Today is a fun day!  It’s my one year “blogiversary!”

Or maybe I should call it my blog birthday?  Presents welcome.  😉

Can you guys believe that I’ve been blogging for a full year?  I guess time flies when you are having fun!  I started this little corner of the healthy living blog community exactly one year ago today (July 12, 2011) with this post called “Giving It A Go.”

I started Fitness & Feta for a few reasons:

  • First of all, I like to write.  I consider it a hobby.  I find it fun.  It relaxes me.  Just like a lot of people like to go home and relax by watching TV, I like to come home and blog.
  •  Second, I was becoming more and more obsessed with reading other healthy living blogs out there.  I kept thinking to myself that I wished I had my own!
  • I also started loving my part-time work (fitness instructing) more and more.  I knew that fitness was something I felt passionate about, along with other aspects of wellness.  I wanted to share this passion with people, help inspire, help motivate.  I’d often get a lot of questions from people about what kind of workouts do I do, what would I recommend for them, what do I eat for breakfast, how do I stay motivated, and so on.  Why not put all this stuff in one centralized place for people to come back and refer to?

And one day, it just clicked.  I needed to start this blog.  I had two “blogs” in the past — one was literally a diary chronicling everything in my life (remember that stupid live journal?) where I shared way too much personal information.  The other was a blogspot and focused on awkward moments because I thought I could make it funny, but it just fizzled.  Instead, as you guys know, I have a little corner on here where I share my awkward moments because, well, why not?  From everything I read about starting a blog, the key to success was to find a niche — something you feel passionate about, but something specific enough that it really catches people’s attention and can reach out to others that share the same passion.  I knew that healthy living was mine.  Tina’s “So You Want to Start a Blog?” post and Meghann’s Blogging 101 Series really helped me as I got started.

So!  I had the ideas.  I had the determination.  The hardest part for me was coming up with a name, probably because I’m the most indecisive person in the world.  I remember one day my coworker and I sat in a conference room after a meeting and literally wrote down every possible word we could think of that had to do with healthy living or, well, me.  (Don’t tell the boss).  We mixed and matched all those pieces of paper until I was staring at the words “Fitness” and “Feta” in front of me.

Fun fact:  I almost called this blog “For the Health of It.”

And so it began!  I played around with WordPress until I figured it out.  I by no means have an impressive design, but I told myself that I would blog for a year, make sure that I stuck with it, make sure I liked doing it, and make sure that others actually liked reading it before I put in a lot of time and effort into monetizing, design, photography, etc.  ….that will be this year’s goal, because I’m there!  Check, check, check to all the above.  🙂

Some fun facts about the past year of blogging:

  • Fitness and Feta has received over 82,000 all time views.
  • When I started blogging last July, I was getting around 800 views a month on average and now I’m getting over 15,000.
  • I have written 427 blog posts.  Do I really have that much to say!?!  YES!!
  • And 740 people like to read what I say.  🙂
  • I’ve grown both my Facebook page and my Twitter account since they started this year.
  • I used to care SO MUCH about these numbers.  And I still care, obviously.  But I used to do end of the month recap posts to gauge how I was doing with the blog, and after a few months of that I realized that’s the numbers are not why I blog.  I blog for you all, obviously, but more importantly, I blog for me. 
  • The majority of my readers live in the United States, but the next most popular countries people are reading Fitness & Feta from include Canada (thanks Jen!), the UK, and Australia.
  • Search engines are the number 1 way people find my blog, followed by Facebook, Pinterest, and Google Reader — in that order.
  • The most common search terms used to find my blog (besides Fitness & Feta, of course) are:  “Strong is the new skinny,” “fitness motivation,” “baked oatmeal casserole,” “shoulder muscles,” and “greek flag.”  haha!  The funniest search terms ever used to find my blog?  “Awkward massage moments,” “i hate burpees,” “what’s the big deal,” “food on fork,” “cranky when hungry,” “pantyhose kickboxing,” and the best one — “got poop.”  I love it!  Seriously, this is the best WordPress stats feature.
  • I have partnered with 14 different companies for lots of fun giveaways!

Whew!  A lot of fun facts, huh?

I also thought it would be fun to recap my most popular posts.  Not sure what it is about these ten that makes them my most popular, but here they are!

  1. Strong is the New Skinny
  2. I Love, Love, LOVE
  3. ACSM Certified Personal Trainer Q&A
  4. A Must Try!  Baked Oatmeal Casserole
  5. Words for the Weekend (And Happy Birthday Brother)
  6. Shoulder Strain
  7. Tone It Up – Upper Body Pyramid Circuit
  8. DanceFIT Studio:  Free Giveaway
  9. Pita Christmas Trees + Free Chobani Giveaway
  10. Spin Class:  Sprint Intervals

A huge THANK YOU to all of you who check in every day to read what I have to say.  Each of your comments, emails, tweets, likes, and conversations motivate me to not only continue blogging but to also constantly try to better myself!  Your readership means a lot to me!  Keep it coming.  Cheers to a fun first year and a great second to come!

What do you like the best about Fitness & Feta?  What’s YOUR favorite post?  What would you like to see more of in year two?  Less of?  Any ideas or feedback, please send them my way!

Hope you guys are enjoying the guest posts while I’m away!