Family Friday (vol. 21): The Blog.

I celebrated my 7th blog birthday this past Wednesday. Seven years…1,821 posts worth of food, recipes, rambling, and tidbits of my life. It’s a little overwhelming and emotional to consider how much time and effort has gone into those posts, those meals, those words…

My blog started with “hot topics in health and nutrition”, morphed into DAILY posts about recipes and healthy adaptations of recipes, and has gone through various other segments – Meatless Monday, Money Matters (cost per recipe/cost per serving), RD Q&A where readers ask questions and I give a response, Food Blogging with a Dog, Family Fridays, and so on. Somehow, I haven’t run out of things to talk about. Imagine that πŸ˜‰

I started my blog when I was a new Registered Dietitian, fresh out of school and newly licensed…and unable to find a job. If you recall, 2009 was one of the worst times in history to be looking for a job and it seemed the nutrition market was well-saturated in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I was passionate about nutrition and wanted to share my love of food and good health with others and with the quickly growing, yet still new-ish blogosphere, I decided to jump on board.

For a long time – several years – I posted on my blog DAILY. I spent much of my free time reading other blogs and spending hours upon hours online, commenting on other blogs and “networking” with others. Pinterest and other such platforms have made finding great content online all the easier, but in the end, it ALL takes time. Growing a blog takes a lot of time. A lot of effort. And I did it. My blog grew faster than I could’ve ever hoped for.

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When we moved to Michigan and I accepted a job in management, my “free” time dwindled. I had a long commute and a demanding job. Coupled with exercise, hockey, and family time, my time online naturally lessened and lessened. Subsequently, my blog traffic began a slow decline. Add to that a child and today, my blog receives about 20% of the traffic if once did. For some time I felt defeated – was it still worth my time to continue blogging?

I decided very quickly that, yes…blogging is most definitely still worth my time and energy. Not only do I love it and have hundreds and possibly thousands of readers that come back to my little corner of the web on a regular basis, but my little blog makes enough to help offset the cost of daycare. For one child, not two πŸ˜‰

But truly, money is not why I blog. If I did the math, I’d venture to guess my blog pays at a rate of $0.01-0.02/hour πŸ˜‰ I don’t post about my traffic because anyone can look that up on any site – it’s not a secret. I blog because I love it and as life has changed a lot for me in the past 7 years – from a newly wed DINK couple (double income, no kids) to a booming career to a working mom of soon-to-be two girls under 2 – and so, my blog has changed, too. Rather than look at that as a failure, I see it as part of my journey. To reach anyone on the www and feel like I’ve shared anything meaningful with them is a rewarding feeling. If Google Analytics tells me anything, that number may be as high as 4.5 million people – nothing to scoff at!

And not only has my life changed, but the internet and blog world has changed, too. A lot, in fact.

A blog is no longer a mysterious THING – they’re a household name. The number of blogs and food blogs has grown immensely over time. I simply have more competition.

I’ve chosen not to participate in many sponsored posts because I don’t enjoy reading much sponsored content myself. While I choose to advertise on my blog, I do not choose to post much sponsored content for whatever company is willing to throw some money my way. It’s a personal choice.

I’ve grown my blog like a friendship and sometimes I have more time and energy for my “friend” than I do at other points in life. I’ve refused to ever allow my blog to become a chore or a job. And subsequently, I do everything on my site and on my social media platforms. Respectfully, I’ve never quite understood the role of a digital “assistant”, but I guess that’s because I have a blog, not an actual business. When I follow a blogger on social media, I have the intent to follow their inspiration, not the inspiration of someone working for them.

Speaking of social media, what the heck is Snap Chat? Just kidding…kind of. But, really, I’ve never been on Snap Chat. I’ve drawn a line in the sand at this point in time – NO MORE SOCIAL MEDIA. I’m a lover of Facebook, but with the algorithms that have been put into play, I have no clue how to get my content more effectively to followers. My Facebook engagement has dropped substantially over time, and I simply haven’t had the time or drive to figure it all out. I love Pinterest, but I’m unable (and unwilling!) to pin NON-STOP as it seems is the requirement these days in order to gain followers. So, I’ve lost interest a bit. I think my favorite social media platform is Instagram, mostly because I like a little life thrown in with all the food πŸ˜‰ But social media is so all-consuming as is, I just can’t get deeper into it.

So, happy blogiversary to me! Seven years in the books with no end in sight. My blog has changed – it has grown and shrunk, and taken new directions…and that’s okay! I’m really proud of my little space on the web and thoroughly enjoy posting and engaging with you all. Thank you for following along and “feeding” me with love πŸ™‚

Be well,

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4 Comments

  1. June 10, 2016 / 4:01 pm

    Happy Birthday to your blog, Nicole! My blog turned 7 in March, and I remember reading your blog right from the start! And it was fun meeting you a few times “in real life.” πŸ™‚ As long as you enjoy your blog, you should continue on your own terms…

    Andrea
    Andrea’s Wellness Notes

  2. sunshine608
    June 10, 2016 / 4:46 pm

    Happy Blogiversary! I still enjoy reading as I did years ago ( not sure how long its been) but I really enjoy your recipes, snippets from your life and its been really timely as your DD and my DS our around the same age. I also really appreciate the lack of sponsored content. Some blogs have just turned into that and its refreshing to fine one that isn’t! Hope you cook something fun to celebrate

  3. Erin
    June 11, 2016 / 11:36 pm

    Congrats on 7 years! I read all your posts but rarely comment! Keep on bloggin girl! πŸ™‚

  4. June 14, 2016 / 2:42 pm

    I am happy to say I am one of your regular readers. And yes, building a blog and getting traffic takes a lot of time and effort, but I look at it as an online journal that my future grandkids can read. My grandma kept a diary but it went more like this “chilly today, made chicken, bridge club.” I think my posts are more descriptive than that!

    Looking forward to seeing your new little one – can’t wait to see them together!

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