Ashley Evans from Guard Your Heart is an RD blogger based in Florida. Ashley started out with a degree in broadcasting and became interested in nutrition. After much soul searching she realized she loved nutrition and wanted to become an RD. You can follow her at http://ashleyharperevans.com/, on instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, or Facebook
Why did you decide to become a blogger?
I decided to start my own blog in January 2010, long before my journey of becoming a dietitian began. In fact, it was actually through my blog that I found my true passion for nutrition. I originally started my blog when my husband and I were living eight hours away from family and friends as a way to keep in touch and continue to share my life with them. Over time I found that I was writing more and more about nutrition, food and recipes than anything else. I wanted to separate myself from the crowd and not be just another nutrition writer on the internet, therefore, I decided to return to school in order to become a registered dietitian.
How has this helped your career?
As the wife of a man that spends nearly everyday traveling for his job, working a traditional job would force me to see him very seldom. After graduating from the Mayo Clinic this past March, while studying for the RD Exam, I spent nearly everyday brainstorming, researching, praying, listening, and networking trying to figure out what my career would look like. Did I want to take a traditional job, see my husband bimonthly and live my life all for my job? Or did I want to carve my own path, spending time with him, traveling, writing, growing and reaching a different kind of audience?
I still had my blog and would write daily, but I didn't really think about using it as the base of my career. "That's not a job," I would tell myself over and over. But after much thought, I finally decided that my career path doesn't have to be traditional despite what society tells me (I even wrote a post about who defines traditional here), and who says that work and pleasure can't mix? I love to write (my first degree was in Communication Arts (Broadcasting/Journalism)), I continue to learn and grow from my writing, research and readers and over time, I can turn it into a "job." So I decided to do that. Blogging has now become my career. Blogging has allowed me to do the things I love, being right where I need to be. I actually recently started my own business, The Gypsy Dietitian, LLC and am in the process of converting my blog into a professional website with online services, meal plans, e-books, etc. So you can see that blogging has not only helped my career, it has become the base of my career.
What advice do you give to someone starting out in blogging?
I actually give myself this piece of advice everyday: just keep going. Success doesn't happen over night but with hard work and consistency, it will come. Keep looking forward and never look back. Continue to learn, grow and just keep showing up. Your readers will know you are there and they will come back to you.
What is your favorite post or topic?
The great thing about blogging is that it is your platform, you decide what goes. While I keep the main topic of my blog nutrition based, somedays other topics are on my heart and I can share them with my readers too. I wrote a post a few weeks ago the importance of surrounding ourselves with positive people and received a lot of great feedback from my readers. Rereading it, it has become my favorite post and a topic that I am able to remind myself of everyday. I think it is very important to be real with your readers and to let them see a glimpse into your life, letting them know there is more to your life than just (for me) nutrition.