In an effort to share healthy meal examples and fitness ideas with her personal training clients, Gina Harney started blogging in 2008. After three years, her blog “The Fitnessista” reached one million monthly page views. Since then, The Fitnessista has become a highly sought-after resource of fitness workouts (including sections like ‘barre,’ ‘playlists,’ ‘cardio and HIIT’) and a dedicated recipes section complete with vegan, gluten-free, and dessert categories.
Check out her interview feature as The Fitnessista shares her thoughts on getting started, her “breakout” moment, top-viewed post, and her seasoned advice to brands seeking to partner with influential bloggers:
How did you get started blogging?
I started blogging back in 2008 when my husband and I had just moved to Valdosta, GA. I still hadn’t met a lot of people and was working as a personal trainer. Many of my clients would ask me for eating examples for healthy meals, so I started the blog as a way to share ideas with them and also connect with others who shared a common love of fitness and healthy eating.
What was your first blog post?
It was a short introduction with an idea of what the blog was going to be about. I actually ended up deleting it because it was so weird/awkward.
What was your breakout moment?
Probably the month I hit a million monthly page views (in 2011) for the first time. It blew me away! I was excited when I had 45 readers, and it was mind-blowing to see that more people were reading and enjoying the blog. I meant a lot to me since I have so much fun putting it together.
Have you ever written anything that’s gone viral?
Yes, and the funny thing is that it has absolutely nothing to do with healthy eating or fitness! My “viral” posts were about making homemade baby food since I would make our daughters meals each week and documented the process. My “One Month of Baby Food, 1 hour, $20” post is one of my top-viewed posts each day.
How has blogging changed since you got started?
I think that because the market is so saturated with bloggers, the demand for quality content and photos has increased dramatically. This is a good thing because it’s always encouraging to become better at what you’re doing, because there are so many options of blogs to read. I feel inspired by new blogs each day, and the attention they put into quality content and beautiful photos.
Where do you see blogging evolving?
I see a decline of “lifecast” blogging, and more into evergreen posts and topics, like DIYs, recipes, how-to’s, etc. Video and the variety of social platforms will continue to impact blogging. I know many online personalities who have built profitable and successful businesses on a single platform, like Instagram or Snapchat.
What’s on your list of daily reads?
I read so many blogs, but here are a few of my favorites:
How do you keep up with social media?
Prioritize! I’ve found that I’m not going to be great at every platform –and it’s overwhelming trying to learn everything!- and I’d rather pick a few that I really enjoy and direct my focus to those. I really love Instagram and Snapchat, and am starting to get into Periscope.
If you had more time, what would you do more of?
What advice would you give to a blogger just getting started?
Blog about what you love! If you’re passionate about your topic and truly enjoy what you’re doing, the readership will follow.
What’s your advice to brands looking to build a campaign or partner with bloggers?
I love working with companies who are clear in what they’re asking for and their deliverables, and are also easy to work with. It helps if they’ve done research on my blog and know if their company would be a good fit.