By interning with Endurance Planet, I gained skills in WordPress web design and blog writing, recorded interviewing, audio editing, podcast production, and social media marketing, which allowed me to launch my own blog “FitLit” at samanthamorsefitlit.com. Coming from academia, I was used to writing and copy editing, but I was wholly unfamiliar with the nitty-gritty technical details of publishing material on a viable website and advertising this content to targeted audiences. Tawnee Prazak Gibson, the owner and head blogger/podcaster of EP, was an excellent mentor, who explained to me how she developed her voice in the endurance sport world and cultivated a unique following of athletes across the globe. She helped me clarify who I wanted to read my own blog: intellectually curious marathoner, ultra runners, and triathletes, as well as academics who are inclined toward healthful pursuits. Tawnee was, at first, an anomaly in her field. She didn’t just tell athletes how to get faster times, but delved into the science of holistic health and warned her followers against pursuing athletic achievements at the expense of their physical and mental wellbeing. This idea has become increasingly popular over the years, but, for a while, Tawnee was a bit of a renegade in her approach. Tawnee’s mentorship helped me realize that a successful (and profitable) blog doesn’t need widespread applicability. Instead, it’s important to provide the right content—that’s fully conceived and meaningful—to the right audience.
Not only have I been able to use the skills I gained from EP in developing my own blog and future podcast (currently in the works), but the experience also proved immensely helpful in my work on Sarah Kareem and Crystal Lake’s online publication The Rambling, which I began in the fall of 2018. Seamlessly building off my work at EP, I now do copy editing, general behind-the-scenes assistance, and social media advertising for The Rambling. The continuity between my summer and academic year work has constructively furthered my competence in managing and developing unique online publications that reflect my intellectual passions. I am eager to continue working on these types of platforms while finishing my PhD and pursuing a traditional university-level teaching position.