Changing the Game

Years ago we used to actively blog a lot about our day-to-day life. Back before there were over 100k social media followers and several media platforms that we managed, before the blog was “a resource for the community” we used to share our lives; before we had a team of people employed to help us keep up.

In preparing for this today’s newsletter release I got a bit nostalgic. I thought of how enjoyable it was to have a holiday, create a menu, take days sharing each recipe and the photos of our day and journey with you all. I loved looking back at old posts and seeing the memories we’ve made in years passed. And I realized there I was, writing a newsletter because the marketing guru’s tell me that is what the most effective form of communication with our fanbase is.

A newsletter only 10% of our visitors subscribe to, of which only 30% open and read. A newsletter our team spent hours drafting, Matt spent 2 hours editing and I then spent 2 more hours further editing. That’s right, we spent something like 8 total working hours on a newsletter some 3% of our regular visitors will actually read.

All for a platform I won’t look back on a year from now or 3 years from now to see all the photos and memories I made with my boys over this wonderful Spring Break.

So here’s what I propose.

We’re going to try to be less uppity about how many people are reading the posts and get back to doing what we love, blogging and being real. No more self-induced pressure for posts to be inspiring, moving, deep and who knows what else we tell ourselves. Instead, we’ll just post about what moves us in the moment in the shortest amount of time it takes to post so that we can continue to have a happy home balance.

I’m going to ask the team to put half the amount of effort they put into the newsletter each week and the other half into a blog post that recaps our week through the social media photos we share, in case you weren’t constantly tethered to an electronic device waiting with baited breath and watching our every move.

In return here’s what I ask.

You actually visit the blog. Comment on posts. Engage in social media you find most enjoyable. Help us spend less time worrying about how to engage you and just let us know when we’re being engaging. I don’t want the blog to become the thing I always feared: a business. We’ve intentionally made it a hobby so we could avoid worrying about ensuring it generates a certain requisite revenue, and now’s the time we’re actually going to start doing that.

I’m really looking forward to seeing more of us here. I hope you are, too.

♥♥♥

Here’s our recap from the week, and I promise next week we’ll have better photos since it won’t be me doing it at 11pm at night in an emotional binge after having a week off to think and relax.

Spring Break, Paleo Parents Style!

What a jam packed week we are having! We started off with a long weekend in Austin, TX for Paleo FX and we had an AWESOME time!

paleofxcollage

Man, what a whirlwind! We really enjoy Paleo f(x) for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that it’s the most accessible of the paleo events on the calendar. Austin is practically dead center of the country, making it the best place for East and West Coasts to collide. So you’ll see everyone from Nom Nom Paleo and Robb Wolf to Sarah Ballantyne and Diane Sanfilippo in one place. Any big name you’d want to meet will be there and willing to talk to you! You’ll look up, like Matt did, and find that you’ve been standing next to Mark Sisson for the past 10 minutes.

Not only that, but the conference really focuses on presenting practical information for you to truly incorporate into your life. Unlike AHS, the more scientifically based conference, with PFX you won’t need to bring your science-to-English dictionary to presentations! Plus, the exercise sessions add something you won’t find anywhere else. Stacy (with Melissa Joulwan and other awesome ladies) got to get training from Eva Twardokens on Deadlifts & Squats for Women – where else can you get world renowned super stars to smack your butt and grab your hips to show you how to ensure you’ve got great form?!

 

stacy and eva
Plus, Austin is a great place for people who love food. We got to hit the grass-fed burger joint Wholly Cow Burger to eat their portabello mushroom cap bun Fit Cross burger. We got grass fed gelato from Dolce Neve while the Italian owner engaged in lengthy conversation with Stacy about Strongman. At Salt and Time we got to order off the “Odd Bits” menu and enjoy fantastically prepared pig heart (and share with our brave table mates). We enjoyed delicious sushi at Uchi. And, we LOVED, Picnik Austin! Not only did they serve us butter coffee and wonderful blondies, but the owner Naomi (the paleo cheerleader) also showed us terrific hospitality! We also got to see the faces behind our favorite products like Eating Evolved, Whole Me, Choffy, Epic, Tessemae’s, Cappello’s and Primal Life Organics. And there’s new products we now love like Live Kombucha Soda, Dirt tooth care, and EXO Cricket bars!

And of course we love getting to see our friends. Stacy and Sarah got to record an episode of The Paleo View in the same room finally! We got to stay in the same house with the adorably pregnant Danielle of Against All Grain and hang out extensively with Stefani Ruper and Russ Crandall. We got to meet autoimmune protocol veteran Mickey Trescott. The talented illustrator Alex Boake came in all the way from Toronto. Tony Federico and Stacy bonded over Tony going from an unathletic teen to being a figure in a health and exercise movement. We saw the biggest paleo authors like Bill and Hayley from Primal Palate, Kelly from Spunky Coconut, Jenni & Ben of The Urban Poser, Juli from PaleOMG, Caitlin and Nabil from Grass-Fed Girl, and Michelle from Nom Nom Paleo. Stacy got the talented pastry genius Brittany Angell to chew on pig heart for almost a minute! We also enjoyed seeing our Texas natives Bo Duncan, Josh Weissman and Melissa Joulwan in their native state. Stacy even got to meet her new-found girlcrush, Stephanie from Stupid Easy Paleo! You’ll find quite a few of them on our podcast this week talking about “things you don’t know about paleo bloggers!”

 

24dinerlunch

Overall, Paleo f(x) is circled on our calendar every year and we intend to be there next year as well. We heard a rumor there’s even one scheduled for Colorado in October and we’re hoping we can pull that off too! If you went, we want you to know how much every one of you who said hi and told us how we were influencing your life meant to us. You really encourage us to keep working to make PaleoParents even better! And if we didn’t see you there this year, hopefully next year will be your year to make the trip!

After we got back we headed straight for a river-front cabin (Spring Break tradition) to have a relaxing spring break with our 3 precious boys and some friends! We had a great time paying board games, building forts, lighting sparklers, and spoiling our boys with much needed attention.

cabin_collage
Yep, as if the late flight and restless night Sunday was not enough stress on our body, we got up the next morning and packed up the kids to spend a couple nights at the “cabin” at Algonkian Regional Park!

Really, it’s an excuse to spend uninterrupted time with our kids after 4 days apart. We got to play board games like Headbanz and our family favorite Munchkin (Axe Cop and Zombie versions, of course!). We spent time relaxing in the hot tub and going on hikes. And of course we made some delicious food!

We are loving spending time with our family and friends. As we’ve blogged about before, this site and all that goes with it are a “hobby” for us and not a “job” so it’s important we take time off and enjoy life. This Spring Break has been a true “break” from the stressful parts of life and allowed us to reconnect as a couple and as a family. We’re behind on our book deadline (what author haven’t you heard that from!), our inboxes and to-do lists are running wild, but sometimes it just doesn’t matter. Always take time for yourself to enjoy life and be present! ♥

About Stacy

Stacy Toth has written 385 post in this blog.

Stacy is the matriarch of the Paleo Parents family. After beginning a paleo diet and founding PaleoParents.com in 2010, she lost 135 pounds and found health and happiness for the whole family. The following three years have been a progressive journey with a mission to educate people about nourishing their bodies by eating real foods. Stacy can be found on all forms of social media as @PaleoParents as well as the top-rated The Paleo View Podcast and her two cookbooks, Eat Like a Dinosaur and Beyond Bacon.

  • Petra

    It sounds like à really good idea! Looking forward to keep following you and your family.

  • http://www.tinsenpup.net tinsenpup

    Consider me engaged. Paleo f(x) looks amazing. It’s tough living Paleo (with multiple food sensitivities) with only the Internet for company. Eating very differently to everyone around you can be pretty alienating (as I’m sure you know).

  • http://foodponderings.blogspot.com/ Heather J

    Love it! Yes, go back to your roots, and thank you for all you do.

  • Colleen

    I will definitely be checking back on the blog! I am looking forward to seeing more about your family and living paleo. All the talk of “engagement” on a lot of paleo facebook stuff has gotten weary. I love your family’s let’s get real approach to paleo.

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      None of us bloggers like it, the system is so silly and sometimes sucks us in an attempt to reach the people we know want to read our content. Instead of focusing so much on all the “fringe” stuff, I think we’ll be getting back to focusing on just the blog part and hoping check in on us for what they’re looking for – rather than just media! :) That’s not to say we still won’t be on media, Stacy LOVES Instagram and Facebook – we’ll just be reprioritizing a bit and are looking forward to some more brain dumps and lifestyle shares on the blog instead of just IG/FB!

  • Jennifer

    Great idea, really enjoyed the post !

  • Eleanor

    Love this post, and totally support you going back to ‘old school’ blogging. I do love your newsletter, too! So don’t feel like that effort has been for nothing! As a fat paleo Mom of two boys with a stay-at-home-Dad husband, I find so much inspiration in your family….I look forward to more of your slice of life posts :)

  • Ali

    Love the new idea! Thanks! You guys are great and so inspirational!

  • Courtney @ Cookin Up Life

    I love this! Thanks for all you and the team do to keep Paleo Parents awesome :)

  • Chantel

    These posts are why I read blogs. Maybe it’s the small country town busy body in me, but I love to see a snapshot of what people are doing and not just on Instagram (I like words). Thank you for doing what you do x

  • Kara F.

    Appreciate your perspective and sharing – keep it up, no matter the pace!

  • Kiersten

    Stacy, I met you at Picnik’s one year anniversary party on Saturday of Paleo f(x)… I was the awkward girl that offered you the hard cider :) It was so great to meet you and I’m glad you had fun in Austin!

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      You weren’t awkward! I totally imposed and you were so generous – thank you!!

      • Kiersten

        It was the least I could do to thank you for all you do!

  • leslie

    Yay for the new path (or reversion to the old one)! I get overwhelmed by all the forms of social media I’m supposed to follow people on. I like blogs like this. It’s fun to scroll through and read them on my lunch break or other random times. These are the kinds of posts, the reality of everyday and how you fit it into your paleo life, that make following blogs fun and keep me inspired to maintain my own path. Thanks!

    • Nancy B.

      Well said Leslie. That’s how I feel too!

  • Laura Rockow

    Love this!

  • Amanda

    Great post! It’s important to unplug and just enjoy life.

  • Kelli

    Yes! I hate to admit it but your newsletter goes into my junk mail…. I just never read it. I don’t read anybody’s newsletters though so don’t feel bad! I do, however, check your blog everyday and love posts like this. Just do what you love and people will dig it! (Also I love y’alls instagram too!)

  • twinmom1991

    Great idea on the blog! Love your ideas.

  • Danielle C

    I really enjoyed meeting you guys at Paleofx and I’m looking forward to seeing the changes!

  • http://marthaflorence.typepad.com Martha R

    Thank you for this! I’ve noticed many of the bloggers I read all are attending and reviewing the same events and products. I did not start reading them because I wanted to hear 10 different perspectives on the same blogger event, I was interested in their daily lives.

  • lee

    Great post!

  • http://thissydneylife.wordpress.com This Sydney Life

    Call me old fashioned, but I love the blog. Great post!

  • Mindy

    Absolutely love this! I’m always so validated to know you go through the same work – family – life balance conversations that I do. What you are doing is such a huge influence on me. Thank you for all that you do and share!

  • Claire

    I love reading blogs that aren’t just resources – I want to find out about how the people behind them are living, what they get up to and how it works for them. I’m a new reader and was thrilled to see this post – looking forward to reading more like it! Also, I’m based in the UK but am super envious of Paleo fx, it looks amazing with so many big names hanging out.

  • Laura Kenlin Meiser

    I think this is a great idea. Of course the other media is important, but for me, I want to see how you’re walking the walk, so to speak. Whereas my kids are a bit older than yours, it’s encouraging to see how you are incorporating a paleo lifestyle into their lives. My 14 year old pushes back a lot since she clearly remembers our “everything in moderation/have some crusty Italian bread with your pasta” nights. I want to see real. Because my life is also real. So yes…thank you!

  • http://babbleandbloom.com Mary

    Love love love this! The ‘real life’ posts are the ones I absolutely read on all of the blogs I follow, regardless of their ‘niche’. Looking forward to seeing more like this!

  • amazonrose

    I will be happy to check in and read the blog, I’m not on Facebook as much as I used to be, but am always looking for some good reading when I have a down moment at work (I’m in a hospital call center, so my work load waxes and wanes with how busy the phones are). Thank you for always inspiring and encouraging content. I hope to do what you do someday soon!

  • SunGryphon

    Yay! I love that you’re going back to the reason I started reading this blog in the first place :D

  • holly

    Yes! I love the blog. It’s what helped us through transitioning our boys (along with ELAD of course!)

  • Sunny

    I am sadly one of those people that subscribed to but didn’t read the emails . . . but when I have time or see a post mentioned on instagram, I come over to the blog and really enjoy the “day in the life” posts! Especially hearing about how you balance working in an office and everything else you have going on, since I myself am heading for an office soon. It helps me remember that you can be healthy and doing the best you can, and still be a business woman. Thank you!