is you can spend it on something you need or want!

I am giving away to 1 lucky winner a $25 gift card to Amazon.com.



How can you enter?

It's very simple.  Just below this you'll see a Rafflecopter form.  As a way to thank you my fabulous followers, there is a FREE entry for everyone.
If you'd like a few additional chances at more entries, there are a few additional ways to earn entries.

It's that simple!

Giveaway runs between November 23rd - December 6th.  You must be 18 or older to enter, and have a valid email address.  Winner will be posted on this blog between Dec. 7-8th, and will be notified via the email provided.  Winner has 48 hours to respond, if no response winner forfeits winnings and another winner may be chosen.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now, hop on over to the next blog on the hop, and then the next...  


Enter as many awesome giveaways as you have time for between now and December 6th.  Feel free to share the all the giveaway's with your friends too!



Thursday, November 19, 2015

Who is Runaway Bridal Planner and Do I Really Want to Know Her?

Welcome all of my incredible blogging friends.  I have really enjoyed hosting the two hops over the past month, I really appreciate all your hard work and participation it makes everything  I have put into it feel so worthwhile!

I'll be the first one to admit that I am different, completely non-perfect, a little odd, strange or weird at times. But I am sure about a few things, I am happy, I love life, love adventure, enjoy the big and little things and I am more than okay with being me.

So I am going to introduce myself to you, in the form of a bunch of random facts, mixed with my favorite quotes with my own photography from places I have been.  Allowing you a little insight into who is the gal behind Runaway Bridal Planner and do you really want to follow her blog.




I am a runner, up until a work injury I received almost 3 years ago I had been working on a goal to run a full marathon in each of the 50 states & D.C. I am currently at 32 completed and I am really looking forward to finishing battling back from this work injury and getting back into it and finishing the last 19, because frankly it's just a fun goal, and I want it badly!
Yes, I have hope I will heal and one thing anyone can say about me is, I am a gal who never gives up on that hope!


My main job, I am a wedding planner/decorator. I went to college for Interior Design and took a little time after to figure how the best way to use my skills and degree.  7 years ago I went out of my comfort zone and purchased an existing wedding decoration company and through the ups and downs have built it up to what it is today. I employ some of the greatest decorating team members ever, we seriously do make an amazing team, we make our clients very happy and have such a fun time doing it! Even on the crazy insane wedding days!


I've run 39 marathons. About 7 half marathon races.  I lost track years ago on how many 10k's and 5k's, but I do know the combined number is well over 100.  I seriously love all distances, even if my race of choice is 26.2.


I love to travel, and if it's a racecation all the better. I also like to take my camera with me and snap away with it. Which is why I host a Travel Tuesday series on my blog, and showcase a new place to visit, hike or see.  I've already showcased over 60+ destinations, if you want to check them out you can visit the Travel Tuesday page. Let's just say, being single does have it's benefits when it comes to being able to up and travel anytime I want!


In all the marathons and races I have done. I've never had a serious injury from running.
Sure, I have had injuries (like the current work one) that have kept me from running, but all were done while doing other things, because sometimes I forget I need to be careful at work or playing around! (It's true, I forget to think before I act, I'll be the first to admit I have my dumb moments.)

I attribute being a mostly injury free runner to a couple of factors. First, I train old school the way my dad trained me.  I believe in putting the weekly training miles in 5-6 days a week and definitely understand the importance of all those long runs!
But mostly think it's because I haven't gotten into any of the newer training trends that have come out on the market for runners over the last 10+ years.  In my mind I figure if most marathon runners in the 70's-90's were pretty healthy and injury free, and it seems like newer runners trying all these "new" methods nowadays get injured all the time.  I figure the older ways are good enough for me and why change what works for me!


I am the (self proclaimed) worlds greatest aunt.  I am an awesome aunt to 8 even more awesome kids and when I am not working I am usually out playing with them. They help keep me young, and I can pass on my love for camping, hiking and running to them.


I ran my first race (1/2 mi.) when I was in the 2nd grade and I remember it in detail to this day. Because I was so mad I came in 2nd and only 1st place got these cool Coke trophy's. When I was upset about it, I remember my dad taught me a valuable lesson.  He was proud of my accomplishment but reminded me if I want to do better and I want the trophy's, I could get them but I needed to work harder at it.
He was right, and I thank him and my mom for passing down hard work ethics and goal oriented determination that has helped me have the work philosophy and success in my life that I have had.
I do believe one of the reason's society is so messed up right now is because so many think no matter the effort everyone is equally deserving.  But nothing teaches you better long term life lessons than learning to work hard to get what you want and not stopping until you get it.  I think that is why I love running so much!


I am weird, If I run the entire way in a marathon and I am talking about the race to others I will say "I ran a marathon."  However, if I walked in the race at all (minus a few steps at water stations if its forced because they are crowded. ) I will tell you is "I finished a marathon."  I have a story behind this, as to why I am weird this way but it would make everyone roll their eyes. FYI, believe it or not, my mind doesn't generally think this way when others tell me about their races, it's just a personal thing and frankly it doesn't even really matter so I don't know why my mind keeps on this way. Again, like I said above, I am odd sometimes... lots of times, LOL


I am a thrill seeker and I am a little fearless (yet still careful) when it comes to exciting things. These are a few of my crazier adventures; Skydiving, Shark Diving, Kayaking in a portion of the Bermuda triangle, Para Sailing, Cliff Diving, Repelling,Rock Climbing, Caving, Canyoneering, Bungee Jumping. Mountain biking Moab Slickrock and Alaska Glacial landing near Denali.
Sometimes there is nothing better than the adrenaline you get trying something that scares you a little, or something that you know not everyone would be willing to do. (FYI: for skydiving, I made an attempt to pick the highest dive so I could have the longest freefall, just over 60 seconds of freefall from a little over 18,500 feet. So AWESOME! - I recommend a long freefall to anyone wanting to try it!)


I tried an ice bath twice (the NYC Marathon and Little Rock Marathon), I didn't notice it did much for me other than reward my efforts with freezing cold misery.
So I don't do them anymore, instead I have found a mile walk or very easy short run/hike the evening after a marathon helps the healing process and swelling even better or just as good.

I know several runners beg to differ, but I mean I just ran 26.2 and gave it my all, why on earth would I want to sit in a tub of cold water and ice cubes as a reward?  No thank you, I would rather reward myself with an ice cold Pepsi and a juicy burger or fat slice of pizza and enjoy rather than freeze to death after my accomplishment.

Just a few of my medal bling pretties :)

I grew up in a family that hunted, but somewhere through the years I found I enjoyed shooting them with my camera far more than a weapon and so did most of my family. Now I take my camera with me hiking each time just in case I see something amazing and I have given up hunting (for now)!
On a side note, I am an excellent shot and as the guys in my hunters safety class back when I was 13 learned as do the few I meet at the ranges now. I am one girl, you definitely don't want to bet against, I rarely miss and always hit my mark!
You can just see me dripping in humble pie now can't you, LOL.  But hey, if something about you in life is true, good or bad, you just gotta own it right!


I only display my marathon finisher medals, and first place finisher medals (even as few 1st's as there are.) The rest are in storage boxes or scrapbooks, however, I have also boxed up all first place medals and ribbons from my younger years.  There is just a point where too much is too much!
Additionally, I'd also rather not receive finishers medal in shorter races, I would much rather fun runs go back to how they used to be have some fun creative swag I could actually use or a free race picture instead. (I am well aware I am in the minority on this, and that is definitely okay:)


In my perfect world, I would be camping at a different location every other week! Oh, and there would be a considerable amount of hiking and fishing thrown into that!  I might as well throw in, that marrying an incredibly gorgeous guy both inside and out would also be a great bonus to bring along to my perfect mountain loving world! (As for the last part, I am working on that:)


I love to read, I have read 45 books this year, however I haven't had time to sit and read since before Labor Day. *insert my sad face* Last year I finished the year with 75 novels read, and I am pretty sure this year I won't come close to that. But I am definitely looking forward to Winter by Marissa Meyer that just came out last week.  I have it on hold at the library and hopefully it arrives asap and I will make time to read that one!


Different than many runners (unless you live out west) I HATE flat marathon courses, they are too boring.  I actually enjoy hills. ( I know you are either thinking, she's nuts or rock on!)

I also like race courses that take you back into places where you can go miles and miles without seeing anyone other than the other runners. Sometimes I find its nice to allow your own thoughts to motivate you rather than cheer support and the ever annoying "your almost there" shouts.


I am a people person and can be found talking to complete strangers at any given time. Because hello, people are fascinating interesting and crazies in both good and bad ways.

However, I am NOT a people pleaser or one who joins in with the crowd. (Unless you hire me for your wedding, and then it may only last one day. LOL)
It's a fairly decent bet that if I am not okay with a conversation or something going on. I will be the one to stand alone against it and by the time I am finished, others will either agree with me or know there is no changing my mind!


The greatest running advice I have ever been given, was given to me by my dad just about every race I have run since I was 7.  If you are a runner and he has trained you or talked with you before or even if he comes in contact with you as he is dropping me off at a marathon starting line.  (Yes, I get the people person, talk to random stranger thing from him. ) He will share his famous yet excellent words of advice to have the best race possible. "Start out fast, pick it up in the middle and pour it on in the end." Quite great advice to race your best race each time!


So now you know a little bit more about me and I can say if you like what you read above, then you will probably enjoy my blog because I bring in my different passions for life into the subjects I write about and share on here.



If you didn't like it, or can't relate, no worries.  That is the beauty about life and people, we all like and enjoy different things, and that is actually a great thing!  There are so many awesome different types of blogs out there, and I am sure over the past few weeks and tomorrow there will be others you do relate to and want to continue to follow!  You can learn more on my About Me page, but I am going to leave you with my mission statement.

My Blog and Life Mission Statement

I believe goals are meant to be made and achieved.
Dreams are meant to be big, bigger and lived.

I truly believe with all my heart, that absolutely anything is possible 
if I want it bad enough. But may only be achieved if I am willing to put in 
all the hard work necessary to get it! I also believe very little will naturally fall 
into my lap if I don't take the initiative to do what it takes to earn it!  

I believe I have the ability to learn how to do anything
and the sky is really only the limits I make it.

I don't believe quitting is for losers, because I understand goals may have to change.
However, I do believe quitting on things you are passionate about is a sure way
to miss out on a life of happiness.  Even if it takes the rest of your life working to achieve it.

I believe not everything you do should only be about yourself.
Being kind, charitable and showing awareness towards the needs of others 
will bring you far more happiness than the biggest dream you can imagine!




Now that you know some Random things about me, share with me something totally random about you! 
Oh, and if you want to know where I took any of the above pictures, just ask and I will let you know!

Also, if you are kind enough to leave a comment I use the Disqus comment system, it is pretty simple to use but if you don't have an account will you please leave me a link to your blog, so I can come check out your latest post too?

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

How To Know if Your Blog is a Hobby or a Business

Unless you're a business owner, and your blog is an extension of your business website. I think most take up blogging because we think it might be a fun hobby.  After we start building up a few blogger relationships, it becomes a really fun hobby.

It's also a great outlet, where we can talk about things we love and enjoy.  We can let things out and not drive our close friends and family crazy hearing about all the things we are passionate about all the time.  Not only that but we learn and grow, and we in return teach others and help them learn and grow as people and bloggers.



Eventually we start seeing other bloggers getting paid to do things, or cool products or free race entry fee's. It doesn't take long before small business and start ups will start contacting us asking us if we want to try things out for reviews, or run giveaways.  One day, we decide to accept one one of these offers. Which is where the topic of this post comes into play.

How do you know if your blog is a hobby or a business?

This is a subject so many bloggers actually get wrong for themselves. There are so many hobby bloggers out there, who are in fact running a small business and probably don't even know it and it could come back and bite them in the butt one day.

So if you want to know where you fall , here are 3 questions to ask yourself.


Do you ever accept product in return for a review?
Do you ever accept money in return for a review or guest post?
Do you sell a product or service on your blog?
Do you run ads on your blog?

If you answered YES to ANY of these, then your blog is a business.

If you answered NO to ALL then you are still a hobby blogger.

I know what some of you are thinking, how can receiving a product or a free race entry mean my blog is a business, not just a hobby?  I'm going to give you a little insight into this.

So many think that blogging is just a hobby and trying things out, trying different products are an extension of that hobby.  They don't realize if you accept ANY product ANY free thing to write a post on, you are accepting that as payment for that service.

Yes, product and free things given to you in return for your review are in fact payment!  If you are making a profit, even by product only.  Additionally, you can sure as bet the IRS considers this a business!

Those business who send you those things, write those things off on their taxes and note that they sent them to you.

Do you need to set it up as a business and obtain a Tax ID # and all that jazz?

Maybe, maybe not.  That is only a decision you can make after speaking to an accountant regarding your own specific situation.

If you are doing this a couple of times a year, you may be fine to declare it on your own personal taxes.  If you are receiving free product, you will list and declare the product value.

However, if you are thinking of making it a steady thing.  If you are working with ad agencies and companies whether you are receiving payment, or receiving product frequently, you should consider speaking to an accountant, mostly for your own protection.



The great news for business bloggers!

You also get to declare some things on your taxes as well.  Some examples:

* Monthly Hosting Fee's & domain name fees.
* Any purchases you made for your blog.
* Paid blog conferences/workshops.
* Your camera, your computer.
* Software, purchased images.
* Paypal fees.
* Postage fee's (for sending out giveaway prizes.)
* Supplies you used to help create the posts and tutorials for your blog: Ex. ingredients for recipe's, DIY projects...
There are more things, you'd just have to look at your own situation and make that determination.

Yes, I did ask my own accountant if I could count race entry fee's:)
While you can, you have to be very careful, are you making enough revenue off your blog and your race recaps and paid race promotions that the IRS would consider your running these races as part of your business.  If the money you are making, out does the cost for the races and you have formulated it into your blog's business plan, then you might be able to.
But if you start doing it, and it's not legit, be prepared to possibly be audited!  Before doing this, I highly recommend you seek advice from a professional accountant!

Should you be filing taxes on your blog this year?  

Well that is a question you should ask your accountant, I am not a professional to give you any sort of advice on what you should or shouldn't be doing.

Let them guide you and help you determine what is required by you!

My hope is you will now have a better understanding of the difference between a business blogger and a hobby blogger.
Can you go back and forth between the two? Of course!  Each year is a different year so if this year you turned into a business by accident, then next year you will know what you need to do, to stay a hobby blogger.

I hope this was helpful for some of you who come across this post!


Monday, November 16, 2015

A Little Late, But That's Okay

I'm a little late with my Me Monday post today, life has just been crazy.  That and last night when it came time to think about writing the post, I realized I was not quite in the mood to go online yet. Let's just say Sunday was a day of PJ's and movies and I have no guilt over not even bothering to get dressed yesterday.

So what's new?  I wish I could say I had a whole lot to report on, but not so much! On a good note, my (near 3 year work injury) set of tendon injuries in my one ankle seems to be feeling better and better each week. Since the setback I had 2 1/2 months ago with it, I think things finally might be turning on that end for the better.

The bad part about it, I may have mentioned my knee before. Years ago I tore the cartilage in it, while sitting at work, because I was stupid and used to fold my knees up under me to sit.  Well it's been an injury that comes and goes.  Goes the better I keep the muscles built up in my knee, comes when they get weaker or smaller.

Well very little activity the past few months, knee muscles must be very small.  I got the cartilage caught under my knee cap and the past 3 days have been seriously painful. To the point I would almost fall over at times walking.  It seemed like all my normal tricks to get it out weren't working. But luckily this morning I did my absolute best and pulled on my knee cap and moved my knee around and snap it came back almost all the way out.  Can't tell you how happy I am about that! The pain is near bearable now and I think should be gone by tomorrow if I can get the last part of it out tonight.

I did a little target shooting this past week, 100+ yards with someones new weapon, (not my own). If you have followed my blog you probably already know I am a not so humble fairly good shot, with various weapon types. LOL

It's ironic I am typing this right now, because I am sitting listening to quite a bit of gunfire down the street.  The house the city forced my neighbors out so they could expand the road.  Until the city decides to do the work, they are using the house to train S.W.A.T teams and sometimes it's a little loud with the shots. (We are all upset the city moved these awesome neighbors out of their homes that they had been in for 60+ years.)


This is the only pic I too, this was at 100 yards out.

Anyhow, I side tracked there for a second.  But ya shooting a new weapon there is always a little training and learning curve to get used to it to be completely accurate.  But lets just say from shot 1 til the end, I hit the target every single time and was never more than 2-3 inches off my mark.
Yes, a little work is needed, but at the distances I was shooting at, I am still pretty impressed. Just wait until I have a little more practice with it, they'll all be in the orange!.  Oh, and the other men around at the range, never expected a girl to shoot that good!  But they never do, LOL

So I won't go into much more details.  I have a lot to do this week, one thing of which includes making a real swimable mermaid fin for my nieces birthday this weekend.  I bought a mono-fin and saw something on pinterest so instead of paying $150 for one, I am going to pull this off under $35. It's going to be awesome, she's going to love it.  The little girl that is always inside of my still coming out, wants one too, LOL

Looks like winter is here, we've had a little snow the past week and it looks like another big storm is rolling in over the mountain as I type now.  Which reminds me, I have got to go figure out where I put my window scraper from my old vehicle and put it in my new car, that and my windshield cover! I really hope I stuck it in my shed! Off to go look now!

Last you have 2 days left to decide if you want to join in the fun with us and host a giveaway for your followers for the Holidays as a way to thank them.

You can find more details HERE, as well as the LINK to join your blog with us.

We'd love to have you join us, its a fun way to grow your blog and network with other bloggers and of course a great way to enter and win lots of prizes.

So tell me something that you had a great time doing this past week.


I am linking up with HoHo Runs and Mississippididdlin today for their Weekly Wrap!



Friday, November 13, 2015

Do You Need to Thank Your Followers? Join Us For The Next Holiday Giveaway Hop

Just a few days left to think about joining up with myself and Tutus and Tennies for the Holiday Giveaway Hop, which focus is on thanking your followers.  The hop runs November 23rd - December 6th.

You ONLY have until Wednesday November 18th, to decide if you want to join up with us.




Why would you want to join a giveaway hop?  Because you will get more viewers, and entrants to your giveaway than if you hosted one alone.


Everyone creates their own individual giveaway. But we are all linked together, and at the end of each ones giveaway is a list and link to all the other giveaways.
So entrants can hop around and enter as many giveaways as they would like, for lot's and lots of chances to win.

Why this one?

Well, the timing is perfect!  We are starting this before the Thanksgiving Holiday, so during Thanksgiving break, it's up and running for people to come and enter as they are online already thinking about what they plan on doing for their other holiday shopping.  It runs until December 6th, which gives you lots of time to promote it during the hop.  The winners can be selected and prizes will go out and everyone should be able to hopefully get things before Christmas.

As a suggestion, if you were already planning on cutting back on blogging the week of Thanksgiving.  You could set up your giveaway to that starts on the 23rd and not worry about additional posts that week. (Unless you want to.) Instead just let all your page views that week go directly to your giveaway.


This particular giveaway hop is a bit different than those I have hosted in the past.  

* You must give 1 FREE entry.


* There is NO limit on max entries.


* No theme, you giveaway what you know your readers will want to win. (There is still a $10 value, and no coupons or discounts allowed as a giveaway prize.)


* The rest of the rules apply as normal, you can find them HERE.


Looking for a few more reasons to join us:


Are you looking to grow your blog?


Are you interested in networking with other bloggers?

Do you have a giveaway item you've been wanting to share on your blog?

Or have you been contacted by a company to run a giveaway for them?

Do you want more exposure when you run your giveaway?




If you answered YES to ANY of the above, then you should join us for the Holiday Giveaway Hop that runs November 23rd - December 6th.  It's going to be lots of fun, and we would love to have your blog with us!

If you've already joined us in previous hops and are familiar with all the rules, and you want to give this a try then you can add your blog to the list below now.


If you haven't joined in a giveaway hop with me before, You MUST read the rules first, and make sure you can agree to them.  Visit THIS PAGE and you will find all the information and rules. If you have additional questions, comment below or email me and I will get back to you!



HOPE YOU'LL CONSIDER JOINING US FOR THIS FUN EVENT


WE WOULD LOVE TO HAVE YOU!!!


Thursday, November 12, 2015

How To Bring an Old Post to New Life

I've never claimed to be an expert blogger, but what I am really great at is online advertising and marketing, thanks to spending many years in that field of work.
Although the two are different, they have very many similarities.

Thanks to having worked with news sources I also have a pretty good background in smart SEO practices for written materials.  Which also makes it quite helpful in blogging SEO.  These reason's are why I feel I am a pretty good source of information on this subject and have decided to tell you more about it today to help you while you are trying to grow your blogs.



Today, I am going to tell you the correct way to bring an old post back to life, or how to re-create an old post.  As well as make sure you understand the do's and don'ts of guest blogging.  In ways that will make sure you don't accidentally have your blog tagged by search engines in bad ways.

I'm going to do my very best to simplify this a little so that even the non-techies can understand it without hearing all the big SEO (Search Engine Optimization) terms and having no clue what I am talking about.
So if you are great with SEO, and you are wondering why the post sounds very basic, then that is why!


BRINGING OLD POSTS BACK TO LIFE
& RE-CREATING POSTS

Let's start with bringing an old post back to life, or re-creating a post from the past.  If you are anything like me, you probably do take a bit of time creating a post.  I estimate about an hour to write a post, and 20-30 minutes to create the images for the post.  Unless its a research post, which then of course takes quite a bit more time.

Occasionally, especially if you have been blogging for years, you may want to go through and pick some older posts that you really liked that you ran years ago and give them a makeover and re-run them.

Did you know there is a right and wrong way to do this?

WRONG WAY - Copy and pasting an old post into a new post, exact work for word.

Why is this wrong? The search engine crawlers they don't like to see the exact same content on more than one web page, they think of it as copied material and allegedly hurts your site to do so.  It's also called a big SEO no no Duplicate Content Penalty.
Google treats it as plagiarism, yes even if it is from your own site, and the biggest mistake any writer can make is copying someones work, and lets face it if you want your posts to come up in search engines Google is a big one you don't want to have them bury your site because it considers it plagiarism.

On a side note: If you like to run Adsense ads on your blog and learn a little side income.  If in time your site has been tagged as copied content, they can actually ban you from being able to run ads on your site.

How to fix it? You've probably gotten better in your writing anyway, so re-write it.  You can still imply the same meaning behind it, and yes you can copy some of it word for word.  But for the most part, re-invent it and make it better.  Possibly even add more content to it, new things you've learned about the subject along the way.

Another idea, why not take a past post and put an opposite spin on it.  Like if you wrote a post on How to Run Uphill, why not re-create it to How to Run Downhill and establish even more credit on your blog as a how to resource that covers the subject.




I have a smaller blog, will it really matter?  Depends on if you ever plan on growing your blog, or would like to run advertising on it.  Although this is a subject that is widley debated in the SEO field, I like to look at it like this.  If you can learn to do something correctly why not do it!  No matter your motives now for your blog, they may change later and if you practice good habits now, then if you change later you won't have to worry about things.


GUEST BLOGGING

It's true one of the best ways we as bloggers can get our name out there to a new audience is guest blogging on larger blogs than our own.  That is where we create a post for a website/blog that likely has links to our own.  It involves gaining a new audience and link sharing, the very things that help build blogs.

So often bloggers create an awesome post for another website or blog and they are so excited because they spent so much time on it, they want to share it on their own site as well.  So they copy and past the exact post they wrote, and put it up on their own site and think nothing else of it, because they wrote it.  This can be a huge mistake!

If you are a guest blogger on another website/blog never post the exact same post up on your own blog.  Two things can happen, both sites can be dinged by the web crawlers as using copied news sources.  Or if one site is much bigger than the other, the smaller can actually be dinged more for bad SEO practices.

Most news media/larger blogs should be telling you and having you agree you won't do this before you guest post.  In fact if you write for online newspapers, like I have in the past they will even make you sign an electronic waiver that you wont do this.
However, if you are guest posting on blogger sites, bloggers may not know to tell you this, or they may even suggest you post it up on your own after a few weeks.

IS THERE ANYTHING I CAN DO IF I WANT TO SHARE MY WORK ON MY OWN SITE?

YES!!!!  There is one thing you can do, to avoid getting in trouble with the search engine crawlers and it's so simple. At the beginning of your re-post, add this tag into your HTML field (replacing the website with the actual link to where your original article ran on the other site.)

<link rel=“canonical" href="www.theblogsitethatyouroriginalpostappeared.com"/>
(Canonical is a computer word that means, original version.)

That is it, and its so simple and if you do that you can re-post your guest post anywhere else you want, and no penalties will be given to you!

If you are asked to submit posts to other sites, or other sites ask you if they can share your work on their site.  It's still okay, go for it, get your name out there!
More than likely if they are a bigger website they are already doing this.  But it is completely within your right to let them know they need to attach the original version link to the post for correct SEO practices.

If you don't do this, basically when this happens, think of it as the little guy (smaller blog) is the one that will get dinged the most and the smaller one is likely going to be the one who gets the penalties. Or it will be the one who copied and put the content up 2nd.

Don't try to trick the system either.  When I say trick, I mean don't think changing a few words here and there or deleting one word here or there will be a quick fix.  Just add the simple HTML link and there are no worries you can re post as you want!

We may think of the internet as such a large and massive thing, that how could it possibly find my copied post mistake?  But if you are thinking that, you are wrong. Search engines are crawling the web and pulling new data all the time.  You are not immune just because you think you are small in the vast world that consists online.  Some of the larger blogs, have even been web crawled 10 times in just a few hours of their post going live.




So the keys to take from this are:

* Never copy and past entire posts, word for word to re-run them from your own blog.

* Never share your own exact guest post on your blog without attaching an original copy link.

* If you are going to bring a new post back to life, take the time to re-create it, meaning re-write it, give it new substance and meaning.


DON'T SWEAT IT

Even though this is a How To post, don't let anything I talked about above scare you if you have made mistakes in the past!
Just start correcting things going forward.  If you have the time, you can definitely go into past guest posts that you have re posted and take a few seconds and add that tag at the beginning.  But don't worry about rushing anything this minute/week/month.  Just relax and practice better habits going forward.

This is one of those subjects that many argue on, and wonder who and if anyone actually gets penalized and how they are actually penalized.  I have heard so many back and forth on it, I personally don't think the argument matters.

For myself, if I know something "might" not be right, I am not going to do it and I will do what I know "will" be okay.

Education even in the blogging world is key to not only building a better blog, but increasing your chances of growing your blog.


So tell me, was this something you already knew about?

Do you find these types of subjects on my blog helpful?  This year during blog hops, and on the first Thursday of the month I have been hitting up Grow Your Blog topics, I'd love to know if this is something you'd like me to keep up, or not for the future!



Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Joshua Tree National Park

One of the things I love about America is visiting different National Parks.  This week, I am going to take you on the Travel Tuesday post, that actually started it all for me, and made Travel Tuesday's a thing on my blog for the past several years.  After this post, others asked me to share more about where I have been, and so I decided to start taking all my readers along on my trips, well virtually of course:)


I love the heat, I lived in St. George, Utah for a while and days in the 100+ and nights that sometimes if your lucky in the summer cool down to around 90 degree's is fine for me.  I still enjoy running, hiking and playing no matter the climate.  But the key to being able to stay active and enjoy the heat is making sure you are always fully hydrated!

I will say, if my foot wasn't injured I would have been standing on top of that
little boulder mountain for a picture:)  
Joshua Tree National Park, is located in Southern California and although I know most probably hit up this little gem in the spring, fall and winter.  I decided to hit it up in the hotter than hot month of July.  On the particular day I snapped these shots, it was only about 100 degrees out, so I was lucky because it could have been hotter.

This is Skull Rock
Not only a great place for adults, but kids will love this place.  So many fun rock formations for their little imaginations to run wild.



Maybe because I am from Utah and I have lived and hiked around deserts my entire life, but I find there is so much beauty in the desert if you look for it.  This National Park has beautiful large cactus and large bouldering rock formations and beautiful vista views.

The beginning of one of the trails, hiked around for a beautiful view on the other side

I am a little bit of a nerd in my mind, when I am out hiking I like to think about the geology and the reason that things formed the way they did, when they did to look the way they do now.



There are actually several hiking trails in this park, some are even short enough for the kids and the whole family.  But you will definitely want to bring PLENTY of water!


I love cactus too, I don't know why I always have.  Odd fact about me, when I was younger I raised cactus terrariums instead of regular ones like other kids did, LOL


This is the view from Key's View - You can look out and see the Mountains of Mexico
in the far distance, as well as Palm Springs in the valley below.

Don't you love how big these cactus tree's grow.
The tallest in the park is about 40 feet tall.  These are what gave the park it's name.

Again if the foot wasn't injured I'd of been on top of this one too for a picture:)



Okay, so if you look really really hard, you can see me up on top of one of the boulders.
The picture doesn't make them look very big, but take my 5 foot size and compare it to the rock
next to me and you get the idea, they are bigger than they look:)
I am like a kid and I can't resist climbing a big rock:)



You can call me weird, for liking the desert, but I loved this photo for some reason!


There is camping in this National Park, or nearby.  This is a park, you can easily see and do a lot in one day, and it's not too far of a drive from San Diego, we drove there after for the night.

One of the hikes to an old mill and dried up lake:)



I had a great time on this trip.  We had driven from Utah, so headed down through Las Vegas (hitting 122 degree's at the hottest), we stayed near Las Vegas for 1 night.
Then the next morning drove through the Mojave Desert in California and into Joshua Tree National Park for a day.


Have you visited Joshua Tree National Park before?
Tell me about some of your National Park adventures.