This weeks Girl Behind the Blog : Leighanne
Photo Credit: Tessa Barone
Meet Leighanne, the creative mind behind the Yes Girl blog. Her lifestyle blog covers everything from fitness, wellness and food. Leighanne is that friend behind the screen telling you “Yes!” to having a fun, fit yet balanced lifestyle.
LL: What inspired you to start your blog Yes Girl?
Since I can remember, I’ve always been a total foodie. To balance my love of food with a healthy lifestyle, I started working out pretty regularly in high school and developed even more of a passion for fitness in my early 20s, doing programs like Tone It Up. In addition, I’ve always loved writing as a way to express myself, so when my friends started asking me for advice on healthy meals or different workouts to try, I knew I had an idea here – and the blog was the perfect platform for it.
LL: How do you choose what to blog about?
It was actually pretty simple for me. I’m not a fashion blogger because I literally shop at TJ Maxx and Marshall’s (hey, they have great stuff!) and I like for my outfits to be easy. I’m not a food blogger because I pretty much never follow recipes when I cook, so I knew that wasn’t my niche. Yes Girl covers anything healthy-lifestyle related, which to me encompasses both the food & fitness realm, just as much as your overall state of health and wellness. So, I’ve written about how to incorporate more ‘me time’ into your week, how to be more productive on a Sunday – anything that contributes to that healthy, balanced lifestyle we all strive for.
LL: What’s been one of the biggest challenges in starting a blog?
Consistency. With a full-time job and a generally packed schedule, it is extremely hard to stay consistent with blogging. As long as I’m putting out quality content each time I post, I try not to beat myself up about it!
LL: What does a typical day look like for you?
Lately I’ve been waking up around 6am, making a cup of coffee and waking up for a bit, then heading to the gym or a workout class. After that, I’ll take a shower, make a healthy breakfast and sit down to start my day job in social media marketing. I work from home, which I love! I’ve been attending a lot of blogging events recently, so those are a lot of fun, but on my open evenings I try to schedule time with friends, my boyfriend or some time alone to blog, relax or watch my current favorite Netflix show (Gossip Girl, if you were wondering!) Most of my blogging happens on the weekends!
LL: How would you describe your personal style?
Simple & comfortable. I am a total bargain shopper, so anything that’s cute and affordable tends to make its way into my closet! I like to feel cute and comfy in whatever I’m wearing.
LL: Have you attended any conferences or workshops here in Atlanta to assist in your blogging career?
I am obsessed with the Girl Talk Series events! They host a variety of different themed events throughout the year. Attending these events has given me an awesome opportunity to network with other like-minded women.
LL: How do you find time to balance your personal and professional life?
I think work/life balance is actually something I am fairly good with. I’m a hard worker, but I’m not the type of person to get caught up in her work and then turn to blogging until 11pm, then go out with friends after. For me, that’s the quickest way to get burned out. I schedule my “outside work hours” based on how I’m feeling. Sometimes that means staying in and blogging on a Friday night; other times, it means scheduling a fun night out with girlfriends.
LL: What has been the hardest part about being a blogger?
I think it goes back to my biggest challenge with being consistent. This is something I’m still working on, and something I hope to master as my blog grows. Aside from that, it’s really easy to get caught up in comparing yourself to other bloggers and where you think you should be. Everyone has their own journey, and I think it’s really important to “stay in your own lane,” as my favorite blogger Lauren Evarts of The Skinny Confidential always says.
LL: How do you stay current with what’s new or in style at the moment?
I pretty much live in workout clothes 75% of the time, but when I do decide to dress up, I usually turn to Pinterest for inspiration!
LL: What is your favorite thing to do on your down time?
I absolutely love enjoying a great meal and cocktails with my boyfriend or a group of girlfriends at a cool new spot in Atlanta – I’m always trying somewhere new! Some of my faves are Two Urban Licks, Bar Taco and Seven Lamps.
LL: What are some of your favorite blogs to read?
The Skinny Confidential is hands-down my favorite. I also love anything personal-development related like The Everygirl or Career Contessa.
LL: How do you maintain consistency?
Still working on that. Getting a white board recently and writing out my monthly editorial calendar has really helped in my planning, though. I also use social media to my advantage, so if I know I won’t be able to post a full write-up on my blog that day, I’ll at least try to post to Instagram a few times a week to stay consistent with my overall brand.
LL: What is the best advice you have ever received and the best advice you have to give?
My mom always told me “You can’t control other people’s actions – you can only control your own.” I feel like we have all had times where we say “If only my boss didn’t do this” or “If only my friends did this for me”, and we think that if those circumstances happened, our problems would solve themselves. The reality is, you can only change yourself, your perspective and your actions. This totally applies to the blogging world, too – focus on your own blog and the value you’re bringing to your consumers, not what everyone else is doing, and you will be much more successful.
My top piece of advice is to take care of yourself. It may sound silly, but if you prioritize your needs and take the time to get that workout in, to cook yourself a great meal or even to veg out in sweatpants because you need time to relax, you are going to be so much more successful in life, because you’re going to feel energized and ready to take on the world. Do what you need to do to feel like the best version of yourself.