In episode 309, Megan chats with Eliza Schuett, part-time blogger and full-time product manager, about how data helps her narrow in on how to spend her time with the blog to be successful.
We cover information about how the 80/20 rule will be valuable as you look at your work load, how to dive deep into metrics, why you need to analyze and tweak your work from week to week and consider what is working so you do more of that!
Listen on the player below or on iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast player. Or scroll down to read a full transcript.
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Bio Eliza is a plant-based food blogger, photographer, and full-time Product Manager working in the travel technology space. She loves seeing how little tweaks can make a BIG difference, and geeks out over Google Analytics, Search Console and any data she can get her hands on. With limited time, she uses data to focus on what’s important to grow her blog and business.
- When making decisions, the one thing that that can always be depended on is data.
- Data will show you a really high level story, or sometimes you’ll see weaknesses in other areas from it.
- You need to have super focused goals.
- Write out a list of all the work activities you do as a blogger, star the items that really drive clicks and traffic. The strongest ones fall into the 20% and the duties that don’t drive traffic, fall into the 80% category.
- Keeping a very close eye on what’s actually driving traffic to your blog – revisit your goal and work activities weekly or monthly.
- Some sources of traffic were working and are now needing more time to invest. If they are not helping drive traffic, they go into the 80% bucket and get shelved for the time being.
- Find that balance between, where is my energy today and apply it.
- If you do what you do with passion and you talk about it with passion, people will respond to that.
- Take time each week or month to really review Google analytics and search console to glean information about your audience, who they are and what they want, where they’re visiting you from. This will keep you focused to reach your goal.
Click for full script.
Eliza Schuett: Hey, this is Eliza from The Hangry Chickpea, and you’re 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 and I so very much appreciate your efforts with this. Thank you so much for doing this. Okay. Now on to the episode.
Megan Porta: What’s up food bloggers. Welcome to Eat Blog Talk, the podcast for food bloggers looking for the value and confidence that will move the needle forward in their businesses. This episode is sponsored by RankIQ. I am your host, Megan Porta, and you are listening to episode number 309. Today, Eliza and I are going to have a super fun chat. She’s going to share with us all she knows about data-driven food blogging. Eliza is a plant-based food blogger, photographer, and full-time product manager working in the travel technology space. She loves seeing how little tweaks can make a big difference and geeks out over Google analytics, search console, and any data she can get her hands on. With limited time, she uses data to focus on what’s important to grow her blog and business. Hi Eliza. Thank you so much for joining me today.
Eliza Schuett: Hi, Megan. So happy to be here. Love the podcast. Dream come true to be on it.
Megan Porta: Aw it’s so great to have you here, but before we dive into our talk about data, give us your fun fact.
Eliza Schuett: All right. My fun fact is I was actually a college athlete, but not for the sport that you would probably guess. I’m actually a competitive sailor. So I spent my college years driving up and down the east coast, sailing all these cool different venues against some of the best sailors in the country.
Megan Porta: That is the coolest thing ever. That is so unusual. I don’t know anyone who does that. Wow. Do you still do it at all?
Eliza Schuett: I do. Yeah, down here. I’m actually located in south Florida. There’s great sailing here, especially in the winter. When it’s cold, everywhere else, everybody likes to be down here where it’s warm. So I take full advantage and hop on boats whenever I can.
Megan Porta: Oh, my gosh. Love that. Boats are amazing, aren’t they? Something about being out on the open water, wind in your hair, just going fast. I don’t know. There’s something so amazing about that. Absolutely love it. Well, you’re here to talk about data and I love your story with how you got into data and focusing on it and how it’s translated into being a blogger. So would you mind Eliza, just talking through when you started your blog. You said that you really didn’t have any experience with photography or recipe development or writing or anything. So talk us through that. How did you go from that to actually starting a blog?
Eliza Schuett: Yes, this is a fantastic question because I don’t even think I knew what I didn’t know. When I started a food blog, I had no idea what I was doing. I was in a place with my job where I just wasn’t feeling totally fulfilled and I was coming home every day and I was whipping up these meals. The person I was living with at the time, loved everything that I made. And all of my coworkers would look at my lunches and be like, oh my gosh can you please tell me how you make that? I just started doing more of a plant-based diet and lifestyle. I just saw it as an opportunity to show people how easy it can be to eat plant-based. So back in 2019, I took the leap and I started my food blog. I got a domain. I got a theme and I just figured it out.
Megan Porta: Wow. Oh, that’s a cool story because I feel like a lot of us have at least some tie, like maybe photography or recipe development, or something that they really had honed in on before starting, but you just jumped in and that is so brave and courageous. I just commend you for that. That’s really cool. Your site’s amazing. So clearly you’ve figured it out.
Eliza Schuett: I’ve definitely taken a lot of time to learn from others and take class and invest in myself because I don’t think I would be where I am today without taking photography classes and taking, not necessarily taking recipe development classes, but spending a lot of time watching how other people like to cook and the ingredients and the techniques that they use. It’s really been fun for me. I’m somebody who likes to have my hands in all the different buckets. So being an entrepreneur is a great fit for me. But it’s also similar to what I do in my day job. I have my hands in a lot of different buckets and I get to do a lot of different things.
Megan Porta: Okay. So tell us about your day job, because you took a job that gave you experience looking at those numbers and making decisions based on data. So talk to us about that job.
Eliza Schuett: Yes. So in my day job, I am a product manager. What a product manager does is they’re really the center of developing a website or a product or an app. In my case, I work on e-commerce websites. So I am basically the voice of the customer between all of my engineers and my software developers, between my designers, who actually designed the look and the feel and the user experience of the website and the other internal stakeholders. So people from finance and accounting and our leadership team, and really all the decisions have to run through me and I have to make them happen.
When I’m thinking about making decisions in my day job, the one thing that I can always depend on is my data. Everybody is always going to have an opinion, but the numbers do not lie. This is actually a funny little anecdote. They were reorganizing our office seating chart and the president of my company, he goes like Eliza, where do you want to sit? I’m like, can you sit me as close to the data team as possible? Because I cannot do my job without them.
Megan Porta: How did that go? I’m assuming that happened?
Eliza Schuett: Oh, it definitely happened when my favorite analyst sits right next to me. We spend at least a couple hours a day going through the data, picking something that we want to learn more about and dig into and just slicing and dicing the data as many ways as we can to try to get a little bit of insight. That’s always the tricky part. Data will show you a really high level story pretty quickly, or sometimes it won’t show you a high level story, but you’re seeing weaknesses in other areas. It’s the experience that allows you to be able to break down what you’re looking at and basically into smaller parts.
Megan Porta: Okay, this is so interesting to me. I think 10 years ago, five years ago, I would have listened to you talk and I would have been like, oh my gosh, I can’t even go there because data stressed me out. But now I’m seeing the value of just what you said. Numbers don’t lie. There’s truth in data. So I’m really excited to dig into this.
First of all, you have something in your notes about things like the 80/20 rule and how you know that about 80% of the work and results come from 20% of your effort. Which is sad and discouraging because what are we doing with that 80% of our time? So how do you handle that rule and how does that direct what you do?
Eliza Schuett: My goal for this year is to get monetized, right? So when I’m looking at my week and I’m looking at my time and I’m looking at the things that absolutely must get done, the list is actually quite short. The list is, update one blog post, put out maybe one new blog post a week, and then to whatever degree, whatever channel seems to be working for me at the time, to direct traffic to my blog, whether that’s web stories or Pinterest that day, or sometimes even Instagram, I’m honing in on that channel and trying to amplify my content that way. I’m one person. I don’t have a team. I have very limited time. So for me to keep from burning out, I really just have to focus on those key things. That’s how I keep myself sane. So yeah, like for me, I would like to grow my Instagram following, but that’s not the goal for this year. So time spent on Instagram really falls into the 80%. I know that’s not really going to drive revenue and it’s really not going to drive clicks to my blog this year. Because it’s just not big enough. But focusing on something like what stories could.
Megan Porta: Yeah. So this means that you need to sit down occasionally and actually focus on your goals and write them out. Do you do that consistently?
Eliza Schuett: I did that at the beginning of the year. The one goal at the top of my paper was to monetize the blog. I really have put that above everything else. I broke that down into a few component parts, which is, make sure that I have enough posts on my blog. Making sure that all the posts on my blog are updated and SEO optimized and doing an audit with our favorite SEO guru, Casey Markee this year. So that’s a big part of it. Then just making sure that I’m keeping a very close eye on what’s actually driving traffic to my blog. Like I noticed that Pinterest does not drive traffic to my blog, the way that it used to. It’s not even worth my time anymore. Pinterest does take a lot of time to make pretty pins and stuff. So that’s something that I’ve deprioritized from looking at my Google analytics data and my source data and understanding who my people are and where they’re coming from.
Megan Porta: Interesting. So instead of looking at a challenge, like Pinterest and saying, okay, I was getting traffic from them. I am not, now it’s not working, nothing’s working. I am stopping it. So I can see some other people looking at the situation and saying, okay, it’s not working. It was working. I’m going to keep trying. So how do you decide, like it’s not working now, so I’m cutting it off.
Eliza Schuett: Yeah, absolutely. For me, it’s all about the time investment that I can afford to put in right now. So going back to that 80/20 rule, I do not have as much time as I would like to put into the blog. Pinterest is a whole thing. There are so many experts out there, especially our friends over there at Simple Pin Media. I listened to their podcasts as much as I can, but I don’t feel like I have the time and the energy, honestly, to put my effort a hundred percent into Pinterest. So I’m really trying to pick one or two sources and do them really well. The source that does seem to consistently be working for me is Google web stories. So I’m trying to take the time that I would have put into Pinterest and try to do two or three web stories a week instead.
Megan Porta: That’s smart. So you’re super efficient because you need to be, it’s out of necessity. It’s funny because the most efficient people that I talk to are the ones that do it out of necessity. They have another job, they’ve got a family, they’ve got something else in their life that takes up time and energy. That requires them to be extremely efficient with where they put their focus and energy. That sounds like what you’re doing, which I love. I’m all about efficiency and not wasting time. But it is like a whole mindset.
I can see someone who’s, maybe has all the time in the world and they just don’t know where to focus. So they’re wandering around dabbling in this and that. So how do you change from going there? From that mindset to where you’re at? If you don’t need to be, do you know what I mean?
Eliza Schuett: Yeah. I’m really going to bring it back to your goals. If your goals are super focused, then I think you’re going to have a hard time cutting things. I’ve definitely had times this year where I’ve gotten distracted and gone after the Instagram carrot or I’ve gone after the TikTok carrot. It’s so crazy. It’s like a bad boyfriend, right? It really is. It gives you a little bit of attention and it keeps you coming back. But at the end of the day, that’s not what’s going to get me to my goal this year. Yeah. I have a couple of friends who have, who’ve had amazing reels and have gone viral on Instagram overnight. I think they’re doing really well and they’re able to get the brand deals and all of that. But for me and the foundation of my business, I have a goal for it.The goal is to be on an ad network and. My other goal is to, at some point, be able to do this a little bit more full-time. So for me, I need that stability. That is my entire focus right now while I have my income.
Megan Porta: Yeah. You mentioned Pinterest and there really doesn’t seem to be any reliability or stability there right now, unfortunately. Because it used to be such a huge traffic driver for food bloggers. So I think it’s smart to go where it is more reliable and Google web stories seem to be a reliable source that we can trust. We know what they want, so how do you dig into SEO, keyword research and even web stories, like you’re talking about to make decisions about what and how much to create moving forward.
Eliza Schuett: Yep. So my blog post strategy has completely changed from when I started and I’m pretty sure there’s some posts on my site that I’ve rewritten two or three times, just totally gutted. Honestly, I spend a lot of time educating myself. I’ve taken keyword research classes. I’m basically piloting those strategies right now on my blog. I said that I’m going to give myself a year with solid keyword research to see what actually happens, but I’m also giving myself the time to write the quality content that users want and that Google wants. A lot of times that means that I’m actually putting out less content. I have weeks where I don’t feel like the posts that I have scheduled to write up new, I don’t have the mental energy to give that post the time and attention and the love that it needs. So I shift my energy into rewriting other posts instead that I can do in my sleep.
So it’s all about finding that balance between, where is my energy today? Because people can feel it, right? Your readers can feel it. I hate to say it, but I feel like Google can kinda feel it too when you’re not into it. So I would just say, do whatever you’re doing with love and with care and with passion, and that will come through. I find that the recipes where I really feel good about the photos that I did because I was feeling good that day and I wasn’t super stressed and everything was just like clicking and jiving. Those seem to be the ones that do well on Google. I really don’t know why.
Megan Porta: It’s intuitive. It’s weird and creepy, but I totally agree with that. Those posts that I write or any content that I put out that I’ve just loved, that just flowed naturally, came out really well and easily. Those are the ones that tend to do better. But it’s the forced ones. It’s like the platforms can read our resistance or something like that. I don’t know. It’s kind of weird. Please explain that to me.
Eliza Schuett: Actually I do want to explain that a little bit because when I look at those posts and I look at where those people are coming from, they tend to be the posts that I am, maybe I have some really awesome backlinks for because they’re posts that I really liked and wanted to be shared with a lot of people. Or there posts that my audience really likes and shared with people and put other places. Like I have a carrot bread recipe. It’s so easy and so simple and I make it all the time and I was really lucky and pitched Fox news for it a lot last winter. I am a teeny tiny food blogger. Like I won’t even tell you how many page views I get a month. It’s kind of sad. But they liked it and they took it because I was passionate about what I was doing and put it out there. Now that post ranks number five on one of the better keywords. Again, my domain authority is not very good. Not that metric matters. It’s fake and made up. If you do what you do with passion and you talk about it with passion, people will see that too. Then it just takes a little skill to make sure that post is written properly and has pretty pictures and has all the keyword research done. We all know how to do that, but it’s really the passion that you have to bring to the process that I think is the secret sauce. I know that sounds a little bit woo in everything, but as a data person, I really do believe that. At least in my experience, the data shows that works.
Megan Porta: Oh, I love what you just said. That was also well said. So for looking into Google analytics, I can envision people listening and tuning into their Google analytics to try to dig into this because data is fact. It’s numbers and facts. Where do they look? What are they looking for? How can they take what they’re seeing and improve things?
Eliza Schuett: Oh, man, where do I start? So we actually have something interesting going on with Google right now. They’re getting ready to update the old Google analytics, I think it’s called Google analytics universal to Google analytics four. I’m going through this in my day job too. Thankfully at my day job, I have amazing data analysts to handle most of it. But if you’re looking at, what most of us are probably using right now, which is Google analytics, the universal analytics. I like to scroll all the way to the bottom of the homepage. There’s something that says, what pages do your users visit? Because typically I’m thinking about this on a post by post basis. If I’m trying to understand performance, that’s one of the places where I like to start. So I like to go to that little page report and I’m actually like, I’m looking at my Google analytics right now and I’m going to walk you through something I typically do. I usually like to look at a month or more of data because I feel like a week just doesn’t really give you enough information. Ideally like I’m looking at a half a year. What I like to do is adjust my secondary dimension and I actually like to look at where my users are coming from. Okay. So where are users coming from? That means acquisition. I think the most descriptive acquisition source that Google has is called source medium. So source, will be okay, it’s coming from Google or it’s coming from Pinterest. Or it’ll actually give you a specific source. Then medium means okay, is it organic traffic? Which means oh, it came from Google or Bing or one of those organic search engines. Or maybe it’ll say referral, which would be like email traffic. Or maybe it’ll say social, which means it came from Pinterest or Instagram or one of those. So looking at that, it actually gives me a much better idea of who’s doing well on Google and who might be having a really good week on Discover. Who might be bringing in a lot of page views from my web stories. Who might be bringing in a lot of page views from Pinterest. That gives me an idea of the types of content that are going to do well in different places. So I’ll actually give you an example. I put out a web story for how to roast butternut squash cubes. Something super simple. I went through a period this fall, I’m pretty sure I roasted butternut squash once a week for eight weeks.
Megan Porta: Oh, yummy. It’s so good.
Eliza Schuett: It’s so good, but I was really sick of it by the end. So, you know what, I’m sure that there are a lot of people who just don’t understand what to do with this silly squash. So I’m going to put this out. To this day that has become like, I think my third top performing post on my blog, just because of Google web stories. Which is crazy, but to me, that says, okay, this thing did really well on Google web stories. It’s more of a how-to post. It’s not like a full recipe thing. What other things on my blog are things that people might not know how to do that are useful for other recipes. So roasting butternut squash was one of them. Making a basic roux, a vegan roux, like what you would use as a base for a Mac and cheese sauce is another thing that I’m going to be working on pretty soon.
So little things like that, you never know what’s actually going to do well until you try it. I mean like me, I see that and I say, okay. Maybe I won’t do as well on Google organic, but I tend to find that the keyword research that I do, like with Instagram reels, you’re going to be able to rank for bigger hashtags because Reels and Instagram is pushing it. You can rank for bigger keywords on Discover because it feels like Google is pushing those a little bit more.
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Megan Porta: Oh, the web stories are really powerful. I’ve noticed, not just for my content, but a lot of other bloggers are saying the same. They’ll get rained for guacamole or something really big keyword that they’d have no way of ranking for otherwise. But Google web stories are really giving them a nice boost. So I love that you’re seeing that and that you’re doing more of that. I think that’s really wise because again, Pinterest is not the most consistently reliable friend right now. So we should go to the places that are going to give us a little bit more reliability. Is there anything else that you would look at inside of Google analytics to determine what to do in the future?
Eliza Schuett: So one thing that I really like to do occasionally, and I don’t do this often, but I look at my audience. So if you go to that audience report and you go to overview, it actually gives you a really nice understanding of who your audience actually is and how often they’re visiting your site and your bounce rate and all those things. Now I won’t dwell on it too deeply, but I think the most helpful thing for me is, okay, am I getting mostly US users to my site? Yes, I am. Okay. What city are they primarily in? If I’m getting a bunch of people from LA and Miami, they might want something a little bit different seasonally than users in New York. So I’m constantly thinking about, okay, like who is my audience? What do they want? How can I give them what they want and are my Google analytics matching up with maybe what I’m seeing in my Pinterest audience, with what I’m seeing in my Instagram audience. Start to think about things that way a little bit. Because again, like Instagram and Pinterest, aren’t a focus for me right now, but they will be one day. I want to make sure that I’m building somewhat of a cohesive audience across three platforms so that my content will hit everywhere.
Megan Porta: Wow, you are a data girl. Okay. Is there anything else within either Google analytics or search console that we can be looking at?
Eliza Schuett: Search console is my best friend. I look at the search console probably more than anything else. It’s just, it’s my thing. I’m pulling it up right now and I’ll walk you through what I like to do on the search console. So for me, because I’m primarily focused on getting my stuff in Google search results, Discover is great. Web stories are great, but I’m treating it a little bit like Instagram and Pinterest right now. Because I don’t know when Google is going to change their mind about it. So I think at the end of the day, we have to focus on the organic search results. So under performance there, I have two things. I have search results and discover. Right now about 75% of my traffic is coming from search results. Again, I’m small enough where it’ll fluctuate quite a bit, but I click on search results. What I like to do is I like to look at my top queries. I like to see, okay, how many clicks am I taught queries getting? How many impressions are my top queries getting and where are sort of the opportunities there? So for me, one of my top clicks queries is Aperol spritz. It has a lot of impressions, like in the hundreds of thousands.
What you can actually do is there’s a little box that you can check there that says average click-through rate and average position. I love clicking on both of those. I can see my top query, it’s Aperol spritz. I’ve got 145 clicks. There are 214,000 impressions and I’m in position 10. What? I’m in position 10? I can’t believe that, but to me that says, okay, Eliza. Maybe you need to go spend a little bit more time on the Aperol spritz post. Look at the competition and see what you can do to get your Aperol spritz post to rank just a little bit higher because every position there with that many impressions is going to be exponential.
Megan Porta: Yeah, that is so interesting. It’s like a huge rabbit hole. I feel like there’s so much information in here that we really can benefit from. We just have to know what we’re looking at. For the longest time I would come in here and I would immediately leave because I was like, I don’t know what this means. But don’t you think that with a little bit of time spent in here just clicking around, knowing what it means to see an impression and click through and all of that, you can learn so much about your content and your data.
Eliza Schuett: It is so true. Honestly, it’s crazy, but the strategies that I’ve learned running a food blog, I’ve actually taken to my day job. All this stuff I’ve learned about SEO and search console. Now they think I’m this SEO expert because I can get our pages to rank and it’s totally different. I’m working with keywords that receive millions of views every month that I’m able to get us in the top three positions. It’s crazy, but the strategies are all the same, right? It’s about picking the right keywords and the right things to go after it, based on what you’re seeing performing. I would even say when you’re doing keyword research and you’re looking at the data on the keywords, don’t be discouraged. Sometimes you can actually create better content and sometimes you can get some of those really powerful backlinks that will get you, up there in Google’s algorithm. There’s no rhyme or reason. But I would also say you just can’t give up just because one post isn’t performing does not mean the next one is also not going to perform. You just never know.
Megan Porta: You really don’t. Some things take off for me that I’m like, what the heck was that? I have no idea why that took off and I never would have guessed it. I started doing Roundup posts last summer. I know we’ve talked about this on the podcast before. Did not think that Google would see that as something that I was an expert in, or that they would favor me in any way. Well it turns out they see me as an expert in that area. Like what to serve with chicken piccata, what to serve with fill in the blank. Literally almost every Roundup post in that format that I put up, took off. So I did the same thing as you Eliza. I was like, okay. It’s not the actual content. It wasn’t the sweet potatoes that I was an expert in, but I was an expert. I was being seen as an expert in what to serve with blanks. So I started doing more of that just to see and sure enough, like that’s what it was. So I unknowingly do that data research that you’re talking about, because that’s what you’re saying that you do. Basically what is working and do more of that.
Eliza Schuett: Pretty much. I know it sounds really simple. My sailing coach used to say, anybody can win a sailboat race. Just finish first. Yeah. It’s easy when you put it like that. There’s a lot more that goes into it. But yeah, if I had any advice to give, it’s yeah, spend some time in your analytics, spend some time in the search console. See which keywords are performing. See where they’re performing on Discover versus Google organic versus Pinterest versus Instagram, and do more of that and try to tailor your content for those platforms. I had a video that did really, it was a really stupid video, but it did really well on Pinterest and drove traffic to my site for a long time. I actually tried putting up a couple others, like really short videos. It was like me icing a cupcake. It was super simple, but people loved it. So I’ve done a couple more things like that and those are a couple of the little ones that have done well on Pinterest for me. Yeah, I would just say it’s not necessarily one size fits all. Think about the channel that you’re posting to as well, because it makes a difference.
Megan Porta: Is there anything else within Google analytics or search console that you want to mention?
Eliza Schuett: I could spend hours talking about this stuff, but I would just say like on the search console, go through the queries and the pages specifically. I think that’ll give you a lot of the insight that you’re looking for in terms of which posts have the highest potential, based on where they’re ranking now. How many impressions they’re getting and how many clicks they’re getting. You can really get a pretty quick feel.
Megan Porta: So going to a search results under performance, and then looking at that queries tab. Then do you recommend sorting by impressions or?
Eliza Schuett: I recommend clicks just because I think that will give you a better view of what’s actually driving traffic to your site. So sort by clicks first, you can also sort by impressions once you’ve gone through that. Then also right side queries there’s pages. I would say definitely spend a little bit of time going through that too. Because it’s really a total gold mine there. Another interesting thing, like if you click on one of those posts, that entire dashboard will filter to metrics for that post only. So you can see how everything is performing over time and you can go back to the queries tab and see what keywords are there. It’s a whole thing. Honestly, I could spend all day.
Megan Porta: Yeah, it is. It’s a valuable time suck though. I think if you really, like you said, just spend a little bit of time there and get to know your data, you really can benefit from it. Because it’s almost like you’re getting to know a friend, like you’re getting to know it and the more time you spend with it, it’s oh, okay. That is what I’m known for. That is the query that’s popping up for me or whatever. Something is going to pop out for you that’s going to maybe encourage you, motivate you or inspire you to create new content based on that. So how do you plan your weeks, because again, like what I was just saying, you can get so lost. Do you plan week to week what your focus will be?
Eliza Schuett: So the way that I think about it is, I obviously have my goal this year. I’ve talked about that a couple of times. I have a couple of sub goals that I think are going to get me there. One is putting one new post a week and the other is updating one to two posts a week. So with those goals in mind, those are the first things that I schedule into my week. I’m a very routine oriented person. So I kinda like to have certain things that I focus on. So for me, I focus my Mondays on editing, organizing my photos for whatever posts I’m going to do this week, catching up from the weekend and also doing keyword research for anything that I’m going to shoot that week. So if I come up with something interesting or different than I didn’t think about, I can start thinking about it during the week in my mind and adjusting. Even if I have time, like during a lunch break, sometimes I test a little bit. So that’s Mondays for me. Tuesdays. It’s really, I should be pitching. I’m not pitching as much just cause it’s not a huge focus for me right now. I really want to focus on SEO. So I try to just catch everything that came back from the weekend. Anything that I just feel like I really need to do, I will do on Tuesday. Wednesday is my update to my old post day. So that’s the day where hopefully I have my pictures ready. I’ve already done my keyword research and I’m going in – some posts just need little tweaks, other ones I am giving a total facelift and I’m usually working off my checklist. I have the feast plugins when working off that checklist and then I’m working off pretty much anything that Casey Markee has ever said. I have a notebook with all the Caseyisms that I use. So Wednesday is all about SEO. Thursday is about writing my new blog post. Then what I usually like to do is go ahead and schedule that web story because when you’re writing the blog posts, you’ve already added all of those pictures to your WordPress gallery. So it makes it a lot easier to grab those pictures and put them into web stories. Also think about the flow of your story since you’ve literally just written an entire post on it. It’s so much easier to do the web story when it’s fresh in your head. So I know it takes a few extra minutes, but I tend to find it’s one of those things that gives me a little bit of synergy and saves me some energy down the line. Then. I really try to save my Fridays and my weekends for doing what I call the fun work, which is shopping and shooting and all that fun creative work. When I’m not having to think about my day job, I can really just get into a creative group.
Megan Porta: I love how you batch and just keep that flow. Just in one spot when you’re working on one thing. For me, sometimes I get to this point, actually a couple of times a year, I get to this point where I just feel like, ah, I’m overwhelmed. There’s so much to do. I don’t really know where to go next. So I go back to my goals, like you talk about, which I think is key. First of all, having those goals to go back to. Then just revisit them when you feel overwhelmed. Then something else I’ve been doing lately. Tell me what you think of this, is just cutting out everything that doesn’t align with my goals. So going back to the absolute bare bone basics and doing those for a week and seeing what happens. What do you think of that?
Eliza Schuett: I just did that the last two weeks. I had so much going on in my life. I need to keep moving toward my goals. My goal is to do this. I can not handle any fluff right now. I just can’t. So I’m going to do the bare minimum. It’s actually something that they teach you or that I’ve learned working in the corporate world. It’s called zero-based budgeting, right? Where you pretty much take everything off the table and anything that you want to be there actually has to be added back in. So it’s actually not taking away. It’s only adding what you want to be there. That’s a really useful shift trick that I like to use when I’m really overwhelmed.
Megan Porta: Oh, I am so happy that you use that too. That makes me feel like, yay. After almost 12 years of blogging, I’m finally on to something, it’s taken me a long time to learn it. But it really does help because you can tweak as you go. So I did for those couple of weeks, too, that I was doing what it was like, I just did what was absolutely necessary. I had time to open up white space in my life and be quiet. Creativity could come in and all of the good things come in. So then I had, at the end of the week, I had insights. Like, okay, I didn’t need to go into my email 90 times. I actually don’t want to go into Instagram because it’s not aligning with my goals. So things just become more clear that way. It’s really powerful. So I encourage other people. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, I know a lot of people right now who are overwhelmed with food blogging. So try that. Just go back to your bare bones basic goals for a week and evaluate from there.
Eliza Schuett: I am so happy that I’m not the only person who does that. Just have those weeks where they’re like, yep, I need some time freed up and I am just going to do the bare minimum. Guys, there’s nothing wrong with that.
Megan Porta: Yeah. Like you said, you’re still moving forward. So you’re not stopping. You’re not like, ah, throwing in the towel for everything. I’m not doing anything this week. You’re still moving forward. You’re just going slowly and you’re giving yourself time to recoup and evaluate a little bit. So I think that’s a really smart way to handle overwhelm again, it took me a long time to learn that. So learn from me. Don’t get burned out like I used to all the time. Is there anything we’ve missed about being a data driven food blogger, Eliza?
Eliza Schuett: I think we’ve hit the high points. My biggest takeaway for you is if you are not spending at least an hour a week, which I know you don’t, none of us have time, but it is one of the best spent hours that you can spend in your analytics, even if you’re just doing it once a month. Set aside that time, spend it in GA, spend it in the search console. Look at your Pinterest analytics if you’re into Pinterest or your Instagram analytics. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy. But I think what you’ll find is that the trends will make themselves known.
Megan Porta: Oh, love it. It has been such a pleasure to talk to you. I’ve just really enjoyed getting to know you. So thank you for being here.
Eliza Schuett: Megan, thank you for having me. I always love talking about data and food blogging. So this is where my two favorite things intersect.
Megan Porta: Yes. I love it. Do you have a quote or words of inspiration to share with us before we go?
Eliza Schuett: My favorite quote is that, “nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.” I believe that is Eleanor Roosevelt and nobody also applies to Google. Google can not make you feel inferior without your consent and neither can Instagram and neither can Pinterest. So remember that.
Megan Porta: Oh, that’s so great. What a well themed quote. I love it. We’ll put together show notes for you, Eliza, and you can find those at eatblogtalk.com/thehangrychickpea. I love the name of your blog. It’s so great. Why don’t you tell everyone where they can find you online and on social media and everywhere else?
Eliza Schuett: Yeah. I am on Instagram at the hangry chickpea, I believe Pinterest and TikTok are the same. You can find me on my blog at thehangrychickpea.com, sign up for my email list. That’s another little piece of data that I’m working on getting better at understanding. Don’t forget that email stuff. But yeah I would love it. If you ever have any questions about reading your Google analytics or your search console or any of that, my DMS are always open. I am so happy to help this community who has helped me so much.
Megan Porta: Awww. Thank you again so much for being here and thank you for listening today, food bloggers. I will see you in the next episode.
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