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So Much More Than a Food Blog

July 22, 2016

I rarely find myself looking back on old content, but I randomly got sucked into the rabbit hole and suddenly found myself reading post after post from almost 3 years ago.

OG Healthy Maven.

The pictures kind of made me cringe and I found myself rolling my eyes at the things I thought it was appropriate to say on the internet. But I was also struck by how deeply honest, carefree and real these posts felt.

I could feel the inspiration bubbling out from within the screen. And if I close my eyes and think back to that time I can relive these emotions so well. The newness, the excitement, the constant feeling of discovery.

It’s not easy to admit this, but in looking back at these posts I can see how a lot of this passion has been lost in the pursuit of running a business. The truth is, it isn’t easy doing both; maintaining the passion of your hobby and making money from it. I’ve tried to balance them both, but it’s a delicate process that I don’t always succeed at. Looking back on old posts makes this all the more apparent.

More-than-a-Food-Blog-1I remember before I quit my job to run THM full-time how badly I wanted to take the leap. What I never could have predicted was that in the process I would have to make some sacrifices. When you depend on others to make money, you can’t just wake up everyday and write what you want.

You can’t just whip up any recipe and hope it does well. You need to consider your analytics, your sponsors and staying on top of your content calendar.

and the numbers…they start to matter.

The page views, the likes, the money. You’re able to tangibly measure your success and can so easily be wrapped up in trying to maximize these to validate what you’re doing. And when your business is so intertwined with you, it oftentimes feels like you’re validating yourself.

More-than-a-Food-Blog-3When I started THM, I wanted it to be a place to explore health, in all its capacities. I truly believe that health goes so far beyond the kitchen. That mental health, exercise, relationships, travel and everything in between all add up to a healthy lifestyle.

But the food stuff stuck. It brought in the page views, the likes and the money. And while I do truly love food, I don’t think it is the be all and end all.

This past year I exceeded every expectation I could possibly have imagined for my business. I’m reaching half a million people a month, make more money than I could have ever conceived and a social following that people strive for daily. By all definitions, I’ve made it.

But here’s the truth: I’m unhappy.

I’m unhappy with how I’m spending my time, with the content that I’m putting out and the community I’m building.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the flexibility my schedule allows, every recipe I’ve posted, and those of you who engage with The Healthy Maven on a daily basis, but I want this place to be so much more.

I want to go back to spending my days feeling like I was in a constant state of discovery; to share recipes when I feel like it but explore all other areas of health beyond what I pulled out of the oven, and to build a community that shares in this passion. I want to truly and deeply connect with what I’m doing and with those of you who want to follow along on this journey.

I could have said “fuck it” and separated my business from me and continued along on this path of success, but that would mean accepting the conventional definition of success that I’ve never been able to fully embrace. I need to love what I’m doing every.single.day, even if it means less money, fewer likes and alienating some of my audience.

So what does all of this really mean? If you’ve been paying attention the last few weeks, you’ve noticed that this place has looked a little different. There’s been a lot less food and more personal posts. I’ve needed this space to get back to a place where I can share my thoughts, discover new passions and openly talk about my triumphs and tribulations.

I want to talk about my new journalling habit and apps that have changed the health game for me. I want to talk meditation and my struggles with exercise. I want to share more videos and green beauty tips.

And I want to talk about food.

I want to get back to the roots of THM, where every post felt like it could burst with inspiration and passion. And I want to wake up everyday and love what I do.

THM was never intended to be just a food blog, and it won’t return to being the way it was supposed to be unless I change it.

Does it scare me? Hell yeah. I know that moving in a new direction (or rather-returning to the old) means that traffic will fall, people will leave and money will decrease. But I’m confident that all will be right in the end when I follow my intuition instead of my ego.

So expect some food and a whole lot more. We’re going back to how this place started and as I shared in my very first post, “I hope you’ll join me for the ride”.

More-than-a-Food-Blog-2

Would love to hear from you! Share your thoughts below. Lots of love <3

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  • Reply
    Arman @ thebigmansworld
    July 22, 2016 at 4:17 pm

    geebuz, totally feel like I could have written this. I reckon you’ve successfully maintained THM voice throughout each and every post, even food ones- It’s just the sad nature of it how people often just skip to the recipe/workout/etc.

    It’s a tough thing to balance but I think if you don’t feel even 99% into it like you were before, it’s only going to provide benefits to step back and assess. I’ve slowly started including more random/life fails/old school travel posts for the fun of it and while the views/$ may not be there, damn they are exciting AF to write, even if its just for me.

  • Reply
    Liz @ I Heart Vegetables
    July 22, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    This REALLY resonates with me, Davida! I get that same feeling when I go back and read posts from 5 years ago (yes, with cringe-worthy photos haha) when everything was just FUN! And it is different when it becomes more of a business and I don’t dislike the changes and progress but I Think it’s so much harder to truly stay connected and passionate!

  • Reply
    Dani @ Dani California Cooks
    July 22, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    For a long time I was told to “narrow the focus” of my blog if I wanted it to be successful, but given that it really is just my passion project I realized that what made me happy was to talk about everything food related – sustainability, politics, health, restaurants, everything. I can imagine that when your livelihood depends on your posts you feel much more of an obligation to post the stuff that brings back the most $$ or followers!

  • Reply
    Glenda
    July 22, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    Looking forward to all of your future posts 🙂

  • Reply
    Diana
    July 22, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    *you’re* not tire! ?? silly spellcheck!

  • Reply
    Diana
    July 22, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    Congratulations Davida! You simply must follow your passion. In my experience, as long as you love what tire doing, the money will follow. This is a brave, wonderful thing!

  • Reply
    Brittany
    July 22, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    Love this post lady and I honestly don’t think you will lose followers. People will see how passionate you are about the topics you’re writing on and they will be drawn to the content. I feel the same way about being a food focused blog sometimes… I just want a day to go by where I don’t have to focus on FOOD, ya know! That’s why I’ve tried to add in other lifestyle components. There’s sooooo much more to life than oats and almond butter.

  • Reply
    Christin
    July 22, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    I feel like I could have written this post myself! I too am transitioning my food blog into more, and I totally understand losing the passion and wanting to get back to what inspires you. I hate the constant need to “get a recipe up” instead of when I actually feel like it. Thanks for being honest and putting it out there; it feels good to know I’m not alone. =)

  • Reply
    Dale
    July 22, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    Your honesty and insight inspire me! Will obviously continue to join you for the ride! XO

  • Reply
    Whitney @ To Live & Diet in L.A.
    July 22, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    Kudos on having the bravery to admit how you’re feeling and share it with the world at the risk of disrupting the successful model you’ve built. I have a feeling people will stick around to see where you take this journey next. I know I will 🙂

  • Reply
    Cheryl Bell
    July 22, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    I think this is going to be great for you and all of us that follow you☺ You have made a choice to be happy and that will effect everyone in your life in a positive way.

  • Reply
    Melissa
    July 22, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    I hear ya! This was me about a year and a half ago. When you work for yourself it’s so hard to balance personal with business because they ARE so intertwined. But I made some really big changes and it made a world of difference. And I have a feeling that while you may see a little dip short term, long term you’ll find that going back to what makes you truly happy will pay you back ten-fold in the end. Congrats for having the guts to make the changes – a lot of people don’t!
    PS – I’m very curious about your new journaling habit – it’s something I’ve just gone back to as well. I’ll look forward to hearing more!

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