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!
Green Smoothie Bowl from earlier this summer: DSLR camera, props, styling, and editing…
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!!
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org