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The 2014 Revamp and Revival

March 15th, 2014

Fitwithus.com was started in 2007 – over six years ago! – with the intention of creating an online community of people interested in fitness.

The first focus, however, was on creating original content.  In those days I was an “SEO expert” (not a label I liked much, mind you) and I knew – always believe – that content was king. I worked with a writer and fitness fanatic, Crystal Stewart, who also had a lot of ideas for features. We added things like the workout and exercise uploader that allowed people to upload and create workouts.

Our Initial Failure

The biggest challenge, though – as it is for so many people in web publishing – was coming up with a proper revenue model; the one that we intended to go with – advertising arbitrage - was doomed from the start. The real issue was that I was investing money and I needed to make a lot back and that was not happening. I had no way to do that as fast as I wanted to.

So the site was failing soon after launch. It continued to fail while other things I was working on were more successful, including a much-needed full-time job, other affiliate plays and successful consulting practice on the side. To be fair, I was busy.

All of life's failures amount in one way or another to variations on one theme – stop showing up. I lost interest in fitwithus.com. It grew in traffic for some time as you can see by the traffic report below. But like a poorly-considered New Years’ resolution, the site fell by the wayside.

analytics

...Time passed...

I worked for four years for a company about an hour’s commute from my home. SEO clients came and went… then more went. Pandas and Penguins and other updates came and whacked my sites. (I can see Pandas being alright at the old whack-a-mole but a Penguin? It was malicious.)

Spammers came. The out-of-the-box community software from Dolphin and Boonex had poor controls over user content. I wasn’t paying enough attention. My bad, for sure, but a site that had grown to a PR4 fell all the way down to PR1.

I took a job closer to home. I sold my other site begun around the same time as Fitwithus.com. My life got simpler. I started working out again….

... More time passed...

Then one day, Alex Fortey mentioned to me how he thought Fit With Us was a great idea. Fit With Us is a great idea, I remembered. As it had been many years before. I started thinking… and the revamp was underway.

Here we are, here’s the revamp:

Fit With Us is going to grow into the largest fitness community online. That’s the goal. It’s not the only goal, but...

Now I’m taking the lead role. Before, I left it up to someone else to be the editorial lead on the site. This time, I’m totally involved in the site. That doesn’t mean it’s going to be about me at all, though. It’s about community, a collection of people who want to work together to encourage each other, share triumphs and failures so we learn, grow and get fit together. And hopefully fit together, too!

staying inspired, working out

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