LiveBlog: Blogging 101 – Breaking into health and fitness blogging

Monica Olivas of  http://runeatrepeat.com/ presented “Blogging 101 – Breaking into health and fitness blogging.”
Her presentation is here.

Click here for the webinar

This talk applies to WordPress, tumblr, blogger, etc.
Free blogging platforms offer your space  as a subdomain, such as YOUR-NAME.wordpress.com. Check to make sure your domain is available if moving to self hosting. It’s also a good idea to get your blog name on each platform, such as blogger, WordPress, Tumblr, etc. – even if you aren’t going to actively use them.
WIndows Live Writer is great for writing content offline. You can save links to things that you use a lot, which saves time.

Use Feedburner – it helps people follow you by making it easy.

Question:
“What do I blog about?”

Answer: Blog about anything you want!  Blog about what you KNOW, What YOU love, what YOU enjoy.

You can also pick a niche (mommy blogging, Weight Watchers, Gluten Free recipes, Crafts, photography) or try life casting (day to day, Part/whole, daily changes, 3 things Thursday, flashback friday) or anything in-between.

Make sure you personalizing your blog with a bio and photo representation of yourself. You don’t have to use pictures of yourself, you can not use your name – but your blog should be consistent so your readers can identify with you.

Question: “How can I approach blogging about food/fitness when I am not a trained prodessional in either of those areas, yet love to talk about them?”

Answer: You don’t need to be an expert – most people aren’t and yet still offer advice on training, diet, etc. It’s okay to talk about your own experience – that’s what people are interested in. A disclaimer is a good idea stating that your blog is based on personal experience and that you aren’t a professional [trainer/doctor/dietician]. People want to see other real people.
Question: “How much to I share?”
Answer: Be mindful of how much you share. Monica shares a lot and doesn’t have a problem with it. Be ready for a potential backlash if you over-share – watch the photos you are posting (family & friends – make sure they don’t mind)  Make you subjects look good (no boogers hanging out of noses). Teachers should be careful, if not overly cautious.
Question: “How do you blog about controversial topics without fear & censoring yourself? How do you maintain your privacy while blogging?”
Answer: Monica doesn’t approach controversial topics much. Rather than censoring herself, Monica will avoid topics.
Monica isn’t so concerned about shielding her privacy. But, she’s not foolish, either. She won’t say exactly where she lives, for example.

Someone mentions that employers look at potential employees information with Google.  “Yes, it’s very important to know this stuff is out there.”  You’ don’t need to answer every question or address every comment and you need to set your own boundaries.

On Generating Content: Write down ideas, even if they don’t seem immediately useful or relevant. Keep notes! Someone mentioned they draw inspiration from Pinterest.com.

You can keep an editorial calendar.
Pay attention to what readers respond to. You can grow on these subjects

Always cite your sources.
Link Back when you mention someone.
Don’t copy and past posts or recipes and then casually mention them – give credit. Someone suggests just linking to original post for the recipe instead of posting it on your own blog.
Link to products and magazines – companies follow these and may reach out to you.

Get Better at Blogging
Update consistently
Include a picture or video
Make it interesting

Getting more readers
Be patient. It takes work and time.
Again, be consistent
Use Social Media to promote and participate. It builds friendships in addition to driven traffic.
Attend meet-ups or conferences.
Comment on other blogs
Seriously, be patient.

Question: “How do I make time for blogging? How much time do I need?”
Answer: Making time for blogging is just like making time for a gym or crochet or any other hobby. Just do it.

Question: Do you think its possible to be a successfully blogger if you keep your blog hidden from your friends and family?

Answer: It’s simpler if you don’ have to hide it. Your readership is probably (hopefully) more than your immediate friends and family.

Question: “When did you decide to tell people? Did it help your blog or make the process easier?”
Answer: “Monica didn’t hide it. It made it easier. She announced it to her co-workers. Most said “Um, ok.”

Some people get mad or hurt if they find out you have a blog & you didn’t tell them.  “You have this double life!”

Question: “I want to blog about how much my job sucks. Would  you just not post it?”

Answer: “I wouldn’t post anything that affects money or living conditions – roommates, work, etc.”

  • http://twitter.com/lifestyleguy @lifestyleguy

    Nice article and really enjoyed reading this.

    Lots of timely advice.

    As I've just started to blog about fitness and nutrition I've found this really useful, thank you!

  • http://www.thatdamnscale.com Mikki@ThatDamnScale

    I TRULY enjoyed this…it gives me hope that mine will reach the people it needs to reach!

  • http://mydietforquickweightloss.net chris

    Nice article, good to have a basic outline for success!