Two years blogging! I can’t believe it’s been two years. It feels more like ten years. After two years blogging, I can honestly say growing a blog is not easy. I could write a novel on the adventures in blogging because it really is more than anyone can imagine. From technical horrors to learning new tools on the fly to becoming a food photographer to meeting celebrities to connecting with readers and influencers who have become some of my best friends, it’s been as equally rewarding as hard work.
Truth is things have grown rapidly this year, as in quadrupled. It was unexpected. That growth really forced me to step back and re-evalute what I was doing and change how I was doing things from last year. That growth also means some changes are coming. Read on to find out!
Growing A Blog In Two Years
What I did different this year
Writing for my Audience
One of the biggest changes I made this year was tuning into my audience and focusing my content on them and their needs. For awhile I found myself writing for other bloggers trying to impress them with my latest recipe. I realized this did not align with my personal mission so I refocused.
As a result, I have fewer comments, however, a little secret most people don’t know is that when pageviews get really high you get fewer comments. That’s just what happens. I’ve considered turning comments off because I compare myself to others, but haven’t as I enjoy reading them. Bottom line, they’re not the whole picture and give a false indication.
This year I landed several freelance jobs using Upwork. As I posted for other sites, it brought more traffic and new followers to my site. Branching out of your own space is definitely a great way to get your name out there!
As things grew this year, I quickly realized I needed help. Between nutrition school, running this blog, freelancing and doing everything else I do I just couldn’t keep up so I outsourced things that were taking me away from the things I needed to be doing.
I hired two virtual assistants and they have been my life lines keeping my Pinterest organized, getting recipe submissions done and doing other administrative tasks for me. It was the smartest thing I ever did, and truthfully, I wish I had done it last year.
I’m not sure if you noticed, but I stopped accepting as many sponsored posts this year. As a matter of fact, I probably turn down 80-90% sent to me. When someone reaches out offering $50 for a blog post, I can’t justify spending the time on it. By the time, I write, photograph, edit, schedule social media, etc. it ends up being 10 cents an hour for my time. Not worth it.
It’s unfortunate how much brands undervalue bloggers, but that’s because too many bloggers are doing things for free. If that’s you, you need to read Why Bloggers Should Stop Working For Free. I also don’t want this space to be about every product under the sun, only the ones I feel are pertinent and helpful to my readers.
Hiring A Coach
A few months ago, a professor told me “every good coach, has a coach,” and I didn’t understand what that meant until I hired a business coach. For awhile this year I was all over the place. Hiring a coach helped me strategize my laundry to-do list and has kept me accountable.
At first I was reluctant about this, but it’s been a huge win. I realized this is no different than hiring a health coach. Sometimes you need someone who’s been in your shoes to motivate you and give you perspective.
A few months ago, I finally got serious about email subscribers when I realized I was missing on a huge opportunity. I have almost 10,000 subscribers and haven’t been doing anything with them except sending a daily RSS email. I know. That was just dumb of me. I’m actually surprised that many people stuck around this long.
Now I send special weekly information to my email subscribers (sign up here!). This has allowed me to build personal relationships with readers, understand their needs better and create new content for them, which leads me to what’s next.
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what’s next, but in order for me to focus on health coaching and creating higher value for my readers I need to cut back on blogging, at least in the short-term. This was not an easy decision for me to make but a necessary one.
In the meantime, you may see guest bloggers posting here, evergreen posts or fewer posts in general. While part of me is sad to be blogging less, I am beyond excited to start sharing the things I’ve been working on behind the scenes. Stay tuned! Exciting things are coming!
Thanks for letting me Think Out Loud!
What hard decisions have you had to make that you knew were for the best?
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