Last weekend I was invited to be a speaker for The Chicago Blogger Union, a community of bloggers dedicated to growing together through kind collaboration. This specific event was about blogging and wellness in the age of social media – which is why I was so excited to be a discussion leader for the event! It was truly an honor to be asked to speak and talk about my experience as a blogger and what I’ve learned from the wellness & fitness industry.
We met on a snowy Saturday morning at a beautiful new gym called Studios Fuse in Lincoln Park. It is a state-of-the-art facility with 4 separate gyms inside. About 15 bloggers braved the weather, and it ended up being a really magical day of learning, laughing, networking, and trying new workouts!
After some mingling, pictures and meet n’ greets, we gathered in the lobby to chat and hear from our amazing Chicago Blogger Union chapter host, Xi Marquez, our sponsors, the owner of Studios Fuse, Andrea Metcalf, and finally myself. I began with an overview of how I started blogging, my journey as a blogger and how my blog has evolved over the years and why. I discussed some of the top things I’ve learned from my time in the blogger world, and takeaways for others to create their own blog and brand from the ground up. I opened up about my struggles along my journey (even though it wasn’t easy for me to share everything) but it was really important for me to open up and connect with people on an honest level.
Then the fun began when we opened up the floor to questions. We got down and dirty about the nitty gritty of blogging including the truth about monetizing blogs, how much time it actually takes to create content and build a following. It was fun because we all got to contribute and ended up having more of a round table discussion. It was so refreshing to have a group of strong and fearless women in the room asking questions and all contributing to help one another. This industry is often so competitive, and people are not always excited to share their secrets. But in this room, we got really honest about what we’ve all learned and tips to help one another grow. It was truly inspiring!
- Be authentic with your content – write about the things you are most passionate about!
- What you post matters and can directly affect other people. Really consider who and what you are trying to influence in this world!
- Having engaged followers who are interested in your topics are better than non-engaged general followers
- Be consistent with your posting, weather that be once a week or every day. Choose a posting cadence and commit
- Define your niche and post your content specifically within that niche
- Don’t be afraid to start over or pivot as your interests change
- Building a community takes time. Don’t just make your blog about you, focus on other people. Ask questions. Be involved in helping other people get better. Interact and network with other people in the same niche/industry as you!
- The most important part of starting a blog is to just start. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but you do have to start somewhere
- There are so many talented and amazing women in this industry and I’m so thankful I get to be a part of this community!
After our discussion, we all gathered inside Studios Fuse for a sample workout from each of the gyms and studios inside. We started with a boxing class at SPORT Fitness. They are a one-of-a-kind boot camp class that combines practical kickboxing techniques with functional weightlifting movements. We did a 5-station circuit that included boxing with a heavy bag, battle ropes, medicine balls, footwork and TRX straps. We had so much fun, we didn’t realize how hard we were working!
Next, we tried silent yoga at Hang 5 Fitness. This was my first time taking a silent yoga class, and it was so cool! Each yogi received a set of noise-cancelling headphones that were playing ambient music in the background. We could only hear the instructor when she spoke through her headset. The room was candlelit and had a very chill and relaxing vibe. Such a unique experience – I would highly recommend it!
Finally, I finished with a sample of Electrical Muscle Stimulation at ElectroFit Studio. For those of you who are not familiar with EMS, it is a newly approved technology where you put on a suit that simulates electrical currents through your body. We did basic movements like bicep curls and tricep kickbacks while wearing the armbands. It was something like I have never experienced before. My arms were definitely sore the next day. Looking forward to coming back and learning more!
We had some fabulous food and drink sponsors for the event as well. You all know that I am a huge vegan restaurant lover, and Kaliflower provided delicious vegan salads, bowls, and even ice cream for our event! Their food is AMAMZING and I can’t wait to go visit their restaurant downtown. We also tried cans of rose from Rosé Spritz and got cute new hair ties with inspiring messages from La Clé!
Overall, it was really fun and successful day! We sometimes get so stuck behind a screen and we don’t get an opportunity to meet the people we follow in real life. I’m so grateful for all the bloggers who attended, it was so amazing to meet everyone in person. It was such an honor to be invited to speak, and I really appreciate Xi Marquez and The Blogger Union for having me! Thank you to Andrea Metcalf, Studios Fuse, SPORT Fitness, Hang 5 Fitness, ElectroFit Studio, Kaliflower, Rosé Spritz and La Clé for sponsoring and hosting us. So excited for the next one!!
Want to attend the next event with me?? Follow The Chicago Blogger Union Instagram page for updates on their upcoming monthly events.
Also a BIG thank you to our amazing photographer, Elena Cuellar for taking photos at the event!