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.”
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?