Blogging seriously is the oddest thing right? Try explaining to someone who doesn’t regularly read them what it’s really about and cue the odd blank stare as they politely nod. We put our lives out to the world to view, judge, critique, and comment on. We can’t leave the house without some form of picture capture proof. We artfully take pictures of our coffee mugs, shoes, manicure color, and can style pictures better than most magazine shots. Bloggers are seriously a rare breed. I have made so many amazing friends with people that I have yet to actually reach out and give a hug to. On the flip, I’ve vacationed with blogging friends that I met purely through blogging and talk to on a daily basis. It is seriously the craziest thing ever.
I get asked a lot how I started a blog and why. It was over three years ago before my job went over to electronic medical records. I would see a patient, dictate my chart, and then wait for the new one to arrive. I definitely had some down time. I also didn’t have a ton of other responsibilities like I do now (aka managing people, running my own clinics etc). I found myself searching for fitness or workout blogs to pass the time. I also read my childhood friend Christina’s blog on a daily basis. From hers, I started reading gals in Charleston that I have never met in real life but was drawn to their hearing about their day-to-day life occurrences. I would read about their local restaurant reviews or new stores that opened and realized that the Tampa area was majorly lacking in this. I started trolling to find local bloggers and at the time, it was pretty slim to none. I thought to myself I can totally do this.
I had recently started teaching Pure Barre and the name came to me right away, Meet at the Barre. It was a play on words that totally worked with the Life + Style component. I contacted a blog designer from another bloggers template that I liked. I definitely paid waaaaaay too much but lesson learned. I started off on blogger and I wish I could go back to this day and start on WordPress but hey another lesson learned. Here is a great piece on why I switched to WordPress and why if you are thinking of starting a blog, why you should as well. Also, if you need a blog template check out Etsy or Creative Market. Completely affordable.
I started blogging with iphone selfies in my full length mirror and a DSLR camera that I had no idea how to use. I researched, spent countless of hours with trial and errors and definitely was taken advantage of by brands in the beginning.
Humble beginnings….totally spy a glass on wine on the nightstand. Probably was the middle of the week sanity.
Since I am an all or nothing person, I had to obsessively work to get this space to where it is today. I still think there is so much that needs improvement but I’m very happy with how far I’ve come in such a short time. There will always be someone who is seemingly ahead of you, started earlier, has a bigger following etc but you have to be comfortable with what you have built and what your expectations are in the long run.
One of my favorite posts to write ever was this one. It was my penned letter to all the “non-bloggers” who read blogs. I used to be you, seemingly lurking in the shadows and never feeling like I could reach out. I would read about a blogger going through a difficult or joyous time and think “I can’t write something to them, they are going to think I’m such a creeper!” I will tell you that I write my posts for everyone, not just bloggers. I want to hear about what is going on in your life, or what amazing deal you scored for the holidays. We put our lives out there to make connections.
What I have learned is that you have to have a thick skin and be very sure of yourself when it comes to blogging. You will otherwise be made to feel like you don’t have that dream white Pinterest kitchen or the ability to take an Instagram worthy picture of every single outfit on a daily basis. Everyone has their own journey and path to accomplishing the final product. I sometimes get frustrated because by the time I get home from work and working out, all the daytime hours are pretty much burned. Therefore, I have to shoot a ton of content on the weekends. It can lead to a lot of burnout and feeling like I never have a second to breathe. To help combat that for the New Year, I am trying to work ahead, stick to an editorial calendar and set realistic expectations. Being open and honest with what is going on behind the scenes is very important as well to help with keeping an authentic and true voice to your space.
I used to keep my blog a secret in the beginning. I didn’t want my I didn’t want my “real life” to know about my “blog life“. However, now I am really proud of what I have accomplished and put forth here on my blog. I have goals to expand my reader reach and take as much feedback from you of what keeps you coming back for more. I would love if you would share my space to your family and friends! I have a feeling 2017 is going to be a great year and I can’t wait to share it all with you.
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