Greatist is a multi-authored blog focused on health and fitness advice for “young, savvy and social”.
Check out the interview below with Sophia Breene, one of the editorial team of writers at Greatist, and get to know her tips and advice on how to grow your own blog and create content that attracts an audience.
Tell us about Greatist…
Greatist launched in April 2011 and I joined the team in August 2012. Greatist’s founder and CEO, Derek Flanzraich, started Greatist because he was frustrated that he couldn’t find reliable, trustworthy information about fitness and health on the internet. After eight years as a varsity athlete in high school and college, I’d spent more than my fair share of time googling things like “best post-workout meal,” “how to get in shape for lacrosse,” and “best sprint workouts.” It seemed like a good fit for me in terms of experience and passion.
How much time do you spend working on the blog?
Writing for Greatist is my full-time, 9-to-5 job. That sounds pretty basic, but I do way more than just cranking out content. In addition to writing, I brainstorm with the rest of the editorial team during meetings, do tons of research (including interviews with health and fitness experts), edit photos, hunt down recipes for roundups, test out workouts from trainers, and help work on larger editorial projects (like the 50 Most Innovative Health & Fitness Startups article that published earlier this month).
What is the best lesson learned you’d like to share?
My blogging experience is a bit different from that of many writers. I joined Greatist when it was already a live and successful website, with many followers, a definitive mission statement, and a great team carrying it forward. That said, the best lesson I learned was that you get out what you put in. Greatist is absolutely a team effort and I’m extremely lucky be a part of this group of awesome, smart, creative people that are amazing at what they do and give 120 percent every day.
What is your best advice on how to grow a blog?
Stay in touch with your readers. Whether it’s through social media interactions, comments, or whatever, keep your finger on the pulse of what they want to see more of and what they love/hate/need/want. Regardless of whether you follow these opinions (see below) it’s always good to read opinions other than your own!
On the flip side, have your own message and don’t be swayed by what’s trendy or popular at the moment. These two pieces of advice seem to be in opposition, and that’s pretty much correct. Maintaining a successful blog is all about balancing between writing what you are passionate about and making content that’s interesting and accessible to all kinds of people.
What is your biggest success as a blogger?
I always love hearing back from readers who loved (or even who didn’t love) my articles via comments or twitter. Knowing that something I wrote can help somebody make a healthier choice is always a huge plus, too.