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Episode 050: How To Fund Your Maternity Leave As A Blogger With Amy Palanjian

Blog Title: Yummy Toddler Food

Social Media:

IG: https://www.instagram.com/yummytoddlerfood/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/yummytoddlerfood/

About: Yummy Toddler Food delivers healthy recipes and sane picky eating advice for families with little kids. We strive to reassure parents that they’re doing a great job, that it’s normal for kids to be a bit of a challenge at the table, and to provide doable recipes that fit into even the busiest family’s schedule. Amy also co-hosts the Comfort Food podcast, where she covers these same topics and also diet culture, intuitive eating, and how to find that healthy balance as a mom.

Notes from Episode #050: How To Fund Your Maternity Leave As A Full Time Blogger

  • Fun fact: Amy almost became a midwife! She went to college for American Lit. Then she did a year of Americorp and Habitat for Humanity. But when she worked with a magazine, she found she really enjoyed it so that’s what she pursued ultimately.

  • The month after Amy got pregnant, the magazine she’d worked for, closed. She started in on working full time on her blog, although she hadn’t planned on doing that with a pregnancy and baby in the mix when she’d thought ahead to what blogging full time would look like. 

  • Amy sat down, made a few calculations on the baseline amount of expenses she had to cover while not working. Then she focused on planning out the specifics:

    • You need a budget. 

    • Review what you could cut back on expenses. 

    • Set a goal to put aside savings monthly. Amy started this immediately, continuing through her pregnancy so she was on her way to preparing for her maternity leave while waiting for the baby. 

    • Her biggest source of money from the blog was ad revenue but she wasn’t making a lot yet because she had just started earning ad revenue so she didn’t know what, if much, could be counted on from that avenue.  

  • Systems, help, and outsourcing you might want to consider to make it possible.

    • Outsourcing: Amy outsourced some of her social media work – she began to work with someone to create all her Pinterest pins and Facebook.

    • Scheduling: Amy scheduled her Instagram posts out in advance herself.

    • Planning: Amy was intentional about planning her maternity leave in advance. It was easier to do because she’d had two kiddos before so she had an idea of what to expect post delivery and what taking care of a baby was like. Plus it was winter and it was cold and you wanted to stay home and not do much. 

  • How to schedule content and how much to plan out ahead.

    • Amy set herself up well by creating three months of content ahead of time. This was a mix of optimizing old posts and new content. 

    • Amy knows she’s a type A personality and was going to have to force herself to enjoy the leave with baby but also create a plan to be proactive about not getting sucked into work.

    • Amy created a visual calendar (with a white board on her wall) to review her content a month at a time so she could be aware of what was happening with a glance but not get sucked into the rabbit hole if she opened her laptop. This helped her avoid having to log onto the computer and get engaged with other stuff when she didn’t want to be on technology. 

  • Systems, help, and outsourcing you might want to consider to make it possible.

    • If you have a lot of questions on posts that come in, then try and delegate someone else to monitor that for you. Even a good, trusted friend can work out.

  • Things to consider unplugging from to allow yourself real space to be with your baby.

    • The first 6 weeks she was not focused on her blog but did occasionally check out the content (see white board).

    • Prioritization: there’s things you should be doing but there are also things you don’t have to be doing. Remember, some things have to come off your list and it can be revisited later. 

    • Amy did not plan any sponsored posts during the maternity leave since she wasn’t going to be on social media during her time off. 

  • What to do about urgent, time sensitive comments and emails.

    • Put an “out of office” reminder on your email so people give you time to respond. You may be uncomfortable with Brands being aware of this time away but ultimately it’s worth it and important.

  • How to ease back into things and pick up where you left off without a dip in traffic.

    • Amy returned from maternity leave gradually. She and her husband planned it so she didn’t have to dive back in at 100%. Her husband helped her watch the baby for a dedicated amount of time a certain amount of time in a week so she could work a few hours a day but not too many before coming back to work on the blog full time. 

  • Ideas for how to balance your new family structure with your work.

    • Recognize what personality you are, what type of worker you are and what needs your family has that you have to take care of when you are working/taking care of a newborn and then make a plan around that.

    • Amy is intentional about work time being during “business hours” and then has “family time” and tries not to bleed the times together. 

    • Amy gives herself permission to be in charge of her business, and that means that she’s also in charge of her schedule. So she has to follow through with that and adjust as needed for the business side or the family time. 

    • Have a to-do list and try very hard not to veer off into something that doesn’t need to be done on that day.

    • Remember I (you) are privileged to do this job.

    • “We get to decide what our work looks like, and is and feels like on a day to day basis, the more  you remember that, the happier you’ll be.”

  • Amy didn’t work much for 3 mos during her leave. Yet she had some good traffic growth while she was barely working because she’d put in a lot of planning ahead of time and was seeing benefits of putting SEO to work on her site. Bottom line – her blog and business didn’t implode and she was thankful for the time to recuperate and enjoy her new child/expanded family.

Megan
Megan

Megan started her food blog Pip and Ebby in 2010 and food blogging has been her full-time career since 2013. Her passion for blogging has grown into an intense desire to help fellow food bloggers find the information, insight, and community they need in order to find success.

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