In episode 337, Megan talks to Sue Ringsdorf about starting a food blog as a second chapter in life and seeing blogging from a different perspective. It is not only about making money but also the legacy you leave behind.
We cover information about how we hold ourselves back because we’re in the comparison game, be sure to define your primary goal(s) for blogging, get help in the areas where you have shortcomings as a blogger and know that direct interaction with your audience can have a big impact on you and your audience.
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Bio Sue started SueBee Homemaker on her 50th birthday, in October of 2016, after several months of contemplating what her “next phase” in life would look like in her and her hubby’s soon to be empty nest. The idea occurred after numerous friends planted the seed…”you should start a blog”, “you should open a bakery”. Her mother inspired her love of cooking and baking, and she honors her in a recipe category entitled “Norma Jean’s Kitchen”.
- Finding a love of sharing recipes and creating content can come from honoring someone and spur you forward.
- Leave a legacy by capturing some recipes to pass down to family members and that can start to grow into a business.
- Bloggers coming into blogging later in life tend to be willing to jump into asking for help right off the bat with technology or areas not skilled at.
- Focus on what lights you up and can do well.
- Be a lifelong learner while blogging – you can listen to podcasts to continuously educating yourself.
- Supporting family goals with blogging earnings helps do things that you can do once you’re an empty nester.
- Connecting with your audience is higher priority than numbers.
- The right audience finds you when you stay authentic to yourself.
- Community plays a role in broadening the richness of blogging both for yourself and for your audience.
- It’s never too late to dive into blogging.
Sue recommends the following podcasts: Eat Blog Talk (FAV!), The Vine, Eat Capture Share, Blogger Genius, Food Blogger Pro
YouTube – Joanie Simon (I use her flash photography method)
Click for full script.
Sue Ringsdorf: Hi, this is Sue Ringsdorff from SueBee Homemaker, and you are listening to the Eat Blog Talk podcast.
Sponsor: Hey, awesome food bloggers. Before we dig into this episode, I have a really quick favor to ask you. Go to your favorite podcast player. Go to Eat Blog Talk, scroll down to the bottom where you see the ratings and review section. Leave Eat Blog Talk a five star rating if you love this podcast and leave a great review. This will only benefit this podcast. It adds value. I so very much appreciate your efforts with this. Thank you so much for doing this. Okay. Now onto the episode.
Megan Porta: Hello, food bloggers. Welcome to Eat Blog Talk, the podcast for food bloggers looking for the value and the confidence that will move the needle forward in their businesses. This episode is sponsored by RankIQ. I’m your host, Megan Porta, and you are listening to episode number 337. Today, I have Sue Ringsdorf with me. She is going to talk to us about starting a blog as a second chapter and viewing the blogging experience through a different lens. Sue started SueBee Homemaker on her 50th birthday in October of 2016 after several months of contemplating what her next phase in life would be, what it would look like in her and her hub soon to be empty nest. The idea occurred after numerous friends planted the seed, you should start a blog. You should open a bakery. Her mother inspired her love of cooking and baking, and she honors her in a recipe category entitled Norma Jean’s Kitchen. Oh, I love that. Hi, Sue. How are you doing today? Thanks so much for being here.
Sue Ringsdorf: Hi, I’m doing great. So good to be here, Megan.
Megan Porta: I know you’ve been such a, just loyal listener and you reach out occasionally and I always appreciate seeing your name pop up. So I’m just super thrilled that you’re here today on the podcast.
Sue Ringsdorf: Thank you.
Megan Porta: Okay. Before we get into this amazing topic, tell us what your fun fact is.
Sue Ringsdorf: I have 110 first cousins, 78. 78 on my mom’s side and 32 on my dad’s side. Mom was one of 14 and dad was one of eight. So they have just tons and tons of family. Or we do.
Megan Porta: I don’t know if I’ve ever heard of anyone have that many cousins. That’s so many, how do you keep track of them?
Sue Ringsdorf: We actually have a family Facebook page on my mom’s side, which is really helpful. My dad’s side we don’t. But on my mom’s side, actually, there’s a spreadsheet with everybody’s names and addresses and dates of birth. So I actually went through there the other day, just preparing for this and I wrote down all of my Cousin’s names.
Megan Porta: Oh my gosh.
Sue Ringsdorf: Yeah. Then I had to ask my siblings for my dad’s just to make sure I got everyone on my dad’s side, because we don’t have that nice spreadsheet handy. There are also 177 great grandkids on my mom’s side. Grandmother would be, she would have 177 great grandkids, obviously she’s not with us anymore.
Megan Porta: That is so amazing. I don’t know anyone who can say that. So do you guys have massive family reunions?
Sue Ringsdorf: Actually there is gonna be one on my mom’s side this year. I’m probably not gonna make it. I have made ’em in the past. It’s been a while, but we always wear name tags when we go because we don’t know each other. My parents have both passed and at the funerals for both of them, I’d have cousins come through the line and introduce themselves. Especially the older ones, because I guess I was probably towards the younger side of the group. My mom was number nine, I believe. So I don’t know a lot of my older cousins.
Megan Porta: Oh, my goodness. Wow. That is the coolest fun fact ever. I love it.
Sue Ringsdorf: Thank you.
Megan Porta: Let’s start talking about just starting a blog as a second chapter and doing that through a little bit of a different lens than probably most food bloggers do, most. I wouldn’t say all, but most other food bloggers do not have the same perspective. So can you just share a little bit about your journey, food blogging, why you started and where you’re at now, looking through this different lens.
Sue Ringsdorf: Yeah, I actually started it when I turned 50. So on my 50th birthday, I posted my first blog post . So I got the idea a couple months before. My youngest was 17, a junior in high school. We always joked that I would go back to work when he went to school. It’s funny because, I joke because I think my husband thought it would be like when he went to school, but I was like, no college. So I was preparing myself to go and do something else because I wanted to be home with my kids, but I certainly wanted to do something else when they went off to college. So I was preparing. I started it because my mom was a very big cook. She loved to bake. I learned how to bake from her. That’s what I started doing was baking bread. She was starting to decline from Alzheimer’. I just wanted to capture the favorite rescues I had of hers. So that’s how I started it. Then I morphed into the creation side. I think the more you cook, the better you get. So that’s how I started and I just wanted to be something more than just a wife and mom. I had gone to college with finance and all numbers and I didn’t like it. That’s one of the reasons I just was like, I wanna do food. I wanna do something creative. So in fact my husband fired me from doing the home budget after a point because I just don’t like the number side of it. It’s a struggle even to keep up with the stats for my blog. It’s okay. I’m just gonna keep on chugging along here, but yeah, so that’s how I started it.
Megan Porta: Awesome. I love this different perspective because I mentioned before, I won’t say all, but a lot of food bloggers have a different reason for entering this space. They’re maybe not in a different chapter. Like you said, you were preparing for your kids to leave and just wanting a place for your family recipes to be stored and all of that. But a lot of food bloggers, they get in it to make the money ASAP, right? They see the opportunity and they just hit the ground running and it’s a completely different perspective. So I’m curious to hear all of the lessons and takeaways that you can shed light on that might benefit that other version of food blogger, because I think there’s value in both ways to approach it, right? There’s definitely value in the super aggressive, I’m going to make money and make this a business fast. But there’s also value in your perspective. So I’m curious to hear you talk through that. One of the things you touched on is that you started when you were 50. So a message I’m pulling away from that is that it is never too late to start. So if somebody’s listening and wants to start a food blog, it is not too late. So speak to that.
Sue Ringsdorf: Yeah. It really isn’t. I sometimes have the imposter syndrome because I don’t feel like I’m that blogger that’s just sharing so many things and just cranking it out and making a ton of money. I can have that, but I do think there is a place for all of us. We don’t all have to be that person and, believe it or not, I did qualify for Mediavine after only a couple of years just by doing it the way I wanted to do it.
Megan Porta: I love that. I love that so much.
Sue Ringsdorf: Maybe I just got lucky choosing the right words, because I certainly didn’t know anything about keywording. Now, if I had to do it again, I’d go back and I would do things a little bit more the right way. But I am slowly getting into that. Really my goal is to share the recipes, have a voice. I might be jumping ahead here, but I really wanna just have that little bit of legacy or a little bit of a footprint in the world. As you get older, you see your parents aging and passing away. I wanna capture some of these recipes for my family and for my kids and grandkids to have. That’s way more than me making money on it. So in fact, I’ve gone back and I’m starting to catch up on my travel posts because one time my youngest son said, mom, I want you to write your life story. So I feel like I’m sharing a little bit of my life story slowly and my recipes. Then I updated my About Me page and then just some of the traveling and people may not even wanna read the travel stuff, but my kids will always have it as long as they don’t delete my domain. I’m gonna say you can never delete this. I feel like you just wanna have this little footprint in the world and that’s what I’m trying to partially do. In the back of my mind I wanna leave something out there for them.
Megan Porta: Oh, I love your reasoning for doing it and yeah, that is so noble. Just wanting to leave your little imprint on the world and on your family. How freaking cool that you got into Mediavine so quickly without doing everything, quote, everything right from the beginning, like a lot of people do. They study up and they figure out what they need to do and they hop in and they do it and then they get into Mediavine quickly. But you did it just doing what you wanted to do.
Sue Ringsdorf: That’s right.
Megan Porta: There’s so much power there.
Sue Ringsdorf: Some of those old posts are still going strong. I’ve tweaked them a little bit, but some of those posts that were actually ranking and doing well, I knew nothing about. I knew nothing about any of the keywording. I didn’t do alt text. I had to go back and do all that. So I’m slowly catching up. So I’m 55 now. I’m at the point where now I get it. I get what I need to do, but it is not my goal. I wanna make money, but it’s not like my primary goal.
Megan Porta: Yeah, that’s so cool. So at some point, though, you started figuring out okay, I need to be doing this. I need to do keyword research. I probably need to get help in certain areas. So where did you seek help from? Where did you find the most value?
Sue Ringsdorf: Yeah. I actually got Nerd Press involved. So Andrew was super helpful. First I was like, I don’t wanna spend that much money, but it really was helpful to have someone because I tried to figure out some of that technology part, but I stayed up till midnight, trying to figure some of this stuff out that I needed to do, but I just couldn’t keep up with it. It’s such a good peace of mind, obviously. That’s the package I have with him. I think peace of mind. It’s a hundred percent worth it. It really is. I can ask them just very basic questions and they’ll handle it for me. I think they know, they know me well enough now that they just go do it. They don’t really, a lot of times tell me how to do it. They just do whatever they need to do. So technology is not my friend and I’m not afraid to admit that. I know that’s the case with a lot of food bloggers. So I definitely think that’s important. I was also gonna mention that my family has been so helpful. They test my recipes. I’m always asking for recipe reviews. So I can’t ignore the fact that I have family and friends that are constantly leaving reviews, giving me advice, or my sister will check something for grammar because she was a teacher and she’s really good at it. It’s just all those little things.
Megan Porta: It takes a village. Even when we’re doing it on our own, we’re really not. We get help from so many areas that we don’t give credit to. So I love that you’re giving credit to even your family for checking grammar and testing your recipes because often we don’t do that. So I love that you just did that.
Sue Ringsdorf: Then I have to mention also my daughter-in-law. She does my social media. So she’s the other person that I do pay to help me. Yes, she’s good. She does things in one 10th of the time I could do it.
Megan Porta: Nice. So a theme I’m pulling out so far is recognize what your shortcomings are or downfalls and hire or get help in those areas.
Sue Ringsdorf: Yes, because I seriously would spend so long creating posts for Instagram and Facebook and she just whips ’em out. So nice.
Megan Porta: You mentioned earlier about not maybe doing all the things you should be doing. So what is your perspective on social media?
Sue Ringsdorf: We do the basics. I do not do TikTok. Actually, Tiffany, to set up a TikTok account for me. She doesn’t put much out there because actually I don’t even really know how to do it. If I get on there, it just is a turnoff. I am just more interested in food. I feel like whenever I get on there, there’s some crazy dancing or something. So I just don’t need anything else. Since I’ve started, it’s like I slowly have gotten into some of the social media and I am creating reels. I have a very slow following, I hope to gradually increase it, but it’s not my priority at all. I wanna be out there, but not too much,
Megan Porta: So it’s okay to focus on the things that lights you up and that you’re good at and that are working as opposed to feeling like you have to do everything and be everywhere.
Sue Ringsdorf: Exactly. Exactly.
Megan Porta: I know this about you already, but talk more about the fact that you are just a lifelong learner and how that has helped you to grow as well. You consume a lot of podcasts. How else do you learn? Do you recommend that others consume content that’s going to help build their business?
Sue Ringsdorf: Yeah. Your podcast is something. When I found yours, I just binged it. There’s been some others that have started. Some of them aren’t active anymore, but I love listening to all that. All of that is so helpful. Just the little things you pick up and, it’s so great that we can put our AirPods in, start cooking and listen to all the information, the free information on the internet. Then I get hooked on all the like true crime and, Brene Brown. Sometimes my husband comes home and he goes, you have your AirPod still in your ear, because there’ll be nothing playing and it’s still in. Oops. So sometimes I guess it can be a little bit too much brain overload. In fact, I occasionally will try to listen to a podcast while writing a blog post and it doesn’t work. But I’ll try. So I’ll half listen and all. So then I have to go back and correct all my work because I’m trying to listen to something. I love technology.
Megan Porta: There is so much free content out there that’s super helpful. So take advantage of that free, amazing value, right?
Sue Ringsdorf: Yes, exactly.
Megan Porta: There’s so much of it. Okay. I’m curious about goals because it seems like you’re painting a picture where you’re just doing what you love and everything’s wonderful. But I’m sure you have to sit down and create goals and stick to them and put in the effort and all of that.
Sue Ringsdorf: So how do you go about that? Yeah, I have pretty, simple goals. I wanna be able to pay for vacations. My husband and I are obviously empty nesters. We are very big believers in going places. We’re gonna be leaving for our anniversary trip pretty soon. We started falling in love with Hawaii the last several years. So we try to go there every year and I just wanna be able to fund our trips. We took our kids to Hawaii in January. I don’t hesitate when I buy kitchen gadgets and photography equipment. So it really is, it’s simple goals. I think I had my best month, last month, so far. Even over 2020 so I am growing and I think a lot of that is because I have been going back and redoing some of those old posts and making them better keywording and everything. But yeah, my goals are not like that, I wanna retire from my husband. It would be nice, I probably won’t. So we still have a few more years of working. More than anything, my goal is basically non-statistic related. It’s more just, I wanna encourage my readers to gather their friends and family around the table. Family’s so important to me. We’ve always done family dinners around the table. We have never used a TV tray. We have no technology zone. So I feel my parents instilled that in me. Obviously there was no technology back then, but we had dinner. One of six kids, so there were eight of us. But yeah, that’s what I’m just trying to do is just instill that in readers to cook and try new things. It does not have to be complicated, but to just gather your people.
Megan Porta: Aw. I love that. I love that you guys have carried the tradition too, to just keep a tech free zone and keep it family focused. Just full of conversation and what mealtime is really about. That is the message that you impart to your audience as well, which is so cool. So goals, you do have goals and you obviously have things that you stay aligned with like that, but how do you put together your content schedule and produce all of your content? How do you manage all of that?
Sue Ringsdorf: Yeah, this is funny because I really can’t keep a schedule. I will listen to podcasts and I’ll be like, okay, this person does Pinterest on Mondays and recipe creation on Tuesdays and writing on Wednesday. I have tried that, but I just can’t do it. I think maybe from my years of being in the corporate world and that I guess it was maybe 13 or so years, having to be at work at a certain time. Doing everything according to the schedule at work. Now I just allow myself to take it each day on its own. If I feel like writing that day, I’ll write if I feel like making recipes. Sometimes I’ll just see something on social media and think to myself, I’m gonna make that. Or I’m just gonna make something really pretty today because I feel like I’m starting to really enjoy the photography part and just creating something pretty. Sometimes it doesn’t matter if it’s gonna be seen by a ton of people or something, maybe just that my family really wants to eat. I keep a sticky note chaotic schedule. I have a notebook and I try to make notes, but it seems every day I get a sticky note out and say, this is what I wanna cook, or these are the few errands I wanna do. I don’t know. I just like the grind of each day, doing whatever the day brings. If it’s having friends over and having coffee and interrupting, it’s okay, too. So like I said, money is not the main reason I do this, but it’s lovely. It’s just that I like the grind of the day.
Sponsor: Food bloggers. Let’s take a moment to talk about a few things that Eat Blog Talk has to offer that is going to add value to your business and accelerate your growth. First of all, head over to the Eat Blog Talk forum. It’s totally free. It’s off of Facebook and it has a bunch of valuable discussions inside. You can create your own discussion. You can self promote, you can talk about products and services that you offer without worrying about being removed from the group. Go to forum.Eatblogtalk.com to check it out.
Also, I have hosted a few in person retreats here in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and I’m going to continue that. They’ve been wildly successful. So much connection and growth and learning has occurred within these and they’re fun. So join us in the next one. Go to eatblogtalk.com/spring2022retreat. You will get access to all of the information for retreats moving forward at that URL. Go there, join the waitlist for the fall retreat and beyond. You will not be disappointed in that.
Also, I wanna mention the mastermind program. So for 2022, we are full ,on the mastermind program. Two groups are underway and they’re going really well. There are transformations happening. It is such a powerful, positive group of like-minded peers, and we do so much collaboration and learning inside these groups. We will open up new groups starting in 2023. So if you’re interested in joining, join the waitlist. Go to eatblogtalk.com and follow the prompts for the mastermind. Last but not least I’ve started a group coaching program for foodie creators who are interested in becoming foodie podcasters. If this is you, send me an email, [email protected] and let me know, you’re interested in this group coaching situation. Whether you just have an idea or you’ve already launched or anything in between, we will serve you. We show up twice a month on group coaching calls where we’ll answer all the questions you need to get answered, so you can start a successful foodie podcast.
There are so many ways that we can accelerate your growth and add value to your business. So I hope that you will take advantage of some of these. Now we’ll get back to the episode.
Megan Porta: It sounds like you do such a good job of staying true to yourself and being authentic and still finding success. But you’re doing things that you want to be doing, but that also occasionally work. So your traffic is going up, so it’s working, but you’re also being you and doing what you wanna do.
Sue Ringsdorf: Exactly. That’s my goal.
Megan Porta: What would be your advice to others along that line? Because we can become slaves to the keyword research and all, all the things that we’re supposed to be doing. You should be on Instagram and you should be doing stories and all of that. So speak to all of that and give encouragement.
Sue Ringsdorf: Yeah. I just think that you need to be true to who you are. I am never gonna be someone that cooks vegan or gluten free, unless I have a family member that has some sort of a health issue. But I love to eat healthy food, so that’s what I cook. It’s just maybe just more of an everyday cook, focusing on healthy foods. Of course I do a lot of bread because my mom did a lot of bread. We do a lot of grilling because my dad did a lot of grilling. It really is back to the whole childhood thing. But I also really like cookies and easy desserts. You’re never gonna find a three tiered cake on my site. Never say never. But I love soups and salads and just everyday food that we wanna eat. So I usually start the week going, what do we wanna eat? That’s what I make. In fact, when it comes to the holidays, I know that’s the best traffic, but honestly my January views were better than my December views. I guess people still like healthy food still, even though you don’t make as much money in January. That’s what I focus on. You’re still gonna, you’re gonna find a little bit of everything. But I think in the end, it’s really hard for me to cook something that’s just over the top indulgent. You’re probably gonna look and see something on there and go, yeah right Sue, but I don’t do it that often. I just think you gotta show who you are and what you like to eat. I think that’s gonna ring true for people that are reading it. It’ll be like, the people who are gonna find you, the right people are gonna find you by doing that.
Megan Porta: That shines through when you’re authentic and you stay true to yourself. I think people appreciate that and it carries through in the work that you do. So I completely agree with that. But that’s not to say that you can’t maybe dabble in things that you’ve never done like the three tiered cake. I was one of those people that said I will never create the three layer cakes, but I have some three layer cakes because I got curious. I was like, huh, they’re so pretty. I wonder if I could do that. I started and they were so fun. So, like you said, never say never.
Sue Ringsdorf: Yeah, never say never for sure. I know people that are doing that and it’s lovely. It’s amazing to look at. I just don’t know that I’m very good at it. I guess the more you do things, the better you get. I just started making sourdough in 2020, like the rest of the world. That’s my new thing. So I guess I could go that way, but I feel like I am more into the bread. So if I’m gonna go indulgent, maybe I’m the dough girl instead of the cake girl.
Megan Porta: The great thing about food blogging is that it is a long game. So you have a lot of time to play with different things and things are going to, who knows what, what is this year? In 2030, you might be the three layer cake expert extraordinaire. Who knows?
Sue Ringsdorf: Maybe I’ll have that bakery someday that my friend suggested and I’ll have three layer cakes.
Megan Porta: yeah. You never know. I won’t be surprised.
Sue Ringsdorf: Yeah. That’s funny.
Megan Porta: I’m curious how much community has played a role for you and like at what point did you dive into just immersing yourself and getting to know people and how that’s gone?
Sue Ringsdorf: Yeah. So I finally did get involved in a mastermind. I think it’s been over a year now. So there’s one girl that I met at the Mediavine concert, back when let’s see, it was November of 2019 before the shutdown. We started a mastermind and there’s seven of us now. We meet every other Wednesday via zoom. So it’s great. They have shared so much with me. Again, that, imposter syndrome, but sometimes I don’t know that I share enough with them.
Megan Porta: Oh, I’m sure you do. I’m sure you do.
Sue Ringsdorf: I try but I feel like they are always coming up with new strategies and new things to do. It’s so nice because it’s someplace that you can go to and we can text each other and we message each other and we have a little Facebook group. You can just ask any question and you’ll get your answer because they are all so amazing and kind and generous. They are wonderful. So we did meet in person in Nashville last year. That was great. So maybe we’ll get to do that again. So that’s really it. I’ve only been to that one conference and then we have the mastermind and then I feel like I’m in a mini mastermind with all the little podcasts I listen to. I know you have the Clubhouse group too.
Megan Porta: Oh, yes.
Sue Ringsdorf: Which I sometimes forget about. So I need to start listening and going into that.
Megan Porta: Put it on your calendar, we have great conversations every Thursday at noon Eastern. There’s a little plug for Clubhouse.
Sue Ringsdorf: okay. Thursday at noon, Eastern time. I’m writing that down.
Megan Porta: Every Thursday at noon. I shouldn’t say every, I would say once a month, there’s some conflict so we don’t do it, but most Thursdays we do.
Sue Ringsdorf: Okay. Yeah. I need to go to that.
Megan Porta: It is becoming a little club. We’ve gotten to know each other really well. It’s more oh, how is this project going? We stay updated on projects and things that are on our radar. It’s a really cool place to get together. So definitely join us there. I love that you found a group. I think that is a vital piece to this job and if it’s missing, you suffer. Your business suffers, you suffer. If you do not have that connection with like-minded peers, things start going downhill and you start feeling lonely and burnt out and you need it. You need to find it. So just encouraging everyone to look for that place and definitely start with the Clubhouse rooms. Those are free. Come join the conversations.
Sue Ringsdorf: Yes I will join in.
Megan Porta: Then from there, you need something a little bit more, probably small scale, like what you do, Sue, but it’s a good place to start. Okay, so you mentioned before that you and your husband love going on vacations and taking breaks. So how do you manage that? You also mentioned that you don’t like schedules, so how do you combine those two? You’ve gotta plan ahead and prep ahead. How does that work?
Sue Ringsdorf: I do plan ahead. That’s one thing I do well with scheduling. I feel like I’m constantly moving my content around. I’ll go back and look. I put everything on Planoly, and then my daughter-in-law schedules everything. So I have actually scheduled out through the rest of this month because we are gonna be gone. I know that this isn’t gonna be broadcasted yet. I do go in advance. So I try to do one or two new recipes, one redo every week. So I’ll have everything ready. So I have a lot of content ready. I just don’t schedule my days out very much. So my husband and I vacation a lot. So when I get away, I pretty much leave it all behind. I don’t do too much and everything’s scheduled. Like this next time, I think I’m doing all the redos. So I won’t have to even schedule those. You realize that you can still take breaks and everything it goes on. You’re still gonna make money every day. That’s the nice part. Sometimes, you’ll do better than a day where you’re doing the grind and it’s amazing. Wow. I actually made a lot of money today doing, laying on the beach. So I think it’s important to take the breaks and get away from the grind. Even though I do.
Megan Porta: Oh yeah, that is a point that I don’t talk about enough on this podcast. I think that was so great to bring up because sometimes it helps your business to take those breaks, even when it feels counterintuitive. If I take a break, I’m going to be missing out on revenue and future growth and all the opportunities, but that’s actually not the case. Sometimes the break actually does good things behind the scenes. So it’s necessary to do that once in a while.
Sue Ringsdorf: The corporate world has paid vacation. So you think of it as you still gotta get paid when you go away.
Megan Porta: I haven’t told many people this, but I put up a ton of content from January 1st through the end of April and then I just got burnt out on it. My plan was to continue with it, but I was like, Huh. I am really not feeling it for a little bit. I had so much going on. I was hosting a retreat here in Minneapolis for food bloggers. I was launching a new mastermind group. There was so much. So I took a step back from my blog for one month. I have never, in 12 years, I have never posted less than once a week. So it was groundbreaking. It was momentous. But I did it.
Sue Ringsdorf: And you survived.
Megan Porta: I survived. I feel so much better and I had a great traffic month and revenue month.
Sue Ringsdorf: That’s awesome.
Megan Porta: There you go. Yeah, it’s worthwhile.
Sue Ringsdorf: The proof is there.
Megan Porta: Okay. Sue. I am. Also I have so much curiosity about your story so I have more curiosity. What are your thoughts about looking in other people’s lanes and seeing what they’re doing, maybe they’re on platforms that you feel like you should be on, but you’re not on. Or they’re giving it more attention than you are. How do you deal with that?
Sue Ringsdorf: Yeah. I think it’s very easy to get into the comparison game and I don’t spend that much time on Instagram or Facebook. That’s the nice thing about hiring someone to do your social media, because you just don’t find that much time. You don’t have to be out there. What I spend is maybe a little bit of time at night in front of the TV. Just, let, just scrolling a little bit, but normally it’s very short lived. So I think I don’t get on there that much. I think I see the same few stories every time, because the stories feed whatever you’ve been looking at. So the people on the very end, I don’t ever see anything of what they’re doing, but yeah I just get fueled on other things. If someone leaves a comment or a review, I love that. So my feedback is direct comments on the blog or I had someone email me not too long ago. They returned it. I have one weekly email that goes out on Friday and I call it five things Friday. I share what I shared this week and some recipe reviews there. Then I always share a couple personal things there too. It’s just fun. It’s like one email that I send out. I’ll get an occasional, feedback email, return email that just says, I love what you’re doing, keep sharing your recipes. It’s just so nice to get that little bit of feedback from people that I feel like I’m writing them like a little personal letter and they respond and that’s kinda what lights me up instead of the likes. Because I don’t have a very big following on social media.
Megan Porta: That’s okay. I was talking about this in a previous interview today, this same topic where you can not you, but we collectively can get in ruts where we start focusing on the negative. Then once you do that, it’s like a buildup of negative compounds over time. Just one negative thought can lead to so many negative thoughts about yourself and your business. Then before you know it, you’re like, I suck. I’m terrible. So her thought was, and I love this, was just to start being aware of it and recognizing it when you’re comparing or when you feel down about some part of your business, stopping and doing exactly what you do, which is going over and looking at the fulfilling comments, the comments that are lighting you up. The comments show you that you’re doing good in the world. That can completely turn that spiral around. There’s so much power there too. But it is really hard. It’s really tough to stop yourself when you’re in it.
Sue Ringsdorf: Yeah. Sometimes, I will receive something a little bit negative and a lot of times I’ll just email them privately and say, what can I help you with? Or did you use the right size ice cream maker? Because I received something about an ice cream recipe and then I created a separate recipe for that person because they were using the wrong size. It wasn’t the recipe. I replied back and that person was so appreciative. I can do that because I don’t have a massive blog. I understand most people can’t do that, but I can do that. It’s just nice to have that little personal, back and forth.
Megan Porta: It probably throws them off a little bit when they get a direct email or comment back like, oh, she was actually paying attention. It can turn around the whole vibe of the conversation.
Sue Ringsdorf: Oh, for sure. Yeah. That’s for sure. It was nice.
Megan Porta: I tried to counter every negative comment with oozing kindness, no matter what, even if it’s just a ridiculously mean comment. I’ll try to pull something positive out. Oh, I know you were trying to do this and I appreciate you or something that probably makes them mad, but I just wanna like to completely cover my blog and my business with kindness. When people throw an activity into it, I have to counter with extra kindness. I feel like that helps too. Put a bubble of positivity and kindness around my whole business, if that makes sense. It’s weird.
Sue Ringsdorf: It’s hard because sometimes I take it personally hard. Yeah. My husband has to remind me of that too. Because at first it did hurt a lot. Then I think over time I’ve developed a thicker skin and if someone puts a comment that you can tell they didn’t make the recipe, I’m not gonna approve it. I get those. They just critique the recipe without making it. I’m sorry. I’m not approving that one.
Megan Porta: Exactly. You have the right to do that. Okay. Is there anything we’ve forgotten? I had a lot of curious questions for you, but anything about your journey or your perspective that you feel like food bloggers need to know.
Sue Ringsdorf: Just back to the, it’s never too late. I think it’s not too late. I think that everybody can develop their own path and we don’t all have to take the same path. For me, my second chapter. It is a career and my blog feels like an extension of me. So I am very Just cognizant of everything I write and I want to be kind. I want people to find joy in looking at my site and I guess I just wanna spread a little joy and kindness to the world because we need it. So that’s my goal. Just like I said, gathering people and making people understand that they can cook and they can follow these recipes and I’m here and I will respond to any message that people send me.
Megan Porta: You are definitely spreading joy and kindness and all the good things in the world, because I feel it. Even before I officially met you. I felt it just having you in the space, lifts the whole space up. So thank you for being here and being such a positive part of it. I really appreciate that.
Sue Ringsdorf: Thank you.
Megan Porta: It was just lovely to talk to you today, so thank you for taking the time for this.
Sue Ringsdorf: Thank you so much. It’s been great.
Megan Porta: So to end, do you have either a favorite quote or words of inspiration to leave us?
Sue Ringsdorf: I wrote a few down. I know someone wrote this, but I don’t know who it is. It just says, if you’re lucky enough that your passion becomes your job, remember that your job is your passion. So in other words, I love to cook, so I’m creating this blog, but don’t forget that it is your passion and not just a job, trying to make money. Make it be something for me. I want it to be something so I don’t wanna lose my passion for cooking.
Megan Porta: Aw, that’s beautiful. Thank you for sharing that. Yeah, we will put together a show notes page for you, Sue. So if you want to go look at those, you can go to eatblogtalk.com/suebeehomemaker. Tell everyone where they can find you on your site and on social media, et cetera.
Sue Ringsdorf: Yeah, it’s just a Sue Bee Homemaker. It’s my name. S U E and then B E E, like a bumblebee homemaker. That’s my blog. Then on Instagram and Facebook and Pinterest I’m at Sue Bee homemaker. I did not have a Twitter.
Megan Porta: Oh. I haven’t logged into my Twitter account in a long time. I wonder if it’s still active. I don’t know.
Sue Ringsdorf: Mine wasn’t. I couldn’t log in.
Megan Porta: So yeah. Oh, gosh, I wonder if mine, it probably doesn’t matter because I clearly haven’t been there, so it’s not that important to me. But I should maybe just check it out just out of curiosity. But okay, don’t check for Sue on Twitter, but go everywhere else. Yes. Thank you again, Sue so much for being here. 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. If you enjoyed this episode, I’d be so grateful if you posted it to your social media feed and stories, I will see next time.
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