I started blogging in 2009. The same year I got married. The same year I became a Registered Dietitian. The same year I couldn’t find a job. The same year I moved from Chicago to Tulsa and away from everyone and everything I’d ever known.
When it came to blogging, I had no idea what I was doing and spoiler alert: I still have no idea what I’m doing. For YEARS, I blogged EVERY DAY. A new recipe EVERY DAY. My blog wasn’t a hobby, it was a part-time job. A part-time job that I absolutely loved and had time for as we lived the DINK lifestyle, states away from our family and friends. I made friends online, some of whom I’m still in contact with today and who I’ve met in person over the years. I spent a LOT of time at my computer and not only creating content, but also networking and growing my readership. It was definitely successful, but it absorbed a LOT of time.
Fast forward to 2012 when I was approached about writing my first cookbook, my blog was seeing what I consider to be GOOD traffic. My pageviews were well over 10,000 a day and I was still devoting a ton of time to blogging, albeit not a post a day. A leadership position at work, a long commute, and then our first born all contributed to less time devoted to blogging, less posts, and less traffic. With my traffic a fraction of what it once was, sometimes I think, “Why do I still do this?”
And then come times like my chili contest where I receive the most incredible, thoughtful, and heart-warming emails. Sometimes I’ll get a single comment on my blog over the course of a month when I used to get hundreds a day. It’s easy to think, “if no one is reading, why am I doing this?” And then people come out of the woodwork and make me so incredibly grateful for the OPPORTUNITY to continue blogging. My drive-by visits are way, way down but who cares? Pinterest and Facebook algorithms are smarter than me, my images are laughable compared to some of the food photography I see, and I envy the people who are able to quit their day jobs and make a go at blogging full-time. (P.S. Even if I had the skill or desire to do that, Mark would never approve!). I’m just another blogger who so happens to blessed with some of the most loyal and appreciative readers there are.
Along with a chili contest entry, a woman wrote to me…
I’ve been reading your blog going on 4 years now! I love to follow and read your blog, I can so relate with your little ones, Shea and Piper. I love to read about the laughter and stresses of being a mom and working full-time. You got me through the toughest part of going back to work full-time after maternity leave. I was so stressed out and upset, but reading your story helped me out immensely and I told myself I could do it too!
And a second along with a chili contest entry…
Also, I just wanted to say, I absolutely love your blog, the recipes you share, and the stories of your family. I have a daughter who is a similar age to your youngest (she’s 21 months), and I completely related to your stories of Piper being a not-so-great sleeper.
My love tank is SO full. Blogging continues to be SO rewarding, even if I’m not inundated with affirmations of this 😉 (FYI, Words of Affirmation is my #1 love language, ha!) My blog is truly an extension of who I am and much to Mark’s dismay, it is who I am to just throw is alllllllll out there for the world to read (or not read) and hopefully enjoy!
Thank you to the best readers there are – it means so much!