Blogiversary: What I’ve Learned After 4 Years of Blogging

Blogiversary: What I’ve Learned After 4 Years of Blogging is my reflection on the past year of blogging, as well as what I’ve learned over the past four years. Thanks for your continued support as this little site grows, and I’m excited for what the next year will bring!

Whew! Another year of Hello to Fit, and sometimes I can’t believe that I’m still creating content and writing posts. Over the years – and within the last 12 months, in particular – I’ve made more connections with other bloggers, my local community, and narrowed my niche a bit. Each year of blogging brings new insight, lessons learned, and goals for the next year.

The most important lessons of 2016-2017:

  • Comparison is a waste of energy,
  • Connecting with people keeps me going,
  • And staying authentic fosters better relationships with YOU

How Hello to Fit Started

When I moved to Charlottesville about five years ago, one of my friends started a Virginia wine blog. It was inspiring to see him produce content and write about his passion, and it inspired me to start Hello to Fit! In its early days, HTF was purely fitness and wellness. I had a “Monday Motivation” series where I shared a quote and analyzed it. There were exercise posts and series about correct form, HIIT training, and stretches for desk workers. All taken from my iPhone and un-edited, mind you.

As I learned more about blogging and creating content, things started to shift. I played around with creating easy, healthy recipes, and enjoyed learning more about food photography. And that iPhone pictures don’t quite cut it. As my photography skills improved, my focus for HTF started to shift!

Quinoa “Fried Rice” circa 2014…I’m cringing at the styling (i.e. nonexistent) and quality of the photo!

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Green Smoothie Bowl from earlier this summer: DSLR camera, props, styling, and editing…

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Today, Hello to Fit is mainly easy recipes that you can make at home after a busy workday, or on the weekends when you’re preparing snacks ahead of time. If I can get my act together to set up my camera or collaborate with a photographer, a fitness/exercise post is posted. I’ve found that you all appreciate both, but that the recipes tend to resonate more.

What I’ve Learned After 4 Years of Blogging

Moving forward, I think the content for Hello to Fit will be relatively consistent with what its been this past year. Easy recipes are on the agenda with some exercise posts sprinkled in-between. My dietary needs have changed – I’m now lactose intolerant as of earlier this summer – so you may see more non-dairy options, too! Learning about what you enjoy reading and are looking for has been helpful in deciding what type of content to create, and through this process I’ve learned more about myself, too:

Comparison serves no one, and it’s not a productive use of energy

Blogging continues to be a side-hustle for me. Personal training takes up about 2/3 of the week, and the rest is filled with teaching yoga and growing my social media consulting business. Earlier this year I went through a period of feeling crappy about my progress with HTF, which has been relatively minimal because of my day jobs. Seeing other bloggers (whom I love) grow and quit their day jobs to pursue their new projects had me doing that thing we all despise: playing the comparison game. Remembering that everyone is on their own journey has been important in keeping me grounded, and when I do have those thoughts I try my best to reel it back into perspective.

Connection with others is the spice of life

2016 and 2017 has been HUGE for meeting up with fellow bloggers and growing closer to each other. Last October I flew out Seattle to visit my friend Lauren of Nutrition Elevated and it was such a nice long weekend. Lo and I connect on a whole notha level, and I’m learning how healthy it is to have people we can laugh, cry, and be vulnerable with. We even made it out to a cooking event, where we met up with Les and hung out with Siggi himself!!

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This past spring Ashley, Erin, and I met up in Chicago for a girls’ weekend. We’ve grown closer over the years, and it was a much-needed break from the stressors of work and life. We took a couple of fitness classes, ate lots of sweet treats (including donuts), and spent quality time together. In case you’re wondering, bloggers who hang out together understand when there needs to be an Instagram Story/photo break.

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Authenticity fosters relationships

Sharing life experiences on the internet is a weird thing. We tend to share our highlight reel – the best opportunities, the most delicious food, all the good times. I can’t speak for everyone, but I know that my own life is hardly that positive ALL the time. Earlier this year I opened up about my career struggles, particularly with burnout and my changing passion. Your support, encouragement, and ability to relate struck a chord with me, and it helped solidify the fact that being authentic, honest, vulnerable, and REAL is the only way to be – especially online.

I was also a guest on my friend Georgie’s podcast, where we talked about shifting career mindsets and handling stress. The positive feedback she and I received was awesome, and again, showed me all the positive outcomes that result from being authentic.

Cheers to Another Year!

Thanks so much for all of your support and feedback over the past year. You make me one happy blogger! I’ll be hosting an Instagram giveaway next week to celebrate. If you want to enter, make sure to follow me here!

If you have any suggestions or requests for recipes or exercise posts, let me know in the comments below or shoot me an e-mail: jess@hellotofit.com

Pin for later!

Blogiversary: What I’ve Learned After 4 Years of Blogging is my reflection on the past year of blogging, as well as what I’ve learned over the past four years. Thanks for your continued support as this little site grows, and I’m excited for what the next year will bring!

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By Jess

Jess is a certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor, and yoga teacher. She enjoys sharing her passion and enthusiasm for health and fitness with friends, family, clients, and readers.

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14 comments

  • Sarah Katherine Wyland

    July 28, 2017 at 9:47 am

    Congratulations on four years!!

  • jess larson | plays well with butter

    July 28, 2017 at 10:07 am

    congrats on FOUR years jess! i have loved “getting to know you” as you’re so authentic through all of your channels. cheers to another great year ahead! xx
    jess larson | plays well with butter recently posted…easy turtle sundae ice cream pieMy Profile

    1. Jess

      July 29, 2017 at 1:54 pm

      Hey, Jess!! Aw thank you so much. So glad to have connected with you. xoxo

  • Fiona @ Get Fit Fiona

    July 28, 2017 at 10:08 am

    Congrats on 4 years of blogging – it’s quite the accomplishment!

    1. Jess

      July 29, 2017 at 1:54 pm

      Thanks, Fiona! It’s hard to believe that it’s been that long 🙂

  • Erin @ Erin’s Inside Job

    July 28, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    yaaaaay! congrats girl! I just pinned this on like 5 different boards hahaha
    Erin @ Erin’s Inside Job recently posted…Five Things Friday #148My Profile

    1. Jess

      July 29, 2017 at 1:53 pm

      Hehe thank youuuu!!! Hugs!!!

  • Liz @ I Heart Vegetables

    July 29, 2017 at 9:39 am

    Happy Blog-iversary!!!! I totally agree about needing to connect with others. (Honestly, if it wasn’t for Virginia Bloggers, I probably would have quit years ago!) I just LOVE meeting people both online and offline! Cheers to another year, Jess!

    1. Jess

      July 29, 2017 at 1:53 pm

      Thanks, Liz!! Yes it feels so cool to have the support, especially on a local level. Thankful for you and VA Bloggers 🙂 xoxo

  • Lauren

    July 30, 2017 at 3:24 pm

    You are such a bright light in the world of blogging (and outside of it, of course!) Your authenticity shines through every post and comment you share – I feel so lucky that we connected through blogging. You are the best <3

  • Samantha

    July 31, 2017 at 10:25 am

    Congratulations on staying consistent with your blogging. Many people give up.

  • Ashley | Fit Mitten Kitchen

    July 31, 2017 at 9:00 pm

    YAY for 4 years! That is cray. You are so awesome and I am soooo thankful for our friendship! And yes, screw the comparison game <3

  • Farrah

    August 2, 2017 at 12:46 am

    Happy happy blogiversary! <3! It's hard to believe it's already been 4 years!! I still have a ton of recipes from the very beginning stages of my blog that I need to remake and put up new photos for–haven't quite gotten around to it yet, but someday, hopefully! I love the blogging community and am definitely hoping to get to stay connected with friends through here + to meet up with em' in real life someday! :]

  • Julie @ Running in a Skirt

    August 7, 2017 at 8:08 am

    Congrats on 4 years!!!

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