The winners of the BUPA Health Influencer blog awards are fantastic people, and I am proud to be in their company. I want to introduce you to them each week, and I encourage you to read their blogs. They've all made a positive difference in their communities and also in their own lives.
Today's post features Neil Fahey from Bushwalking Blog. Neil provides all sorts of tips about bushwalking. He won the Healthy Lifestyle category. I first met Neil at the BUPA blog awards but had chatted to him on Twitter before that. Aside from being happy he is a winner, I'm also happy he's making my friend Lori so very happy too :) Meet Neil!
"Bushwalking Blog started when I booked a hike on the Inca Trail in mid-2009, and realised I was completely unprepared. I started hiking regularly and found myself visiting some amazingly beautiful places, which I thought it would have been a shame not to keep a record of. It grew from there and now features everything from how-tos and trip reports, to news, outdoors photography, safety tips, and gear reviews.
My aim with Bushwalking Blog is to make hiking more accessible, and inspire others to get off the couch and enjoy the many benefits of a walk in nature. I do this by providing readers with helpful tips and advice but most importantly, I provide ideas for places to hike that can easily be found by location, length, or difficulty.
Writing is one of my favourite pastimes. I feel a certain satisfaction every time I hit the Publish button on a blog post. It's one of the things I need in my life in order to be happy.
Aside from that, blogging has enabled me to gain more exposure for my skills in writing, editing, social media, and web design and development, which has led to quite a bit of freelance work. I'm currently looking to get out of I.T. day-job and work full-time in the online communications field, and I believe blogging has ultimately provided me with the experience and skills to do so.
It's amazing just to be officially recognised for something that I've poured my heart and soul into for the last 5 years of my life. I'm hoping that it will help in building Bushwalking Blog's audience and, ultimately, lead to more people taking up hiking as a hobby.
I'm continually trying to grow Bushwalking Blog and expand its reach, so one thing I'm planning is to start increasing the frequency of my posts. I have a few other blog-related projects in the works, but I can't be specific about those just yet.
I've got a few tips for new bloggers. Firstly, make sure you're passionate about your chosen subject. Blogging is bloody hard work, so you'll tire of it in no time if you're not passionate. Secondly, if you're sure that you're up for the challenge, don't sit around thinking and planning - just go for it. Write interesting blog posts that people will connect with, let your personality shine through, and find an audience by connecting with potential readers via social media. You'll need to be patient and determined."
You can follow Neil: