Welcome to Health Bloggers Dish here at Health Blog Helper!
If you caught our introduction to this new series and first interview last week with Caitlin, you'll know this series used to be called Behind the Blog. We came discover there is another series of interviews in the healthy living blogosphere with the exact same name! To help avoid confusion, we've decided to revamp our Behind the Blog series title and call our interviews here at Health Blog Helper: Health Bloggers Dish.
I'm Alison from Mama's Weeds and I recently had the pleasure of chatting with the sweet and charming Angela about her blog Oh She Glows. After just a few email conversations with Angela, not to mention live from Oh She Glows itself, it's easy to see that Angela has a true passion for writing and blogging about everything healthy living.
Angela's thoughts on what it takes to run a fabulously fun and informative blog are both inspiring and enlightening! It's time to pull up your chair, sit up straight and take good notes – you're sure to enjoy and learn from Angela's musings on blogging at Oh She Glows, as well as her latest blogventure – Green Monster Movement.
So Angela, it's time to DISH! How long have you been blogging?
Oh She Glows is 10.5 months old and Green Monster Movement is 2 months old (just wee BE-BE's!).
How many hours per week would you say you spend working on the blogs and blog related projects?
Oh, I don't think I want to know. I'd say at minimum 25 hours a week, but I would guess more than that. So much time is put into writing, editing, photography, email, etc.
I love it though, I really love it. Or I wouldn't do it. It doesn't feel like work to me at all. Ok, maybe it feels like work when I have writer's block, but when that happens I usually just wait until I have something meaningful to contribute. It's much less stressful that way than to force myself to write on a specific schedule.
Most of us are inspired by other bloggers to begin blogging ourselves. Was there a blog or blogs that motivated you to start your own?
Eat Like Me was the first food blog that I ever read. That lead to Kath Eats Real Food, which lead to Eat Live Run, which led to See Bride Run (remember that!?) which I am sure everyone knows now as Healthy Tipping Point.
I really don't know what I did before food blogs. My life is so much richer since I have become a part of this wonderful network of individuals. Before if I had a crappy day, I would internalize the negativity. Now if I have a bad day, I know that I have tons of wonderful women I can reach out to and talk to and they will understand me. It is an amazing feeling.
What was one the earliest lessons you learned about blogging?
Be careful of what you say, but not too careful. If you feel like you have to censor your true beliefs and opinions then you need to ask yourself why you are blogging in the first place. I am always true to myself, even if I ruffle a few feathers. At the same time, I try to word things that don't come off as offensive. There is a way to be classy and tactful about things.
What do you think is one of the best ways to attract new readers when you're first starting out?
I've been asked this many times and I always say that if you have something unique to offer people will raise an eyebrow of curiosity and keep coming back. And everyone has something unique to offer, but not everyone knows what that is or how they can translate that into a blog. I think a lot of people feel like they have to start up a 'what I ate food blog' because so many of them are successful and that is what everyone 'does', but I always tell people to write what they are passionate about.
I have said it many times that I have never and will never be a 3x a day 'this is what I ate' blogger. That just isn't me. I'm a writer and I love to write about all kinds of topics. While I absolutely love food blogs (I follow some religiously!), I have to be true to myself and I just wouldn't be happy blogging everything I ate each day. When I think about the blogs I enjoy, it often comes back to the person behind the blog. I don't go back to a blog because of the photography, or the foods, or the recipes; I come back to a blog because of how the person makes me feel. If I can read a blog and walk away feeling like I have an extra kick to my step or I have let out some stress, I consider that a damn good blog. Some people have a way to communicate through a screen so you feel like you actually know them, and that is such a powerful thing. I like people that challenge me to be a better person. Caitlin from HTP and Operation Beautiful is a wonderful example of someone who challenges me each and every time I read her blog.
Have you made any mistakes along the way?
[In a robotic voice] I. am. a. robot. Do. robots. ever. make. mistakes? I make mistakes all the time! Just because you stare at a piece of technology when you read my blog doesn't mean a robot actually wrote it! I have a pulse and a heartbeat, I swear. I use spell check and it always fails me. When is someone going to fix that damn thing, anyways?!
Did I mnetion that I make tpyos? Yea, they get the best of us at times. Someday I hope to hire a copy editor! That would be amazing, wouldn't it? I just read that Deb from Smitten Kitchen has hired an editor for her blog. How cool is that?! She's hit the big time!!
You often write about hot topics at Oh She Glows. How do you keep your fingers on the pulse to stay on top of the latest trends and topics?
Ohhh fingers on the pulse- awesome analogy! I must file that away for my own use. haha. Well, it comes easy to me because 1) I'm obsessed with health/nutrition/fitness, and 2) I love research and did it for 7 years. I actually read so many studies that never make it on my blog because I just don't have the time. I currently have a folder on my desktop that is filled with research articles called Hot Topics. It's out of control- maybe 40-50 studies!? I wish I had more time in the day!
Did you ever believe Oh She Glows would be as successful as it is today? What were your hopes for Oh She Glows when you first began?
Well, I'm not so sure I consider OSG to be a huge success. My husband Eric frequently tells me that my blog is piddly-squat compared to big sites like TSN that get a million page views a DAY… hahaha… what a husband! He helps me keep a level head about it.
My goal for Oh She Glows has always been to help women. To help women feel good about themselves, to improve their self-esteem, and to help women free themselves from disordered eating. Oh and to ditch the scale.
From day one, I knew that is what I wanted to do with the blog. I was coming out of disordered eating that lasted for over 10 years of my life and I knew that I could save women a lot of strife if I showed them how I freed myself from the disordered thinking.
I figured no one would read it and I would lose interest. But I remember hitting the 3-month mark and the blog was doing really well. I couldn't believe it. One thing that readers have always told me that they liked was my honesty. I pour my heart out about my own experiences. I've always been honest on my blog and I think people can relate to that a lot. If I am writing a post and I have tears coming from my eyes, I know it's gonna be a doozey! haha.
Considering the title of your blog is Oh She Glows, is there any aspect of blogging that adds some glow to your life?
This is going to sound super cheesy, but I am going to say it anyways. Blogging has made me a better person in all aspects of my life. It honestly has. Each day I get to 'meet' some of the coolest, nicest, and inspiring people all over the world who challenge me to think outside the box and improve my life. I can't even begin to describe the glow that blogging has given me. I learn so many new things each and everyday because of my fellow bloggers. I feel like we are in the centre of this huge health and fitness blogosphere (did I really just type that?) of knowledge and support. It is a wonderful feeling to feel so connected to others with similar interests. Blogging has given me the confidence that I can do whatever it is I want to do in my life. The success I had with OSG gave me the confidence to leave my job and pursue my life-long dream of starting a bakery. I never would have been able to do it had I not experienced this awesome, supportive network.
In one word, what do you think is the key to blog success?
KEYBOARD. Well, if you want a serious answer I would say ORIGINALITY!
Has it been worth it?
So so so worth it in every aspect. Every time I get an email from a reader who tells me that they stopped their own disordered eating, or they are starting to love their body, or that they ran their first 5k race…I think to myself how truly lucky I am to have this platform to help other women. I feel extremely privileged to be able to touch others with my words. I always knew that I wanted to help people as a profession (after all I was in psychology for 7 years), I just never expected it would be with a blog of all things. Sometimes life works in weird and wonderful ways, doesn't it?
We'd love to give you an opportunity to promote something you're currently working on or a cause you feel strongly about.
I'd like to mention a charity that is near and dear to my heart – The Canadian Cancer Society. I am so passionate about finding a cure for cancer in our generation. If everyone gave just a bit of money, I truly believe we would be so much closer to finding a cure. Funding for research is so so so lacking it is really unfortunate.
Thank you Angela for taking the time to answer our questions and give us a behind the scenes look at all you do for your blog and your readers! Your passion and devotion to blogging is truly admirable.
If this is your first visit to Health Blog Helper be sure to take a look around! Matt's working hard to keep this site stocked with useful content for bloggers of all levels. We hope today's interview was helpful and informative, we've got more insightful interviews yet to come!
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