Featers at FitBloggin’ 2012
By Sara Hopson
Shannon and I are back from our weekend spent in Baltimore at FitBloggin’ …back with a renewed sense of purpose. Feeling inspired. Feeling (pleasantly) overwhelmed, by the amount of stories and struggles and success that we experienced over the weekend. I felt like a sponge, happy to absorb all the knowledge and sharing that was going on around us at every turn.
A few moments stuck out that I wanted to record for our own sake and for those of you who weren’t able to attend. The good news is… next year’s conference is in Portland, OR (tentatively) June 27-29. I’d suggest marking your calendar, like, now :)
This conference was different from others we’ve attended in its use of discussion rooms instead of traditional panels. The format was a smashing success as far as I could tell: a few of them veered more toward emotional storytelling and catharsis, while others (including my own) were more a sharing of knowledge and perspectives on blogging and various topics related to it. It was nice to have the option to attend more presentation-oriented sessions and then sit in on really genuine, free-flowing discussions. I think it gave the conference a more close-knit feeling. People were connecting on a personal level far more than I’ve experienced before. Love was in the air!
Within minutes of sitting down to breakfast Friday morning, we met Kate and Stephanie of Bulu Box (check it out), and had a great convo about how cool & encouraging it is to see the emergence of this community that’s so passionate about health. Nice start to the day and the conference!
Here are some other gems we took away from the weekend…
During the “Self-Acceptance and Weight Loss” discussion room:
Amy was right up our alley with her presentation, “Build Your Brand”. If you missed it, you should Tweet at her to get copies of the worksheets - so helpful.
Build your brand at 3:45. You ARE a brand. A hands-on workshop #fitbloggin.— Amy (@FatGirlsCanRun) September 21, 2012
Kara kind of blew us all away with her inspiring story…
Behind the scenes as Roni and the FitBloggin’ team arrange us for a group photo:
My discussion room was last in the lineup and our group had a good talk about how to incorporate vision into our blogs, and what our go-forward plans will be from the conference: what we learned, what we still need help with, and what we’re excited about.
Please, do have a look at the Google spreadsheet “action plan”, where we’ll add in some of the attendee’s plans and what they’d like some help or advice on. If you have experience in any of those areas, reach out & offer to help! This community grows stronger when the ties within it are stronger. Also, download the worksheet I put together for the discussion here.
Here are some soundbites from these awesome bloggers…
- From 300 Pounds and Running: “Men don’t talk about weight loss. They never talk about ‘Man, there’s a jelly roll here and I can’t do nothing about it.’”
"I wanted to be different, and the way I did it was blogging."
- Kelly from No Thanks to Cake: "You don’t always realize that the honesty you reveal and the truth that you share is the same challenges that everyone shares"
- Tim of Midpack Runner: ”It was a little too schizoprhenic to blog about running, bocking, and these other things I was doing. You realize there’s no specific audience for your blog…so I said what do I care the most about sharing with people…and that became about running.”
”Build your brand now and you’re able to leverage that [when transitioning out of your job]”
- Amy of Fat Girls Can Run: "The blending of the personal and professional life…that’s a personal choice. You either keep it separate, never use your last name, never mention your location, where you work…or you can blend the two and really make it about whole life."
"If you’re concerned about your boss finding something that you wrote, don’t write it."
The 10-4-1: for every 25 pieces of socmed content you produce, 10 should promote other people’s content, 4 should promote your content, and 1 should sell yourself.
- And from the Renaissance Woman, The Get Fit Diva: “I definitely look at my audience, where they’re coming from, which posts are popular, and I keep writing about those topics.”
"I’m definitely always hyper aware of what my content is. It’s not just helping me, it can help other people as well."
Head on over to the #fitbloggin Twitter stream for a LOT more great content, pics, and fond memories. Thanks to Roni & the whole FitBloggin’ team for a wonderful weekend, and for bringing us all together in such exciting and unique ways! Looking forward to next year!