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Natalya was born in Ukraine in a very small town, and moved to the United States at the age of 12. She’s the mom of 2 boys; 9 and 11 years old. She started blogging in 2011 to inspire other moms to prepare homemade meals. Natalya is passionate about simple approachable meals with very few ingredients.


  • Fun fact: This is Natalya’s first month blogging full time! She quit her job last month and has enjoyed being able to make this her only job and can be done during the day.

  • Turning point: Tastemaker 

    • Natalya related how she had to have a mindset switch: her blog was created originally to help people with some recipe ideas and encouragement to cook for their families. She said that she would post every couple of weeks and it was a recipe she put on the table.

    • She liked helping people, but it was a hobby. Then a friend invited her to attend a food conference and was inspired to take the job seriously and work towards accomplishing her goal to care for her family and take her blog to the next level. 

    • Natalya was super driven in her marketing job but had been working on the blog occasionally. Natalya was encouraged by the people encouraging her to do more with her blog as well as her audience who wanted more of what she was sharing.

    • Natalya realized she could use her marketing skills from her day job to use with her blog to help it grow. That was when her website really got her attention and she began to get serious.

  • Updated their website and focused on SEO

    • Natalya’s husband built her original website for her back in 2011. It was good for then but after her conference she realized she couldn’t grow because her site was created with hard code and needed to have a site on Word Press.

    • Natalya realized she didn’t have basics, like alt tags, a recipe card or any of the other things that food bloggers needed to take care of on the back end. So they made the decision to move to a WP site and manually move their 400 posts over. So her husband built a new site because they decided to focus on the blog as a business and over 8 months they dug in and worked on the back end.
    • After getting the platform figured out, Natalya connected with friend food bloggers and asked for feedback on her website. They recommended focusing on her photography next. So Natalya took some courses and watched Youtube videos to improve her recipes photos. 

    • Third, she used SEMrush to analyze and improve her site as well as took a Hashtag Jeff course. This gave her concrete checklists to focus on to improve her site with.

    • Natalya noticed a jump in traffic when she moved to the new website but she doesn’t know what it’s attributed to. It was steady growth, but not a large jump at once. 

    • A website update took about 8 months and it was a lot of work and a huge investment but it’s paying off and she knows it will continue to.

  • Having inspiration – Networking with other bloggers- participating in Facebook groups- listening to podcasts

    • Natalya loves listening to podcasts and Youtube. She is so inspired by others success and encouragement. She finds that it doesn’t have to be just food bloggers, but lifestyle bloggers or other entrepreneurs as well that she can get great advice from. It’s pushed her to grow as she watches and listens to these other success stories and gets wisdom from them that’s practical to her business strategy.

    • Natalya put together a retreat with her husband and other bloggers and was able to connect with them to get away and network.

  • Monetize to work with brands and negotiating 

    • Natalya needed motivation to grow traffic on her site and on her social media pages to help generate income. She looked at what would work in the short term and the long term.

    • She put her marketing experience to use and focused on obtaining sponsors. She wasn’t nervous to reach out because she did that in her day job with other businesses, so Natalya naturally was able to build relationships, work on growing her business in that avenue. This allowed her to focus on other parts of her business down the line. 
  • Listen to advice but follow your vision

    • Natalya has created a vision board for 2020 and has outlined goals to work towards to push herself.  

  • Hire people to help you grow, helping in weak areas

    • Outsourcing – Natalya was already putting in 100 hours a week in both her jobs (plus be a mom and wife!) so she’s figured out what tasks she’s not great at or doesn’t enjoy doing and then looks for help.

    • Natalya hired a photographer for a project she wanted done.

    • Natalya hired a VA to help with her alt-tags after moving over all her content to the new site.

    • Natalya’s second language is English so she hired a writer to help her communicate what she wanted with her blog posts as well as having help to edit anything Natalya wrote. This was helpful to take it off as a worry as well as give her time to focus on things that only she could.

  • Structure – having a plan

    • Recommends using a good tool to organize yourself to keep on track. She uses Trello and uses powerups to get organized with a good calendar to plan out her month. Without a plan, you can’t have a vision. Then you won’t be able to get 2-3 posts a week published.

    • Treat your schedule like the business it is. Teach the people around you that your business is important. You can’t just go out for coffee all the time or watch netflix; you have to schedule your time much like you would in a corporate office. 

  • Setting goals with deadlines is very important: for products and the website.

    • Goals: Natalya loves having goals and loves achieving them. This year’s goal is to hustle.

    • Every month Natalya sets a goal and gives herself a number. She gives herself a goal for Pinterest too. She set a goal for reaching a certain income level to achieve through Adthrive and they surpassed it! So she’s seeing the benefit of writing down what she wants to do to make it easier to work towards. Goals should be for the non business side too; like she has a dream of living in Europe for the summer next year. So she wrote it down and they are working towards it.

  • Realize you don’t have to be afraid of monetizing the blog.

  • Final piece of advice from Natalya: keep taking baby steps.

Helpful references from the episode:

Attend Tastemaker or as many conferences as possible.

Making a circle of blogger friends. You can use them to keep you accountable and to encourage one another.

Take a bloggers retreat or organize one yourself!

Hire a team to help you be successful or make it your goal for next year!


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