In this episode, Megan chats to Lily Payen about how to transition from a full-time job to full-time blogging without getting overwhelmed and while managing responsibilities as a parent.

We cover information about the importance of starting with a specific niche to make it easier to rank, maintaining consistency in content creation without burning out, having backup content prepared and not being too hard on yourself when you need to rest.

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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Guest Details

Connect with Feeding Tiny Bellies
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Bio Lily, a mom of three and a former math teacher turned food blogger, never envisioned ever leaving the world of teaching, but the opportunity to blog somewhat fell into her lap and she’s now enveloped in that world. When Lily had her second son, she started sharing baby-led weaning recipes online and discovered a community of parents who were also looking for similar recipes. Things took off from there and she found herself in this new profession of blogging. Now Lily can’t imagine doing anything else.

Takeaways

  • Start Specific: Learn the importance of starting with a specific niche, which allows for easier ranking and targeting a more defined audience.
  • Consistency Matters: Maintaining consistency in content creation is vital for success, even if the frequency varies over time. The importance is in delivering quality over quantity.
  • Balance Work and Parenting: Managing blogging while caring for children can be difficult, so why not plan your work around nap times and find a routine that works for the family?
  • Invest in Learning: Investing time and money in learning about blogging, SEO, and other relevant topics is crucial for long-term success.
  • Adopt a Business Mindset: Transitioning from a full-time job to full-time blogging requires adopting a business mindset, being one’s own boss, and holding oneself accountable.
  • Flexibility in Scheduling: Being flexible in scheduling and adapting to unexpected situations, such as sick days, is essential for maintaining productivity and consistency.
  • Use Backup Content: Having backup content ready for unforeseen circumstances to ensures consistent publishing.
  • Rest when You Need to: At the end of the day, if you really need to take a break, feel free to do so. The hard work you put in before will pay off.

For example when Lily was pregnant with her 3rd child, during her first trimester she was so sick and nauseous and couldn’t find the energy to pre-plan and post content and she just had to take time off from posting content. She thought that she would come back to a “dead blog”, but she was surprised to know that her traffic had actually increased during that time. The work Lily had put into previous posts was picking up traction and she was still able to maintain her traffic.

Transcript

Click for full script.

EBT510 – Lily Payen

Intro 00:00

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 your blog’s growth, and ultimately help you to achieve your freedom. Whether that’s financial, personal, or professional. I’m Megan Porta. I have been a food blogger for 13 years, so I understand how isolating food blogging can be. 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. 

Maybe you are in the midst of transitioning from a full-time, outside blogging job to full-time blogging, or maybe you’re just thinking about doing this in the near future. Either way, this episode will help you think through some things, especially if you’re a parent and you’re also juggling being a mom or being a dad. Lily Payen from Feeding Tiny Bellies joins me in this interview to talk about her experience from starting on Instagram and how that led to starting a food blog and how she really quickly decided that she wanted to grow her food blog as fast as possible so that she could be at home with her kids and also quit her job as a math teacher. Her journey is really inspiring because she was able to do it so quickly and she did everything in a really streamlined and smart way. So I think we have a lot to learn from her because as you may know, transitioning from a full-time job that has nothing to do with blogging to full-time blogging can be really overwhelming and it can require a lot of mindset work to make that change happen. I hope you love this episode as much as I did. It was such a great chat. This is episode number 510 Sponsored by RankIQ.

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Megan Porta 03:25

Lily is a mom of three and a former math teacher turned food blogger. She never envisioned ever leaving the role of teaching, but the opportunity to blog somewhat fell into her lap and she’s now enveloped in this world. When Lily had her second son, she started sharing baby lead weaning recipes online and she discovered a community of parents who were also looking for similar recipes. Things took off from there and she found herself in this new profession of blogging. Now Lily can’t imagine doing anything else. 

Hello, Lily. Welcome to the podcast. So happy to have you here. How’s it going today?

Lily Payen 03:58

I’m doing well Megan. Thank you so much for having me.

Megan Porta 04:01

Yay. Super excited to chat about your experience with going from a full-time job to full-time blogging. I know a lot of people are going through this as well, so this will be great to cover. But first, do you have a fun fact to share with us?

Lily Payen 04:13

Yes, so I actually used to be terrified of heights and I spent a good majority of my life avoiding heights at all costs. But once I got married, my husband somehow convinced me to travel out of the country for a honeymoon for the first time, and it was the very first time I had gotten on a plane and he somehow managed to convince me to travel more and to drive on high bridges and to do all sorts of things that involve heights that I never thought I’d do and I can’t even count how many times now I’ve been on a plane or been in a situation that involves heights now. So things have definitely changed since then.

Megan Porta 04:43

Oh, facing fears opens up doors for opportunity, right?

Lily Payen 04:47

Yes, for sure.

Megan Porta 04:49

Oh, I love that. That’s such, and also facing fears. This is our subject today. I think it’s really scary to go from a full-time job to full-time blogging. So that kind of relates to just doing things that you’re, you might be really afraid of, right?

Lily Payen 05:02

Yes, definitely.

Megan Porta 05:04

So why don’t you tell us a little bit about your blog when you started, any other information you want to share about it?

Lily Payen 05:11

Yeah, so it all goes back to spring of 2021. My second son had just turned six months old and I wanted to go the baby led weaning route of feeding with him. It’s just an approach to introducing solids to babies and I had done one of my first son and I wanted to do it with him too. And I just love being, you know, creative. I just love like mini foods, baby size items. I just think they’re so cute and I just love setting up little plates for him. And I started sharing those photos on my personal Instagram account and I remember some of my friends just reaching out to me and saying, you know, you should really start a separate page for these type of things. You know, people would really find this type of stuff helpful. And at first I was really hesitant because I thought, no one’s going to care about this stuff. No one cares to see, you know, plates of my baby’s foods. But then at the same time I was like, okay, I need to stop spamming people on my personal account who don’t have kids who don’t care about this type of stuff. I decided to make a separate account just for fun, just to share, you know, some of his meals. And another fun fact, actually my Instagram handle used to be Levi Eats because it was just all about foods that I shared for my son and I had no like, no idea or intention of it ever going anywhere. And this was also happening during a really heightened part of the pandemic where grocery store runs weren’t as easy to do. And I had to get really creative with coming up with recipes that were simple that used like basic pantry staples. And I think that really resonated with, you know, other parents and caregivers who were in a similar situation. So I just started sharing more things and things just kind of started taking off from there.

Megan Porta 06:37

I love how that aligned. It kind of coincided with the pandemic and what people were going through and then what you wanted to share anyway, it was a natural fit it seems. Yes. That’s really cool. Yeah, and a lot of people can’t say that, right? Like a lot of people had to change course and directions really quickly during that time. So that’s great that that worked, kind of worked in your favor. Okay. So you had a full-time job previously, correct?

Lily Payen 06:59

Yes. I had a full-time job, but as math teacher.

Megan Porta 07:02

Okay. Oh gosh. What kind of math were you teaching?

Lily Payen 07:04

Middle school. Middle school math. So, definitely a change.

Megan Porta 07:09

Oh boy, I have a middle schooler and he, yes, so I get it. that’s a, that’s a huge change. When you said that I imagined immediately his teacher, I’m like, oh, I always feel like they’re so stressed and I don’t know, was that a stressful job?

Lily Payen 07:23

Yes, definitely. Definitely stressful because it’s always, it’s hard to leave work at work when you’re a teacher. So I definitely had to learn how to make that differentiation.

Megan Porta 07:33

Yeah. Wow, that’s so cool. Okay, so at what point did you see that there was a tipping point? Like you needed to probably leave your job and how did that all go?

Lily Payen 07:43

Yeah, so the page kept growing the Instagram page and I really didn’t realize how much potential it had. And I remember getting emails even from brands, you know, asking to work with me, asking me to share my rates and I was thinking to myself rates for what? Like I really was kinda unaware of the potential. So I started doing more research at that point into things like, you know, influence marketing, affiliate marketing and blogging. And I realized, you know, I could actually monetize this. So I started the Instagram account in April of 2021 and by November of 2021 is when the account had accumulated a hundred thousand followers. So it was pretty quick. Yes. And I really, yeah, I really wanted to take advantage of that. So I decided to create a website and I launched my blog on November 24th, 2021. I always remember that date. And I had qualified for Raptive at the beginning of June of 2022. So a little bit over six months.

Megan Porta 08:32

Oh my gosh, that’s so great. Okay. So do you feel like your Instagram success really helped your blog grow?

Lily Payen 08:38

Yeah, so that definitely, you know, gave me an advantage just having the Instagram account and I know many people, you know, usually do it the other way around where they’ll start their blog first and then they’ll create the social media accounts, you know, around that. But since this wasn’t something I originally intended on pursuing, I created the blog afterwards and I was immediately able to direct, you know, some social media traffic from Instagram to my blog, which was really helpful.

Megan Porta 09:02

Oh that’s so great. I love it when people do it like quote backwards. I think it’s so cool because it’s not aligned with how I did it and I feel like a lot of people do it the same way I did, but it’s cool to see like, oh it can go the other way around too. So in June of 2022 you got into Raptive at that point were you still teaching math?

Lily Payen 09:23

In June of So that’s when I actually left my job like the same time as we moved to Texas. Yeah. So it kind of, it’s funny how everything just kind of played out.

Megan Porta 09:32

Wow. So a lot of things happened at once. Yeah. So you, your blog had explosive growth, you were doing great on Instagram. Now were you also maintaining partnerships through Instagram with brands?

Lily Payen 09:44

Yeah, so during that time I started getting more partnerships as I was kind of waiting out, holding out for an ad network. And that’s another thing that was really crucial to me as well as waiting out to apply for one of the premium ad networks. And I know that there’s, you know, so many ad companies out there and I know the idea of having your time and efforts being monetized right away sounds appealing, but I just knew in the long run that I wanted to be with either MediaVine or Raptive. So I set that goal out to hold out to try to apply for one of those. And I know not everyone can afford to do this and some people need to monetize their efforts right away. But I always suggest that if you can recommend, I recommend holding out for one of the premium ones because it’s just so much easier to build traffic, you know, when your site speed is good, when your page experience is good and some of those, you know, lower ad networks kind of push back those two items. Yeah. So if you can, and again, I had my job as the full-time math teacher, so I was getting an income from that. So that kind of gave me the insurance to be able to wait out for those. But even with that, you know, it was still tough putting in so much work and not getting really anything in return. But the desire, you know, my enjoyment for sharing recipes is really what kept me motivated. It helped me kind of wait out for those things.

Megan Porta 10:57

Yeah, I’ve heard that from others as well. It’s really worthwhile because the quality of the ads too that go onto your site is really important. If you’re, I don’t want to say any other network ad networks, but the ones that we’ve probably all explored at some point and you see like a giant wart on your screen or something like yeah you don’t want that with paired with your food. That’s something you don’t want your users to experience. So holding out as good if you can. And then I have a question about your Instagram following. So you said that your Instagram following really helped you to build up your blog. Do you feel like there’s a certain number for that or a certain level?

Lily Payen 11:34

It really depends. I mean for me I feel like my growth was pretty quick and I know a lot of people, even in regards to Instagram, a lot of people say, you know, Reels are the way to go, Reels are the way to grow. But for me I feel like it was really the opposite. I really actually had a viral reel just the other day. So it was like my first viral reel since I started the account. But before then, really what took off for me most was carousel posts. And I feel like ultimately as long as you’re providing value and you’re providing content that you know, people want to see that people find value in, that people find helpful, it really doesn’t matter what form the content is in. Yes. You know, reels have been pushed out a lot lately, but I feel like lately Instagram has kind of been changing the algorithm a little bit to push out more of those other forms of content as well. So that’s been helpful to see.

Megan Porta 12:18

That’s interesting. So I’ve seen that too where carousels really do seem to be working for some people, but some accounts it’s like, nope, Reels only or a sprinkling of carousels in. What are your thoughts on just static solo images?

Lily Payen 12:34

I’ve actually had like good success with those as well and I feel like it also depends on your followers. Some people they prefer Reels, they prefer, you know, that video content. Some people prefer a single image post, they like kind of analyzing the picture and reading through a caption. And some people like swiping through carousels. So it really depends on your audience and what your audience prefers. So like you said, you know, some accounts Reels are the only things that perform well. Others accounts, you know, single static images do well. So I think it really depends on figuring out what your followers are looking for and catering to their needs.

Megan Porta 13:07

And do you get a lot of traffic from Instagram to your blog?

Lily Payen 13:11

I did when I first started the blog, most of the blog was Instagram traffic. But now that I’ve kind of learned more about, you know, SEO and how to optimize my sites in other ways for the user, it’s been more so Google traffic, but it’s kind of a mix of different areas.

Megan Porta 13:26

Okay. But it must be significant from Instagram, right?

Lily Payen 13:30

Yes, for sure. It’s not, it, probably the third on the list would be Instagram after like direct and Pinterest.

Megan Porta 13:35

That’s great. So I’ve heard that once you reach a certain level on Instagram, like around 50,000 followers or somewhere around that number, that you do start to see significant Instagram traffic, but below that it’s really hard to get traffic. Do you think that’s true?

Lily Payen 13:52

I would agree with that because I started my blog after I had a hundred thousand followers. Okay. So I was kind of already at a point where I had a good significant amount of people coming from that. And even with that it wasn’t, you know, like as crazy as a ma as you would think for having an account with that many followers. So I definitely feel like, you know, the higher your followers are, the more traffic you’ll see directed to your site. But it depends, it really depends on, you know, if you have a video that goes viral, you could have, you know, a lot of traffic immediately from that one post on your site. So it really depends.

Megan Porta 14:23

Right. Okay. And then during the time when you were just trying to immerse yourself in blogging and get your blog going, how important was learning during that time? So like consuming books, podcasts, investing in your business, that sort of thing?

Lily Payen 14:38

Yeah, so I research right away. As soon as I knew that I wanted to go on this full force, I learned as much as I could about blogging and I consumed as much information as possible. So I listened to different podcasts like this one, I took courses, I hired a professional web designer right off the bat and I put in effort to become informed about things as quickly as I could. And I recommend, you know, investing, getting with a good host and setting up an effective theme on your site and just researching and consuming as much information as you can. Because also I read so many stories about bloggers, you know, who had started out with things the wrong way and they spent years trying to optimize their site and redo things for SEO and the user in mind. So I wanted to try to understand those concepts right away and that also meant that I had to put a lot of money and time into learning and taking courses. But once I started thinking of this more as a business instead of a hobby, I realized that I had to invest that time and money in order to see results in return. And if you aren’t able to invest money, there’s so many, you know, free resources out there like this podcast and just so many resources you could use to learn about things without having to invest money to begin with.

Megan Porta 15:46

Yeah. And I so agree with this strategy. I see people who maybe can invest and they don’t just because it’s like, well I can rely on all the free resources, but I always say if you can invest in the courses and the really high-quality groups and I don’t know, just any, anything that you think is going to move your business forward, do it because it’s going to accelerate your growth. And I feel like you’re on the same page with that.

Lily Payen 16:13

Yes, I agree. And I’ll, again, a lot of people think that that investing always means money, but it doesn’t have to be money. Time is, you know, as valuable and as important and you can learn so much from all the free resources that are available out there.

Megan Porta 16:25

Yeah. And you mentioned hosting, so really that is so important. I spent so much time stressing over issues that I had through a really bad host and time that my website was down. And I remember like crying all night one night overnight. Like I was up all night long trying to get this figured out. I was so exhausted the next day just in tears. My site had been down for over 24 hours. That is not where like if I look back and say what would I have paid to not deal with that issue, I would’ve paid a lot of money. Yeah. It is so stressful. So learn from people like me who’ve been through this stress. Web host is really important.

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Megan Porta 18:26

Anything else that you invested your time or money in that you would recommend others do?

Lily Payen 18:31

So I took certain courses, like I took a Pinterest course, I took the cooking with keywords course just to learn about keyword research right off the bat. And again, I listened to like a lot of the podcasts that were available joining Facebook groups kind of getting like-minded terms with other bloggers and just kind of putting in, you know, as much of your time as you can to learn right away, because Once you learn right away, you kind of avoid some of the common mistakes that can be made right off the bat.

Megan Porta 18:57

Yeah. Okay. I have a question about just going from full-time work outside of blogging to full-time work in blogging and how you, I guess how you change the structure of your days. I’ve heard other bloggers recently say that it’s so weird, just going from like, I don’t know, reporting to other people and having to make other people for you like math students and other teachers and administration happy to going to being your own boss. Can you speak on that? Like how you, how it’s different organizing your time?

Lily Payen 19:30

Yes. So definitely was weird to make that transition and as a teacher, you know, I was always lesson planning and always grading and I would oftentimes bring work home. But once I decided to start blogging, I just knew that I just couldn’t do that anymore. The work had to stay at work and I had to keep things separate so that I wouldn’t feel burnt out. And I tried as much as I could to incorporate daily life into blogging as much as possible. So I planned meals and recipes because my blog is surrounded around, you know, baby and toddler meals. I planned meals and recipes that I needed to offer my little ones and kind of intertwined it with what I needed to create for the blog to kind of kill two birds with one stone in a sense. And I would recipe test at night when the boys were asleep and I would freeze those meals and just offer them those meals throughout the week. And it was really overwhelming at first. But I tried to find a balance of, you know, work and parenting my boys and running the blog. But once I found a routine that kind of worked between those things, I was able to stick with it. And I stopped teaching in June of 2022. So my husband got a job offer that gave us the opportunity to move across country. So that was a big change as well. Wow. And I was also pregnant at this time with my third son. My, so there’s lot of, oh my gosh, a lot of things happening. But I was so happy to be able to stay home with my boys because that was always something I desired as well. And I was able to kind of put more effort into blogging with that as well.

Megan Porta 20:48

Oh my gosh, you had like a massive malting period where you were literally changing everything. Yes. That’s so crazy. Looking back, do you wish that like, I don’t know, anything would’ve been different? Are you glad that it all happened at once?

Lily Payen 21:03

Yeah, I felt like everything just laid out perfectly for me. Yeah. And it’s funny because a lot of people think that, you know, I left my job as a full-time teacher and I’m now a stay at home work from home mom and they think that things are easier for me, but I honestly feel like things are just as tough if not tougher, because now I am caring for the boys during the day. But I learned to kind of work, you know, around their nap schedules. And I again tried to intertwine recipes as much as I could. And so for example, I have a son now who’s one, but when he turned six months old, I did a series on Instagram where I shared like, you know, his baby led weaning journey and all the foods that I was introducing to him. And that was content for me. You know, it was real life but it was content at the same time. So I was able to offer him foods and meals the way I wanted, but I was also able to share that with other parents who kind of wanted to follow along with a similar approach. So I feel like trying as much as you and I know not every niche allows for that, but trying as much as you can to, you know, create recipes that you know your family’s going to eat during the week or kind of plan meal plan around things that, you know, you need to have a post-up at some point to try to kind of intertwine things as much as possible just to make it a little bit less burdensome on you and a little bit less stressful.

Megan Porta 22:13

Kill two birds with one stone, right? Yes. That’s what the like been one of the sub-themes of my entire blogging life is if I’m going to be cooking, I’m going to be doing it for a purpose. Yeah. I am so on board with you. I remember when my boys were really little and feeling like everything was so mapped out. I don’t know if you feel like this lily, but like yeah, killing two birds with one stone all the time. To the point where I was super efficient and really tired. Just like, wow that was a lot of work to think through that and carry through with that plan. Do you ever feel like that?

Lily Payen 22:45

All the time.

Megan Porta 22:46

Oh, I’m glad that I’m not the only one. It does get easier by the way as they get older. You will still kill two birds with one stone, have that mindset, but it gets less taxing, I would say.

Lily Payen 22:57

Yeah, I’m hoping the toddler years are really getting to me, so I’m hoping.

Megan Porta 23:01

Oh gosh, yes. Okay. So talk about having kids. Is there anything else? If someone’s listening and you know, really getting into full-time blogging or thinking about getting into full-time blogging and they have kids and that’s maybe a hangup. Like I don’t know if I can do it. That seems like a lot. Do you have any encouragement outside of what you’ve already said about that?

Lily Payen 23:21

Yeah, so just scheduling things as much as you can. I’m a planner and when I don’t plan, my days are just kind of hectic and all over the place. So I try again to schedule things out and knowing, you know, like I said before, kind of planning things around their nap times. Knowing that when they’ll take a nap, I’m trying to knock out some recipes in the way and sometimes I don’t feel like it, sometimes I’m like, okay, I could take a nap myself right now . But I try to think of, you know, know my future self and knowing that I’ll thank myself in the past if I just kind of knock out things and just doing things, you know, in small steps. It doesn’t have to be, you know, going, filming a whole recipe, writing up a blog post and a big timeframe and setting up really large goals. But just small steps, you know, during this nap I’m going to take a few minutes to kind of plan out recipes and then I’m going to go rest or during, you know, when they go to bed, I’m going to lay out ingredients that I need for this next meal that I’m going to create and then I’m going to go do laundry. So just kind of setting out small goals and each day you’ll find that it’s easier to kind of pick up those goals and be able to kind of push out more content and you’ll kind of find a schedule that works for you and your family as you do that.

Megan Porta 24:25

And how do you deal with those days or weeks when things just go awry a little bit? Like, you know, kids get sick and that sort of thing happens and then when they get sick you’re taxed and you’re tired and you maybe don’t work as efficiently, so do you, yeah, I guess how do you handle those weeks?

Lily Payen 24:41

Yeah, so I try my best to plan out things in advance so that I always kind of have like a piece of content or certain content pieces available as almost like sick days. I guess that mindset of me teaching kind of gets me that mindset. You know, when I was out as a teacher I had to provide, you know, lesson plans and had to have things like backup available. So I try to kind of implement that into my blogging as well. That if there is, you know, times that my boys are sick and I just can’t create or I can’t put certain things out, I’ll kind of pull from my list of items that I had to the side and kind of use those pieces, you know, to share on Instagram or to put on my blog just to kind of keep things going, because I feel like consistency is so important, but again, there’ll be days that you may not be able to push out things and that’s fine. But having that little toolkit of things, you know, that I keep to the side has been really helpful for me for those times. Okay.

Megan Porta 25:29

That is so smart. That does require forethought. I remember doing this as well, Lily. That’s so funny. when, especially when my boys were little, I was like, I need to have kind of a, something in my back pocket for when I just don’t have the bandwidth to think or function really. So I would have like photo editing for me it was really easy. I could just kick that out and I, I had, I called it my mindless task list and I would just pull that out and then it’s so easy you just have to read, like open these photos and edit them, you know, so it’s kind of like giving yourself a way out to not think when you, when you can’t think if that makes sense. But I love that. So you mentioned consistency. I think being consistent is so important no matter where you’re at, but especially if you’re leaving a job and you’re trying to make this a full-time thing, you just can’t have large blips of time where you’re not being consistent. Do you agree with that?

Lily Payen 26:21

Yes, for sure. So like you mentioned, you’ll constantly hear people say the importance of consistency and it really is important, but consistency can look different for everyone. So having a consistent schedule of sharing recipes is essential for success. But when I first started my Instagram for example, consistency for me was every single day, but I didn’t have a blog at the time. I just had the Instagram account. So I was just sharing, you know, static images of the meals I was feeding my son. And that was really helpful and helped my account grow at that time. But once I started blogging I realized that, you know, daily posting was not realistic for me anymore. So I had to change that schedule and reduce it to something that felt more attainable for me at the time. So consistency is important, but I always believe in quality over quantity and making sure that every single item that you put out is helpful. So that could be, you know, bi-weekly for some people it could be weekly, it could be monthly, however you choose to do that for your blog, you just have to make sure you’re continuing with that same schedule and putting content out as much as you can.

Megan Porta 27:21

That’s a really great point. So just acknowledging that consistency can shift over time. It doesn’t have to be like, I am publishing one blog post a week and it doesn’t have to stay like that for five years. Right? Like you can change that, you can increase it, you can decrease it, but to kind of stick with something over time and keep taking steps forward is the key.

Lily Payen 27:41

Yes. And that kind of goes back to like when you asked me before about the mindset shift between a full-time job to being my own boss, that took me time to get used to, because I was so used to, you know, people telling me, you know, this is due by this date or you have to take care of this by this time. And you know, I set a schedule for myself and I had to kind of let myself know that, you know, you can change this whenever you want. You can put things out, you can kind of change your schedule, you can change your approach, you can, you’re your own boss. And that’s kind of the beauty of becoming a blog that you kind of do things on your own terms. So that was a transition for me. But it’s definitely nice being able to kind of change things whenever I feel fit.

Megan Porta 28:19

Yeah. And to go along with that, like you become your own boss, which can be overwhelming, but be your own boss. Like be your boss. You have to boss yourself around a little bit. Yes. Right. I had to get to that point where I was like, wait a second, I’m my own boss . I have to put myself in place sometimes and make myself show up and make myself create and all of that. And that’s a huge change going from someone else being your boss.

Lily Payen 28:42

Yes, for sure.

Megan Porta 28:43

Yeah. Okay. So niche, your niche is baby food, toddler food, correct? Yes. Just feeding, like your blog is Feeding Tiny Bellies. I love that. So talk about niches in this day and age here in 2024, what are your thoughts on niching down and finding a niche?

Lily Payen 29:02

Yeah, so my niche is, was very specific from the start. Like you mentioned baby and toddler foods. And upon researching, when I first started kind of getting into blogging, I realized how competitive it all is and how difficult it can be to rank for things or as a new site. And I know that some bloggers, they like to start with a broader niche and kind of scale down from there. But the more specific you start, the more specific of an audience you’ll be able to reach. And you can always expand as you grow. But for a new blogger, I’d recommend, you know, starting really specific, because even the keyword, you know, research tools will tell us that we can’t rank as a new blog for, you know, some of the top broad keywords, but we can rank for more specific items. So just trying to be really, really specific. And again, just knowing that things can change. Again, you’re your own boss if you want to broaden out as you grow, you can go ahead and do that. But just starting off kind of specific, just to be able to get your blog and your name out there to begin with.

Megan Porta 29:55

Yeah, that’s great advice. I totally agree with all of that. Is there anything else you have, any other tips or words of encouragement for any bloggers listening who are considering doing this or in the midst of doing this?

Lily Payen 30:09

Yeah, so it, it’s tough at first, but it definitely gets easier. And again, especially as a mom, you have your little ones to worry about. And just being a mom in itself is, you know, a big and crazy job just having to care for little ones and raising your kids. But you can do it if you really set your mind to it. You just have to, again, just start small pieces here and there that’ll kind of build together. And if you really, really desire to create a blog and do this, you can do it. You just gotta have that mindset to begin with.

Megan Porta 30:39

Mindset is everything, right? Just deciding you’re going to do it and being in tune with your why also, which I feel like you really are. You want the freedom and flexibility for your family and for your kids, right? So yes, staying in tune with that as well. And by the way, I was just looking at your blog. Your boys are so cute. Oh my gosh. I was like just bursting with a smile. They are so adorable. That picture of your son with food all over his face. Oh it’s so cute.

Lily Payen 31:08

Thank you. They definitely keep me busy.

Megan Porta 31:11

Oh I know. Yes. Boys are so fun. I love being a boy mom. Okay, is there anything that we’ve forgotten that you want to mention before we start saying goodbye, Lily?

Lily Payen 31:20

No, I think those were the main points that I wanted to share.

Megan Porta 31:23

Thank you so much. This was so fun and I love this. This is such a valuable topic and we appreciate your value that you showed up with today. Thank you so much for being here.

Lily Payen 31:32

Yes, thank you.

Megan Porta 31:33

Do you have either a favorite quote or words of inspiration to leave us with?

Lily Payen 31:37

Yes, I wanted to share a quote, I’m not sure where this quote is from, but it says you have to invest if you want to progress. And that has really resonated with me, especially this past year. Like I mentioned in the beginning, I’m invested so much time and money into all this from the start and was getting nothing back in return, but I really believe that I could get something out of this. And now looking back, I’m happy I made all those sacrifices because I’m starting to see the results of that. And I’m hoping at some point to be able to be able to hire out more tasks this year because I’ve been starting to feel a little bit burned out myself. But I’m just constantly reminding myself, you have to invest if you want to progress.

Megan Porta 32:15

I love that. And there is this tipping point too when you’re investing sometimes it’s like you’re not seeing the direct impact in your business like next week. Like if I invest something this week, I don’t see it next week. But you have to just have faith that eventually you’re going to see that return. So I think that’s a huge part of the message you’re bringing to the table today is just believing that eventually it’s going to pay off just keeping at it, right?

Lily Payen 32:41

Yes. It’s so hard because as humans we want that, you know, immediate result to happen. But it could take time. You know, the whole blogging work, it could take several years to ever see, you know, that post that you’re working on rank. But just knowing that as you continue investing that time and energy, that you will see the results from that eventually.

Megan Porta 32:58

Oh, that’s such a great message. Thank you for that. We will put together a show notes page for you, Lily, if you want to go look at those, head to eatblogtalk.com/feedingtinybellies. Tell everyone where they can find you, Lily.

Lily Payen 33:11

Yeah, so I’m @feedingtinybellies on all social media platforms and my website is feedingtinybellies.com.

Megan Porta 33:17

Awesome. Thank you again so much for being here and thank you for listening today, food bloggers. I will see you in the next episode. 

Megan Porta 33:27

Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Eat Blog Talk. If you are craving accountability, focus, and connection at a low monthly cost, join the Eat Blog Talk accountability group at EatBlogTalk.com/focus. I will see you next time.


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