Five things I learned in my first year of blogging

My blog turned one year old last month. Most of the folks who read this blog know me now, or knew me in high school, college, or somewhere else along the way. Many of those same folks would probably also acknowledge that this blog turning one year old is a feat in and of itself. Not because I don't like writing though.  

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My personality on the Meyers Briggs Test is an INFP. I won’t go too far down the rabbit hole of personality tests, but one thing I’ve learned about myself is that I really like starting new projects. I tend to have less enthusiasm to finish them. (Loathe finishing them). So my little pat on the back to myself is that this blog is still going.

 

And the pat on all of yinz guys’ respective backs is that you all continue to read my stuff. The traffic to my site continues to trend up, and I’m hopeful that means I’m providing some useful information. In the end, that's the whole reason for the blog.  

1. Headlines are hard to write

No joke. I’m horrible at headlines. It was the toughest part of my job when I worked at a newspaper. If the story was about a boy with a bucket, my headline was likely to read “boy with bucket.” Like naming 17th century paintings. But so much worse. And if you don't think I ever had a story about boys with buckets, you've never read or worked for a weekly newspaper...

I’ve learned to pay more attention to titles. And to the type of headlines that get my attention. (Also, there’s something called SEO - search engine optimization - I need to come up with titles that will come up in a google search.) What I've learned is that most of us like lists, myself included. Life is busy. Maybe you clicked on my last post because it suggested five exercises to replace machines and you thought hey, I've got time to read the highlights. And if you read the highlights, maybe you read the lowlights too.  

2. It’s about you, not me

The tough part in writing is that you start by writing what you know. And you know you. Or I know me. The point is that you can speak to your own experience, which is nice. But in the end, no one cares how much I can deadlift. They care that I can offer something of value to their lives. And if they have a family and three kids and a full time job and want to know how to fit in a 25 minute routine that is time well spent, then that's the product I have to deliver. 

There’s a fine line you walk in blogging. Gosh, I write that as though I’ve been doing this for years. But honestly, while people might visit this site originally because they know me because I bribed them with dinner, they are only going to come back if they find useful and encouraging information. Or if I bribe them with lobster. As proud as I am of my deadlifts, no one really cares. 

My goal moving forward is to make it even more about you.

3. It’s harder than it looks

Feel free to offer the collective “no sh** sherlock” feedback here. But wow. On any given day, I have seven to ten ideas floating around in my head for blog posts. I often start writing them in a rich text document in my computer and then revisit and rewrite and revisit and rewrite and research before I publish the post.  

The cost of the revisiting and rewriting is time. I thought it would be easy (again, laugh here…laugh hard) to hit at least two posts a week. My reality is somewhere around 5-6 a month. Because omg this is hard.

4. Opinions change

This one I knew. I mean I’m a different person now than I was a year ago. And ten years ago? In some ways, I’m virtually unrecognizable. What I'm writing now might change in two or three years. But that's the appropriate cost of continuing education. You've got to keep an open mind. Especially in fitness. Research is constantly happening, information is constantly shifting. You've got to stay open to that. 

5. It's still about kindness

When I started this site, I paid for a logo and that came with a tag line that I used for some t-shirts. “Get Off Your Tail.” Not bad. Not bad at all. But I found a new tag line back in February. Be strong. Be kind.

Here’s the thing; I’m not striving to make you thin. In the end, I want to help clients achieve the goals that they set out to achieve. And I recognize that weight loss is part of that. But strength. Kindness. To be strong for your children, for your family, for your aging parents, for your co-workers; that…isn’t that really what we’re after? 

Does your kid care that you weigh 25 pounds more than in high school? Or does that kid care that you can pick her up in a giant bear hug when she kicked the winning goal in her soccer game? Or that you can pick her up when she missed the winning goal? She doesn’t care that you’re thin. She cares that you care. She cares that she can lean on you. Physically, emotionally. 

So yeah, I want to help you get fit. But I want to help you find the strong that you already have. Find it, share it, live it. 

And kindness? If I died tomorrow, I’d want no other word on my tombstone. Kindness helps. Kindness changes. Kindness transforms. And kindness is free. It costs me nothing to be kind.