Monthly Archives: March 2015

That time I randomly won a Warrior Dash entry…

Good morning friends! So this is the end of spring break….10 wonderfully carefree days where I did less blogging/homework/social media and spent much more time outdoors. No appointments or schedules….except one little thing that recently popped up on my calendar…

I told you I read tons of other blogs, including fellow marathoners. The week before spring break, Run Eat Repeat hosted a giveaway on her blog for two entries for the Warrior Dash 2015. It’s a big muddy obstacle course, kind of like the challenges on Survivor! Guess who won one? ;)

Welcome Warrior Dash 2015 on Strong Like My Coffee (Stronglikemycoffee.com)Southern California was between 70-90 degrees all week so I ended up staying for 9 days. Saturday was the race day, and I opted to stay through Sunday morning to do my long run at sea-level.

The atmosphere at the race was awesome! People always come in cute or crazy outfits for these big events, so there were lots of tie-dyes and tutu’s. The Warrior Nation Stage was huge with live music, Shock Top had a full bar (free beer for racers which I gladly donated haha), Rockin’ Refuel was giving out all their chocolate milk. There was a giant rock wall and other vendors, and we even played some corn hole while waiting for my start wave.

I was first on the start line, and we were sent off with two fiery blasts.

Warrior Dash 2015 on Strong Like My Coffee (Stronglikemycoffee.com)Only thing I would do differently is wear sunscreen. I didn’t know what the course was like (noooo shade) and I’m sporting a nice red nose to school today. Spring break souvenir? The path winded around some trails for about a mile before we hit the first obstacle, which was crawling under several barbed wire lines. Next we went through some trenches, climbed wooden ladders, traversed beams, scrambled over nets, pulled ourselves up with ropes, sludged through mud, crossed a stream, and slid down the utlimate muddy water slide.

My favorite obstacle was called High Tension: you balance and walk across a rope while holding onto another rope above your head while water rains down. So much going on! And the GRAND FINALE of it all:

Warrior Dash Mud Pit on Strong Like My Coffee at Stronglikemycoffee.comCan we take a moment to notice the girl on the far left taking a selfie? Hope she has a LifeProof!

Muddy Warrior Dash 2015 on Strong Like My Coffee (Stronglikemycoffee.com)My expression doesn’t quite capture my thoughts at that moment, which were “Point me to the showers!” I knew it would be muddy, but wasn’t expected to fully submerge in the pit. Pretty sure I had some mud in my mouth and a nest in my hair. That outfit is now in the trash and after two long showers, I finally feel clean again!

I had fun doing this unexpected last-minute race, though I think from now on I’ll stick to mud-less marathons :)

 

Warrior Dash Finish Line on Strong Like My Coffee at Stronglikemycoffee.com

How My Blog Became the #1 Result on Google

Good morning!

Today I’m popping in to share something from my digital marketing work. I’m in the final weeks of my last semester before I graduate with a degree in Marketing and a certificate in Promotions and Marketing Communications in May. One of our course assignments is maintaining a professional web page; KenzieAlyse.com is basically a marketing-themed online portfolio of my education and experience, and not necessarily related to my Strong Like My Coffee.

But I did feel like my latest post would be appropriate to share here since many of you have your own blogs! :)

How I Became the #1 Result on Google

Do me a favor. Open up a new tab and navigate to Google. Search for “Healthy College Blog” or some variation thereof. You will be greeted with 124 million results. The very first of which is Strong Like My Coffee, a WordPress blog just like this one.

Strong Like My Coffee is my personal blog that I created and have updated for the past three years. (Go ahead, take a look if you care to!) It began in July 2012 as a personal outlet to keep my own recipes, workouts, and healthy habits.

I was ecstatic when it reached 100 followers in one month. Little did I know that over the next year, a few posts would become ‘viral’ on Pinterest drawing in almost 300,000 readers.

how to use seo; search engine optimization; blogging tips; blogging tools; digital marketing; the mkt 450 experience

When Google finds a million matches for the key words in the search bar….how does it decide which page gets the glorified top spot? Chances are, readers will not look beyond page three of the search results. Have you ever thought about how much data is on the internet for nearly every topic under the sun? That is why “SEO” is such a hot term right now and digital marketers are seeking out new strategies to compete for their search result status.

We don’t pay Google. We don’t bake the Google-bots cookies. We don’t respond to those spam emails offering SEO consulting for a low, low fee of $299. It is not random.

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is a set of techniques that allow you to prevail over your ‘competition’ in the search results. Optimization techniques ensure that search engines crawl your site and attach your site to certain key words.

My Experience with SEO:

  • The trick that has been the most successful for Strong Like My Coffee in becoming the #1 health and fitness college blog is providing links to your website on external sites. The more other people share and reblog your page, the higher your ranking.
  • Take advantage of social media platforms. The most useful platform for me was Pinterest. Pinterest displays one image from your post that is linked to your webpage. A user who clicks on the image is taken directly to your site via a link. Pinterest’s advantages are the widespread audience who will see each “pin” and the increased number of external links to your website with each “repin.”
  • Include your website URL in the signature line of any email correspondence. (This link will carry on in any forwarded versions of the conversation.)
  • Update your webpage consistently. New regularly-updated content is rated higher on search results. Maintaining your page regularly with content that contains the key words you are optimizing for will increase your ranking.
  • Lastly, USE the tags and description boxes. Insert the key phrases that you think users will search for to find your content. This helps the search engines understand what each page is about when they place your site on the search results.

How to Optimize your website for Search Engines (Stronglikemycoffee.com)I hope you found some useful information with these. I am no expert myself, so if you have any tips of your own you would like to share, feel free to leave a comment below! (Leaving comments on other blogs with your web address is also an effective networking tool that increases your search engine visibility!)

So much for “Staycation”

Spring Break officially started on Friday. How else would I start my vacation but with a 14 mile run? I made it through the looooong outting (1 hour 45 minutes) by repeating the same 8 songs over and over and over. My iPod has 1,299 songs but I have my go-to’s when I need serious motivation.  Since I have to run by myself, I opted to skip water and fuel this time (going against all running advice, I know) which I don’t want to do again. This weekend I’ll have a running buddy, but the next 9 long runs I’ll need to enlist a friend to ride a bike next to me. Accepting applications now ;)

I stretched, iced my quads and refueled with some good ole’ chocolate milk afterwards though. And yes, that is frozen edamame on my legs. When you don’t have ice, you make substitutes and if peas are A-OK then why not soy beans?!

Long Run Recovery on Strong Like My CoffeeLast post, I mentioned my “staycation” plans for this Spring Break. But then I remembered something….. I don’t like being cold, alone, or sedentary for too long. Sooo after my long run, I packed myself up and headed west. Senior year has made me more spontaneous. Southern California greeted me with 92 BEAUTIFUL DEGREES. I might not leave.

Grilling dinner on the barbeque, wearing a tank and sandals, and sleeping with the window open. IT FEELS LIKE SUMMER.

Grilling Lean and Greens | Stronglikemycoffee.com

I’ve been here less than 24 hours and already the sunshine and seafood and company have made me 100% happier. Even though it’s Spring Break, fitness and nutrition are still priorities. It’s actually easier to workout and eat whole nutritious foods on vacation because we aren’t stressed or busy or exhausted from work. This morning I even treated myself to some brand new Asics, which I immediately broke in on a 7 mile run. My feet felt like they were running on clouds because I’d worn my old pair down so much through this marathon training.

New Asics for marathon training at Strong Like My Coffee | Stronglikemycoffee.com

On the agenda for tomorrow morning is a long bike ride down my favorite running path, a gym date and the rest is TBD. Just how I like it :)

P.S. THIS song came on during our shopping outting today and we learned what H.A.A.M. stands for. Apparently it is not Hard As A Muscle…

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