Fitness Magazine’s Meet & Tweet
By Emily Zimmerman
Fitness Magazine hosted a Meet & Tweet event in New York this May, offering fitness bloggers and fitness enthusiasts an opportunity to network with each other, ask questions, and discuss various topics with a panel of leading health and wellness influencers.
The panel consisted of freelance expert Julie Fagan of Peanut Butter Fingers, author Tina Haupert of Carrots ‘N’ Cake and brand spokesperson Carla Birnberg of MizFitOnline.
The event not only allowed attendees to learn more about the fitness community, but also benefitted the panelists by providing direct contact and interaction with their audience.
In addition to promoting her blog, Fagan found the event to be beneficial by allowing her to connect with others in the industry.
“As panelists and speakers were talking, attendees had the opportunity to listen in or stand back and visit with prominent people and brands in the fitness, food and fashion industry,” she said. “I loved meeting other bloggers and professionals who share the same passions as me and took a lot away from the event in terms of friendships and connections in the industry.”
Birnberg was equally impressed by the event. She loved that the panel was all about the people including professionals, readers and bloggers. After meeting so many people, she felt more connected to others in the industry and can now hear tweets in the author’s voice. She learned about other approaches to blogging from panelists and attending bloggers alike.
FitFluential founder and CEO Kelly Olexa, who chose the panel participants, realizes the importance of influencers in health and fitness and their connection with branding. Fitness bloggers are a growing group in the blogging community, covering everything from nutrition and work outs to homemade and healthy recipes, and the topics continue to evolve along with the audience.
Fagan continues to shape her blog to suit her audience.
“When I first started blogging, I followed the mold of other bloggers and posted a lot about food, which I now believe held me back a bit. As I've continued blogging, I've gradually felt more comfortable sharing my own personality in my blog posts and blog about anything that interests me,” she explained.
“The blog posts that I write that seem to elicit the most positive feedback are the ones where I am candid and vulnerable and show insight into my wacky life with my husband and our slightly insane dog.”
On the other hand, Birnberg, who started blogging in 2001 and started MizFitOnline over five years ago, has made minimal change to her content. She believes this is because her audience seems to cycle in and out and people are always going to want and try to get in shape. Although the content of the site has remained stable, she has decided to go back to her roots and post more personal topics like she did in the beginning, when social media was still in its infancy.
Social media has since grown to become a necessity in connecting with readers, advertising and getting their names out there. Social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest have had varying degrees of influence on fitness bloggers.
Fagan realized the deeper connection she was able to have with her readers and the blogging community once she created a Twitter handle and Facebook page for her blog.
“Communicating with bloggers, readers and brands over Twitter is like a direct connection to people and companies you care about and makes reaching out so much easier,” Fagan said. She also noted that she believes Pinterest is the next growing trend in fitness blogging.
Birnberg is also drawn to Facebook and Twitter because of the direct interaction. However, she finds Pinterest to be limiting, explaining that in order to be active on Pinterest her content must be pinnable, and she must adjust the content to suit this requirement.
Fagan, however, is more enthusiastic about Pinterest.
“I think that a huge trend in the blogging world is embracing Pinterest. Pinterest is such an amazing resource for discovering new blogs, recipes, workouts and more and it seems like bloggers are beginning to understand the importance of having a presence on such a popular site,” she said.
Making the Pitch
Developing a deeper relationship with readers and the blogging community through social media channels also extends to those who are pitching and sending press material.
The way to win them over still seems to be by getting personal and doing the research. Fagan and Birnberg are both attracted to pitches sent with a personal touch including a salutation containing their name and thorough knowledge of the blog content.
Fagan adds, “I also love it when a company offers something original to me, such as the opportunity to develop a recipe for the brand that will then be shared on their website. Creating a relationship that is mutually beneficial is always appealing.”
Carla Birnberg, blogger
Peanut Butter Fingers
Julie Fagan, blogger
Photo credit: Taro Taylor via Flickr