We cover information about which factors you should evaluate before buying or selling an existing blog (or starting a new one), including time, energy, goals, and budget, and making sure your passion aligns with the blog’s niche and target audience.

Listen on the player in this post or on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube or your favorite podcast player. Or scroll down to read a full transcript.

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Guest Details

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Parker Thornburg worked at Yahoo for 8 years in Omaha, NE. After Parker left Yahoo to enter the startup world, he told his manager of 8 years that he wanted to stay connected and possibly even own a business together someday. That day came in April 2023 when they purchased a food blog, Foodness Gracious, that had been established since 2012. They continue to work full-time jobs while spending all of their spare time trying to grow Foodness Gracious. Parker has an amazing wife of 23 years and three great children aged 18, 16 and 11.


  • Time and energy considerations are important when deciding to buy or sell a blog: How much time and effort is required to keep the blog going and is it worth it?
  • Passion for the topic is important: Don’t pursue a niche that you do not really feel passionate about.
  • Know your strengths and weaknesses: Outsource tasks that you feel less confident in and focus on tasks that you are skilled at. 
  • Change the blog design only if it really makes an improvement: Analyze your analytics to know what impact your design had.
  • Audience engagement must be maintained during transitions: Try to smoothly transition ownership by respecting the previous owner’s vision and followers.
  • Social media isn’t always traffic-driving: You can focus on posting regularly for followers but don’t have to obsess over engagement metrics.
  • Intentionality helps prevent burnout: To maintain a healthy work-life balance set clear boundaries.


Click for full script.

EBT552 – Parker Thornburg

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. 

Megan Porta  00:37

Have you ever considered buying an established blog or maybe starting a new niche blog or even selling your current blog? No matter what camp you fall in, because you probably fall into one of those camps, at least from time to time. You should definitely give this podcast episode a listen. It is so good. Parker Thornburg from Foodness Gracious joins me. He purchased Foodness Gracious a year ago from an established blogger and he talks about his and his business partner’s journey with purchasing the blog and how it has evolved since. And he just doesn’t talk about the good stuff. He talks about the hard stuff too, so we can tune in and learn from him and his journey. I love this episode. It definitely got my wheels turning and I hope you really enjoy it too. It is episode number 552 sponsored by Rank IQ. 

Sponsor  01:29

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Megan Porta  03:00

Parker Thornburg worked at Yahoo for 8 years in Omaha, NE. After Parker left Yahoo to enter the startup world, he told his manager of 8 years that he wanted to stay connected and possibly even own a business together someday. That day came in April 2023 when they purchased a food blog, Foodness Gracious, that had been established since 2012. They continue to work full-time jobs while spending all of their spare time trying to grow Foodness Gracious. Parker has an amazing wife of 23 years and three great children aged 18, 16 and 11.

Megan Porta  03:33

Hello Parker, welcome to Eat Blog Talk your first time here. So great to have you.

Parker Thornburg  03:38

Thank you so much. It’s a pleasure being here.

Megan Porta  03:40

I am super excited to chat with you today. Before we get into, you know whether we should consider buying an established blog or starting our own all of that good stuff. Do you have a fun fact to share with us?

Parker Thornburg  03:51

You know, my wife and three children would probably have lots of different ideas of fun facts that they would love to tell about me. I will say the fun fact for me is I really didn’t get into cooking until COVID. I think a lot of people probably did a lot more cooking at home over COVID I got much more into the Food Network and Be Bobby Flay became kind of a daily routine for us in the house. And our kids would either cheer for Bobby or cheer against Bobby and it kind of became a family thing. And, and so then, as I would cook during COVID, they they would all laugh and say, well, this isn’t near as good as Bobby would do and things like that. So cooking, cooking at home and eating as a family kind of became a real thing for us to do as a family during COVID. So that’s kind of my fun fact around cooking and food. 

Megan Porta  04:39

Yeah, I love that one of the silver linings of COVID. Right. I think a lot of people did come out of COVID with like that family bonding with cooking and more kitchen skills and all of that. Absolutely. So great to hear. So I want to ask you about your blog because I think this will lead really nicely into our topic. Do you want to just give us a background on on your blog how you got into it. And now we know that you got into cooking during COVID. But how did it evolve from there?

Parker Thornburg 05:08

Yeah, so I worked in corporate jobs and have worked in corporate jobs over my whole career. And I worked at Yahoo for about eight years between 2011 and 2019. And had a manager at the time, that was my manager for seven of those eight years. And when I left Yahoo, we had such a great rapport. We said, you know, maybe we’ll even maybe we’ll stay in touch and even own a business together someday. And we kind of chuckled and laughed. And, you know, it’s just something that people say. And over the next several years, we stayed in touch, and we became great friends. And we started looking into the possibility of buying a business together. And we love the digital space. And so over the course of a couple of years, between 2021 and 2023, we probably looked at, and this doesn’t mean deep dive, but we looked at probably 200 different companies, we didn’t want to go the brick and mortar route, we didn’t want to have a bunch of employees, we live in different states. So digital was would work well for our partnership. And we ultimately landed in on a food blog called Foodness Gracious. We met the founder who started the business back in 2011, or 2012, just simply as a blog for his family. He loved doing food photography, and it grew into a successful business for him. And his name was Jerry Spears. He’s a wonderful human being. And as we got to know him, we felt like not only was the business something that we could really learn to love, but also the transition from Jerry over to us, we felt like the type of person Jerry was would make it very easy for us as well. And he did exactly what we had expected. So in April 2023, we bought Foodness Gracious, and we have been running it ever since. 

Megan Porta  06:54

Wow, I love that. And yeah, I guess like did your new love for cooking after COVID Is that part of what inspired you to go the food blog route?

Parker Thornburg  07:03

100%, I had this vision. And now the vision has changed over time. But the vision at the beginning was, I didn’t want to, to have this this second job, so to speak on top of my normal full time job that would take me away from my wife and my children all the time. And so this vision that I had was, well, we will learn how to you know what recipes to make, we’ll learn SEO, we and I kept thinking we over and over. And ultimately, we would make these recipes, we would take the photos, we would load them to the website, I’d have my kids in the photos, and it would become kind of this family thing. The lesson that I learned very quickly was that it is very difficult to be as good as Jerry was, who was a food photographer. That is what his passion was, he just happened to also have a food website. I have a food website, where number one I don’t know what I’m doing because we just bought it. And I am not a food photographer. I learned. I learned that very quickly. And we started saying, wow, the recipes we’re adding don’t look anything like the you know, 1000s of recipes that Jerry did. And so that was a very humbling experience that I had early on was the food was delicious. It doesn’t look as delicious as Jerry’s food. And food photography is much more difficult than I think anyone would give it credit for.

Megan Porta  08:29

Yeah, it’s no joke. I mean, there’s so many aspects of food photography that you’d really don’t understand, especially with food. I feel like like there’s so much opportunity for food to look just gross and ugly. Yeah. And that’s not something you probably think about when you get into buying a food blog. Right? 

Parker Thornburg  08:45


Megan Porta  08:45

Yeah. Okay. So I know there are a lot of people listening who are either they’re either wanting to sell or thinking about selling, or maybe they’re thinking about buying another blog, or buying just a blog, their first blog, or like starting their own completely from scratch. So these are a lot of considerations. But can you talk through those, like how do people kind of drill down to what they should do or what’s right for them?

Parker Thornburg  09:11

So let me address the folks that are thinking about starting a food blog from scratch. What’s my business partner or my my good friend, Scott and I talked about was, we could start something from scratch. But he has a full time job and a family. I have a full time job and a family. And so what we what we really looked at first was time and energy, how much time and how much energy do we have to build this from scratch? Versus the pros and cons of buying an established one? Could we kind of fast forward through some of those headaches and and the SEO and building up the social media and getting a following and creating a newsletter to build a subscriber base and all of those things. So time and energy was one of the very first things and I would say that that’s probably a factor for the person who maybe has an established food blog and is considering selling is the time and energy still something that you have a passion for? Or is it feeling like a job every day. So that would be one thing. And then I really kind of think it comes down to what your goals are, if your goals are to just have a passion project on the side that maybe you’re not so worried about it growing and becoming a successful business and getting on an ad network and all of those things, Scott and I did have a vision to, to be on an ad network to have revenue, to add revenue drivers on top of the ad, the digital ads that Jerry already had in place for Foodness Gracious. And so if the goals lead you down that path, I really think if you look at time and energy and your goals, I think those two are really some key factors in making that decision whether to buy whether to sell or start from scratch.

Megan Porta  10:54

Okay, that is such a good just kind of good place to start. Because we all value and appreciate time and energy. Obviously, buying an established food blog is going to be an expense. So that is a consideration as well. Versus like starting your own. But then it’s like how much is your time worth? Right? Like how much is your all of that time that you would have to put into starting new versus buying something that’s already been started? Okay, so let’s say somebody decides to buy an established blog. So with you and fitness gracious, you got your blog, you purchased it? And it’s like, Okay, now what, like you mentioned photography, like, I need to learn photography, like where do you go from there?

Parker Thornburg  11:36

You said that so calmly? I could tell you it was not that. You said, you said know what it is? Oh, no. It was a little bit more scary than that. I will say that. But once once we we were the owners, it was all about first it was about transition, we have to transition all the social media over and they do not make it easy. They don’t, you know, they have security and things for a reason. And so I would say probably for six months, Jerry was still getting the little code number via text when I was trying to log into something like it was a headache from from a social media perspective. But once we said okay, what are we doing now, the vision really initially was around, making those recipes at home, taking the photos, figuring out what recipes we should be making, trying to hire someone who had strengths, where we had weaknesses, we did not have SEO background, we did not have WordPress background. And we didn’t really have a lot of time given our full time jobs and our families to do the social media every day. So we did find someone, we found a virtual assistant that we hired to handle all of those things for us. So we could focus more on the strategy, and what we were delivering to our followers. And so we really wanted to put our focus on the followers. We kind of call them our Foodness Followers if anyone subscribes to our newsletter. So that is where we really put a lot of our effort and we let some of those more technical items be managed by someone who had that strength already.

Megan Porta  13:09

And for food photography, is that something that you just decided, like, we’re going to learn this? Or do you outsource that?

Parker Thornburg  13:14

I did, I decided I was going to learn it. And I’m fairly tech savvy. But I will say it was I think I said before, it was very humbling to realize, okay, learning Photoshop, learning the food photography, we went out and we bought a nicer camera, I would say it was a an extremely nice camera. It wasn’t super expensive. But we bought a camera that had a couple of different lenses and things. And no matter what I did, I could not match it to Jerry’s photos. And so we did take a pause a little, we’ve taken a pause from making making more recipes. Because we didn’t want to keep adding recipes that didn’t have the quality of what we felt our followers, we’re used to everything is done, every decision we try to make is with the followers in mind, and with our followers on social media, on the website, and on the newsletter. It’s all about them. So that is what we tried to focus on. And we have kind of taken a step back on making more recipes, focusing on improving our SEO of those existing recipes, and adding some new content and into the site. 

Megan Porta  14:18

I imagine you want it to be seamless or as seamless as possible, because he had an audience already correct. So Correct. Those people are coming expecting something that has been delivered to them for a lot of years. So you are taking over and I imagine that’s a lot of pressure to like you have to keep the flow going and keep it as seamless as possible. So yeah, like talking about that. How hard was that? Or has it been?

Parker Thornburg  14:44

It was difficult and what we decided to do because you can see Jerry’s hands and arms, he’s got this great tattoo on his arms and you can see you can see that in many of the photos. And so we we wanted to we wanted to pay so much respect Jerry, and so much respect to the followers that I actually Jerry is from California, which is where Scott, my partner is also located. So I flew from Omaha, where I’m located, and flew to California, the week after we purchased Foodness Gracious. And we rented a house. And we actually made recipes together, Jerry and I did. And we wanted to do that handoff and kind of show this handoff from Jerry to us that almost like trying to show that Jerry had given his blessing 

Megan Porta  15:34

I love that.

Parker Thornburg  15:35

For someone new to take Goodness gracious on to whatever it will be in the future. And so that was really fun to get to meet Jerry in person. And it just again, it showed the character that Jerry had in the in the love that he had for this company to really make sure he he wanted to see it move into good hands for that that next step. And so I think that’s another key going back to your prior question about what should be some of the things that people look for in terms of selling? I think really, you have to decide what do you want this to become? Are you good to step back and say it will be what it will be? Or do you really want someone who can kind of continue on with what your vision was in the passion and the sweat that you’ve put into that that business? So I think that’s another aspect that people would need to look at in terms of selling.

Megan Porta  16:23

Yeah, I think that’s really meaningful that he gave it your blessing and that you felt that too, like, okay, he’s passing it off in more than just one way. Yeah. And it had to feel good all around.

Parker Thornburg  16:35

It was it was a wonderful experience and getting the cook with him and having him, you know, enjoy some of the recipes that we were making. And so it was it was a really fun experience.

Megan Porta  16:46

I love that. So you talked a little bit ago about just knowing what your strengths are knowing what your weaknesses are, is that something you recommend people keep top of mind right away, like, Okay, I know that maybe I’m not good at social media. So passing that off right off the bat. 

Parker Thornburg  17:02

That’s what worked for us, we knew that we had budgeted on a monthly basis to to find a team member or even multiple team members, who were experts in that area. We knew that I know myself well enough that one of I become very devoted to something and if I was engaging with our followers on social media, as posts or likes would come in, I know myself well enough that I think it would be something that I would be trying to do my day job, my normal full time job that pays our bills. And I would be commenting back to people and just wanting to interact with the followers every day all the time. And I just thought it’s something that I need to step back from and allow someone else to do that for us.

Megan Porta  17:48

That’s smart. I think just knowing that up front that you first of all, can’t do it all. And that also you don’t want to do everything right.

Parker Thornburg  17:56

We knew we didn’t want to jump in and do everything, just the two of us. We we hadn’t planned on having another team member or team members to to help us to continue on with what Jerry had done.

Megan Porta  18:06

And factoring that into your budget as you buy a blog just knowing that you’re probably going to have to outsource something correct things. Yeah, absolutely. What parts of the process of buying a blog and establish blog went better than you expected.

Parker Thornburg 18:22

You know, I will say once, once everything was transitioned over. And we got through a couple of those social media hurdles of the transition and the security around social media accounts, we started looking at the data and the metrics and the Google Analytics and things. I’m a big data nerd. And so I love looking at those things. And I love looking at the traffic and what’s working well and what’s not and writing the newsletter and that that’s probably one of my most favorite parts of of Foodness Gracious. I write the newsletter on a weekly basis, Jerry brought with him about 7000 subscribers to the newsletter. And we have really enjoyed writing the newsletter every week. That is one of the one of the things that it’s a little bit of a creative outlet for me, I get to highlight a recipe and then we’ve we’ve improved the website. And I know we’ll talk about that here shortly. But we’ve added some new content types that we get to highlight as well. I do some polls and, and things like that. And it’s been really fun getting to interact with the with the followers through the newsletter. So that’s been one of my favorite things. 

Megan Porta  19:25

I think you’re a little bit of an anomaly in that way. Because a lot of people are like, I don’t like writing the newsletter. I just want to create content. So I think that’s really good that you enjoy that part. And that you see it as a creative aspect of the business. Okay, I’m curious about the audience. So Jerry had established an audience over so many years. How did they respond to new people coming in to the blog?

Megan Porta  19:47

We toyed with a lot of different ideas of what we could change about the website. And I will say we have not seen a material drop in our followers on Pinterest on Instagram, on Facebook, our subscribers on our newsletter, we’ve really maintained because I think that we, we really approached the business in a way that was putting the followers first. And when we did that, I think if we had done a right hand turn and changed the the entire aspect of what Foodness Gracious was all about, which, for Jerry, it was about recipes. And we’ve added some content that I think is very complementary to food and recipes and things like that. I think by putting those followers first and just always having, you could kind of call it putting the customer first if you’d like. I think that that helps the audience to say, Hey, this is this is still working for us. We’re still seeing great recipes, we’re still seeing beautiful photos, we’re still seeing, you know, an entirely redesigned website that I think only enhances what Jerry had done, it doesn’t distract from it. 

Megan Porta  20:55

How did you make the decision to do a complete redesign on the website?

Parker Thornburg 20:59

We felt that there were some features on the website that were that were not great in WordPress. We also saw that a lot of the food blogs, a lot of the food websites that are out there, do use WordPress, and many of them have a bright white background. And and there’s a there’s a very similar look to many of those. Scott’s daughter is very good in design. And so she, when we talked with her, she said, I have a web designer that is my favorite web designer, almost like her favorite movie star, but it was a website designer. So we talked with him. And his price was very much within our budget. So it was over a course of about six months, we worked with him on a full redesign with a color scheme that we feel is very attractive and very different. And my wife now of course my wife is partial to Foodness Gracious but she said it’s just it’s just so beautiful. And I think the the photos just pop off of a little bit more of a dark color scheme that we went with. And so by adding some new pillars to the website beyond recipes alone, we just felt like a redesign would really help to enhance where we’re going as a business and, and for what we’re offering to our followers.

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Megan Porta  23:46

I think it looks beautiful. I had previously looked at Foodness Gracious years ago, but I can’t remember. I know I just know when I see it. I’m like, Oh, this is different. I just remember that. It’s different. That’s all I know. But it looks amazing. You guys did such a good job. That designer did a great job. And is it still on WordPress?

Parker Thornburg 24:03

No, we actually moved over to Web Flow. So we move off WordPress. And we’re now on Web Flow. And the VA that we that is so wonderful for us and manages the content on the website. It was very seamless Web Flow, the way that it was built. And the behind the scenes is very easy to add new content and update existing content. So we just hit the ground running and we did launch that on December 1 of 2023. 

Megan Porta  24:04

And then SEO is obviously a big thing of factor in food blogging. Did you know about SEO beforehand? Did you have to learn it once you got in? How did that go?

Parker Thornburg 24:37

Well, working at Yahoo, I was definitely familiar with SEO in terms of what the importance of SEO was to websites and their success. However, I was not deep into SEO and did not have any prior knowledge of of really owning SEO from a website’s perspective. So we knew that was an area of weakness for myself and Scott. So we wouldn’t we were looking for a virtual assistant, we looked for someone who that was our number one priority was SEO, website maintenance and social media was was second third on the list. So SEO was really what we were looking for someone who knew about keyword research and could help to look at all the different content and see what’s working, see what’s not, and help us to move in the right direction.

Megan Porta  25:21

Yeah, I mean, it’s a big deal. And I think people get overwhelmed just hearing the acronym. They’re like SEO? I don’t, I don’t know what that is, I don’t want to know, and they kind of run away. But good for you for just deciding, yep, we’re gonna figure this out. And then just out of curiosity, I know there’s been a lot of things going on in the food blogging space recently. We’re currently in like mid April. So a lot of you know, the Google updates and all of that, how has the blog done with all of that. 

Parker Thornburg  25:47

So we bought it April 2023. And in November of 2023, was our best month from a revenue perspective, which obviously goes right in line with thanksgiving, that week of Thanksgiving was a great week for us. So as I believe it is, for many in the food blog space, we had a really strategic decision that we had to make on when to launch the new site, it was ready by the end of November. We knew December would probably also be a very good month for us, given we’ve got the holidays there in New Years and everything. But we said, we know it’s going to drop traffic, because the Google reindexing process takes some time, Scott and I weren’t taking a penny out of the business. And so we said, let’s launch it as soon as it’s ready, even if it is during a month where we would normally have good revenue. And let’s let’s start that reindexing process as quickly as humanly possible. And so we launched it on December 1. And December 1, revenue went down, traffic went down. January went way down, we really saw a big drop in January. But we we had expected it, we anticipated it. We budgeted for it, which I think is a key of Scott’s strengths, which is around the financial side and budgeting and forecasting. He’s a controller, that’s his normal day job, which is definitely not my strength and expertise on more on the operational side of things. So so we let that reindexing process happen. And we know there have been some Google updates. But March was was very close to being our best month since we’ve owned Foodness Gracious going all the way back to April 2023. So we’re definitely seeing things start to move in the right direction. And we think a lot of the content changes that we’ve been making as well as the redesign have have a lot to do with that.

Megan Porta  27:32

That’s really good how great to hear that. And then social media how does this play into your whole you know game? 

Parker Thornburg  27:39

Yeah, I will be honest, we we do post every day, our VA does post to social media every day we post to Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram every day. But it’s not something that we see driving a significant amount of traffic to our website. So we we post a recipe so part of the change of our of our website was to have a three pillar strategy, not just recipes anymore, but we have recipes, we have reviews, which includes product reviews of different food cooking products. And then we have responsibility so a whole content section around being more sustainable being more responsible with our food, reducing food waste things that were kind of passions for Scott and I as well. So recipes reviews responsibility, we have those showing in our in our different social media. But given that we aren’t trying to use social media to grow followers in order to do sponsorships, we do believe it’s important to continue giving those followers updates every day from Foodness Gracious, but we don’t we don’t lose sleep over how many likes we get and how much engagement we get. We just we see it as part of our business. But we don’t see it as core to the success of our business. If that makes sense.

Megan Porta  28:53

It does make sense and I love that because if you unless you are on social media just for the opportunity to do sponsorships, I think it’s so good to give people permission to not have like a hyper focus on it, like you said, because it can be such a waste of time unless you’re really yearning for those followers. And once you get to a certain point you can get traffic but it takes so much to get to that point I feel like so I think we need that permission more than we get it just like it’s okay to just keep up with your followers let them know what’s up like you guys are but not get obsessed about it. 

Parker Thornburg  29:33

Yeah, and we’ve even considered possibly going to a three day a week plan where we do one day of the week is a recipe one day a week is a review. And one day a week is responsibility article just so just hitting on those three pillars we’re really proud of of those three pillars being a part of the of the Foodness Gracious website now. I don’t know that we are gaining anything by putting in seven days of posts versus three. So that is something that we are definitely considering.

Megan Porta  30:03

Yeah, I mean, I can tell you, so I’ve had my blogs since 2010, I can tell you that I have ignored Instagram for probably three years, I have somebody writing just, you know, probably three, they published three posts a week, okay, I don’t go on there. Like, that’s it, and my account is growing. So you do have permission to just set it aside, even if it’s just for like, a month or six months, it’s okay, it’s not gonna go anywhere, people will still show up, you know, like, I think people need that permission. So I love that that is kind of your guyses message as well, and just giving my listeners permission to set it down. Because it’s, it can be really frustrating, right? Social media is like, it’s not a super intuitive and fruitful game all the time. 

Parker Thornburg  30:50

Absolutely. That’s great. 

Megan Porta  30:51

Yeah. And then I have a question about the structure of your posts. So when you did your redesign, is there anything that you restructured within your recipe posts, that was different from what Jerry had done?

Parker Thornburg 31:02

So what we’re doing right now is we’re really putting a lot of focus around improving the 1000 recipes that Jerry had posted. So a lot of what we’re doing right now is we’re we’re trying to kind of tie in a little bit to that food responsibility side of the business. And we’re adding in ingredient swaps. If you want to make this keto, if you want to make this vegetarian, If you want to make this gluten free, here are some different ingredient swaps that you could possibly consider. We don’t have a lot of frequently asked questions on the different recipe posts. So we have a real opportunity there to put FAQs in there about how long this will last, the storage options, freeze options. So there’s a lot of things that that we feel will enhance those posts. We’re starting from the most successful posts and working our way down. But we do believe that this is also really enhancing the recipes for our followers. But also at the same time, a byproduct of that is also enhancing our SEO possibilities as well. Yeah,

Megan Porta  32:03

I was just looking through some of your recipes. And it does seem like your structure is a little bit different than, quote the norm. But it’s really interesting also to hear you say that March was one of your best months. So I mean, that’s I think that’s really telling that we get really hyper focused on like, oh, here is the format that we have to adhere to. But you are proving us wrong. Because this is really different from really anything else that I see. And then do you experiment with moving your recipe card around? I think in some I saw that your recipe card was maybe moved up a little bit, is that right?

Parker Thornburg 32:42

We experimented. And it was it was not great. So what we did when we first redesigned the site, in talking with the website designer and talking with Scott talking with friends and family, we said, you know, one of the most annoying things about about food websites is you have to scroll through everything or do you have to find that that little button that says jump to recipe. And so we actually put it out on social media as we redesigned the site. And we we actually said out there almost like a tagline. We said, Foodness Gracious, our recipes are at the top. And we were so proud of that. Because that really was all about putting the followers first putting those recipes at the top. And then the data started coming in from we’re on Media Vine and seeing the data come in from media, Vine, our media, Vine numbers were all the way down, almost all the way down. I mean, it was so small. And we started looking at what might be causing this. And we actually talked with MediaVine, and they’ve been very good, their customer service has been very good for us. And they said, Well, we see a couple of key changes that you might have made in some ad placements that we’re seeing some issues with. And what we did not take into account of being new business owners and new to the food blog space was the amount of ads that get seen as people scroll through. And that was a very big learning opportunity for us. So we did ultimately move the recipe card back down to the bottom. And we haven’t seen any issues. We’ve had no one complain, saying, Oh, we loved it the old way, you know, once you redesigned it or anything. So we’ve stuck with the recipe card at the bottom primarily because it was a business decision more than anything I would say. 

Megan Porta  34:24

So what would you do differently? If you could go back to April 2023. When you started when you bought the blog, what would you change?

Parker Thornburg 34:33

I think if I could change anything, I probably would have gone to a redesign even faster. We know that we had a dip in traffic here in early 2024. But it’s it’s so easy today to look back and say that at that time, our vision and our strategy was to continue to add a bunch of new recipes and do them right here in my house. The stress of that and the frustration of telling yourself you’re not that great at food photography was really something that I wish I could go back and redo. But you know, it’s it’s been even the downs, even the times where it was stressful and frustrating are learning experiences that have made us better today and helped us to appreciate how Foodness Gracious is doing today and where it’s at today. I mean, so it’s easy to look back with hindsight. But right now I just really, we’re having a lot of fun with it, which really is the key, I think to, to saying, we have we have this this business, but it’s not stressful, we enjoy what we’re doing. And we like looking at other opportunities and other revenue drivers and other products that we could possibly do in the future and writing the newsletter. It’s just been a really great experience overall.

Megan Porta  35:46

What I appreciate about your perspective and your business partner’s perspective is that you’re coming into this with kind of fresh eyes, whereas a lot of us who have older blogs are like, Oh my gosh, we’ve been around, we’ve been doing this for so long that it’s, you know, it can get a little dusty. So I love that you guys are like yes, this is fun. Let’s see it with a new perspective and a new set of eyes that just is really refreshing to me. I don’t know, I always wonder how can I put on a new pair of glasses and see my blog differently? Sometimes you know what I mean? 

Parker Thornburg  36:21

Absolutely. Yeah, it’s really it’s a really interesting experience. Because Scott and I have been corporate people for our whole lives. Neither of us jumped into the entrepreneurial side of the world, almost at all until we did this together and and it’s just been really fun. And it’s it’s really showed us how well we do work together as well.

Megan Porta  36:40

Yeah, how has mindsets played into any of this for you? Have you had to work on like, I don’t know, avoiding burnout or just not overworking or anything like that?

Parker Thornburg 36:50

I know that a lot of the guests that you have on talk about that one of the most recent podcasts I listened to talked about, you know exactly what I think a four day workweek and things like that, and working a full time job, as well as having Foodness Gracious, we I’m very diligent because I love spending time with my wife and kids. And my job does have some nights as well to it being an it, it’s really important to me that that I spend the time outside of work. And outside of family working on Foodness Gracious, but I tried to do it only in the morning. That is my goal. I’m a very early riser. I’m up multiple hours before anyone in my family. And so if I do put time into it, if I write the newsletter, anything, everything is done early morning, and I tried not to do it. Once the kids come home from school, and we have activities to go to I can drive I can do whatever I need to do for the family. And that’s kind of my real focus is is that after work, but before work, early morning is when I can try to get some of those things done. 

Megan Porta  37:51

I love that that’s smart. And for anyone considering buying a blog or selling a blog or just starting their own blog, do you have final words of advice for them?

Parker Thornburg 38:01

I would just say what is a passion that you have? Scott and I could have gone the route of looking for a food or a website of that had really great numbers. But we didn’t really care about the topic. And so what we tried to do was find something that we felt could not only feed a passion, but also be a successful business. And I think that’s just such a key when you’re making that decision is yes, the numbers are important they are but is it something that 12 months from now 18 months from now 36 months from now that he will still say I’m really enjoying working on this because not only is it a successful business, it also is something that either feeds a passion is good for the community, you know, things like that if you can find something that checks both boxes, I think you might be onto something that might be a good opportunity for you to buy. 

Megan Porta  38:54

Great advice. I love everything we talked about. I think this is going to be very inspiring for a lot of people. So thank you, Parker for joining me.

Parker Thornburg  39:02

Oh, absolutely. It’s my pleasure.

Megan Porta  39:04

This was so fun. And I wish you and your partner the best of luck as you grow Foodness Gracious. I think you have such an amazing blog here. It looks beautiful. 

Parker Thornburg  39:13


Megan Porta  39:13

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

Parker Thornburg 39:16

I do. I was prepared. Okay. A book that I love is by Gary Keller. And the book is called The One Thing and it’s really focused on whether it be in life in business, your personal time is to really try to focus on one thing versus focusing on many different things. And there’s a quote from that book that says multitasking is a lie. And I just loved that because I know I have been sitting with my family in the living room, and I’ll be on my phone and everyone’s having a conversation and someone will ask me a question and I realized that I wasn’t listening to anything. I was half on my phone and I have half an ear on the conversation and multitasking is is very difficult to do you end up being below average at multiple things. And so I just love multitasking is a lie and it allows you to, you can apply that to work, you can apply that to your personal life, you can apply that to your diet, your health, your workouts, everything. And I just think if you can focus on one thing, and put your heart into it, I think there’s a lot more chance for success.

Megan Porta  40:28

Oh, amazing advice. Don’t you feel like some people wear that as a badge of honor to like, I am a multitasker and you’re like, Wait, that’s not good? 

Parker Thornburg  40:36

No, no, I can tell you my wife and kids will make fun of me on a very regular basis when I’m trying to type in email on my laptop while also you know, helping people get ready. It’s it’s it’s hard to put socks on someone when you’re typing on your laptop. It just doesn’t work that well. So yeah, it’s definitely something that is very difficult to do. And so I when I read that in that book, I thought yes, that’s just so perfect.

Megan Porta  41:00

It takes intentionality though, like you have to really for me, someone who wants to do all the things like I have to really be like, Okay, I am doing one thing and I have to finish this before I move on. So love that quote. We’ll put together a show notes page for you Parker. If you want to go to eat blog talk.com forward slash Foodness Gracious, you can check those out. Tell everyone where they can find you Parker.

Parker Thornburg 41:22

So our website is goodness gracious.com I would love for folks to see our newsletter on a weekly basis that is you can subscribe there at foodnessgracious.com/newsletter or you can follow us on facebook.com/foodnessgracious at foodnessgracious on Instagram. And because Pinterest doesn’t like those long names, we are at foodnessg on Pinterest.

Megan Porta  41:44

Perfect. And since you enjoy your newsletter so much I’m gonna go subscribe to you and see what’s going on over there. So glad you mentioned that

Parker Thornburg  41:50

That would be fantastic. 

Megan Porta  41:52

Yeah, well thank you so much for being here, Parker and thank you for listening food bloggers. I will see you next time. 

Outro  41:59

Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Eat Blog Talk. Don’t forget to rate and review Eat Blog Talk on your favorite podcast player. Thank you and I will see you next time.

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