In episode 291, Megan chats with Renee Rendall, blogger and podcast host, about how she won’t give up and Renee’s encouragement for other bloggers.
We cover information on why it’s important to put your blinders on and block out the competition, find people who trigger you in a good way, follow your creative ideas to keep you from getting bored and remember that everything becomes possible when you believe in yourself.
Listen on the player below or on iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast player. Or scroll down to read a full transcript.
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Bio Renee is the blogger and podcaster behind Awesome on 20, striving to build a content creation business at the intersection of food and magic. She blogs about comforting recipes for witches who love junk food and host a podcast about everyday spirituality and wellbeing through a witchy lens. Her latest project is the Moon Magic Mastermind for spiritual souls looking for loving support and gentle accountability in reaching their goals.
- Find your own core beliefs on success and what being successful can mean for you, right now at this moment.
- It’s more important to focus on the things that you can actually control; the quality of your content, your consistency and your commitment and what you’re willing to put in to improve your craft.
- If you’re a creative person, follow your intuition and go for new business ideas. Explore all of your different gifts and talents. Don’t wait for one thing to be perfect before you start another.
- Creative projects can spark something you didn’t realize when you were first starting out was something that was going to be really big for you.
- The more that you tap into your intuition, the more that you follow what feels right to you and the more joyful you’ll be in the process.
- Everything is an exchange of energy. When you create something you’re putting out energy to your audience and they are giving you their energy physically but also purely energetic form of encouragement and belief.
- Form a group with other entrepreneurs with similar goals of things you want to create and meet as a mastermind.
- If you know that you have a purpose and that you have the power to achieve that purpose, then you just can’t give up.
- You have these calls, these desires to create something for a reason. You have the desire to create an amazing food blog for a reason.
- When you want to quit, remember why you started this project in the first place. Try to get in touch with that feeling of joy and excitement that you felt when you first got that spark.
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Renee Rendall: Hi, this is Renee Rendell from Awesome on 20. And you’re listening to the Eat Blog Talk podcast.
Sponsor: Hey, awesome food bloggers. Before we dig into this episode, I have a really quick favor to ask you, go to your favorite podcast player. Go to Eat Blog Talk. Scroll down to the bottom where you see the ratings and review section. Leave Eat Blog Talk a five star rating if you love this podcast and leave a great review. This will only benefit this podcast. It adds value. I so very much appreciate your efforts with this. Thank you so much for doing this. Okay. Now onto the episode.
Megan Porta: Hello, food bloggers. Welcome to Eat Blog Talk, the podcast for food bloggers looking for the value and confidence that will move the needle forward in your business. This episode is sponsored by RankIQ. I am your host, Megan Porta, and you are listening to episode 291. Today, Renee Rendall and I are going to have a super fun chat about a very important topic in our space. That is never giving up. Renee is the blogger and podcaster behind Awesome on 20, striving to build a content creation business at the intersection of food and magic. She blogs about comforting recipes for witches who love junk food and hosting podcasts about everyday spirituality and wellbeing through a witchy lens. Her latest project is the moon magic mastermind for spiritual souls looking for loving support and gentle accountability in reaching their goals. Renee, it is such a pleasure to have you on the podcast. I’m so excited for our chat today, but we want to hear what your fun fact is before we dig in.
Renee Rendall: I’m so excited to be here too. I had to think for a second about my fun fact, because your own life from the inside seemed so boring. But you can probably tell from my accent that I’m American, but I actually live in Glasgow, Scotland.
Megan Porta: Oh!
Renee Rendall: I’ve lived here for about six years now, but the thing that all my friends who live here think makes that really interesting is that I actually moved here from Honolulu, Hawaii.
Megan Porta: Oh, wow. Okay. I didn’t know either of those things, just from getting to know you a little bit on Instagram, but so cool. How is it living in Scotland? Do you like it?
Renee Rendall: Yeah it’s definitely an adventure. I’ve also lived in Taiwan, where I didn’t speak the language and didn’t read the language. So I thought that coming to a country where everything was in English would be easier. In some ways it was, but in other ways it was still really challenging. There are a lot of subtle differences within the culture that you have to get used to.
Megan Porta: Oh, I love that. And Hawaii, how was it living there?
Renee Rendall: Amazing. So beautiful. But believe it or not, you do get tired of perfect weather after a while. It starts to get boring. The cost of living is just really high out there.
Megan Porta: I lived in Southern California with my mom growing up for just a few years and it really is true that you can get tired of the sunshine. We used to get so excited when a storm would come in and that didn’t happen very often in Palm Springs. Like very seldom, just a handful of days a year. But we’d be so excited. Oh my gosh, the sky is gray. There’s a rain, there’s wind. That sounds super bizarre probably to a lot of people, but there is some truth to that.
Renee Rendall: Yeah, I totally get it. I would get jealous when I’d see my mainland friends getting out their cozy sweaters and hats and scarves and maybe we would put a blanket on the bed.
Megan Porta: Yeah, that’s funny. Oh, goodness. Thank you for sharing that. I love how that just rounds you out as just an interesting human and food blogger. So thanks for sharing it. And I’m super excited about our chat because this is a topic that I really feel strongly about. I think if anyone listening is serious about being successful, whatever that means for you as a food blogger entrepreneur, that this is the thing you need to do in order to find your success, and that is just not giving up. You show up consistently every day, every week, every month. You do not give up. No matter what. So you have some points, Renee, that you’re going to talk food bloggers through. You’re going to encourage us. You’re going to help us stay motivated. Keep creating that awesome content and finding the energy to keep moving toward our goals because that can be a struggle at times, just keeping up with our energy. So let’s just talk through your points. What is your first little tidbit for us?
Renee Rendall: Yeah. So you mentioned there, you’re having your own definition of success, whatever that means to you. I think it’s really easy and I know that I’ve experienced this. It’s so easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing, looking at somebody else on Instagram and seeing how many followers they have and feeling oh, I’ll never get there. Or hearing people in a Facebook group or something like that say, oh, it only took me three months to get to 50,000 monthly page views. You’re like, I’ve been doing this for two years and I’m only at 10,000.
Megan Porta: Or 10 years.
Renee Rendall: Yeah. It’s so easy to get caught up in that comparison game. I think it happens to absolutely everybody, but I think the important thing to do is to go back and find your own core beliefs in your own perspective on success and what being successful can mean for you, right now at this moment. I think it’s great to have goals of a certain number of page views or a certain level of income. Absolutely. It’s important to keep a focus on those things. But in the day-to-day. I think it’s more important to focus on the things that you can actually control. You can control the quality of your content. You can control your consistency and your commitment. You can control the level of learning that you’re willing to put in to improve your craft. Those are the things that are within your control. I think that is where day in and day out we should really be looking to see whether or not we feel like we’re successful in those things.
Megan Porta: I think that is such great advice to start with because it is easy to get caught up in other people’s lives and their businesses and their accounts and platforms and numbers. Do you have thoughts on that? Or I guess, advice about how to keep our blinders on a little bit, because I’ve found it’s really hard as a content creator on platforms like Instagram to keep your blinders on because you’re seeing everything else that’s being put out there. In podcasting, it’s much easier to keep your blinders on because you’re not necessarily hearing everything. As I publish, I don’t have to go on and wade through everything else people are publishing. But in the visual world, you do. So do you have advice on that?
Renee Rendall: Yeah. I think Instagram is tricky, especially because of the way that the algorithms are set up. You need to engage with other people’s content. If you’re not in the food blogger or influencer sphere, you can just not go on Instagram for a week and it’s no big deal. But if that’s part of your business, you have to be there. One good tip that I’ve heard from someone else was to go to somebody that maybe has triggered you or somebody who is content that you like, and you’re saying to yourself, oh, I wish I could be as good as them. Go on to their feed and scroll back. Just keep scrolling for however long it takes you to get back, like maybe a couple of years and see where their content was when they were at the place that you are now.
Megan Porta: Okay. We can stop the episode right there. That is so gold. I love that. I think we should all do that exercise today. Pick three people who trigger you in some way and not necessarily in a bad way, but in a way that’s oh, I really wish I could be like them and do that. I’m totally gonna do that today. Thank you. That was awesome. Okay. What else do you have for us? Do you have some more encouragement about how to not give up?
Renee Rendall: I think that there’s a lot of talk in the food blogging world about diversifying your income, and finding different ways to make money. I know this is something that you’ve talked about on your podcast. I think when you’re just starting out, that can feel quite overwhelming, especially if you’re still just trying to get your head around photography or getting on a consistent posting schedule or something like that.
But if you’re a creative person, you probably have a lot of ideas of things that you want to try. I say, follow your intuition and go for it. Explore all of your different gifts and talents. You don’t need to necessarily wait for one thing to be perfect before you start another, or you don’t need anybody to give you permission to try something. As you’re starting out and as you’re growing these may be small, new ways of bringing income in or small, new creative projects can spark something that maybe you didn’t realize when you were first starting out was something that was going to be really big for you. A couple of things that I’ve done is that I’ve done a bit of VA work for other bloggers around copy editing. Also, in my former life I was an English teacher. So when I see a misplaced comma, I feel compelled to fix it. So I was helping out another blogger with some of their copy editing and just cleaning up some of their old content. They had this amazing back catalog of content and that has helped pay for a lot of my expenses from my blog as I’ve been growing.
Then also, you mentioned that I now have a podcast. We’re about six months into that. But I had secretly wanted to have a podcast since 2013 and just never did it. Never felt like I was good enough or that I had anything to say or that I knew what the format was. Then one day I was just like, I think I’m going to just go ahead and start that podcast.
Megan Porta: Oh, good for you. You just did it. It was scary, but you did it.
Renee Rendall: I had no idea what I was doing. I Googled how to start a podcast. What kind of mic? I just let the internet teach me. I figured out as much as I could. When I hit record on that first episode, I was like, I don’t know what I’m doing.
Megan Porta: None of us do.
Renee Rendall: That’s the thing I think we forget so much is that we worry about these feelings that we have, that you know that I don’t know what I’m doing, or I, who am I to put my voice out into the world? No one really knows what they’re doing.
Megan Porta: Yeah. Oh my gosh. That is so true. It’s easy to forget that because the podcasts that we listened to are polished and have such great insights and everything seems perfect. It took hundreds and hundreds of practice episodes to get to that point. Same with blogging. Anything in the blogging world, it took repetition to get there. This is such a great point. You said so many good things. I think that exploring all of your gifts and talents, as you said, Renee, will also ensure that you keep going, because it will keep you from getting bored, right? If you have in the back of your mind, like you want to start a podcast and then you dig into that, that’s going to keep you excited and it’s going to keep your business exciting and it’s going to keep you moving. Do you agree with that?
Renee Rendall: Oh, absolutely. 100%. I went into podcasting because I love talking. But I love exploring ideas and talking those out with people. Maybe if photography is more your thing there are lots of different directions that you can go with that. If you love writing, there’s freelance possibilities. I think it’s really important to me. I don’t know if you have a meditation practice, Megan, to find some still moments where you can step away from the busy-ness. Food blogging is really hard work and you’re often really busy. I think you have to find those quiet moments to let your inspiration bubble up rather than just keeping yourself busy and that voice can’t get through until you find some time to be quiet. Then just follow it. When you hear a call to something, follow it, try it, see where it leads. If it doesn’t work out, no big deal.
Megan Porta: So the same for me. Quiet leads to my intuition talking to me. I will tell you, in all honesty, intuition runs my business. 100%. I hardly think about anything anymore. I just let my intuition guide me. Completely. I know that might sound weird to some people. Some people sit and think through their businesses. I do, I set goals and all of that. But I don’t set any goals that don’t completely align with what I hear when I am quiet. Does that make sense or am I weird?
Renee Rendall: It makes total sense to me, Megan. I run a podcast and a website, Modern Witches. So nothing sounds too weird to me. I think definitely we get taught to ignore that, to ignore our intuition and to have a concrete plan and what if something goes wrong. Listen to the experts. There’s one right way to do things and this is the only way to be successful. That’s just a story that we’ve been told or that we’re telling ourselves. There are infinite ways that a person can be successful. I think the more that you tap into your intuition, the more that you follow what feels right to you, the more, not only the more successful you will be, but the more joyful you’ll be in the process.
Megan Porta: You can listen to the experts and still follow your intuition. I do. I listen to everything that people have to say, and let my subconscious sort through that. Yeah, I just wanted to point out that you don’t have to do one or the other. You can still gather all of the information, but still rely on your intuition heavily.
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Megan Porta: Okay. I want to hear more thoughts from you. You have something here. Point three is allowing your audience to support you through platforms like Patreon. I want to hear more about that.
Renee Rendall: Yeah. Alongside starting the podcast, I also launched a Patreon page thinking This’ll be up for months and months before anybody ever even looks at it. Of course I have such lovely friends, one of my friends, the minute I texted her to say that I had that the Patreon page had gone live, she automatically subscribed. So that was really great. But I think sometimes we forget that even if your blog or your business is really small, even if you only have one, I’m not even going to throw out a number. If you have a number of followers or a number of readers or a number on your email list that feels small to you. Those are still people who are really excited about what you’re creating. So if you give them an opportunity to support you directly, I think you’d be really surprised how many of them are willing to actually trade the energy that you’re sharing through your creation for a little bit of their money to let you know that they want to be a part of what you’re trying to accomplish. They love your work and they want to support you. So the money doesn’t all have to come from selling a product or ads on your site or sponsored posts or things like that. Those are absolutely amazing forms of revenue, but also the people who really love your work, they want to get involved. They want to be a part of your journey as well. Patreon for me, has been a really cool opportunity as well, because your Patreon supporters get exclusive content, so it’s not like they’re just getting it for free. You give them a little bit extra. But one of the things that we do at the highest level is we have a book club.
My Patreon group is now called the International Coven of Awesomeness. Which came up as an inside joke on the podcast. So we now have the ICOA book club. So I get to meet with some of my Patreon supporters once a month and talk about a book that we love. So you get to make a real connection with those people as well. Even if it doesn’t make you a ton of money, like the money that I bring in from Patreon covers my costs for my hosting, for my podcast.
Megan Porta: That’s good. You don’t have to pay for hosting. That’s huge.
Renee Rendall: Yeah. Any, any little thing that you can bring in a little extra money while you’re getting started out will cover your costs. Anything you then do bring in, you’re able to keep that in your business account or however you want to arrange that, but you’re not having to come out of pocket and invest all of your money from your full-time job or whatever else it is that you’re doing while you’re trying to build yourself up. You can get the people who really care about what you’re doing to give you a little bit of support and help you cover some of your costs as you grow.
Megan Porta: Any amount of money for me all along my journey, whether I was starting in the middle or wherever, any little bit of money that came in was motivating for me. It was like a way to just give me a little bit of boost to get through that next level or to the next month. Does that kind of align with how you work too?
Renee Rendall: Absolutely. I think I said that, the money I get from Patreon. It’s not that it’s hugely financially profitable at this point, but it is hugely spiritually profitable. It really is a boost of encouragement. To me, it fills me up to know that I have these people that are supporting my projects and they really believe in me and I keep going because of their encouragement.
Megan Porta: There’s something to that. If people are paying you money to provide value, it’s like you are more willing to, okay, how does that work? You put your energy back to them. It is a spiritual concept. You’re getting energy from them. So then you provide more energy back. Does that make sense? Did I say that right?
Renee Rendall: Yeah. Everything is an exchange of energy. So when you create something you’re putting out energy to your audience and they are giving you their energy and return in a physical form of money, but also in a purely energetic form of encouragement and belief.
Megan Porta: Yeah, totally. You said it way better than I did. Yes. Anything else about that before we move on to your next point?
Renee Rendall: I think again, if you’re just, if you’re worried about trying this, if you have a voice that says, oh, it won’t work. There’s nothing to lose by trying. It takes a little bit of your time to set it up. You don’t have to make any investment. You just put it out there and see what happens.
Megan Porta: Yes, I love it. Great encouragement. What are your thoughts about community and finding supportive peers to keep you going?
Renee Rendall: As I was becoming more serious about growing my blog as a business. I had done it as a hobby for a long time, but once I decided that I wanted to try to make it into more of a business and a full-time job, I started looking at a lot of business coaches and things like that online and feeling really overwhelmed. I went from not knowing that a business coach was a thing to seeing that some business coaches charge a hundred thousand dollars an hour. That can feel so overwhelming to be somebody who’s just starting out and really needing support and wanting to connect with somebody who is maybe going through something similar and maybe trying to build something themselves and just to have that connection and that opportunity to talk with somebody about the goals that you want to achieve without feeling like you’re like boring your friends again, constantly talking about your business.
Megan Porta: Yeah. Oh my gosh. I think we can all relate to that, right? You see the glazed eyes and you’re like, oh no, here I go again.
Renee Rendall: So I actually ended up forming a group with a couple of other friends of mine who had, they’re not food bloggers, but they had similar goals of things that they were wanting to create with their lives. We said, we’re going to set aside this time. We were meeting twice a month at the new moon and the full moon because, got to keep it witchy, to have intentional time to talk about our goals and how we felt like we were progressing. Keeping each other accountable, giving each other support, keeping each other positive. That made such a huge difference. These are people that were my friends and I would hang out with them and I would talk with them anyway. But this time was specifically focused on these intentions of focusing on our goals and supporting each other. It’s been so amazing. If you want to join a mastermind with a great business coach, I think that is absolutely amazing. But if you feel like that opportunity maybe isn’t quite available to you yet. You’re not quite ready to invest in that. You can just go out and do it on your own.
Megan Porta: Find just a few people, maybe even two other people, where you intentionally, I love that you use it intentionally, you intentionally set time to get together and serious magic will unfold. No pun intended.
Renee Rendall: Oh yeah, absolutely. I think that people who aren’t necessarily in the witchcraft or the magic community don’t realize how simple magic actually is. Anytime that you’re doing something with intention, you are creating magic, from my point of view. We say it’s magic and we kind of giggle a little bit. But it really is magic.
Megan Porta: I use the word magic all the time in that way, because it is. When you do things with purpose like that, like you are basically creating magic right in front of you.
Renee Rendall: Agree. 100%.
Megan Porta: There’s no way to keep moving forward than to have a supportive group behind you. There have been so many times in my journey when I’m like, why am I doing this? This is so overwhelming. This is so frustrating. This is so whatever, fill in the blank with that discouraging word. But other people can lift you up and they can say, here is why you’re doing this. They can point out why you need to keep moving forward. So relying on those awesome people that you have in your network is huge and never giving up.
Renee Rendall: I think every single one of us has those days where we’re like, I should just quit. This is never going to work. Even the people who other people might perceive as being wildly successful, have those moments where they’re like, oh no, I’m not going to make it. I can’t do it. I’m not good enough. I should just quit. That’s when you call on your team.
Megan Porta: Yes. Exactly. Yeah. That might be my favorite point so far. These have all been so great. Okay. You have another point to talk through and that involves just believing in yourself. So I want to hear this. I’m sure you’ve got some great stuff.
Renee Rendall: I think I’ve probably touched on some of this already. I discovered witchcraft about a little over two years ago. Before that I didn’t even realize this was a thing that people did. I thought of that. Something supernatural and books and fantasy stories and things like that. I knew that people read tarot cards and were interested in astrology, but I didn’t realize there was this community out there. For me, the thing was witchcraft and magic, but it can be anything really that connects you, I think, to something bigger than yourself. The universe,spirit, God, goddess, whatever you want to call it. I think once you realize your connection with that bigger picture, and you realize that within that, even though you may seem small and insignificant. You actually have a lot of power that you get to decide, you get to co-create your own reality. You don’t have to just go along and accept other people’s version of success or the way that your life should be. That you get to make the choice about the kind of life that you want to have. Everything becomes possible. Things have just gotten clearer and clearer for me, the more that I’ve worked through these new understandings. The more that I have grown to know myself. If you’re not interested in witchcraft, you’ve probably heard about manifestation or growth mindset. CBT, all of these things are connected. They’re about finding your own power and believing in yourself. I think that is really the one thing that anybody needs to be successful. Because if you know that you have a purpose and that you have the power to achieve that purpose, then you just can’t give up. How could you give up? Who are you to quit when you have this purpose waiting for you?
Megan Porta: Oh my gosh. I just wrote that down. Who are you to quit? You have a purpose, like Renee said, and you are living it out. You are playing out your journey. You can’t quit. Who are you to quit? I love that. I agree with everything you said. No matter what your angle is of belief, whether it’s, a specific religion, tied to God or another sort of form of a spirituality or witchcraft or whatever it is, you have to believe everything that you just said. You are part of a higher purpose and higher power. I think that in itself is so motivating to keep going when times are tough.
Renee Rendall: Yeah. I think it’s easy to get caught up in the little stresses and sometimes big, huge, giant stresses of day-to-day life. Get bogged down in what’s for dinner. Who’s going to do the laundry, those things that we need to do to survive, to keep life going. It’s easy to lose track of what we truly want. Maybe this is me stereotyping, but I think women experience this to an even deeper degree. You feel like you have a lot of responsibilities for others, and it’s easy to lose track of your own desires. You have these calls, these desires to create something for a reason. You have the desire to create an amazing food blog for a reason. Something in you and something in the world needs what you’re creating. I just think you have to make that a priority.
Megan Porta: Oh, my gosh. That was beautiful. Thank you, Renee. That was so good. This goes back to the intuition thing. That is why I rely so heavily on my intuition because when it speaks to me, I know it’s right. When fear speaks to me, I know it’s wrong. When my intuition talks, I know to listen and I have certain desires for a reason, even if they seem confusing at the time or scary at the time. Or fill in the blank. I know I have to do them anyway. Wow. You’ve given me a lot to think about, and I hope that everyone listening is really caught up in this too, because it’s so fascinating. There’s so much truth here. These are really simple yet not, things that you can do to keep going. They might seem overwhelming, but they really are simple concepts. Do you have anything else? Any other encouragement about not giving up? If someone is listening and they’re like, I am just done with this. I am throwing my blog in a lake. What do you have for them as last takeaways?
Renee Rendall: Yeah. Go for a walk. Take a shower. Do something different. Take a breath. Then try to remember why you started this project in the first place. Try to get in touch with that feeling of joy and excitement that you felt when you first got that spark. I think that will remind you why you’re putting in the hard work. Nobody ever said that it was going to be easy. Nobody ever said that there wouldn’t be work, that there wouldn’t be action necessary. Just try and keep in touch I think with that spark of creation, that started the whole thing.
Megan Porta: This has been so amazing, Renee. Thank you so much for your time today. It’s been such a pleasure to chat with you.
Renee Rendall: I’ve had a great time talking with you.
Megan Porta: Yes, I have absolutely loved it. So before you go, though, do you have a quote or words of inspiration to share with us in addition to everything that you’ve already said.
Renee Rendall: Roald Dahl is quoted as saying, “those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” I think that’s so important to remember. Wherever you think that magic is. We all have a concept. We all have an idea of it and I think hopefully most people’s idea of magic is something beautiful and something joyful. If you’re not looking for magic. If you don’t believe in your own magic, you won’t be able to discover it.
Megan Porta: We will put together a show notes page for you, Renee. If anyone wants to go look at those, you can go to eatblogtalk.com/awesomeon20. Those are numerals – two zero. Why don’t you tell everyone where they can find you on your site, your blog, and on social media, Renee.
Renee Rendall: My site is awesomeon20.com. As you said, that’s the number’s two zero. I’m on Facebook and Twitter at Awesome on 20, but I mostly hang out on Instagram and there I am Renee_awesomeon20.
Megan Porta: Awesome. Can I ask you where your name for your blog came from?
Renee Rendall: So by original blog name, way, way back in the day when I first started, was How To Be Awesome on $20 a Day. Because I started my food blog right after my husband had lost his job. So I was trying to motivate myself to find the positive when we had just no money. Then I decided to rebrand, but I didn’t want to change my URL.
Megan Porta: I love it. I love that story. That’s great. I’m glad I asked. Thanks again so much, Renee for being here and sharing all of your insights and encouragement. Thank you for listening today, food bloggers. I will see you in the next episode.
Outro: We’re glad you could join us on this episode of Eat Blog Talk. For more resources based on today’s discussion, as well as show notes and an opportunity to be on a future episode of the show, be sure to head to eatblogtalk.com. If you feel that hunger for information, we’ll be here to feed you on Eat Blog Talk.
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