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Last Updated on October 12, 2022
One of our favorite students, cookbook blogger Kim Reynolds, dishes wisdom about the ups and downs of running an online business, her blog strategy, and finding her confidence.
If you’re in the process of leaving your corporate job, running your own business, and/or launching your blog, you know that success is not linear. Some seasons are great and light and happy … and others feel like they’re filled with nothing but obstacles. That’s just how it is.
For me, even in the toughest seasons, when I have really struggled with self-doubt and what-the-hell-was-I-thinking moments, there has still been this sense deep down that it’s going to be okay somehow.
Yes, I have the systems and the organization. I have a solid blog strategy and the know-how and the stats, and I am always learning. And all of that is critical for success — no question.
But I know that the biggest reason I am able to feel like things are going to be okay is that I have a supportive community around me. These are women who have walked the path I am on. They understand me and what I am doing. They are there to give feedback, to commiserate, to challenge me, to reassure me that I am not, in fact, crazy to be doing this.
As you’ll hear in this conversation with our next guest, community really is the secret sauce, the reason why programs like the Success With Soul Incubator and Selena Soo’s Impacting Millions are so powerful for women entrepreneurs.
I’m thrilled to welcome one of our favorite 6FBA students, Kim Reynolds. Kim is a home chef and self-identified cookbook addict. She has parlayed her love of cooking and cookbooks into Kitchen Lit, where she reviews cookbooks of every kind and matches other home chefs with the ones that are perfect for them.
Kim had been blogging for more than 5 years when she joined 6FBA in January of 2020. She officially launched her blog six months later. Sounds simple, right?
But to get a sense of what Kim has been able to create and the sheer power of her spirit, you should know that right before she started 6FBA, she ended a 10-year relationship and left New York for her home state of Virginia. During her blog launch, COVID hit. And after she launched Kitchen Lit, the apartment she shared with her sister burned to the ground. Thankfully, she and everyone in the building made it out safely, but she lost basically everything.
I know you’re going to love this conversation with Kim. You’ll get a sense of how genuine and smart she is — and you’ll get a chance to hear someone who’s relatively new to this process share how she’s developed her blog strategy, how she’s dealt with challenges, and where she sees herself headed.
Thanks so much for joining me this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!
If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the bottom of the post.
Also, please leave an honest review for The Success with Soul Podcast on Apple Podcasts so we can improve and better serve you in the future. Plus, you could be featured on a future episode during our listener spotlights. Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and I read each and every one of them.
And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts to get automatic updates. My goal for this podcast is to inspire those who seek flexibility and freedom in their lives by making something happen with holistic, soulful, step-by-step strategies from me and other experts.
We cover all of this in the Success With Soul Incubator! You’ll learn all about setting up the right systems, designing a workflow that works with your natural cycles, evergreen and affiliate marketing, how to create the best content … and so much more.
6FBA is now housed inside the SWS Incubator, along with our other flagship program, 21 Days to Impact. When you sign up for the Incubator, you get 12 months of unlimited access to both programs!
We started a fundraiser for Kim, which is helping her replace some of the many things she lost in the fire. You can find here.
Kate Kordsmeier 0:04
You're listening to the Success with Soul podcast with Kate Kordsmeier, journalist-turned-CEO of a multi six figure blog in online business. But it wasn't that long ago that Kate was a struggling entrepreneur who lacked confidence, clarity, and let's be honest, the money. But all those failures, experiments and lessons learned helped Kate create a thriving business that impacts 1000s and brings freedom, flexibility and fulfillment to her life. If you're ready to do the same and make something happen with holistic, soulful, step by step strategies from Kate and other experts, you're in the right place. Here's your host, writer, educator, mom, recovering perfectionist, bookworm and sushi connoisseur Kate Kordsmeier.
Kate Kordsmeier 0:51
Welcome back to the Success with Soul podcast. I'm your host Kate Kordsmeier, and today we're talking with one of my favorite students, Miss Kim Reynolds. She is the founder of Kitchen Lit, a cookbook review blog, and she is helping today's home chefs find the right cookbooks, cooking classes, and travel cooking experiences for them. Kim is a self-proclaimed cookbook addict, collecting over 20 years, and always searching for new ones. She grew up learning to bake with family but never really focused on cooking savory dishes. So after college, Kim used cookbooks to help her become the experienced home chef she is today. As you'll learn from the interview, Kim's blog got started five or six years ago, actually. But it wasn't until she joined 6FBA, the Six-Figure Blog Academy, in January of 2020, that she turned it into a profitable business. So we are chatting today all about how she got past the fear of finally launching her blog to the public, and publishing consistent content. She's going to share some tips and tricks that she learned along the way over the last year and a half. And I'm just so excited because Kim has such a courageous, inspiring story that I know is going to resonate with so many of you. So without further ado, let's get into it. Kim, welcome to Success with Soul; enter your first podcast interview!
Kim Reynolds 2:14
Hi, I'm really excited to be here!
Kate Kordsmeier 2:17
Yay! I'm so excited to have you too. You have been a student in the Six-Figure Blog Academy for over a year, right?
Kim Reynolds 2:24
Yeah, I signed up in January of 2020. It took me a few months before I actually did anything with it, but yeah, I signed up in January of 2020.
Kate Kordsmeier 2:33
Okay, great. So tell everybody who you are, your business, your blog, and why you signed up for 6FBA in the first place.
Kim Reynolds 2:42
Sure. So my name is Kim Reynolds, and I run a cookbook review blog. It's called kitchenlit.com, and it is my goal to provide home chefs with the best recommendations for the best cookbooks for them. For instance, for a newbie cookbook person, I wouldn't recommend something like Julia Child's cookbook because it can be a little stressful. And if that's your first cookbook, you might just throw it away and run away and never cook again. So, matching the right home chef with the right cookbook is really important to me, as well as giving them kitchen tips and tricks, and cooking class reviews. Because, we all like to increase our skills and get better. I started doing 6FBA because I had actually owned the blog, the website and my blog, like five or six years before I started. I really, yeah, and I was so nervous to do it. Because anytime I would talk about it or mention it, I would have a lot of people that were naysayers and be like, oh, you're not gonna be able to make any money. You're not gonna do anything with it. So in January 2020, at the beginning of the month, I saw something from Gurl Gone Green talking about it. And I decided to go ahead and do it. And then a couple of weeks after that my 10 year relationship ended. And then a month later, I left New York City and then two weeks after that is when everything got shut down for COVID.
Kate Kordsmeier 4:03
And your life didn't stop getting crazy after that happened. So if you are comfortable sharing what's recently gone on in your life and how it's affected your business as well...
Kim Reynolds 4:13
Yeah, a little over two months ago, we were woken up at a little before six in the morning to the fire alarms going off. And two guys running door-to-door beating on the door yelling at everyone to get out. When I open the front door, I could smell the smoke. The apartments in our apartment building - the one next to us was on fire. And we quickly ran out, and I grabbed my purse and car keys which, thank goodness I did, so we had my - we had car keys. My sister ran out. They wouldn't even let her stop to put her shoes on, because the fire was so bad next door that two guys wouldn't - I turn to lock the door in one of those like, you know just moments of habit. And when I did, it was actually a good thing because the door next to us flew open where the fire was, and smoke came pouring out. So I like, ran down a different set of stairs and it was a nightmare. My sister didn't realize at firs. She didn't see me. So she didn't know where I was for like, a couple minutes, until I came out the other set of stairs. Yeah, it was a little bit - we watched our building. The whole roof wound up burning and collapsing into our apartment, and we lost almost everything. We were able to get some family jewelry, and a couple keepsake things, and some photos. But that's pretty much it, that we recovered from the apartment. In total 39 units were damaged in the like - beyond, uninhabitable - in the place. But the great thing was, because those two guys went door to door, because we have so many false alarms, that everyone got out. So one person had a minor injury to their hand. But everyone in our - except for us - everyone in our block had dogs and cats. No animals were injured and no people were injured. But when you run a cookbook review blog, and you lose everything, your kitchen, it's a little tough. And I had just brought back all the family recipes. My mom had finally found them. She had misplaced them. And I had brought them back and they were sitting on my bookcase and they, we never found them. They were destroyed. And they were all my grandmother's and my Nana's handwritten recipes or even some that were my great-Nana's handwritten recipes.
Kate Kordsmeier 6:16
This is not the first time you told me this story, but it still breaks my heart so much. And I will say, one of the reasons why I love having a community of people, is because when this happened, you came and you very bravely shared about your experience and everything that's been happening, inside our Facebook group. And we actually put together a little, like kind of mini-fundraiser for you, to help you get some cookbooks and some things back. And so if anybody is listening, and is like, I want to help, we'll put a link to some things in the show notes where you can help Kim recover some of her... some things are irreplaceable for sure. But we do have a little fund going, and Kim if there's anything else that you've added since then, I know we've talked about you putting like a fire registry together.
Kim Reynolds 7:06
I put one together on cookbooks that I was looking to replace right now. And so that's, I think, the biggest thing is getting cookbooks. Like we bought like, some pots and pans and stuff, that kind of stuff, like right away, because we had to be able to cook, you know. And so I think that's like, the biggest thing is just, I had, I probably had close to 100 cookbooks. And I've been very fortunate. Some friends of mine that I know that have cookbooks that I've reviewed and stuff had sent new ones. And some other people have gone on my list and sent some. And then with all the donations and stuff, and between friends and family, I mean, we've been so so lucky with how everyone's reached out. And in my own life, like, I mean, after everything that's happened in the past year and a half, before the fire, like there are times when you feel like disconnected to people. But I talked to people since the fire that I haven't talked to in years, friends and family and stuff. And like, it was just, I mean, I think it was really scary because my sister and I lived together and we have a lot of common friends. So for a lot of people, it was that thought of they both could have been gone. Because I honestly - two minutes longer, we wouldn't have made it out of the apartment. Because it was like watching it like, yeah, and still, I mean, like not knowing why it happened or anything. And we still don't know, and don't know when we'll know, why it happened. But I think that on the flip side, you learn about like, what you really need, and there's things like, there's a lot of stuff I had that I'm not going to replace, but then there's a lot of stuff that I'm like, like even today getting ready. Like I had to go get a new shirt, because pretty much what I've bought is T shirts. And I was like I don't really want to wear like a T shirt, you know, for an interview. And I'm like, like, oh, I don't have my blue sweater because I don't have - really all my good clothes were in the closet. Nothing. So it's like...
Kate Kordsmeier 8:52
I'm sure it's like every day you remember something else, that you don't have any more.
Kim Reynolds 8:57
Yeah. And I have, it happened to a cousin of mine over a year ago. And he said a year later that they still go to look for something and they're like, oh, we lost that in the fire. I was like well, great, that's good to know. Yeah, I mean, I think I try I'm trying to look on the bright side of it. And I'm really lucky because I have a lot of support. I had the Six-Figure Blog Academy group, which I've become close friends with a couple of the girls in there. And then I met through another mastermind I took, I met someone who actually is a life coach that like, two weeks before the fire happened I hired to work with for the summer. And honestly, she's been a godsend for me like someone to really just like, reach out to and talk to when you feel like, so overwhelmed and everything, with her. Because something, I think for everyone, if anyone has gone through this, they understand like, it is probably one of the most overwhelming things, because nobody knows what to tell you to do, or what's gonna happen next. And if you haven't, go make sure you're taking pictures of everything that's in your house. Open every cabinet, everything, and take a picture. Or at least video. Because we had to list every individual item on insurance. Yeah.
Kate Kordsmeier 10:09
You told me that when we spoke about this a few months ago, and I haven't done it yet. And, that you're reminding me like, what am I waiting for?
Kim Reynolds 10:16
Yeah, I mean, because even if something else happens and you have a flood or something; even then sometimes it's hard to remember what was in it. Sometimes you can find stuff with a flood, and so you're able to remember oh, well, I had that book, or I had this or whatever. But like, we had to put like, how many shirts, and how many dresses, and things like that, that you're like, I don't know. Yeah. Yeah. I'm one of those super organized people. So I can like, in my mind, open a cabinet and see what was in it. And so that was lucky for us that we were able to do that. But it was just, it's just overwhelming. But on the flip side, I mean, some good has come of have it like, you know, reconnecting with friends and family. And like realizing like for me, like I really wasn't planning to come back to Virginia when I did. But when my relationship ended, I really just needed somewhere to land. And so I decided to come back to my sister's, because she offered me to come here. And it was the best thing in the moment to come. But now I know like, I don't want to be in Virginia. I left Virginia 11 years ago, and I don't want to come back. Yeah. So now I'm just, looking to move forward.
Kate Kordsmeier 11:26
Yeah, well, good. Okay. Well, thank you for bravely sharing your story again, here with us, and anybody listening who has been through something similar or wants to reach out to Kim and offer support in some way, like I said, we'll put some resources in the show notes. And I'm glad that you've had a lot of support from friends and family and life coaches and communities and all of that. And that you have a business that you can move with. And you know, short of some cookbooks, and some some equipment like that there's not a whole lot of like, you know, owning a brick and mortar store and losing all of your business that way.
Kate Kordsmeier 12:08
Interrupting this episode with an important PSA. You are more than your business. You are a whole person. Though you created your business to have freedom and flexibility, hopefully while also creating massive impact and income, sometimes you feel like your business is running you instead of you running your business. But it is time to change that. That's exactly why I designed the Success with Soul Incubator. I've learned that the bigger you grow, the more self-care you need. But you can't do that without self-managed teams and hands-off systems, which I teach you how to create inside the incubator. This is for all the spreadsheet nerds who are ready to dig into their data, actually know what to do with it, and grow their team and support-systems, so you can spend less time in your business and more time enjoying your life. Holistic systems are just one part of my signature six-part framework, which you can learn more about by going to successwithsoul.co/apply When you apply now for your spot inside the incubator, you'll also get access to our exclusive, two-hour, private workshop for accepted applicants. This is a private, invite-only, advanced-level workshop, where you'll learn exactly how to scale to 50k months, on autopilot without live-launching, paid-ads, social-media, or selling your soul. The application only takes five minutes, and there is no obligation to enroll. Once your application is accepted, you'll learn my exact six-part framework to grow your traffic organically, scale your passive income with evergreen funnels, and do it all without burning out. I'll explain everything you need to know about the incubator program. So come on over and apply now. Again, that's successwithsoul.co/apply
Kate Kordsmeier 13:56
Let's shift gears and talk a little bit about your blog, and your business. I know you mentioned that you joined 6FBA back in January 2020, but that you had this blog, like the domain at least, for five or six years. So what made you decide, like now is the time, and that you're going to believe in yourself and do this?
Kim Reynolds 14:16
I had been in a long term relationship with someone that was a functioning alcoholic. And as much as I loved him, I wasn't helping him in any way. And we got to the point where we realized it wasn't working anymore. And so we decided to just separate and I think at that point, like, I took all the focus. I had been focusing on him, trying to help him, and decided like, no, I need to be focusing on me. Because I lost who I was in that relationship, like really lost myself. And so for me, I wanted to move forward and that meant figuring out what I wanted to do. And I was like, well, I've always wanted to do this. Why haven't I done it? And it was funny, when I saw Suzi from Girl Gone Green talk about the Six-Figure Blog Academy, I, at that point, we hadn't officially broken up, but we had been having really deep discussions about separating. And so I think I knew in my mind, it was over. But we hadn't really like officially said, okay, this is it, and we're gonna move on. And so seeing that, I was like, you know what? I'm going to take a chance. I'm gonna sign up for this. And then it took me a couple months before, with all the moving and everything, and COVID hitting and everything. I think it was like mid-April when I really started doing the program. And then I wound up launching my blog on July 20th, of 2020. And so I was able to go live, and I was so scared, I remember, about what people were gonna think, and what people were gonna say. And you were so supportive. And so like, no, just do it. Like, don't worry about what other people are gonna think. And it was true. Like all the reaction I've heard from friends and family has been really good. And the people that I thought were going to come in and make some, you know, snide comments, you'd find out and stuff, haven't even, I don't think gone, to my blog, which is fine.
Kate Kordsmeier 16:04
They're not the ones who are going to make or break this anyway, right? Yeah, I think the fear of what other people are going to think when you launch something that's sort of a public facing business, like being a blogger, is the most common thing I hear from people short of like, I don't have the time or money is like, what's everybody else gonna think? And there's the fear of what are people gonna think if it doesn't work? But there's even the fear of just what are people going to think even if it works, like that fear of judgment. So how did you get past that?
Kim Reynolds 16:40
I think for me, it was just, I had to think about, okay, what do I want? And, like, can I deal with it if people are judgmental? And I was, it was, honestly, some extended family I was worried about really being judgmental. And I was like, you know what, I can block them. I can ignore them. If they become a problem, I can pick up the phone and call them and have a conversation. And I was just like, I just, I have to do this for me. I have to take the next step. And it's, I think, this same way we invest money in ourselves, we have to invest in believing in ourselves. And you have been a big proponent of like, you know, you have to invest in yourself. And I think that's more than just the money. It's like, we have to invest belief in ourselves. And, like, I mean, I think about six months after I had moved in with my sister, she made a comment that she noticed I was getting back to who I used to be. And I was like, I didn't even realize how much I had changed. And then so it was like, it was noticing that, and noticing that I was moving in the right direction. And I feel like the Six-Figure Blogger Academy made a huge impact on me. Because we had the community, like where you can ask questions, and you can really support each other and celebrate everyone's wins. And I mean, like, I've made friends that I really, like, really are great friends, for me. And Julie, who lives over in Scotland, we've become really good friends. I mean, and so it's like, it's that community is huge, as far as like, being supportive. Because not everyone like I mean, my family, my immediate family totally supports me, but they don't always understand. They don't know what I'm doing, right? And like, and so I think it's for people, a lot of people like, don't still, don't even know how to explain like, blogging or whatever. And so they don't even know what to say when people, other people ask them, well, what is Kim, what does she do? And it's like, she runs a blog. Like, she's a blogger. And so it takes - sometimes some confusion and stuff like that, but having other people who understand what you're going through and what you're looking at; what you're trying to figure out. And when you're setting up different parts, and you need some advice on what to do or what program to use, that is, for me has been, like, just life-changing, making me feel more confident about what I was doing. And that, building that confidence, I think, is how I've gotten to the point of being able to just move forward.
Kate Kordsmeier 18:58
So I love your story so much. And I feel like it seems like blogging really helped you find your way back to yourself. And I'm curious, just, that - not that it has to be about 6FBA or anything, just like, the process of blogging, why was that so powerful for you?
Kim Reynolds 19:16
I think because I got back to doing the things that I like. I mean, I'm really, I'm pretty good with computers and stuff, and I like it. But I also like, I'm a very task oriented person. And I like to have, I'm one of the people who has a crazy checklist of like, a ridiculous amount of things on it. But even if it's not stuff I need to do today, I like to have it written down so I don't forget it, like in a week or two if it needs to be done. And for me blogging, starting with it, was starting to do the checklist of, okay, so this is how I set it up. And I use you know, Bluehost for the hosting and I bought my domain years ago with GoDaddy and so I moved, had to move everything over. But it was like following the checklist of how to get everything done and then you realize like, I just put this little bit of effort and look at what I've got, and you start to see all of the gains. And for me, I think that was a huge thing. And it got me back into cooking more than I was, and trying new things. And I mean, you know...
Kate Kordsmeier 20:13
Like, you can do hard things, and you can learn new things and new skills. And, I found that process like, the early days are really, you know, they're hard because you're brand new. And you don't know anything, you don't know what you don't know. And you're afraid. But they're also like, so rewarding. Like, even just the little things early on. Like, wow, I switched everything over to this new host. And I, that seemed really big and scary. And I did it and like, yeah, it builds that confidence muscle. Yeah.
Kim Reynolds 20:41
And so when you try to do something even harder, like I noticed, it's something that's probably simple for a lot of people. But on my homepage, originally, I removed the things, like we have the categories. And when you look at a blog post, you might see like, you might also like these. And it shouldn't show, but the pictures will, I removed those when I first set it up, because I didn't have a lot. So I was like, I don't want it to just show with like the same two pictures every time. And so about a couple months ago, I was like, okay, I need to put that back. I want to put it back. And so it took me a little bit to figure it out. But because I had all the confidence of working with WordPress from the last year figuring everything out, and moving through it, I was able to. It took me a little bit, but I was able to figure it out and get it back the way I wanted it. And like it was something that I think in the beginning that if I had looked at that and tried to figure that out, that would have been like, okay, that's it. Yeah, but it's like taking it step by step. And going through everything and trying to figure it all out. It's even like, the same thing with like SEO. Trying to figure everything out for SEO, which is really important. You just have to take it step by step. And I've had some blog posts that have been huge hits, and some that aren't, and then I have some that I don't get anything. And then all of a sudden, six months later, I'm noticing, you know, it's doing really well.
Kate Kordsmeier 21:56
Right? Yes, SEO is the marathon game. It's the long game. If you try to, if you try it, and then two weeks, you don't get the results you want you give up? Well, that's never gonna happen for anybody. That literally, so I just yeah, and I'm so inspired by your story, too. Because I think again, a lot of people have the fear of what if it doesn't work out. And I get the sense from you that regardless of like, whether or not you ended up achieving your revenue goals, or things that are more sort of, like traditional, like, it worked out. That it felt like it was all a worthwhile endeavor and pursuit because of just, some of the personal gains that you got from going through the process?
Kim Reynolds 22:37
Oh, 100%. I mean, like, for me, yes, I want to get it to the point where I'm 100% supporting myself off of my blog. I mean, like we all do, you know. And, but for me already, it's a success. I've made it over a year, which was for me huge. Like that's because most people don't make it that far, I know. And other than the week of the fire, I have posted twice a week, every week since I started. And I think that that too, is the consistency. And so for me in my eyes, I've already made it. And I've got plans on what I want to do next. And we all have those dreams of what we want to do with our blog and where we want to take it. And so I think that having a blog and having these goals and aspirations that I want to do, it allows me to do what I want. And it allows me to be have flexibility, like eventually I plan to move to Europe. And so for me, that's a big deal. And I'm, I want my blog to be what supports me to be able to do that. Yeah. And so I think that it's just working it and keeping going. But it's already in my eyes, it's a success, because of just even all the things I've been offered, and all the people I've met, and all of the connections I've made. It's huge. Like you don't even realize the whole community itself. People talk about meeting friends on Instagram. And it's crazy. But you, you do.
Kate Kordsmeier 23:57
I know, for sure. I mean, I can speak to my own programs that I've joined to learn new things, and masterminds and things like that. And some of my very best friends in the world now came from being in those programs together. And there's something about going through a common experience together, you know, sharing that and like you said, especially people with normal jobs, and you know. They don't know what blogging really means, and what it looks like, and we can - even so, I've been doing this for, since 2015. And I feel like my parents are still asking me questions sometimes, like, so how do you make money again? I just, I'm not, I'm like the same way as before. Nothing's changed! But it's still just like if you're not doing it, I guess it's hard to grasp. Right. Okay, so we talked about how it's sort of worth it regardless of, of the results, but I know you have gotten some great results too. Do you want to share some of the wins so we can celebrate with you?
Kim Reynolds 24:58
I mean, well I think that number one is making it one year, that was huge for me. I'm seeing sales through my affiliates, which is great, because, you know, that's always nice to see, and has been consistent, which is great. And I'm getting approved for more and more affiliate programs, which is even better, because we all know that, you know, different programs have different things, and I love doing the affiliates. But I've also myself, I think I've invested a lot more in myself recently, like, I decided to sign up for Impacting Millions with Selena Soo. And I love it. And I have really, I'd been doing really great before the fire. And then I kind of took a step back afterwards. And now I've gotten back on track. And I'm working through all of that. But I've met a great accountability group through that, that has been a lot of women. It's just, there's four of us in the group, and it's great, we're all supporting each other and talking, and just helping each other move forward. And I think for me, that's one of the big things, is just all of the connections and everything I've made, that I see all the progress and I see where it's going. And so I think that it's just at the point of really starting to grow my business to where I want it to be.
Kate Kordsmeier 26:11
Yeah. And making it past that one year mark, like I said, is so huge. And so few people do it like that. There's a reason why most blogs fail. And I think one of the big reasons is because people don't give it enough time. And they give up before the one year mark. But you know, I only made like $6,500 in my first year of blogging; I spent way more than that. So I'm sure I was in the red. And yet, if I had given up then then I never would have gotten to where I am today, which is now making over half a million dollars blogging and online. And it's like, you just have to get that first year. And, around that one year mark, I feel like, is the hardest hump to get past because after a year, you're kind of like, shoot, I really don't need this to be making more than it is. But there is that snowball effect that happens and I know your, your snowball is starting to roll down the hill.
Kim Reynolds 27:05
Yeah, I'm starting to see it. I'm starting to see, like more of the blog posts take off with the SEO, and even things that I didn't think would. Like a post I did about a Rocco Dispirito book called Now Eat This! Lately, it's gotten a ton of traction, and I just thought it was, to me, it's like okay. That wouldn't be something I would think would be a huge SEO hit, but it's all of a sudden now getting a ton of traction. I'm not sure why but you know, I'll take it.
Kate Kordsmeier 27:29
Take it. Yeah.
Kate Kordsmeier 27:34
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Kate Kordsmeier 29:21
And yes, and you mentioned Impacting Millions, which we were an affiliate for, and you joined through our bonuses and everything, which was really cool. Any results you've seen from Impacting Millions so far? I mean, obviously, you're here on this podcast, which is your first press hit and related to Impacting Millions. Anything else coming up for you?
Kim Reynolds 29:40
Not yet. I actually just redid my brand story, and I've been working on a bunch of pitches, and in the next week, that's what I plan to really focus on, is getting all the pitches sent out. Yeah. And really start to reach out to more editors and get doing some guest-posting and more podcasts. Yeah. And so that's my main goal right now is to work on that. At the fire had me take a little step back. I was, I was going so good. And then I lost all my notes in the fire, which was a little upsetting. But I've managed to redo most of it and figure out, and go back through what I was missing in her notes, and come together with it.
Kate Kordsmeier 30:18
Yeah, I'm so glad. And I hope that you are giving yourself plenty of grace, that you went through an incredibly traumatic experience. It would be unusual to not have that affect your work, and you need that rest. To, you know, recover.
Kim Reynolds 30:33
Yeah, I think a lot of people have been like, I just don't know how you guys are still standing. I don't know how you're doing anything. And it's like, we have to put one foot in front of the other. I mean, it's not easy. And it's not fun, but even lay in bed for a few days. But like, after a little while, you just have to get up and do stuff, you have to try to make life as normal as possible.
Kate Kordsmeier 30:50
Yeah. Well, you have so much courage and your story has always been so inspiring to me. I'm curious, what's one of the biggest struggles, aside from recovering from a fire? What's one of the biggest struggles you're having right now in your business?
Kim Reynolds 31:06
I think the biggest thing is just getting people to sign up for my newsletter. Like, I have a lot of people that go to my website and stuff. But I don't wind up with a ton of newsletter subscribers. And so when I have a pop-up that comes up when you land on my site and everything, and I have like, a sidebar sign-up as well, that is there permanently. But I just, I don't get as much traffic there as I would like, for people to sign up.
Kate Kordsmeier 31:30
Okay, so we'll transition for a minute and, to let me put my coaching hat on and see where where we can help you here. So one thing is what are you currently offering your newsletter subscribers? So I just went to your site while we're talking. You can answer but I'm looking at it right now.
Kim Reynolds 31:48
Right now I'm offering the free bookmarks. Okay, it says that in the pop up, I've created cookbook bookmarks. So you can download and you print at home and then use them to mark your favorite recipes. So you don't use like the sticky tabs and stuff. Because yeah, those will eventually rip off the print in your cookbooks.
Kate Kordsmeier 32:04
Got it. So I think it's a great idea, but with everything, we got to AB test. And so if it's not working, if it's not converting, try something else. What's something else that you could offer? I liked that you're offering something specific, although, I'm looking at your pop up right now and it's, it's really pretty, and it says, "Looking for new ways to inspire your culinary passion? Subscribe to our email list today and keep current with [you know] our cookbook and class reviews, and kitchen tips and tricks". Then it says at the end, "and get our kitchen lit bookmarks free". It's hidden in there, like nobody's gonna read, I think our people aren't reading that far. They're just kind of seeing what looks like a more generic, subscribe to our email list. I wonder if you tried having it say just get the bookmarks? Like that's the only, the only focus, and, and see if people convert better that way. And you could also try something totally different. Like what's some kind of quick checklist PDF guide?
Kim Reynolds 33:07
Well, I have made a PDF of what you should have in your kitchen, like kitchen essentials, and that I released with my Fresh Start posts. that I did, since the fire, about how to rebuild your kitchen. Like whether it's from, if you're getting out of a divorce and you don't have anything in your kitchen, or you're someone that graduated college, you don't know what to put in your kitchen. So I have a kitchen essentials checklists, list everything from what you need for utensils, to tableware, to barware, to pots and pans and electrics, and everything as well.
Kate Kordsmeier 33:36
Right. Okay, so I love that idea. And what I'm thinking is two things. One is you could experiment with having that live, like as your main popup or your main call to action just on your homepage. Or putting it in a bunch of different posts that are related. So I think one thing that happens is people get overwhelmed thinking, they have to create like, a content upgrade or a freebie for every single blog post. What I've found to be the most successful is to pick like five key pillars of like, the main things that you talk about the main categories, and then create an opt-in for each of those five. And then you can reuse each of those opt ins in like, whatever your post is. Okay, this is in Category B, then this, this gets this content upgrade. So you don't have to create dozens and dozens but you have a handful I would say three to five is the number I would suggest starting with. And then you can see which ones convert really well. Why is that? Is it because the offer is better? Is it because it's more targeted to people who are on that post and that like, this is the next step for them? So you can kind of analyze and figure out what's working best and why, and then it will also help you create more content knowing that it's working.
Kim Reynolds 34:52
Right. No, those are great ideas. Yeah, I have a couple others that I've been working on like meal plan, like how to, like I have a meal plan. But the people can like, even list out like, the cookbooks they want to cook. And I have a couple other ones I'm working on, something I created years ago for myself. I created myself a custom Excel grocery checklist. Yeah, so which lists the things I normally buy on it and it's something that I want to post and give to people where they can go in and, and edit it. Because when you have a list like that you buy like, if you, you know you buy all purpose flour, and you buy vanilla, and you buy, you know, brown sugar and stuff, like, it's easier to have a list that you can just check it off versus all the time, like having to sit there and write out a huge long list like right? Even with like, fruits and veggies, I would list all the ones I would eat on a normal basis. And they're there and I can easily check. But there's also lines if you're adding something weird or different that you don't normally eat. You know, trying something new. But for me, it's been a huge help when I use that, because it makes it so much simpler to manage. Also, like I'm the type person that I love to have things categorized, like categorize produce in one section, meats in another, and that way when you're, because if you write the lists, writing it out as you think of stuff, then you like, get to the end of your shopping and you're like, man, I forgot to get hamburger, and it's all the way back on the other side of the store, right?
Kate Kordsmeier 36:06
Exactly. Okay, so as we wrap up here, my last question for you is, what is something about blogging that you wish more people knew?
Kim Reynolds 36:18
Ooh. It's not as, you shouldn't think of it as scary. As I think a lot of people, when they're first starting out, I think it is like, I myself was really scared to get things set up and really put myself out there. But the majority of people are very supportive of your blog and the people you know and care about, and even strangers who come on and look at it and stuff. Like the majority of the comments are good comments. Like, yeah, yes, there are trolls, and they will post negative stuff. But most of it is really good comments. And I think that a lot of people are so scared like I was to put yourself out there. You just, don't want to - and it's not as scary as it seems in the beginning. For sure.
Kate Kordsmeier 36:57
Such good advice. Thanks so much for being here. Can remind everybody where they can find you?
Kim Reynolds 37:02
Yep, you can go to kitchenlit.com, and I'm on Instagram at My Kitchen Lit, and on Facebook at Kitchen Lit.
Kate Kordsmeier 37:09
Awesome. Thanks, Kim.
Kim Reynolds 37:12
Kate Kordsmeier 37:17
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We are an LGBTQIA-affirming, interfaith-oriented, diverse organization. We are committed to social and environmental justice, including civil rights, dismantling systems of oppression like the Patriarchy, White Supremacy and Diet Culture. We believe Black Lives Matter.