YUM's Brick Wall

niagara lookingSometimes you hit a wall in life. Sometimes that wall makes no sense. Other’s, your light bulb burns brightly.  I had one of those moments recently.

Over the last 6 or so years I have been freelancing. It was easier for me than trying to juggle a work schedule with school and battling the Michigan winters. I tried that when I first moved here and it was difficult. It doesn’t help when you have mental and physical illnesses that battle you as well. As a freelancer one learned quickly that it is best to gather as many eggs for your basket as you can. You just never know when a company is going to fold or a client no longer needs you for work. There is this constant daily act of seeking out new clients to keep the work flow going.

When I started freelancing I turned my ‘blog’ into a website called Self Employed Writer. On that site I write poetry and for the longest time I was writing about the day-to-day workings of freelance writing. It’s sort of my “I’m-going-to-write-whatever-I-want-space.” I also used it as my portfolio. I’ve had websites come and go. When they go, I import those posts to SEW.  Even though I have many days where I don’t want to be known as the self-employed writer, it’s gotten to the point that I use that site for so much and so much is dumped there, not to mention books I am writing go with things on there and don’t even get me started on the email use for that domain. Ugh. So, I just leave it alone. I never really took the time to monetize it. There are Adsense ads and a few things here and there, but that’s about it.

I love blogging. Not owning a website, but a true-to-you blog. The kind where you just pour out whatever is on your mind and in your heart. The kind where you don’t care if anyone reads it and those who do usually end up becoming part of your online friendship network. Not too many sites like that exist. I found that in Xanga, but it got to be too much to try to juggle a dumping zone and writing for profit.

And then Robin at Masshole Mommy said something that hit me – “this is your blog, you can write whatever you want.”

Well, right.


Are advertisers that picky that they really want your site to be a niche? My problem is that I don’t really fall into that Mom Blogger category. Yes, I am a step-mom. Two days a week. And while I am a great mom, it’s not all that I am. While I do hang around in a lot of the same social circles as mom bloggers, I just don’t consider myself one. I’ve also started to pull away from a lot of review sites. I get emails daily from companies wanting to place a review on my site. Some will send me product, others want me to use their prewritten content. No thanks. I did that for a while and I feel like I lost myself. I lost my voice. I’ve had to scale back so I can get back to doing what I do best – cooking.

When I started YUM I wanted it to be a food site. Not a recipe site like Recipes.com or AllRecipes.com but a foodie site. With posts and pictures and stories. While my photos aren’t quite there (yet, I am a work in process) I have dreams of beautiful photos and tons of traffic like Pinch of Yum. Now, mind you, I was a PoY fan long before their huge increase in traffic this last year or so (I mean, have you ever seen their income reports???) I remember when Lindsay and Bjork were packing for their year abroad so Lindsay could teach.  It’s been amazing to watch them grow and learn from them. They were also a huge inspiration when I decided to take a leap of faith and take my recipes off my other sites and start just a food based site.

Basically I wanted YUM to be my own little restaurant on the web. I believe it’s getting there. Slowly, but surly.

The problem is, I have too many eggs. You all know that running a blog (the way you want to) is basically a full-time job if you want full-time job income.

I recently took my name domain that I used for my author site and turned it into a lifestyle blog. I wanted a place to share the DIY goodies and other things that were not food related. Problem is, I can’t keep up with it. I have an author site under my pen name and with writing fiction and trying to keep those pen name sites alive, I just feel I can’t take on one more project. So, I feel that my lifestyle site is going to go back to being an author site and I need to tell myself to stop all these blog projects. (I have other domains that I keep thinking I am going to do something with.) I need to slow down, enjoy life and stop trying to do too many things. Because the result of that is – books are not getting written and YUM is not getting updated as frequently as it used to.

I hate to say good-bye to the other website. But I feel it is best. I can merge some posts here and the others on my SEW site. So, no real loss since it’s so new. Those of you who visited that site and took the time to comment, thank you. It wasn’t for nothing though as those posted have been moved to my freelance site which is in the process of getting a makeover. I am cleaning it up a bit so I can rebrand and use that for more of my lifestyle and writing site. I think it will be much easier for me to keep up with the two sites and then my pen name stuff.

But, that brings me to my next topic.

When you guys visit a food site, do you like to see non food items like sewing, recipes for home remedies and household needs, recipes for beauty products and things like that OR should food sites stick to all food related stuff???

I came up with a new tagline for YUM – “Bringing you all the YUM life has to offer. In and Out of the kitchen.” And I was thinking I could change my menu to have less categories and make one Food and Non Food. Or Recipes and Outside the kitchen as it is. Then, I had the idea of In Kitchen and Out Kitchen. YUM is going to get a new theme and I am wondering what my menu bar should look like.  Thoughts?

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  1. That Masshole Mommy chick is SO smart 😉

    With me, I started 5 years ago and my site was just a place to keep track of my thoughts. I didn’t know what I really wanted to do other than just write about everyday life stuff. It kind of evolved from there, but then again I blogging wasn’t back then what it is now. I like to think I just go with the flow. You are doing an awesome job and I think mixing it up every now and then is a good thing. If people love you, they will keep coming back no matter what you post about 🙂

  2. That is what I love about Robin. She will tell you exactly like it is. My feeling on your site…. if you want it just to be a food site, then stick with food. If not… go for it and post whatever you want.

  3. My blog is sort of like my life a mass of chaos. It really doesn’t fit any sort of niche which is cool cause i don’t really fit in anywhere myself. I would love to make money from my blog but I’ve come to realize I just like to talk or in this case write and making money isn’t that big of a deal. which is good as my blog isn’t anywhere near what everyone else is.

  4. You can use my site as an example. Sure, there are recipes and DIY. But, there is so much more than that. I decided to just have ONE website and put everything I have into it. Spreading yourself out is too difficult and it takes away from your overall page views I think. Just put everything here. 🙂 People want to know you and hear your voice.

  5. I love sites that have a bit of everything. It just makes it all more interesting to me for reading. My blog is just my little space of internet real estate where I write down anything I want and I love it.

  6. I truly feel you should do what your heart tells you. Cliche, but true. I started blogging 5 years ago as a way to share my frugality with the world. I started with the coupon/savings blog and found it turning into other things that did not fit in the frugal niche. This is where my current website came in. I still have both sites, but the frugal one has gone by the wayside because I am much happier writing about everyday life outside of a niche.

  7. I love the new tagline that you presented.. It’s sounds great and I follow food bloggers but they do weave in other tops such as DIY.. and I appreciate seeing their other creative ways being expressed.

  8. It is always great to mix it up on your blog and show people the other side of you. Blogs are supposed to evolve, as we evolve as human beings. You do a great job. Keep it up

  9. I am like Robin. When I started 6 years ago, I wrote for me. I had one reader who was my friend and it was just a way for me to say what I was doing in life. Over time, my blog transformed into something else. Do I fit into the mom blog niche? Maybe but it doesn’t honestly matter to me. I write for me and for those that like to read about our lives.

    As far as your question, do what you want with your blog. I am fine with seeing things other than food on a “food blog”. Go for it!

  10. First off I agree with Robin, it’s your site. Do what you want!! When I think of a food blog, I think of food related items, however with a tagline that says in and out of the kitchen I think you left room to have food related cleaning, health and beauty post easily.. But on another note when I first read the tagline in and out of the kitchen my thoughts automatically went to like camping grilling, but I always thing about that kind of stuff. lol ~ My 2cents… 🙂

  11. With me I started my blog because 18 hours a day I am in a house with my mom and that is it with no other interaction until hubby gets home or my daughter stops by. We all recently moved 400 miles from our hometown I know no one and the depression and isolation got to much. I have RA and barely an immune system so staying in keeps me healthy but I was starving for human contact. Boom blog began just a mere 9 months ago and my life has done a complete change. I have 2 blogs (alz caregiver and travel) I am writing a book and I just started a funny segment on alz caregiver on Friday’s because like I have time for one more thing I just need to laugh. But the depression is gone I am happier than I have ever been in my life and even my husband can’t believe the change. I’m like you and want to write about other things also so I say do what you want and what makes you happy. I love food recipes but I love all kinds of things so I think it;s fine to switch to different areas just make a category for each and people can choose where they want to go.

  12. Your tag line is perfect to include whatever you want. I like it. 🙂

    It will help you save time too, having thing condensed into one place. Good luck whatever you decide to do.

  13. I love reading mixes of posts, I often feel more drawn to the author rather than the blog, yes sometimes in that case they may post about things I don’t have an interest in but I wouldn’t then walk away I would wait for another post that did grasp my attention. x

  14. Robin from Masshole Mommy is a wise woman you can make your blog anything you want. I like the idea about two categories that way you won’t get so burned out by doing just one.

    1. Exactly. That is why I have been doing it for so long. I just don’t want to bog down this site with a lot of non food non recipe stuff since that seems to be what people are coming her for.

  15. I’ve let my blog evolve over time. First, it was more personal. Then I began focusing more on my interests. Now those seem to be changing again. I just go with it. 🙂

    1. I think I would feel better about things if I wasnt tied to this domain. I feel like since its ‘yumeating’ it needs to stay food or somehow all food related. For now I am just going with it and hope for the best. I have an idea of what posts get the most traffic so those are what I need to get back to and stick with.

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