I’m back. I took several weeks off after the birth of Little Miss and I think I’m finally ready to get back into the swing of things. To be honest, I desperately needed the time off. Yes, partly because I had a newborn who didn’t ever sleep more than 2 hours straight for the first six weeks of life, but also because I was a little burnt out on blogging.
To prepare for my maternity leave, I really packed a lot into the month of October. The end of the year is the busiest time for bloggers and I worked really hard to get ahead on a lot of posts, finish up the last posts in several year-long partnerships, etc. By the time baby came I was worn out both physically and mentally.
It’s been 8 weeks since baby girl was born and there have been several times since then where I didn’t even open my computer for 5-6 days in a row. That’s unheard of for me, but it was necessary. It helped refresh my mind, body and soul…and now I’m excited about blogging again! I’m brainstorming lists of ideas, i’m itching to use my camera again, i’m filling in my editorial calendar….
I spent a lot of time thinking about what I wanted 2017 to mean for me….both personally and for the blog. To be honest, I’ve struggled a little bit with my blog since I became a mom. For so many years I was just a food blogger…and now, I’m a Registered Dietitian, I have two kids, I’m a work from home mom, I’m a home cook….and in a blogging world that’s so focused on forcing bloggers to choose a specific niche in order to become successful, I’ve struggled to find my place.
Well this year I’m saying “who cares?” After a lot of reflection, I’m finally at peace with the fact that my blog can’t really be easily defined anymore. In fact, I’m kind of excited about it. Because I think it’s going to make it easier for me to get back to my roots and fall in love with blogging again.
A couple weeks ago I took the babes downtown to visit my girl Alexis. She’s a fellow RD and blogger and she runs Alchemy (an amazing juice bar and cafe in downtown Columbus). I try to make it down there every couple of months so we can catch up. This time we spent most of our visit talking about how much blogging has changed since we started. When I got home, I was catching up on some blog reading and I came across this post by my friend Anne at Fannetastic Food. It perfectly articulated a lot of what Alexis and I had just been talking about as well.
Anne said “Now it seems like there’s so much going on online, constantly jostling for everyone’s attention, that it’s hard to feel like I’m still here offering something interesting or worthwhile. I also feel like in order to continue to get traffic there’s so much pressure to have every post be polished/fancy, optimized for Google, pimped out with pin-able graphics, shared and scheduled a billion times on social media, etc. – that it takes a lot of the joy out of posting.”
YES. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve struggled with this exact thing.
The next day, Alexis wrote a post about how she’s so much more than a food blogger.
She said: “In the early years, it was far more the former. The blogging world was less saturated, less competitive, and less serious. I felt little to no pressure to make the titles of my recipes searchable on Google and to make images that everyone and their brother would want to pin twice. I felt free to curate content around what made me happy. The beauty of growth is the opportunity to turn your hobby, turn what you love, into a career. The downside is just that—it’s no longer your hobby. I love it just as much as I always have, but I’d be lying if I said it was the same.”
Again, yes…just how I feel.
So now the question becomes….what am I going to do about it?
The answer is I’m going to break the blogging rules.
In 2017 I’m going to:
- Quit chasing pageviews.
- Write about things I wanna write about even if it probably won’t do well in a google search.
- Not write about buzzwords like carb cycling, detox and fasting just because they will do well on Pinterest, unless they are things that I really care about and believe in.
- Balance my time between family and blogging and not overcommit myself just for a few extra dollars.
- Plan ahead but not worry so much if life happens and I don’t stick to a schedule all the time.
- Be present and engaged with my kids.
In 2017, I want to be more helpful. You guys, my readers, are the main reason I’ve continued to blog for the past 6+ years. It’s my hope that many of you already see this blog as a helpful space, and this year I want to continue my work and connect with even more of you!
A few weeks ago I got this email from a reader and it couldn’t have come at a more perfect time:
Hi Lindsay –
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about being able to balance running a blog, doing part time work and being a full-time mom to two kiddos…but I’m up for the challenge and excited about the year ahead!
So in 2017 I’ll continue to provide easy, healthy recipes using simple ingredients….but maybe sometimes it’ll be a little less polished. Maybe it’ll be a few more shots of my actual dinner plate instead of a perfectly staged recipe. Maybe instead of a perfectly curated recipe video, I’ll share a messy iphone video of Squish helping me in the kitchen. And maybe I’ll share a post about some toddler art projects or how to deal with a colicky baby without worrying about the fact that they’re not recipe posts. Maybe I’ll even blog about fashion. Kidding! I hate fashion 🙂
So now it’s your turn! As we kick off the new year, tell me how I can help you! What kind of recipes do you want to see? What questions do you have? What resources do you need?
Fill me in!
Wishing you all the best in 2017!