460: How Yasmin Henley Recommitted to Her Blog and Grew to 85,000 Monthly Sessions

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A blue photograph of someone sitting at a desk with a camera and a laptop and the title of this episode of The Food Blogger Pro Podcast, 'How Yasmin Henley Recommitted to Her Blog and Grew to 85,000 Monthly Sessions.'

This episode is sponsored by Clariti and Raptive.

Welcome to episode 460 of The Food Blogger Pro Podcast! This week on the podcast, Bjork interviews Yasmin Henley from By the Forkful.

Last week on the podcast, Bjork chatted with Lisa Bass. To go back and listen to that episode, click here.

How Yasmin Henley Recommitted to Her Blog and Grew to 85,000 Monthly Sessions

Yasmin started By the Forkful (her second blog) in 2019 and quickly qualified for Mediavine. But, as often happens, life got in the way when she had her daughter and went back to work full-time. After taking a step back and being removed from Mediavine, Yasmin has worked hard to bring her site back to life.

In the last year she has built the traffic on her site back up to 85,000 monthly sessions and is once again part of an ad network! In this interview she shares more about her process for growing site traffic, the role of social media in driving traffic to her site, and how she balances her full-time job, family, and blog.

We loved this interview with Yasmin — she’s an open book and her honesty is so refreshing and helpful for anyone building a business!

A photograph of lemon blueberry poppyseed bread with a quote from Yasmin Henley that reads: "Focus on not just the next month but focus on the next six months and the work that you're doing to put yourself in a better position in the future."

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How she initially qualified for Mediavine after starting her blog in 2019.
  • Why she neglected her site for 1–2 years (hint: sometimes life gets in the way) and was removed from Mediavine.
  • How a viral TikTok video inspired her to reinvest in her blog.
  • How she built the traffic back up on her site (to 85,000 sessions last month!).
  • How she has grown her social media followings at the same time.
  • How she balances her blog with her full-time job and family.
  • Her current strategy on Facebook (which is a major traffic driver for her).
  • Why updating older content is one of the most valuable things she does for her business.
  • What advice she would give to her past self when she was removed from her ad network.


Thank you to our sponsors!

This episode is sponsored by Clariti and Raptive.

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Thanks to Clariti for sponsoring this episode!

Sign up for Clariti today to easily organize your blog content for maximum growth and receive access to their limited-time $45 Forever pricing, 50% off your first month, optimization ideas for your site content, and more!

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Thanks to Raptive for sponsoring this episode!

Become a Raptive creator today to start generating ad revenue on your blog and get access to industry-leading resources on HR and recruiting, SEO, email marketing, ad layout testing, and more. You can also get access to access a FREE email series to help you increase your traffic if you’re not yet at the minimum 100k pageviews to apply to Raptive.

Interested in working with us too? Learn more about our sponsorship opportunities and how to get started here.

If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions for interviews, be sure to email them to [email protected].

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Transcript (click to expand):

Bjork Ostrom: This episode is sponsored by Clariti. You spend a lot of time on your blog content from planning to recipe testing, to writing, to promoting, but do you know if each of your posts are bringing you the most traffic they possibly can? With Clariti, you can see information about each and every post, which is automatically synced from WordPress, Google Analytics, and Google Search Console so that you can make well-educated decisions about where your existing content may need a little attention. Think broken links or broken images, no internal links or missing alt text. You can also use information that Clariti pulls about sessions, page views, and users to fuel the creation of new content because you’ll be able to see which types of posts are performing best for you.

Get access to keyword ranking, click-through rate impressions, and optimization data for all of your posts today with Clariti. Listeners to The Food Blogger Pro Podcast get 50% off of their first month of Clariti after signing up. To sign up, simply go to clariti.com/food. That’s C-L-A-R-I-T-I, .com/food. Thanks again to Clariti for sponsoring this episode.

Emily Walker: Hey there. This is Emily from Food Blogger Pro team and you are listening to Food Blogger Pro Podcast. This week on the podcast, Bjork is interviewing Yasmin Henley from the food blog, By The Forkfulful. Yasmin has a super interesting blogging journey that I think a lot of you will relate to. She first started her blog in 2019 and was quickly able to qualify for an ad network. But after she learned she was pregnant with her first child and decided to go back to work full-time, her blog kind of fell by the wayside.

In this interview, she explains to Bjork how she recommitted to her blog, why she decided to reprioritize it, and how she has rebuilt her following to over 85,000 monthly sessions as of last month, and of course re-qualified for an ad network. She explains more about why she prioritizes getting traffic from social media and what sort of SEO updates she’s made to help rebuild her blog. It’s a super interesting interview. We really enjoyed hearing more about Yasmin’s story and know you Will as well. So without further ado, I’ll let Bjork take it away.

Bjork Ostrom: Yasmin, welcome to the podcast.

Yasmin Henley: Thank you. Hi.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, thanks for staying up late with us. Nine o’clock there for you.

Yasmin Henley: Yeah.

Bjork Ostrom: So I still have coffee that I’m sipping on and you’re kind of entering the stage of night, maybe a little tea, a little bit of wine. It’s the wine down-

Yasmin Henley: Yeah. Although we have just had the clock change, so at least it’s kind of 8pm here.

Bjork Ostrom: Okay. Yeah. You have a week or two of being able to kind of have that as like bonus time when the time changes.

Yasmin Henley: Yeah.

Bjork Ostrom: We’re going to talk about your story. You have an interesting journey where you built your site up until the point where you were able to apply and got accepted to Mediavine. Obviously, for a lot of people who are starting out who are in the early stages, that’s a really pivotal moment because you’re able to monetize in a way that’s hard to do before you get accepted to an ad network. Tell me about what that process was like to start and what it was like to build up to that point, what worked well, and maybe what that felt like once you were accepted.

Yasmin Henley: So I started my food blog in 2019. And it was actually my second blog that I started. The first one was kind of more of a frugal living lifestyle blog. Learned a lot of lessons that then I could apply more quickly to By The Forkful. And I knew that getting my first blog into Mediavine was like a big goal. It helped me bring in a steady income. So I knew that that was one of my main goals for my food blog.

Mostly at that point, SEO really wasn’t on my radar. I thought I knew what it was, but I really… Looking back, I’m like, I didn’t know what I was doing. So I was just doing bits and bobs and kind of got to the point where… And at that point, Mediavine would let you put a site onto their network, a second site at 10K sessions a month. So quite a low bar, which I think I mostly got through Pinterest traffic. And then getting it to that point was great because I was like, okay, now I’m in, can start making some stable income. And at that point, you’re not making like a big amount.

Bjork Ostrom: Sure.

Yasmin Henley: It’s maybe $100, $200 a month. Then neglected my site for maybe a year, 18 months. Just started working on it. My traffic could fall into maybe 5K sessions and then Mediavine tell me that they’re actually removing me from their network.

Bjork Ostrom: Like it wasn’t enough traffic for them to justify it being on there? Yeah.

Yasmin Henley: Yeah.

Bjork Ostrom: And so you had this other site, and had that site been the first site that had been accepted into Mediavine? So is that right? So had that, whatever the qualifications were at the time, was it 50,000 page views?

Yasmin Henley: It was 25,000 at that point. Yeah.

Bjork Ostrom: Got it. So you have 25,000 there, you have 10,000 with this other site. You’re making multiple hundreds of dollars, which is great. It’s like this proof of concept, and in the early stages it’s enough to justify like, “Okay, if I can double this or triple this, then it starts to become pretty meaningful.” It’s like a mortgage payment essentially.

Yasmin Henley: Yeah.

Bjork Ostrom: And when you’re able to see those numbers, that’s when it kind of gets really exciting. It sounds like what happened was you had worked on this one site and then kind of said, “You know what? I want to focus on food,” and so you start to focus on food as this kind of path forward and the type of content that you want to create. You got some momentum with it, and then you paused in this period, traffic fell back down. Tell me about that period. What was that like when you went into this season of kind of not focusing on the site? And then we’re going to talk about turning that around and what it looked like on the other side.

Yasmin Henley: Yeah. So I got into Mediavine, I think the start of 2020 maybe just before the pandemic sort of became a thing. And I think a lot of food bloggers have a kind of different story to mine, whereas that’s when they really leaned into growing their food blogs and traffic kind of exploded. But for me, I think I got about four or five months down the line where I’d been monetized and then found out I was pregnant with my daughter, who’s now almost three.

And for me, I’d been freelancing for a good few years. So I was living my life, but definitely wasn’t living the life for a baby to come on the scene. So I pivoted and went back into full-time work to build up savings. So my food blog got pushed to the side. And obviously hindsight is a really beautiful thing because I’m like, oh, maybe if I had led into the food blog, I could be in a different place, but that’s not the route that I went down. And then, yeah, probably it wasn’t until she was maybe a year, 18 months plus that I was like, okay, now I’m in the Headspace to refocus on this old project.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. And it’s one of the great things about your experience is for two years, three years, four years, you’ve kind of been working both with the frugal living site or with the food site, you’d been getting experience, you’ve been building skills, you’ve been building expertise. And one of the things I love to think about in our world is that we are CEOs of our life. And what our job is to make wise decisions for you Inc. Right? And my affirmation for you is like making the right decision for you and your family. And did you say, is it that your daughter or son or-

Yasmin Henley: Yeah, yeah, a girl.

Bjork Ostrom: Okay. Yeah. So for your daughter and the right decision in that moment was to say, “Hey, you know what? I’m going to get a full-time gig. I know it’s going to be guaranteed in a way that building a site for passive income or advertising income isn’t guaranteed.” But what you didn’t lose is the skills and abilities that you had developed. And for so many of us, one of the things that this can be is a really great safety net for us if we ever need it, or a really great opportunity for a season where we don’t need the same type of guaranteed income. And there’s no… The type of work you’re doing is it’s only good or bad within the context of what you’re doing.

And so I want to affirm you in the decision that you made and saying like, “Hey, that was a great decision because it was right for your family, for your daughter.” And it’s always easy to look back and be like, “Well, if I would’ve worked on it, then it could have been in this place.” But also there’s times where you work on something for a really long time and then you don’t get anything from it. And so there’s that side of the coin as well. But it sounds like in your case, what happened is once you did revisit this opportunity, apply some of those skills and expertise that you had, you were able to benefit from seeing some substantial growth, not only from your social accounts, but also just traffic to your site, and then eventually got back into Mediavine. And now it sounds like you’re at a point where you’re getting more traffic than you ever did before. So take us back to the point where you made the decision to focus more on it, and why did you make that decision?

Yasmin Henley: Yeah. So I think even when I was kind of neglecting my blog, it still… I think I’m an inherently creative person, so I still loved taking photographs of the food that I created, sharing here and there, especially on my social accounts. And then I think I got to a point where I was like, “Okay, I’ve got more time, this is something I’m really passionate about,” like you were saying about. And started that first blog, then realized I wanted to go into food. So By The Forkful was always been like… I was always like, even if it’s not a business, it’s going to be more like my passion project.

So I started sharing still fairly inconsistently recipes on the blog, on my social accounts, and then just started getting into more and more of a role doing videos on TikTok and Instagram Reels. So I was kind of… My traffic on my blog wasn’t necessarily going up. It was still kind of like 5, 6K sessions a month, but I was enjoying it, kind of feeling like I was getting my groove. And then I think it was August last year, Mediavine said, “We’re taking you off our network,” which to be fair to them, I was maybe earning $20 a month at that point. So it wasn’t like a huge financial hit. It was more of just a like a, “Now I’ve got to…

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. 10 bucks, kind of-

Yasmin Henley: … my income.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. Right.

Yasmin Henley: And then that same month, a TikTok video went viral. So it was literally within the span of maybe three weeks I was demonetized on my website, and then a video got… I think it now sits at like 6 million views. But within a week, it got maybe 3 million views. And my TikTok followers went from like 300 followers to 40,000 in five days. And it was just this crazy like, “Oh, okay, my blog traffic is maybe not monetized instantly, but clearly there’s something here that people are enjoying.” And it really lit a fire under me that like, oh, this still could be something.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. It’s validation that the things that you are creating resonate with people and that it can get attention, it can get traction. And sometimes all that it takes is seeing that happen once to say, “Okay, I did this start to finish, created a video, came up with a concept and it got 6 million views.” That can be kind of that motivation to say like, “Hey, I can be somebody who creates in the world content that people consume and they like and they enjoy.”

Can you talk about any… And at this point, you have 110,000 followers on TikTok. That’s obviously a really important platform. Can you talk about what it was like to build the traffic back up on your site? So demonetized, you didn’t have the traffic, but then you have this video that goes viral, you maybe catch some traffic from that video going viral. To an extent you can talk about that. And then what does it look like from there to start to build up and to gain that momentum again and what do things look like now?

Yasmin Henley: Yeah. So I think even before that happened, like I said, I’d been working on the blog behind the scenes. Not much traffic was going on, but I’d been still putting in the work, doing the posts, and I think I was kind of at a breaking point where I was like, “I’m putting in so much work and not getting anything back,” that if it hadn’t been for that video going viral, I could have well just shut it all down just being like-

Bjork Ostrom: Yep. It’s too much. Yeah.

Yasmin Henley: Yeah. Especially with like a young kid and working a full-time job. I was like, “This is a lot.” So yeah, that video went viral. I think, yeah, traffic immediately went up because I post all the links to my recipes on the blog, so I don’t post the recipe in the caption on social media or anything. So yeah, definitely got a kickback in traffic. So I was like, okay-

Bjork Ostrom: And was that through people seeing the video and then going to the link in your TikTok?

Yasmin Henley: Yeah. And actually when I posted that video, because I hadn’t really been focusing on driving traffic, I hadn’t posted the recipe yet, so I was in this mad rush to-

Bjork Ostrom: Get the recipe out. Got it.

Yasmin Henley: … [inaudible 00:14:05] the recipe. So yeah, that happened. So then I was kind of like, “Okay, I’m going to focus on creating similar videos, similar recipes to get that social traffic,” but was also focusing on more long-term SEO recipes. So I just kept on doing a mix of both. And it just slowly but surely started going up and up. And as my pages have gotten naturally bigger, quicker, I think you kind of seem to reach this milestone on social media where people were like, “Oh, they’ve got X amount of followers,” so they’re more likely to follow you-

Bjork Ostrom: Sure. Yeah.

Yasmin Henley: … and it just seems to grow and grow more naturally. So the traffic just really started snowballing. And now I think last month was about 85,000 sessions a month, which is the most traffic I’ve had in the whole history of having the blog.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. And that’s at the point, I feel like once you get to that realm of a hundred thousand page views, you’re using an ad network, that’s where it starts to be meaningful.

Yasmin Henley: Yeah.

Bjork Ostrom: And it’s obviously different for everybody. And meaningful could even be a hundred dollars a month in some situations. I guess what I mean by that is it starts to be enough where you can start to, and obviously our mortgage payments are all different and our ad network amounts that we’re earning are all different, but it’s like, “Oh, this could make a substantial difference in the day-to-day lives of what we’re doing.” And if you think of working a side hustle, if you work at a coffee shop or a grocery store or maybe you do Uber, that’s where I feel like the equivalent of a hundred thousand page views, it starts to look kind of similar to those side hustle jobs.

But the difference is you have this autonomy, you have control over when you work on it. It’s not the rigidity of some of those normal side hustles. And that’s a really good feeling. So could you talk about that a little bit just for you as a creator, what that felt like to go through the process of rebuilding this thing after being in this transitory, almost blog purgatory period of like, “Where am I, where am I going to go,” and then eventually saying, “Hey, I’m going to focus on this and grow it,” what did that feel like?

Yasmin Henley: Yeah. It really feels like some validation that the work was worth it because I was, for a long time, this is a really expensive hobby that I’m doing. I was doing it because I was passionate about it and enjoyed creating, but I was definitely at a point where I was like, I’m spending a lot of money on the blog and spending money on ingredients and time just creating recipes, photographing them, filming them. And now it’s like, actually, now this is a business and it’s bringing in income. And yeah, it’s massively validating that you put in the work and you actually get something back for it.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. Before we continue, let’s take a moment to hear from our sponsors.

This episode is sponsored by Raptive. You may be like the many other Food Blogger Pro members and podcast listeners who are working towards increasing their traffic to be able to apply to an ad network. Raptive, which is formerly AdThrive for instance, requires a minimum of 100,000 page views and brand safe content to join the community. These qualifiers attract premium advertisers and ensure creators like you benefit from Raptive’s expansive solutions and services. But if you’re not quite there yet and you want to be, Raptive can still help. Raptive put together a comprehensive email series, it’s 11 emails in total, that will help optimize your content, understand your audience, grow your email list, and grow your traffic to help you reach your ad network goals.

Pinch of Yum works with Raptive to bring in passive income each month. The ads show up on each Pinch of Yum post, and when that ad loads on someone’s screen or somebody interacts with that ad, Pinch of Yum earns money. So more page views equals more money. And it can really add up over time. That’s why so many Food Blogger Pro community members are interested in getting their page view numbers up so that they’ll be able to apply to an ad network and make money on display ads. So if you’re in the same boat and are interested in getting some traffic tips delivered to you for free, head to foodbloggerpro.com/raptive. The 11 weekly emails you’ll receive are designed for creators who have a working knowledge of SEO, keyword research, and email lists, but haven’t yet been able to crack that 100,000 page view mark. Go to foodbloggerpro.com/raptive to opt into this free newsletter series. Thanks again to Raptive for sponsoring this episode.

What does it look like the traffic profile now for you, because I know that SEO is a consideration, but you’ve also been intentional to focus on social media platforms and you’ve grown a substantial following over a relatively short period of time. And I think in, as we were kind of trading notes, you had talked about growing from 3,000 to 135,000 total. It’s probably more today. And so you’ve been focusing on a lot of different areas and it’s not a full-time gig for you. So what does the traffic look like now to your site? Where’s that traffic coming from? And then the next question after that, to seed the question, is how do you balance that with a full-time gig and a family?

Yasmin Henley: Yeah. So traffic sources… Yeah, SEO is definitely a big one, but it’s quite well-balanced with social traffic. So Facebook has become a really big traffic driver for me, which I wasn’t expecting at all. So I post my reels on TikTok, Instagram, and then just cross-post it over to Facebook. Instagram just has that feature that just lets you automatically share it on Facebook as well. And I started seeing really good traction on there. My page grew really quickly. And then I started posting Beyond Reels on Facebook, just posts with links to the recipes, and that’s become a major traffic driver. And then TikTok and Instagram can be big traffic drivers for me, but it’s definitely if I get a slightly more viral posts, then I’ll see a spike, but it fluctuates a lot more. Yeah.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. Can you talk about the traffic on Facebook? What has worked well to get traffic from Facebook?

Yasmin Henley: I think I definitely wouldn’t say I’m a pro at it. I’m still definitely dabbling, but for me, for my blog, it’s potatoes. Anything potato related just blows up on my page. But just sharing literally a photo of the recipe, a really quick like… A more personal comment rather than being like a description of the recipe, but something actually from me and just sharing a link. I did that last month and just one post got 6,000 views in a day just from that one blog post, which for me was the most traffic I’ve seen in a long time. So I was buzzing. Yeah.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. And when you say 6,000 views, 6,000 people from Facebook came to your page after sharing that? Yeah.

Yasmin Henley: Yeah.

Bjork Ostrom: And it’s interesting in our world, you can start to kind of crunch the numbers on that and say like, okay, if you have 6,000 people and just conservatively, let’s say you have a $30 RPM, you’ve just created a transaction of $180, maybe $200 just by creating this singular piece of content. So then if you can start to get strategic and say, “Okay, what are the variables that existed within this and how do I potentially replicate that in these ingredients, maybe it’s this specific type of recipe or sharing it in this way or this medium,” that’s where you get the compounding in this world and you can start to build off of that and say, “Okay, great. Let’s try that next week again and do something kind of similar, but just different enough. Can we repeat that?” That results in another $150, $200.

And so from a business standpoint, what we’re doing as content creators is being curious as to what’s working and then trying to replicate that in a way that doesn’t feel like an exact copy of something we did before, but also has some of those same elements. So were you able to distill down? I mean, you talked about the ingredient being one of them with your audience, but was it also the post type? You talked about it being photos, right? It wasn’t a video. And for some reason it just seemed to work well and kind of was viral.

Yasmin Henley: So the first ever video that went viral for me was like a potatoes and whipped feta one. And then this post again was a slightly different potatoes and whipped feta one. So I’m definitely… I feel like social media does have the potential to niche you down a lot, but I think you can either try to shrug that off and go wider or you can lean into it. And I kind of am trying to do a bit of both. I’m kind of leaning into what obviously hits well with my audience and those are the recipes that they really like. And every kind of one that I do similar to that hits really well. So in my books, if there’s a demand for it, then I’m going to meet it.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, totally. And there’s all different ways that you can do that from the ingredients to the type of content that it is, how you’re maybe structuring the description. So what about your day-to-day, because you have a three-year-old, that’s obviously very time-consuming, and you also work in a full-time, like in the US we’d say a W2 job, but a full-time salaried position, or is it a contractor position and then you have this as well?

Yasmin Henley: Yeah. Well, so that was the case until last November, and then I moved to be fully freelance. My employer just were very accommodating to me growing my businesses and just let me basically switch to freelancing. So that’s been great because I can be a lot more flexible. So for example, now I can film recipes in the day and then do my normal work in the evenings sort of thing.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. How do you decide? Because my guess is there’s a lot of people who are in a similar position and they’re trying to balance these important things. We are all passionate about our businesses and want to figure out how do we grow those and invest in those. We also know that there’s great security in having a salaried position or a contract freelance position where we’re able to, on any given week, any given month, say, “We’re going to work this much and we’re going to get paid this much.” That’s a really good thing as well.

And then we have our family, and that’s something that we want to invest in and be present to. So when you look at the landscape of everything that you have in front of you, how do you make decisions around, “Hey, I’m not going to do this freelance work in service of focusing on my business, or I’m not going to do this business work in service of focusing on family”? What does that look like for you? And the context for it is I think it’s helpful for us to hear other people and how they process these decisions.

Yasmin Henley: Yeah. It definitely is tough at the moment because I find myself, if I am short on time for childcare reasons or something, it’s definitely my businesses that get sacrificed still at the moment. Obviously prioritizing clients first. I try to be a lot more rigid about my schedule. I’ll literally list out all the things I need to get done. I’ll set a timer on my phone and be like, right, you need to get this task done in 45 minutes, because rime is so important, especially when you want to make time to have with your children and balance everything together.

And yeah, I think it is a lot of sacrifices and just having that social free time to sit and watch TV in the evenings or something. But my reasoning is that I’m working hard now so that next year my life looks different. And already it looks so different to what it was a year ago. And I’m just slowly, slowly tipping that scale to where I’m like, “Okay, this evening you don’t open your laptop and work all evening, this evening you actually take some time to do something that’s not work related.”

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, that’s great. I think a lot about this idea of part of how we can look at the work that we’re doing is making deposits. So you’re building a business, you’re making deposits, and I think we should also be aware of the potential that we can make withdrawals from our business as well. And that might look like taking time away to visit family or going on a trip or whatever it might be. And it’s less of this perfect equilibrium on a day-to-day week-to-week basis, but more of thinking about it as maybe seasons, and you have a season of maybe working more than you would ideally work in service of a future season where you’re maybe working less than you would if you had a normal salary job. So when you think of forecasting out, just out of curiosity, what would your ideal be? What are you working towards?

Yasmin Henley: For me, so obviously my daughter’s three, so in my head I’m like, “Okay, she’s going to go to school in a year, two years.” So I’d like to be in a position where when she goes to school, I can pick her up at 3:00, school holidays aren’t an issue. I can be flexible because I just manage my own businesses. So even though it is difficult to build a business when you’ve got young children, I’m also like, I’m working on it. So when she gets to the school years, I’ve got that freedom.

Bjork Ostrom: Yep. That flexibility and the time. And so much of it comes down to that. I think for a lot of us, we want a successful business. We want something that is monetarily successful. But if you really drill down to what that means, it’s like it covers our needs in order to allow us to have autonomy and flexibility to some degree. And that is such an intangible, valuable thing that’s really hard to quantify, but it’s important in so many different ways, especially in the context of family.

And that’s where you can… In the world of startups, there’s this startup incubator called Y Combinator, I don’t know if you’re familiar with it, but the founder of that talks about… Or startups, which are different than what we’re doing, but he talks about compressing your career into five years, which is like, I don’t think that’s what any of us are trying to do, but you can imagine a 20-year or 30-year career for normal people. And he talks about, for a lot of startups, it’s like you take that and you smush it into this five, six-year period. Obviously it looks different for everybody in terms of how they approach it, but it does take a lot of time and energy and work to get to a point where you have something then that allows for that flexibility and autonomy later on. What have you found to be the most valuable things to do right now? Where’s the greatest return on your time knowing that time is this really valuable resource?

Yasmin Henley: That’s a good question. I think for one thing, for me, updating old posts has been really valuable. So every post I do, whether it’s new or old, I do the blog content, I take photographs, and I film a video for it. So I do it all in one. So looking back at old posts that have a bit of potential but have less work to do on them, maybe just need some new photos and a video filming and then I can just literally link straight to that old post, that’s been a really great way to save time, but also get some good returns both in social media and SEO traffic.

Bjork Ostrom: Yep. Yeah. And it’s looking for those things that you can do in that limited amount of time. Maybe if you do that one hour, you set a one-hour timer and you say, “Okay, here’s how much time I have.” In that amount of time, what is going to be the thing that for your business is going to give you the greatest return? Oftentimes it’s not creating something from the ground up. It’s saying like, “Hey, what do I have that is pre-existing there that I can further double down on the success of that,” and a lot of times that ends up being updating an older piece of content, not with the attempt of taking something from zero to position one, but maybe it’s in position five or six and you want to kind of try and improve that a little bit.

Or a lot of times you see people who know that there’s a certain piece of content, for whatever reason, that monetizes really well, so you’re able to earn a lot from it, and then being strategic in saying, “I’m going to create content and point people to this piece of content because I know that it earns really well as a post for whatever reason from an advertising perspective.” So as a last question, Yasmin, when you look back to that season when you had just been kind of demonetized, for lack of a better word, and it was kind like, ugh, a little bit of a bummer, my guess is gut punch, what would your advice have been to yourself knowing that one of these kind of future unlocks was coming down the line where you have this video that goes viral and it puts you in a place today where you’re able to scale back on your regular work and kind of adjust your life schedule? So what would your advice be to your past self?

Yasmin Henley: I guess keep going, but also don’t get so bogged down in the immediate to focus on not just the next month, but focus on the next six months and the work that you are doing to put yourself in a better position in the future. I think it’s really easy to take the hits that come day to day and not take a step back and see the bigger picture and actually see how far you’ve come. And even though that was a big hit to my business, now it’s just a little blip in what is already growing into something bigger than it’s ever been.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, there’s so much to be said about staying the course, and we’re in this season as creators where it could probably be said of any stretch, but there’s a lot that’s happening right now and a lot that’s changing. And I get every week an email or talked to somebody who’s like, “Gosh, I’ve just got,” or not even just, but, “I’ve been hit with this Google algorithm update and I’m not able to get the traction that I could before. Super discouraging,” or, “I was able to grow really quickly for this stretch on Instagram and now I can’t. And that’s super discouraging.” And if nothing else for people to know, it’s a really common thing. It’s happening to everybody in different forms. And if it hasn’t happened to you, it will eventually if you stay with it long enough. And if you have the ability to stick with it and to continue to create inspired content, there will be those opportunities that come and it’s the right person, it’s the right time, it’s the right algorithm change. Something happens where you’re able to be in good favor again.

But so much of it is just staying the course, which is really hard to do. And your story is a good example of staying the course, and you have these moments and these opportunities. It’s this idea of like luck wears overalls. Like, it’s hard work. Luck is hard work. And part of the reason why you got “lucky” with a viral video is because you had been producing good content over a long period of time and continually showing up to do that. So I think it’s a great reminder for us as creators in a season where there’s a lot of shifting sand and the foundation doesn’t feel super strong to say, stay the course, continually show up and create good content. So really fun to hear your story, Yasmin. For anybody who wants to follow along with you to check out what you’re up to, where’s the best place to do that, and we’ll include those in the show notes.

Yasmin Henley: Yeah. So, bytheforkful.com. @bytheforkful on TikTok. I think it’s @bytheforkful_ in Instagram. I haven’t managed to snag the original.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. You’ll get it. You’ll get it.

Yasmin Henley: Yeah. But yeah, probably on Instagram if anyone wants to DM me or anything, I’m an open book.

Bjork Ostrom: Cool. That’s awesome. Yasmin, thanks so much for coming on. Really appreciate it.

Yasmin Henley: Thank you.

Emily Walker: Hey there. This is Emily from the Food Blogger Pro team. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of The Food Blogger Pro Podcast. I am popping in today to share a little update for our Food Blogger Pro members on what you can expect to see in the membership in the month of May. We kicked off the month publishing a coaching call with Cameron and Sarah from the blog, Plantbaes. This is an awesome coaching call. It’s a long one, but we just really enjoyed hearing more about their story. And as a small teaser, we enjoyed this coaching call so much that we decided to make it into a podcast episode for everyone to hear. So just stay tuned for that later this summer.

Next up on Thursday, May 9th, we’ll be having our live Q&A all about republishing content. This Q&A will be with Eddie Mercado from Raptive and will be a great opportunity for you to bring all of your questions about what content should be updated and republished, how to do it, what the importance is for SEO, all sorts of good topics like that.

Last but not least, on May 23rd, we will be publishing a course all about video editing on CapCut. Capcut is a really user-friendly program for editing videos. And this will be a helpful course for those of you looking to get started or level up your video editing. And Natalie is taking the lead on that, and we’re so excited to share it with you.

So that’s what we have in store for May. As always, there will be lots of goodness going on in the forum and elsewhere in the membership. So if you’re interested in learning more about Food Blogger Pro membership, just head to foodbloggerpro.com/membership to learn more. We would love to have you. Make it a great month, and thanks again for listening. We’ll see you next week.

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