FitBloggin12: Key Takeaways

25 Sep

Howdy from a mile high! I wrote this post Sunday night while en route from Baltimore where I killed far too many birds with one stone: quality time with one of my closest friends, remembering and celebrating her mother’s beautiful life, and gathering as many ideas and as much inspiration as I could get my arms around during FitBloggin12!

And believe me when I say, I would so much rather be recapping this fantastic weekend than suffering through an American Airlines showing of Matthew Perry’s new sitcom.

FitBloggin was the first of what I hope will be many opportunities to hear so many stories from successful bloggers, mingle with new friends

{meet up at Blue Agave}

 try out new-to-me workouts

{as much CrossFit as the gimp finger would allow, Annie’s first Zumba class and lots of long walks}

and, of course, dig into some truly delicious eats.

{Breakfast Day 1 sponsored by Weight Watchers Cheese}

Not to mention swag on swag on swag. That is another post entirely.

I have long wanted to explore Baltimore, and it didn’t disappoint me after all these years of hearing about the harbor, the “colonial” feeling that permeates the city, and of course the storied delicious crabs.

Enjoyed a special al fresco date with Annie at Thames Street Oyster House

I also had the honor to support Annie and participate in her mom’s “Celebration of Life” memorial. A truly special lady left the world, but not without first raising a remarkable girl who I’m privileged to call my friend. She is fundraising in her mom’s honor as she trains for a marathon — on so many levels I drew from the inspiration of others this weekend.

Before heading to this conference, I quite frankly was unsure of what to expect. Is my blog “legit” enough to consider myself a real healthy living blogger? Will I learn anything? And do I need to have spiffy business cards to enamor my newfound writerly friends?

On top of discovering the answers to these questions (yes, absolutely yes and no), I found out a ton of other cool junk too. And since I feel confident that there is someone out there who is reading this and feeling like these same questions might have held them back in the past, I wanted to share some key takeaways (there were lots, but these are just some favorites.)

Who are you, anyway?

When it comes to writing, whether it is for blogging pleasure or more financial/professional gain, be YOU. Develop your brand. What is YOUR concept, in 1-2 sentences? Your tagline?

Don’t be afraid to stick to it. Sometimes, this might mean turning down a potential product review, selecting writing opportunities more carefully, and narrowing down which companies to target for potential partnerships strategically. Otherwise, you risk your own integrity –  a girl whose writings focus on running and marathon training should not necessarily accept an opportunity to review a triathlon suit. That same blogger probably shouldn’t submit an idea for an article to a publication whose primary focus is cycling.  Be true to your style and personality, or else your own individual message could get lost in the shuffle.

Put on your geek goggles and research.

Speaking of reaching out to companies/brands/publications, one theme continued to emerge: do your homework. If you’d like to pitch an idea for an article to a magazine, know that publication A to Z. Do they like to receive pitches via email or snail mail? What’s their style — do their writers take a playful tone, or is their approach more professional?

Study up on SEO. Seriously. Everything from image tags to page titles can make or break blog traffic.

Overall, be tenacious, be yourself, and have a thick skin.

{Ridic gimp finger impeding my flex}

I have pages upon pages of lessons, goals and tips that I took home with along with a bag full of awesome new products to try. What I’m really trying to say here is, the weekend rocked.

For the peanut gallery:

Where do you draw your inspiration from? What’s your favorite tip for striving towards a passion?

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