My Blogging Journey and How My Blog Has Improved My Life

A few days ago my blogging friend Bexa tweeted this:

I've had so many cool opportunities from my blog that I couldn't narrow it down to just one. I started thinking about how my blog has benefited me over the past four and a half years and all the doors it has opened up for me.

A little backstory: I started Nic's Healthy Life on 3rd March 2015 (I still remember the date without having to check). It began purely as a health and fitness blog and I actually had the idea for it while I was out on a run. I just wanted somewhere I could write about my interest in nutrition and fitness and connect with like-minded people. I'd had another blog from 2008-2010 (I often wonder where that blog and I would be now if I'd carried on with it) and was keen to get back into blogging again. 

After a year or so I started to feel slightly restricted by my niche and found it increasingly difficult to come up with new, unique ideas for content. I also felt that, although I know a lot about nutrition and the human body (I've taken courses and have qualifications in the subject), I'm not a registered dietitian and didn't want to give out nutritional advice on the internet to people whose situations I knew nothing about.

I started to mix it up and occasionally post other content such as blogging tips. These were always well received and gained me more readers who were bloggers themselves. Then in 2016 I got into minimalism and started writing about that, too. My minimalism posts are generally the most viewed on my blog (Pinterest users seem to LOVE minimalism so those pins are always guaranteed to do well and get me plenty of click-throughs) and I really enjoy talking about it.

I haven't completely abandoned nutrition and fitness altogether on this blog, and they're still two of my greatest passions, but Nic's Healthy Life has evolved almost beyond all recognition and is now more of a lifestyle blog than it was previously. 

Sometimes blogging can feel like a lot of work for very little reward and I've often thought about giving it up but, when I think about everything my blog has given back to me, it makes the hard times more than worth it. Here are some of the ways having a blog has benefited my life:

Scored me brand deals
The first thing that comes to mind when I think about the blog opportunities I've received is the brands I've worked with. Admittedly, I received more brand collabs when I had a niche and the offers have slowed down a bit now, but I'm really grateful for the PRs who reached out to me and the products I got to try that I would otherwise never have heard of. Not to mention the fact that my husband loved all the free food (there was a time I kept getting sent protein powders, bars and shakes. He was in his element). 

I think the brands I'm most proud to have worked with are Multipower (a sports nutrition company) and Fabletics (an active wear brand). 

Bagged me free entry to events
When I say that blogging has opened doors for me, it has done literally that. I have been given press passes to attend shows and events that I would otherwise not have been granted access to or would have had to buy a ticket for. It's a great feeling to be asked to cover an event and to turn up as 'press', be allowed into the press area, given free samples and allowed time with the speakers. At Be:FIT London I got to meet Ella Mills (AKA Deliciously Ella) and Alice Liveing. As someone who is into fitness and nutrition this was a DREAM. 

Made me money
When I first started blogging I did so as a hobby and had no idea it was something you could make money from. I didn't know anything about affiliate links, sponsored posts, reviews etc. I remember the first time I was contacted to write a sponsored post a few months in; it was so exciting. 

I find it amazing that something I created and built up from scratch can make me money. I still blog primarily as a hobby as I'm picky about who I work with and the terms I'll accept, but being paid to do something you love is one of the best feelings in the world. 

Helped me meet great people
All the things I've mentioned above - brand deals, events and money - might sound a little shallow (and also make blogging seem a lot more glamorous than it is - most of the time it's just you sitting on your sofa typing on your laptop or waiting for the sun to come out so you can finally get some good photos or updating old posts for SEO or checking for broken links get the gist) but one of my absolute favourite things about blogging is the people I've met through it. Some in real life, some just on social media, all of whom I never would have met if I hadn't decided to start my blog. 

Pushed me to start my own business
Blogging gave me the confidence to start my own small business. I opened my Etsy store in July this year, selling stationery, tote bags and printables for bloggers and content creators. 

This project is also still a side hustle at the moment and I really need to put more work and time into it if I want it to go anywhere but I'm just proud of the fact that I did it at all. I'll be honest, it was terrifying but if there's one thing I love, it's conquering my fears.

Given me a feeling of achievement
Above all, my blog is something I can be proud of. I created it from nothing, built it up to what it is now and have stuck with it for almost five years, which is an accomplishment in itself. It's made me take risks and put myself out there more. 

Writing this post has been a lovely walk down memory lane and has made me appreciate my blog even more. It's given me far more than I could ever have hoped for when I wrote that first post back in 2015.

Before I sign off, I'd just like to take a moment to thank everyone who reads my blog, comments on my posts, follows me on social media and supports me in any other way. You're all incredible.

Tell me a bit about your blogging journey in the comments. How long have you been blogging? What's the best thing that has happened to you as a direct result of having your blog?

Let's get social!