In episode 440, Megan chats to Tara Smithson about why going viral is often bad for your business and 6 tips that will help you stay motivated as you set healthy, long-term goals.
We cover information on why you need to focus on select goals vs. being all over the place, remind yourself to enjoy the journey, when to expect an income from blogging, forge your own path in blogging, and determine what success looks like.
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Connect with Simply Made Eats
Bio Tara enjoys creating quick and easy recipes for busy people, who love the flavor, but lack time. Tara’s intention is to make less intimidation in the kitchen through easy recipes that will begin to help people get inspired to cook delicious food.
- You have to earn authority with Google.
- Decide what success is ahead of time. Be sure it’s more than just income.
- Set goals to work towards but be ok with not meeting them.
- Put your focus on a couple of goals vs doing all the things.
- Worry less about content going viral.
- Stay on the brand on platforms – it takes time to grow yours.
- Focus on learning the business of blogging, then implement it.
- Dive into SEO
- There will always be work to do on the blog.
- Don’t expect people to understand what you’re doing.
- Enjoy the journey of building a food blog.
- Podcast: Food Blogger Pro
- Casey Markee mini audit
- The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F***
- Atomic Habits
Click here for full script.
EBT440 – Tara Smithson
Intro: 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 and I’ve been a food blogger for over 12 years. I understand how isolating food blogging can be at times. 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.
Oh my goodness, I loved this chat so much with Tara Smithson from Simply Made Eats. She is so fun. I think she’s going to be my new best friend. We had such a good chat about seeing food blogging as a long haul and not getting discouraged and disappointed when you’re not making money within a couple of months or even a couple of years. She takes us through six really great tips so that we keep going and we don’t give up. By the way, these tips are not just for new bloggers. These tips really hit home for me, too, as a 13 year old blogger. So don’t discount this episode if you are a more seasoned blogger. She talks through things like not getting caught up on setting crazy income goals that you don’t meet and then find discouragement. Worry less about viral content. That viral content can actually hurt you because it can actually cause you to focus on the wrong things or the wrong niche or the wrong people. Don’t expect people to understand what you’re doing. I loved this point that she made. We hold the visions for our businesses and our dreams and nobody else does. Even spouses, partners, best friends may not understand what we’re doing, why we’re doing this job and putting in all of the work. That’s okay. They don’t need to understand. The only thing that matters is that we get it, we see our visions and keep working toward our dreams. There’s so much more in this episode. You guys are going to love this one so much. I asked Tara to come back for part two because I know this is going to be a very popular one. It is episode number 440 and of course it is sponsored by RankIQ.
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Megan Porta: Tara Smithson enjoys creating quick and easy recipes for busy people who love the flavor, but lack time. Tara’s intention is to make less intimidation in the kitchen through easy recipes that will begin to help people get inspired to cook delicious food. Tara, hello. How are you today?
Tara Smithson: Hi Megan. Thanks so much for having me. I’m doing great.
Megan Porta: Good. So excited too.
Tara Smithson: It’s awesome to be here.
Megan Porta: I know. Excited to chat with you this morning. It’s a great way to start my day. We’re going to talk about six tips that you wish you would have known before you started blogging. But before we get into that. I would love to hear if you have a fun fact to share.
Tara Smithson: Yeah. So we are actually in Charlotte, North Carolina, and we live on Lake Norman. When I’m not blogging, I really enjoy wake surfing. That’s my second hobby. So it’s actually funny. We bought a wakeboard boat, a used one during COVID, which was perfect because there wasn’t really anything else to do. So we spent a ton of time on the boat, but we figured that our girls would want to do all the sports and they really haven’t. It’s just been me and my husband and we’re. We’re totally into it.
Megan Porta: Oh my gosh.
Tara Smithson: That’s definitely where I spend a lot of my time if I’m not on the computer or food blogging.
Megan Porta: Okay. I love you even more. I love this so much because my husband and I are really adventurous and we love doing things outside and things like that. We thought our boys too would just naturally do the same, want to do the same things. They don’t. It’s been a little bit of a mindset adjustment. Okay we’re still gonna do these things. So we too went out on the boat. My husband has a friend who lives on a lake and he has a wake surfing boat. So he goes wake surfing all the time.
Tara Smithson: That’s so fun. I know. I like it. I’m like 35. So I feel like it’s like a good sport for older people. Not like I’m old. Versus wakeboarding, like at high speeds. I can just basically sink in the water when I’m ready to be done. So I’m like, this is perfect.
Megan Porta: That’s so awesome. Then we also talked before recording that my dad lives in Charlotte, so I might just be creeping by your house next time we’re in the area. I would love that. All right. You are here to talk about things you’ve learned in your blogging journey. I know it hasn’t been a super long blogging journey yet, but so far you’re already seeing that it’s like a long haul. You need to invest your time, your mindset, your energy into just knowing that it’s going to be a long game, and you have some tips that you are going to take us through. But first, tell us a little bit about your blog.
Tara Smithson: Yeah, so my blog is simplymadeeats.com, and I basically specialize in quick and easy recipes. I like to pack the recipes full of flavor, but make them quick, easy. If I can use just a Dutch oven instead of a million dishes, I’ll do that. But I just started. So I started in the middle of COVID. It was September, 2021. So my blog will be two years old this September. I was working in mortgage during COVID. It was just a crazy story, but I was all over the place before that. But I basically decided that I was going to pick a job that actually made me happy. My husband kept telling me about all these Instagram reels. How I actually started was. I was doing these silly reels acting like I was, like, Kim Kardashian’s voice and doing all these silly reels, and then after a couple weeks, I’m like, the only thing I can think about is food recipes. I’m like, I just can’t think of anything else to do. So I started making just recipes that I made at home all the time. I think my first one was, like, bruschetta or something. It just went from there. That was probably a few months before this blog actually started. Then I just fell into it and was like, Oh, people are actually making money doing this. I thought that I would definitely be making money earlier on, but I’ve found that just wasn’t the case. I think the route that I went to, the most important thing for me right now, or really the whole time was to get the blog monetized, which I know a lot of people do. That’s how they feel too. Then also, I really like long form content, which is funny because I started on Instagram Reels, but I really like YouTube, so I picked the longest haul I feel like to make money. So that’s where I am now as I’m starting. I’m still on this journey to get monetized. So I’m definitely getting really close, but it’s taken a lot longer than I thought. I’ve learned a lot along the way. So I’m excited to share all those tips with you.
Megan Porta: Yeah, that’s so awesome. I think that a lot of food bloggers, you’ve alluded to, get into it and they just think that the monetization is going to come a lot more quickly than it does. Then it is a frustration, right? Honestly, like a lot of people give up because. It seems like a great idea, oh, cooking and working from home, and it’s gonna be all peaches and roses, and I’m gonna get monetized within a few months, and then it doesn’t happen. Then it’s really discouraging.
Tara Smithson: It’s so much work, too. Nobody really understands until they actually start doing it, like how much. Just one recipe, how much time goes into that, especially if you’re making a YouTube video with it and having to edit it and the photography and just all the things you just don’t realize when you get started. You have to really love it to stay in it for sure.
Megan Porta: You do. It’s one of those things, if you knew everything that you were about to do, you probably wouldn’t do it. You wouldn’t get started because there’s so much going on.
Tara Smithson: Yes. For sure.
Megan Porta: Not to discourage anyone, but that’s the truth of it. It’s a really complex job, especially if you want to dig into all the things, right? Okay. So we’re really excited to hear your tips. So take us through the first one you have.
Tara Smithson: Okay, so my first one is to not set crazy income goals. I’m a very goal oriented person, and when I first started listening to all these podcasts, you have these women saying oh, I made 40,000 my first year, and it’s inspiring, but it can also be discouraging when you’re working your butt off every single day and it’s just not happening. I think that people have to remember that, especially if you’re looking for monetization of the blog, you have to earn the authority with Google, right? That comes through, a million things, but I think it just, you have to realize that it’s not going to happen overnight.
I think that you also have to think about success, which isn’t necessarily just measured in money. For me, I was making money at my other job and that was making me incredibly unhappy. I think that success has to be measured in finding something that you love and inspires you too. However, I do think that there’s a lot of other ways to make money. I mentioned that my main focus has been to monetize the blog and then to get monetization on YouTube too. But I think that depending on your situation, for me, like we have a plumbing business and that provides most of the income for our family, so I’ve been really fortunate for that. But I think if you’re in the first few years and you need to make money doing this, maybe look into other things like brand deals or food photography or writing for other blogs. I didn’t really focus on any of this, but I definitely think that if you need to, you could definitely lean into that.
Megan Porta: Yeah, definitely some side projects while you’re working on the ads. Then I didn’t ask you yet, do you have ads on your site?
Tara Smithson: No.
Megan Porta: Okay. So you’re working toward that.
Tara Smithson: Yeah, so I’m still around like 20,000 sessions, so I’m just keep on plugging away trying to get close to that 50.
Megan Porta: Yes, you’re getting closer every day. I believe that. You are. Okay. So I totally agree with this one. I think it can be really unhealthy to set income goals and then not reach them. Then you’re just discouraged about not reaching them. Then that can send you into a spiral of just scarcity thinking and all of the bad things. So how do you recommend going around that? Because I know like everyone tells you to set income goals, have those goals at the top, on your vision board. Can you set the goals and then work toward them in different ways? Like you mentioned your plumbing business and maybe brand work or something like that. Or do you think that we shouldn’t at all, have those goals?
Tara Smithson: So I think that it’s okay to set goals. So I have to set goals because I’m just like that. So if it’s the beginning of the year, I need to have a list of things that I’m going to work towards. But I’ll be honest with you, the first year, like I didn’t meet any of my goals and it was super discouraging, especially because I literally probably worked 40 hours a week on this the whole entire first year. I went into the gate hard. I was like, okay, I’m gonna do this. I haven’t really stopped since. It’s not like I took off several weeks. But I do think that it’s important to set goals, but you also just need to be realistic. If you have another job that you’re working at right now, then try and start this part time. Try and build that authority up over time. I do not suggest quitting your job and going into it, if you don’t have any other income coming in. Maybe if you like food photography. I wish I would have leaned into that a little bit more. I think that would have been healthy, in the beginning, because you can work with brands and not have a big following and they’ll still pay you for food photography. So I think that’s a really good option. And it seems like a lot of food bloggers right now are going that route. A lot of food bloggers even do food photography for other bloggers. Everybody’s maxed out with their time. So if you can find something like that to just get by, then, go for it.
Megan Porta: Yeah. Writing too has come up lately too because I think we’re all getting burned out on writing. So we’re like, Oh, please somebody come in and swoop in and please write for me.
Tara Smithson: Yeah, I know I have the hardest time getting motivated to write a blog post and then once I start writing it I’m like, this is not bad. Why am I so apprehensive about writing it? I think it’s just that it’s so repetitive every single time. You have your structure.
Megan Porta: This is not just new bloggers, it’s across the board. Everyone, I feel like, just gets burned out in that process. We were just talking about that on our mastermind call yesterday. We’re like, how do we go about writing a blog post so it’s not so tedious and boring and just oh, dreadful.
Tara Smithson: Just do it. Just get a cup of coffee and then just do it. Isn’t that book called Eat the Frog, do what you don’t want to do first?
Megan Porta: Yep, that’s right. Okay, love that tip. What is your next tip?
Tara Smithson: Yeah, so my next tip is, I definitely did not do this, but focus on a few platforms or streams of income. I know the long term goal is to diversify our income. But that’s a long term goal. So I think if you focus on everything right from the beginning, it’s going to take you a lot longer to see any kind of movement. That’s what happened to me. So I was on every social platform, like TikTok. My Gen Z sister in law kept telling me, you got to be on this one. You got to be on this one. I’m like, okay, fine. I’ll do it all. Then you’re everywhere, but you’re not really seeing growth anywhere. So I think if you can make a ranking order of what’s most important to you and just try and hang with those top two or three things, it’s going to be a lot more manageable for you, especially over the first couple years. You can always branch out later on, but it’s just going to be a simpler process if you just focus on a couple things.
Megan Porta: I think this is a super smart lesson because it seems like if you’re everywhere, that should work, but it’s actually not true. The less you do and the less platforms you really maximize, the better you’re going to be. The better you’re going to do.
Tara Smithson: Yeah, I think so too. Also for instance, I had a couple videos go viral on TikTok and I was so excited. I would wake up in the morning and I have all these notifications of all these new followers. I’ll post one video now. I have 30, 000 followers on TikTok and I post a video and it gets 200 views. It really hasn’t done that much for me. It’s just better if you just can stick with one platform and really give it a lot, I think that’s going to be the best thing, at least for the first two years.
Megan Porta: It’s so hard to do this, though. It’s so tempting because you’re persuaded. The platforms call you, they pull you in, but then also people are, like you said, you’re, I think your sister or sister in law or something.
Tara Smithson: Yeah, my sister in law.
Megan Porta: Yeah. She was like, you’ve got to be here. We hear that all the time in our space. Oh, why aren’t you on this? You have to be there. You have to use Facebook. You have to. We’re like, oh if I have to, then okay, I’m going to go do it. But you don’t. Tara and I are giving you permission. You do not have to be everywhere. Even if it’s a big platform, Instagram, if it doesn’t speak to you, forget it, right?
Tara Smithson: Yeah, and sometimes you can get discouraged there, too. I have pretty thick skin, but sometimes the comments that come in on these things, I’m like, what in the world? What is wrong with people? Somebody who’s been in it for five or ten years, they probably have a team and they’re getting help with putting this content on every platform. When you’re just one person, like for me, I do every single thing. I don’t have anybody helping me with anything. It just gets really tricky to get all that content out and then actually spend time in all the different places. I’m in a stage right now where I’m not really consuming any content. I’m just creating things. But my first year, I definitely consumed a lot to try and figure out trends and all that.
Which kind of moves into my next tip too. So my next tip is to just worry less about posts going viral. I know it can be really exciting and motivating when you have something go viral. So I’ve had a couple on TikTok, like I talked about and it’s great, but sometimes it gets in your mind a little bit too. For instance, the ones that went viral were super simple recipes. One of them was three ingredients. Baking cream cheese roll type thing and then the other one was like a five minute recipe. That’s not really like on-brand for me at all. So I think it gets confusing because you see these things, they go viral and then you’re like, oh you know maybe I should become a budget blogger now that only makes three ingredient recipes, right? It starts messing with your head a little bit and obviously that could work, but you have to stick to your brand, and I feel like my reality is a short adrenaline rush and you gain a lot of superficial followers, but what you really want over time is that brand loyalty and that’s what the OGs of food blogging have gotten. If you actually get some perspective and look at how many posts they’ve had and how they’ve had to earn that following it just gives you a lot of perspective. This is not about overnight success at all, this job.
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Megan Porta: Brand loyalty takes time.
Tara Smithson: Yes, for sure.
Megan Porta: It’s not what we wanna hear because the viral stuff is so fun. Like you said, it’s exciting and it gives you that rush. Ooh, thousands, if not millions of people just saw this piece of content that I created. But that is probably gonna fade quickly.
Tara Smithson: Yeah, exactly. Everybody says to focus on the user, but you also have to think about what you want your brand to be and what you want to do. For me, I would like to do this forever. Like I would like to never have another job and just this be my job forever. So I want to make sure that this fits my brand and I design the business that I want. Just because crockpot recipes are trending, if you hate making crockpot recipes, then don’t start posting them. Just because they’re going viral. It’s not going to do much for you.
Megan Porta: Yeah. You’re laying the groundwork for a solid business. You’re building this structure and this is part of it. Everything you’re talking about today is part of that structure.
Tara Smithson: Yeah, and I think you have to pick something that you’re passionate about, and you also obviously need to look at SEO too. That’s a really important piece of this puzzle. I know like the first six months. I really just If I thought of something, I would just write a post on it and that’s not a great strategy either. So if you don’t know about SEO, definitely, make sure that you look at that too because you don’t want to waste your time writing a million posts that are never going to rank in Google.
Megan Porta: Yes. Yes. Amen. Okay. What is your next tip, Tara?
Tara Smithson: I would say especially in year one, I would focus on learning the business. Food blogging has a lot of different aspects of it, so you have to learn a lot of it and you have to be open to learning, but you also need to implement at the same time. Even if you don’t know how to write a blog post, you still need to write it. I think that there’s so much information to take in that you can really drown in it and you have to take action as well at the same time.
Megan Porta: Ooh, I love that. Yes it’s easy to get caught up in the learning and that part of it, and to never actually do the things.
Tara Smithson: You can get overwhelmed by it, just because there is so much information to learn. I just think if you don’t start doing it. You need to write the posts, you need to post the reels, or whatever you want to do, whatever platform you want to work towards, you have to do all the things, rather than just, saying, I’m just going to learn this for a year and then I’ll start doing stuff. Because it’s just not going to work out like that. But you also need to really find the experts. Because I also think there’s a lot of people in this industry that think that they know what they’re talking about, but they really don’t. So you have to weed that out, too. If it were for me, I wouldn’t find Food Blogger Pro for a long time, and I think that’s a really good place to start if you’re just starting out. Just because with the forums and everything in there, you can figure out who’s good and who’s not and what to learn. So I wish I would have found that earlier.
Megan Porta: Yeah, it is good to know those trusted sources. You don’t know at first because you don’t even know who you’re talking to is telling you the truth. How do they know who the best experts are? You don’t know what they’re telling you. You just don’t know who is legit and who’s speaking truths and It’s hard to establish that, but then you do figure out which groups, which places to go that are telling you trusted information.
Tara Smithson: Yeah, just be careful where you spend your money because in the beginning if you’re not making a lot of money you need to be really careful about where you’re spending it. I know one of the best things I’ve done this year is I had an SEO audit with Casey Markee, which I was super scared of by the way because everybody was acting like he was so brutal and honest and he was so nice and so helpful. I just thought it was the best way I could ever spend my money. So that was awesome. I also went to Tastemaker which was good because just being around people that are food bloggers and realizing this is actually a real thing was really inspiring for me.
Megan Porta: Isn’t it? That’s the best. Just being in that circle of people who do the same thing you do. It’s such a weird job and just feeling connected in that way.
Tara Smithson: Yeah, it is. It can be lonely sometimes, too. I think that another thing that’s really helped me, I have an entrepreneurship type mentality. me and my husband have. So that’s definitely been helpful, but also just listening to podcasts every week, this one and also Food Blogger Pro and Top Hat Rank. Every week, if I just listen to them, it just keeps me going. It’s that motivational fuel that I need to get me to the next week. Especially if I’m feeling down or worried about where I’m going. It’s such a good thing to listen to just keep you on track.
Megan Porta: Thank God for podcasts because they’re free and they’re loaded with value, right?
Tara Smithson: Oh my gosh. I know. I swear the Top Hat Rank one, if I would have found that in the beginning, it would have saved me so much time and energy that I had to rewrite all these blog posts like I’m doing right now.
Megan Porta: At least you weren’t eight years in like I was when I started having to rewrite hundreds of pieces of content.
Tara Smithson: Oh my gosh. I can’t imagine.
Megan Porta: Yeah, I’m still working on it. So when people complain, I’m like no, you don’t get to complain.
Tara Smithson: Yeah, you have this ongoing list so don’t ever expect anything to be completed because it’s not going to be. There’s always gonna be something that you need to be working on.
Megan Porta: It’s like the mail and the laundry. It never ends. Literally never ends. So just expect that. Go into it knowing that.
Tara Smithson: Yeah. I would definitely rather food blogs than do laundry though.
Megan Porta: Yeah and deliver mail. Nothing against, we love our mailman. He’s amazing. We’re here for a reason. We’re all creatives and we love creating. What is your next tip?
Tara Smithson: So my next tip is to not expect people to understand what you’re doing. I think in the beginning, I just wanted everybody to be on my team, and, even the people that are closest to you, sometimes they see you spending all this time on it and they really can’t understand it and they’re not going to accept it. So I think that you have to be tough enough and know that you want this bad enough to really be okay with people around you not accepting what you do. Especially now, I’m going into year two and I have hardly any income. I’m pretty sure at this point, everybody’s accepted that I’m crazy, so I’m okay with it now. But the first year, people fought me so hard on it. I don’t think it out of malice. I think it was more that they were trying to protect me and my time, and they just saw that it wasn’t paying off. It’s really funny because on podcasts, I always hear people are like, Oh, my husband’s been so supportive. I’m like, yeah, mine’s not really. He’s just a realist and he’s like, why? He sometimes wonders why I’m spending so much time doing it. But in the beginning, it was super important for me to make him understand. Now I’m at the point where I’m like, I don’t really care if he understands it. He doesn’t fight me on it anymore, so I just try and balance my time, like, when I’m with him and not always be on my computer screen and just realize that not everybody is going to understand it. People are designed to seek safety and that’s why people are usually employees and I just feel maybe they’re trying to protect you more than hurt you, but it can still be exhausting for that pushback all the time.
Megan Porta: Oh, it is so true. The resistance can be more exhausting than it’s worth. Just knowing that it comes from a place of love most of the time, like with your husband and most partners or spouses, I think do resist it a little if they don’t know it because it’s a really hard thing to understand, unless you are in it and you have the vision for it. And you do. Many of us do have the vision, but it’s nearly impossible to relay that vision to another person.
Tara Smithson: Yeah. It’s so fun to talk to somebody who actually does it. Because I’m like, last night I was thinking, I’m like, Oh my gosh, this is so fun. I get to talk to somebody for almost a whole hour about food blogging that actually wants to talk about it, for the first time ever.
Megan Porta: Oh, that’s hilarious. Yeah, I know. It’s exciting to talk to food bloggers. So we have a 90 minute mastermind call every Monday, and I get excited to log on to Zoom and chat about food blogging because it’s not common in my world. Even my husband, who I’ve been blogging for 13 years now, knows what I do, but it’s not the same. He’s not a blogger, so we can’t talk about it in the same way, which seems crazy, right? He’s been around it for 13 years.
Tara Smithson: I know, but you think about that from any industry though. My husband’s a plumber, right? He does, he’s a plumbing contractor. He does labor and I don’t know what he does all day. I don’t really want to know either. So I will try. He doesn’t really care what I do and I don’t really care what he does. At the end of the day, you can’t be mad at somebody for not understanding exactly what you do. It’s okay.
Megan Porta: Yeah. It’s not just food blogging. We have to keep that in mind too. Have you ever been at a party or somewhere and you’re like, oh, like what do you do? They start explaining what they do and you just have no idea what they’re talking about? So it’s not just us. So we often think that, oh, nobody understands food blogging and how offensive that might be. But actually I don’t understand what people do a lot of the time. Oh, I’m in tech and I transfer the data for okay, I don’t know what that means.
Tara Smithson: Yeah, I know. I think it’s just okay. It’s okay. It’s fine that they don’t understand.
Megan Porta: Yes, exactly. Just let it go. Because resisting things always makes life more difficult. So just go with it. You don’t need to understand. That’s fine. I have a vision and I’m going to run with it.
Tara Smithson: Exactly. If it’s important to you, you don’t have to tell everybody every step of your journey, right? You just do it. Just don’t worry about telling people, just do what you need to do. I think that’s the most important thing.
Megan Porta: Oh, I love this one so much. I could talk forever about that. Okay, what is your last tip, Tara?
Tara Smithson: Yeah. So my last tip is, this is a business, so if you started a coffee shop today, the line outside isn’t going to be as long as Starbucks. It takes time, and you have to be consistent and patient, and I think that either you can enjoy the process when you’re doing it or you can get stressed out and burnout. Eventually I didn’t do it. So I think it’s really important just to take one day at a time and be happy building something that you’re proud of. When I go back and look at my blog like it’s just so cool How it’s evolved and like I look at those first posts and I’m like, oh my gosh. The food photography was horrible. The post was horrible. Everything about it. Sometimes it’s hard to see yourself getting better each day, but if you go back a few months or so, you can definitely see the evolution. So I think it’s just important to just focus on that and just remember it’s gonna take time. I saw a picture of Martha Stewart from the ’90s in her kitchen and I was like, oh my gosh. How cool would that be if in 30 years I can look back and see these videos. I mean they might be super cringy, but it’s such a cool thing to be able to look back. Just remember you’re building something, even our blogs we’re able to cook off of those when they get old. It’s just such a cool thing to be able to create. I think that we just need to look at it like that rather than being so money driven. That’s going to come. I’m at the point now where I’m like, when the money comes, the money will come. I’m not going to just focus entirely on that.
Megan Porta: When you take the pressure off, sometimes things happen more quickly that can actually accelerate your progress. I think it’s absolutely really smart. You are doing it in a really smart way because it’s so easy to be like, where is it? Where’s my money?
Tara Smithson: Yeah. I was like that the first year I was so stressed because my husband was on my back about it, about trying to really justify what I was doing. It was so stressful. Now at this point I just don’t think he thinks I’m ever going to make money. So it’s actually a lot easier on me. I’m like, okay, I’m just going to do what I want now.
Megan Porta: Just wait until you’re raking in the thousands and thousands a month. He’s Oh, okay.
Tara Smithson: I know. I can’t wait. I can’t wait.
Megan Porta: It will happen. It will happen. Then what you were saying, I wrote down the word, legacy. So instead of seeing it as having to make money now or soon, think of it more as a legacy mindset. I’m paving this path and leaving behind this amazing content that I’m creating for kids or relatives or random users. That will never go away. That will never change. That’s so cool. I think that mindset frees you from just putting so much pressure on the money.
Tara Smithson: Yeah, and that’s definitely one of the reasons why I got started too. My family, we just don’t have a lot of family recipes. I get so jealous. When people have these authentic recipes, that have been handed down generations. I’m like, we literally don’t have any of that. We have a potato salad recipe that we all make, and I’m pretty sure I’ve changed it four times already. I just feel like it’s so important to have those recipes to be able to hand down to your kids. Our family just did not do that. So I’m like, now I’ll be able to leave that to them.
Megan Porta: Oh, and that’s so cool to be able to do that. Okay. I could probably keep on talking to you for hours, Tara, but I suppose we have to start wrapping up. Is there anything we’ve missed within your points that you want to mention before we start saying goodbye?
Tara Smithson: I don’t think so. I think we got everything.
Megan Porta: What point do you think is the most important?
Tara Smithson: I would say, for me, it was probably just not to expect people to understand what we’re doing. I think that I had so much pushback in the beginning that was really the biggest resistance for me. Everything else came along. I think it just depends on who you are, like what your background is. Because I’ve come from an entrepreneurship type background, I think that I was open to a lot of other things, but I would definitely say the resistance was the hardest.
Megan Porta: Yeah, I think of all the ones you talked about, that’s probably the hardest one to nail. But if we release that, we’ll feel the most freedom, right?
Tara Smithson: Yep. Absolutely.
Megan Porta: Yeah. This was such a cool conversation. I think we should do part two. If you have six more, we can continue this another time.
Tara Smithson: Oh my gosh. I’m sure I can think of them.
Megan Porta: That would be awesome. I think that would be amazing. Thank you, Tara, so much for your time today. It was such a pleasure to connect with you and chat with you, so we appreciate everything you’ve shared today.
Tara Smithson: Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate it.
Megan Porta: Do you have a favorite quote or words of inspiration to end with?
Tara Smithson: Yeah. So this kind of goes along with the expectation that people don’t expect people to understand. I don’t want to call my husband small minded. I’m not talking about him in general. But Steve Harvey has a quote that says, the best way to ruin a big dream is to tell small minded people”. So anytime that I get any kind of pushback, I always try to remember that. A lot of times people, even though say if when you tell them about their food blog, they’ll say things like, it’s cute, or at this point I call it a recipe website because I just feel like it’s easier for people to understand than a food blog, but I really do think that quote is so true. Anytime that anybody gives me any pushback, I always think about that and it really helps me to keep moving.
Megan Porta: Yeah. That’s so important. I still don’t talk about a lot of the projects I do, even with trusted peers because I just can’t handle it, the small mindedness comes out in everyone sometimes and it’s not worth it. You know what, I’m going to keep this under my hat. I’m just going to keep it a little secret between me and then I’ll release it when I feel like it’s right. But I love ending with that.
Tara Smithson: Yes. Sounds good. Yeah. That’s awesome.
Megan Porta: We put together a show notes page for you, Tara, so if you want to go look at those, you can go to EatBlogTalk.com/SimplyMadeEats. Tell everyone where they can find you.
Tara Smithson: Yeah. So I’m at Simply Made Eats on pretty much every platform except for Instagram, which is annoying. So I’m Simply_Made_Eats because it was already taken.
Megan Porta: Aw. That’s all right.
Tara Smithson: But everywhere else you can find me at Simply My Eats.
Megan Porta: All right. So go check Tara out. I was just looking at your blog. It’s beautiful. So everyone go look at it. Thank you for listening today, food bloggers. I will see you in the next episode.
Outro: Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Eat Blog Talk. Please share this episode with a friend who would benefit from tuning in. I will see you next time.
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