In episode 412, Megan chats to Kristin Weeks about how to set healthy habits that help us push through hard times and grow our businesses in the long run.
We cover information about the importance of being ready to work on and love your business seriously, the value of finding your strengths, weaknesses, and priorities so you can make a solid plan, putting together a solid routine for your personal and work life, and focus on results so you love what you do.
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 Kristin started her blog 3 years ago with the passion to teach others how to cook more homemade meals, bake with sourdough, and how start a backyard garden to grow fresh produce. Since then, Kristin’s journey has had a lot of ups and downs. A year ago she decided to take her blog and business seriously and that had a lot to do with habits, routines, and mindset. By working on herself first, she found she was able to focus. The hard work turned her hobby of a few thousand sessions a month to qualify for Mediavine within a year.
- Personal development, mindset, and routines can help you build a foundation to grow strong from and sustain your growth.
- Become confident in knowing your strengths and weaknesses.
- Train yourself to begin the day ahead of others to do things that help you get accomplished and be successful for the day. Focus on what needs to be done when you’re most refreshed.
- Exercise is an important way to care for yourself. Helps to have the right mindset personally and professionally at the beginning of the day.
- When there are tasks you don’t enjoy doing in blogging, remember that the end result gets you where you want to be and let that motivate you.
- Celebrate every victory and every milestone. You’re making progress on the way to your goal.
- Find community! This will help you find people who can celebrate with you, encourage you and keep you on track.
- Learn from your fellow bloggers and be able to implement what they can teach you.
- Invest in yourself, but find the right things. Vet the advice from the community and do some research to make sure it’s tried and true.
- There are a lot of free resources for business growth – books, and podcasts.
- Don’t give up.
Gap and the Gain
Enneagram: The Road Back to You – has a test inside the book and is one of the better ones.
Podcast: Around the Circle: they have a great series called “Typing” where they have an episode that goes over how to find your type and then deep dive episodes into each number.
Click for full script.
EBT412 – Kristin Weeks
Intro: Food bloggers, hi, how are you today? Thank you so much for tuning in to the Eat Blog Talk podcast. This is the place for food bloggers to get information and inspiration to accelerate their blog’s growth and ultimately help you to achieve your freedom, whether that’s financial, personal, or professional.
I’m Megan Porta and I’ve been a food blogger for over 12 years. I understand how isolating food blogging can be at times. I’m on a mission to motivate, inspire, and most importantly, let each and every food blogger, including you, know that you are heard and supported.
The topic in this episode is one of my absolute favorite topics to talk about, hands down. Kristin Weeks from Dirt and Dough joins me to talk about this formula that she came up with accidentally after going through a hard time in her life. She realized that the things that she was doing to get through that time actually ended up making her blog more successful. A lot of it has to do with just personal development, establishing morning routines, adding fitness into her life, enjoying the process, and things like that. This is such an amazing discussion. You’re going to love this and be so inspired by this episode and by Kristin. She is an amazing person and food blogger. This is episode number 412 sponsored by RankIQ.
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Megan Porta: Kristin started her blog three years ago with the passion to teach others how to cook more homemade meals, bake with sourdough, and how to start a backyard garden to grow fresh produce. Since then, Kristin’s journey has had a lot of ups and downs.
A year ago, she decided to take her blog and business seriously, and that had a lot to do with habits, routines, and mindset. By working on herself first, she found she was able to focus. The hard work turned her hobby of a few thousand sessions a month into qualifying for Mediavine within a year.
Kristin, it is such a pleasure to have you on the podcast. Thank you so much for joining me. How are you today?
Kristin Weeks: I’m doing great, Megan. Thanks so much for having me.
Megan Porta: Yay! We usually meet in Clubhouse and talk there, so it’s fun to meet here on the podcast. So happy to have you here and also super excited about our topic because, as I love this topic. This is something that you and I have talked about before. But before we get into it, do you have a fun fact to share with us?
Kristin Weeks: Yeah. My fun fact is that my family, we have a travel trailer and we love to get out and go camping just about any opportunity we can get. We live in Washington, western Washington. So it’s not the greatest weather. We get a lot of rain, but it really doesn’t stop us. We still get out in the fall, in the winter. In the summer, we like to spend time at lakes, paddleboarding, fishing, swimming, and doing all the summer stuff. But then when the weather turns, we love to go out to more of the coastline and we spend a lot of time crabbing and clam digging and just spending rainy days at the beach. If we’re not at home working, there’s a good chance we’re out camping.
Megan Porta: Another way that you and I are alike. I think you guys should move to Minnesota and be our neighbors because I feel like we would be hanging out all the time.
Kristin Weeks: I think so too. I agree with that.
Megan Porta: Okay, so I love that about you. I’ve known that for a while. I love the crabbing, too. I’m so intrigued by that and learning more about that. I think that sounds so fun.
Kristin Weeks: It is. You should come out to Washington and we’ll take you guys out. That would be a lot of fun.
Megan Porta: Okay. I will take you up on that. I’ve had blogger friends say, Megan, you and your family should, and I’m like, okay. Then I book a ticket. I literally just did this. My friend Monica from the Hidden Veggies was like, both of our sons love roller coasters. So she’s you guys should come out and we can go to Kennywood. My husband was right there and I’m like, should we go to Pittsburgh? And he’s sure, let’s do it. So I’m like, okay, sounds good. We’re coming. She was like, oh, okay. So yeah, be careful what you offer me. I might take you up on it.
Kristin Weeks: I’d be happy if you did.
Megan Porta: That’s awesome. Okay. I’ll be in your driveway in a few weeks.
Kristin Weeks: Sounds great.
Megan Porta: Alright, so let’s talk about this topic because I love this and it’s just this idea that maybe the answers to not being overwhelmed aren’t in doing more work or like figuring out different projects, but maybe the answers are in ourselves and figuring out what we need to work on within us in order to find less overwhelm, more success, more peace, more rest, and all of the good things. So, Kristin, you have a story that led you to get to this point where you accidentally found a great system that worked. So would you mind talking us through your journey?
Kristin Weeks: Yeah, absolutely. So my blogging journey started back in late 2019, 2020. I have a really big passion for food. I grow my own garden. I make sourdough bread. I love making homemade meals. So this was a way that I could really share this passion. It started out with just friends and family, but then I realized there were other people that wanted to read it as well. Then in 2020, obviously the pandemic hit and what should have been a great opportunity for my blog to really take off, gardening, sourdough, just all of those things that really took off during that time, my blog didn’t. I got really overwhelmed in the beginning with that because I put so much time and energy and then this topic really took off and I just stayed stagnant and I couldn’t figure out why.
Once I started diving into what was going on, I realized the course that I had originally taken, there was a lot of incorrect advice on how to set up a food blog, and proper SEO keywords. I just wasn’t doing things correctly and social media wasn’t really in the front of my mind and all my focus was on my blog. So I realized really quickly that I had done things just completely wrong and that was the reason I wasn’t taking off in Google searches.
Then shortly after that, I started finding resources like Eat Blog Talk and other food blogging experts like Casey Markee and just really took in all of that information that I could to try to fix my site. It was very overwhelming, just everything all at once. Then, at that same time, I was going through some serious health stuff. I had what’s called endometriosis and adenomyosis and my health was declining very quickly. It’s a very progressive disease and I had gotten to the point that I needed it removed. So just having the blog, having my kids home from school, taking on the homeschooling. My husband was also a first responder. So that time was just a little extra hard for us just because he was gone for days at a time. It just started to become too much. So unfortunately, the one thing that got put on the back burner was my blog. I really had to figure out my health and the disease had gotten to the point where just managing that alone felt like a full-time job. It was a lot. So I decided my family and my health were my number one focuses. So the blog went on the back burner and I would post every now and then but as far as fixing It and bringing it to a point where I could get good Google traffic, that just it wasn’t an option at that time.
So while I was waiting to have surgery, I really started diving into the idea of personal development. The first book ever that I read was Atomic Habits and it just started to spark this desire. I’ve always loved fitness and it’s always been a huge part of my life, but while going through endometriosis, it was more important than ever that I found a good fitness and health routine. Just between that and a couple of other health habits I developed, I did all those to prepare me to have the surgery to get everything fixed and corrected. Then in the fall of 2021, I underwent two pretty intense surgeries back to back and it was a really long recovery, but it was during that recovery that I was able to finally dive into all the things that I needed to do. Go over my notes, and figure out what courses were next. I decided then that I was going to give myself a year to really put everything that I had into my blog because now I was on a really good path with my health. I like to pick a word a year and my word that year was recovery. I was recovering my health. I was recovering just my physical fitness and my body. I was recovering my blog. In February of 2022, I was at maybe a couple of thousand visits a month, and by the very next February, I had been accepted into Mediavine.
Megan Porta: Oh my gosh, amazing.
Kristin Weeks: I know it’s because of all of those things that I had worked on leading up to my surgeries with the personal development, the good habits, the routines, my mindset. I did all those things to prepare myself for surgery and then for recovery afterward. But what I didn’t realize was I was really setting a good foundation to dive into my blog headfirst and do everything that I can because it gave me those habits and processes that I really needed to sustain myself throughout the year.
Megan Porta: Oh my gosh, Kristin, what an incredible story. I love this. I’ve heard you share bits and pieces of this, but never the full story. It’s so cool to listen to how that evolved for you and like I said earlier, like accidentally landed on something that helped your business that you had no idea would help your business. So I’m not excited that you had to go through all of that. I’m so sorry. That sounds just like that’s hard but look at the silver lining. Look what’s come of this. You found this system that works for creating a thriving business. So cool how that transpired.
Kristin Weeks: Oh, thanks, Megan.
Megan Porta: Yeah. So what are some of the things that you put into place for your surgery, but actually like also your blog unintentionally, that you feel helped you grow your business?
Kristin Weeks: So the first thing would be the whole idea of personal development. Once I read Atomic Habits, I was bit by the bug. What other topic can I dive into for other areas of my life? One thing that a friend recommended to me was the Enneagram. I know Megan, we’ve had lots of talks about the Enneagram. You know how much I just, I love everything Enneagram. Really diving in and learning about me personally and just how my mind works and how I bring in information and how I show up in the world, just learning those little things about myself, I was able to really point out weaknesses in areas that I needed to work on, but then areas too, where I actually had a lot of strengths. Then how to utilize those strengths in areas that would benefit my blog, but then also identify those weaknesses and areas I needed to work on. Then there were some areas that I knew I just needed to let go of. By diving into Enneagram and learning all those things about myself, I was able to really create a focus list on what was the most important thing to me because it fits within what my strengths were.
Megan Porta: That awareness I think is so vital and the Enneagram is magic. How long does the test take, would you say, to go through it?
Kristin Weeks: The tests don’t take very long. I would say the most powerful way to figure out what you’re Enneagram number is just to spend time on material about the Enneagram. Because I will say I took a test and it said I was one number. But then once I started reading books and listening to podcasts, I very quickly realized I was not that number. So I think it could just be as simple as listening to podcasts on the topic or reading a book and just seeing what number really speaks to you.
Megan Porta: Yeah, I think you’re the one that encouraged me to take it. I know I had taken it before and then I heard you talk about it and how effective it was in your life. So I took it and it really did highlight just an awareness. So for anyone who hasn’t taken it, it gives you like, how would you categorize the numbers?
Kristin Weeks: So the Enneagram is a little different than other personality typing tools because it doesn’t touch on our behaviors, it touches on our motivation. So every number has a motivation that’s attached to it and the motivation is what drives our number. So once you figure out what your motivation is, that will then help you see why you do the things that you do. The numbers are categorized into three separate groups. There’s the head group, the heart group, and the gut group. So once you figure out what group you’re in, there’s so much more information that you can dive into to learn about yourself.
Megan Porta: See, I knew you would describe it way better than I could. Motivation. Once you understand or you’re aware of what your motivation is, your main one, I think everything just becomes more clear. As you said, you thought you were one thing, but you’re actually motivated by something completely different. So just having that awareness can direct you, not just with work, but I feel like in every area of your life.
Kristin Weeks: Yeah, exactly. It’s benefited all areas of my life, but blogging specifically, it has really helped because I am an Enneagram 5 and part of that is we like to feel helpful and competent. That is one of our biggest motivations. So that was actually what was part of what was holding me back because learning everything about SEO and keywords and all that, I didn’t feel like I could get started until I knew everything possible. That’s just not realistic. So as I’m learning about the Enneagram and learning this about myself, I had to almost force myself to take action because as a five, I can sit and I can retain all of this information and then never do anything with it. Which I know is really common for a lot of people. But for fives, it’s at the core of who we are. So just knowing that about myself, forces me to remind myself, I need to actually do something now. I can’t just sit and research forever. So I would say that was one of the biggest takeaways I had from that.
Megan Porta: I had a huge takeaway too when I realized I was an achiever. My realization there was like, that is my main motivation, achieve. That leads to burnout. It was just like, oh my gosh, that makes sense. That’s why I get to that burnout stage so frequently. Now I’m, it’s at the top of my mind, so I’m aware of it and I’m so much more careful about it now because I have to be really cautious. This is my motivation. We could go deeper into that, but.
Kristin Weeks: We could. Yeah.
Megan Porta: This could take a whole nother direction. So the Enneagram, I think if you are looking to just dig into yourself more and be more aware of what your motivations are and personal development, as Kristin talked about, Google Enneagram tests. I think there are a few different places you can take that. Is that right? Or is there one place you should go for that, Kristin?
Kristin Weeks: I can send you a link, but there’s also a really good book resource. It’s called The Road Back to You. That is probably one of the easiest Enneagram reads that can really help you identify what your number is.
Megan Porta: Awesome. As you said, there are podcasts too dedicated to the topic. So any other things outside of the realm of Enneagram and Atomic Habits that you just really dug into with personal development?
Kristin Weeks: I think the Enneagram and Atomic Habits were really the foundation of that and then spurred on. So once I figured out with the Enneagram kind of where my weaknesses were, I was then able to take each one of those and then dive into subtopics on those weaknesses and just help strengthen those different areas of my life. So I took a very personal turn in personal development because I knew there were very specific things that I had to work on.
Megan Porta: Oh, love that. It’s one thing, one awareness led to another, and then stepping stones for you, like a little path of personal development.
Kristin Weeks: Yes, correct.
Megan Porta: Yes. Okay. So I know also that you have incorporated a morning routine into your life and that this has been really valuable. So will you talk to us about that?
Kristin Weeks: So I used to be the type that you would have to set six alarms. I never wanted to wake up early. I was not a morning person at all. So I’m going to say that because if I can become a morning person, I am pretty convinced anybody can become a morning person because I never have been. But leading up to my surgery, it was just another thing, once the pandemic hit. We very much got out of a rhythm and it was something that I didn’t realize I missed. So I decided, okay, I’m going to start waking up in the morning because by the time I’m awake and my kids are awake, the day is just hectic. I need to find time for myself. It was really hard in the beginning because like I said I did not like waking up early. But now i’m to the point that i’ve been doing it for about two years that if I sleep in, my day just feels gone and it just feels shot and it’s just amazing how even those two extra hours in the morning, that I get to myself, just how much things I can get done. I can just feel so accomplished for the entire day before my kids even wake up.
Megan Porta: How much time are we talking? Like how early do you get up?
Kristin Weeks: So I like to wake up between five and five thirty every day. It didn’t start like that. It started at seven o’clock every single day. Because I found the benefit. I’m up an hour early before my kids. This is great. Then I extended the time a little more. Then as I started adding time in the morning, I found that I was actually craving it more and it was getting easier and easier to wake up because of everything I was able to get done. My morning routines now, they’re not set in stone. So one thing I find really effective with morning routines, a lot of people will say you need the same routine every day. You have to wake up, start your workout, and do this. I just don’t think that’s practical and it ties into knowing more about my personality type. I’m the type of person that I need to wake up and do the creative. I need to do the writing. I need to do the thinking. I have to do that first thing in the morning because I quickly lose energy and I just don’t have energy for it in the afternoon. So there are days that I know I need to start out in the morning, get up and I need to get the blog post written that I need to get done. I have to edit photos and I make a list for myself of those things I know I need to get done for the day and I do them first thing in the morning. Then there are other days where I’m doing a lot of photography or cooking. So I know doing my workout first thing in the morning would actually be more beneficial.
So I have found by tailoring each morning to what I need for the day, it just sets my day off on such a good start because I’m either getting that workout first thing to give me more energy to get through the day, or I’m getting all of my thinking and creativity done. I base it off basically what my day looks like.
Megan Porta: So it’s like an intuitive morning routine. So you’re not like, I have to get up and work out first thing. What’s more, I think you use this word tailoring it to what is best for you that day. Customizing it.
Kristin Weeks: Yeah, customizing it because we’re all different and my perfect morning is getting up and getting my workout done. But sometimes I know that’s not realistic because I know I have other things that have to be done. Then now I’ve moved my workout to the afternoon and it’s almost like I get all my work done and now it’s almost like I get a break or I can go for a walk or I can read. Having that reset in the afternoon has also been really nice.
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Megan Porta: So I have a morning routine as well. I typically will get up and just like work out right away just to kick that out. But there are days when, I know if I get up that at that early time, I’m going to need a nap, so I just sleep in a little bit. For me, that is I have to be intuitive with that too, because we all need extra sleep sometimes, and sleeping in is sometimes the answer. Do you agree with that?
Kristin Weeks: I do. Yeah, I have those days too, where I’m on a good routine and a schedule, but then there are just days where I wake up and it’s I’m not feeling it today. You do have to give yourself grace too. For the most part, I am really good about it, but then there are days that I need that little extra. So I completely agree with you.
Megan Porta: For people with kids like you and me, it’s so important to get that undivided time for yourself. It’s hard. Even my kids who are older. 16 and almost 13 now, they’re always in my face. Mom, I need this, and make me lunch. You know how to make your own lunch. No matter what ages they are, you’re still momming when they’re awake, right? So just having that time alone is sacred.
Kristin Weeks: Yeah, it’s much needed.
Megan Porta: Yes, much needed. So you mentioned exercising. Sometimes you incorporate it into your morning routine, and sometimes later. So how has that played a role in all of this?
Kristin Weeks: I have always loved fitness and I’ve done different things throughout the year and then definitely right before my surgeries, I had to alter it quite a bit. So I used to run and there’s other types of workouts that I like to do, and if I’m challenging myself physically, it’s just putting me in that mindset of, like we tell our kids, I can do hard things it puts me in that mindset too. So then I can transfer that over to my blog. Like man, if I can do this I can also do hard things with my business. I think being able to challenge yourself in one area just motivates you to challenge yourself in other areas as well.
Megan Porta: Oh, I love this so much. Okay. I don’t know who put this in my mind or how I came upon this, but I’m so grateful for wherever in my past this happened and how it happened. But I’ve always just had this thing. If I start a workout, I do not stop ever. I do Beachbody On Demand, so they have all those like weight workouts, cardio, you name it, you can pick whatever workout you want. They’re so great. One of the things they always talk about in those programs is the fact that most people start a program and they never finish. Something like 60 or 70% of people don’t finish a program. I’m always like, what? That’s crazy. In my mind, it’s If I press play, I go to the end and I’ve never thought about this, but when you said that, I was like, that is exactly what I do in my business too. So I wonder if that has translated.
Kristin Weeks: I think it does translate. I think it gives us, like I said, that mindset of if I can accomplish that workout or that run, I can do other things that are, hard and challenging. I think it just really puts us in that good mindset. It’s almost like a skill you’re developing of being able to like you said, accomplish a program or a task. You’re just building that skill to be able to accomplish things. I feel like I definitely can turn that into my blog. There are tasks that I have to do, and I’ve already had that mindset of I can work through this and I can get it done. I think having a good fitness routine really plays into that but also I find it gives me a chance to turn my brain off. I think that the other benefit that I love about it is that I don’t have to think about anything other than what I’m doing. I think developing that skill and then just giving your brain a rest, those are the two biggest benefits I’ve gotten from it.
Megan Porta: It forces you into the present moment, right? Not many other things do that for me as well. You have to be there. You’re doing a pushup. You’ve got to focus on that pushup.
Kristin Weeks: Exactly. Exactly.
Megan Porta: There’s so much gold in creating a fitness routine. Do you work out every day? Do you try to incorporate it into most days? How do you do that?
Kristin Weeks: I try to do at least five days a week, and then the other two days are usually spent, I’ll try to fit something else in, whether it’s going on a walk as a family or doing some other kind of physical activity. So I try to be active most days of the week, but five actual dedicated workouts.
Megan Porta: Yes. Awesome. That is amazing. Okay. So what other kind of key factors played into this whole system that you’ve created?
Kristin Weeks: One thing that I really had to learn about was how to just love the process of blogging. James Clear talks a lot about that in Atomic Habits as well. That habit is a lot easier to keep when it’s something you actually enjoy. If it’s something you don’t love, it’s a lot harder to stay with it and there’s a good chance you’re not going to. But if it’s something you love, you’re gonna keep doing it. That’s challenging with some of the tasks that we have to do as food bloggers. One of the examples that came to my mind was when I first set up my blog, I didn’t follow the best advice. So none of my images were optimized for SEO. By the time I realized this, I had already probably had a catalog of Hundreds and hundreds of images. So the thought of having to go back and resize and redo all of these images, re-upload them, and go through the whole process, was very daunting. But I just had to learn how to, not necessarily enjoy the process, but enjoy the end result. So I had to think about, by doing all of these images correctly, what is it going to do for my blog. I had to fall in love with that piece of it. Then it made the tasks so much easier to get done because the end results is what I was striving for and what I was loving. I had to separate the task itself from that or else I wouldn’t have wanted to do it.
Megan Porta: I think this is key for, like you said earlier, just so many of those projects that we have to do that aren’t very fun. Right now I’m dealing with this with my Pinterest. So I have a new Pinterest strategy. You were part of the reason for it because you inspired me with your Pinterest success this year. Honestly, it’s not fun. I sit down and I’m like, oh my gosh, I have to make all these pins and I have to schedule them and that is not super awesome. But I keep thinking about a year from now, think of all the Pinterest traffic I could have and I could tell people how I did it and hopefully add value to their businesses. So I always have to look ahead to that as well because if I didn’t, there’s no way I would continue with it. It’s just way too boring.
Kristin Weeks: Yeah. I completely agree with that. I think that’s why when I say love the process, it’s not necessarily the process itself. I agree with making pins, and scheduling them. It’s not fun. It’s not what I want to be doing. But then when you see the end result and you know what they could be, that is part of the process you have to love. Because if you don’t think about what it can do, it makes the actual task very daunting.
Megan Porta: Ugh. And boring sometimes.
Kristin Weeks: And boring.
Megan Porta: Let’s face it, there are a lot of boring things that we must do in our businesses, but hopefully it’s worth the effort.
Kristin Weeks: I completely agree.
Megan Porta: Yes. I love that one. I forgot that James Clear talked about that in his book. I was telling you before we recorded that I need to reread that. I feel like it’s one of those books that we should reread every one or two years, right?
Kristin Weeks: I agree.
Megan Porta: Such a good book. If you are listening and you haven’t read Atomic Habits, oh my gosh, it’s one of those life-changing books, hands down.
Kristin Weeks: Yeah, I would agree with that.
Megan Porta: All right, what else do you have, Kristin? What else is in your formula?
Kristin Weeks: One thing. I think Megan, I think you recommended this book to me once when we were on a call called The Gap and The Gain.
Megan Porta: I knew you were going to say that.
Kristin Weeks: It talks about how you have to switch your mindset. We all set goals we want this kind of traffic or make this kind of income but if you’re so focused on the goal and you’re forgetting what actual gains you’re making along the way, you lose sight of everything. So one of my biggest tips is just to celebrate every victory and every milestone. Because where you are now may not be where you were a few months ago. I have to always remind myself and go back and look. I only had a few thousand visitors just last year. I need to celebrate where I’m at versus thinking, but I still have so much further to go. Because the gain that I’ve already made is something that’s still worth celebrating. I think that is what I see a lot in people. They’re so focused on their end goal that they forget that they’re actually making progress along the way. That’s what needs to be celebrated.
Megan Porta: Always, right? There’s always progress being made all the time that we discount or we don’t see. We don’t pause to take a moment and reflect on it and acknowledge it. Not just in our businesses, but I feel like this applies to your whole life. Where were you a year ago, I don’t know. We paid off our windows in our house and oh my gosh, we paid off our windows. We got this just massive bill one day and now it’s gone. So just reflecting on those things can, they can be so powerful.
Kristin Weeks: Yeah, I completely agree. There are areas with my workouts in the gym and stuff that I still get frustrated with that I’m not progressing, but then I have to remind myself before surgery, the endometriosis had gotten so bad, I physically couldn’t do any of these. Now I’m not doing it to the capacity that I want, but I’m still able to do it, whereas a year ago that wasn’t even an option. I think the same thing goes with our blogs. I see people get so, I’m not here yet, I’m not there, but also look at where you’re at. I think that is so important to take into account.
Megan Porta: So that book you mentioned, The Gap and the Gain, I say the same thing about this book that I do about Atomic Habits, life-changing. Those two books are the top two books I recommend when people ask me what books should I read for mindset and growth. Those two for sure. Yeah, they’re both amazing. So if you haven’t read that one either, go get that. I am not associated with either of those authors. I promise. They’re just some really amazing books. Oh, I wanted to say one more thing about that. So the celebration thing. I got this idea from a podcast recently and I haven’t implemented it yet, but I thought it would be really cool to set aside one day a month, whether it’s a lunch date with my husband or a dinner date or something, and just reflect on the successes from the month. We can’t talk about goals or business going forward or kids or anything. We just look back and we talk about all the good things that have happened in the past month. I love that idea and I’ll report back how it goes when I actually do it.
Kristin Weeks: Yeah. I want to hear about that. That sounds like such a great idea.
Megan Porta: Maybe we can touch base on Clubhouse sometime and chat about that there. What else do you have as some other parts of your formula for success?
Kristin Weeks: I would say one of the biggest things that I did, once I decided, yes, I’m going to go all in, do everything I can, was to find a community. That was about the time I started listening in on the Clubhouse chats. Just the takeaways each week were amazing. It was like, I can implement a point at least once an episode. It was, I can implement something today. I just started taking all those little takeaways and they just chipped away at things. I really think that a big key to my success was just learning from other food bloggers. Then when we did the Enneagram talk, that was fun to also share my piece of information and how that has been super helpful for me. So I think just finding another group of people to go along the journey with. I think there’s such value and power in that.
Megan Porta: Oh, I’m so glad that you started coming into Clubhouse. You’ve added so much value there and I totally agree that it’s such a safe space, I try to really protect our time but also like topics and the vibe and everything like that. But it’s such a good place to come together and just talk about the really weird jobs that we have. Nobody else understands this, so to come to a group of people that gets it and just have that ability to be open and share things. You shared recently like this Pinterest strategy and that affected me in a positive way and other people, so it’s been really good. You don’t necessarily think you’re going to affect people by mentioning some little thing about your mindset or business, but it can really trickle down and have a huge effect. It’s one hour of your week that you just go and you can just listen. So why not?
Kristin Weeks: Exactly. I think it ties into my last point, too, because When I got to Mediavine, the second I got the email, jumping into the Instagram chat and telling everyone there and the responses I got, even when I share it with my family now, nobody has a sense of what that even means or what it is, but I had this group, you and, everyone else in there, that just the outpouring of support, it was overwhelming. It was like if I didn’t have that, I would just be sitting in my own little bubble, but being able to share it with a group of people that understand, was a great experience.
Megan Porta: Yes. Oh my gosh, that’s so true. Yeah, we were like, this is amazing. But someone in your real life would be like, oh, Kristin seems excited about this, so nice work. But like you said, they don’t truly understand the gravity or all the work, and energy and love that went into getting you there, right? So just to feel understood, I think.
Kristin Weeks: Yes, exactly.
Megan Porta: Okay, what else, is there anything that we’re missing?
Kristin Weeks: One other point I would put in, just because I feel like this was a crucial part of my story, I would say invest in yourself. I feel like anytime I pour something new into this business, it has always paid off. Like a new course, I would take, a new subscription service, or anything that other food bloggers are saying that’s working for them. Anytime I invest in it, it has paid off for itself. So I feel like really investing in yourself and your business is so crucial. With that, I would also say, make sure you’re investing in the right things. I took a course in the very beginning and just the advice that was given, I’m still cleaning up my site from it. I know there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done. So I would say, do your research and make sure it is something that’s tried and true and tested and that other food bloggers would recommend because there’s a lot of bad advice out there as well.
Megan Porta: So if there are some newer bloggers listening, I know this is a big topic. So if somebody’s listening and they’re like, this sounds great. I do want to invest in my business and myself, but I really have no idea where to start. What would you say to that?
Kristin Weeks: I would say diving into podcasts like these because you do interview so many guest experts. Anything, from Casey Markee or the Top Hat Rank crew, or even I took Cooking With Keywords with Aleka and that definitely did change my keyword game. So I would say the podcasts are a great way to start because there are people who not are just successful themselves, but they’re teaching so many other people how to be successful as well.
Megan Porta: And they’re free. Podcasts are totally free.
Kristin Weeks: Yes, exactly.
Megan Porta: Just going back to your Atomic Habits and The Gap and the Gain, I think reading through some really good business books like that can actually guide you to other things too. Oh yeah, I do want to dig into this. One thing leads to another. I think we touched on that earlier too. All right. What have we missed? Is there anything else? This is such great information. I feel like I could talk to you forever about all of this, but I just want to make sure we don’t miss anything.
Kristin Weeks: Yeah, I would say my final point, just to wrap up all the others is, don’t give up. Because I think there are plenty of times, within my blogging journey that I definitely just wanted to throw the towel in. I was overwhelmed. I was stressed I didn’t understand what to do. But as I invested in myself and I was taking in all the information and I was making slow changes, those slow and small changes do eventually add up. You never know what the last change is gonna be that’s gonna just push you over the edge. I was sitting at around twenty to twenty-five thousand sessions a month and it was just a couple of web stories and a post that just absolutely pushed me over that edge and it got me to that, that 50,000 mark. If I had thrown in the towel on web stories, like I wanted to do, I don’t know if I would have gotten to 50. So just continue to plug along. Because if you’re putting in all the time and the effort and you’re working on yourself and you’re applying that to your business, it’s going to pay off. If you’re putting in the right work, there’s no way it can’t pay off.
Megan Porta: Kristin, this is gold. Seriously, this is going to be a super popular episode. I feel like this is the magic for your success. This is the formula right here. This is it. So just so appreciate you and everything you’ve shared. Again, sorry you had to go through the journey that you did with your surgeries and everything, but I’m really glad that it led you to all of these realizations that you’ve had because we can learn from you and just thank you for all of that.
Kristin Weeks: Thank you, Megan. Thank you for the opportunity to share.
Megan Porta: Yeah. Do you have a favorite quote or words of inspiration to leave us with today?
Kristin Weeks: I do. And it’s, of course, from James Clear. “We don’t rise to the level of our goals. We fall to the level of our systems.” What that means to me is we can set goals all day of where we want to be, but that’s not going to be enough to motivate us and keep us going. But if we have good systems and processes and habits, and we’re continuing to work on ourselves, that’s what’s going to get us to those goals.
Megan Porta: Amazing way to end. I love that you did that. We’ll put together a show notes page for you, Kristin. So if anyone wants to go see any of the resources we’ve talked about in this episode, you can go to eatblogtalk.Com/dirtanddough. Tell everyone where they can find you, Kristin.
Kristin Weeks: Yeah. So my website is dirtanddough.`dicom. That is where I am the most active and my Instagram is @dirt.dough.
Megan Porta: Join us at Clubhouse sometime. We meet on the first and third Thursdays of every month at noon Eastern for one hour. We have great conversations like we talked about. So many takeaways, but mostly just that community. So if you don’t know how to join us at Clubhouse, send me an email and I’ll tell you and we’ll see you there. Thanks again, Kristin. This was amazing. Thank you for listening, food bloggers. I will see you in the next episode.
Outro: Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Eat Blog Talk. If you enjoyed this episode, I’d be so grateful if you posted it to your social media feed and stories. I will see you next time.
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