In episode 297, Megan talks with Lauren Mullaly about all the ways that we can earn money and how they intersect with food blogging.
We cover information about the long game of food blogging, ways to earn revenue with skills you are developing and already have, why it’s an important to focus on learning skills and why you need to jump into trial and error with research and experimenting to continue growing.
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Lauren has been a food blogger for a year and a half and a photographer for about 6 months. When she began her food blogging journey, she was partially through earning a business degree. Lauren landed a marketing job for the government because of her “unofficial” skillset built while food blogging (photography, SEO, marketing, content planning). Building a skillset to support her blog allowed her to monetize off multiple income streams, while becoming an “expert” in these fields.
- Don’t look at blogging as a six figure money maker and take that pressure off yourself as you learn to blog well.
- Focus on learning and having a mindset of growing, you’ll relax and enjoy the process of growing your blog.
- Flexible expectations are important as an entrepreneur.
- Allow yourself to enjoy food blogging.
- Balance an expectation of immediate or eventual success with, this is just something I really like and I would be doing it even if I didn’t make a huge profit from it.
- Good photography and SEO are very important to nail as early as possible.
- There are many free resources. Spend on quality resources only.
- Learn to use your non work time wisely. Stack good habits and you’ll find yourself unlearning poor habits.
- Find ways to give free services to business that can provide non-monetary benefits to your business.
- Only take on work free or paid that really aligns with your values.
- Take your skillset and turn it into a personal brand which then gives. you leverage.
- Don’t be afraid to pivot.
Food photography courses:
- Foodtography School
- The Bite Shot
- Two Loves Studio
- The SEO for publishers webinar is incredible (and free) for learning important technical aspects of food blogging.
- Podcasts like Eat Blog Talk
- Book recommendation: Atomic Habits changed my relationship with habit building.
- Skillshare is amazing to build general knowledge.
Listen to episode 173 where Chef Evelyn shares about why and how to diversify your income as a food blogger.
click for full transcript.
Lauren Mullaly: Hi, this is Lauren Mullaly from Maritime Glutton, and you are listening to the Eat Blog Talk podcast.
Sponsor: Hey, awesome food bloggers. Before we dig into this episode, I have a really quick favor to ask you. Go to your favorite podcast player. Go to Eat Blog Talk, scroll down to the bottom where you see the ratings and review section, leave Eat Blog Talk a five-star rating if you love this podcast and leave a great review. This will only benefit this podcast that adds value. I so very much appreciate your efforts with this. Thank you so much for doing this. Okay. Now on to the episode.
Megan Porta: Hello, food bloggers. Welcome to Eat Blog Talk, the podcast for food bloggers looking for the value and confidence that will move the needle forward in your business. This episode is sponsored by RankIQ. I am your host, Megan Porta, and you are listening to episode number 297.
Today Lauren and I are going to have a super fun conversation about diversifying your income stream while building important skills as a food blogger. Lauren has been a food blogger for a year and a half and a photographer for about six months when she began her food blogging journey. She was partially through earning a business degree. Lauren landed a marketing job for the government because of her unofficial skillset built while food blogging. So food photography, SEO, marketing, content planning, et cetera. Building a skillset to support her blog allowed her to monetize for multiple income streams while becoming an expert in these fields.Super excited for our chat Lauren. But first we want to hear your fun fact.
Lauren Mullaly: My typical fun fact I always use is that I only have one kidney, so that’s a little different.
Megan Porta: Okay. So my son was born with one kidney as well. I don’t know, I feel like I had another guest that shared that. But other than that, I’ve never met anyone who shared that. It’s extremely rare.
Lauren Mullaly: Yeah. So I was born with two, but it was not highly developed. It was really small. So they took it out just as a preventative step. So now there’s only one.
Megan Porta: Because when you have one, the one compensates for both. Every time we have Elijah’s kidney checked, they’re always like, wow, it’s so big. It’s so efficient. Oh, okay. It learns to do the work for two.
Lauren Mullaly: Which is really cool. They say eventually, it can deteriorate a bit, but it’s usually like way down. So I’ve had only one for 24 years and it’s at 98% capacity still. So we’re doing good. Oh my gosh.
Megan Porta: Okay. That’s awesome. I love that. I love that you’re doing great too. Yeah. I am so excited to talk about this because I think this is a really relevant topic right now. As we were talking about a little bit, food blogging is a really long game and there’s so much time to develop your skills as a food blogger. There are so many skills to hone in on, right? So you have taken this as kind of an opportunity to lean into developing skills and using them in other ways. Which I think is so cool and super efficient, like your kidney. Maybe you learned from it. So I would love to hear from you just how long of a game this is?
Lauren Mullaly: Yeah, I think a lot of it comes from, you look at the success stories of people who made it after six months or even a year, that they’re making more than their day job. I think a lot of people, especially if they’re selling courses or there’s some other motives in there, can downplay how easy it can be which is not. When you look at it from a view of, I don’t have to be earning six figures right away. I don’t need to make this my full-time job. I think it allows you to think about things more strategically. You get to do things at your own pace without feeling pressure or without losing that ambition and the passion that started you off. So I think if you dial in your time and you really focus on learning and providing good content, it helps the very long game feel a little bit more attainable and a bit more enjoyable.
Megan Porta: So I believe that your mindset, especially when you’re going into it today, really matters because if you do have the mindset that I’m going to go in, I’m going to be one of those food bloggers who just kills it. I’m going to make six figures within a year, you’re likely to be disappointed. But you’re saying to develop a whole different mindset that doesn’t focus on those things and you’re not going to be disappointed.
Lauren Mullaly: Yeah. I think it’s the same attitude I take for a lot of things in my life, is just that you need to go in with an open mind and not without expectations, but with flexible expectations. I think everything is cheesy, but everything really is about the journey. If you’re just rushing and rushing to get to some kind of an outcome that you’ve put on a pedestal in your mind, I think it takes away a lot of the fun because it can be fun. Food blogging can be really fun, even though it is hard work. But when you look at things as a goal or, you’re just looking for a means to an end, it takes away a lot of the creativity and the passion. Honestly, innovation. If you’re only looking to rank and you’re only looking for money and you’re only looking for sponsors, I think you end up losing out on a lot of opportunities to actually grow and enjoy what you’re doing.
Megan Porta: Then you miss the magic of what’s actually happening. It’s like life. If you go through life that way, just focusing on numbers and things like that, then you miss out on what’s actually around you. The creativity and the people and the experiences.
Lauren Mullaly: I think it’s important. You do want to have goals for yourself and you do want to be ambitious. I think it’s just about balancing an expectation of immediate or even eventual success with, this is just something I really like and I would be doing it even if I didn’t make a huge profit from it. If I never made it big, would I still do this? If the answer is no, then maybe you shouldn’t be doing it at all.
Megan Porta: That’s a really good point. So I think we should all ask ourselves that because there’s a lot of overwhelm in this space right now, and a lot of frustration. So just take a moment. Take a beat to ask yourself that. Would I be doing this? Yeah, I think that’s so simple, but so powerful.
Lauren Mullaly: It gives you a lot of room to when you know, you have a realistic expectation of this being hard or a lot of work too. It pushes you to invest into the right things, into education, into a good workflow, into just aspects that are going to really push up your experience versus just really quickly accelerate you. If you’re paying for ads or if you’re paying for the opportunity to have online exposure, stuff like that. Maybe immediately will propel you, but it’s not going to give you a really good result.
Megan Porta: That’s good. So you mentioned investing. How do you know where to start investing and where to put your energies first?
Lauren Mullaly: My goodness. That’s a good question. I think a lot of it is trial and error. But at the beginning, everything I do, I like to do a lot of research. I like to make sure that my decisions have a lot of backing to them. So when I first started, I don’t even know how I found it, but I did find Food Blogger Central, which is an amazing free resource, of not only all the experts, but people who were in the exact same boat as you. So I asked a lot of questions. Like so many questions. Then I started looking at what I was told that I needed to focus on good photography and SEO and proper writing. Then also, like organic strategies to build social profiles and your views organically. Each one I would spend time looking at is the best place that I can put my money, not even the cheapest. What course is seen as the best, or who is seen as an expert. One at a time, just dialing into that and putting money into that. I think photography I’m obviously biased, but I think photography is a good place to start. Because even if you have great SEO or you have a big social media following, or the right tactics, I think it’s pretty visual. You want to invest in photography and take it a step further, which I haven’t done yet. But video is huge right now. So people should invest in that as well.
Megan Porta: Then SEO obviously is important as well. So just finding that source, that people are trusting as a whole and digging into SEO. Do you find that important too?
Lauren Mullaly: Absolutely. I listened to every single SEO for publishers webinar. Then I think at about the 10th or 11th episode, I had reached out to Casey Markee from Media Wyse and I was like, I know that I don’t have a huge base or a huge following or a huge amount of traffic, but I just want to set myself up with the correct foundation because I’m busy, as we all are. I just wanted to make sure that I had that framework to build off of in the future so I wouldn’t be wasting my time. Maybe it’s not for everyone to spend that much money early on. But I’m very thankful that I did it, because it gave me a framework for how I can build out all of my posts in the future to have them have their best shot. It also helps me with other aspects of the photography business I have. How I can take that knowledge and apply SEO to local markets as well, which is good for everything you’ll take on SEO, is the most important thing I think.
Megan Porta: I can tell you that you were very smart to build that solid framework in the beginning because I did not. I had like nearly a thousand posts to go through. It’s been years of going through my content. So I wish that I had done that at the beginning. Now granted, when I started, there was no framework, there was nothing and nothing was established at that point. But still I ignored it for many years along the journey.
So I say, early is best, if you can. If it’s feasible, it’s not going to be feasible for everyone. I totally get that. But if it is, it’s such a wise investment. So I love that you did that and you set yourself up for success.
Lauren Mullaly: I honestly think it’s one of the most important things, is education. If you don’t have the money to do it, there are so many free resources. There’s the Eat Blog Talk podcast for one. All of the webinars. There’s so many YouTube videos, YouTube channels, even audio books or books in general. Anything you can find to get your hands on. Tak in all the information you can. I’ve found honestly, most people in this space are really helpful. Most people want to see other people win and they’re very open to helping too. So just ask questions and make those connections, because that is worth its weight in gold, for sure.
Megan Porta: If you don’t see those people who want to help you man, or support you find them because they are there. Yeah, this can be a really supportive space. I love that you touched on the free resources because, oh my gosh. I feel you could build a really good thriving business, just off of free resources. There’s so much out there if you just take the time to look for exactly what you need. Oh my goodness. This podcast alone, you can build a business on, I believe. Then go to YouTube. There’s so much.
Lauren Mullaly: I think, there’s certain people who maybe need something a little bit more concrete. I’m one of those people. I need a lot of directional help. I have a tough time looking at something without the whole picture. So I find that’s where those paid resources come in. Having like a timeline of, do this and then do this and then do this. But for everyone else who can think a little bit less holistically, I think the free resources are more than enough. More than anyone could ever get through.
Megan Porta: There’s so much there. So once you hone in on some skills that you want to develop, say it’s photography to begin, and then you dig into SEO. How do you work in productivity there? Because if you’re not productive with it, it can become a mess quickly. So give us your thoughts on that.
Lauren Mullaly: It definitely can. At the beginning of this year, maybe the end of 2021, I’d read Atomic Habits. I know that’s been mentioned quite a few times in your podcast, but it’s a great book. It’s so good. I feel like everybody can make use of that book for anything. But habit stacking is a huge one, I find is really helpful. So if I’m walking my dog, if I’m doing the dishes, if I’m cooking dinner there’s an audio book on, or there’s a podcast on, or I have a YouTube video on, if the visuals aren’t important. I also have taken that a little bit further. I used to watch a lot of true crime shows or just like TV in general. I’ve rethought the way that I take in entertainment. So I try my hardest, if I just want to unwind, I’ll put on something a bit more informational. Maybe something that I don’t need to a hundred percent take in, but even just that subliminal nature of listening to information, I find it gives you a shift about relaxing versus casual tv. Yeah.
Megan Porta: One of my huge pet peeves is when, I’m sorry if I offend anyone here, but like when you go to someone’s house and they have the TV on in the background, like maybe a news channel. This is my dad, by the way. It drives me crazy. I always turn it off. Then I come back in the room and it’s back on. I’m like, dang it. But it drives me crazy because it’s just busy noise. That’s really negative typically. It really feeds nothing in my soul so I prefer to either have silence or something that is, like you said, it’s subliminally helping me on some level or something that I can actually take in and absorb maybe while I’m going for a walk or cleaning or cutting potatoes or whatever. But yeah, I am with you. I have evolved in this way as well, Lauren. So I used to do my work and then I would watch Netflix shows on the side, on my laptop while I was working on my monitor. Thinking back I’m like, why, how, first of all, how did I do that? How did I pay attention to both and why was I taking in all that garbage? I did it all day. Now that is just not my style at all. So it’s funny how we evolve.
Lauren Mullaly: Oh, a hundred percent. I’d rather take that time and either be fully unplugged and be with my dog and my partner and my family or if you’re going to plug in and make it useful and helpful. I do listen, if I do want something in the background while I’m doing something that I do need to focus on, I listen to a lot of instrumental music specifically with it’s so weird, but saxophone music, I really love. I find it really helps me, if I am working on recipe research, to just have something to break up that monotony of it. I also will do it like I am a very detailed scheduler. I have probably seven or eight Google calendars with very specific things, including, when I want recipes posted, time that I have dedicated to research or just to make work. It sounds so counterintuitive, but I actually schedule time to just relax and do nothing. You should never feel guilty for it. People who are really busy get it. Sometimes you do feel a little bit of working person guilt by just unplugging. I feel like if I put it into my schedule, it gives me a bit more actual permission to be like, no, this is booked, you’re good. Just to take a bath.
Megan Porta: Oh my gosh, I do that as well. It was after many years of not doing it. So I got into this habit of working all the time or just letting my work dictate my life. So I just finally had to just put my fist down and say, no, I have to carve out time for downtime. My calendar, I use as my boss. So if I see, you are stopping work at 5:00 PM, then I listen. It is a must for me because if I don’t do that, things go downhill really quickly. I get so frazzled. I start sleeping worse. Everything starts getting worse in my life. So I love that you do that as well.
Lauren Mullaly: It really helps to create a boundary, as a business owner or somebody even who just works from home. There’s very little clear distinction between what is work time and what is me time. When you have it written down, this is the time to stop. This is when I’m putting things down. It really gives you, again, just that permission to be like, okay, I’m putting aside my food blogger hat, and now I’m putting on my family. It just lets you really be present in what you’re doing versus being there, but you’re still thinking about it. I could do some research right now or maybe I could just pull out my camera when I’m making dinner. It really helps you to take away that mindset of just always being on.
Megan Porta: Yeah, it’s tempting to always be working or oh, I could just slide in a little Instagram reel, but you have to be strict with yourself on some level. I know that some people thrive on working in the evenings and I think that’s fine. But some sort of boundaries need to be created eventually. You can do it for a time, and then you just need to set those boundaries.
Lauren Mullaly: You need to really be able to look at your schedule and have a realistic expectation. I know at the end of 2021, I was like, I’m going to do two recipes a week and it’s going to be great. I did it for maybe two weeks because I do work full time. I am a student, I have my own business outside of this. So during that, I was like, yeah, this is great. I’ll do it on Sundays. It’ll be awesome. Then a little bit in, I was like, this is not fun. I ended up taking a month that I just wasn’t posting anything because you really need to, I find them from the beginning, do things slow and steady or else you’re just going to completely burn out. So it helps to plan it slower at first.
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Megan Porta: This has come up multiple times on this podcast over the years, but the whole story about the tortoise and the hare. There is something to that. You can’t run out of the gates and just expect to be able to keep that pace up forever. This is our whole theme of our talk is it’s a long game and you can’t sprint for a long time.
Lauren Mullaly: Exactly. It’s huge people don’t get that. I think a lot of people look at themselves as the exception. I know these other people can’t do it, I have a great work ethic. I can do it. No, you actually can’t, maybe for a bit you can, but then it’s going to crash and then you’re going to feel guilty. So the best thing you can do is just at the beginning, I’ll start with one a week and then I’ll touch in with myself and be, like, how do I feel? Am I overexerting myself? Do I have a lot of extra time? Could I do more? But I think a lot of people will create a schedule and then realize, Hey, I can’t stick to this, but they force themselves because it was written down. You need to be able to touch base and be like, this actually isn’t working for me.
Megan Porta: Yeah. Oh my gosh. I was guilty of that for so many years. I’m sad to say that. I was one of those people that was like, I can do this. I’m different. I’m different from others. I have more stamina, more energy, more whatever. I learned that was not true.
Lauren Mullaly: Just other people hide it, and we hide it from ourselves a lot. I think just having that self-awareness is incredibly important.
Megan Porta: Oh, I love this. Okay. I love that you not only are tapping into different skills, but also your productivity and efficiency. You are speaking my language, Lauren. So once you find those skills that you’re really good at, and that you really love, what do you do with those outside of your blog? What are some more untraditional ways to utilize them?
Lauren Mullaly: For sure. Yeah. So for me I find, you want to find what you’re not only good at, but that you enjoy. So I don’t love the writing part. I found that took a lot out of me, the recipe writing. Because it is a science. It’s not as, as creative people, it’s not how we like to do it all the time. But I found, I really did like the photography side. That was something that I ended up putting a lot more money and time and just experience into then the other parts because I loved it. So it started just with, I want it to have really good photos for the blog. Then it turned into maybe I can use this. I don’t want to always be writing the recipes. But maybe I can go to restaurants. That’s when I started taking on restaurant photography, which can be very profitable. It can keep you really creative and you see things differently. I find my food photography has changed once I started seeing food photos outside of my kitchen or outside of a studio.
When I see it in real life, it allows you to bring a bit more of a storytelling aspect to your photos, which I love. I think, just in general, having skills that are able to morph into other income streams are important. That was my main one. But then I would help businesses. This would just be for free. I would, give some consultations and be like, maybe if you did this or changed up this and you would have a better call to action or maybe you’d have better conversions. Eventually I applied for a job, for a student position doing social media management for our provincial parks. I didn’t feel qualified for it, but I got it. Then after, the eight, 10 months that I was working there in the position ended. I ended up getting a job that I definitely was not qualified for on paper through the government as well, doing advertising coordination for our provincial tourism sector.
So just taking those skills of SEO and time management even, and photography and looking at how can I find opportunities in the real world, as you would say. How can I use that to supplement my income to actually support the blog because it can be expensive to run.
Megan Porta: Yeah. Oh my gosh. It’s such a smart way to look at it and approach this business. You’re taking everything that we’re doing already, and you’re just honing in on those things to make yourself better, to make yourself more appealing. So as you were talking, I wrote down three. Like the main benefits that I pulled out from what you were saying.
So by doing this, looking outside of the scope of food blogging, you can find something that’s lucrative. So that’s in bringing in extra money. Two, it’s making you more well-rounded, it’s shaping your skills out a lot more. Three, it’s also shaking things up and it’s eliminating boredom. So you are never just sitting at your computer all day, every day. Some days, yes, it’s necessary, but it’s allowing you to go out into the world and explore your creativity there. So I love that. I love this whole way that you’re perceiving this and offering it up as just a new way to see food blogging and all those skills that you already have.
Lauren Mullaly: So the big thing I think about these experiences, whether you’re having contract work or just taking on a quick session, or even if you get a full-time job. Selfishly you can use these things to build experience back for your food blog. Before I started these jobs, I was just working in telecommunication sales, which paid the bills and it wasn’t exciting.
But with this, you are finding something specific to what your personal goal is and you’re using your skills from your own business to get that position, but then also using that position to build back those skills. So it just comes full circle.
Megan Porta: That’s a great way to frame it. So you’ve given some examples as we’ve been talking like the restaurant photography and a couple other things, but do you have any more examples of how we can use our many skills that we employ every day to branch out in other areas?
Lauren Mullaly: For sure. So a couple that either I’ve done or I’ve considered is, you can take that knowledge of SEO and social media and you can use it to either do content creation for someone, or you can help them with their own SEO. You can even, a lot of people do social media management. So taking that more technical side is a really fun one.
The other thing you can do that I have done is offer restaurants a free shoot in exchange for giving you a recipe. So it’s like a partnership. The way I like to market that is, I’ll come in, you make one recipe, I’ll take photos of you doing the recipe. I’ll take photos of the final recipe. You can use these however you want. All I ask is that you take that, write it down instructionally, and then I will tag you, I will link to your website and then you get this long-term recipe traffic to your site, not just from people who are local, but from everywhere. That allows you to have a benefit to them.
Megan Porta: I love that idea, the restaurant photography, and I like how you approach it so that you’re not going in saying I want money right away. Because a lot of restaurants may not have a budget initially for something like this. But to show them the value right off the bat, then maybe they can take it back to the team, whoever runs the restaurant and just say, this is really valuable. Let’s pursue this.
Lauren Mullaly: Even if right off the bat, all that happens is you do that recipe. Maybe long-term, they won’t come back for recipe development, but if they have new menu items, they’ll come to you. Hey, those photos were really good and you’re just creating that connection. It’s a really easy way to just meet people, get your foot in the door.
Megan Porta: Yeah. Building those relationships is huge. You never know, in what capacity that will come back to you in the future. I think it’s so worthwhile, even if you’re doing work for free initially, it’s so worth your time, because it could be an opportunity in the future.
Lauren Mullaly: Out of all the work that I’ve done for free admittedly, I am very selective and I don’t do it a ton. But none of it hasn’t come back and paid off in some way, which is super important. You don’t do it hoping or expecting that. But every time that I’ve done that I’ve either had them make recommendations that have gotten me more clients or where I do lifestyle work as well. Now, a lot of times I’ll do a food session for free, and then they’re like, you know what, I need family photos done. Do you do that? Can you help with that? It allows you to. Have a no pressure way of doing things, if you do take payment and maybe you’re not as experienced as you want to be. It creates a lot of pressure. Where if you do a couple sessions for free, you can come in and just very authentically yourself without any expectation and give a good client service because you’re not focused on, I charge for this needs to be perfect.
Megan Porta: Yup. What I’ve noticed is that whenever I put something out there for free or volunteering my time or energy in some way, without expectation. I think you mentioned this too, for something to come back to me. It always does, but if I put it out there and I’m like, I want something in return, but I’m begrudgingly doing this for free. If I have that mindset, it doesn’t come back to me. But if I’m like, you know what, I’m releasing this. I’m happy to give my time and energy. I do not expect anything back, every single time.
Lauren Mullaly: Something happens.
Megan Porta: Yep. Every single time.
Lauren Mullaly: I think the big thing too, when you go into it with that ulterior motive, a lot of the times you are begrudging. But if you come from, you only take on free work with clients that really align with your values or that have a cause that you really stand behind or even, you just think they’re your perfect ideal client, when you come from it from that direction, even if you aren’t getting paid, you want to be there, you want to be doing it. I think that is super important. Only take on work free or paid that really aligns with your values.
Megan Porta: Yeah. I agree with that. Okay. So you mentioned photography. So you do some non-food sessions, which I love. Is there anything else you do to utilize your skills or that you recommend?
Lauren Mullaly: So my photography took a very huge turn that I wasn’t really expecting. I actually ended up making more with that than I do for my day jobs. So that’s my main priority right now. But for other people, if you’re just looking for other options, you can do things like copywriting or blog writing, or even just plain recipe writing for other people. Take that skillset and don’t just look for food bloggers. Look for really anything that fits with what you enjoy or what you’re good at, because that’s going to in turn make you a much more diverse writer and give you obviously that income, but also it’ll expand your skill set, which you can bring right back to your blog. A huge one, so many people do is just social media management. You already do it for yourself. You already know the ins and outs. It helps you learn the algorithm. It helps you learn what works and it also allows you to have a big portfolio. If maybe your social media isn’t super impressive, but you’re managing a big client or a client with a higher reach than you, you can bring that back to, if you’re trying to get work with brands and be like, What I’m capable of doing. Look at the work that has my name behind it.
Megan Porta: So as we have talked about through this whole conversation, there are many skills that we are doing every day that maybe we’re not even thinking about, that can be marketed elsewhere. That is not going to only bring in extra money potentially, but that can also just make you a more well-rounded human and asset for other businesses and opportunities. So this is such a good way to look at it. Now, we talked about how to start. Find those things you’re good at, and that you love. Where do you look for this? I think this is the problem that I’m finding, is that I hear food bloggers all the time say either I’m hoping to offer this skill, or I need someone to help me with this project or this part of my business. But where do I go? That’s the hangup. You go into the forums. You have to be really careful on Facebook because you’ll get kicked out or get in trouble. There’s always the Eat Blog Talk forum, which is free. I always encourage people to go there. So that is an option. Where else do you go? How else do you get the word out?
Lauren Mullaly: Personally, I like to start hyper-local. I find a network in person, if you can, that’s the most impactful. If you want to set up an iPad with some of your best photos for your best work, bring it with you everywhere. Bring your business cards everywhere. Don’t go out specifically. Looking again for a client, but introduce yourself. It’s cheesy, but talk about what you do whenever you can. I am really excited about the work that I do versus I’m trying to get you as a client. The more that you put what you do out there, the more that you start to feel comfortable talking about it. The more it really turns into, It’s not just something you offer or something you do, it becomes a part of who you are. I find when you take your skillset and you turn it into a personal brand, it gives you a lot of leverage. You’re not even trying to market. You’re just talking about who you are. I find that’s like the most organic way you can do it.
Megan Porta: I was just writing notes. Sorry. That was so well said. Take your skill set and turn it into a personal brand. I love that. Thank you for that. Is there any, oh, go ahead.
Lauren Mullaly: It’s huge.
Megan Porta: I know it is huge. I just wanted to ask you if there’s anything we forgot before we start wrapping up, any points that you really want food bloggers to know or consider or just anything that we left out.
Lauren Mullaly: I think it’s probably been mentioned a bit, but the biggest thing that I really want to push is don’t be afraid to pivot. You don’t need to box yourself into a category. Maybe you start with a particular niche or even just food blogging in general. Just because you started with that, doesn’t mean that’s the only place you can go. It doesn’t mean that’s where you need to end. It’s just a starting point. So if you find, maybe you’re the opposite. Maybe you love the recipe part, focus on that, offer that to other people. Just don’t be afraid to adjust your work and the things that you do to fit with what really motivates you and inspires you.
Megan Porta: This was such a lovely conversation. Thank you so much, Lauren, for all of this. I really appreciate all of your perspectives and insights. So thank you so much for joining me today.
Lauren Mullaly: Thank you for having me.
Megan Porta: You were like a dream come true for an interviewer. We have a natural flow to our conversation, which I really appreciate. Thank you.
Lauren Mullaly: I agree. It feels so natural.
Megan Porta: It was great. Before we say goodbye, do you have either a favorite quote or words of inspiration to share with us?
Lauren Mullaly: I do. It’s from, again, my favorite book, Atomic Habits. So it’s, “every action you take is to vote for the type of person you wish to become. No single instance will transform your beliefs, but as the votes build up, so does the evidence of your new identity.” Which is from Atomic Habits.
Megan Porta: I love that quote. It’s one of my favorites and I literally think about it multiple times a day because it’s those little things that you do throughout the day that affect your future. I always think, okay, if I’m going to do this, whether it’s good or bad, what is my future going to be like. Then I try to make the good decision. So I love that quote.
Lauren Mullaly: It’s so important. It’s just about putting in those little tiny things, because you’re transforming who you want to become. Does this action align with the person I want to be? Or is it taking me further away? I think that’s a super important thing. Even talking about what we just said, choosing to pivot if you have to. Is this bringing me joy or am I just doing it because I feel like I have to, because I started. Don’t be afraid to stop things or put more into things if it better aligns with who you want to be.
Megan Porta: If nothing else, it just makes you pause and think about who you do want to be, right. Giving it intentional thought and just being aware will hopefully make you alter your decisions. I like how James Clear always talks about how you’re casting a vote for your future self. That is such a good way to put that because you’re not solidifying anything. You’re just putting in one vote for who you are going to be in the future. I could have an entirely separate conversation with you about that alone. Maybe we should do that.
Lauren Mullaly: I love that. That would be fun.
Megan Porta: We’ll put together a show notes for you, Lauren. You can find those at eatblogtalk.com/maritimeglutton. I would love to hear how you named your blog, quickly.
Lauren Mullaly: Yeah. To be honest, there wasn’t a whole lot of backing behind it. It started out just as an Instagram page way back and it was actually called Lomo Cuisine. It’s funny enough, which is just like a combination of my first and last name and then cuisine. Then I was like, this sounds really unprofessional. It doesn’t make sense. I just need to change it. When I first started, a lot of my brand, before I had a website, was without talking about local establishments, great restaurants and also home cooking. I live in the Maritimes in New Brunswick, Canada. So the Maritime, I want it. Then I thought glutton was like a funny play on words. But now, as I mentioned before, it gets a lot of mispronunciations and people think I’m gluten-free. I had to throw in like all glutton, no punishment. To be ahead. Because I feel like I can’t make this any more clear than this. I may have changed if I had known how it would have been taken.
Megan Porta: It’s a conversation starter. That’s what my blog is too. People are always like what in the world is Pip and Ebby. That is a great way to start a conversation with somebody. So same with you. I think.
Lauren Mullaly: Definitely.
Megan Porta: We know where to go to find your blog. Where can everyone else find you in other places? So social media, Instagram.
Lauren Mullaly: So all of my handles are maritime glutton. I’m on Facebook and Instagram primarily. I do have a YouTube channel that I’ve been trying to bush out, but I haven’t yet. Then I also have my non-food photography on Lauren Mullaly Photography, again on Instagram and Facebook.
Megan Porta: Awesome. Everyone go check Lauren out. Thank you again, Lauren, so much for being here and thank you for listening to today food bloggers. I will see you in the next episode.
Outro: We’re glad you could join us on this episode of Eat Blog Talk. For more resources based on today’s discussion, as well as show notes and an opportunity to be on a future episode of the show, be sure to head to eatblogtalk.com. If you feel that hunger for information, we’ll be here to feed you on Eat Blog Talk
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