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Have you ever dreamed of launching a physical product for your blog? Today’s guest, Suzy Karadsheh of the site, The Mediterranean Dish did just that! However, today’s discussion has us also talking about the tools she used to grow her site to a successful blog, so much so that her husband quit his job and they now work together. You’ll love Suzy’s dedication to her audience and the authenticity in which she lives her life and how she shares about it on social media and her blog.
Suzy grew up in Egypt where she ate mediterranean food all the time. At some point in her life she immigrated to the United States and was successful in her career. However, a move for her husband’s job found her struggling to find a new job. She was suddenly in the midwest, away from family and friends and trying to find her place in this world.
That’s when her husband surprised her with a domain name, “The Mediterranean Dish.” Suzy wasn’t sold on the concept of it at that time, but did spend some time researching.
Then another move for her husband’s job happened and Suzy was again trying to figure out what to do. That’s when she decided to get on board with the idea of having a food blog. She thought it would be a great opportunity for her because it was location indepdnent. She could do this work from anywhere!
And she decided her time spent in the Midwest was helpful because she know knew the issues people faced in getting good, quality ingredients for Mediterranean cooking.
Having a Vision
She realized that it had helped so much that her husband had a vision for her blog to be the online resource for mediterranean recipes. And now Suzy loves that her blog is so authentic to her life and the way she eats and lives her life.
Her husband inspired her to keep at it in the early days, and eventually Suzy realized the vision for herself as well.
Working For Yourself
It’s not always easy working for yourself and Suzy talks about the self-discipline necessary to stay motivated from day-to-day. The skills she developed in her job helped her a lot to create goals as a blogger.
Suzy created a schedule to help herself stay on track. And she’s hired a filming crew to come into the house regularly to create video for her site. And she’s discovered as a result that she loves creating cooking show videos!
Timing is Everything!
It helped that recent studies have pointed to the extreme health benefits of a Mediterranean diet. That really gave her site a lot of buzz. Of course, Suzy did the hard work of creating high quality recipes that people could make. The site has done so well that now Suzy’s husband has quit his job and is working for the blog as well. Now, they’re in this together!
Growing Her Site
Consistency was a big part of the steps that Suzy took to grow her site. She went from posting irregularly to posting new recipes on a schedule.
She also added more about the lifestyle itself rather than only recipes. She credits the entire Mediterranean Lifestyle as a way of creating a healthy life, not just the diet. Then, something just clicked in her head about what content people needed.
It helped that her audience was sending her emails so she knew her content was resonating. She felt confident in her work and it showed!
She also focused on growing her email list and creating a presence on social media. She asked herself where her audience was and how to meet them there.
Finally, she started to hone her voice and not waiver on her niche. It’s easy to see what everyone else is writing and sharing. She felt that desire to want to expand into different topics to be like everyone else. But, in the end, she realized the importance of staying true to her message. That concept has helped her so much!
Suzy oftentimes asks herself these questions:
- What am I cooking next
- Does it serve my audience
- Is it within my focus
She was more deliberate about her mission and felt comfortable about sticking with her niche in the face of the diversity of content from other food bloggers.
It’s important to focus on running your own race. Blogging can be very competitive and it’s easy to get caught up in all that, but that can make you stray from your own content.
I kind of put blinders on to everything outside and honed in on my own voice and my own purpose.Suzy Karadsheh of The Mediterranean Dish
The challenge of having a niche, as Suzy describes it, is that you can’t just get up in the morning and write about anything. Her audience wouldn’t want to see a taco recipe from her. So as popular as Taco Tuesday became, she wasn’t going to go there.
Suzy realized that everybody wasn’t her audience. She was trying to be a resource to some, not all. She was serving the people who were interested in a Mediterranean diet and lifestyle.
Suzy went on a journey through blogging and she came out the other side with this notion: focus, focus, focus!
Launching a Physical Product
Suzy and her husband saw the need based on emails from her readers for authentic, high-quality spices and olive oils. As a result felt that launching a physical product, selling oils and spices to her readers, would be the best step.
There’s a process behind these products to provide organic, locally grown ingredients. Her audience really loves it too! Some of her olive oil companies are family owned and are hand-picking the olives.
My goal in life is not simply to blog, it is to be that resource…for Mediterranean cooking and the Mediterranean lifestyle. So there’s the recipes, there are the products, and we don’t know what else will happen.Suzy Karadsheh of The Mediterranean Dish
Believe In Yourself
Suzy encourages you to stay the course, because working through hard and difficult times can be so rewarding.
“One can beat up on themselves so hard because they’re not doing the one thing that somebody else is great at.”Suzy Karadsheh of The Mediterranean Dish
You have to do what works for you. You have to run your own course and figure out what makes you happy.
Show Notes: Launching a Physical Product
Use these resources mentioned in todays show on launching a physical product for your blog:
- Connect with Suzy on her site: The Mediterranean Dish
- Say thanks to our guest today with a shout-out on: Instagram
- Suzy talks about the The Mediterranean Dish Shopping Page where they have branded products for sale.
- Check out The Mediterranean Dish YouTube channel
- Related Post: Here’s Laurie Buckle talking about Food Bloggers Creating a Vision Statement
- Connect with Chopped Academy Online: Instagram | Twitter
- Related Post: Wow. This discussion with Ali Maffucci of InSpiralized talking about Creative Business Strategies! It’s impressive the things you can do as a food blogger!
- Connect with Marly: Namely Marly | Instagram | Twitter
- Today’s post production, music, graphic art & sound design by Shawn Beelman
- Subscribe below to be the first to hear about future Chopped Podcast episodes and get some awesome tips on food blogging. You can subscribe at the bottom of this page. You’ll be glad you did!
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