New York Times bestselling author, slow cooking expert and mommy blogger next door
  • Subscribe to newsletter
  • Follow me on Pinterest
  • Follow me on Twitter
  • Become a fan on Facebook
  • Follow me on Google Plus

Totally Together

Patience, and Other Blogging Virtues

May 1, 2013 by  

Patience (and other blogging virtues) -  Part of The Business of Blogging series

This is another installment in my The Business of Blogging Series.

I have been blogging full-time since 2008, and have been hesitant to share my successes “out loud” with very many people because I worry about 1) jinxing it and 2) being show-offy

and I’m not a show-offy person, and I worry a lot about karma and good will and even feng shui.

But I’ve gotten to thinking about why I do what I do and why I started what I started. And honestly, I just like helping people. Specifically other moms.

I like to help people.

I wrote the proposal for the Totally Together Journal way back in 2004 (I was pregnant with my second). I wanted a way to help other mothers, and thought I could be of service in some way. It took YEARS to get that book to the market.

In the mean time, I started the slow cooking site, and wrote the corresponding cookbooks. The very best part of my day is waking up to Thank You emails and tweets. I love that I can somehow help other busy families get healthy, satisfying, budget -friendly (and gluten free, to boot!) meals on the table. I am proud of that.

I worry sometimes about being too proud. I worry about being a braggart, and I worry that others will feel that my success isn’t warranted or that somebody handed me something. I worry that someone, somewhere will think that I must “know someone” and that’s how I got on tv or got book deals, or how I get a lot of people to my website.

and so I don’t talk about my achievements.

or yet I haven’t, much.

 I’m beginning to realize that while I can’t write HTML to save my life, I actually do know a lot about blogging.

I spent last Saturday in Los Angeles with Adam. We flew in so I could speak at the Latina Lifestyle Blogging Convention about Ethics and Blogging (they knew I’m Scottish…!).

And I realized, I know an awful lot about blogging. An awful lot. I’ve learned through trial and error and have been very lucky in my blogging and social media endeavors.

And I figured that EVERYBODY who has blogged for as long as I have has achieved similar results, and am finding out (through talking to friends/acquaintances) that this is not the case.

I make a very good living at this. And I’m having fun.

I make over 100k directly from my websites.

and I do this all, from home, in my pajamas, while I care for my children.

And it’s not that hard.

This post is titled PATIENCE. Because I truly believe that ANYONE, ANYWHERE can have this level of success if they map out a business plan and are patient. The money is out there. The opportunities are out there.

Don’t worry about what so-and-so is doing. Don’t compare your site to anyone else’s. Learn how to write for SEO and give your readers what they want.

I want to help —- my hope is that I can somehow help other people/moms create additional streams of income for their family’s budget.

I feel incredibly fortunate to be living the life I am living, and I would like to help.

If you have questions about future installments for this series, please let me know in the comments below. I’ve finally gotten the green light from Adam to talk candidly (sort of. LOL) and I would really like to offer any help I can. oxox steph


OH! and I should probably explain the above photo of the grape vine. I planted that vine 4 years ago, and the leaves promptly all fell off. I kept watering and fertilizing it even though it looked like a dead stick. For 4 years. And this spring? Not only are there leaves, there are teensy tiny grape bundles! Patience. It’s a virtue! :-0


This is part of the Business of Blogging series.

Part 1: The Business of Blogging

Part 2: Figuring Out Your Internet Voice

Part 3: Writing for Search Engines Doesn’t Mean Selling Your Soul

Part 4: Is Self-Esteem Tied into Sitemeter?

Part 5: Patience, and Other Blogging Virtues

and other stuff:

10 Best Business-y Books

Creating a (non-cheesy) Vision Board

Working from Home with Small Children in the House

Post a comment · 22 Comments »


22 Responses to “Patience, and Other Blogging Virtues”

  1. The Cocktail Lady on May 1st, 2013 12:52 pm

    Steph you are amazing! Solid proof that if you have patience and believe in yourself and what you’re doing, good things will come and it will pay off in the end! I’m proud of you and all that you have accomplished over the past 5 years. Love You! xoxoxoxo

    • Stephanie on May 1st, 2013 3:21 pm

      love you too, Jen! oxox

  2. ange on May 1st, 2013 2:07 pm

    I have loved your blog for years! As a blogger, it is always wonderful to hear successful bloggers sharing their wisdom and encouraging us! Thank you!!! Not only do you help me feed my family with great recipes, you feed my blogging knowledge too! So happy for your success!

    • Stephanie on May 1st, 2013 3:21 pm

      thank you, ange! I’ve had an awful lot of fun with all of this. xoxo

  3. Bothsidesoftheatlantic on May 1st, 2013 3:13 pm

    I have been reading your blogs for the past 3 years & thanks to you feel like my husband & I made a smooth transition from “just us” to a family (with #2 due in may!). This post is perfect timing for me as I’m only just beginning a blog of my own and while there is a huge learning curve ahead of me, I am truly excited to see where it takes me! Thanks for everything you do! Oh & I totally give like everyone make it fast, cook it slow with slow cookers as gifts!!!

    Can’t wait to see what blogging advice you have now!!


    • Stephanie on May 1st, 2013 3:21 pm

      Congratulations on your impending arrival, Denise!! I’m so happy that I can be of any value to you and your family. thank you for letting me know. xoxo

  4. Tara on May 1st, 2013 3:37 pm

    Your crockpot blog was one of the first sites I ever actively followed. I really liked how you said not to compare my blog to others. I think I would go crazy if I kept doing that.

    I love seeing how successful you’ve been with your blog. It’s so inspirational!

    • Stephanie on May 1st, 2013 4:37 pm

      thanks, Tara! oxox

  5. Julie on May 1st, 2013 7:15 pm

    What the what?? For reals?? Oh my stars and garters, total snaps to you for becoming so successful financially through blogging! I have always felt like your CP blog and TTJ have such a calming effect – don’t know if that’s intentional or not, but in the frantic enthusiasm of other blogs, yours just peaces me out. So happy for you! Keep ’em coming, girl!

    • Stephanie on May 2nd, 2013 10:07 am

      :-) xxoox Julie.

  6. Anne Buttarazzi on May 2nd, 2013 7:19 am

    Hi Stephanie –

    I have been following you for a year or so, and just had to respond. First off, today is my daughter’s 13th birthday, and what did she request for her bday dinner? Your crock pot cream cheese chicken dinner! Good stuff!

    Secondly, I have been a SAHM for 15 years, and am getting back into the workforce. Although I am not a blogger, I have realized by reading your blog and others is that you have to stay true to who you are, ignore the naysayers and just go with your passion. So thank you!

    Finally, congratulations to you! You are awesome and genuine. You deserve every bit of good fortune! Here’s to continued success!

    All the best,

    • Stephanie on May 2nd, 2013 10:07 am

      happy birthday to your daughter!! thank you for the kind words — I’m so happy that I can be of help. We like cream cheese chicken, too!!

  7. Holly on May 2nd, 2013 8:33 am

    I am blown away that you are so incredibly successful (financially) – NOT because I don’t think your sites deserve it, but because you come across as so down-to-earth and, well, just NICE! I dealt with a lot of bloggers when I was writing my interview series, and you were by far the nicest one.

    Thank you for sharing your insights – I will definitely read the rest of the blogger series (didn’t know about it until now) and hope eagerly for more. :-)

    You rock, Stephanie! 😀

    • Stephanie on May 2nd, 2013 9:55 am

      thanks, Holly, that means a lot. I try my hardest to be the same in writing as I hope I am in real life. It helps that I’m pretty darn frugal. we’ve got a lot in common! :-)

  8. Sandy Cooper on May 2nd, 2013 11:41 am


    You have no idea how divinely inspired your timing is on this. I’ve been in a HUGE blog funk lately. Moments before I read your post, I told a friend, “People who have blogged since 2008–like me–have either been tremendously successful by now or they have given up. Except me. I’m just chug, chug, chugging along. I just don’t know if I should even continue.”

    I read all the blogs about growing your blog–and quite honestly, get very overwhelmed with the amount of information. I’m not sure what to focus on, because it all seems so important.

    So, I just keep trying to put out good content and hope it will grow.


    I would love to learn more from you. I know there are so many things I could do, should do. And I also know “success” is not the same for everyone–the income is nice, but I would really rather have the increased readership so I can go ahead and publish the books I have in my head. (I even have a major publisher who said once I grow my platform, he will publish my book and entertain any other book ideas I have).

    I know that after this many years, I need a very clear plan if I want my blog to grow. I just don’t know what to put on that plan.

    I think I may e-mail you privately with my questions and issues and perhaps you can use the e-mail as inspiration for future posts. Or you can just take me under your wing and I’ll do whatever you tell me to do.



    • Stephanie on May 2nd, 2013 12:42 pm

      I love hearing from you, Sandy. This site gets hardly any traffic — about 300 people a day (I need to work on it!). The slow cooker site is an uber tight niche, and that is what is helpful when trying to get google traffic.
      the google traffic is only helpful, though, when you are trying to make an income off of ad revenue. You can build an author’s platform from facebook and twitter which might impress your publisher.
      Your site is on wordpress. I’d recommend installing or have your designer install that Yoast SEO plugin. I have found it helpful for this site to try and get the “green” dot to make the posts SEO friendly. and you are more than welcome at ANY time to email me. oxox

  9. Andrea on May 2nd, 2013 12:27 pm

    Good for you. Never be ashamed to share your success. Really the only ones who complain about it are jealous. I know to celebrate success because one day it could be me.

    I work full time but I’m so proud of my career and the benefits it has brought to my family. While working from home is not something I aspire to, I love to hear stories of success from people who work hard and have patience.

    • Stephanie on May 2nd, 2013 12:37 pm

      thank you for sharing your perspective, Andrea. I am hesitant to share sometimes because I worry that others might think I feel that everyone should stay home or work from home, and I most certainly do not feel that way. It was the right thing, at the time, for me to stop working (2yr old was getting sick constantly, didn’t know what it was, ended up being Celiac — this was back in 2006) —

      anyway — thank you for commenting; I appreciate it very much. xoxo

  10. Shirley @ gfe & All Gluten-Free Desserts on May 2nd, 2013 5:09 pm

    Steph, I so appreciate you sharing this post with us all! You are such a great business person/blogger/author and are so inspirational to each and every one of us who follow you. I know that you have worked hard for your success though. You show us all that this blogging stuff and all that comes from it can be fun, but one has to have a plan and be disciplined, too. Thanks again for sharing and being you!


    • Stephanie on May 2nd, 2013 5:15 pm

      thanks, Shirley. I never feel disciplined, until I realize that I guess I am. 😉 that doesn’t really make sense, huh?! I’m a study in contradictions…
      but I do have yearly, quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily goals. is that discipline? type A obsessive-compulsive disorder? who knows…. oxox

  11. lu on May 6th, 2013 3:20 pm

    Uh-oh. I feel inspiration coming my way! Though I LOVE what I do, it most certainly does NOT pay the bills for this single mama of three. I’ve been struggling as of late with what I deem a gross lack of balance in my life. Hmmm, if only there was a way to hold onto/nurture my current dream and find a way to supplement it with a bit of financial security…ahhh-hah!

    I am so, so, so very proud to say I knew you when…wait, it’s absolutely true that you have not changed one, teeny-tiny bit….well, if it’s possible you may be even more fabulous! Love you, Steph- xoxo

    • Stephanie on May 6th, 2013 3:27 pm

      you are wonderful, LuAnn. xoxoxo I still look back at the first time we met when Adam tried to find a corkscrew quite fondly.

Leave a reply