It’s time for another Q&A post, and you guys have had some great questions for me lately. This December edition is all about blogging, time management, and advice for new bloggers, so let’s get straight into it.
You’ve been blogging for over 6 years now and I’ve been following you since the beginning! How do you find the motivation and content to follow such a regular schedule?
If you’d told me when I started Eat Spin Run Repeat that I’d still be at it nearly 7 years later, I’d have called you crazy. But here we are, and it’s kind of hard to imagine what life would be like without it!
When it comes to motivation to blog consistently, I have a few. The first and biggest is because I LOVE the things that I blog about. Developing delicious recipes that are just as delicious as they are health-building, creating workouts, talking about goals and self development are some of my biggest passions and blogging is my version of shouting about them all from the rooftops. I have an income from this blog, but for the most part it’s a labour of love and my biggest hope is that it inspires readers like you to make a solid investment in yourself.
Aside from loving the things I write about, blogging has introduced me to some of the finest individuals I know, has opened up opportunities to collaborate with brands I love, and has been my most fulfilling creative outlet. The ongoing challenge of becoming a better blogger, photographer, recipe developer and writer is always one I’m up for, and learning about all of this since day 1 of Eat Spin Run Repeat has been so much fun.
Content-wise, I’ve found getting into a schedule is key. As many of you will know, Wednesday posts are always recipes and Fridays usually have a fitness focus. Mondays are whatever I want them to be, and I typically do the majority of my content + recipe making on the weekends. (At this time of year when I leave home in the dark and come back after work in the dark, weekday photography is a no-go.) Having a loose framework to follow helps me plan out content, and I always have a content calendar on the go. This helps me stay organized and means I don’t really have to worry about running out of content because my ideas for posts are all in one place.
How do you find time to do your full time job, blog and do the nutrition course you’re currently taking?
Sometimes I wonder the same thing! I’ve always believed that if you care about something enough, you’ll find a way to make it happen. When I was in my first year of university, I was enrolled in 6 courses during my first term – not because I deliberately wanted to be, but because nobody in Admissions caught it and coming from overseas, I didn’t know any better. I also ran varsity cross country that term, had a lot of social events happening and was getting used to what university life was all about. Let’s just say time management skills were tested a lot! My days were packed, but funnily enough, my GPA has never been higher than it was that term. I think some people thrive when they have a lot on their plate, and I happen to be one of them….. to an extent. I have definitely learned over the course of this year and last that I need to take on less and chill out more.
At the risk of sounding a bit anti-social, these days I’d say I’m quite protective of my time. As much as I couldn’t imagine my life without the important people in it, I know need a solid chunk of weekend hours alone to recharge my batteries. I also think that our lives, just like weather seasons, are lived in seasons. There are some that are more quiet and relaxed, and others where several big things are happening at once and demand a lot of attention. In those seasons there might not be a very strong sense of balance, but in the end, they level out. These last 3 months of the year have certainly been what I’d consider a busy season since my course demanded 10+ hours of work per week on top of my full-time job, but I’m planning a fresh, relaxing start to 2017 and feeling really good about it.
What are you planning to do with your Culinary Nutrition Expert Certification?
Great question! Before moving to Vancouver, I was doing a lot of 1-1 individual health coaching. I really miss that, and plan to reintroduce this offering soon as well as a few new ones. I’ve learned so much over the course of the certification program and feel that it’s really complimented the credentials I already have. I’m excited to share all of that knowledge with you guys, both on the blog and in smaller group settings, so stay tuned for more details. In the meantime, if you already feel like you might be interested in working with me on a program tailored for your nutrition and lifestyle goals, feel free to let me know here and you’ll be among the first to know when I’m ready to introduce these new offerings.
I’m thinking about starting a blog. Any advice for a beginner?
Congratulations! There have been no shortage of learnings for me since I started and I’m by no means an expert, but here’s a quick list of tips:
- Before you start, make sure you know why you’re starting your blog. If your biggest motive is money, it probably won’t live very long. Make sure you’re going to write about something you really care about and are interested in (see question 1 above!)
- Don’t feel that you have to do what other bloggers do, write the way they write, make the same recipes they make or post as frequently as they do. When I started there were some bloggers posting 3 times per day, 7 times per week. I tried posting daily and nearly died. (Ok, that might be an exaggeration, but it was NOT working.) Do your own thing and you’ll attract a group of followers that love you for it.
- Buy your domain. I used to have ‘wordpress’ in my URL (ie eat-spin-run-repeat.wordpress.com) but buying your domain looks a lot more professional. To avoid having to set up redirects, do it up front and save yourself the hassle down the road!
- Pick reputable, professional looking blogging software. I chose WordPress as the foundation for my blog and still think it’s the best for varying levels of technical knowledge. There are others out there like Squarespace and Wix which I’ve heard can be great depending on what you want your blog to do, but WordPress is as well-known as it is for a reason.
- Get to know other bloggers. Leave comments, interact with them on social media and treat them like you would real-life friends – they could indeed become that one day! This is a great way to grow your own audience and be a part of an awesome community.
Right, I think that’s enough for this Q&A! If you’d like to submit a question for next month, you can do so here. In the meantime, I’d love to know…
- Do you manage a really busy schedule, and if so, do you have any great time management tips to offer?
- Fellow bloggers: Any great tips you’d like to share with new/aspiring bloggers?