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Episode 249: Series (Part 2): From Many Mistakes to Big Wins with Megan Porta

In episode 249, Megan continues the series on sharing with us about her 11 years of blogging and some mistakes she made along the way, what she learned and some actions steps to encourage you. Today’s episode covers over-complicating everything.

We cover information such as using a tried and tested blog with available plug ins that will help you be a successful blogger, creating a plan will help simplify things for you in your business and make keyword research a priority so you can hone in and simplify your content to be relevant to the audience you’re growing.

Listen on the player below or on iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast player. Or scroll down to read a full transcript.

Takeaways

  • You don’t have to over complicate everything.
  • Save time and energy when you simplify things.
  • Strife, anxiety and spinning wheels have transformed into true productivity, efficient work, minimal stress and a lot more traction and money.
  • Get on WordPress. It’s an efficient platform and uses plugins that are tried and tested.
  • Always have a plan.
  • Know your niche. Serve those people with intention.
  • Wildly putting content out into the ether is a perfect way to over-complicate your business. Do keyword research to hone in and simplify the content you’re creating.
  • Keep it simple. Simple is best. Build from there.

Missed The First Episode on Mistakes?

If you missed the first episode of Megan sharing mistakes learned over 11 years of blogging, you can check it out here in episode 244.

Transcript

Click for full text.

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 their businesses. I’m your host, Megan Porta, and you are listening to episode 249. 

This episode is the second one in a series called From Many Mistakes to Big Wins where I will talk through specific mistakes I’ve made in my own blogging journey and how YOU can learn from my struggles. 

Before we dive into that, I’d love to take some time here to share about all of the resources available here at EBT that give you a chance to connect, gain confidence, dig into food blogging in a new way and just LEVEL UP in your business growth and with your networking.

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If you listened to the previous episode, you’ll know that my biggest mistake has been thinking I could do everything on my own. I talk through that in episode 244, so give that a listen if you haven’t yet.

As I mentioned last time, I have quite a lot of mistakes to share with you so this series could potentially go on for a while. Today I am going to talk about another biggie, which is how I managed to over-complicate basically everything which resulted in never getting anywhere with many different projects and topics.

Before I dig into this, I will reiterate that I will not refer to my mistakes as “failures” because I don’t believe in failure. I embrace mistakes as a part of my business and a part of my journey because they are what help me to learn and grow.

Mistake #2: Over-complicating everything! 

In Episode 1 from this series I confessed that for the longest time I thought I could do everything on my own.. That no learning or people were needed to create a successful business. One of the byproducts of that thinking was a breathtaking ability to over-complicate absolutely everything I worked on. Looking back at some of the projects I did, I’m in AWE of the laboriousness of it all. 

I think some examples would be good here so I can better frame some of the things I’m talking about.

  1. Squarespace/recipe card. This is by far my biggest over-complication. I started on SS because of a friend’s recommendation. Remember, I didn’t need anyone’s advice or help, so I never asked around about whether or not this was a solid choice. I trudged along for 9.5 YEARS on Squarespace, and for most of that time I knew there had to be a better way. Your jaw would drop to the ground if I told you how many hours, weeks months (years?) I wasted writing my own html for recipe cards (because SS doesn’t have recipe cards). Then I’d realize that I needed to tweak the code so I’d go back through and change them all again, repeat, repeat, repeat. I spent so much time standing up for the reasons why I should and could stick with SS (“Because it can work!”) and I had no reason to be doing that. In hindsight, it was shortsighted and cost me A LOT of time and energy. If you’re listening and you are on SS and love it, I mean no disrespect at all. If it works for you and you’re not bending over backwards like I was to justify and/or get things done, then keep at it. But I will also say.. At least consider the reasons you’re choosing to stay. Be willing to see things another way. 
  2. Blog content. Again until recently, I went about creating blog content ALL wrong by creating a massive collection of unrelated and complicated blog posts that aligned with no actual niche. A couple years ago I started tuning into what SEO experts were saying and one of the first things I heard an expert say was that having a giant pool of garbage content was like having a weight chained to my ankle and being thrown into the ocean. I was initially SHOCKED and remember thinking, “That can’t be true. The more content, the better, right?!” After digging in (and connecting with people) I learned that I’d been way over-complicating my content creation strategy (or better said: LACK of strategy). I did not research anything before making and posting about it and I gave no thought to a niche, resulting in a giant pool of garbage content (1000+ blog posts) that I then had to sort through.. And am still sorting through. Simpler is better. Fewer recipe posts are better, if they’re serving specific people who actually want your content.
  3. I allowed in all the people and projects. This relates so closely to boundaries, which I’m going to dedicate an entirely different episode to, so I won’t get too deep on this one. In a nutshell, I didn’t discern well which people and projects to give my time to, which led to a very complicated calendar with no clear plan, chaos and drama.
  4. Course creation: A few years ago it dawned on me that I know quite a bit about productivity and time management. This was right around the time I started Eat Blog Talk. These topics have been slight obsessions of mine ever since I’ve been in the working world and I was always tweaking my habits and systems in order to be as productive as humanly possible. I’d heard people talk about massively successful courses they had created, so I decided (without researching a single bit) that I would create a course on the topic of time management and productivity. I spent four months writing and creating content for this course. It’s a super awesome course, in my opinion, and if someone were to actually get through the entire thing they’d CRUSH IT with their skills. But, uhh, I don’t think anyone has ever even gotten through the first 2 modules because it is TOO thorough. It is far too overwhelming and complicated to dive into.. And I didn’t realize this until recently when I simplified my life and biz and THEN looked at my course and went, “Oh my gosh! This is crazy complicated!” And then I understood why so few people had purchased the course. And of the people who did purchase, why they only watched the first couple videos before giving up.

See? Wow, I was the queen of over-complicating absolutely everything in my business, which led to strife, anxiety and little to no forward momentum for more years than I’d like to admit.

I will never be in a “perfect place” where I’m making stellar decisions all the time, but now that I’ve stared down these over-complications and corrected them, I’m in a much better spot and my business is doing better than ever with a lot less time and energy invested. Strife, anxiety and spinning wheels have transformed into true productivity, efficient work, minimal stress and a lot more traction and money.

Actions you can take

  1. Get on WordPress. Again, I don’t want to offend anyone here but in my personal experience, life got SO MUCH LESS COMPLICATED once I moved from SS to WP. Literally months of my time were given back to me in the moment I decided to make the switch. Creating your blog on an efficient platform while using plugins that are tried and tested will make your overall business more efficient and streamlined.
  2. Always have a plan. For every area of your business and on every scope (long-tern and short-term) you should have a plan. This doesn’t mean what you plan will always happen, but it will give you a north star which will help you make better discernments. You’ll know which people and projects to say yes and no to and you will know which content you should be creating. Having a plan simplifies everything.
  3. Know your niche. You can’t serve everyone (like I believed I could do for so long), so figure out who you can and should serve and serve those people with intention. ebt.com/avatar
  4. Keyword research. Navigating content creation without doing keyword research is like blindly picking a topic out of a hat that has a million random topics inside and spending hours creating and posting about it. This is a very complicated approach! Find the tools that work for you and let them help you create your content! Keywords everywhere, keysearch, rankiq and google, to name a few.
  5. Keep it simple. Before digging into ANYTHING, start with one simple element that you know works and build from there. With the course I created, I knew the information inside was quality because I tested it on food bloggers. They loved it. I should have packaged a very simple and easy to digest version of it before investing 4 months of my time into a massively complicated course.

That’s all for mistake #2! Simple is always best. Just keep that in mind as you move through your planning and your projects. If your mind begins to conjure up elaborate schemes of grandeur, reign it in and go back to those one or two simple things that you know actually work. You can build from there. This will save you so much time and energy.

The next episode in this series will be #254, published on 11/15/21, so stay tuned to hear more of my epic mistakes! Specifically I’ll talk about Mistake #3, which is no boundaries.


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Megan
Megan

Megan started her food blog Pip and Ebby in 2010 and food blogging has been her full-time career since 2013. Her passion for blogging has grown into an intense desire to help fellow food bloggers find the information, insight, and community they need in order to find success.

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