FitBloggin’ 2014 Recap – 5 Takeaways

I’ve just returned from 3 days of blogging bliss in Savannah, Georgia. FitBloggin’ 2014 was an incredible learning experience for me, as well as a great opportunity to finally meet many bloggers I have only connected with online. I’m blown away by Roni Noone and her team – the work they do to make this weekend so powerful is amazing. Here are my top five takeaways from the experience:

1.  Some people really are as wonderful as they appear to be in the “Twitterverse.” 

One of the new fears I’ve experienced is that I will finally meet someone who I’ve only spoken to online and they will not be as lovely as I imagined. FitBloggin’ proved that some, if not MANY, of the people I’ve connected with online really are as wonderful as I imagined. Great example – Monica from Run Bang Run. I was elated to finally see her and overjoyed to find her to be genuine and just the real deal.

Beautiful inside & out!
Beautiful inside & out!

Then, there was Alan Ali. I have to admit to feeling like I was meeting a celebrity when I finally saw Alan. He’s endlessly supportive and has a story that inspires each of his readers every day. In a moment I’ll never forget, I was going up an escalator while Alan was going down on the other side. I waved hello and shouted that I was so excited to finally meet him. Alan turned around and ran up the down escalator as I shouted “No! I’ll see you later! Don’t hurt yourself!” He waved me off, jumped off the escalator and bear hugged me. On Day 2, Alan hugged me again and said “You’re awesome. I just want you to know that.” And there’s just something about who he is and the way he says it that you really believe him. Again, simply the real deal.

The "Justin Beiber of FitBloggin'"
The “Justin Beiber of FitBloggin'”

2. You can be completely comfortable telling your life story to complete strangers. 

Yep. I sat down and told mine at least 15 times throughout the weekend. It is cathartic and wonderful to be surrounded by a group of people who are on a journey of some kind – whether it be to representing the USA in an international competition (check out Allie Burdick) or to being a better version of yourself.  The bloggers at this conference are each on their unique journey, but they are gracious and welcoming because they know how grueling and difficult the journey can be. It was like finding my tribe.

20140701-104739-38859931.jpg
My Crossfit workout team – @MyFreckledLife @erinsinsidejob @how2lovehealthy

3. Be unapologetic about who you are.

My session on the Introvert’s Guide to Blogging included great words of wisdom from Tasha, words reinforced by the group as a whole. Do not apologize for taking care of yourself. Do not apologize for being who you are. As an introvert spending the weekend among strangers, I needed some down time and I decided to take it without feeling guilty. I ran alone, I walked around the city alone and took naps. That down time re-energized me and gave me the strength I needed to engage for the rest of the weekend. No apologies necessary. So, if you don’t write a post for your blog for the next 3 weeks because life gets in the way, don’t apologize. Write when you can and move forward.

My @bama_ry bracelet with my new motto - paired with my great-grandmother's cat's eye bracelet.
My @bama_ry bracelet with my new motto – paired with my great-grandmother’s cat’s eye bracelet.

4. If you want to be taken seriously as a blogger, start thinking like a journalist.

When I saw the list of speakers at this year’s conference, I mentioned to my husband that a woman from ESPN would be speaking. When I pulled up her name and said “Do you know the name Stephania Bell?” he grabbed his laptop and pulled up a podcast he listens to regularly. Turns out she is an injury reporter for ESPN, highly respected among the Fantasy Football players of the world, as she predicts the length of time needed for recovery from injured players. Stephania’s presentation on how to build a respected blog was one of my favorites from this year’s FitBloggin’. Her message? Start thinking and acting like a journalist. She built her career at ESPN by building a blog that was respected as a source of information that was well-researched and written. Though not a journalist, she took her knowledge as a physical therapist, her love of Fantasy Football and combined the two in to a resource that helped build her new career. Those are words I’m taking to heart.

Me & @Stephania_ESPN
@Stephania_ESPN

5. I do not want to make a career from blogging.

Sounds like blasphemy, right? I just got back from a blogging conference and I don’t want a blogging career? No. I listened to several sessions on monetizing, marketing and something called “backfilling ads” and while I respect the work that these bloggers do to earn their living, it will probably never be for me. This conference helped me clarify for myself that what I truly want is a career in FITNESS that I can then write about on my blog. I want my blog to be a resource for future clients, future yoga students and a source of inspiration for my readers. I don’t see myself ever investing the time to have my blog generate income. That doesn’t mean I’m abandoning it or not going to work to improve it, but it does mean that I’m going to set the thoughts of monetizing aside for the time being.

FitBloggin’ 2015 is scheduled for Denver, Colorado and I’m already looking forward to it. In the mean time, I’m going to put in to action many of the ideas and words of wisdom I took home with me. I’m grateful for the experience, for the beautiful people I met and for the journey ahead.

 

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19 thoughts on “FitBloggin’ 2014 Recap – 5 Takeaways

  1. Alan Ali July 1, 2014 / 11:20 am

    I will never forget the moment I tripped running up the escalator to hug you either! As I already told you, You are SO awesome. Loved meeting you and can’t wait until we cross paths again!

    • sweatingitoff July 3, 2014 / 9:21 am

      oh please! I was a total fanboy when you walked in to the hotel! lol

  2. Erin (@girlgoneveggie) July 1, 2014 / 2:25 pm

    Great recap! I needed some alone time throughout the conference too. It’s so important to refresh for all the socializing that was happening!

  3. littlemoreeachday July 1, 2014 / 2:39 pm

    I really enjoyed following the live blog of your introvert session. It was so validating for a fellow introvert blogger (who is also not interested in making a business out of blog – so cool that the blogiverse has room for people with all kinds of different intentions with their blogs).

  4. Lauren S (@BreatheBlog) July 1, 2014 / 4:04 pm

    Great recap-I loved meeting you and grabbing some food together! As an introvert it was nice to meet someone so friendly! I think the conference also showed me that my blog isn’t going to be a full-time business and that’s okay!

    • racingtozen July 1, 2014 / 5:29 pm

      It was so nice to meet you & have someone to lunch with! Thank you!

  5. Kim July 1, 2014 / 4:16 pm

    I greatly agree with #4 and #5! And a bit with # 3! I went for a run alone, and had a meal by myself, in order to chill out before the Ignite Talks. Fitbloggin was a pretty cool experience!

  6. Jesica @rUnladylike July 1, 2014 / 7:55 pm

    It was great to meet you briefly at FitBloggin this past weekend. I love your takeaways … so true! It was wonderful to meet so many inspiring people. I had the chance to meet Monica (Bang) last year and I also loved getting to know Allie. We are part of such an incredible community. Happy running and blogging. xoxo

  7. Brooke: Not On A Diet July 2, 2014 / 9:32 pm

    I’m really bummed we didn’t get to connect this weekend! It is so hard to see everyone!

    We will connect in Denver!

  8. Brooke: Not On A Diet July 2, 2014 / 9:34 pm

    Although, I did see you signed my Best Blends picture. So, did I totally just miss you and didn’t even realize it?

    If so, forgive me. ❤

    • racingtozen July 3, 2014 / 9:33 am

      Brooke, we did not get to meet, but I wanted to sign and tell you what an inspiration you are! Looking forward to seeing you in Denver and following your journey!

  9. barif0815 July 7, 2014 / 5:52 pm

    Loved your recap. I agree with the not wanting to make blogging my career. I have a career and a degree that I worked hard to earn. I’m also one of those introverts who needed down time. I stayed at a different hotel by myself so I could get that downtime when I needed it. If I make it to Denver, I’ll do the same thing there but still hang with as many people as I can.

    • racingtozen July 7, 2014 / 8:19 pm

      I hope to be in Denver too and am determined to meet more people next year!

  10. runbangrun July 8, 2014 / 2:24 pm

    It was so great to finally “meet” you too! It’s so funny to say that because it really feels like we’ve been friends all along. You are every bit as sweet, inspiring, and beautiful in person as you are online and I can’t wait to see you again soon! ❤

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