blogging business life Wellness Work

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
    Emily
    July 31, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    I loved this post!!! As a recent college grad, I too struggle with wanting to love my job while simultaneously “being successful” (i.e. having a conventional job and making good money). I really loved this talk Josh Radnor gave on success and happiness: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jr7MkrHDGt0

  • Reply
    Amy
    July 28, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    The narratives are the only things that keep me coming back. I agree, blogs shouldn’t just be online recipe books, but stories of a journey 🙂

  • Reply
    Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen
    July 26, 2016 at 7:46 pm

    It’s so easy to get caught up in the numbers – I can only imagine what it’s like when you depend on your blog for your income! But I’m glad you’ve realized what will make you happiest. I learned a similar lesson when I chose being a dietitian over a doctor – happiness really does trump money. Looking forward to your new direction! 🙂

  • Reply
    Olivia Gray
    July 26, 2016 at 6:28 pm

    Davida,
    I. love. this.
    As a recent college grad, I’ve struggled with knowing what I “truly” want to do. I was a business major and for all of my life I’ve felt like I needed to do things a certain way. In the past year, I’ve realized that the way everyone else seemingly does things, is not right for me at all. Since I’ve always thought that things had to be done a certain way, I never really confronted myself about what I truly wanted. But in the past few months I’ve been forced to. It’s SO amazing that you are sticking up for what you truly want and believe in and being honest in the fact that despite your success, you’re unhappy where you are. So many people are afraid to admit that and continue on a path because it’s what they’re “supposed to do.”
    Thank you, for not only being a constant source of inspiration, but a true and honest leader. I hope that one day I’ll be as strong and as confident in my intuition as you are. I can’t wait to see where this new chapter takes you! Sending lots of love your way!

  • Reply
    Ashley @ My Design Love Affair
    July 24, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    Thank you for being so transparent! I am a new blogger and at times I believe that I am so overwhelmed with all the “new stuff” that I am not taking the time to enjoy the beginning. Thank you so much for this post!!

  • Reply
    Emilie @ Emilie Eats
    July 24, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    I remember the first post I ever read on THM – it was your bircher muesli recipe. You talked about how it was such a staple recipe, but you didn’t want to post it because it wasn’t the type of recipe to go “viral.” But, you posted it anyway. From the beginning,you have always been honest, down-to-earth, funny as hell, and relatable. That’s why I keep reading – no matter what you’re writing. I hope you get to make this place something you are truly proud of again. <3

  • Reply
    Cassie
    July 24, 2016 at 10:26 am

    Davida, it’s your blog, at the end of the day. Sure, your viewers influence what you provide for them but you are the one that is able to create the quality content that they love! I wish you the best in this change and I totally support whatever your heart desires to do!

  • Reply
    Hilary
    July 24, 2016 at 8:01 am

    I think you may lose some readers, but you may also gain some! As a blogger though I can totally agree with you, changing something or trying to make something your own can be total scary, but I truly respect your decision and can’t wait to get to know you more!

  • Reply
    Lauren
    July 22, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    This makes me so excited Davida! I am really excited to see youuuu back on the blog more 🙂
    I have been exploring lately where I go next when I finish my course and my intuition is like just show all of you and mix it all up, doesn’t have to be one thing. Mind, body, spirit, life, imperfections etc, it can be it all as long it feels right and true to us. The people we are supposed to help and serve will come <3
    I feel the more we follow our intuition, the better, even if it doesn't make total sense sometimes <3

    • Reply
      Lauren
      July 22, 2016 at 7:28 pm

      and not that you weren’t here before but you know what I mean!! Do what makes youuu happiest 🙂

  • Reply
    Alison @ Daily Moves and Grooves
    July 22, 2016 at 6:34 pm

    Davida ♥︎ I’ve missed you. It’s been so awesome to see your growth as a professional blogger, but it hurts my heart that t’s not been fulfilling you. But it’s only bittersweet, because I could not be more excited that you’re going back to your roots and letting the world interact with your sarcastic, fun-loving, easy-going side. Here for ya wherever the journey takes you!

  • Reply
    Kaila @ Healthy Helper Blog
    July 22, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    I LOVE this Davida! And I am so excited for what’s to come! I’d like to do much of the same actually and it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while. I think this post was the final push I needed to really dive in to OG Healthy Helper blogging. Thank you!!!

  • Reply
    Lisa Chase
    July 22, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    I just stumbled on your blog today but had to comment. Good for you! It’s so important to drive your life from a place of intuition and joy rather than ego. Keep up the great work!

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