In episode 482, Rae Aflatooni teaches us her best tips on how to get through hard times and why she focuses on success and learning instead of failure.

We cover information about how to keep going with your blogging business when you feel like you’re failing, other tangible things you can do to grow your business and how to make sure your mindset and self-care is on the right track.

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

Write Blog Posts that Rank on Google’s 1st Page

RankIQ is an AI-powered SEO tool built just for bloggers. It tells you what to put inside your post and title, so you can write perfectly optimized content in half the time. RankIQ contains a hand-picked library with the lowest competition, high traffic keywords for every niche.

Guest Details

Connect with Raepublic
Website | Facebook | Instagram

Bio Rae Aflatooni, the voice behind Raepublic, has an MS in Nutrition and Functional Medicine. She enjoys creating content with the aim of assisting people who have experienced trauma to live a more holistic, well-balanced life. Through nutrition, plant-based eating, sustainable living, mindfulness, and movement.


  • Be okay with changes when life happens – sometimes you have to take a BREAK.
  • Should you start a new social media account if you’re STRUGGLING TO GROW an old account?
  • Use online resources to REGAIN FOCUS.
  • Learn how SEO tools like RankIQ can really improve your site TRAFFIC.
  • ITEMIZE, PRIORITIZE, and EVALUATE what you can outsource to a software solution or to another person/company.
  • START your day with GRATITUDE, using the mindset that you get to do what you do.
  • There isn’t success or failure, just SUCCESS and LEARNING.
  • Set a TIMER for TASKS and stick to it – for example don’t check emails 20 times per day.
  • Whether it takes them 10 years or 1 year to monetize, LISTEN and LEARN from other bloggers.

Resources Mentioned

Software that makes life easier:
– WP Rocket
– Imagify
– Grammarly
– Canva
– Flodesk
– Missinglettr
– Tailwind
– RankIQ
– Asana

Resources for finding VAs:
– UpWork
– Fiverr
– VA For Hire Facebook Group

– Eat Blog Talk Podcast
– Food Blogger Pro Podcast
– Blogging Millionaire Podcast


Click for full script.

EBT482 – Rae Aflatooni

Intro 00:00

Food bloggers, hi, how are you today? Thank you so much for tuning in to the Eat Blog Talk podcast. This is the place for food bloggers to get information and inspiration to accelerate your blog’s growth and ultimately help you to achieve your freedom, whether that’s financial, personal, or professional. I’m Megan Porta. I have been a food blogger for 13 years, so I understand how isolating food blogging can be. I’m on a mission to motivate, inspire, and most importantly, let each and every food blogger, including you know that you are heard and supported. 

Maybe you feel like you’ve had an especially long blogging journey, or maybe you feel like it hasn’t been very long, like it’s been a really short and sweet one. Either way, you should definitely tune into this episode. Rae Aflatooni joins me. She is from Raepublic. She talks through her journey. It’s been a long journey.

Intro 00:57

She’s had to pause and restart many times due to various events that have come up in her life. She gives us her best tips on how to get through hard times and to keep going because if you’re passionate about this, like I know a lot of you are, most of you are, then you can make this work and you should keep going. I get emails all the time from people who say, should I throw in the towel? This is too much. It’s so much work. What do I do? Should I stop? And I always say, no. If you love doing it, you started it for a reason. If the passion is still there, then definitely keep doing it because you can make it work. It doesn’t matter what’s going on around you. And that is Rae’s message too. So she talks through her tips. She found RankIQ and that got her a lot of traffic really fast.

She talks about other tangible things that we can do to grow our businesses. And she also talks about how to take care of yourself. Little tips for just making sure your mindset and your self-care is on the right track and that is gonna support everything that you do in your business. It’s such a good episode. I hope you love it too. It is episode number 482 Sponsored by RankIQ.

Sponsor 02:07

Hello there, food bloggers. Are you wanting to tap into additional revenue and improve your site experience for your users? If you’re saying yes to all of this, then Chicory might be a really great fit for you. Chicory is a leading monetization platform for food bloggers enabling you to integrate highly relevant shoppable ads into your recipe content and earn revenue from top CPG brands. Chicory Hypertextual Ads and Shoppable technology will help you improve your site experience and engagement, allowing your readers to go from inspiration to checkout in just a few clicks. Enjoy easy installation and ongoing access to the Chicory team at zero cost to you. Chicory makes it easy to track your earnings, optimize your blog content using recipe insights and connect with its team. Here is a testimonial from a happy Chicory user. “Cooking and baking is my passion. Chicory makes it simple and easy for me to share that passion with the Where is My Spoon audience, providing a seamless purchasing journey for my readers and an effective monetization model for my blog.” That is from Adina Beck from Where Is My Spoon? Head over to Scroll down to the Chicory logo and click that button that says, learn more about Chicory. Or you can go to bloggers to learn more and to sign up. Now back to the episode.

Megan Porta 03:39

Rae Aflatooni, the voice behind Raepublic has an MS in nutrition and functional medicine. She enjoys creating content with the aim to assist people who have experienced trauma to living more holistic, well-balanced life through nutrition plant-based eating, sustainable living, mindfulness and movement. Hello Rae. Thank you for joining me on the podcast. How are you today?

Rae Alfatooni 04:01

I’m doing great. Thanks for having me.

Megan Porta 04:04

Yay. I know you’re a longtime listener, so I always appreciate longtime listeners being guests. So exciting to go from listener to guests. So welcome. And we’re gonna talk about all of the amazing things you’ve learned on your blogging journey. It’s been a long one. But before we get into your journey, why don’t you share a fun fact with us?

Rae Alfatooni 04:25

It’s hard to think of a fun fact. The one that came to mind was that for several years I worked as a high ropes course facilitator. So I would spend like most of my day like 20 to 50 plus feet up in the trees, which was super fun. But also nerve wracking sometimes.

Megan Porta 04:45

Where, what trees were you in?

Rae Alfatooni 04:48

So it was at a like summer camp, seasonal camp outside of Portland, Oregon.

Megan Porta 04:55

Oh, cool. That’s awesome. Never had that fun fact before. So you’re unique. That’s so cool. Okay, so let’s talk about your journey. because I know you’ve had a long journey. Food bloggers like myself who have been doing it for over 10 years. I feel like our journeys are always really interesting because they’re so different. Back then it was a totally different world, right? So talk to us about your journey. I know it started about 10 years ago and then just yeah, kinda give us the rundown.

Rae Alfatooni 05:25

Sure. Yeah. So I started about 10 years ago and I probably like cranked out a good amount of recipes in the first year, probably about a hundred, and then probably 50 in the following like two years or so. But I definitely had the mentality of I’m not gonna be the blogger that tells my life story in like 2000 words and then puts the recipe at the end. Like I will never have a thousand word blog post. Which at the time, you know, I had a number of recipes that these days are like super high competition that right now I can’t rank for. But 10 years ago I was in the number one spot with like no SEO or anything.

Megan Porta 06:17

Oh, I have some of those too. It’s so, it’s sad, isn’t it? Being back to that time where, where it took such little effort to get ranked.

Rae Alfatooni 06:24

Yeah. So I did that and I mean, I was so in love with all of it in the process and learning photography, but I definitely was in the Instagram focus. So I posted to my blog, but I didn’t really do anything like, as I said, no SEO, I didn’t do anything with a newsletter to email blog posts or anything like that. I just focused a lot on Instagram, which has its pros and cons. cause I built up this Instagram following, which was great, and I made really great money at that for a while. But I ended up taking a break for various reasons. And my engagement went from like, I don’t even know, like 10,000, like likes and hundreds and hundreds of comments per post to now, like 500 maybe. So I feel like Instagram doesn’t like when you take breaks. So I feel like if I knew what I then, what I know now, I at least at a minimum would’ve like had a newsletter sign up on my blog and maybe not like put as much focus on Instagram instead of like 90% on Instagram, maybe at a max like 70. So I wasn’t like all focused on one area. So yeah, I, I did that for a few years and it went really well. And then I , you know, life happens and I ended up actually taking my first break to just focus on my mental health. I was at a point where I like could not do both. And so I went, I went to a lot of therapy for some childhood trauma and that was just, you know, life changing and impactful and I’m so grateful that I was able to take that time. But yeah, that was like my first break. And then through that I decided to go to grad school for nutrition and functional medicine. So functional medicine, I don’t know if you’re familiar with it?

Megan Porta 08:37

Not really. Explain what that is.

Rae Alfatooni 08:39

So functional medicine is the practice of looking at evaluating and embracing like an individual’s diet, nutrition, their lifestyle and environmental factors and impact. So it’s like a very holistic approach to health and wellness with, with my main focus being on nutrition. But yeah, I knew I wanted to keep blogging, but I knew I wanted to come at it from like an experience perspective from my life, but also from like a scientific perspective. So I got my master’s in nutrition and functional medicine, which took a little bit longer than  expected. And the pandemic happened and yeah, I got pregnant with our kiddo. So yeah, that delayed and that was like a big break from essentially Instagram, you know, I feel like you could not post your blog Yeah. For like six months or a year. And like the negative impact wouldn’t be so great.

Megan Porta 09:54

But yeah, Instagram is a different story.

Rae Alfatooni 09:57

Yeah. But social media is completely different. You know, even Pinterest, I had gotten up to like 8,000 followers or is it called followers on Pinterest?

Megan Porta 10:09

I think so, yeah.

Rae Alfatooni 10:10

And I could just, I took such a long break and I got back at it and I could not get my engagement or views like past 30,000 a month. And so after a while I was like, I know I’m doing like, I don’t know if I’m doing it perfectly, like how you are supposed to do Pinterest. But after like a couple months I was like, you know what? Forget this. I’m just gonna start over. I made that a personal account and I created a new Raepublic account and it’s been like a month and a half. I just hit 30 followers.

Megan Porta 10:48

Nice. Congratulations.

Rae Alfatooni 10:49

But my engagement is at like 60,000.

Megan Porta 10:54

Oh, that’s good.

Rae Alfatooni 10:54

So, you know, it’s like, well people, you know, twice as many people are actually seeing it. Right. So that’s what really matters.

Megan Porta 11:03

Right. It’s humbling starting over, isn’t it?

Rae Alfatooni 11:06

No, it is. But it kind of just feels good too because I feel like the focus is so different. So yeah, it, it’s definitely nice too because it’s like no pressure.

Megan Porta 11:18

Totally understand that. Yeah. So then how did your focus change once you were like, okay, I’m back at it.

Rae Alfatooni 11:26

Yeah, so I finished grad school and then I had my daughter, we had her like towards the beginning of the pandemic. At the same time we ended up building a house, which was, that’s a lot.

Megan Porta 11:40

Oh my goodness.

Rae Alfatooni 11:41

But during that time, I started listening to your podcast, and a couple other podcasts and yeah, I wrote, I think I was, I wrote an email to the Food Blogger Pro podcast cause I hadn’t heard of yours yet. And I was like, this is what’s going on. Like, my traffic is nothing. I feel like I’ve been doing it for so long, but I also, you know, what took breaks from focusing on it? Like I feel like I should just throw in the towel. And they had a really, a really nice response and I was just like, okay, I’m just gonna, you know, I’m gonna give it like a solid year of like consistent effort and go at it. So I just started with listening to the podcast, like your podcast and then also through you and your podcast, I heard of RankIQ and I was like, what is this magic ? So I dove into that and I went from like a thousand page views per month to 10,000 in like a month and a half.

Megan Porta 12:56

That’s so awesome.

Rae Alfatooni 12:56

And then I went to over 20,000 per month. And this, most of this was occurring with like five to 20 hours per week now. That’s awesome. I’m spending probably like 20 to 30 depending upon the week cause I still have my daughter a lot of the time. Yeah. She’s only in preschool nine hours a week.

Megan Porta 13:21

Oh gosh. Yes. You have to take advantage of those hours, right?

Rae Alfatooni 13:24

But she still naps, thankfully. So, love the naps. I’ll ride the nap wave for as long as possible.

Megan Porta 13:31

Yep. Do it.

Rae Alfatooni 13:32

Yeah. So around 12,000 pa was it, I think I around 12,000 sessions actually. I had heard of Monumetric, the ad network. And I think they have a 10,000 minimum. So at 10 below, I think it’s below 80,000 sessions a month, you have to pay like a hundred dollars to join. But I kind of, I kind of did the math and was like, well, I’ll make it back the first month, so like, I might as well do it. So at 12,000 sessions I did that. And then yeah, I just kept like focusing on RankIQ and updating old recipes and I actually just focused on updating old recipes based on season. So I tried to be like one to two months ahead. So like in August I was already updating like fall recipes and oftentimes I’ll update the like written copy like weeks before I get to rephotographing it. I feel like updating the copy is takes such little time comparatively to like photographing if I film it and then editing everything. So, you know, sometimes at least if the copy is updated, it’ll go up in rank quite a bit and then I can upload the photos. So yeah, I’ve just been going through that. I started, one thing that has helped me since I am pretty much a full-time stay at home mom as well, is I started like playing around with finding people to outsource certain tasks to on Fiverr, which I’ve had really good luck with. I think there was like one person I worked with that afterwards, I was like, I’m not gonna do that again.

Megan Porta 15:42

We all have those.

Rae Alfatooni 15:44

Yeah. But everyone, you know, everyone else has just been a dream to work with.

Megan Porta 15:49

That’s so great.

Rae Alfatooni 15:50

Yeah. Especially, you know, we all have tasks that are like, eh, I would love to not do that one.

Megan Porta 15:58

Yeah. Like in any given moment we can all write down probably three of those, right? If not more. Okay. So I have a few questions because I know a lot of my listeners are in the same boat that you were in where it’s like, because I, I know because I get these emails, the one you sent to Food Blogger Pro. I get those and a lot of people are there right now. They’re like, I’ve done all the things. I don’t know what to do. My wheels are spinning. Do I stop, do I keep going? And I have kind of a canned answer that I give, which sounds similar to what they gave too. Like, yes, you can do this. You , you’ve got this. Like, dig into the archives, listen to everything you can, you know, it is possible still. Today, I love that RankIQ pulled you out. So I was just wondering if you would talk through, like what was your strategy with that? Did you, I know you said you updated your old content. Did you try to find keywords inside of Rank IQ that matched your old content? And did you do that? Did you write new content? I’m just curious what your strategy was.

Rae Alfatooni 16:58

Yeah, so I feel like with some, I just couldn’t find one that was close enough to what I wanted to go for. Yeah. With the recipe. So I just took, like, I use, or I did use Uber Suggest a lot. I don’t use it as much anymore.

Megan Porta 17:18

It’s changed. It’s different.

Rae Alfatooni 17:19

Yeah. But I was using that to essentially, you know, if it was like black bean soup, I would do easy black bean soup recipe, best black bean soup recipe, healthy black bean soup recipe to see which like long tail keyword combination had like the highest amount of searches with the lowest amount of competition. Sure. So I did that a lot and I think it’s worked pretty good. I think there’s, you know, in the beginning, I, I went like, I made recipes and like that no one ever searches for.

Megan Porta 18:04

Same, yes.

Rae Alfatooni 18:06

But a couple of them are so good. Yeah. I’ve been contemplating like, do I leave it or do I pull it and then put it in like an exclusive eBook. So that’s something I’m contemplating. But yeah, I definitely use the RankIQ like keyword library.

Megan Porta 18:26

Yes. It’s so helpful, isn’t it?

Rae Alfatooni 18:29

Yeah. You know, it’s helpful because it brings up things that I would, would not have thought about And it also brings up, you know, if you have like a vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe that’s doing really well, you could search, you know, vegan cookies or  chocolate chips. And maybe there’s an interesting like food question or topic that you could write on that’s not a recipe, but it would like be a good supporting article to that recipe. Yeah. So yeah, I’ve used it in all those ways.

Megan Porta 19:07

Yeah. I think you touched on the, probably the most unexpected part of it for most people is that you find things that you never would’ve thought about. You’re like, oh, why didn’t I think of that? Of course. And then if it’s low competition enough, you rank so quickly and then you kind of ride that, you wave, like, you get the momentum started and you’re like, oh, this is so fun. And then you can interlink and give juice to your other content that relates and all of that. So, love that you did that. I was gonna ask you about Monumetric, so I know I’ve heard of that. Are you still on Money Metrics and what are your thoughts on it, I guess?

Rae Alfatooni 19:46

So I think if you’re at the 10,000 sessions and you’re like really wanting to get into an ad network, for me, I think I applied and then I jumped to like 20,000 sessions so quickly that I don’t have a good idea of what that would’ve paid. But, the RPM averages like five to $6. But I remember when I first started back in the day, I put Google Ads on my blog. And that was just a waste.

Megan Porta 20:22

Yeah. Agreed.

Rae Alfatooni 20:23

Like, it just didn’t look good. And it was like, I think the first month I made like 3 cents, and I was like, nope.

Megan Porta 20:33

And they’re just like icky kinda ads and pictures, right? Yeah. Like weird skin conditions or.

Rae Alfatooni 20:39

Yeah. Not great. So, yeah. So the second part of your question, actually, I actually applied to MediaVine like two weeks ago. Because my traffic has just gone crazy and I was rejected.

Megan Porta 20:58

Oh no. Were you not quite there?

Rae Alfatooni 21:00

So yeah, my web stories are separated. But there was like a piece of code on my website that for some reason my, like Raepublic GA4 was picking up as well. Like, and it wasn’t like fully separating itself. So yeah, they wrote back and they’re like, unfortunately you’re only at 45,000 sessions. And I was like, dang it.

Megan Porta 21:29

Oh, so close. Well, it’ll happen soon.

Rae Alfatooni 21:31

It looked correct. But then I was looking at everything and I was like, you know, I actually have enough page views for Raptive

Megan Porta 21:39

Oh my gosh.

Rae Alfatooni 21:40

So I applied to Raptive last Tuesday, and I got accepted on Thursday.

Megan Porta 21:47

Oh my gosh. Congratulations. Okay. I did not think that that was gonna end that way.

Rae Alfatooni 21:50

So yeah. I was so, I’m so excited. Aw. But you know, I, I have seen in like a couple different food, maybe RankIQ, but I’m in another food blogging Facebook group. And I’ve seen people post like a screenshot of their MediaVine acceptance. And it, it’s like a graphic with like confetti flying and stuff. And with Raptive it was just like, it was kind of like a support email response. Like, we’ve evaluated everything and you’re approved and then it was like, here are the onboarding steps. But I, I read it and I was like, but wait, am I in? Because it wasn’t like you made it, or, so I, I finally, I did like half the onboarding stuff and then I sent an email and I was like, am I like legit? Like in ? And they’re like, oh, are you sure? We sent that email on Thursday and I was like, okay.

Megan Porta 22:49

Aw, that’s so great. What a, it’s a huge milestone in your journey, so congratulations.

Rae Alfatooni 22:53

Thank you. I’m, yeah, I’m super excited.

Megan Porta 22:56

That’s awesome.

Sponsor 22:58

Eat Blog Talk is thrilled to unveil the Eat Blog Talk Accountability Group, an exclusive community made for food bloggers who crave accountability, focus and connection. We understand that not everyone is ready to dive into the Mini Minds Group or the Masterminds program. That is why we’ve crafted this special offering for bloggers like you who want that extra push toward their aspirations, but aren’t yet able to make the financial or time commitment. Here’s what the Eat Blog Talk Accountability group has in store for you for this low introductory price of $34 a month. This ongoing membership has its own private Slack channel. You will gain access to a dedicated channel facilitated by the community manager at Eat Blog Talk, Taryn Soli for questions, insights, and collaboration. You’ll get weekly accountability check-ins so you can stay focused and motivated with those weekly check-ins in Slack to track and achieve your goals, competently. You will have access to productivity focus sessions. Join these optional live Zoom sessions twice a week to boost your productivity by working alongside your peers and tapping into that collective energy. And you will get monthly group Zoom calls, replacing the former clubhouse chats. Join these calls to connect, discuss current topics, share experiences, and celebrate achievements. Those calls will be hosted by me, Megan Porta, and I can’t wait to see some of you there. If this sounds intriguing, head over to to sign up today,

Megan Porta 24:30

Okay. So you got into Raptive. Very, very recently. Yeah. And then you also mentioned Fiverr. I think a lot of food bloggers, including myself, we tend to shy away from Fiverr because if we have one bad experience, it’s hard to go back. But you said you had a lot of great experiences. So how do you look for people? Like what’s your strategy there?

Rae Alfatooni 24:50

Yeah, so essentially what I do, like one thing that I like to evaluate is like, I have a worksheet for this that I had on my website, but I’m creating a new website specifically for like blogging and social media resources. Yeah. So it’s like itemized, prioritize, and evaluate. So something I like to ask is like, what brings me, like, which tasks bring me the most joy and which ones bring me the least joy? And then I have like a process for ranking the ones that bring the least joy. So for example, if the thing that, eh, you’re like me, I don’t really like doing it and it takes forever is food photography. Then I would go into Fiverr and search food photographer. And then there’s an option to like categorize or filter the results. So one thing that I try to do is there’s different levels. So there’s essentially beginner sellers and then there’s level one and then level two and then pro, I usually find the pro is just too expensive for someone that hasn’t really been making much money. Yeah. So I, I tend to stay with the level one or level two, but you can find really, really talented food photographers. For example, there’s one that I’m looking at who has, so that’s another one is to see how many reviews they have and if it’s like a five star review or a 4.9 or a 4.8 kind of thing. Yeah. But you know, there’s one that I’m looking at now and it’s $50 for one recipe, which includes 25 photos, including step-by-step photos and the editing. So like, I mean, you can’t really beat that.

Megan Porta 26:50

Put my name on that please.

Rae Alfatooni 26:52

Especially like, especially if you’re a parent or you work, like have a job aside from your blog. You know, that’s something that, you know, even though I haven’t made hardly any money in recent years because I changed my focus from social media to my blog and getting to the ad network kind of thing, you know, I could spend a few, I could do a few of those every month. Yeah. Or so. So yeah, I just think it’s, that’s really great. And then another one that I’ve used a lot is for writers. So I usually create the outline for the blog, the recipe blog post. And then I have the recipe in it. And then oftentimes I’ll just have someone from Fiverr that I’ve worked with. She’s probably done like, I don’t know, 60 recipe blog posts for me. And then she’ll just write it. And that, that kind of depends on, you know, their experience and what they decide to charge. But it averages, in my experience, like $20 to $50 per thousand words or it could be more expensive. If they’re like the pro level, then it’s probably like a hundred dollars plus per thousand.

Megan Porta 28:16

So there’s so many tasks that we could probably look up in Fiverr . So I think this, I might actually do this because I have one in mind that, like you said earlier, it’s like I spend way too much doing it because I don’t love it and I don’t know why I haven’t let it go. And I don’t have anyone in mind that could really do it for me. So yeah. Is it, I haven’t been on there for a long time, but is it like a, you can do one project at a time or do you have to commit to a certain time or anything like that?

Rae Alfatooni 28:42

Yeah, so usually for like, I think they’re called gigs, like this food photographer, there’s like three different levels. So it’s basic, standard or premium. Some, some people will name them different things. But so like the basic is one recipe for $50 and they will deliver in five days. And then the standard is three recipes for $140. So you’re getting a little bit of a discount and that’s delivered in seven days. And then the premium is five recipes for $220. So you’re getting even bigger discount. And that is delivered in 14 days. Each person kind of like picks, but I have always just messaged the person cause Fiverr has like a chat. And if I need something like super quick or the timeframe that they say is not exactly what I’m looking for, then if it’s like what I’m proposing is fine with them, then they’ll just send like a custom offer for you to purchase through.

Megan Porta 29:46

Okay. So it’s not like nothing set. You have options that you can go through. Okay. That’s awesome. I love that is an option because that is a hangup to, we are like, well, if I don’t know anyone, or I don’t know anyone who knows anyone, then where do I go to get help? And that’s good to know that you’ve had so many good experiences there. What do you do when you have a bad experience? Do you, yeah. Like, I don’t know if you’re comfortable talking about your bad experiences.

Rae Alfatooni 30:13

I’ve only, like it’s only happened once, and I think it was that they said they were, I can’t remember if they said they were fluent in English or a native English speaker and it was for writing. And their like, sample, you can ask for sample articles or if it’s photography, like more samples of their photography. The samples that they sent seemed totally fine, but when I got like what I like the recipe blog posts, I had her do, it was like pretty clear that her English was not where I needed it to be.

Megan Porta 30:57


Rae Alfatooni 30:57

You know, in many cases, like, you know, if it’s $30 or something, like I just pay it and don’t order from them again. If it was like something that was really, really expensive, then I would, you know, might have more of an interaction and conversation about it.

Megan Porta 31:17

Yeah. $30 you can write off pretty easily.

Rae Alfatooni 31:19


Megan Porta 31:20

So you’ve been through a lot. This has been quite a journey, right? I mean, starting and then having to take many breaks due to various things. And then just digging back in and getting accepted into interactive and discovering RankIQ and all of that. I imagine that self-care and mindset had to be part of your journey. Am I right? Yeah. Otherwise you would not be here talking today.

Rae Alfatooni 31:44


Megan Porta 31:45

So tell us about that. What did you do to just make sure your wellness was good?

Rae Alfatooni 31:50

Yeah, so one of the reasons why I really loved my grad program in nutrition was that it just didn’t look at like the food and your diet. It looked at your lifestyle and environmental factors as well. So yeah, I mean, I do a good amount of meditation and there’s some really cool information out about gratitude and mindfulness. So I just put up a blog post recently, 21 Ways to Develop An Attitude of Gratitude. So yeah, there was a randomized control trial that I was reading about that included like almost 300 participants and they divided them into groups. And one of the groups wrote letters of gratitude’s towards others. So they essentially just like wrote down how they’re grateful for other specific people in their lives. And it, they showed that not only did that positively impact their mental health, like in that moment, but it actually positively impacted their mental health for months to come. So, you know, it, there’s things like that that are just so simple that, you know, usually we’re like, eh, that can’t make a, that can’t make a big difference. Like, you know, so there’s just, you know, little gems like that that I try to weave into my blog because I think it can be so incredibly helpful to people. So like for example, one of the ways to develop an attitude of gratitude would be to journal five things that you’re grateful for in the morning. So I find a lot of people like doing this at night because then you reflect on your day. But I really like doing it in the morning because I feel like it sets your intentions for the day and then like puts a positive impact on your day.

Megan Porta 33:48

I’m with you on that. I can’t, I don’t do it at night either. I feel like if you struggle with incorporating gratitude into your life, do it like even before you get out of bed, just say something that you’re grateful for. And you’re like setting the tone for your day.

Rae Alfatooni 34:01

Yeah. So then I think one big mindset shift that I have had over many years is being very intentional with how I say certain things. You know, a lot of times we as mere humans, say, ugh, I have to do this, I have to go do that. I have to, I have to make dinner. But the simple mindset shift and words, instead of saying I have to changing to, I get to like completely changes the impact and perspective of that task.

Megan Porta 34:39

You are speaking to the choir. I love this one. I catch myself sometimes. Like, oh, I just said I have to, and then I try to reframe it. Like things like working out where we don’t necessarily wanna work out. But then when you start thinking about it, you’re like, wow, how many people on earth right now are unable to work out and wish they could? They don’t have legs or they don’t have. You know? And so then I’m like, oh gosh, I’m so grateful I get to work out. So that is one shift that we can all make that is so powerful.

Rae Alfatooni 35:10


Megan Porta 35:11

Yeah. I love this. I love that you are focusing on taking care of yourself in little bits too. That’s the great thing about mindset and self-care is that you can do it so incrementally, like literally two minutes a day and then build up to five to 10, whatever. But you can just start so small with it and it makes such an impact. Awesome. Anything else about mindset or self care you wanna mention?

Rae Alfatooni 35:35

Yeah, I think something that I never like intentionally looked at, but in recent months have been looking at mindfulness with blogging. So one thing, one thing that I have been doing is trying to function out of mode of learning. So there’s not really success or failure, it’s just success or learning or learning and learning because you can learn from your success too. So that is definitely, you know, like it takes away so much negativity in my opinion. Another thing that I have been doing is being like really intentional with what times I do specific tasks. I can definitely, you know, check my email 20 times a day no problem. Because I wanna see, did this brand respond? Did I hear from Raptive about the next step? But you know, setting aside a certain amount of time in the morning and maybe a second set of time, like in the afternoon to look at your email is way less distracting than just checking it whenever.

Megan Porta 36:52

This is hard. This is a real challenge.

Rae Alfatooni 36:56

But you know, it can distract from the flow of the other work so much. Yeah. So for me, what I have been trying to do is like, I like to batch work, but I think I do it a little bit differently than what I’ve heard, like some people talk about. So I like to batch based on ingredient or like type of food. So for example, like I’ll make a lasagna soup recipe, a veggie lasagna recipe, and a personalized lasagna. Ooh. And so it’s like this almost like very similar recipes in a sense. Yeah. But that means like when you’re, they all have zucchini in them, so instead of chopping like three zucchinis at three different times, you’re just chopping them all at once.

Megan Porta 37:45

Yeah. That’s smart.

Rae Alfatooni 37:47

And then when it comes to, I think it makes the blog post actually even faster because you’re literally just, you’re writing about almost the same in ingredients three times.

Megan Porta 37:58


Rae Alfatooni 37:59

So that, I love doing that. That’s like been something that’s been very like intentional. And then another thing that I started doing recently was to set mindful reminders, because yeah, I just pop into my email and I’m like, Hey, what’s going on? But yeah, so like every 20 to 30 minutes if I have, like, usually I’ll have, you know, I’ll get like 10 minutes or 20 minutes here and there throughout the day, but sometimes in the morning. And then during Hazel’s nap and in the evening I’ll have like a two hour chunk. And so I’ll just set a reminder every 20 to 30 minutes, either on my laptop or it’ll just be like a vibrate of my phone. So it’s not like loud and jolting or anything, but it’s just like, okay, am I on the task that I like have been meant to be doing.

Megan Porta 38:58

If you have an Apple watch, I love this feature. You can have the, there’s like a mindfulness app that comes with it and you can set it to whatever you want. I think it comes with like two a day or something. Just by default. But you can set it to like an hour, like every hour. And I use that too because you get so into your stuff that you, you forget like hours have passed and you haven’t done anything for yourself. So just a little nudge like, hey, sit and breathe or go outside, step away from your desk, use the restroom. You know, like just be nudged a little bit can go such a long way.

Rae Alfatooni 39:35

I think also sometimes, like when I do batch work, like I’ll do the recipe creation, like if we’re talking about these lasagna recipes. Yeah. And then I’ll do the blog posts and then I’ll photograph film, and then I’ll edit, and then I’ll like put everything in WordPress and get everything ready. And then I’ll create the pins and I’ll schedule the pins out. But then I’m in, I’m in like tailwind and scheduling and then like, if I’m not careful then I ha I’ve scheduled like five other things when really I needed to be finishing something else. So yeah, that can be really helpful to just have a little reminder.

Megan Porta 40:22

Oh, the email thing that you touched on is something that I never fully get. Like I’ll get there. I feel like a junkie, like it is so hard for me to, you know, like not go in there, dip in 20 times a day, but when I’m intentional, like, okay dude, you’ve got to get your head on straight. You can’t do this. Then I, you know, I set boundaries for myself and then I do it, and then it’s like a slippery slope and I get back. It’s constant for me. It’s like doing well, sliding down the slope, realize realization that I need help doing well. You know, it’s like over and over and over. It’s just, I don’t know, it’s crazy. But I’m, I’m kind of glad to hear that I’m not the only one that feels the need to do that.

Rae Alfatooni 41:04

I mean, I’ve already checked my email four times this morning, so, you know, like it’s a learning process.

Megan Porta 41:10

It’s, yeah, it totally is. This is also good. Okay. Is there anything else you wanna mention about your journey? Any nuggets of wisdom that you have for people who are feeling stuck or feeling like their journey’s been going on forever and they just need a little burst of encouragement?

Rae Alfatooni 41:28

Sure. Yeah. I would say RankIQ. And the RankIQ Facebook group. And then also there’s a couple other Facebook groups. I think it’s Food Blogger Central. There’s just like so much inspiration, but also like so much help can be found in those places. I’d also say if you’re feeling stuck joining like a Facebook Roundup group or two could be helpful because people are posting like multiple times a day who are writing roundups and they want to include other people’s recipes. You know, being stuck. If you submit your recipes like five to 10 times a day, you’re bound to get included in some of those and then get back links and more traffic that way. So I definitely like the RankIQ and Food blogger Facebook group because it has given me more ideas for like, ways to build domain authority and get back links. And, you know, I mean, I definitely would, I, I don’t know where Raepublic would be right now if I hadn’t started listening to your podcast, for example, because that’s where I heard about RankIQ and so many other, like Dahlia who mentioned the Golden Ratio, which I just started diving into with recipes that I’m, I need to update. And then recipes that I’ve been planning to do. And like, it just made it where I crossed a number of them off my list, and I’m like, eh, nope. Not gonna, not gonna use my time right now to work on those maybe in the future. But I think there’s really great resources.

Megan Porta 43:22

There are so many free resources too. And a disclaimer on that, like, it can be like email where it’s a slippery slope and suddenly you’re reading about someone’s drama and you’re like, wait a second, what? What just happened? So like timers are really good for that. Just set a timer. Like, I’m gonna spend 10 minutes in here today. Don’t click over every time you have a break. Just to be careful with that because , I know a lot of people who are like, oh my gosh, I spent hours. And it’s just not always necessary, but so much good value too.

Rae Alfatooni 43:51

Yeah, I think too, just starting, like starting off listening to these podcasts. Because hearing other people’s stories, whether it was like a 10 year journey to get into, you know, MediaVine or Raptive, or if it was a one year journey, which I’ve heard sometimes and I’m like, how are you the chosen one? Like what? But everyone who has done it has some nuggets of wisdom that you can pick up on and incorporate into what you’re doing.

Megan Porta 44:26

Yep. So true. And we cut through the drama here, so there’s no, you know, you don’t have to deal with the sometimes drama that you see in some of the groups. So that’s a plus. Yeah. Yeah. Yes. Well, I’m so happy that you’re such a long time listener. Thank you. And I’m glad that it’s brought you good ideas and all of that. Yeah. And just thank you for joining us to share your story and your value. We really appreciate you and all that you shared today. 

Rae Aflatooni 44:50

Yeah. Thanks so much for having me. 

Megan Porta 44:53

It was such a fun conversation. Do you have either a favorite quote or words of inspiration to leave us with?

Rae Aflatooni 44:57

Oh no. Do I? You know, one of my favorite quotes, I am a Bahá í, I’m part of the Bahá í faith, and one of like a piece of writing says where there is love, nothing is too much trouble and there’s always time. So I really love that quote and try to think of, you know, how can we infuse things with love?

Megan Porta 45:18

I love that. And that actually is self-care too.

Rae Alfatooni 45:21

Yes, definitely.

Megan Porta 45:22

Love it. Such a great conversation. Rae, thank you so much. We will put together a show notes page for you. If anyone wants to go look at those, you can go to and that’s R-A-E public. Tell everyone where they can find you.

Rae Alfatooni 45:37

Yeah, so my blog is and then on Pinterest, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter/X I’m not, I don’t really do much on there. It’s all at Raepublic or in addition on Instagram I also have Raepubliceats, and then I do have a new website with blogger and Instagram resources called Influence Ignited.

Megan Porta 46:03

Oh, awesome. Everyone go check that out. Thanks Rae, again, so much for being here and thank you for listening, food bloggers. I will see you in the next episode. 

Outro 46:14

Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Eat Blog Talk. If you enjoyed this episode, I’d be so grateful if you posted it to your social media feed and stories. I will see you next time.

💥 Join the free EBT community, where you will connect with food bloggers, and gain confidence and clarity as a food blogger so you don’t feel so overwhelmed by ALL THE THINGS!

Want to achieve your goals faster than you ever thought possible? Stop by Eat Blog Talk to get the details on our Mastermind program. This transformative 12-month experience will help you accomplish more than you would be able to in 5+ years when forging ahead alone.

Click the button below to learn what a mastermind program is, what your commitment is, and what Eat Blog Talk’s commitment to you is.

✍️ Reach out to connect with Heather Eberle, a copywriter for food bloggers. As much as you enjoy your business, maybe writing or marketing isn’t your cup of tea. Maybe you’d rather spend more time in the kitchen and less time on your laptop. Heather is here to clear your plate!

Similar Posts