Why I love or loathe your health and fitness blog

by Liz N on May 22, 2012

Sometimes other bloggers who I read frequently provide me with a shot of inspiration when I least expect it, so tonight’s post is inspired by Deb at DietSchmiet who writes a blog about health and fitness and finding her way.  She’ll be surprised when she reads this that I haven’t mentioned ‘weight loss’ because I couldn’t care a fig about what she’s losing – I’m drawn in by the journey of what she’s gaining in fitness (even though she’s not a cyclist) and self awareness about all sorts of things.

The gist of Deb’s post tonight is her preferences when it comes to health and fitness blog topics/selections and seeing it is PMS week and I’m an expert at telling the truth during this time, I’d throw my thoughts into the arena as well.

Here are my top picks

  • blogs in the health and fitness arena that are broad in scope, rather than focused upon one niche.  I love reading blogs with a bit of everything in them – whether it be about running, baking, house design, living with teenage girls – essentially personal accounts of how others maintain a fit lifestyle in spite of various obstacles and situations.
  • I gravitate towards blogs whose authors aren’t perfect and don’t lay any claim to be.  I identify with struggle and achieving mental clarity about things through the act of writing.   I’m particularly inspired when the author learns something from their struggles and goes on to apply the teaching with success in the future.
  • I’m drawn to blogs where the author engages with the reader – through dialogue in the comments area of the blog.
  • I love healthy food bloggers who post recipes that are simple to make and don’t have any weird hard to source ingredients (or if they do, accompanied by an explanation of why it’s in there, how it works and where to buy it)
  • Bloggers that use correct grammar and punctuation – I don’t care how good the content is, if your lack of knowledge of the English language is poor -  I lose interest and won’t continue to read it!
  • People who ‘keep it real’

What turns me off:

  • Like Deb mentioned, blogs that list down the minutiae of training – I don’t care whether you squatted 50kg or a small pony and even when I go to my strength coach, I take no notice of what I’m lifting  – I do know however, when I’ve nailed a chin up (lol) and you will hear me blog about that!
  • Bloggers who never acknowledge your comments – I am always trying to find good health and fitness blogs, particularly in Australia as I think it’s nice to develop a health and fitness community here that encompasses diverse interests.   I get really annoyed when I make the effort to comment on a new blog and it’s never acknowledged or returned!
  • “bigger bloggers” who never acknowledge you – it might be bad luck but a US blogger who is very popular has never once acknowledged me.   On the flip side, in Australia, I’ve got nothing but positive comments for some of the most popular bloggers in the country – who always have time to help a fellow blogger out.
  • Bloggers that whine constantly about their weight or fatness who a) are perfectly healthy and b) never actually do anything about it except moan and groan and blame it on an external situation.
  • Bloggers that are always “fabulous”, never have any problems,  and act as self proclaimed experts in their field of interest.  For example – because you run, it doesn’t make you a running coach, because you eat, it doesn’t make you an expert in nutrition,  neither talking about sex and love does a therapist make!  Much prefer personal experience without the illusions of grandeur.
  • Bloggers that try to sell you something with every post they put up.  No, I don’t want to be on your email list, let alone buy your book!

How about you – what do you love/hate about blogging/bloggers?

{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

Katie Squires May 22, 2012 at 11:52 am

Loved this post, I have to say I agree with you on most if not all…and I had better work on my grammer :) wink

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Liz N May 24, 2012 at 10:31 am

You’re a funny bugger :) (I hope that doesn’t offend you as a Canuck lol )

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Magda May 22, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Hi Liz, I love to read about other people’s lives – the ups, the downs, the trials, the tribulations. Struggles and triumphs engage me as does a bit of humour and wit. I’m not particularly interested in product reviews and prize give aways where entering the draw requires jumping through several hoops. ‘Leave a comment’ is fine but anything more involved and its in my too hard basket.

Cheers, Magda

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Liz N May 24, 2012 at 10:38 am

I agree and have seen it first hand on my blog – the competitions that I’ve made simple have the most entries – yes, I’d like more people to read and subscribe but don’t want them jumping through a zillion hoops to get there. x

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Frankie May 22, 2012 at 12:09 pm

Comments make the blog. Unless they are ‘superstars’ in whatever field they are in and I am there purely for information, I rarely continue to read blogs that aren’t interactive. If you can’t even bother to acknowledge my comment, I’m not going to give your blog MY hit. so there….

x

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Liz N May 24, 2012 at 10:31 am

Hi Frankie, I feel all too much the same way. Even with the superstars – because let’s face it my friend, we are the shit :) xx

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Mademoiselle Slimalicious May 22, 2012 at 12:19 pm

What a great post! thank you for openly sharing your opinion! I like people that are not afraid of expressing their views and that don’t feel the need to “sugar coat” everything! :)
Anyway, while I am still quite new to the “blogosphere” I can easily relate to a few points and agree with you on most.
Btw, if you get to read any of my posts, please excuse occasional grammar/spelling mistakes. As you may know I’m not a native English speaker, and as much as I try, sometimes my language is not 100% correct :)
I love this post, I’ll share on tweeter now!

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Liz N May 24, 2012 at 10:39 am

Hello there Ms Slim…
I think that for someone with English as a second language, you are amazing. Enjoy your holidays :)

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Sandra May 22, 2012 at 1:43 pm

…I thought I fitted up there in the Blogs you “like” category, but then I saw the word “fabulous” in the other section, and the bit about whinging about being fat and I’m not so sure…
Just kidding, great post Liz, I think the main point I agree with is the interaction in the comments section…I love the conversations that can develop as a result of a comment and reply.

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Liz N May 24, 2012 at 10:40 am

Of course – I love fabulous – and how do you get to know others if one does not interact lol :)

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Tara @ Sweat like a Pig May 22, 2012 at 5:54 pm

Love this. I’ve had some great interactions with my readers in the comment section, and I always try to check out other people’s blogs if they take the time to visit mine. My biggest pet peeve is grammar and spelling errors, so I always try to give my post a good proofread before hitting publish ;)

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Liz N May 24, 2012 at 10:41 am

I always enjoy finding new blogs to read too :)

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Kate May 22, 2012 at 7:44 pm

In Indonesia, we’d sit around outside and sip coffee and gossip away. Life’s trials, tribulations and joys were cried over, laughed over and discussed in all seriousness. Pubs have that role too, but us women have lost that htread of community, so we replicate it here. It’s not like we have lost that desire or drive to communicate and share our stories, it’s just that our more traditional methods of communication have disappeared.

We’ll always find a way to connect. Women excel at this. I’m sad that we don’t have that same coffee/tea/fanta club cutlure of roadside stalls found everywhere in Asia, but I’m glad we have these blogs; they gave me you, Liz.

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Liz N May 24, 2012 at 10:44 am

Hi Kate,
Thank you – and I’m missing yours :( – particularly enjoyed that last post) xx

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Kerryn Woods (@kerrynwoods) May 22, 2012 at 9:17 pm

I think you’ve covered all of my loves and hates….

I really hate blogs that are too one-dimensional, with nothing of the writer’s personality in them. Sometimes I think I get too far away from the fitness theme, but then I also don’t want to be the blogger who only writes posts on a very narrow topic either. I got involved in a conversation on another (non-fitness) blog last week about so-called experts and their advice on Blogging: How to do it Right, in which I commented that my niche was “fitness/health/chocolate/fashion/shit my family do plus other random insanity”. I still claim that’s a niche and nobody better argue with me. ;)

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Liz N May 24, 2012 at 10:30 am

It’s funny but I’ve been really digging all your off topic posts lately so go figure :)

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Vicki May 22, 2012 at 9:31 pm

I certainly don’t think you are in the mediocre Liz .. I love reading your blog! I am always a bit concerned when I write a post that it is too much boring bits and not enough me .. but then, it’s not all about me is it? That being said I must say that my preference is to get to know the writer and read about their experience in whatever “field” they are writing about. I like to be able to relate to the writer in some way. As you said, we can all lift weights .. I don’t want to know your sets and reps, I want to know if you are stoked you can conquer a chin up .. it may give me a little hope …

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Liz N May 24, 2012 at 10:26 am

Hi Vicki, I love your new blog revamp – it enhances that feeling of knowing one another and connection – though any way you can organize a subscriber link – I’m trying to work out Google reader, but subscribe to most of my blogs via email :) xx

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Vicki May 24, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Funny you say that Liz, I’m trying to work out how the whole subscriber thing works! Am going to have a crack this weekend!

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Liz N May 25, 2012 at 4:55 am

Cool, let me know so I can sign up!

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Jenifer May 22, 2012 at 11:30 pm

My loves and loathes depend on my mood! Sometimes I want to read an opinion blog that is well put together and all shiney and pretty, sometimes I like to read a messy, no frills, personal blog that feels more like emotional voyeurism then just reading a blog post!

I’m still new to the game so haven’t quite developed a ‘taste’ for which blogs I want to follow though!

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Liz N May 24, 2012 at 10:23 am

Hi Jenifer – I read different blogs for different purposes too – I guess if you relate to the writer, then you keep coming back :)

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Deb (Schmiet) May 22, 2012 at 11:35 pm

I didn’t mention the commenting but I agree. (Actually I did have something in my initial draft that said I’ve stopped commenting on some blogs if the blogger never commented on mine, but deleted it!)

I also like it if someone acknowledges your comments, though guess it gets hard when you get a zillion – though I don’t think I’m going to have that problem!

I’ve just felt a bit ‘down’ about my blog lately. I compare it to others and sometimes can’t understand what I’m doing ‘wrong’ that it doesn’t garner more readers / attention!!! (Although I must remind myself that’s not why I started blogging!)

Deb

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Kek May 23, 2012 at 2:16 am

Must be something in the air, Deb. I’m feeling the same way lately. Perhaps it’s time for a drama-queen type tantrum post threatening to shut our blogs down….

Just kidding. ;)

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Liz N May 24, 2012 at 10:18 am

Don’t either of you be going anywhere!

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Liz N May 24, 2012 at 10:22 am

I love your blog Deb and you’re a crack writer which keeps me coming back for more :)

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Michelle May 23, 2012 at 12:15 am

My favourite blogs are the one’s that keep it real. I would rather read about the highs and lows rather than someone who is perpetually up or down.

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Liz N May 24, 2012 at 10:22 am

Me too :)

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Char May 23, 2012 at 12:38 am

I totally agree with all your likes and dislikes. I especially like the ‘keep it real’ part. I’ve yet to meet anyone perfect and if I did, I don’t think we’d be friends anyway. Imperfection is part of being a human.

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Liz N May 24, 2012 at 10:21 am

Agreed – and must love dogs lol

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Kari @ bite-sized thoughts May 23, 2012 at 5:29 am

I started reading this post with a certain amount of apprehension – how many of the ‘dislikes’ do I do?! – but as it happens I agree wholeheartedly with your list. I suspect I deviate into my own dislikes at times, but keeping it real and being varied are things I really value in blogs.

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Liz N May 24, 2012 at 10:18 am

Hi Kari, I like your diversity and thanks to you, I now have a wicked Lindt Coconut chocolate obsession :)

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Kari @ bite-sized thoughts May 25, 2012 at 12:19 am

Always happy to help where chocolate is involved :)

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Liz N May 25, 2012 at 4:45 am
Marion May 24, 2012 at 3:29 am

Hi Liz! Well, I’m definitely not perfect in any way, so I guess my blog meets that criteria. Though, I often think that those bloggers who act more perfect (which is just a matter of keeping insecurities and flaws to one’s self) get more readers. I believe I’d have more readers if I focused more on success than with struggle. Yet, I really believe it’s the journey of struggling that makes all of the fitness miracles happen. So I talk about the struggles and seem to have less readers for it. People seem to be *much* less impressed with my fitness successes when I talk about my struggles. At least, I’m true to my heart about what I say.

:-) Marion

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Liz N May 24, 2012 at 10:14 am

Hi Marion, I don’t know. I like your blog because you’re a real person and you keep it real ;0

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Emma May 25, 2012 at 2:26 am

Hey Liz,
You’re my blogging first and I have always loved the way you write. I always feel like we are having an actual conversation!
Since following your blog, I have discovered a few others via your site and find the whole idea of blogging very interesting. Love the honesty, the range of topics, and the humour.
Keep it coming xx

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Liz N May 25, 2012 at 4:45 am

Hi Emma,
You might have to jump in and give one a go! It’s a great way of documenting your experiences :) albeit publicly!

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Lisa Weis June 6, 2012 at 5:53 am

Oh look, in all honestly who can go past the body and soul blog. Filled with insightful programmes for women. My favourite to engage the hamstrings is the heel-raise whilst NOT holding onto anything. Be careful ladies not to hurt yourself on that one. And who can forget the ubiquitous sitting on the bosu ball with one leg raised, and bicep curling the 2k to really work the core as well as the bicep. Bitch, please.

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Liz N June 8, 2012 at 8:07 pm

Insightful programs for women modelled by men..hmmmm~

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Sophie Wasley June 29, 2012 at 7:29 pm

Hi Liz

I could not agree more. Blogging for fitness is about being informative, insightful and interactive. Really nice to hear an Australian “keeping it real”. There are so many blogs out there showing their fitness ability rather than coaching people through their hard and good times. SB X

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Liz N June 30, 2012 at 11:04 am

Hi Sophie, thanks so much for your comment. I’m glad you love to keep it real as well. Cheers, Liz :)

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Kate February 10, 2013 at 7:49 pm

I have about ten minutes spare this morning, and google Australian fitness bloggers. Here I am. And glad for it! I’m sure I’m guilty of a stack of these, but I agree with almost all of them. There are one or two big bloggers in the US that I’ve followed for awhile. Like you – no comment reply. Ever.

And if someone writes that they’re going to ‘loose weight’ or ‘is afraid to write this blog’ that little x gets hit faster than my alarm clock in the morning.

Rant over – thanks for such a great post!

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Liz N February 11, 2013 at 9:24 am

Hi Kate,
Thanks for your input and comments! I think blogging is about creating communities of like minded people, so bearing that in mind, I’m going to hop over and say hello on your blog now.

Cheers,
Liz

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The merrymaker sisters July 15, 2013 at 5:29 am

Just found your blog and love this post! We have had the same issues with the ‘big blogs’ out there! We LOVE comments on our blog so hopefully this one makes your day :) e & c

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Liz N July 15, 2013 at 10:04 am

Great and nice to meet you girls – what I love is another Australian Health and fitness blog to read – off to subscribe now :) Cheers, Liz

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