It’s hard to believe that I have been blogging for over eight years now. I started my first food blog, Bakin’ and Eggs, back in 2008 and Peanut Butter Runner in 2010. It’s so crazy to see how much the blog world has changed during this time. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the back story, I started my food blog because my co-workers were always stopping by my office to ask what they should make for dinner and “do you have a recipe for…???”
Then everyone started asking how I cooked and baked like I did while also staying fit. “Healthy living” blogs were just taking off so I decided to try it out and start this blog to show my friends and co-workers how I did it. Peanut Butter Runner quickly grew in popularity, which I credit a lot to the uncrowded space at the time. I cannot even imagine entering the blogging world these days. I feel like I come across new, beautiful blogs every single day.
When I started out in blogging, I never anticipated making money from it and for the first few years, I didn’t. It was just a fun hobby that I did a few nights a week. Then ad networks became popular so I redesigned Peanut Butter Runner about a year in so that I could self-host and serve ads. For a long time, advertising was the primary way that I made money from blogging.
Then ad revenues started to decrease but sponsored posts and affiliate opportunities arrived on the scene. While I know that sponsored posts can be a touchy subject between bloggers and blog readers, it has been a great way for me to partner with brands that I think are a good fit for me and my readers. It’s my hope that you feel a good balance with sponsored content here and that I provide value to you when I do produce sponsored content. That’s why you’ve seen an increase in sponsored workouts, yoga flows and recipes.
While I never set out to make money from blogging, it’s been a tremendous help. I find that with every year that passes, I devote more and more time to blogging. Gone are the days of posting a recap of what you did and ate that day. Blogging these days requires much more strategy. You have to focus on SEO-optimization, taking beautiful photos, creating Pinterest-friendly graphics and writing content that is relevant for more than just the one day you publish it. This is called “evergreen” content. Once you’ve published the content, there is social media promotion to contend with.
On average, I probably spend more time editing photos, creating graphics and promoting posts on social media than I do actually writing them. And the writing and creating is my favorite part. I constantly feel about five steps behind the latest blogging techniques, strategies and trends. For example, have you seen the skyrocketing popularity of 60-second square videos? Yeah, haven’t even dipped a toe into that yet.
Blogging has changed so much that sometimes I wonder if I even want to keep doing it but then I take a step back and just stay focused on doing what I can do and what I want to do. The money I make from blogging is nice but I feel fortunate that I don’t have to rely on it as my primary source of income since I have my work at the studio with marketing and teaching. Blogging can stay in the hobby category for the most part, even though I spend a good 20 hours a week on it.
Let’s talk about content. It’s been really challenging for me to find the right mix of life/personal alongside things like workouts and recipes. I don’t know about you guys, but I feel like I’ve finally found a good balance with that in the second half of 2016. It’s my plan to continue on with it in 2017. Expect to see even more recipes (I just really enjoy cooking), more yoga flows and yoga videos and the workouts you know and love. I’ll also keep sprinkling in the “day in the life/personal” stuff a couple of times a week.
Whew. When I started writing, I thought I’d write a paragraph about the current “state of blogging” but here I am 700 words later. As always, I’m always open to your feedback when it comes to what you want to see here and what types of posts you find relatable, helpful, inspiring, useful and/or entertaining.
In the spirit of content you like to see, here are the top 10 posts of 2016 that were published in 2016. My first Whole30 was a hot topic. I’m jumping back on the Whole30 train this January and inviting you to come along for the ride with me. It will start on Monday, January 9 and I’ll be posting details in the next couple of days!
Top 10 Posts of 2016, Published in 2016
- My First Whole 30: Results, What I Learned, How I Was Challenged and Advice
- Sweet Potato Breakfast Bowls
- On-Demand, Boutique Fitness with Aaptiv
- Recent Eats: Days 1-4 of My First Whole 30
- Overnight Banana Chia Pudding
- Recent Eats: Days 13-16 of My First Whole 30 + Thoughts on a Perfect Whole30
- Trader Joe’s Haul + Whole30 Travel Snacks
- Recent Eats: Days 5-8 of My First Whole30
- I’m Doing My First Whole30
- Spiced Zucchini Carrot Bread
Thanks for being here! 🙂