2020 Word of the Year + KERF’s Future
It’s time for the 2020 word of the year, a tradition I’ve done for the past few years.
2020 Word Of The Year
2020’s word is VISION.
I’m looking far out, past January and even 2020 and asking myself: Where do I want to go?
Advice From Smart Women
I’ve been listening to a lot of great podcasts by smart women – Jenna Kutcher, Brooke Castillo, Gretchen Rubin, and their guests. They emphasize quality over quantity. They encourage working smarter, not harder. They recommend outsourcing what you don’t love so you can focus on what you do. Jenna Kutcher in particular has been SO inspirational. I want to be more like her. I’m not saying I desire a multi million dollar empire, but I’m asking myself what lessons I can take from Jenna and apply to my own business.
SEO Is The Best And Worst
In the last quarter of 2019, I hired HashtagJeff, a leading Search Engine Optimization guru, to perform an audit on KERF and give me some advice on how to clean up my site. I have 12 years of posts – over 7,200!! Let me tell you it has been a process. The internet has drastically changed since I first started blogging (as you guys know!) Blogs used to be diaries. Now we are expected to have resource centers and write long form content that covers every angle of a topic. The kind of posts that KERF was founded on, and the kind I enjoy writing, like a weekend recap, are considered “fluff.” They’re fun for long-term blog readers, but they do absolutely nothing to help your website grow. The good news is I have a lot of older posts from 2013-2019 that have practical and helpful information. The bad news is no one ever sees them because they are buried in my archives and not written so Google can read them well. One of my goals this year is to upcycle some of those posts, add a 2020 spin based on my current mindset, and give them new life. Another goal is to make KERF more user friendly so readers both new and old can more easily find my content. I repeat: SEO is the best and worst!!
What direction will KERF go?
KERF was built on quantity over quality. I used to write 21 “fluff” posts a week. People used to be shocked when I said I published three times a day, but I always replied that my content was auto generated – I was always eating more food! The internet revolved around banner ads back then, so quantity was king. The more you posted, the more pageviews you site received, the more money you made. (My pageviews peaked the week Mazen was born hitting over 2 million that month.)
These days, SEO aka quality, is king. Writing about daily life is easy. Creating the kind of quality content that is helpful and provides value takes so much more time. You can’t do both at the same time without maxing out your working hours or hiring a team to help you. I don’t want to outsource my posts because you guys are here for my voice not someone else’s. Therefore, I have to slow my posting pace in order to be able to provide both quality content and catch KERF up to speed. I’m not going anywhere, I’m just shifting and evolving with the online word.
Those of you who have been reading about my life for 12 years – not to worry – I will still be writing about our lives and adventures. Just maybe not as frequently as usual. We will see. Plus there is always Instagram for daily life stuff. You can’t get much more real than the kinds of things found in Instagram Stories
My Future Focus
I’ve taken a lot of time these past few months to consider what my niche is. If it’s not sharing every.single.meal. anymore, then what is it? I’ve also asked myself what I like writing about the most. The two themes that I’ve settled on are: healthy mindset and simplicity.
This is where real food and nutrition come in. What I have always been drawn to is the psychology of wellness. What motivates us and how do we turn choices into habits? Before becoming a Registered Dietitian, it wasn’t the micronutrients or physiology that interested me most. It was the side of nutrition that affects behavior change and motivation. How does our mindset influence our health?
This is the umbrella term for all of my other favorite topics: Home Neat Home, parenting, life hacks, budgeting, clean beauty, work-life balance, leisure time, even fashion. My brain craves simplicity like I crave kale and oatmeal. How can we balance simple with the chaos of everyday life? How can we work and play smarter, not harder? How can we create a home space that feels calm and orderly and relaxing? How can we cook and meal plan without spending all day in the kitchen?
How I Plan To Work Smarter
Usually when I sit down to my computer for a period of time, I am looking ahead to the next week and see five days of posts to fill. Often I’m so focused on a posting schedule that I rush through posts, eager to check them off the list. I find myself overwhelmed and behind, which spills into time with my kids. Rather than creating a list of posts that have to go up on time to fill a calendar week (deadlines I created with no real vision), I’d like to sit down to a 3-4 hour block of work time and work on whatever flows. If that means three posts for the next week instead of five, then that’s what will publish.
I also want to have time to work ON the blog as well: cleaning up my site, making posts easier to find, SEO optimizing and upcycling older content. Plus side projects: creating thoughtful emails for my lists, possibly writing an e-book on home organization, mentoring my Beautycounter team.
V I S I O N
All this boils down to: we work to make money. But also to give our lives purpose. Where do I want to be in 5 years? 10 years? I have considered letting KERF fade away, but I decided that would be such a missed opportunity. I am in the thick of parenting young children right now, which makes balance a bit more tricky, but I LOVE THIS BLOG. And I love all of you. And to step back would be fun for a minute and then I am 100% sure I’d regret it. So instead of stepping back, I’m stepping forward, with new sparkly glasses, and saying: Where can I go that will be exciting, meaningful, helpful, purposeful, and fun?