How to Simplify Your Blogging Life with Tsh Oxenreider

Do you ever feel like blogging is just too hard? In this podcast episode, Jeni interviews Tsh Oxenreider from The Art of Simple on how this seasoned blogger is scaling back and making her blogging life simpler. A must listen!Admit it.

You’re tired.

All those late nights fueled by coffee, churning out blog posts and creating pinnable graphics… They’re just about to do you in.

And just when you think you’re just about to get a big break? Along comes another brand new blogger whose stats blow yours out of the water.

And you’re starting to wonder, Is this what it’s always going to feel like?

How to the pros do it?

How do they have the energy?

Well, I have a little secret for you:

Not all the pros are running the rat race. In fact, some of them are actually taking life pretty slow, enjoying the ride.

And I’m excited to let you hear about that first-hand from my guest on today’s Blog Maven podcast.

Introducing… Tsh from The Art of Simple

Tsh from the Art of Simple blog speaks out about simplifying your blogging lifeI’m excited to welcome Tsh Oxenreider to The Blog Maven today. Tsh was one of the first bloggers I started reading way back in 2009, and her blog The Art of Simple is a mainstay in the simple living space.

I respect Tsh for several reasons:

  1. She’s one smart cookie. Nothing for Tsh is accidental. She runs a contributor blog and has honed the process to a fine art. She has created systems for every part of her business – from managing multiple contributors (on multiple blogs!) to a rock-solid editorial calendar that guides her posting, month by month throughout the year…every year.
  2. Can I say it? She’s cool. Tsh loves adventure. She and her family are currently in the middle of a full year of traveling the globe. And not only is she doing the trip, she’s also living her message: with only a backpack of goods per person (including her three kids), they’re making the most of life on the road – and blogging the story.
  3. She stays true to her roots. Even after becoming wildly popular, Tsh remains a down-to-earth, generous soul who truly wants her readers to achieve simpler, more intentional, and more meaningful lives.

In this episode, you’ll hear about Tsh’s journey from the early days of her blog (before social media was a thing, y’all), to her glory days as a content-producing powerhouse – and how in 2015 she’s scaling it all back and changing her focus. You’ll also hear:

  • How social media has changed what it means to be a blogger
  • The effect of the common advice to “be everywhere” on social media and why Tsh is choosing not to play the game
  • How “quality content” is changing with readers’ attention spans, and whether your blog posts should be shorter
  • Why Tsh has stopped publishing 3x per week
  • How her commitment to simplicity is changing the way Tsh monetizes her blog
  • The simple rule of thumb you can use to simplify your SEO and Pinterest strategies
  • …and lots more!

Listen here

 

Resources and Links Mentioned in the Show Include:

Upstream Field Guide

Enjoy the show? Thank Tsh on Twitter!

Just click here to say hi and tweet a simple message of thanks to Tsh for sharing her blogging life with us. She’s awesome.

Comments?

What’s the one gold nugget you’re going to take away from my conversation with Tsh? And what are you going to do about it?

For me, it’s that idea of “follow the fun” (a tip of the hat to Lisa-Jo Baker for that one, too). It turns out I’m just not a Facebook kind of gal…so I’m going to stick with Pinterest, my favorite social playground.

How about you? Leave a comment below.

[twocol_one]Please consider sharing this post :: Love, Jeni[/twocol_one] [twocol_one_last]Do you ever feel like blogging is just too hard? In this podcast episode, Jeni interviews Tsh Oxenreider from The Art of Simple on how this seasoned blogger is scaling back and making her blogging life simpler. A must listen![/twocol_one_last]

Leave a Comment:

108 comments
Shelle says

This was soooo what I needed to hear. Tish sounds really great – I was checking out her blog, and it made me think of a question. Her Facebook page has 150,000 likes so obviously she has done FB in the past. What about new bloggers? I don’t have even 300 likes yet so my traffic isn’t what I want it to be. Can new bloggers really afford to take it easy on social media?

You asked about the “gold nugget” too. My gold nugget was how I shouldn’t be measuring influence by my page views, which is awesome. That gives me permission to do things at a more relaxed pace.

Great podcast, Jen. Thanks!

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    Jeni Elliott says

    Glad you found it helpful, Shelle. Social media can be tricky for someone just starting out – it’s not that you should be completely absent, but that you need to focus your energy (maybe on just one platform at a time). Theoretically, you could spend 4 hours a day on social media, but that wouldn’t leave time for what matters most in blogging, which is creating amazing content that will connect you to those new readers. Good question – thanks for leaving a comment!

    Reply
Kristine says

I needed to hear this! I have read (and listened to) so many say “build your numbers”. That’s what I focused on the past 6 months but my sales have not grown. It’s finally nice to hear someone say that’s not necessarily the way to do it. I will be taking Tsh’s advice. Thank you for a great podcast!

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    Jeni Elliott says

    I so appreciate your comment, Kristine. It’s fantastic that you have the ability to measure your impact by a real dollar amount, with the sales you’re generating. That makes it easier to try new things and see what’s working – not just theoretically. I hope you can take some of Tsh’s awesome wisdom and apply it this week!

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Ann says

This was really a great interview; so many ideas & things to check out now. I’m downloading this to listen again (and again) just to be sure I’ve got it all!

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    Jeni Elliott says

    Glad it was helpful, Ann. Tsh is a perfect example of how to do things well, and I’m happy we got to share some of her awesome with you. πŸ™‚

    Reply
Sharla says

I really appreciate hearing that I don’t need to be chasing all the social media platforms. It seems there are new ones popping up every month and I can’t keep up with it all. Great podcast full of encouragement!

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    Jeni Elliott says

    That’s so powerful, isn’t it? Clearly Tsh is a hardworking lady, but she does seem to genuinely be enjoying life…which is more than I can say for most of the bloggers I know. What a great example.

    Reply
Sue Anne Dunlevie says

Hi, Jeni,

Through your blog, I have discovered Pinterest and it is now my favorite play ground also!

Thanks for all the social media tips and I’m going to listen to this podcast while making dinner tonight.
Sue

Reply
    Jeni Elliott says

    Thanks, Sue – hope you enjoy dinner and the podcast. πŸ™‚

    Reply
    Sue Anne Dunlevie says

    Well, the chicken has cooked and I’m more enlightened!

    Thanks for the great tips from both of you.

    Thanks!
    Sue
    P.S. I like the way you do the “lightning round” and how conversational your podcast is.

    Reply
Rachel Ramey says

When it comes to the length of posts, I believe they should be as long as they need to be. Some posts will be thoroughly covered in 300 words, and it’s silly to keep writing just to make the post longer. But some things are not adequately covered in few words. Either that means a lengthy post or a mini-series, and I think readers who find the topic compelling will read all of a lengthy post if that’s what it takes to thoroughly address the topic.

I like the idea of posting less often, but my experience has been that there’s a dramatic drop in my page views if I publish less often, and that negatively impacts nearly EVERY monetization method: fewer ad views, fewer PR reps interested in working with me, etc. So there’s definitely a tradeoff (because even if you just want to bring in enough to offset COSTS, SOME monetization is necessary).

So I guess I would echo Kristine: this all sounds really good, but how does it work for someone who isn’t already at a place of great influence, big numbers, and good income, providing a “buffer” so you can experiment with things. (I’ve been blogging for almost as long, if not as long, as Tsh, and have decent social media following, ‘though not LARGE, but I see immediate negative effects if I drop off any of these things.) I’d really like to see someone show this WORKING for someone newer or less prominent.

Golden nugget for me (and I’ve had this jump out at me from other sources, as well): none of the “big bloggers” do everything themselves. They ALL outsource. So if you’re a “one-man show,” you’re NOT going to be able to do as much.

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    Jeni Elliott says

    Point taken, Rachel. You’re right about outsourcing – most of a blogger’s social media outreach can be done by a VA, so if you hire someone to help you, you can spend your time doing things that actually directly produce an income for your blog…like creating products, for example.

    Clearly, posting less often means you’ll have fewer pageviews, but I love that Tsh is changing things up, creating and selling courses for her readers so she can monetize in a way that doesn’t run her ragged.

    So glad you shared your insights here!

    Reply
      Rachel Ramey says

      I don’t mean to come across as negative, either! Just trying to wrap my head around how this works if you’re still in the “growing” stage. πŸ™‚

      For myself, I tend to have a presence “officially” on all the major social media networks, but I just automate sending new blog post notifications to the ones that aren’t “me” (like Twitter). Some people say that’s rude, but I figure if my followers don’t like that, they just won’t follow me. πŸ˜‰ I’ve never gotten a complaint. I see it as just one way to give them another option, if Twitter IS their thing and that’s where they prefer to be notified of new posts. (It’s not as if I’m misleading anyone about what’s on my feed. It’s fairly obvious! lol) And I spend my social media time on Pinterest and, to a lesser degree, Facebook, because I like them.

      Reply
Jennifer says

Love this interview! Especially since I already follow The Art of Simple πŸ˜‰ My one takeaway is to “be a student of yourself.” To experiment with things that I like (and maybe others will like it too). I also like what you said earlier, Jeni, is to (be brave) ask your customers what they want. So, listening to your customers is important too πŸ˜‰

Thanks for the great interview!

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    Jeni Elliott says

    Yes! Always be listening. πŸ™‚ Glad you got a lot out of the interview, Jennifer. Tsh is obviously a great voice of wisdom – and fun, too.

    Reply
Kathryn J says

Thank you for this fascinating interview. I really enjoyed listening to your joint, thoughtful approach to blogging. I am considering starting a blog, so I am still at the reading / learning / planning stage, and I particularly appreciated the reminders to focus on what I can do well, enjoy and have fun with, which is what inspired me to think about blogging in the first place. It’s just that as I’ve started to investigate the ‘how-to’ process I have felt overwhelmed at times by the sheer volume of advice and my ever growing list of ‘notes-to-self’. I laughed out loud when Tsh said that is how to wear yourself out. Thanks Tsh, I will bear that in mind! πŸ™‚ I want to blog intentionally, but not let the long ‘to-do’ list stop me from starting. So I guess apart from enjoying what I do, I want to remember the advice not to spread myself too thin. Satisfaction will come if I can do a few things well. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. πŸ™‚

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    Jeni Elliott says

    What a thoughtful comment, Kathryn. If we all waited until we knew exactly what to do before starting a blog, the internet would be empty. πŸ™‚ Most of blogging is on-the-job training…so while it’s good to have some basics (like who you’ll be writing for on your blog and how to convince them that your blog is a great place to be (turning them into subscribers)… the rest will come with time. You’ll learn things in the process of blogging that you’d never know just by reading what other people tell you to do. πŸ™‚ Excited for your new opportunity and cheering you on.

    Reply
Leslie says

Thanks Jeni and Tsh for sharing a few thoughts. You both confirm what I’ve known for some time. In the blogging world it is important for me to follow the path that’s best for me {and my family} and stop obsessing about what everyone else says I should be doing. I have loathed, detested, and out-right rebelled at all of the focus on social media channels. It just isn’t me. I’ve always believed that you should do what you love and, in doing so, you will find a way to earn an income.

Reply
    Jeni Elliott says

    Thanks, Leslie – I think it’s worth noting that for some people, all the social hoopla actually does work and they actually enjoy it. But it’s not me, and I don’t think anyone should be chained to a system that doesn’t work for their own schedule, personality, or blog. Right there with you. πŸ™‚

    Reply
Melanie Wilson says

Is there any way to subscribe to your podcast on iTunes? I can’t find it!

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    Jeni Elliott says

    Hi Melanie, no – I don’t have it listed on iTunes yet and won’t until I have 5 or 6 episodes done. For right now, I’m just hosting it here at the blog for my own readers. πŸ™‚

    Reply
SeattleDee says

Lots to consider from Tsh’s interview and your blog posts as well. My takeaway is the encouragement to know and do what feels right for me. My goals have changed over the years, so it’s time to let the blog(s) reflect today objectives, not those from 2008/09.
Note to self: get organized, list priorities, research the how-to or get help.

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    Jeni Elliott says

    Yes! Love those notes to self. It sounds like you’re committed to taking those next steps forward, Dee. Excited to hear where you go with it.

    Reply
Tracy says

This touched me on so many levels. I started blogging as a news reporter in 2007 but life got nuts for me in the years following so I floundered and lost focus before completely falling apart. It’s been a long road, but the journey has produced a desire to live a much more intentional, simpler life. I want to start a new blog with practical, helpful stories about recovery from crazy and chaos. My takeaway is to think about who my reader is. And I think she might be the old me who is desperate to find the beauty and joy I have.
Thank you for this.

Reply
    Jeni Elliott says

    So well put, Tracy. Thanks for sharing your vision – sounds like an amazing opportunity for you to pursue.

    Reply
Mary Jo says

Thank you, thank you, thank you for this podcast. I am a new blogger (almost a year now) and the social media takes upkeep takes up more time than than actual writing of the blog sometimes. I am definitely going to focus on the post and not so much on the social networks. I do need to find a way to atomate my post to all social sites. Any suggestions would be great! My take-away is probably going to be seeing the viewer not as a number but as a real person and focus less on the view numbers.

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    Jeni Elliott says

    There are a number of services that will automate your social posting, Mary Jo. CoSchedule is one that you can have automatically post when you publish, but there are others. I did a quick Google search for “automate social posting” and got a number of good articles.

    I love that you’re focusing more on those real people – they stick with you in a way that “numbers” just don’t. πŸ™‚

    Reply
    Kayla Tyburski says

    I like using Buffer in addition to CoSchedule.

    Reply
      Jeni says

      Thanks for the tip, Kayla!

      Reply
Brooke McGlothlin says

This was so good, Jeni. Thanks! I am PUMPED to learn about EntreFamily. Perfect for our family.

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Kim says

Loved this, Jeni. So much great stuff here, but my biggest takeaway, was that it’s ok to just be me…and do for me. I only post twice a week, I don’t like FB, I do write longer pieces occasionally and that all works for me. Unfortunately, I do get caught up in the “shoulds” every now and then and start doing the things that don’t feel authentic and frankly, drain me. Thanks for the reminder to block out the noise and do what works well for me. πŸ™‚

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    Jeni Elliott says

    What a thoughtful comment, Kim. There’s always a possibility of doing more, but if we’re in this for the long haul, I think we ought to do the things that bring us joy and work around that. Appreciate you adding your $0.02 here.

    Reply
Barbara says

I had 2 golden nuggets! Do what I do best and create a full description of my reader. Love that idea!

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    Jeni Elliott says

    That reader description is gold, Barbara – it will help focus your efforts for everything you do on the blog. Hope it gives you some clarity!

    Reply
      Umar rahman says

      I really liked your article.Your articles are as always are very unique and interestiong.I can say your all points are to the point.And i can understand it very well.How you can present it so well.You are not a bloge only you are also a writer who can present their content very well to the people.By how i can download podcast on itunes.Please tell me that

      Reply
        Jeni Elliott says

        Hi Umar,

        We’re not on iTunes yet – I’m deciding whether or not to develop this into a full-blown podcast or just keep the occasional audio interview. If you’re on my mailing list, though, you’ll be the first to know if I do move it to iTunes.

        Reply
    Kayla Tyburski says

    Jeni, I hope you don’t mind, but I think this post from byregina could really help Barbara create her ideal reader profile. http://byregina.com/ideal-reader-profile/

    Reply
      Barbara Gulino says

      Thanks Kayla — I will take a look at it. All these things are on my list — to do during the big nor’easter we are getting tonight!

      Reply
Ellen Russell says

Thank you so much for this podcast- it was so refreshing! I just found your blog (actually through EntreFamily). I very recently started blogging, and also have been hearing so much different advice. My golden nugget from this is to really become a student of myself and stay true to who I am. Looking forward to reading more of your site.

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    Jeni Elliott says

    Sounds like you already have your compass pointed in the right direction, Ellen. So glad you’ve joined us. πŸ™‚

    Reply
Laurie Marshall says

The hardest thing I deal with is simply making time in my day to do the background work. I have about 6 good hours to work, and a couple of so-so hours after my son is home from school. I want to create content for clients, and also for myself, and barely have time to step away from the keyboard to sit down to generate an editorial calendar and some social media strategy to go with it. I think I am just too easily distracted. But I paid for a pricey planner and a blog planner this year, and I am hoping they help me organize my work and thoughts. Fingers crossed!

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    Jeni Elliott says

    It definitely takes a focused effort to get your ducks in a row for your own business. I hear about people taking “planning retreats” to be more strategic about their work. For me, it’s worth taking time away from content production occasionally to make sure that when I am producing content, every bit of that energy will be moving my business forward. More of an investment mindset, I suppose. I’m cheering you on with those organizers!

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Kayla Tyburski says

Shared in a group that I am a part of. Most of the other bloggers are so worried about growth and I want them to realize that there are so many other ways to measure success. My takeaway is to basically fall off the face of the earth with some social media. My imaginary reader profile is a mom who hops on Pinterest for help with her day (fitness, healthy eating, mommy duties) and Facebook for her mom support. Those two areas are where I need to shine, but Twitter and some others are NOT. I have also been posting less often but really taking the time to provide quality information for my readers and I am noticing a huge difference in my traffic (in a good way) as well as my connections with readers. I ALWAYS want my blog to be fun and not feel like work!

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    Jeni says

    Love that – knowing where your ideal reader is hanging out is essential to cutting out the things that won’t make a big difference for you. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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Anna @authenticparenting says

This was a great interview especially for someone like me who stopped blogging because it was draining…It inspired me to re-think my decision.
And I loved the idea of creating a reader profile.
Good job!

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Annie says

This is incredibly helpful! Thanks for sharing and posting as a podcast! There’s something so cool about hearing someone talk about blogging! Makes them seem more “human” and reminds you that there is a person behind all those posts – great reminder for myself too:)

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    Jeni says

    It’s something I hadn’t tried before, Annie, but I really liked what Tsh said about podcasting “making your blog 3D.” I think it gives a level of depth that’s just not possible with regular blog posts. So glad you enjoyed it – think we’ll do it again. πŸ˜‰

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Jennifer at Purposeful Nutrition and The Entwife's Journal says

I loved this podcast. It could be life changing for me.
Most significant gold nugget – come up with my fictional reader and write to her (I know mine is a her but not sure what else.)

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Kristina Clemens says

The goal I came away with is to figure out how to incorporate a decorative email subscribe button to my blog. I have a generic Mailchimp form but it’s so dismally basic.
Thanks for the great interview. Loved hearing that Tsh is a friend to one of my favorite authors, Emily Freeman

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    Jeni Elliott says

    Glad you enjoyed it, Kristina. Tsh is a very well connected blogger, and it comes from how generous she has been over her career. πŸ™‚

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Tamara Andersen says

I’ve been beating my head against the proverbial wall for 1 1/2 years, and gotten nowhere with monetizing or even growing my subscriptions and page views. The emphasis on advertising never really made sense to me but I did it because all the “how to” advice said to. I really like the idea of the focus being on my content and what I have to offer as opposed to providing links to other companies and brands. Thanks Jeni and Tsh!

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    Jeni Elliott says

    Awesome, Tamara. If you focus on providing amazing value to your ideal reader, you’ll be surprised at how much farther that will take you. In my experience, a constant focus on working with brands can have the terrible side effect of diluting your message. Will be excited to hear about where you go with it!

    Reply
Marla Taviano says

I listened to the whole thing!! (I’m so bad at podcasts because I get bored just listening, but I’m working on a writing project right now that involves typing up some journals, so perfect!) I love Tsh (in a non-celebrity-worship kind of way) and admire the way she goes after her dreams. Really love the focus on simple & slow & experiencing the world. Thanks for a great interview! I second Stephanie as your next guest!

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    Jeni Elliott says

    Ah, a multi-tasker. My kind of lady. πŸ™‚ I do plan to ask Stephanie to make a guest appearance here before long, so thanks for the extra vote. πŸ™‚

    Reply
Jess Townes says

I like long posts and I cannot lie. I like to read them, and I can’t seem to escape writing them (though this says more about my editing process than anything else). I’m a new blogger and so I constantly read to keep it short, use lists, 300 words or less. I’m just not interested in producing that kind of content. I love your approach Tsh and appreciate your sharing your core values on blogging.

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Vohn McGuinness says

Great interview, thanks! My golden nugget takeaway from Tsh is that it is OK for me not to chase the numbers to be able to get on an ad program, that I should just stay true to myself and create my own bespoke ad program. This is something I very much wanted to do, but kept putting off. I will now go for it! What I am unsure about is how to achieve that 100% commission payout you talked about Jeni? Could you give more idea of what you mean/ how to achieve that please? Thanks, Vohn

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    Jeni Elliott says

    Sure, Vohn, I was talking about creating your own products: ebooks, courses, webinars, etc. Any content you produce yourself, you get 100% commission on (well…95% after the credit card fees are taken out). The added bonus of creating ebooks etc. is that once the work is done, it continues making money for years to come. And also, just having that type of content available for people to buy helps position you as more of an authority and helps you stand out from other bloggers in your niche. Does that help?

    Reply
      Vohn McGuinness says

      Ah right! Yes! Makes perfect sense now. Thank you Jeni – your help is very much appreciated, as always!

      Reply
Suse Fish says

In pretty much every single Art of Simple podcast I listen to, I find myself wishing I could hear more of Tsh’s thoughts… and here they are! Great stuff (she’s one wise old bird!) x

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    Jeni Elliott says

    Glad you enjoyed it, Suse. I think Tsh is one of those people who’s supremely likeable. Wish I knew the secret to being that way. πŸ™‚

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      Suse Fish says

      Actually, as I was listening I was thinking how ‘on the same page’ and alike you were! πŸ™‚

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julie says

Thank you for this podcast. I have been reading Tsh’s blog for about a year, started following right after I read Notes from a Blue Bike, and I am happy to hear her spontaneous enthusiasm for what she writes so beautifully about.

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priest's wife @byzcathwife says

soooo much great information here!

a question for anybody- I’ve been blogging ‘semi-anonymously’ for 4 years with a pen name- Should I/How do I change over to myself….? Or is an internet persona ok?

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    Jeni Elliott says

    Hi there! Whether you use a pen name or your real name, I think the important thing is to be as transparent as possible in every other part of your blog – writing in a way that lets your readers get to know you. That said, it might be hard for you to write personally under a pen name (it would be for me). There are two stories you might want to read from popular bloggers about this: the first is from The Nester, who eventually decided to reveal her real name. The second is from James Chartrand, who decided not to. Hope this helps you make a good decision for your own situation!

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Mickey says

Thank you for this interview! I’ve been reading Tsh’s writing for a long time (in blog years) and “have been” through several transformations with her. She comes across just as honest and down-to-earth when she’s an interviewee as she does when she’s the one doing the interview.

My 2 nuggets:
1. Create things that you believe in. Ultimately, that will keep “your people” with you.
2. Work towards sustainability. Granted, that word wasn’t used, but it’s the idea of working smarter and avoiding burnout that made me think of it.

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    Jeni Elliott says

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Mickey. I think “sustainability” is a great way to think about this whole concept, and it’s something I wouldn’t have necessarily connected together myself. Appreciate you reaching out and leaving a comment!

    Reply
Amy @Home & Farm Sense says

I am not even sure how I found this blog post (somehow through a minimalist blog on bloglovin) but I am SO THANKFUL I did. I have only been blogging a year and enjoy the creative side but hate all the formulas and social media strategies, etc., etc…. I was contemplating whether I should just quit and go back to my simple, homesteading life since all the advice out there was leading me to more and more work away from my family and farm. Then I happen along this podcast and I am inspired to keep going by doing the things I actually enjoy and not worrying about the numbers. Thanks again for a great interview. I do have a question – we tried to find your podcast on ITunes so I could subscribe but I could not find it. Is there a link?

Thanks again for this – back to my creativity…:)

Reply
    Jeni Elliott says

    Hi Amy,

    Thanks so much for your kind words – I’m glad you got a lot out of the interview! This was the first episode I recorded for the podcast, and I’m waiting to submit it to the directories (iTunes, etc.) until I have five or six episodes done. I’ll definitely be mailing my list, though, to let my subscribers know when that happens. So just make sure you’re subscribed via one of the (many) boxes around the site, and you’ll be in the loop.

    Hope you enjoy a more free, creative month on your blog!

    Reply
Nyakarima King says

I get a lot of webinar, podcast invites. My time is limited but I saved your email telling me about this podcast on January 22nd. And this interview was golden. I’m not going to let my stats determine what kind of day I will have….last year google analytics almost drove me to a psych ward. Loved it, thanks to both of you.

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    Jeni Elliott says

    Glad you enjoyed it, Anita! And good for you – stats definitely aren’t important enough to go to the psych ward over. πŸ™‚

    Reply
Nidhi Samuel says

Just visited Tsh’s blog from this post and read couple of amazing articles there. You are absolutely right Jeni, she is outstanding and her writing style is very simple yet very informative. About the podcast, really good interview, very informative and lots of points are noted. I will love to explore those suggestions for my business and will see how these work in my case. Thanks Jeni for sharing this amazing post and introducing this lovely lady Tsh.

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    Jeni Elliott says

    You’re welcome, Nidhi. So glad you enjoyed it, and happy to have connected you with a fantastic blogger.

    Reply
Maia Toll says

Jeni, the way you lay out this post- with the links and resources- is so helpful! And seeing the links and resources got me intrigued about the interview (and I loved her take on not being everywhere). Thanks for doing it smart and putting a great model out there for the rest of us to follow.

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Marissa says

I absolutely loved listening to this podcast. Not only am I able to walk away with several golden nuggets in my proverbial pocket, but I also believe I’ve learned a great deal about you two. I know it goes without saying, but you both genuinely care about your subscribers. We’re not just a number, we are people you genuinely desire to help in our blogging and/or simplified living pursuits. For this I thank you. Indeed, I’m walking away with nuggets from people who have been successful in their area of expertise and desire to share that success for the betterment of others. Not that’s…priceless.

Now on to the golden nuggets: One I’m taking away is to “follow the fun”. Furthermore, I hope to always keep my readership in mind when it comes to reaching them where they are. I shouldn’t waste much time advertising or networking on social media platforms where my readership don’t go typically. Keeping my readers in mind will help me to be a better steward of my limited resources (time/energy), to focus on what will help render them truly JOYFULLY Alive.net. As one who is writing about living a life that is full of joy and life in Christ Jesus, I don’t want anything to distract me from sharing that heart and even living that reality myself. I want to live a life of joy, so anything that can potentially take my eyes off of that and how I can serve my readers should not be given “air time”, so to speak.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, ladies! I appreciate all you’ve shared.

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    Jeni Elliott says

    Thanks for this thoughtful comment, Marissa. It sounds like you have some really good direction moving forward! It was really a joy to talk with Tsh. She’s an outstanding leader among bloggers and truly deserves all the success she has built up around her blog. πŸ™‚

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Karen says

Thank you for yet another inspiring post, Jenni. I’m completely disheartened with blogging just now, so I’m gonna read through your blog, your advice and your tips in the hope that my motivation will return. I see bloggers popping up out of nowhere, storming up the google rankings and achieving what seems to be instant success and I want to know their secrets! Cross your fingers for me Jenni πŸ™‚

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    Jeni Elliott says

    I hear you, Karen – it can definitely be frustrating to see other people zooming ahead of you in terms of numbers. But you’d be amazed at how many of those same people end up abandoning their blogs within a year or two, just because they’re so burned out! If you’re in it for the long haul, it’s also important to enjoy the ride. Get to know your readers. Focus on helping them. That’s what builds a community, and it’s what will sustain your blog over the long run.

    I’m so glad you’re here, Karen. Thanks for reaching out with your comment!

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Ika says

Thank you Jeni and Tsh for this podcast. I know you said one golden nugget but I have a few to take away.
1)To stop chasing numbers.
2) It’s okay NOT to be on all social networking sites.
3) To create a fictional reader and focus on them.
Thank you ladies, Blessings

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Sofia says

Hello there,
Thank you for taking the time to write all of this and share with us.
I have a question. I have been working for the past 2.5 years on an online service and on a lot of content that i will be loading onto my website in the next couple of months. It is extra,crazy work. No doubt about that…
Anyway, i am new to the blogosphere (i am a registred nutritionist who worked (and still does) at my own private clinic.
I have a concern. How do you organise yourself with kids ? Are some of the woman in your community live laptop lives ? Do they travel a lot ? If so, how and where are there kids educated ? I would love to have insight about this.

Thank you so much,
Sofia Abdelkafi.
Nutritionist. R.D. Helping people make lifestyle changes that last.

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    Jeni Elliott says

    Hi Sofia,

    Sounds like you’re a busy woman! I personally homeschool my kids, but it means that my business always takes a back seat to family. If I want dedicated work time, I have to get up early (5am or so) and/or hire in-home help, like a nanny, for a few hours per day. Statistically, most of my readers’ kids will be in daycare and/or school during the daytime, but there actually are a lot of homeschoolers in the community as well.

    The biggest challenge for being a blogger with a family is that you have to be really intentional with your time – always focusing on what you can do today that will have the biggest impact for your business so you don’t waste time on social media or doing other things that won’t help your bottom line.

    I hope this gives you some food for thoughts, Sofia! And I appreciate you taking the time to share part of your journey here.

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Sarah says

Thank you so much for this. I admire Tsh so much for being true to herself and her brand-I find that so refreshing and inspirational.

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Elena Ruchko says

Thanks for introducing Tish to us. It was great to hear her speak. I would love to ask a question. I have a Facebook fan page for my site, but the number of people I reach with every post is nowhere near to where it used to be once. Is there a social network where I can still reach people organically without paying up for ads?

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    Jeni Elliott says

    Hi Elena,

    Unfortunately, what you’re describing is the way all social media networks go once they become for-profit, publicly traded companies. That includes Facebook and Twitter already, and Pinterest has already started making changes in that direction. Instagram is still relatively organic, but my guess is, by the end of 2016 it’s going to become much harder to get discovered there. That’s why I place such an emphasis on email subscriptions – because it’s the one place you can guarantee that if someone signs up to hear from you, they will. Hopefully that gives you some food for thought!

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Kurt Kummerer says

Hi Jeni,

First time here on your blog. That podcast with Tsh was packed with useful information and easy to listen to as it was very conversational. Thanks for sharing. It’s refreshing to hear that you can build one social network before moving on to others. Which for me my focus is on Twitter at the present time.

I totally agree with moving away from 3rd party advertising and focusing on your own advertising and products so you can keep more of the profits. As a result you need less pageviews to make the same amount of money or money as opposed to an affiliate product or 3rd party advertiser. Work smarter, not harder should be everyone’s goal I believe.

Kurt

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    Jeni Elliott says

    Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Kurt. I wish more bloggers would stop chasing the numbers, especially at first. You (the proverbial “you”) could have a very profitable blog with less than 20K pageviews per month if you focused on products and services that really solve the problems of your target audience. Appreciate you reaching out!

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Rittz says

As a beginner blogger I am constantly trying to keep up with what I have read on what to do for my blog such posting a number of post a week and trying to promote it all over social media and its tiring me out. This podcast is exactly what I needed to hear! Thank you so much Jen and Tsh! What I got from the podcast is do what is fun, and also to visualize who you are writing for. I never thought of that, giving people a service and building a community!! This is such a worthwhile hour :D!

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Yukari Li says

Thanks so much for the podcast! I loved being able to run errands AND learn about blogging at the same time (which seems kind of ironic because the podcast was about keeping things simple).

It’s my first time on your blog and I stumbled onto it looking for good wordpress plugins (which was very helpful). And I’m so glad I decided to listen in because it really gave me a piece of mind and has also encouraged me to be more active in the blogging community and leave comments. Even though I just started the blog, I have already become anxious over growing my readership. The podcast reminded me why I wanted to start it in the first place and it was reassuring to hear that page views are not the most important thing. My golden nugget was to stay true to yourself and follow the fun. Thanks! Look forward to hearing more podcasts.

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Swapnil Jagtap says

All points are nicely explain. I also downloaded the audio. This will help for future. Thanks for this post and keep posting.

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Max Ryan says

This is great insight to have! So glad I found this resource, I think it might just be the push I need to start my own blog πŸ™‚ There is definitely lots to think about and explore when it comes to this post

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Tanmayi Rai says

I find the podcast an excellent idea for I don’t always have time or the want to read a lengthily write up on steps to take to become successful. I can listen to the podcasts on my way to work (30 minute drive to and from). In addition, the podcasts, for some reason, stick in my head more than reading something would.

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Diane | An Extraordinary Day says

Jeni… you are an amazing interviewer. Generally I don’t have the patience for listening to podcasts… yet, it started so well, I took my laptop to the kitchen and warmed my homemade soup and enjoyed it with my cheese and crackers while listening and even sat still following to the end. That says a lot. You have great questions and your pace is amazing. I don’t know how many times you’ve done this… but you are the consummate professional. πŸ™‚

All that being said… my take-away… create one or more people to whom my posts will be directed towards. I’ve tried this multiple times and it just doesn’t work. I spent about 10 years in direct sales speaking to women in their living rooms and somehow I now speak to a group more than an individual. I really need to work at wrapping my mind around this and “getting” it.

I feel like I’m call to do whatever it is I do with excellence. And frankly, one can do everything in the blogging world with excellence. At best right now, I feel adequate on my blog and on Facebook. I’m continuously second guessing myself… perfectionism rears her ugly head. !!! Everyone loves Instagram and I do too as far as seeing other people’s posts… but it is too complicated to email images from the blog, etc., and then pick them up and post them from my phone and sit there and peck out 11 hashtags. Ugh!! And Twitter… I just don’t get it. BUT… if “you” want sponsored posts with agencies, “you” must have a decent social following. So there’s always the pressure to push numbers. And I cannot afford to push my numbers… and what’s the point if they are fake numbers anyway?

Well… now that I’ve written my tome… thanks Jeni and Tsh for making me think. Evaluation is good… now to set a few goals.

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Margie says

To remember to focus on what I am good at and cultivate that to share that with my audience. I loved hearing the idea about visualizing your reader as a real person. I’ve been planning to do this and liked getting reinforcement that is a positive thing to do.

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Barbara says

Thank you for an awesome podcast! I’ve been blogging for over five years and miss the simplicity of the earlier days. My takeaway is that I can ignore all the “advice” and “shoulds”, and can stop using Facebook (which I don’t like).

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Laurie says

“Follow the fun” – I need to get back to the things I enjoy about blogging, instead of burning so much time on the busywork. Working to find the assistant who will help me do that.

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Debbie says

What a great podcast! I’m just getting started in the blogging world, so I have much to learn. I like the idea of being yourself and not spending too much time on social media. I try to stay focused on learning what I need to know right now, which is setting up my blog in WordPress. There’s so much information here to absorb, along with other blogs. My main concern right now is whether my writing will be good enough to keep a reader interested in what I have to say, even if it’s a subject they are interested in.

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April says

is there a way to listen to this on my iphone? i couldn’t find The Blog Maven in a podcast search πŸ™

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    Jeni Elliott says

    Hi April, sorry I missed this when you posted it! I haven’t listed with the iTunes directory yet – for now, it’s straight-up “download and play.”

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Shaki says

I can’t wait to listen to this on my way home today! Just found your podcast and I’m excited!

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elisabeth hemmet says

Wonderful post! It’s interesting how we determine what we need and what we want and how often we decide that a want becomes a need because we really, really want it. Thank you because this post confirms what I’ve been trying to do – simplify.

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Tessa Kawamura says

I love it. Well well well so much new blogs that I can take inspiration form! I’m only beginning my journey to minimalism as so but I find it fascinating and the way people co working

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Priya Sharma says

First time here on this blog and let me tell you it didn’t disappoint. I’ve been writing blogs from the past 4 years and actually reads several articles in a week to improve my blogging skils but never in my life I’ve learned so much about blogging until I went through this 1 hour long podcast. Thank You Jeni for sharing this to the blogging world and thanks Tsh for your tip.

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DNN says

This is one thing I learned. Take your sweet time blogging and creating that valuable content. Reason being is like you just said, there’s others bloggers that’ll come by and blow you out the water. But you as a blogger have to get adjusted to your own time and create content on your schedule that you’re comfortable with, and not look at comparing yourself with other bloggers that might get ahead of you. Focus on great content and moving @ your own pace and everything else’ll respectively fall into place.

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