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Blogging Biz Update

Hi guys! Maybe it’s just because it’s almost the new year, or maybe because Riese is one year old now and I feel mentally like I’m coming out of the first year haze, but I’m ready to mix things up here on the blog and to focus on growing vs. just maintaining my businesses (both the blog + the AnneTheRD private practice).

Photo credit: Rachel EH Photography

I’ve been thinking about doing a big blog redesign for years and years now – and I’ve decided the new year is going to finally be time for me to act on it! I haven’t updated my blog look much since starting it in 2009 (!) and I’d love to make it more user-friendly and visually appealing for you guys. I’d also like to organize and showcase all my recipes a bit better so it’s easier to find seasonal recipes and posts when you first come to the blog. So – I’d love to have your input on this process! If you see any website designs you especially love and find super user-friendly, please share! Or if you just have thoughts on what you like to see visually on blogs/websites, I’d love to hear that too. I’m thinking of having more of a website landing page with my seasonal recipes and relevant posts featured, and then from there you can choose to go to the recent/new blog posts (vs. just having my new posts come up right when you go to the blog), but I’m open to hearing thoughts on that. Also, if you know (or are!) a great blog designer, I’d love those recommendations too.

The other thing I’m considering is switching from 4 to 3 days a week of blogging to streamline and focus the content a bit more. I am thinking it may make more sense to blog on Mon/Weds/Fri vs. the current Mon/Tues/Thurs/Fri so that I have more time to make my posts great vs. just scrambling to throw something together some days.

I will likely keep Monday as a weekend recap post (if you guys enjoy those posts – do you?!), have Wednesday as a recipe or topic-based/themed post, and then Friday would be some Fri Faves/an eats + exercise week in review/randomness. What do you think? What would you like to see more or less of here on the blog? (e.g. weekend recaps, recipes, random throw together meal ideas, running/fitness weeks in review, friday faves, etc etc)

This has been a weird year for my businesses. Incredibly, revenue-wise, this will be my biggest year yet. But mentally and behind the scenes work has felt very chaotic and disorganized, and I haven’t been proactive at all about bringing in new work. Obviously that’s to be expected while trying to juggle being a new mom and running two businesses (and going from 5 days a week of working to 3), but in the new year I really want to focus on being more efficient and organized again with the blog and to be more proactive in terms of growth vs. just waiting for things to come to me. I don’t regret letting the business take a back seat over the past year, and I’m grateful that financially it still grew even with me sometimes phoning it in, but I know that won’t necessarily last, and I don’t want to let all the hard work I’ve put in over the years slip away.

Another thing I’d like to do better at in the new year is really owning my success. Yesterday while Riese was napping, I was cleaning up the kitchen and listened to Ali on the Run’s recent podcast on building confidence. I’m generally a pretty confident person, but I have found myself downplaying what I do/my work a lot, especially now that I’m working part time vs. full time. (I wrote a post kind of related to this years ago: On Feeling Like An Imposter and Doing Things That Scare Us.)

When someone asks me what I do, I have noticed that I tell them I’m a Registered Dietitian with a private practice – oh yeah and that I also do some blogging. I know that the reason behind this is because I think people see a private practice as a “real” job, while blogging is viewed as more of a hobby. But here’s the thing: this is not just a hobby or something to downplay. Yes, the blog is often “fun” work. But it’s a ton of work, takes up the majority of my working hours, makes the majority of my income, and it is a “real” job. Over the past 9 years I have single-handedly built my blog into well over a six-figure business, and when I say it like that, I realize that’s pretty amazing. Time to allow myself to own it.

I sat down to write today’s post intending to write about eats and exercise as usual, and then this all came out instead. So – check back tomorrow for some Friday faves and eats/fitness from the week. See you back here then!

Comments

  1. 1

    That episode of Ali was so so good! I think three days is perfect because you put in so much time on your content! You keep following what feels best with all that you are doing. And I am SO happy that you are taking pride in the amazing things you have done. Congrats on an amazing 2018 in so many ways! xoxox

  2. 3

    Own it!! Women owned businesses are what I focus on in my career as a small business lender and I know first hand you are not the only Boss Lady downplaying her success and talents. You’re killing it!

  3. 5

    I think your new format sounds great. I personally really like the weekend recap posts because I think we get to see how you put into practice a lot of what you talk about on the blog and it helps people connect/relate more. Also I wanted to share that your lemon zucchini muffins have been requested for our family Christmas eve gathering this year. I have made them for Easter celebrations and everyone loves them. It is an odd request since we are doing an Italian Christmas…but I am happy to make them. Plan on making lots of muffins so people can take them home and have them on Christmas morning!!

  4. 7

    I really like your real live posts/recaps with your 4 post a week schedule and think 3 would be good too. honestly i stop reading most blogs when they get too sponsored post and all about the ratings. I think a few sponsored post is fine but readers can tell when it gets too much. you have to have real life mixed in too. I just went back to a favorite running/disney/family blogger and the past 15 posts in a row were sponsored post and it just turned me off and i stopped reading because it didnt feel real. Your blog has always felt real and i always appreciate that. i guess i just wanted to say that i like what you are doing now and i hope you dont change too much :)

    • 8

      I totally get that! I’m not planning to suddenly do a million sponsored posts in a row, don’t worry. I’ve always made it a priority to be very choosy and to not do more than 1 fully dedicated sponsored post per week (with a few exceptions, of course) – and often it’s less than that depending on what opportunities I’ve accepted, etc. With the new format I’d probably share any sponsored posts on Wednesdays, since most of my sponsored posts are recipes anyway. So they wouldn’t displace the weekend recaps or the Friday eats/exercise/randomness posts. :) Thanks for your feedback, and for reading my blog!

  5. 9

    I love easy recipe posts thrown into the regular stuff. Best of luck with the redesign!

  6. 11

    I love the idea of Monday, Wednesday, Friday, the themes you mentioned and not having everything sponsored but rather placed well. That will give you a structure and format, your readers will know what is coming, and at the same point hopefully give you a moment to take a breath.

    Personally I also love when you have a post like today. You sat down to write something and then bam something else flew. Stay open to that as well because that will probably be some of your best writing. And obviously it’s always great that you respond back – especially when there are questions. It’s what keeps people coming back but I imagine takes up a huge chunk of time so going to 3 a week should also help lighten that load a bit…hopefully.

    • 12

      Thank you, Beth! I appreciate you reading, and sharing your thoughts! I agree I like having the flexibility to write random stuff like today’s post sometime, too, so I think I’ll aim for that loose structure I mentioned but keep it open to going rogue when I feel like it. ;)

  7. 13

    I love your blog, it is one of my favorites! I love that you keep things real and thus, relatable re life, exercise, and food. I have made many of your recipes and really enjoy reading your thoughts/ideas/happenings, whenever you get the chance to post. Thanks for keeping things real around here.

  8. 15

    I love your blog, your honesty and openness, and all of your content. I always look forward to it! I personally would love to hear more about your business and what you have done to build it and maintain it. I have referenced your past posts but would love some updates about where you are now! Thanks for keeping me inspired!

    • 16

      Thanks Kelley! That’s a good thought to do some more posts about building my business… that might make for some nice Wednesday content, especially since I’ll have more time to put together well thought out posts if I’m only do 3 times a week. :) Thanks!

  9. 17

    Heck yes! I can relate to a lot of that last part about owning it. It’s pretty impressive what we’ve been able to do with blogging yet I constantly dismiss it or breeze over it when talking to people. Gotta stop doing that ;) excited to see the new site come to life!

    • 18

      Exactly! Why do we do that to ourselves?! We have built successful websites and we need to own it! Keep crushing it over there, my friend :)

  10. 19

    I still prefer the old school personal blog post, I’ve especially been enjoying the motherhood centric posts now . Tbh I usually skip over the evergreen posts

    • 20

      Thanks for the feedback and for reading! Evergreen posts I know aren’t as popular with everyday readers, but they do well on Pinterest and on Google so are helpful in terms of growing long term/consistent ongoing traffic from that sense (which is important for my business). Just to share a little more the reasoning behind those more fancy posts even though I know you guys mostly prefer the more casual ones. :) I’ll probably just do one evergreen post a week though (the Wednesday post), don’t worry!

  11. 21

    That IS amazing!! And definitely OWN it! Your blog and business have been such an inspiration to me and my own interests. I’m excited to see where you’re headed. I’m here for the long haul, no matter what you do I know it will be great. And congrats on your success!!

  12. 23

    I really enjoy your blog….I always look forward to your weekend recap posts, as well as your eats and exercise posts…since I am local, I love seeing where you hike, run, and eat – it has helped me try a few new things, I also have reached out and asked a couple of questions (about Brooks running shoes, for example). I am not a mom, but I enjoy your family posts (and recipe ideas), too.
    Thank you for being such a great local blogger. Whatever changes you make, I will still be a reader!
    Happy Holidays.

  13. 25

    Hello,

    I’m definitely for Riese ,but, also the workouts for women and new healthy meals to mentaine a good shape !

    Thank you also for sharing with us your travels experience!,, I would like to read about on your blog!

    I understand you should be extremely busy , even as a mom!

    Thanks again!

  14. 27

    You are doing great. And I love your weekend recaps. It gives me ideas too!

  15. 29

    This was a great post and I’m definitely going to check out Ali’s podcast.

    Would you ever be interested in sharing how you made your blog into a 6 figure business?

  16. 32

    Hi Anne, I am a long time reader but rarely comment. Checking your blog has been part of my morning routine for a long time! Thanks for inviting the readers into the discussion. I really enjoy your recipes. I’ve especially enjoyed some of the mix-and-match recipes you’ve done this year—sheet pan, stuffed peppers. Great way to get ideas without feeling tied to a specific recipe or ingredients. I would love to see more like that! I would also be interested in seeing more dietician insight, like the posts you did about Whole30 and explanations of intuitive eating. With so much information out there, I really appreciate reading/learning a dietician’s view. I think MWF works great!

  17. 34

    I love it! Own your success, it comes from hard work and skill, completely from scratch! It’s been amazing to read every single post on this blog for the past near-decade. Well done :D I think young people at least recognize that things like blogging and podcasting are real industries now and not just someone typing on a computer in their basement for 4 friends to read. It takes a lot of work to make it a success. [insert strongarm emoji] ;)
    And also, the M/W/F schedule and themes sound good btw :)

  18. 36

    Congrats on all your success! That is truly amazing. I really value content that is inspired and thoughtful and not something that the writer feels forced or under the gun to write, plus, these days I don’t think people really have the time to read posts every day, so three times a week is perfect for you and everyone else :) You are a rock star. Glad to be surrounded by so many awesome and empowering boss babes. Cheers to big and bright 2019 in every way.

    P.S. Wait, people make money off their blogs??? I’m clearly doing this wrong. *wink*

  19. 41

    I’m with you on all the same goals and concerns. I’m always trying to figure out the best blogging schedule, and the only answer I ever come up with is that no schedule is the best schedule. But I like your personal on Monday and Friday and evergreen on Wednesday idea. That’s basically what I’ve been doing this fall and it’s been working well.

    • 42

      Haha I know I agree, sometimes no schedule is the best schedule! I think for me the key is a schedule of which days to post with a loose theme/idea for those days, but lots of flexibility with the content just in case I want to mix it up :)

  20. 43

    Loved this post, Anne! Thanks for being so open with us. Your blog was one of the first blogs I came across years ago before going back to school to become a dietitian.

  21. 45

    I like your plan to switch to 3 days a week blogging and your content schedule sounds great! You da bomb!

  22. 47
    Laura Swanson says

    Wow, a six figure income from your blog-that is AMAZING! Thanks for being so open with your readers about your thoughts about your business and being proud of it. I like going to a blog and seeing the new post pop up immediately. I don’t like when blogs have a bunch of other stuff (like evergreen content) to filter through. I love hearing about motherhood, what you’re up to and the details about running a business-I find it so interesting!

    • 48

      Thanks so much Laura! I’ll definitely make it easy to still find my new content, even if it’s not the very first thing that pops up! Thanks for the feedback!

  23. 49

    Excited to see what you come up with! Here is a blog whose layout (which was recently re-vamped) I find really user friendly and visually appealing: https://camillestyles.com/. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  24. 51

    You’ve worked hard for your success and you should own it! I remember reading “Lean In” and the author mentioned that women usually downplay compliments or successes, but men don’t. So when people tell me they like my outfit, I will not say it’s a “team effort”. Lol. Run date in the new year please! Or maybe your yearly evening Xmas tree run? :)

    • 52

      Yes please! I really miss our run dates, it has been too long!! We will be back before the new year so we should do a fun run before the lights are down! :)

  25. 53

    Love this, love you! You are an inspiration in so many avenues and while not one of your “main goals” a wonderful side effect! Keep rocking it. Miss you.

  26. 55

    Hi Anne! I think 3 days a week for content would be great, especially if it helps you stay organized, etc. I like your weekend recaps; I especially like your hiking/running photos. I do like when you post recipes, although I have only ever made a few of them. But the ones I’ve made were sooo good and easy.

    I also have what I think people characterize as a fun/easy job, so I know how you feel. And uh, it’s work (I teach at a college, so people always ask if I’m off in the summer, to which I eye roll). Besides, why shouldn’t work be fun? It’s what we spend a lot of our time doing. I was just talking to my dad yesterday about getting a new job, but saying I didn’t know what else I would do that I liked more than what I do now, and he just said that if I was content then I shouldn’t leave (he had quite a successful career, so I listen to him). Dad’s are the best.

    Anyway, I love your blog! I hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas :)

  27. 57

    Hi Anne,

    I have been reading your blog on/off for several years. While I generally like it and enjoy your content, I have to say I was really turned off by the mention of your “six figure income.” I wasn’t sure if you were feeling a need to prove worth or desiring adoration? I think simply stating ” my blog has been very successful after years of work” would suffice. The self-worth should come from within, not from internet strangers.

    I work in finance and have also achieved a certain level of success after several years of hard work and education. I have never considered posting online about my income. I own my success and enjoy the satisfaction it brings me without needing adoration from others.

  28. 59

    Anne – Your posts are so real and refreshing…more of the same please! I’d also love if you share more insight on how you built/grew your business and any transparency you’re willing to offer other women business owners on info about branded/sponsored content, ads, things that have been profitable (or less so but still good for business) and establishing your online presence. My book was published before I was even on Instagram (just 3 years ago!) so it’s been a struggle for me to build that online platrform/presence in reverse and I’d love to learn from others with success. Bravo on all you’ve accomplished and enjoy the holidays!

    Lauren

  29. 61

    Anne, I look forward to your “This week” updates each week and hope you continue with those. I also think you balance the different types of content you provide quite well — recipes, about food, RD related, running, travel, and being a mom and wife. That balance is hard to do, and I think it’s one of the secret ingredients in what makes you and your blog so enjoyable. I would love to see more recipes and weekly food planning ideas for those who like to plan out meals for a week and who don’t use meal services. Thank you for all that you do — and keep it coming in 2019!

    • 62

      Thanks Sarah! I appreciate you reading – so glad you’re enjoying what I’m sharing, and that you feel like the balance is a good mix! I like the idea of more food planning ideas, too – been meaning to do more of that even if only so I also get better about meal planning, hehe. Stay tuned!

  30. 63

    You should be very proud of what you have created, Anne. Congratulations! To build one’s own business to well over six figures is hugely impressive. And though you think it is “part time,” I bet you put in way over 40 hours a week, if you add it all up. And to keep it all going while raising a little one is also very impressive. A M, W, F cycle makes sense, though you might do additional ones as inspiration strikes. Don’t be afraid to own it! Keep up the great work!

  31. 65

    Hi Anne. Congrats on juggling motherhood and creating a resilient business!

    As a woman, mother and leadership coach who LUVs empowering women, I was happy to see your comments about owning your accomplishments. Each time one woman does this, it models the process for other women. Go us!!!

    Regarding your redesign, I’d love to see a more robust platform/search feature for your recipes. I use a Mac and have never been able to successfully search for recipes. Love the recipes, not the process I have to go through to find them. : )

    • 66

      Thank you so much, Amelia! :) Great thoughts re: the search function as well. That’s definitely something I have plans to figure out in 2019 — it will require going back through each of my recipes and updating the posts one by one (so I can add in categories, etc.), but I have a feeling it will be worth it to have everything way more organized moving forward. Need to stop putting off doing that and just do like 5 recipes per day until I’m done! Thanks for the nudge :)

  32. 67

    I’ve been reading your blog for years and love that it reflects a real life and not a “perfect” one. I’ve made many of your recipes, which consistently turn out well. Congratulations on building a successful business! And then maintaining it while raising a child.

    My favorite posts you do are your Friday favorites/random-ness. I appreciate when you link to products you have found, you use, and you like. I’ve purchased several by using your links.

    If you’re going to do a post about your blog revenue, would you please answer one question I have but have not figured out. If you link to a product, I click on the link, and then I purchase a different product from the same retailer, do you get compensated? I want to support your blog (and a couple of others that I follow) and often the blog post sparks an interest in a website that I’ll then visit, but I’ll buy something different than what the blogger linked to. I hope you get paid for those purchases!

    • 68

      Thank you so much for reading, Sarah, and for kindly asking this question regarding helping to support bloggers! I appreciate it. So yes, generally when I link to a website using an affiliate link (like Amazon, or the Brooks running website, for example), there’s a tracking mechanism in that link that means if you purchase a different product from that same website after clicking originally from my site, that I will still get a kickback from the purchase as I was the original referrer. I believe that’s so long as you don’t close out the window/start a new session. So, yes, I do usually get paid for those purchases! Thank you :)

  33. 69

    What you have accomplished in 9 years is amazing and you owe it only to ourself ;)
    ! I love the fitness & food posts as I always love some inspiration. Also, please keep the pretty DC pics going :)

  34. 71

    I’ve read a few blogs over the years, and I like how you keep it real, but at the same time your blog is so polished! I can tell that you put a lot of effort into it, but at the same time you’re honest and not super Pinteresty (as in showing a life that’s always polished). Not sure if I’m explaining what I mean well, but I love the combo! I’m sure your changes will be great.

  35. 73

    I love your blog since several years, and like other people said before, I like the spontaneous post ( week-end recap/ fitness recap etc…) a lot because they are authentic and I love following your journey :). I still come back to your blog because of your honesty and fun posts, I kind of stopped following bloggers who make only evergreen / pinterest blog posts. Three blog posts a week seems like quite enough nowadays, I am looking forward to easy recipe posts or easy dinner/lunch recipes/ healthy freezer meal ideas etc, weekend recaps and being pregnant I also look forward to some family posts.

  36. 75
    Another Anne says

    I’m a long time reader, and the M/W/F framework sounds good to me. Not a mom, just love your recipes and fitness/life posts!

  37. 77
    Leslie D'Onofrio says

    Hi Anne: I’ve been following you for years and really enjoy anything you post! I wanted to reply and suggest checking out Becky Higgins’ blog. Becky developed a scrapbooking app and is a entrepreneur with many “parts” to her business. Her site has a landing page and it’s easy to navigate to the various parts of her business, including her blog. Good luck with the redesign. I’m sure it will be fabulous!

  38. 79

    Hey Anne, I’m a longtime reader and read your blog every day during my lunch time. I find it generally enjoyable and relatable, and I keep a few of your recipes on regular rotation. I appreciate that, unlike a lot of other bloggers, you accept criticism without becoming incredibly defensive and generally (though not always) do not delete negative comments. I also appreciate that when you are paid to advertise a product, it seems to be a product you genuinely use and enjoy. I have been turned off of a lot of the blogs I used to read because the proprietors do all of those things: delete comments, accept sponsorships with abandon, and expect every comment and reader to be glowingly admirative, taking things incredibly personally and discarding any comment with even an inkling of criticism. I feel that if you are making money by putting your lift out there, you cannot and should not expect people to glowingly endorse every single action you make. With that said, a piece of constructive criticism: you use the phrase “as you guys know” a lot. It is very grating and reads not as conversational but unprofessional. It’s a bit arrogant to assume that readers are always up to date with the nuances of your life, especially those who may be new. A general refresh of the blog would be great. I do actually like having the posts be the first thing you see on the landing page.

  39. 81

    My favourite posts are general/overall recap posts that include a mix of fitness, eats and daily life. I’m not a big fan of all food or fitness recaps and generally skip or skim them, personally. Your topical & recipe posts are always great too! I’m a big fan and long-time reader (though I never comment) and look forward to seeing what you come up with.

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