I think I’m still digesting everything I learned over the weekend at the Healthy Living Summit but words honestly cannot describe the wealth of information I took away from the conference and not to mention the amazing bloggers I met along the way.
First off it was great to meet some of the bloggers and people I follow on Twitter in person finally! Meeting them and hearing them talk about their passion for blogging and health and fitness made their blogs even more real for me. I could finally really see their personality in their blogs. I was able to hear all of their stories about how they started their blog, why they wanted to share their experiences with other people and where they want to take their blog.
I attended sessions on Saturday and learned about how to create a virtual challenge from Amanda Brooks of Run to the Finish, blogging with brands, questions from other newbie bloggers and an incredible amount of information about social media. While I could go into extensive detail about everything I learned during these sessions, I rather write about what I took away from them.
It’s going to sound cliche but the theme I heard reverberating throughout the summit was “stay true to yourself.” Whether you’re looking at brands to partner with, doing a review of a product, hosting a virtual challenge, or just connecting with local businesses, don’t do anything you are uncomfortable with or don’t believe in 100 percent. As a relatively new blogger (I’ve been blogging since March) it’s easy to get distracted by brands reaching out to you or wanting to do a virtual challenge so bad that you loose track of your core mission. But connecting with brands you truly support and support you back is a surefire way to expand your reach and impact more people.
I also learned it takes time for a blog to grow into something bigger. While many bloggers have full time jobs like myself, it can be hard to quiet that excited dreamer inside of you with all the ideas but I’ve learned to be patient. Many of the bloggers who were on panels or led sessions at HLS12 had been blogging for at least three or four years. It takes time to grow and I think if you give your blog enough time to develop it can turn into something amazing.
Most of all I realized just how supportive the healthy living blogging community is. It was refreshing to be in a ballroom full of people who totally “get it.” While many of my friends and family know about my blog, I think a lot of them think it’s something I just like to do for fun (I think my Dad called it my online diary once), but to me it’s so much more and the girls (and a few guys) at HLS12 felt the same way I do. It was great to be in a conference session where everyone has their computer, phone or iPad out, live-tweeting everything the presenter is saying. This is the world we live in and it was amazing to be surrounded by people who feel the same way. Also, I honestly think friendships were formed over the very short but amazing weekend. It was only two and a half days but the bonds and knowledge that were shared will last longer.
All I know is I will definitely be going to Healthy Living Summit 2013 and hope to see all of the amazing bloggers I met this year again soon! If you went to HLS12 share your thoughts in the comment section!