When you’re the CEO, you’ve got to act like one. There is no time not to! You should be making time for these seven essential things in your business. Not just run a food blog, but to lead it with confidence and success.
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Bloggers wear a lot of hats: recipe developer, photographer, researcher, writer, video editor, social media manager, accountant — and those just scratch the surface.
But the CEO hat is the most important one, as what you do as the CEO sets the tone, pace and priorities for all the other jobs you do. If you have your own food blog, you’ve got to start calling yourself the CEO. You are running a business, after all!
To act like a CEO, think of the CEOs of the companies you love. They’re likely not actively working the sales floor or manufacturing the items. (It’s okay if you are, though! Some of the nitty gritty is the really fun part.) They’re probably in lots of meetings with board members, reviewing lots of numbers and making sure every piece of the business is moving forward in the right direction. CEO time is valuable.
They’re also doing all seven of the things below. Are you doing all of those things? Let’s find out.
1. Set goals.
Goals are the heart of any business. They drive you to improve your products and — of course — make more money. They are the motivation that keeps you going. CEOs and their teams usually put together a road map of where they want to be in every area of the business in different time chunks:
- in 5 years
- in 10 years
- and even beyond…
Have you thought that far ahead in your business? Of course, businesses can change and you may not do half the stuff you write down — but this set of goals is a great starting point for what direction you’d like to go. Take an afternoon to come up with some smart goals for your blog which can get you poised to make big strides in the coming months and years.
2. Plan ahead.
Once you have a solid set of goals, you really only have a destination. The rest of the road map CEOs use is figuring out how to get there.
Growing a blog is hard work and you can’t reach your goals without a solid plan. (Trust me, I’ve tried!)
3. Manage your time.
CEOs have the same amount of time in the day as anyone else, so it’s all about using that time to the max. Time management is always a work-in-progress, I know, but keeping at it is what matters here!
My favorite thing to do is plan out my ideal week with every single thing I need to do time-blocked — even personal stuff! The weeks when I take the time to plan out my daily priorities and the week ahead ahead are always my most productive weeks. On the weeks when I forget, I feel more frazzled and out of control.
Working smarter is all about working efficiently, so take some time to figure out some ways to increase productivity in less time. There are a few things that can wreck your productivity — start there and see if you can stop doing them! Batching tasks is another great way to start getting ahead.
4. Build a team and outsource.
So again, you’re the CEO and the time you have is finite. At some point, you won’t be able to grow and continue to do all.the.things. You’re going to need some help!
Hiring out a few tasks is the first step in building a team. It doesn’t have to look like several people working 40 hours a week. Start small and add on what you need as you go.
This could look like getting some help cleaning your house so you have more work time, or it could be hiring someone to take business work off your plate, like a social media manager. It could even mean grocery delivery or hiring someone to wash dishes after a shoot day.
5. Implement systems.
A good system really helps with productivity for everyone on your team. You probably already have some standard operating procedures, even if you’ve never written them down.
A project management tool is also very helpful. You can start small with a spreadsheet, but a good power-up is setting up a tool like Asana, Airtable or ClickUp.
One thing to note: YOU don’t have to be the one who designs and maintains those systems. That’s what building a team is all about. You can hire an expert to design it for you. You can also hire an assistant who keeps the system running smoothly and makes improvements as needed. Keeping the system working is what counts.
6. Review and report.
CEOs also need numbers to help them make strategic decisions. One way to spend your CEO time is to pull reports on things like:
- ranking changes
- traffic growth
- social media followers
This is something that can be outsourced as well, but you will still need to make time to review the data so you can know what is going on in your business. You need these numbers to make decisions about traffic growth, hiring, spending, content and more — and where and how to devote time and money in your business.
My advice? Plan out a CEO Day (or two!) every month to make time for your top business tasks like this. It’s also a good idea to take time at the end of each quarter to review progress and re-assess goals for the next quarter.
7. Make time for growth.
Finally, CEOs know there is always room for improvement, and they make time for it. Just like you might make time to go to the gym, you need to set aside time to exercise your brain and learn more about running your business.
As a food blogger you probably know about — or even have already paid for — a handful of courses. You might even have some of my favorite books for food bloggers on your shelf, waiting to be read.
It’s time to do something about them and actually learn the stuff you want to and need to! Maybe you start listening to a business podcast or audiobook on your weekly errands, read an inspiring book on your lunch break or watch videos from a course while you walk on the treadmill.
So, fellow food blog CEOs, what will you be adding to your plate and what will you be taking off? I’d love to hear it on Instagram.