Carly Rowena is a UK based Personal Trainer and Fitness blogger at www.carlyrowena.com.
What first inspired you to start blogging? Describe your career/lifestyle beforehand?
My story is a little backwards: I worked in marketing for BMW and MINI for seven years and although it had the potential to be a fantastic career my heart just wasn’t in it. Unfortunately, I had never really known what I wanted to be, I had no distinguishing talents that could guide me into an industry and felt more than a little lost. I turned to YouTube as sort of talent finder and filmed videos from beauty to fashion, travel and fitness. After a couple of months I noticed I was receiving a lot of requests to train people, I was gaining followers and they were engaging most with my fitness content. It was then that I realised my passion was fitness, it had always been something I enjoyed doing but id never thought about turning it into a career! I decided to sign up for an online course which I completed while working full time and then gave myself a months worth of savings and handed in my letter of resignation. I was so nervous but my heart was so excited, within three weeks I was fully booked and from that moment on my online following has continued to grow and supported me both in and out of the gym.
What is the premis behind your blog and how does it differ from other popular blogs/vlogs?
I feel I’m a little older than a lot of the other fitness bloggers online, I just turned 30 and actually didn’t start blogging until I was 26. I don’t want to step on stage, I don’t want to live out of a Tupperware box, I simply want to be able to run with my dog, carry my shopping and feel as independent as possible, I want to live my best life while being as healthy as possible. My community of followers across social media is the same, they want to be able to go out and have a cocktail with friends, work hard in the gym but also have a lay-in on a Sunday and feel gorgeous when on the beach.
What is your current following?
I'm very lucky to have such an engaged community on social media. Over the last year, we've hit some big milestones together - with over 390,000 on my YouTube channel and 140,000 on Instagram. I love that we've created a community of support, encouragement and self-love.
How do you work running the blog alongside your other commitments?
I love what I do! It’s taught me how to work efficiently, I soon learnt that there’s no such thing as multitasking, I sit down and complete one thing at a time but I also have to remind myself daily that I am one person and one person can only do so much. I don’t want to let myself get to the point where I’m not practising what I preach, I have to maintain a work-life balance as I would hate to dislike what I’m doing.
What do you enjoy most about what you do? Are there any perks/downsides?
I love the interaction with people I’ve never met, the emails, direct messages, images, videos, it’s incredible! I'm just a girl from Norwich I never thought I’d have some many friends that I’m yet to meet. Also, opportunities like this, speaking to magazines, working with the most incredible brands, travelling the world, I mean seriously, I feel like I’m living a dream most of the time. The only downside I can see is that I miss switching off sometimes, but I have to learn that its ok to go offline, people won’t just stop following because I’ve got quiet.
What would be your one piece of advice to budding health and fitness bloggers?
I’d recommend anyone to give blogging a go, but I would recommend you approach it as a fun or a side hobby, not with the opinion that it has to become your career. Outside of this, be yourself, there's only one you.