Over the last four weeks, I’ve gotten a number of e-mails from readers and friends asking how I am doing. All of them have been variations of
You aren’t posting much. Is everything ok?
So I wanted to update everyone. First, thank you for your concern and for reaching out. It is so nice to know I have friends and readers who care when they know we’re going through a huge transition.
Transitioning the kids to being in school has been busy, but it’s been a good busy. The kids are doing wonderfully in school. We’ve gotten into a routine and things are going well for them. Several of you asked how I’m handling the transition emotionally. The first few days, I was ready for them to be home by noon and the house seemed too quiet. But I quickly found my stride.
Honestly put, enrolling my kids into school was a good decision and is already improving my relationship with my children. I greatly struggled with one child and their constant need to talk. It made my life difficult as I was constantly interrupted while I tried to get my work done. That created tension in our home and caused me to have a less-than-stellar relationship with that child at times. Now, they are at school all day and I can quickly get my work done in silence. When they get home, they both have my full attention until they are in bed, when I can then do some more work. That child can talk all they need to and I am fine with that as it is not interrupting my train of thought. Anything I need to concentrate on gets done when the kids are at school.
We’re all happier. I’m getting my work done with far less stress, they’re getting the attention they need from me and they’re getting educated. The stress level of everyone in the house has dropped.
Now when they are gone, I’m using some of the time to play catch-up. There are many things that I had to let slide while homeschooling and working 60 hours a week. We’re now getting those things caught up, and I’m taking a break from non-essential activities to get those accomplished, hence the less frequent blog and Facebook posts.
I’m doing a round through the whole house with decluttering, and I’m finally unpacking everything. When we moved in over five years ago, I was far too ill to unpack. That left us with many boxes that I just couldn’t get to. They got put downstairs. I have every scrap of baby clothing, every everything. It’s all got to go, and I drive right past a Goodwill on my way to their school each day. So I’m slowly working through the boxes and ruthlessly decluttering as I go.
I also have the complicating factor of having committed to an extremely large project that will go live this Fall. That decision took place not long before we decided to enroll the kids in school. That project is also taking up large amounts of time right now, even though it’s an awesome project that is very worthwhile. You’ll hear more about that project this month when it is launched. I am excited to announce it, and I think my readers will enjoy it thoroughly.
Then, by God’s design, another awesome opportunity landed in my lap.
Everything in life has its season. Allow me to pull back the curtain on blogging a little, step up on a soapbox and explain what is going on right now in the real food blogging world.
Let’s just be honest- most bloggers spend a lot of time on their blogs, and most would like to be compensated for the time and the blood, sweat and tears they expend on their blog. Blogging is a labor of love. Most people don’t realize the amount of hard work that goes into blogging beyond just writing blog posts. There’s researching, networking, promoting your posts, interacting with readers, answering e-mails, responding to comments, umpteen different social media outlets and that’s all before you get into the technical end of blog maintenance. Constant software updates and upgrades, needing to learn to write HTML and CSS, choosing plug-ins, design, keeping up with tight security, fighting spammers and the list goes on and on. It might take an hour to write a blog post once you’re done with research, but you might spend ten hours promoting that post, before you even get to anything else. It’s not just as simple as writing an excellent blog post and the traffic comes flooding in.
It’s VERY reasonable for someone to want to be compensated for their time and their very hard work while blogging when they could instead be relaxing and spending time with their family. Blogging is a very difficult hobby/job, and those who choose to do it have my respect. In order to earn a living from a blog, you can expect you’ll need to put in 40-80 hours a week, every single week, all the time. I’ve been putting in those kinds of hours week-in and week-out since 2007, when I started.
When you love what you do, it isn’t a J.O.B. If you follow your passion, you’ll never work a day in your life. It’s been hard work, yes, but I have enjoyed it immensely and I wouldn’t change that.
Traffic = Money
However, we’re now seeing a glut of bloggers giving (sometimes not well researched) opinions and creating needless controversy in an effort to drive traffic, because in our business, traffic = money. Bloggers rely on traffic because that’s what pays the bills. Everything in blogging is predicated on having readers looking at pages and clicking links or ads. Blogging does incur expenses for hosting, software, and a myriad of things you’d never imagine. It’s quite easy for a lower level blogger to put out $100-200 a month, often out of pocket. So some income is needed to at least have the blog pay for itself.
Traffic is king for all blogs. Nothing drives more traffic than controversy and fear-mongering over things that are minor or even trivial, in an attempt to create division while driving traffic. That is what tells me we’ve hit the top of the bell curve of food blogging. That’s an unfortunate commentary, but it’s very true. People stir the pot as a form of self-benefit and not because they’re truly concerned about an issue. Some of the inane controversy-creating posts we’ve seen in the last year are perfect examples of this type of behavior.
Everything cycles in popularity, even though some people choose to have things like real food a permanent part of their lives. Many moms fit that category of being consistent, constant readers. There will always be a wide reader base for real food, because food is so much a tie that binds in people’s lives and most mothers are concerned about their children’s nutrition. People have to eat, and there will always be people who are concerned about their food impacting their health. There will always be an audience for real food blogs.
But blogging isn’t immune from people seeing dollar signs and jumping on a bandwagon, even if their original motivation was their passion for food. If you want to learn to get traffic and make money, there are even products and courses for bloggers on the market that will teach you how to build a blog and a large income on controversy, arguments and strife. A quick google search will even turn up blogs and blog posts about the topic. It’s not my style, but some blogging communities point to this model as the way to earn a living. And that’s not just true for food blogs, it’s true for all blogs on any subject in all corners of the web.
It’s a Long Way Down
We’re at the top of the bell curve in real food blogging and the downward slide is going to be hard on some bloggers. People who don’t have a true passion for real food will not hold out when they’re not earning enough to justify the time away from their family. Others will have a change of lifestyle, change or job or other event that will cause them to move away from blogging, no matter their passion.
There are so many bloggers competing for so little cash right now that it makes it hard to earn a living on a blog unless you’re already established. The shake out isn’t always easy, no matter the industry. Some advertisers are even moving away from bloggers in all industries because it’s not giving the return as it once was, as there are so many bloggers now and the readers are seeing the same things no matter which blogs they visit. New bloggers face a harder climb than their predecessors.
In the meantime, the bloggers who are most likely to remain through the bell curve are those who are already established and have well-known products and a large group of readers. I am quite happy to be in that group as a long-time real food blogger who supports her family with the income from the products I created.
I realize that the key to be able to keep going as the real food blogging industry shakes out is to diversify. Other streams of residual income in order to have the funding necessary to continue to have the time and ability to continue my passion for real food. Having a higher income would allow me to hire someone else to handle the marketing, advertising and a chunk of the 101 activities a blogger has to do besides writing and further reduce my work-load.
So all of that was to say this- I’m working on another business to diversify my income while the shake-out happens in the blogging world.
I posted some weeks back about my results with the It Works Ultimate Body Applicators. I had incredible results and was beyond thrilled, so I decided to become a distributor.
Having awesome results from the Ultimate Body Applicator motivated me on levels I didn’t know existed. For a long time, I’ve been in a slump of knowing what I needed to do to improve my health, but not being able to get it together to motivate myself to follow through with the plan. After all, healing takes WORK. Seeing myself shrink like that and knowing there’s hope to get rid of the unsightly skin and overhang without surgery or living in shapeware was freeing and highly motivating. It gave me the motivation to take care of myself and quit putting myself last. As I said in posts earlier this year while going through that process, a mom who doesn’t care for herself, especially when she has health problems, is only hurting her children by shortening her lifespan and stealing her own family’s future.
So I am now placing an emphasis on fully regaining my own health and taking care of myself so I can be around to run after my grandkids, not just sit in a chair and watch them run by, too old and tired to enjoy the life I have left.
I’m also having friends, family and clients call and message me in tears, so thrilled with their results. The wraps do so much more than repair and re-tighten your skin. They give you hope and for some women, they give them their body back. I definitely felt that way.
I hated the loose, baggy skin on my tummy. Seeing the change I had from the wraps helped me to regain a sense of love for and belonging in my own body. Some people don’t agree with that sentiment, as they feel that you should love your own body, no matter how broken down or damaged it is, and that a baggy stomach is a good thing. I love my children dearly, I wouldn’t trade anything in the world for them, but that didn’t mean I liked the damage caused by being an extremely short-waisted, petite woman who gave birth to a ten-pounder. I’m always self-conscious as my waistline was two sizes larger than the rest of my body. Using the wraps has allowed me to be proportional again.
I’ve shared my own pictures in previous posts (here, here and here) but I’d like to share some pictures of others. A close friend of mine who has had nine C-sections tried the wraps. She had struggled with her body image for years. After seven wraps, the Defining Gel and the Greens over almost two months, this is her result. She also lost about 10 pounds in those two months, mostly from finally being motivated to care about her appearance again.
Since that time, I have seen my wrap business (and my income) take off. So with a few short months of working just 15 hours a week, I will be earning a second full-time income for less than part-time hours. If I meet my goals, we should be able to consider retiring my husband by New Year’s and have two full-time incomes with us both working only around 40 hours a week in total. Yes, combined.
Can’t beat that!
How do I know I can do it? Because I’m watching many people do it right now, some of whom I have known for years. My dear friend, Renee, a former moderator here on our forum and the one who convinced me to try the applicators, promoted to Presidential Diamond Saturday night and she did it in 8 months. Of course, not everyone reaches that rank that quickly or even at all, but she’s living proof of what having goals, dedication and the right training can do for just an average mom. She averages working 20 hours a week.
I have that dedication and I know how to set goals- being self-employed for 6 years with this blog has taught me stick-to-it-tivness. So my goal is to hit Diamond by Sept 30 and hit Triple Diamond by December 31 with my husband ranking Diamond by October 31 and Double Diamond by January 2014.
What do all those ranks mean? It Works Global is the only direct-marketing company that publishes what their average distributor earns at each rank. Take a look. Saturday night, in only my second full month with the company, I became an Emerald.
It Works Global only has 70,000 distributors world-wide. It’s a young, up-and-coming company, and we were in the recent issue of Inc. Magazine as one of the Top 500 fastest growing companies in the US right now. The growth of the company is exploding and it is amazing to watch!
So if you are looking for a home-based source of income and you’re motivated to set goals and work hard to hit them, I’d be more than happy to send you more information and talk to you about joining my team. Leave a comment, send me a Facebook PM or contact me and I will e-mail you. My team focuses on training to help you know exactly what you need to do to reach your goals, and we support you through the process. You won’t be left to figure it out on your own or struggle to figure out how to make it work. My team is integral to my success and I love them dearly, because when we all work together, everyone benefits in ways they wouldn’t get if they just worked by themselves.
So, yes, my focus has been divided and that’s turning out to be a very good thing. It’s a season in life, and while we find a new normal and figure out how to best arrange my time so that I can pursue my passion about food but also have a way to support the family well while the food blogging world shakes out.
Going forward, the blog will be a little light through parts of September while we complete the large project we will soon announce and participate in a ten-day event local to us. We’re excited!! While we have a lot of work going on, we also have awesome things in store that we believe you will thoroughly enjoy.