In episode 324, Megan chats to Chandice Probst, the personality behind This Vivacious Life, about knowing when to hire out in blogging and how this can rapidly increase your blog growth.
We cover information about why you need to hire out from the get-go, how you will more than double your growth by investing in SEO and blogging tools like RankIQ, why hiring out any tasks that will free up your time, including household task is consider hiring out and realizing hiring out will help you do what you love and what you’re good at.
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Bio Chandice Probst is the bubbly personality behind This Vivacious Life. She is a food and entertaining blogger and the co-author of Gluten-Free on a Budget. Chandice’s work has been featured in print and online industry publications, as well as television. As someone with Celiac Disease and a degree in health science, she has led the charge in hosting Celiac awareness nights with MLB and NBA teams around the nation raising money for research. While she loves to cook and entertain, Chandice loves being a wife and mother most.
- You should hire out help from the get go.
- Anything you pay for as a service or a person for help in your business that’s a time saver in your job, is hiring out.
- Everyone needs help to run a blog from the get go – nanny, RankIQ, house cleaner,
- Bloggers getting started usually work junkyard hours but everyone needs help, even if you aren’t hiring a VA.
- Base level services to consider: NerdPress, RankIQ, Foodie Digital, Keysearch, Nannys, housekeeper, Feast, Top Hat Rank.
- Midlevel: learning, education, Tastemaker, courses, conferences, workshops, books, podcasts
- Next level investment: masterminds, business coaches, retreats, manager, virtual assistant, writers, etc.
- Start by hiring out & using tools to free yourself up to do more work only you can do, then hire out more work.
- Complete the delegate and elevate form (below). Once you figure out what you don’t like to do and aren’t as good at, you can find help with a service (recommendation below) or create a document to write out what you’re seeking and share it online.
- Self-care is important – step 1 is literally just create hours you will work and stick to them.
- Keep a little notebook by you so that you can put your phone and computer in another room and have someplace to jot down a thought, a
- Do something purely for yourself – Bath, read – fiction and let your mind go, nothing to do with improving yourself, a massage, etc.
- Set things down. An hour before bed, no screens. Just decompress.
Emily Perron – help in hiring
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Chandice Probst: Hi, this is Chandice Probst from This Vivacious Life 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: Hey 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 324 today. I’m super excited. I have the amazing Chandice Probst with me and she’s going to talk to us about knowing when to hire out in blogging.
Chandice is the bubbly personality behind This Vivacious Life. She is a food and entertaining blogger and the co-author of Gluten Free on a Budget. Chandice’s work has been featured in print and online industry publications as well as television. As someone with celiac disease and a degree in health science, she has led the charge in hosting celiac awareness nights with MLB and NBA teams around the nation, raising money for research. While she loves to cook and entertain, Chandice loves being a wife and a mom the most. Chandice, I am so thrilled to have you here. How are you doing today?
Chandice Probst: I’m good. Thank you so much. I’m glad to be back.
Megan Porta: Yes, I’m so happy. You’re back too. We’re wondering if you have a second fun fact to share with us today.
Chandice Probst: Yeah, the second fun fact, which is probably pretty current, is that I lived in Ukraine. I loved it there. I had the best experience living there, met the most incredible people and ate the most delicious food, which you wouldn’t think in Ukraine.
Megan Porta: Yeah, okay. So when was this? How long ago was this?
Chandice Probst: This was in 2004. So ages, centuries ago, right?
Megan Porta: Centuries. I know. I feel like anything that’s in the early two thousands or even, oh my gosh, gasp 1990s, is Wow. My boys were like, mom, that was so ancient. I’m like, actually it wasn’t that long ago. They’re like, oh, that was forever.
Chandice Probst: But it’s funny because in our heads we still think it’s 2009. I know in my head, it’s still the early 2000’s.
Megan Porta: I know. Okay. So I have to ask you one more thing about Ukraine. Okay. Do you have a favorite dish or couple of dishes that you miss?
Chandice Probst: Oh my gosh. Yes, because when I lived there, I didn’t have celiac disease or at least I didn’t have it that I knew of. And so the Vernice were so good. They’re like these little dough dumplings. In fact, my friend, Alexandria from The Foreign Fork featured a recipe over on her Instagram. She has a great Reel, so you can check that out. But they’re little vareniki and they’re stuffed with potato and sauteed onion. They’re so good. I loved those. Then I loved it. They have this really weird cake, but it’s so delicious. It’s made with layers of malted, the inside of a Whoppers.
Megan Porta: Oh yes. Yeah.
Chandice Probst: Layers like layers of malted wafer and so good.
Megan Porta: Oh my gosh. Yeah, no, I mean it’s only nine o’clock here, but I’m absolutely starving. That sounds so good. I love how different dishes are from place to place. That is nothing that we would make here in the United States.
Chandice Probst: No, it’s very different. I was lucky cuz there were six of us girls and each of us lived with a host family and mine was the best. In fact, I’m still really close to her. She’s come to see us a couple times. Her and her oldest son are in Germany right now. They were able to leave and head over there, her husband and oldest son are still in Ukraine, but they’re safe and well. So I get to talk to them often. But they’re just incredible people. She would tell me, I’m not sending you home skinny. So she literally, in the four months that I was there, she literally fattened me up like a Turkey for Thanksgiving. I gained 15 pounds in four months and she was like, yay. I did my job.
Megan Porta: Oh my gosh. That’s so funny. That’s really cute too. How adorable that she’s like, let’s fatten you up Chandice.
Chandice Probst: We knew she was a good host mama by my weight going home versus the weight I got there.
Megan Porta: Oh, that’s a good measurement, right? Oh, I love it. Okay. You’re here to talk about hiring out and knowing when that time comes, because this is something that is really hard. We know we should, or we know we could, we just don’t really know how to do it. Or when is the appropriate time to do it? Even seasoned bloggers like myself get in this rut. I recently have this one task that I absolutely have just, oh, I’ve hated it. It has dragged me down. I procrastinate. It’s every single week. So finally I was like, dude, it’s been years. You’ve gotta hire this out. But it took me forever to get to that point. So let’s talk about this. Let’s start by just having you talk, Chandice, about how we know what we need to hire out first. Why do you think we need to do it when we’re ready?
Chandice Probst: Okay. So the answer is gonna surprise everybody because they’ll be like, okay. So when do I hire out? From the get go. So that’s a pretty shocking revelation, but hiring out looks much different than you think. So when people tell me, oh, I run my blog by myself. I’m like, I doubt that. Because I bet that there is something that you’ve hired out that someone else is doing and helping you. So for example, do you have a RankIQ account? If you do, then you’ve hired out help with your SEO. So the hiring out process happens from the beginning and the beginning stages are those small things I highly recommend. For example, Keysearch. There’s levels of hiring out. So it doesn’t always look like, oh, I hired a virtual assistant or I hired someone to come in and clean up after a day of cooking and photo shoots. I hired a videographer. It doesn’t always look like that. It also looks like hiring RankIQ to help you with your SEO, hiring Top Hat Rank. Any of these digital services are actually hired out. I think a lot of people are a little surprised by the beginning stages of hiring out.
Megan Porta: Or, I can add to that maybe having your house cleaned by somebody so that you can open up space for working, right. Or having a nanny here to help with your kids or even your husband or your spouse.
Chandice Probst: Yeah, definitely and hiring out does look different. That was one of the first things I did. I have five kids. Everyone’s ah. But I have five kids, so trying to run my blog and also be Abby’s business partner and the sponsor director over at Tastemaker conference, there is no feasible way I could do that without help. So bringing in a nanny into our home to help me out a couple days a week was one of the first hires I had to do. That’s just simply we don’t expect teachers to teach while their kids are in the classroom. Yes, those are one of the first hires out. First things you hire out, for sure.
Megan Porta: I think that is such a good perspective and something that we need to just stop and look around us and realize. Because we’re all doing that. We all have keyword research help. We all have help in some form. So we are most likely already doing this, right?
Chandice Probst: Yes. So let’s look at the lower level. So if you are just starting out your blog and you have kids, or you have a second job or whatever, maybe what your first hire is someone to come in and help you two hours a month clean your home so that you can have two hours to work on that blog or whatever it is that you’re doing. Maybe right along with that, if you have kids, is to hire a nanny and say, okay, I can really only afford five hours a week or 10 hours a week. That’s okay. That’s a great start because as we know, when we’re starting a blog, usually you’re working junkyard hours. You’re working early in the morning. You’re working late at night. But the truth is you probably still need a little bit of help during the day, at least a little bit, if not more. So those are some of the first hires, are actually the things that you wouldn’t even assume are hires for your business. It’s a different perspective. Then right along with that is paying for something like Keysearch, if that’s what you use. I use that. I really love it. I use it in combination with my RankIQ. Those are two of the things that I use every day on my blog, every single day. I know you’ve had Brandon Gaille on here. He created a category just for me, for what I do. He’s willing to do that for others, if it’s not there. It’s such a great resource. I will tell you, as I’ve been utilizing that and pulling the things that he says to write about or the topics my growth has happened. It’s been insane since I’ve been using that resource, how much I’ve grown. That’s again, a simple one that you can hire.
Megan Porta: Oh, my gosh. Okay. I love hearing that I’ve been helping you. I didn’t realize that you were using RankIQ to grow because we were just talking before we recorded about your amazing growth, Chandice. Like what, 180% you’re up. This is a side note, but this is so cool.
Chandice Probst: Yeah. From last year to this year. Like I had mentioned, keep in mind that my numbers were smaller. Who cares as long as they keep growing. So from last year to this year, I looked at my numbers and they’re up 180%. My traffic and my income has four times what I made on Mediavine last year, this month has four times.
Megan Porta: I am so happy for you. Congratulations. I know you say it was small, but it doesn’t matter. That growth is incredible. That’s so cool.
Chandice Probst: Thank you. I keep thinking, if I do it four times each year, then that will keep growing and eventually it’ll be a really huge number.
Megan Porta: Yeah. Oh my goodness. Yes. Go for that. It’s such a good perspective, because the tool, like you mentioned Rank IQ, is working for you. It happens to be working great for me as well. It’s hard to see that as a tool for hiring out, but when you find something that really works like that, and that saves you so much time, because I believe that tool specifically, saves me a ton of time. That is a hire out. It’s opening up time for other things that I can do. I don’t have to wade through SEMRush or some of those other tools. I don’t even know what I’m looking at. So that in itself is a time saver.
Chandice Probst: Yes. I use SEMRush as well. I never know what it, how people want to pronounce it.
Megan Porta: I don’t either.
Chandice Probst: So one or the other, and I felt like I was lost in a sea over there. I was like, ah. But I do know it’s a great tool, I still check it because I like to see rankings. But as far as my daily work, RankIQ. I wanted to share an example. One of the ones that I did in early April is now in spot number two or three. That is, what is a mocktail? But it was one of those ones. He actually, on RankIQ, Brandon has put together some really great ones that are very obscure. You would think, why would I write about some random thing? For example, the one I just did last week is sparkling non-alcoholic drinks. I would never have known people were searching for that. But since I focus on non-alcoholic drinks on my blog and mocktails, that’s a great one for me to do, because I can round up a lot of my stuff as well as give an informational post about what makes a sparkling non-alcoholic drink. So as I’ve done these, I’ve seen the growth. It’s pretty crazy. I feel like there’s it, like you said, it just helps you hone in on what you should write about. So that’s definitely been one of the things that have worked best for me for my growth and in my hiring of help.
Megan Porta: Oh, I love that story. I know there are things in that tool that you’re like, I didn’t know that I should ever be writing about that, but apparently I should. Then when you do, you’re like, wow, I should have written about this so much sooner because everyone wants to know about it. Now I’m on spot one or two. So that’s incredible. So we’ve got tools that you find that just really work for you, like RankIQ. We may get nanny help or babysitting help and cleaning. Do you have any other suggestions?
Chandice Probst: Yeah. Some of those other tools in that level, I feel like, okay. So RankIQ for me, NerdPress. My husband and I joke that it’s our car insurance or our homeowner’s insurance. We won’t ever get rid of it. We love what they provide for us. I know there’s another option. Tell me the one you use. I know that there’s a really great option that other people like as well.
Megan Porta: I do use NerdPress as well.
Chandice Probst: Oh, okay. Nerd press. But there’s another one that I know people have talked about that people have used. It’s a woman owned, Foodie Digital. So there’s a couple options there and I’m sure there’s others out there, but for me, NerdPress has been a great one. I remember with my limited budget, starting at the base one and being like, Ugh, this is such an investment. 150 a month. It was, and now I’ve moved up to a different plan because literally, I get tickets every month that I can submit. It’s like having my own tech friend. Who I just say, hey, I need you to take this off or update this or move this. They’ve added categories to my homepage. In those tickets every month, I’m like, okay, Josh, what do we need? What do we need? What do we need? That’s another base one that I feel like I utilize all the time. To me, that is I’ve hired out someone in the tech field to help me with issues on my site. To make sure that my site is backed up every night. Literally I’ll get emails where your site was down and then the next email is 30 seconds later, or a minute later, your site is back up. I’m like, oh.
Megan Porta: Oh, good. Up and down.
Chandice Probst: I’m thankful that they’ve made sure to rapid fire, put that out, put that fire out as quickly as possible. So that’s another one. I know a lot of people who are looking for help with backlink specifically. Top Hat Rank is an option. Even Feast. You’re on a Feast theme, right?
Megan Porta: Yes.
Chandice Probst: So am I, so that was a higher out. Okay. So we pay for that every year and that was to get on a WordPress theme that is the most SEO friendly. Again, we’re talking about these hires that are less obvious to begin with because they’re the first investments people can usually afford. Another one is investing in your site design. Those are the first places I invested, for sure.
Megan Porta: Then do you think a next level investment in hiring out would be like hiring a business coach, joining a mastermind group that’s really well rounded, something like that.
Chandice Probst: Yeah. So that was the base. There’s a mid level and then I would say a higher level. And the mid level I think is investing in learning. So obviously I love the Tastemaker conference or I wouldn’t work for them. I feel like, I know you have had this experience and so have others that coming to the conference was a game changer in the trajectory of their business. Once they came, they learned from experts. We had Google there last year. We had Bjork from Food Blogger Pro. My sister was like, I didn’t even know who he was. I was just chatting with him, like normal and everyone’s oh my gosh, he’s a celebrity. It’s funny how in each field there’s these people, right? I said, yeah. So I think investing in your education, in your education as a food influencer, food blogger. And so conferences, there’s tons of options out there. Workshops. We do online workshops. We have our Pricing and Pitching workshop, where we’re actually accepting applications for clients for late summer, early fall. We’re gonna be doing a photography workshop this fall with Sam, from Frosting and Fettuccine. Megan, you and I have done a workshop. We did it in person Pricing and Pitching together. I feel like those investments in our education are so beneficial. The return on investment is huge.
Megan Porta: Oh, my gosh, I couldn’t agree more. I feel like it makes you a more qualified, more well rounded entrepreneur so that when you do it, it’s such a good investment. It’s such a solid investment that it automatically bumps up your points as an entrepreneur. You know what I mean? You’re automatically smarter. You’re automatically just more of the good things. You know what I’m saying? That is such a deep wise investment.
Chandice Probst: Absolutely. I think so too. I’m so glad that you agree. One of the things that we did at tastemaker, we are very big on inclusion. We want everyone to be included. So when everything happened with COVID, obviously we could not host events anymore. So at that time, we thought to ourselves, okay we can shut our doors and we can be done. Or, we can adjust. That was a time when we thought, okay, what can we do? People were asking, saying, wwe still wanna learn. Everyone’s at home. They’re looking for education. So we decided to pivot and start the virtual food blogger conference, our virtual Tastemaker conference. It was so fun. I will say that there is no way we could have done that without Leslie. She is our guru of everything online. She’s so good. She’s our team member and she has an incredible home blog, if you’re into that. It was so great because the pricing, I think it was like $59, so cheap. But it was like a two day virtual conference and everyone got to learn virtually. We even had a virtual cooking class. We had a virtual happy hour. We got all of these fun things and it was so good because the price was there for people who maybe couldn’t afford to fly out to Chicago or when the time came again. So when COVID was over and we were getting ready to do our in-person conference again, we’re like, okay, so do we even need to do our virtual? Everyone was like yes you do. Because there’s still a community of people who, budget wise, this is what they can afford. Time constraints and work and family. So now we always have the September virtual conference, which is now a one day conference, and then we have our in person Chicago conference. But it’s great because if you’re a new blogger, $59 and you can have a whole day of education from incredible experts in the field, right from the comfort of your own home.
Megan Porta: So there is no better investment in my opinion than Tastemaker. It’s such a well produced organization. Everything that you guys produce is so amazing and valuable. So, just wanna plug that a little bit as someone who was like pre-Tastemaker and post-Tastemaker. The first time I ever experienced it, it was a game changer. So yeah. Thank you guys. You put on the best thing, event, ever.
Chandice Probst: Thank you so much. That’s so sweet. You don’t have to do tastemaker, there’s tons of other options out there. Definitely other options for people. I don’t know as many of them anymore, because I think things have changed so much over the past three years, but I do know there’s so many other wonderful courses and conferences and everything. I will say my friend, Jessica from Fantatabulosity has a Smart Blogger Society. It’s those small workshops. So you talked about coaches, those are options as well. I think a lot of people have seen success in hiring a business coach. I know you did specifically. So she has that where it’s a small group, a Facebook group, and you get to learn. She posts new videos all the time. There’s so many resources out there for your education. So I would say investing in that mid-level is okay. Now I’m gonna invest in attending conferences, attending workshops, maybe hiring a business coach, maybe doing a virtual workshop or in person. I think that is that kind of next level.
Megan Porta: Then we haven’t even mentioned books. A $20 book is a huge investment in your learning as well, or a podcast that’s free.
Chandice Probst: Yes. Oh my gosh. I can’t tell you. I think you’re coming to that celebrity status, Megan, in the food blogger field. I’m like, when I do my workshops with people for the pricing and pitching and I’m like, okay, so what kind of education? I listen to Megan Porta religiously. I’m like, yeah, she’s pretty awesome.
Megan Porta: That’s so sweet. I love it.
Chandice Probst: But it’s because you bring on, okay. This is what I’m gonna mention is when people think they can run their business all on their own, not one person is an expert. The reason we hire is because there is no way a person can be an expert in every category. You can’t be a Pinterest expert, an Instagram expert, an SEO expert, a perfect writer, a perfect photographer, a perfect videographer. There is just no way. There is no way. So what your podcast does is you are a great facilitator. You are very humble and you don’t consider yourself. I’m the expert in everything.
Megan Porta: No. Oh gosh.
Chandice Probst: So you bring on the experts and you say, okay Hey, here’s, all these people that are really great in this topic, let’s hear from them. that’s why you’re at 324 episodes is because people keep listening. It’s exciting every time.
Megan Porta: Oh my gosh. Thank you so much. That was sweet. Yeah, there are so many other podcasts too. You don’t have to look forward to finding a super valuable free podcast filled with episodes that are super valuable filled with experts who are sharing their best knowledge. So I love that you look at this as like a hiring out thing too, because a lot of, if you’re listening here, you probably listen in other areas. So you’re hiring out knowledge and you don’t even know it.
Chandice Probst: Yes. Absolutely. Absolutely. I think like you said, grabbing a book and your team could be you and your spouse right now. It could be you and another friend. I will tell you, I have seen the most incredible friendships made from in person events. Erin from Meaningful Eats, she’s my best friend in real life and she’s my best blogger friend, which is pretty incredible. We met at a food allergy blogger conference. Can you believe that? Quite a niche wasn’t it? So we met and we danced at an evening dinner and danced and we had so much fun just with all these incredible people, just dancing out there and having dinner and learning and because of that, we developed a bond and we stayed in touch. I know Alexandria and Carly Bitner, they developed a friendship at Tastemaker and now they have a close group of friends. You have had that. You and Barbara, you guys are so close and you developed that friendship from your Mastermind, which is so great. I’ve seen people succeed from your mastermind and then you guys came over to a workshop and there’s so many connections to be made. Then those lead to other things. Erin introduced Abby and I, and who knew. Then I got this other amazing best friend and we got to work together and it just continued. Don’t you feel like that?
Megan Porta: Oh yeah.
Chandice Probst: At one event you continue to roll into other things and you meet more people.
Megan Porta: It’s like a snowball rolling down the hill. Start out with maybe a friend and then you acquire other friends. Then by the time you get to the bottom of the hill, you’re like this big ball of friends and it’s so amazing and fun.
Chandice Probst: Yes. A lot of you’ve never met in person or you have, and you’ve met one, but not everybody.
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 and 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 masterminds.
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 and 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. And now we’ll get back to the episode.
Chandice Probst: So definitely investing in those things virtually and in-person are great because they help you grow your network and just the joy around you in this. Someone said the other day, I only wanna do this as long as it’s fun. I think part of that fun comes with people who are like-minded and in the same situation as you. As you meet them, you can learn from each other. What are you doing? Or hey, did you hear about this new update?
Megan Porta: Totally agree with that. I am just sitting here thinking about how doing this kind of hiring out tools and resources and learning and education and peers and cleaning and all of the stuff we’ve talked about is a good way to open up space so that you can hire out, outsource things. So the task I talked about at the beginning of the episode, I only came to the point where I could hire that out because I’m getting help in all of these other areas that we’re talking about. Does that make sense?
Chandice Probst: Yes and that’s why I think it’s like that base level. Okay. Start here with tools. Start by hiring tools, using tools. Second level education, all of those different resources, education. Then third would be actually hiring out these individuals who, okay now you have a Pinterest manager or now you have a virtual assistant. Both my friend Erin and I did in early March when we hired writers. My goodness, I never thought I’d hire a writer because I like writing. I enjoy writing, but in order to put it out, what do they say? It’s no longer 2018 blogging, anymore folks. So now in 2022, we have to consistently be putting out good quality content. I know your goal and mine was to and Erin’s was to put out three pieces of content every week. Okay. So in order to do that at the level at which we need to do, man, that’s a lot of time. That’s a lot of time. For me as a mom, with five kids and doing Tastemaker, there was no way I could do that myself. So in hiring the writers, I still got to do my photography cause I really do enjoy doing that, but I was able to have help with a little bit of the writing and it’s been a game changer. Because I’ve consistently put out that content and I’ve seen it come back.
Megan Porta: Yeah that’s really smart. Just finding those areas that you really could use help in, and then sending them out to somebody who can maybe do it a little bit better or do it more timely, more efficiently. Then you open up space for other things that you like, like your photography and maybe new things come onto the radar because you have this space for it.
Chandice Probst: Yes. Yes. One thing I’m gonna share, I just dropped it in our chat, but I’m gonna share with everybody is this was something Bjork and I actually have talked about because it’s a great quadrant. It’s a great quadrant. It’s called delegate and elevate and it’s from EOS worldwide. It’s four different quadrants where the one is love great. Okay. The other, the things that you love, that you’re great at. The other one is the things you like, and you’re good at. The other one is the things you don’t like, but you’re good at. The last one is the things you don’t like, and you’re not good at . So you take this and this is a free principle. So I dropped it here and hold and you can include it if you would like to, for everybody else. But they can simply open it up and print it. You’re gonna fill this out. You’re gonna do all the things that you have to do for your business, and you’re gonna drop ’em into these quadrants. For me, I don’t like it, and I’m not good at Pinterest. BLeh. I don’t like it. So for a while there, I had someone helping me with Pinterest and a lot of times once we hire someone, that doesn’t always mean it’s forever. I had someone helping me with that until I figured out I could do it well enough to get by. I was good because I wanted to invest my resources in other things like the writers, things like that. So you’re gonna drop everything into those quadrants. The first place you’re gonna hire from is the things you don’t like, and you’re not good at. That would be the best place to hire out first. Then you move over to the things you don’t like, but you’re good at. Then on your way up, so that eventually you just get to do what you love and you’re great at. That will take time. So my sweet friend, Susie from Hey Grill, Hey. If you’re a blogger, you know how awesome they are.
Megan Porta: Love Susie.
Chandice Probst: Her and Todd are great and they are so talented. They are succeeding beyond measure in this wonderful food blogging world. She told me, she said, Chandice, I didn’t take a dime for the first three years of my work. I hired out before it seemed like I should. Like, whew, this is a bit of a leap. This is a bit of a risk, but she did. Look at how it has paid off. I think that’s a big thing for us to remember is our blogs, our businesses are a startup. You don’t take money for the first few years, usually in a startup. You are pulling it back into the business in every possible way. It’s hard when you start seeing money come in because you’re like, Ooh, I wanna put that in my pocket, but it’s better to invest because then you’ll grow and you’ll have that success sooner. Even if it’s a little bit of a sacrifice in the beginning.
Megan Porta: Three years, I feel like I didn’t take any money for eight years, honestly. I put everything back into the business, almost to an extreme. I was thinking that there was something wrong with me. But I think that’s really smart to do that, to keep reinvesting it and putting it into hiring all of these things we’re talking about. Hiring out, and then eventually that will start building up.
Chandice Probst: Yes. Yes. So like for Susie and Todd, they have full-time employees that are on payroll. Who knows if every blogger will get to that point. If you’re at that level, you probably would. If that’s your goal, then that’s great. Starting out at that base level mid-range and then at the higher level is hiring yourself a virtual assistant to help with tasks. Even you, Megan, you have these great assistants who help out, like with the podcast. I got an email from your great gal, Melissa, I believe who’s okay, let’s do this together. Because if you had to do that all, do you feel like you’d have the time to grow your blog?
Megan Porta: Oh gosh no. I wouldn’t have time for anything.
Chandice Probst: Yeah. Yeah. So making sure that we look at those places where we can hire. So that could be a Pinterest manager. It could be someone helping you with your newsletters. Maybe you hate writing newsletters, but you have an incredible list of email subscribers and you wanna capitalize on that? If you have a great newsletter list and the open rate is great, that’s gonna drive traffic to your website. But if you hate writing newsletters, hire someone to write it. Maybe it’s hiring writers for your website. Maybe it’s hiring a photographer because you enjoy photography, but not enough because it’s hours and hours of setting up, taking the pictures, editing the pictures, and maybe you’re like, that’s not my thing. I know a lot of people who hire someone to come and do the dishes when they’re done with a cooking day. That’s another one that you can hire. Hiring a videographer and editor. Maybe you do your video, but then you send it to an editor. So there are so many ways to hire out whatever it is that is not your favorite thing. Those definitely are higher costs. a higher investment I will say, once you start getting into those things, it is a lot more money a month. Which is why we start at the bottom with the hiring and work your way up.
Megan Porta: Yeah. I feel like this episode could be titled it takes a village because you know that whole concept of raising a kid and you don’t actually raise the kid yourself. You might technically, but there’s so many other people who help you. You have teachers, you have aunts and uncles and grandparents and all of these things, TV, all of these things that help you. It’s the same with blogging and we often forget this because, we say I’m a solo entrepreneur and then, especially newer bloggers hear that. It’s very frustrating for them because they’re like, how did that solopreneur gain so much success doing this by themselves when I’m working my butt off. There’s so much that we don’t see, there’s so much in the background, there’s so much that it took for that person to get to the point they’re at. We don’t often talk about that. I think this is such an important conversation and probably one for another day. But do you know what I mean? There’s so much that we don’t say, that we should be saying about the help that we’re getting.
Chandice Probst: Yeah. I think it’s like anything in this world, transparency is super important. It is because it helps others. For example, when we struggle, it’s important to share our struggles. After I had my NICU baby, I struggled. I had to go to therapy and that I went to therapy every Monday for eight months. It was so great. I have had the really great opportunity to share that with other moms who are struggling and being like, there is nothing wrong with therapy. I have shared my therapist so many times. He’s probably listen, I don’t have any more room.
Megan Porta: That’s great. That’s a good sign.
Chandice Probst: Yeah. But it’s okay to say I got help. I need help. Another one happened recently where I was just, and I haven’t even shared this anywhere yet, but I was just struggling emotionally. I’m like, what is wrong with me? Even my friend, Erin, when I was at Tastemaker, she’s what’s wrong with you? I was like, I don’t know, something just feels off. You know what? My friend recommended I go see this wonderful guy and get my hormones checked. They were all over the place. I was like, would this explain why I feel really bad? He’s like 1000%. But had I not been given that recommendation from another person who said this was a success for me, just give it a try. I wouldn’t have had that. I literally have my mom going today to talk to that same guy. So it’s important. It comes back to transparency. I don’t mind telling people that I have people helping me write on my blog because I’m seeing success. So it’s great. These writers are fantastic. The one is a copywriter for her full-time job. Why wouldn’t I have her help me? She’s way better at it than I am. So I think it’s important to be transparent. We all want to be like, oh, I just did it all by myself. I’m so great. No. Yeah. We got help.
Megan Porta: From the other end, if you are looking at other creators and you’re envious, feeling that envy, just know that nobody is doing it alone. Even if someone says they’re doing it alone, maybe they’re not thinking of all of these things. I don’t think they’re necessarily trying to hide things. Maybe they are, but most likely they’re just like thinking of the day to day. I do all of that on my own, but they’re not talking about these background things that you and I are talking about.
Chandice Probst: Yeah. I think this is an opportunity for us to open up the conversation. Do you know a pioneer in this has been Sam from Frosting and Fettuccini as far as pricing. So that’s the other side. For so long people were very hush about what they charged brands and what they, oh, nobody wanted to talk about money. She was like, whatever, we’re gonna demand this amount as a community. It was so good because she started opening up the conversation of charge what you’re worth. Do this. Let’s change the game. I was so impressed with that, that I think that needs to bleed into other areas where transparency, we open up and we talk about the help that we’re having to grow our business.
Megan Porta: Oh, I’m so excited. I wanna expose this too, and just show other creators what the successful quote successful creators are doing, the help that they’re getting. I think there are so many fun ways to do that. We could do that on Instagram. I could create an episode about that, but I think this is a really important conversation. I wanna ask you. You talked about the sheet of things you love and the four quadrants and all of that. I will put that in the show notes. But how do we figure out what we should be outsourcing as far as work tasks go and what we shouldn’t be.
Chandice Probst: Yes. Okay. So two things I did wanna mention, one of the biggest questions that I hear is how do I even go about hiring somebody? How did you hire somebody? Or how do we do that? It’s not like a normal situation, so we have to first decide what is, like I said, going down to that quadrant where it’s, you don’t like doing it. You’re not good at it, but you have to do it. Okay. So for example, again, going back to Pinterest; we have to play the game, right? I always say that with blogging we have to play the game. Part of that is sharing on social platforms. Blech. But it’s part of the game. So if you hate that and you’re not good at it, but you have to do it, then that would be a great place to hire out first. If you realize you have to have blog posts, but you hate writing and you’re not good at it, then a writer would be first. So really that quadrant is very helpful and pulling from there first. Then when you’re ready to hire, two things that I recommend. Emily Perron has incredible services. She helped us hire. So when we were looking to expand for Tastemaker the first time she helped us find Amanda. We did not know we needed the incredible talents of Amanda until we had her. Emily helped us find her. It was so funny, because at first I told Abby this, we’re hiring someone to help us hire someone. I’m like, what? Why would we do that? Then I realized how talented she was at her job. I’m like, oh, okay. That’s why. Then – Amanda has the talents – now she’s helped us hire a new person on. It’s so incredible. Like we talked about that snowball, right? We wouldn’t have been able to have Amanda without Emily. So Emily Perrons is a great resource if you have the means to do that. If you do not, another great thing to do is simply create a oh, what are those things called a Google form. A form where you create a few questions. So for example, when you’re hiring a writer – ask questions that cause them to, or that give them the opportunity to showcase their work. So explain to me how you would talk about cauliflower rice in a few different ways or whatever. Do you know what I mean? Creating a Google form and then putting it on your own personal Facebook page and be like, I’m looking for a writer for my blog. If you know anybody or you’d like to submit, I’m looking for X number of hours a week. Here’s the Google form to fill out. From there, you’ll narrow it down, see the work, and then you’ll narrow it down to a couple and you’ll interview them. So there’s a couple different ways you can go about hiring people. Word of mouth, asking your friends, who do you use? I think that’s probably the most used way of hiring someone in our community is who are you using? It looks great. Or who’s helping you?
Megan Porta: Yeah. If you have that snowball of friends, you likely will be able to find people more easily just by reaching your network.
Chandice Probst: Yes. Absolutely. Absolutely. So we’ve listed about three different ways that you can hire and starting in that quadrant down with the don’t like it, not good at it. That would be the first place that you would hire. Because it’s still a quadrant you have to do, but you don’t like it and you’re not good at it.
Megan Porta: It allows you to focus on those things that you’re loving, that fill you up, that is helping to bring in money like your photography.
Chandice Probst: Yes. Maybe photography, you just absolutely love, but it is a time consuming part of the business. It really is. So you hire out some of those other things so that you can focus on that. Because like I said, you wanna get to that point where you’re just doing what you love and you’re great at.
Megan Porta: Yeah. Then how does self-care fall into this equation? I have a very strong feeling about self-care and I know you do as well. So talk to us about that a little bit.
Chandice Probst: I do. I think that the first thing you can do for your self-care is determining your work hours, and then being honest with yourself and others to stick to it. Once you stick to your work hours and maybe your work hours literally are eight to 11:00 PM at night and six to 8:00 AM in the morning. That’s okay if that’s your work hours, I’m not saying you have to shut your computer off at 6:00 PM, whatever. But decide those hours and stick to them. One of the things that I’ve learned with developing a really great skill, this sounds so cheesy, but developing a great relationship with myself is being honest with myself and saying, I care about your health and wellbeing enough that I’m gonna stick to these work hours and really, truly stick to them. So I think that the first step is determining your work hours. Ask yourself when you can work and stick to those hours. It is hard cuz if you’re like me, and I talked to my other friend, Jessica from Pentabulosity and we’re like, we love our job. We love when things are going well with your blog, you love it. You just wanna do more. You’re so excited about the success and, oh my gosh, I have so many ideas and I wanna write about them and you wanna cook and you wanna do the things. But it’s good to say this is family time or this is self-care time. I am not working right now. Shut it down.
Megan Porta: It’s hard though. I am going to acknowledge that it is not easy to do that. Especially as a creator who really loves doing what they do. It’s a struggle. I’ll see my computer just staring at me from the kitchen and you could just do that one little project. It will open up space tomorrow. I used to fall into that super easily. Now I’m so good about sticking to it, Nope, I’m on downtime. I’m on family quality family time. I stick to that and it pays off. If you can do that, like you’re saying Chandice and actually stick to the hours that you determine beforehand. It definitely pays off. You feel better, you sleep better, you work better. You show up better as a mom or a spouse or whatever, friend you just show up better everywhere.
Chandice Probst: Yes. I will say that when I was allowing my work to creep into every aspect of my day, I was not as patient of a person as I wanted to be with the people that I care about. I wasn’t, because my mind literally was always on something else. So I would find myself, someone would ask a question in my family and I’d be like, I don’t know. Why would I be flustered when someone’s asking a question? But it’s because in my mind, I’m going through 500 other things.
Megan Porta: Yeah. Oh my gosh. I’ve been there for years. I was there for years. It’s so sad. But yeah.
Chandice Probst: It is. That’s part of what therapy actually helped me because my anxiety had gone through the roof. When I went there he was like, okay. So the intake forms, you know, there’s mild, moderate and severe. I had severe anxiety. Even when I went and had my hormones checked, he’s, are you this stressed out? I was like I don’t think so. He’s your blood says you are. I think it’s just genuinely, we have to slow down. The world we live in is so fast paced and there will always be more to do. We will never be doing enough. There will always be somebody we’re falling behind too. But once we stop competing with others and start focusing on doing the things that we love within our work and maybe competing against ourselves a little bit. Like from my last year to this year, rather than somebody else, it’ll make it much easier to contain that.
Megan Porta: Oh my gosh, I feel like you wrapped up this perfect package about how we like ultimately how we just take care of ourselves and take care of our businesses and remain happy and keep doing the things we love. We show up for the people we need to show up for. That’s the underlying message here. So I love how this has all come together. Is there anything we forgot to talk about, Chandice that you wanna mention before we start saying goodbye?
Chandice Probst: I think just the last two things, is keep a little notebook. You remember those tiny little notebooks that are like 90 cents at Target?
Megan Porta: I love those notebooks.
Chandice Probst: Yes. So keep a little notebook so that you can put your phone in the other room. You can put your computer in the other room. When a thought comes to you of, ah, I need to update that French toast or I need to do this, just jot it down in your little notebook. For me, I am obsessed with my passion planner. I have been with them since they did their Kickstarter. It is a paper planner and I am obsessed with it and I love it. So I keep a pen on top of my fridge. When I have a note, I just jot it down so that when it comes time to open my computer to work, I have my little list of things to do, because we tend to think if I don’t do it now, I’ll forget. Probably, unless you write it down. So take that little notebook, just jot it down and then it gets out of your head, so you’re not stressed. Like in Harry Potter when they pull the thoughts, getting that. Get it outta your head, put it on that paper. When the time comes, you can do it. Then one other thing; we tend to neglect self-care because when we have a second, we wanna work on our blog. So for me, one thing is that baths are huge. Reading a book that is not a self-care book; an actual fiction book in the bathtub is my favorite thing ever. But at night when I have time to do that, I think, wow, I should be on my computer. I should be updating stuff. I should be doing this stuff. A few times a week I have committed to doing that nice long bath, reading a book that has nothing to do with improving myself, just a fiction book. For me, it’s almost always a Christmas story, because I’m a crazy person, or culinary murder mystery. I love those t\oo. Someone was like, is that even a genre? I’m like, yeah, it’s really great.
Megan Porta: Oh my gosh. That’s hilarious.
Chandice Probst: So committing to whatever it is that you need. Maybe for you, it is. I don’t know, a monthly massage or maybe it is a couple evenings of bath or going to bed extra early. That’s the other thing; you should turn everything off. This is what that doctor told me who checked my cortisol and stress hormones and everything. He said, an hour before bed, no screens, none. He said, what happens is your melatonin, your natural melatonin won’t kick in until about two or three, rather than at 10 when it’s supposed to. So screens off an hour before bed and just decompress.
Megan Porta: Oh, and I’m ready to go to bed now. Thanks Chandice.
Chandice Probst: We should cue the Enya music, right?
Megan Porta: Yes. Oh, I love your notebook idea and just your encouragement to set things down and do those things that allow your mind to shut down once in a while. So thank you for all of this. This was amazingly encouraging. I think this is gonna be a great episode. So thank you for being here.
Chandice Probst: Thanks for having me, Megan. One thing people can remember is you can do anything, but you cannot do everything.
Megan Porta: Oh, perfect. Perfect way to end. That was packaged just so perfectly. So we’ll put together show notes and we’ll put all of the things we talked about and the resources we talked about on your show notes page, and you can find those at eatblogtalk.com/thisvivaciouslife2, since this is Chandice’s second time here. Tell everyone where they can find you, Chandice, online and on social media.
Chandice Probst: Perfect. Yeah. So you can find [email protected] On Instagram, Pinterest I am just Chandice Probst. And Facebook, This Vivacious Life.
Megan Porta: Thank you again for all of the information you shared today. This was awesome. And thank you for listening today, food bloggers. I will see you in the next episode.
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