A Reflection on 3 Years of Blogging + A Giveaway - Erin's Inside Job

A Reflection on 3 Years of Blogging + A Giveaway

I can’t believe I’ve been blogging for three years.

Erin’s Inside Job initially started out as a way for me to share my health journey and ramble about running because that was what was most important to me three years ago. It wasn’t until a couple months into blogging that I actually got real and shared my whole addiction story with you — partially because I was still working in an office setting and worried what it may do to my job if my employers found out. Then I said F it.

I rushed my early posts to get done in an hour, since that’s all I had during my lunch break. I ate while scrambling to think of a topic and get something written before I had to go back to work. My pictures were awful, I did no post planning whatsoever, and it really was just an online journal of whatever I felt was important that day.

It wasn’t until last year that something solidified in my blogging plan. I didn’t want to ONLY talk about physical health, since emotional, mental, and spiritual were also important in my recovery and what got me to the place I am today. Only talking about exercise felt incomplete to me and I realized that I wanted this blog to encompass ALL elements of healthy living. That’s why some days there’s fitness, some days there’s emotions, and other days I talk about going on antidepressants.

It’s all important in creating a life worth living.

So to celebrate three years in this wonderful space, I wanted to take some time to reflect on the most important things I’ve gotten from this blog and from all of you.

A Reflection on 3 Years of Blogging

Experiences

It’s true that as a blogger I’m able to partake in some awesome events and experiences. One thing to mention, however, is that it took continuous work to build up enough of a brand to be able to get anyone’s attention. If you’re new to blogging, realize that the invites and products and emails won’t immediately come as soon as you hit publish on your first post. It takes WERK.

I was able to attend my first paid blogging trip this year and I remember that being a goal of mine when I started. IΒ loved reading about other bloggers getting together to visit a company and share their experiences and it was surreal being able to say I’ve now done it as well.

Also, if you’ve never been to a blogging conference and you are a blogger, you need to change that immediately. I’ve been going to them since I started and they are the most wondrous thing ever. As I continue to blog, the information isn’t always new and awe-inspiring, but the PEOPLE you meet will change your life.

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Connection

I absolutely love reading your comments and hearing that pretty much everyone can relate to myself and to each other in some way. As an anxious and introverted person, I used to have a very hard time talking to people about how I was feeling or things I was experiencing. This blog taught me that we are far more alike than different and that even by reading about similar experiences — not even just writing about them myself — we (and I) begin to feel a little bit better about who we are and our place in the world.

I started this blog after feeling a tremendous connection to the blog Oh She Glows. I felt like I could relate to what was going on in her world and I found her discussion of beating an eating disorder insightful and inspiring. It caused me to take a step back and look at my own life, realizing that if I was able to derive hope from her story, others may be able to derive it from mine.

Therapy

Oh my oh my. This blog has gotten me through some of the hardest times in the past three years.

I work through a lot of problems and situations through writing. I’ve always been much better at a keyboard or on paper than I am spur of the moment, out loud. My brain likes to systematically process events and feelings by pouring itself out onto paper (or monitor) and this space has given me that.

When I was injured, I heard your comments about what it was like for you, which helped me put my situation in a new perspective. Most of my thinking out loud posts simply come from things I’ve learned in recovery that I had no conceptualization of until I was told over and over and wrote out my feelings to help solidify the lessons I’d learned. On the more serious side of things, it helped me process what was happening in my marriage and how I felt about being diagnosed with depression.

I’ve lived a life of secrecy and hiding and I’ve lived one of transparency and honesty and I don’t know that the latter would have been so easy if it weren’t for this platform and those of you who keep coming back.

Friendships

Closely linked to connection are the friendships I’ve made through blogging. Not just superficial, comment-for-comment friendships, but ones where we talk, text, and meet up for lunch. If I look at all the friends I have, I’d say about 75% of them came from blogging. I’m not so hot at creating new relationships right off the break, soΒ being able to glimpse into the lives of others and realize that we have a lot in common is almost like an icebreaker at starting a new friendship.

It’s kindaΒ like online dating. You’re able to check someone out, get a feel for their likes and dislikes, and figure out if you’ll be compatible. Feel free to creepily stalk them for months before actually reaching out and sending an email or approaching them at a conference. I’ve done it. No shame. In fact, it might make me like you more (unless you want to kill me, then maybe I’d be worried).

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Ultimately, there are so many things that I can thank this blog for. Blogging is not without its headaches, frustrations, and commitments, but everything I get back from it far outweighs any of the negatives. It’s the reason why I make time during my days of bebopping around the city to get. it. done. — because it’s truly something I don’t know that I can live without.

So thank you all for following me on this journey and not only reading about my crazy life, but also sharing yours.

 

To celebrate, I have a pretty EPIC giveaway to share with you. This picture doesn’t even have everything in it, but the list below tells you what brands are included in the awesome care package I’m making for one of you fine friends. If you’re lucky, I may even throw in some of my homemade almond butter (unless you’re allergic to nuts, in which case that would probably kill you. So tell me if you are).

Erin's Inside Job 3 year giveaway

  • A MONTH of Siggi’s yogurt
  • DAVIDs Tea
  • Navitas Naturals
  • Hemp Hearts
  • Simple Squares
  • Charmed Bar
  • NuttZo
  • Love Grown
  • Square Bar
  • California Figs
  • Vega
  • RX Bar

To enter, simply use the widget below. The giveaway will be open for one week, ending at midnight CST on Wednesday, Sept 14th. Entries are open to U.S. residents aged 18 or older. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also, if you can’t get enough blog reading, here are my previous blog anniversary posts:

Happy Birthday!
Happy 2nd Birthday Giveaway!

Thanks as always to Amanda for letting me think out loud!

Questions:

  • How long have you read this blog?
  • What are your favorite types of posts?

130 comments on “A Reflection on 3 Years of Blogging + A Giveaway

    1. I know that’s nuts! The whole scene has already changed a lot in these 3 years – I can’t imagine how it has in 15!

  1. Congrats…I love your blog! Can’t seem to get the widget to work though but as for I would be so excited to win especially those figs!

  2. Hi Erin, congrats! I’ve only been reading this year, I’m in Scotland so very far away but love the content you share, especially food, fitness and dogs!

  3. love your honesty in your blog πŸ™‚ great giveaway… lots of my favorite things but i am excited to try some new things like the charmed bar and the square bar !

  4. I love your blog. Thank you for the giveaway. Having never had a fig I think I am most excited for those. Although… getting to try that spendy Nutzo would me amazing too. πŸ˜€

  5. as many things as I have won, the siggi’s yogurt giveaways have always eluded me!

    I love your blog. Congrats on three years!

  6. Happy blogaversary πŸ™‚ I wish I had found your blog sooner, but I’ve only been reading you for a couple of months…. I agree with you on all the GREAT points of blogging. I don’t know what I would do without it. I’ve been blogging for *gasp* 12 years now.
    San recently posted…Labor Day Weekend RecapMy Profile

  7. Congrats on 3 years – love your blog! Would love to try the Nutzo – have heard great things but never have had the chance to sample!

  8. I have been DYING to try the Rx bars!! I hear they’re so yummy – definitely excited to try those first if I win but everything looks so amazing! Congrats on another blogging anniversary – I’m so glad I found your blog. I absolutely love it and it’s giving me so much fitness and life inspiration. πŸ™‚

    XO,
    Alissa
    NaturallyMeBlog.com

  9. Hi Erin! First time commenting, but long time reader…so I guess I fall into the category of “creepily stalking before reaching out” πŸ™‚ Your blog instantly hooked me, although I can’t recall how I found you. I’ve been blogging for years, along with reading blogs for years, and your blog was a breath of fresh air. I love your honesty, rawness, and your way with words. I think it’s a rare quality these days in the blog world to find genuine people sharing genuine posts, so THANK YOU for sharing the real you. Happy 3 year anniversary!

  10. I read your blog daily because of your honesty. Some people’s blogs are all about sunshine and rainbows, but that’s not my life so it makes it difficult to relate. Thanks for keeping it real!

  11. I started reading your blog because you always liked and retweeted my Twitter posts. Didn’t know that you were friends with my wife, Angela. So, I started reading your blog because you always supported what I was doing. I’ve come to love your blog. I’m inspired by it. It makes me want to be a better blogger myself.
    Willie Gillis recently posted…I’ve Never Been A QuitterMy Profile

  12. CAN I PRETEND TO BE A US RESIDENT AND PAY THE EXTRA SHIPPING COSTS IF I WIN??
    Just kidding… that would be crazy.
    Congrats on 3 years Erin!! Love reading your content every day and getting to know you more and more. Hope the next 3 years are filled with lots of dog petting, just-the-right-amount-of-salt almond butter, and sweaty workouts
    xx
    Beverley @ Born to Sweat recently posted…The Squat Drop Set For Powerful QuadsMy Profile

  13. Hi Erin,

    I just started following you but I like how down to earth you are and that your topics vary. my blog will launch soon and my intention is to be real and random yet inspiring (hopefully:) Anyway, thanks for sharing how you started blogging and how it evolved. And so many blessings to you on your recovery. You’re beautiful!

    xoxo & blessings,
    Mindy

  14. It’s so crazy amazing how we’ve found so many wonderful, deep friendships through giving. You and I are twinning on giveaways today, but yours is SUPER epic. πŸ™‚ I didn’t know that you were more introverted Erin, cause it definitely doesn’t seem like it; you just shine on the blog and on your Instagram and such. CONNECTING is the best part of blogging!
    Emily recently posted…Strawberry Cheesecake Almond Bars (Giveaway!)My Profile

  15. I actually just started reading your stuff probably within the past year. I think you moved to Chicago the same time my family and I left it for California – bad timing! I honestly look forward to your posts every morning! I’m really thankful that I stumbled upon your site whenever I did because you’ve been an “accidental resource” for me, in terms of your addiction story. I will probably forever try to make sense of what happened to my cousin, and though I likely never will, it’s helpful to me to read your posts because you’ve been through it and have come through the other side (and continue to, daily). Ah – so serious. Plus, hey, how can’t I not love a fellow ginger named Erin?! We gotta stick together!! Congrats on your anniversary with blogging…I think I rounded year 8 earlier this year.
    Erin recently posted…Two Cities Marathon training, Santa Rosa, and my effing stomachMy Profile

    1. Ah I love it! You’ve inspired my post for next week – bravo!! Let me know if you’re ever back in the area πŸ™‚

  16. Oh Erin I just adore you and this little area of the Internet. I first found you through a podcast you were a guest on (I can’t for the life of me remember which one..) where you shared your journey through addiction and recovery. Although my struggle with addiction is related to bulimia, it still resonated with me in a way that no other recovery story had. I believe every addiction is simply a side effect of the true issue and we can all relate to each other. I am so happy to have “discovered” you and I cannot tell you how much you have encouraged me on my journey to wholeness.. Not to mention that your a fellow Illinoisan! HOLLA. πŸ˜‰

    OH. The question of which product I’m most excited about…uhm ALL OF THEM. haha. But seriously if I had to choose just one it would be Davids tea because 1.) I’ve heard so so many good things and 2.) fall and tea are pretty synonymous:)

      1. Giiirrrllll YAS. I’m in champaign/urbana (home of u of i whoop!) but I’m up around your area quite a bit to visit the boyfrans family. Sooo you should prob hit me up πŸ˜‰ speaking of the boyfriend. He wants me to pick a “nice fancy” restaraunt in Chicago to take me to (awwww) halp?!

  17. I’m most excited for the month’s worth of free yogurt! I love Siggi’s yogurt!! =)

    Also, I’ve only been following you since the beginning of this year, but all your posts have been so inspiring. My favorite ones have been the food/recipe posts – but I enjoy them all! Thank you for putting in so much hard work into all of this.

  18. Happy 3 years!! I look forward to reading your posts all the time-so thank you for sharing yourself with all of us πŸ™‚

    I would be most excited for those nutzo single serving packs!! I have always wanted to try that brand and single serving backs would help my lack of self control when it comes to nut butters!!

  19. Happy blogiversary! πŸ™‚ I love love love your reflections. I was amazed at the work that goes into blogging (and more amazed that I wanted to add that work to my schedule), and I’m always struck by the real connection that happens over the internet. I’m also the type of person who likes to think through what I’m going to say and be able to prepare, so blogging is perfect for me.
    Your blog is fun and authentic, your food is always gorgeous and enviable, and I’m super glad to have “met” you πŸ˜€
    Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday recently posted…Five Friday Favorites 09/02/16My Profile

  20. Can I say I’d be excited to win ALL of the above (cue TPain song)? I LOOOOOVED reading about your three years of blogging in a nutshell. It’s sort of indescribable – to people who don’t “get” blogging – how MUCH we get out of it! Up until this YEAR Ray would chuckle at me when he’d see me writing posts. Like haha that’s cute. But it’s fo’ realz, yo!
    Okay sorry one more thing: I’ve been blogging for a little over three as well!!!! Twinning. All. Day.
    Jess @hellotofit recently posted…Tomato Basil Cauliflower FlatbreadMy Profile

  21. I’ve only tried the hemp hearts from all these products and would love to try the RX bar the most. They all look great to me though. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog since I have a background in nutrition and health/wellness. Nothing like reading about struggles to know I’m not alone, and real feelings from the heart too–thanks for your honest writing.

  22. Happy 3rd, Erin! I found your blog just a month or two or ago, but yours already has set itself from all the other fitness blogs I follow. I love how open you are and how you focus on more than just working out. Keep it up!

  23. Congratulations on 3 years of blogging! It takes a lot of dedication, courage, and commitment to blog for that long and you are doing an incredible job so thank you for continuing to share your story! I completely agree, blogging has led to some amazing experiences and friendships and I am also super grateful for that aspect of it. Hopefully we’ll get to meet up again this year at another conference or next time I make it out to Chicago πŸ™‚
    Kellen McAvoy recently posted…Fried Goat Cheese & Nectarine SaladMy Profile

  24. Congrats on 3 years of blogging! Thank you for your honesty and openness. I love reading your blog everyday. And I would love to win– dying to try square bars and the Charmed Bars! Thanks for sharing your life with us all!

  25. Congrats on this accomplishment!!! I’m a relatively new reader (also from Chicago! Lakeview!) and I’ve loved getting to know you through your thoughtful posts. πŸ™‚ I’ve never tried Vega, so I’d be super excited to see what all the hype is about!

  26. Congrats on your milestone! This is the first time I’ve visited your blog, but I’m bookmarking it so I can start reading it. So make sure you blog for at least another three years!

    I only recently started blogging (last month). Three years seems like a long time, but I figure I’ll just take it a day at a time, the same way I deal with my depression. I figure I’ve got to blog for at least five years, since that’s how long my quest is. And blogging is a lot more fun than depression!
    Adam recently posted…Kiva Card GiveawayMy Profile

    1. Aw thank you! That’s so sweet! Since you’re new, if you want to read any of my posts about depression, head to the “mental health” category in the sidebar and they should all come up!

  27. Love your instagram and now am adding your blog to my feed!! I love the RX Bars but am dying to try the Square and Charmed bars!

  28. Wow – congratulations on the three years! What an amount of time and growth and so fun to see it via your blog. Also, what a collection of goodies you’ve put together there – I’d love to give nutzo a try.

  29. 3 years! Wow! I remember when I first found your blog and found out you were from Chicago too! You’ve since been inspiration for my meals out πŸ˜‰ I’d be most excited about a MONTH OF SIGGIS! Woah

  30. I’ve been dying to try David’s Tea, it sounds so amazing! The Siggi’s would be clutch though, I LOVE that stuff! Congrats on your blogging milestone, keep it up because I love reading!

  31. Happy 3rd blogiversary and thanks so much for the giveaway! I adore Love Grown foods + Siggi’s but am also super curious about NuttZo and Simple Squares! :]

  32. Wow – congratulations on the three years! What an amount of time and growth and so fun to see it via your blog. Also, what a collection treats you’ve put together there – I’d love to try yogurt!

  33. I am most excited about the hemp hearts and the simple squares. I have been wanting to try hemp hearts, and I have heard great things about how yummy the simple squares are!

  34. Congrats on the 3 years! I stumbled across your account/blogs on Instagram and look forward to every post! I’m most excited about Siggi’s yogurt-I’ve been seeing everywhere but have yet to try it.

  35. Erin, I love this post! Just came across it and your blog and it makes total sense. I love how you’ve learned to take time with your blog, dedicate so much time and effort and really discover your personal brand. It’s so good to hear that as a new blogger and I can’t wait for the amazing times to come along with it. I’m so prepared to put in the work, create and organizational strategy and develop my personal brand eventually. Ready to put in that WERK as I’d love to create a life out of blogging through friendships, branding and blogging trips! Love your perspective on it and so happy for how its evolved for you! xx

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