What Should I Blog About as a Pilates Instructor? With Robin Long
The “What Should I Blog About?” Series gives you examples of what real business owners are blogging about to promote their work in their industry. These interviews will spark new ideas for your own blog and give you encouragement in overcoming your blogging struggles. Check out other posts in the series here.I can't tell you how excited I am about today's interview with Pilates instructor Robin Long! Robin provides workouts and resources for busy women who struggle to find time to exercise, desperately want to love their bodies again, and are tired of starting and stopping exercise plans that don’t work for the long-haul.
She runs The Balanced Life, a place to find quick, yet effective, online Pilates and barre workouts that can be done from home or on the road. She's also passionate about helping women transform their relationship with exercise and healthy living by choosing “grace over guilt” and finding a balance that feels like freedom.
I've been a huge fan of Robin's for years---she's the sole reason I lost all my baby weight after having Hadley! Not only is Robin incredibly encouraging and helpful when it comes to fitness, she's also an amazing business blogger. Robin is the ultimate proof that you can connect with your audience through blogging, no matter which industry you're in. Bonus: You can totally make it happen without doing the same things as everyone else in your field.
Let's hear some of Robin's wisdom on business blogging!
Tell us a bit about your business and yourself.
I’m started my career in Pilates as a traditional Pilates instructor, but have now taken my business online. I created The Balanced Life about five years ago. I run online Pilates programs and have a monthly membership site for women who are looking for an enjoyable, effective way to get fit from the comfort of their own home. But more than that, The Balanced Life is about taking a realistic, balanced approach to health and fitness. No guilt, no comparison, no gimmicks. It’s a very positive, encouraging, and warm place on the internet.
I live in Santa Barbara, CA, have a wonderful husband and two little ones (3 and 13 months).
When did you first start blogging for your business? What did you write about as a new blogger?
I started blogging when I was starting out as a Pilates instructor. I thought it was a good way to share more of teaching style and views on health and fitness. I was also hoping that blogging would help me build my clientele. I wrote about Pilates, nutrition, body image, and healthy habits.
What does your blog look like these days?
In the beginning, I was adamant about blogging three times per week. I was trying to build up a readership, so I knew that consistency and content were really important. I kept this up for about four years and only recently made a big change to my posting schedule. I now post one high-quality blog post per week.
Blogging was a key factor in being able to create a successful online business, but now that the business is booming, it doesn’t play quite the same role anymore.
In my earlier days I wrote about many of the same topics, but in a less polished and strategic way. The posts I write now are geared toward SEO and what will truly help and inspire my community and less about what I feel like writing about just for fun on a given day.
What are some of your most popular posts? Why do you think they resonate with your readers so much?
Interestingly enough, after five years of blogging, we finally had a post go viral---and I didn’t even write it! :) It was a really wonderful blog post by Allie Casazza about minimalism and motherhood.
Another popular post is my post about food intolerances and breastfeeding---this one is the #1 post on our site thanks to Pinterest. And a recent post, How To Meal Prep in 30 Minutes or Less, was a popular one as well.
I find that it’s the posts that really hit on a specific need/problem that tend to be the most popular. Whether it be dealing with the constant clutter associated with little ones in the house, food issues while breastfeeding (moms are out there reading anything they can do find answers) or practical tips to help them meal prep when life is busy.
Many business bloggers feel like they can only write about their products or services, but you do a great job of covering a range of topics that interest your readers. How have you been able to tie motherhood, healthy eating, and embracing a simple life into your business brand?
I’ve always seen the blog as an opportunity to connect on a personal level with my community. Blogging provides a way for me to share who I am and what sets me apart from the thousands of other fitness bloggers out there. I write about all topics that affect my life as I’m striving to live a healthy, balanced life. Sometimes post are directly related to Pilates and other times they are related to daily choices that affect my mood, my health, or my well-being.
I write to women whose lives are about MORE than Pilates so I figure they appreciate reading about other things that affect their well-being too. :)
How personal do you get on your business blog, and how did you decide to draw that line?
This is a great question! And one that I’ve thought a lot about and am actually fairly strategic about, even though it may not seem obvious to readers.
I share anything and everything about myself as it relates to health, fitness, and living a balanced lifestyle. I am an open book and have no problem being vulnerable and personal in this realm.
In other words, if it relates to the topics we cover at The Balanced Life, I will share openly.
I choose not to share about my marriage, my kids (other than health-related things that are actually more about me and my parenting style), and our personal family life. I am one of the rare bloggers that doesn’t post photos of my kids or husband on my blog or on social media.
As my blog grew in popularity, I knew I needed to protect some level of privacy to feel comfortable living life online, so I created boundaries. Doing makes it easy for me to know what to post and what to keep private.
Any tips or encouragement to share with other online entrepreneurs who want to blog for their business?
Blogging is truly one of the BEST ways to build up your business and visibility online. It builds credibility, connection and community. I often hear from people who want to start a business online and my first tip is always to start a blog. Don’t wait, start now. Your writing doesn’t have to be perfect. Your images don’t have to be magazine-worthy. (You should SEE my first blog! It’s good for a laugh!)
It takes time to build a successful blog but once you do, your business will benefit in incredible ways.
Robin is living proof that your blog can be a place for genuine connection AND business growth. See exactly how she's doing it by checking out her blog at The Balanced Life---and get some amazing Pilates resources and workouts while you're there! You can also follow along with Robin on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.