It’s been one whole year since I launched Physical Kitchness. I once heard that when you have kids the years fly by. And it’s true – but when you have child AND chase a personal dream at the same time, WOAH where did the days go?! I felt like this entire year was one of learning, growing, and finding ‘me’ in both motherhood and blogging-hood.
When people ask me what’s it’s like to be a blogger as my ‘job’, or friends reach out to me wondering if they should start a blog themselves, I feel like there there are a million things that I could tell them. So in the spirit of my one-year blogiversary, I sat down and reflected about this journey to answer all those questions and give you a little glimpse behind the scenes. Here are the things I’ve learned since starting my blog.
I’ve never worked so hard in all my life
Yes, I get that this may sound like a joke. I mean, how HARD can it be?! But it’s true, blogging is A LOT of work. Creating recipes (or re-creating them when they first fail!), writing content, mastering photography, trying and documenting new workouts, researching the latest healthy crazes, building relationships with other bloggers, promoting your content (and promoting your content, and promoting your content), editing photos, creating Pinterest pins, responding to comments, proofreading, and constantly trying to think outside the box is exhausting. My brain doesn’t stop after 5pm, during the holidays, or on the weekends – it’s always seeking out the answer to that question, “What next?” Luckily, I love what I do and write about. Because if I didn’t, there is no way I would have made it even this far!
There is a ton of work behind the scenes that I didn’t anticipate when this sparkly, perfect ‘plan’ came to fruition. And now, a year later, I’m finally starting to let some of the pressure go. If I don’t get out a quality post 2 – 3 times a week, so be it. If I don’t have thousands and thousands of followers on Instagram, it doesn’t devalue what I do. I am slowly learning to let go of some things and be THANKFUL I am able share my passion with the world while being at home with my babies. It ain’t easy making sure everything is continuously running, I have content ready for the weeks ahead, and I am plugged in to the social media circuit (what feels like ALL.THE.TIME), but it’s worth it!
Sometimes friends and family don’t understand
I’ve worked in a number of career genres – public relations, marketing, sales, lobbying. All easily explainable when someone asks, “What do you do?” Blogging is different. I used to feel awkward about explaining what I ‘do’. Like I had to justify my work. And although my family and husband has been supportive, sometimes even they look at me with glazed-over eyes when I try to explain it all. I mean, I can’t blame them when I start going off about Facebook algorithms.
I remember sitting on the patio with my husband after we got our nine-month-old down for bed and I told him what I was going to do. I wanted him to say, “Yeah babe! Go for it – I KNOW you’ll kill it!” But that wasn’t the response. It was more like, “Hu?” “You want to start a…blog?”, and “I don’t get it??” Even though at the time I felt totally deflated, it’s ok! Just because your people don’t always understand, doesn’t mean you owe an explain of your vision in order for you to take the reigns, work hard, and make it happen. If you want to make your passion a reality and the people around you just aren’t ‘getting it’, do not let it stop you! Confusion from your loved ones does not mean unsupportive.
Things don’t always turn out how you expect them to
I certainly did NOT start Physical Kitchness to become a millionaire, or to make money as the end-all-be-all goal. My love for fitness and food has been one I’ve had since I can remember, and for years I wanted to share my experiences and knowledge. But as I said previously, this is a lot of work. So naturally I hoped to monetize my brand and make an income to help contribute to my family. I was SURE I can make this happen – and at least bring in a part-time income while I sip my morning Joe and casually write as my son played in the living room. Then I’d have the freedom I wanted and the income for ‘fun stuff’….
HA! That’s a really comical vision now. Although I’m been SO grateful to be able to say that I’ve made some money for all of my efforts on this blog, it’s been minimal. I spent six solid months working 5-7+ hours EVERY DAY without a cent being made, in fact, I was in the hole with the expenses I accrued making this happen. Finally after Christmas, when I offered my free 7-Day Whole30 Meal Planning Guide, I started to see the numbers of visitors increase (big win for any blogger). And later, my Banish Back Fat pin went viral on Pinterest (aka tons and tons of repins) which was also a huge win. My email subscriber list increased dramatically as did the steady stream of traffic (PS if you’re an email subscriber, THANK YOU for your loyalty and support!)
I’ve had some awesome opportunities to work with some major brands I love and celebrated other victories when my content was featured in Buzzfeed, The Today Show Food Club, The Stir, Greatist, and more.
Bottom line, I am not at the pageviews/income I wanted to be, but I’ve had some great accomplishments that can’t be valued in numbers, which motivates me to keep pushing for bigger and better!
I’ve said NO to a lot of things (good and bad)
This applies to my personal life and blogging life. An evening with friends, relaxing the entire Christmas vacation with family, hanging out with my husband to watch a movie without technology? I’m ashamed to say I’ve been guilty of declining these moments in order to work. Because there is ALWAYS something that needs to get done with your blog. This year I am hoping to focus on balance – maybe things online can wait, but my littles will only be little so long, my family and husband need more of me too. So bear with me!
As for blogging, “why yes, I’d love those adorable drapes for my living room. And sure, I’d be happy to receive compensation for an easy write up about those highly-processed cheese snack crackers!” (cue sarcasm). But, I am 110% committed to only taking opportunities that fit in with my brand’s mission. Healthy, fit, and relevant to my readers. So rest assured when I do receive compensation or products for a post, it was with careful consideration and absolutely 110% my own opinion!
I still struggle with stereotypes
Am I stay at home mom or working mom? Should I dress to the nines in Lululemon or should I sport my old Old Navy threads and look more relatable? Am I strictly a paleo or a broader ‘healthy recipe’ blogger? Should I inspire others to be a super mom or make you feel like we’re online bff’s? This year I struggled to define who I am, what I do, what my ‘title’ is. It might be one I always struggle with – but I’m also learning maybe we as women don’t have to fit into that one box. I wear many hats in my daily life of mom, wife, blogger, house cleaner, cook, friend, daughter….one I won’t wear anymore is wanderer. Sometimes what you do is unconventional, sometimes it’s easily explainable. But it should never be something that needs perfect definition to be relevant.
So for now, I guess I’m a health/fitness/foodie blogger trying to make big things happen, a wife trying to serve her husband, a friend that wants you to call when life feels out of control, and a good mom (yep, I’m not afraid to admit that and don’t feel like I’m boasting. So moms of the world – get ON the train with me and start believing you ARE a good mom too!)
If you want to start a blog, just do it
I waited almost FIVE years to launch Physical Kitchness. I had the dream in my head but was too scared to pull the trigger. I used lame excuses like not having a catchy name, not knowing how to make the site look professional, not having a perfect niche, needing a great camera….oh I could go on. But here’s the thing, I wasn’t ready in August 2015 either. But I did it. I just WENT FOR IT. Because if you don’t, you may be waiting all your life, coming up with more excuses to NOT DO instead of TO DO. So while there are still a bajillion things I don’t know and a bajillion things I want to do, I’m learning every day. And the lessons have been invaluable. As are the relationships I’ve built along the way.
One whole year….lots of kitchen messes, sweaty sports bras, about 8,934,043 photos, and late nights/early mornings. Thanks for sticking with me through it all and loving me for me. I can’t wait to see what the years to come bring!
If you want to read more about the technical/analytical sides of my blogging journey, you can read this post featuring me and my blog.
Congratulation on your one year anniversary. Keep going and doing what you love.
Thanks so much Candy!
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine says
YAY! Congrats one your first successful year, my friend! I’m glad to have met you 🙂
Cheers to many many more <3
Same Rebecca! Thanks for ALL your support!
Heather @ Polyglot Jot says
Wow I actually thought you were a veteran blogger! The growth you have in 1 year is amazing! I can relate to all of these big time. I often get so frustrated when i put in so much work and dont have as many views, likes, etc. Happy blogiversary!
Ok so you totes made my day! Thanks Heather! And I totally get it – it’s tough to pour your soul into a post for minimal views but I try not to look that often in case it’s discouraging!! As long as the engaged readers like your stuff, that’s what matters, right?
Beverley @ Born to Sweat says
FIRST OF ALL, congratulations!!!
Secondly, I canNOT believe its only been a year. You’ve done sooo much and (this is weird) but i feel like i’ve known you for so long ahaha. Like, at least 5 years, right??
Anyway i’m so proud of you, you’re seriously an inspiration and i’m amazed at how you manage to do so much in your busy BUSY days. You’re amazing xx
Thanks Bev!! OMG I feel the SAME way. I mean, when we both have dreams about hanging out, you know that it’s a SOLID blogger friendship 😉 A year seems like such a short time we’ve known each other. You are the best – your words made my day.
Stephanie @ Wholesome Paradise says
Happy blog-iverssary!! I agree that blogging is hard work. Who knew? I started my blog last summer after contemplating starting one for 5 years as well. I’m so glad I finally pulled the trigger and started one. I love all the things you’ve learned along the way.
We have a lot in common! Congrats on your blogiversary as well! Isn’t it CRAZY how much you learn with this crazy journey?!
Happy blogiversary!! My blog also just turned one this month. The time really does fly by! I started my blog pretty much on a whim. I had no idea what I was getting into and I didn’t take time to research and see what I was getting into, i just went for it! I can definitely relate to a lot of your points. Especially people not understanding. My ex certainly did not understand and thought it was ridiculous. I get it because I didn’t know how much was involved but it still sucks when people act like it’s a stupid thing to do. Keep up the great work!
Welp, there’s a good reason why he is your ex, right?! 😉 But I get it – I feel like some people think blogging is silly or a mindless hobby, when it’s more like a full-time job. Luckily other bloggers understand and we all rally around each other, which I never anticipated but I love! Thanks Jill.
Stephanie Dorsey says
So proud of you!! Xoxo
xoxox love you friend. And thank you!
linda spiker says
I love so many things about blogging and find for the most part people are very curious and excited about what I do. Mostly they want to know how I generate income lol.
YEP! I mean, it’s very mysterious for the non-bloggers. I was definitely intrigued about the monetization before I started too. That’s great that people are genuinely interested in what you are doing Linda (and you do it well)!
Happy blogiversary! Thanks for sharing all your ups and downs, it’s so nice to know we’re all not in this alone 🙂
Noooooo we’re in this together!!! 🙂
Thank you Carmy!
Krista Williams says
Girl this post is everything ! seriously feel the same way about so much of what you said especially in regards to working hard and to saying no to things!!
Love it!! keep it up girl!
Thanks Krista! You are too kind!!
Kristen Kavan says
whoo hoo! Happy blogiversary!! I for one am soo glad you started blogging! Don’t you wish friends and family knew what went into a blog sometimes? Sometimes my mamaa will be like, just write a blog about …..” its so funny. I love this post!
I’m so glad I ‘virtually’ met you during this blogging journey! And YES, my mom is always suggesting blog posts. It’s too sweet. Thanks so much Kristen!
You are continuously going above and beyond – as a wife, as a mother, and as a blogger. You are forever the most driven person I am blessed to know, and I can’t wait to see what this next year brings you at Physical Kitchness. You are an inspiration sister!
Ok MAKE ME CRY! Love love love you.
Julie @ Running in a Skirt says
I thought your blog had been around for a long time! It’s so clean and professional! Props to you! And I totally agree– blogging was nothing like what I thought either. But it’s still pretty awesome.
Oh Julie you made my day! Thanks friend. It’s probably a good thing we didn’t know what the heck we were getting ourselves in to, right?! 😉
Pamela Li (Rookie Parenting) says
Congrats on the anniversary! The first one is hard as you have to explore so many new things and deal with new issues. You did great!
Thank you very much! I think that first few months ares the hardest – just trying to learn the blogging “language” can be a challenge!
Brie @ Lean, Clean, & Brie says
Happy one year blogiversary!! Can’t wait to see what’s to come year 2!
Thanks so much Brie!
So wonderful! Congratulations and you’ll continue to soar! I see full-time income in your near future. Thanks for sharing the start of your journey with us!
Gosh that would be amazing! Thanks for the encouragement!
Happy Blogiversary! Beautiful blog!
Thank you so much!
Sarah Grace Spann says
Love all of these because even though I’m not a mom, I can totally relate to most! It’s hard to put the blog and all that comes with it on hold. But crazy to see all you’ve done in just ONE YEAR! You go girl!
Yep you don’t have to have crazy kiddos to feel the stress of the blogging world for sure. It’s hard, for anyone. But rewarding too! Thank you so much for the sweet words Sarah!
Happy happy blogiversary! 😉 I think I’ve been following you from the beginning! It’s been so fun to watch your site grow. You truly have fantastic content, and I know year two will bring great things. Keep it up! xoxo
And your support has meant SO much to me Erica!! You are too sweet – thank you a ton fellow mil-spouse girlfriend!
What a great post. I’ve been blogging for over 10 years for fun and have just recently kicked things into gear to make it more of a part time job. Loved the part about saying no and not worrying about followers.
10 years!? WOAH that’s HUGE accomplishment! I need to learn a thing or two from you!
i totally agree. i also often feel defensive about blogging, like ppl just think i sit on facebook all day and make cupcakes. NOPE. so much work.
HA. I love this. I can SO relate. We just get it 😉
Alisa Fleming says
Happy Anniversary! Making any money at all in your very first year is a huge accomplishment – you should be very proud of that!
Thanks so much Alisa! You totally inspire me!
dixya @food, pleasure, and health says
happy 1st year and cheers to many more! i can relate to so many points you mentioned – its a lot of work but as long as it keeps you inspired. i do take breaks in between so i dont end up hating bloggin 🙂
Thanks Dixya. Bloggers breaks are sometimes needed. I was posting 3 times a week and I just decided I needed to scale back to avoid burnout. Can happen so easily!
A huge congrats to you on all your accomplishments! I read the other post about your stats/monetization and that’s really awesome- especially for your first year! You have the most positive outlook so with that you’ll be sure to go far! 🙂
Well bloggers like you certainly motivate me Cara! XO
Angela @marathonsandmotivation.com says
Happy Blogiversary!! Amazing how much you have accomplished over a year. I really appreciated reading this as I am trying to be more active with my blog. Congratulations!!! 🙂
I’m SO glad Angela! Thank YOU for the sweet note!
Congratulations!! I love reading stories like this because it is nice to be able to relate to someone like me! I totally feel the ups and downs, especially with having little ones at home!! You’re doing amazing things, you should be so proud!
Awe xoxo. I LOVE blogger mommas. I feel like we all have the same challenges and just ‘get’ each other. Thanks so much for the kind words Emily!
Sierra Bishop says
Congrats! I think this has a really good message and motivates me to work harder on mine!
Awe thanks Sierra!
Cassandra @ Powered By BLING says
Happy Blogiversary! Blogging really does take ALOT of work and if you don’t blog, you just won’t understand. Family and friends that aren’t techy really don’t get it.
It’s SO true. That’s why I’m so grateful I have a blogging tribe of friends to bounce ideas and sometimes vent!
Yay!!!! Happy blogiversary!!!!! <3
Thanks so much!
WOW! Isn’t it amazing how GOd does so many awesome things when we step out in faith and just go? 🙂 It’s awesome to hear about how you worked so hard, and the Lord brought so much success to your labors. Your blog is truly beautiful, and I can see that you pour yourself into it. Thank you Chrissa!
You are so sweet Emily! Thank you. It’s funny because I prayed and prayed about some major career decisions when I had other opportunities vs being at home with my baby and working on starting this blog. Suddenly the answer became SO clear – and here we are. God works in mysterious ways!
HOW DID I MISS THIS! ?
Congratulations on 1 year what a milestone!
I love your blog and recommend it to friends looking to get fit all.the.time.
Keep on doing what you’re doing lady! I love it
Laura @ http://www.cookwineandthinker.com
Awe Laura. I could kiss you. Thanks for making my day and for your awesome support!! xo