This week on the podcast I’m sitting down with one of my first podcast guests, Katie Dodd, to talk about her journey from full-time employee to now full-time entrepreneur.
In this episode, Katie shares:
- How she made the difficult decision to leave her six-figure job to pursue entrepreneurship full-time
- How she’s making MORE money now as an entrepreneur than she did in her full-time job
- What it felt like to watch her website traffic grow by 100x in less than a year
- Her biggest pieces of advice for growing a blog without working yourself into the ground
- How her revenue streams have diversified over the last two years
- The #1 thing she attributes for most of her entrepreneurial success
As a side hustler turned successful business owner and entrepreneur, Katie now helps other dietitians turn their entrepreneurial dreams into reality. Tune in to this episode to hear her inspirational story and learn how YOU can get started today, too.
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More About Katie Dodd
Katie is a geriatric dietitian, writer, speaker, consultant, mentor, and leader. She is the owner of Katie Dodd Nutrition LLC, founder of The Geriatric Dietitian blog and High Calorie Recipes food blog, and the host Dietitian Side Hustle podcast. She is lives in Medford, OR and is mom to Gavin and Emily.
Connect with Katie
- Website: dietitiansidehustle.com
- Facebook: Dietitian Side Hustle
- Instagram: @dietitiansidehustle
- LinkedIn: Katie M. Dodd, MS, RDN, CSG, LD, FAND
- YouTube: Dietitian Side Hustle
- Podcast: Dietitian Side Hustle
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Erica Julson: This week’s episode is going to be a super fun one. I’m catching up with one of my first podcast guest, Katie Dodd. If you don’t know Katie, she is awesome. She actually got her blogging start with my SEO made simple course and has just absolutely crushed it online. Last time we spoke, she was working full-time for the VA and was just starting to see hints of success from blogging, with an SEO strategy. Now, just over two years later, she’s earning almost the equivalent of the average RD’s full-time salary through that blog Working on it only a few hours per month. And she has several other exciting projects in the works as well. In this episode, Katie and I discuss what it felt like to watch her website traffic grow by a hundred times in less than a year. Katie’s biggest pieces of advice for growing a blog and getting accepted into media vine without working yourself into the ground.
How her revenue streams have diversified over the last two years and how she made the difficult decision to leave her six-figure job, which she loved to pursue entrepreneurship full-time and spoiler alert. She’s now earning more than ever. And finally we end with the number one thing, Katie attributes for most of her entrepreneurial success. I can’t wait for you to hear her story. I know you will leave here Extremely inspired. And if you’re interested in getting the exclusive invite to join my course, SEO made simple, just head on over to seowaitlist.com and add your name to the list. Joining the list is the only way to get into the course right now. So definitely sign up if you’re interested. You’ll receive a few emails from me about SEO plus an invitation to watch my free masterclass that spills all the details of how you can use my highly effective framework for growing your website, traffic as a food, nutrition, or wellness professional. After the masterclass you’ll have the opportunity to join the course. I can’t wait to see you inside my private community. And without further ado, let’s dive in.
Erica Julson: Hello, Katie. And welcome back to the podcast. And you are actually the first repeat guest I’ve had on this show.
Katie Dodd: Hey, I didn’t know. That’s so exciting.
Erica Julson: Yeah. so the last time we chatted was actually way back, I went back and looked. It was April, 2020 was when we recorded it and it aired in July, 2020.
So in case anyone wants to go back and listen to Katie’s first episode, it’s episode 27, and we titled it building a dietitian side hustle while still working full time and spoiler alert by the title of this episode. Katie is now full-time entrepreneur. So we have so many life updates to go through.
And I’m just really excited. I mean, we, before we started this recording, I was. Okay. I wanna ask you, but like, I need to wait and ask you when we’re recording so that I can get your actual response. So thank you for being here.
Katie Dodd: Yeah. And I can’t believe it’s been two years. I feel like I was just on the podcast. Where does the time go?
Erica Julson: I know, I know it’s well, I mean, maybe the pandemic has something to do with that, but it really has gone fast Last time we spoke, you were working full time with the VA I believe. And you had a few side hustles going on and I actually went back and looked at the episode, cuz I know so much has changed in the last two years for you.
So just to refresh your memory of where you were at the time that we recorded last, so we can compare, you were freelance writing through Upwork, you were doing some freelance editing webinars through dietitian central and you were doing some contract work with companies. Like you had mentioned, you did some work with Kodiak cakes, some meals on wheels stuff.
At that time I think you had enrolled in at that time I had my three courses live, so I had my SEO course, one about making money blogging and one that helped with getting email started. and I think you’d been enrolled for almost a year, maybe like 10 months or so at that point. And you had started a blog called the geriatric dietitian.
And this is hilarious. Looking back at the time that we were recorded, you were like, I just got a thousand visitors to my website this month. and can you just like, you know, I know that I’m jumping ahead, but like where are you at now with your traffic?
Katie Dodd: Oh, it’s ridiculous. I get way more than that. Every month or every day I get like over 3000 a day. So right now my website has it, you know, it goes up and down, but it right now it’s, it’s been over a hundred thousand consistently for quite a while now. So it’s,
Erica Julson: that’s so amazing. Yeah. Yeah. It’s crazy. yeah. And even back then, you had already started your brand, dietitian side hustle and you had launched a podcast. You have a Facebook group under that name. So you are doing a lot. You on top of freaking working a full time job, like you, your ability to just like go all in on your ideas is unreal. So yeah, let’s unpack your journey from April, 2020 to today. As you could probably tell, I’m personally very excited to hear about your blogging success so I know it’s been a while, as we just said, you were getting a thousand people to your site every month.
I think that’s a great example of how blogging is a long term game. So, so often we see the hockey stick like growth, but. I mean, if you’re doing it with SEO strategy in particular, it takes time for Google to pick up your site, even if you’re doing it right from the beginning. So I think it’s a great thing to highlight that almost one year in you are just celebrating, getting a thousand people to your site every month.
And some people might be discouraged by that and think, oh, like, am I doing it wrong? Like, it’s been almost a year, a thousand people like, yeah, that’s good, but it’s not a hundred thousand. Like when will it happen for me? So, when the episode aired, we checked in, so I could put an update in the intro.
So when you were one year in, you were getting 20,000, which going from, you know, 1000 to 20,000 is already a huge jump. In just a few short months in between when we recorded and when the episode aired. So, clearly there was a, a big hockey stick, like growth. Did that continue? Or like, what did that look like moving forward. Did, was it just like all of a sudden it took off and you were just so excited or how did that go?
Katie Dodd: Yeah, you know, I remember it ended up hitting this tipping point where I wasn’t getting a lot of traffic. Wasn’t getting a lot of traffic and then started increasing and continued to grow. I remember, you know, when it aired, we’re at 20,000, I remember I hit 25,000 visitors per month, which was my goal because that at the time was how much you had to have to qualify for media vine. I remember I was so close to that goal when media vine made their announcement 50,000 to apply. And at that moment I’m like, oh my gosh, I’m never gonna get to 50,000.
A few months later, I was at 50,000 qualified for Mediavine and then my website just continued to grow and grow. And I will say, it’s, you know, it’s been at a hundred thousand for a while. It goes up and down because I think that’s the nature of the blogging game. Sometimes you’re ranking for keyword, sometimes other people out there using their own SEO strategy, outran you, I don’t get in the weeds about what I can’t control.
I just focus on my own strategy, putting out more SEO-optimized articles, update articles, work on my backlink strategy. But I think at my highest point, I was around 140,000 visitors per month kind of trickled down. I’m around 105 right now, but lots of strategy in place. And that big vision of like my goal is a million a month. That’s my goal.
Erica Julson: Yep. And algorithm updates happen. So that is a good point as well. You will not escape the algorithm updates as a blogger. If you do it long enough, like you will be negatively impacted at some point. Like, even if you think you’re doing everything perfectly so
Katie Dodd: sometimes you’re positively, I’ve been positively impacted by it. Where all sudden, like I’ve done nothing in my growth. This is amazing, but it all comes down to that good SEO strategy that you teach. And if you have that in place and you just be consistent and you don’t get in the weeds about things that you can’t control exactly long term, you’re gonna win.
Erica Julson: Year over year, even when you get. More often than not you, if you look back like a year later, you’re still ahead of where you were. Oh yeah. The prior year. So overall you’re still growing. It’s just that the pace might get set back slightly, depending on what happens in any given update, but I can throw out an example with my old, nutrition blog that not really actively updating anymore, but I had the same thing happen.
I grew super, super fast. And I had a ton of traffic and then I got hit by an algorithm update and I was like, oh, this is so annoying. Like, I think my traffic dropped by like half. Yeah. It was a big hit, but I just kept publishing and it didn’t really change anything honestly about what I was doing.
And then by the next update, within the next six months, I was back to where I started. So yeah, it’s just the nature of the game. So yeah, you had shared, so let’s see, I went back and looked at the dates, I think December 1st, 2020, you posted in the group that a hooray you’d been accepted into media vine you had hit the 50k.
And your very first month in, you had earned, like over $1,300 in ad revenue. And obviously that’s the first month. So I bet your ads weren’t even optimized yet. So where are you at now in terms of passive income from ads?
Katie Dodd: Yeah. So passive income from ads. I have it pulled up just cuz I I’m, my memory is horrible and the thing, you know, it’s like blogging things go up and down. That’s how ads are my first month where I actually got paid was, at the tail end of, of December, which is a great time for ads. But then once it kind of got settled, it was January, which is like the lowest point for ads. So typically advertisers they’ll pay a ton during like the holidays. Like new year’s it’s like your, your pay drops.
So it good, good point. it definitely goes up and down and I’m actually really excited to see what it’s gonna look like. This year in the holiday season, cuz it’s phenomenal, but kind of just, looking back as far as my ad revenue, I have been making, gosh, between three and $4,000 per month just in ad revenue.
And that’s just one stream of income through my blog and it’s completely passive income. I’m doing the same thing now well probably working a little bit less. I’m sure we’ll talk about that. But I’m not doing anything different than when I was last on the podcast, as far as my strategy when it comes to blogging, but now my website’s making, you know, thousands of dollars every month in ad revenue. So yeah, my highest month for ad revenue was $4,409. So
Erica Julson: right. And like some people listening that could be, that’s almost like replacing some people. Full time jobs probably, absolutely. Depending where you live and what you’re doing. or at the very minimum could cover childcare or something like that.
it’s not chump change so I’m very excited to talk about, what you’ve done to get there. I actually went back because I think it’s always helpful for people to hear numbers. Obviously everyone’s niche is different and the type of content you’re creating is different. So don’t take this as gospel, but, I did look back and when you got accepted into Mediavine and you were getting around 50,000 sessions a month, you had about, I think 46 posts published.
So that’s amazing. yeah, you know, if you it’s obviously never, it’s not like every single post will get like a thousand people. There’s some posts that perform better than others, but on average, like if you’re trying to calculate it, like, you know, 50 posts to get to 50k that’s around the same ballpark that I was hitting on my older blog too.
And like one to 2000, if you did the math, visits per month per post. So if you target the right keywords, it’s definitely a viable thing. It’s not like you have to create. 250 posts to like, get there if you are strategic. So at, do you remember, I don’t know if it’s changed at all, or maybe we could talk about how often you’re publishing content and what type of content you’re publishing.
Katie Dodd: Yeah. So my goal is to publish two to four articles per month. More is better, but that’s like my minimum. And I will say along my blogging journey, I’ve really embraced that done is better than perfect. I think in the beginning, when I started blogging, I got caught up in that dietitian perfectionism that we all know and Ugh, can be so icky.
I remember in the beginning I was gonna like create one blog article per month and it was gonna be amazing. I mean, they were ridiculous. They were thousands and thousands of words. And I had to make a YouTube video and an infographic and like all these ridiculous things that I realized later I didn’t have to do.
I also had a lot of, I have to include all of the references and just coming from my background. I wanted to put in like all of my references in the blog article, not just links. And so I was really doing myself a disservice by getting stuck in perfectionism. And I’m not sure if I shared this on the last episode, but just a few months into blogging by doing this.
I actually burnt myself out in months. Like I think it was like four, five and six. I didn’t post any blog articles cause I burnt myself out so early into blogging. Cause I got stuck in perfectionism six months in, it was new year’s I was like creating goals. I’m like, okay. Two to four articles that are good enough.
I had done my SEO keyword research. I had my articles and I would pick articles that I knew were easy for me to write, not the really heavy reference based kind of stuff that sometimes as dietitian we wanna lean into cuz they are, they’re kind of fun, but I focused on what are those things I could write about in my sleep.
So I really lean towards writing more about those topics and that made it easier to write again done is better than perfect. I, gave myself permission to publish articles that weren’t edited, you know, 20 times that didn’thave infographics. And I just put ’em out into the world because, and, and I know you know this, but when it comes to like SEO, it’s an educated guess we are using this wonderful strategy, but we never know what Google’s gonna pick up or what they’re not gonna pick up.
And I could spend all this time on an article that maybe won’t rank on the first page at Google, where if I put out a lot of stuff, that’s still, it’s still good. And we’re we’re dietitian and nutrition professionals. All of what we do. It is wonderful. It is lovely. It’s just in our heads where we get stuck on it has to be perfect.
And the more content I put out, the more likely I am to get picked up by Google for one of, you know, these articles I’m putting out. And as I was putting out more articles, I was able to track my own data and figure out what is Google ranking me for quickly? What is Google seeing me for as the expert? I pretty soon realized that Google recognized me as an expert in high calorie foods.
That’s a lot of what I did as a geriatric dietitian, helping older adults gain weight. I could write about that in my sleep, easy peasy, not super heavy on the references. So I started creating more content of what Google was ranking me for. And what I found is like, gosh, if I were to write an article, publish it today within 12 hours, I will be on the first page of Google.
If I write something within what Google sees me as an expert. So I would say. My strategy is two to four blog articles a month. Good enough. optimized for SEO. you know, making sure I’m picking the right keywords and focusing on what Google sees me as the expert in. And right now I kind of just pulled it up, cuz I know we were talking about how many articles are on my blog.
And as of right now I have 139 articles on my website and I will add, I didn’t write. ’em all I keep track of who writes my articles. I’ve had 41 other people contribute to my blog. So I’m not the only one writing there. So
Erica Julson: yeah, that was one of the things I had on my list of things to talk about later. But maybe we can just talk about it now. Like I know in the past you’ve done a lot of work with interns and things like that. Did you bring them in to your writing process at all? Or who were these 41 other people yeah. Helping you.
Katie Dodd: Yeah. So there’s quite a few people. there are some dietitians who I pay, who I hire as, freelance writers. I know it was such a joy for me. Cause I think of when I got my first freelance writing gig and how cool that was, I’m like, someone’s paying me to write this. And so I’ve loved the opportunity to give other dietitian opportunities to do freelance writing. So some of them are paid. Some of them are volunteers.
I’ve done volunteer programs in the past, where, you know, they learn all about blogging and the geriatric dietitian. And I provide a lot of value in there, but they’re volunteers. And then a lot of them are dietetic interns. I love dietetic interns, like obsessed with them. I , I don’t think I ever say no to a dietetic intern who asked if they could rotate with me.
And, when I was in my full-time job doing home care, I worked with a lot of interns as well. And as I got into my side hustle, I did home care. So we were in the car a lot. Right. And so I was telling them all about these cool things. I was learning through, entrepreneurship and all the cool things that they could do as a dietitian too, outside of what were traditionally taught in school, which, you know, is the basis of your entire brand, these unconventional dietetic, you know, things that we can do.
So, I definitely loved students. And as I started my side hustle, I had approached a university who I saw interns with. For a long time and asked them, Hey, what if we did this virtual dietetic internship rotation, where they could learn about entrepreneurship, they could learn about blogging. They could learn about social media, all of these, you know, things that could serve them in the future.
And they said, sure, let’s do it now. Pretty soon after the pandemic hit and what a blessing to have a virtual rotation with, you know, option available. And it was actually very helpful because I remember with this program at the time, there were students who were supposed to go in to rotations, but they were canceled last minute because.
You know, outbreak of COVID shorting. So staffing all the things. And so I would have a lot of students come to me who were pretty disappointed because they were planning to like go to the hospital and now they’re like, oh shoot, I can’t go. But then after they worked together, they were super excited. Cuz they got to learn about all these cool things that we can do as dietitian that they, most of them had never considered.
So I will say how I do my internship rotations is I’ve prerecorded, some videos for them that kind of teaches them the basics of, Hey, here’s your keyword here is how to make an outline. Here’s how to make your article. here’s how to make your images. And they write blog articles for the website.
They do other projects to, you know, it really depends on their strengths and what they wanna do, but I’ve had a lot of interns from a lot of different programs now. Write articles for the blog and they love it too. And they’ll share it with their friends, with their family. I think I get a lot of sessions just from intern sharing.
right. And, and it’s just so fun too, cuz it’s something they could add to their own resume and their CV and show an example of work that they’ve done. Cause I always do include their names on the articles that way they get, you know, credit for it. So yeah.
Erica Julson: Yeah. So many things to unpack there, but one of the biggest pieces is like, who knows what ripple effect you’re gonna have with all of these people. exposing them to new business ideas, giving them the freelance writing slash SEO skills is a huge leg up. Whether they want to start their own brand or freelance or whatever, it’s a hugely marketable skill for them to learn. So, and it’s a win for you obviously. And you kind of answered, one of my questions was gonna be like, I know in my own thought process and my own past experiences, I’ve done some work with interns, not a ton, but , I did find it hard in some sense.
With each program, like they had different requirements and different lengths of time to spend with you. So it felt hard to like systematize, like what I was doing. I haven’t done it recently, but I did get to a point where I kind of had like a set thing of like, this is the type of stuff we’ll do, but I love that you said that you record videos cuz that’s a great way. So you’re not repeating yourself a zillion times, like one on one with people, you know, one to many in the in the internship world.
Katie Dodd: Yes, absolutely. And it also helps us to get the most out of our one on one time together because then I could really focus on, okay, how can I help you and your career and what you wanna do and what you wanna build as a dietitian.
So. I love working with students and they always have a really good experience. I think sometimes we think as a dietitian, I have to sit there with them the whole time, but you really don’t. You just have to give them the skills, provide lots of value and support them in their journey. And it is fun for them to get the experience of what it’s like to be an entrepreneur, because I give them assignments, I give them tasks and I said, okay, you’re an entrepreneur.
You get to make your own schedule. You get to figure out, are you gonna work, you know, , four days in the week and cram it all in and have three day weekends? Or are you gonna spread it out work a little bit every day, do the morning, do the night. So it’s really wonderful. They get to actually experience what it’s like to be an entrepreneur, have that time, freedom and have that flexibility of working when your brain works the best yeah, it’s fun.
Erica Julson: And as you’ve grown, your geriatric dietitian blog, has it mostly been SEO? Have you dabbled in social media at all? What’s been your main growth strategy.
Katie Dodd: Mostly SEO. You know, I dabbled in Pinterest in the beginning, but Pinterest has changed the game so much. I just got over it in the beginning. That was a pretty decent source of traffic. I mean, not nothing compared to SEO, but, I just couldn’t keep up with the strategies and how things were changing. And I was just, I was over it. So I no longer focus on Pinterest. I just focus on SEO. So search from Google. Yeah. And a lot of it’s from tracking my data and I was pretty active on Instagram for at least a year.
I was posting every single day until I realized this really doesn’t for the goal of what I do. I, I don’t wanna work with patients through, through anything, especially not the geriatric dietitian. And so my goal is just traffic to the website. And I mean, I get like five people a month who actually click on link in bio from Instagram. So I actually stop posting there unless I have interns who wanna dabble in it. We’ll we’ll do that. But, yeah, it’s all SEO right now.
Erica Julson: That’s a really good point. I try to highlight that as often as possible on the blog that you don’t have to do, like what everyone else is doing, if it doesn’t work for your unique goals in your business.
So follow your own data. your own information on where your actual, what, whatever you’re trying to get, whether it’s traffic. Conversions leads, email. Opt-ins like, make sure you know where your stuff’s coming from. So you can lean into the stuff that’s working for you and not feel like cuz who knows.
You could have spent hours continuing to go hard on Instagram. Cuz you think you have to, when it’s giving you five people and your main goal is traffic for ads or whatever. So very good point. and then what about back links? have you focused on that at all? Or you just kind of let it come naturally. What’s been most effective for you.
Katie Dodd: Yes. I definitely have a backlink strategy. Part of it is through HARO, the helper reporter out, which I learned from you. And, you know, I, I responded to HARO requests for a while. I, I don’t do it as much anymore because I’ve been able to establish relationships with reporters, which I think is one of the lovely things about HARO that sometimes we don’t think about.
So help a reporter out. And just for anyone who maybe doesn’t know when you sign up for it, you get three emails a day, Monday through Friday, and it’s just requests from reporters, looking for quotes. They’re often looking for registered dietitians for nutrition related posts. And so my strategy in the beginning was I would go into HARO.
A few times throughout the week. And I would do the control F and search for topics related to, you know, my niche because I don’t wanna spend forever reading all the things. So I would go in there, control F older adults, elderly nutrition, dietitian. And if there wasn’t anything, I’d delete it. If there was something and I felt like it was a good fit, I would respond quickly.
And like I said, part of it was being an expert in geriatric nutrition. when reporters would find me, I would provide lots of value to them in my quotes. And I would say, Hey, if you ever have anything related to geriatric nutrition, feel free to reach out to me. and they do, and I’ve actually been referred from other reporters will, will, you know, reach out to me.
And it’s been wonderful to establish that, relationship with reporters and to get some good back links. I recently had an article, on New York times, I had a phone interview with them. They, they didn’t find me through HARO. They actually reached out to me directly, from other reporters who referred me and, through our conversation.
Cause I’m, I’m very passionate about geriatric nutrition. And so during our call, all of a sudden, he’s all excited about geriatric nutrition. He’s like, we’re gonna do follow up articles. I’m like, yay. So, so anyways, I’m, I mean, it hasn’t happened yet, but I’m looking forward to it. So I think that a lot of my, best back links have come from establishing relationships with reporters that started through HARO
yeah. So at this point, I really, I’m not super active into HARO right now, but I think part of that is just, you know, looking at the big picture of my strategy and I’ve been able to establish a lot of good back links. and then they just kind of come to me organically.
Erica Julson: That’s great. Great tip about asking, because if you had never thrown that out there as like, Hey, feel free to send people my way, if you. People interested in XYZ topic. I mean, you know, sometimes people just need a little nudge and they’re like, oh yeah, I will do that. Like, you know, like yeah. Just the ask can be so powerful.
Katie Dodd: Yeah. And it helps the reporters too, because you know, they’re consistently writing different articles and to have people that they could reach out to directly instead of having to wait on a HARO. Yes. It works for them too.
Erica Julson: And a lot of journalists write for multiple publications. so it’s not like you’re just gonna keep getting the same backlink from the same place, cuz that’s, you know, diminishing returns, but you’ll likely get them from multiple sources. And then what was the other thing I was gonna say that was about.
Oh yeah. The importance of establishing yourself as an expert in something is the other takeaway I took from that. Cuz if you’re just like, if your website wasn’t the geriatric dietitian, it was like the dietitian, like, you know, it’s like, okay, like what can you help me with? Like, you know, you need to be specific and clear with your branding. I think that has only become even more important over the years since we all started in the blogging game. I don’t know if you feel similarly,
Katie Dodd: yeah. It’s really important to have a niche and I understand how some people struggle with that first off, like, well, what do I pick? There’s so many cool things we could do. And then the fear of, Losing people or excluding people. But, you know, I I’ve said this before, and I’m not the only geriatric dietitian. I’m probably not the best geriatric dietitian, but when you Google geriatric nutrition, my website comes up and there’s my smile and face.
And people do recognize me as the expert in this space because I’ve established myself that way. I mean, I’m a good geriatric dietitian don’t get me wrong, but you know, there really is a lot of power in niching down and branding yourself and establishing like, okay, here is my expertise.
Erica Julson: Mm-hmm and you sort of touched on this earlier, and this is something that I’ve been. Kind of, bringing into my SEO course over the last year or so as well, like becoming a topical authority where you were like, okay, like I am clearly gaining traction here on weight, gain high calorie things. So let’s lean into that. so always a good strategy to, flush out like. A whole content cluster on your site and create lots of content around a topic versus trying to create one epic, long, crazy post about a hundred different things. Like that’s not as effective as creating a hundred shorter, more specific, long tail, highly, helpful pieces of content around one topic.
Katie Dodd: yes. Yes. And I always tell people, cause I know sometimes people just wanna do that. You know, it’s like ingrained in their dietitian soul. And I say, if you wanna do that, that’s fine. One per quarter, like focus on the stuff. That’s gonna move the blog forward. But like, cause I still sometimes will have those media articles and they’re usually just based on topics I’m super passionate about, but that’s not where I put my energy for, for growing traffic because the media articles are wonderful and lovely. But if no, one’s gonna read it, you’re not serving anyone.
Erica Julson: Yeah. And of. All of this depends on the SERP, the search engine result page is and what the intent is for the keyword. So perhaps you are going after a high level keyword where a really. Post is sort of needed to be competitive, but a lot of times that’s not needed.
so you don’t want to fluff up your piece to where the actual answer to someone’s question is buried amongst, you know, 500 paragraphs. So yeah, gotta be cognizant there. So in addition to ad revenue, I know on the geriatric dietitian, you also have some recipe and weight gain eBooks, some handouts, and also an online course called weight gain made easy for sale. So what’s the revenue looking like for those projects and how, how do you sell them?
Katie Dodd: Yeah. So how I sell them is on my website. I do have like a shop page and, and stuff like that. But I think a lot of people they’re come. They’re not, when they come to my website, they read an article, they get the answer to the problem and they leave.
I mean, I do my best to try to get ’em to stay, but I recognize most people don’t. So I don’t just rely on people going to my shop page. So I incorporate it into articles as it’s applicable. so I’ll mention it, you know, sometimes at the end, sometimes throughout having a hyperlink to that paid resource.
So it’s kind of a few ways that I do things I have my course it’s the gaining weight made easy, recorded it one and done that one. I don’t, I don’t really have too much of an email marketing strategy for the geriatric dietitian. I probably should, but I don’t, like I said, I mostly just rely on SEO right now.
And so with that, Completely organic traffic. I would say I sell about one per month and it’s a $97 course, but again, I recorded it once it’s all passive and I’m perfectly happy with that. Sometimes if I will send out an email, I’ll, I’ll actually get people to buy it, but
Erica Julson: yeah, it’s like 1200 bucks a year. Like that’s not a small amount for kind of just like. Not really doing anything, to be honest. Yeah. Like once it’s done. Yeah, yeah,
Katie Dodd: yeah. And it’s done, and it will continue to make money as long as I continue to promote it. And I will say actually, I have a food blog called high calorie recipes. My products I sell kind of overlap between the two that website’s building up traffic it’s at about 25,000 sessions right now.
So I’m getting close to, or maybe it was 30, but it’s getting real close to, eventually qualifying for media vine. So with that one, I actually do have an email list and I just had a dietetic intern make a really lovely, email sequence for me. So I’m looking forward to see how more sales come from, you know, implementing the good email marketing strategy.
But, one course per month is about what I sell. Sometimes I sell a couple. Sometimes I sell none. I also sell my eBooks. So I have three eBooks. One is high calorie shakes, high calorie recipes, and, weight, gaining secrets, gaining weight secrets. And, those sales vary every month, I would say on average, about two to $300 per month in sales, through eBooks.
And I am with Amazon affiliates as well. And I’d say that varies as well, probably around a hundred dollars per month through Amazon affiliates. And then I also sell a variety of handouts through RD to RD hyperlink through my website. And that varies as well, probably between 7,500 bucks per month with that.
And so with my combined. Income sources with the ad revenue, the course, the eBooks, the affiliates, and the digital goods. I’ve been making over $4,000 in passive income every month, since October. So the last nine months since the time we’re recording this. So yeah, those are where my other income streams come amazing.
Erica Julson: And one of my favorite things that I’ve seen you do, and I haven’t seen anyone else do that. I think it’s such a genius idea. You always compare your earnings to the average hourly rate that a dietitian makes in the US. So I think I looked at your last post and it was like 33.65 an hour, is the average, hourly rate for an RD.
And so you’re like, okay, if I was gonna earn 4,000 or whatever it was that month that you, brought in, you’re like that’s 36 hours a week of work in order to bring in that same amount. And that’s almost a full-time job. And correct me if I’m wrong, but I do not think you’re actually putting in 36 hours a week on the blog. So, how much time are you putting in per week as a comparison?
Katie Dodd: You know, when I first started blogging, my goal was five to seven hours per week. I used that as a rough average, cuz there were some weeks where I wouldn’t do any , but that was my goal is five to seven hours per week cuz it was a side hustle.
I will tell you as I, you know, moved forward and started making money through the blog, I started writing less other people started writing more. I was able to create systems, I would say probably five to seven hours per month. So it really shifted five, seven a week, five to seven per month. And I will say, as of right now, I have hired a, part-time nutrition, blog manager.
She’s an amazing dietitian who actually was doing freelance writing with me for a while. And, at this point I’m spending almost no time in my blog at all. I’ve now hired someone else to do it for me.
Erica Julson: That’s freaking amazing. And part of that, we will talk about why you probably made that decision, cuz you have a whole nother business as well. which we’ll get to next. but yeah, I love that. I I’m feeling a lot of similar parallels, with what I was doing in the past with my membership site where I kind of hired out almost all the content creation at one point. And I wasn’t really, I was just like editing. but yeah, it’s totally. So for the people out there who are feeling like
I could never do it all. Like you don’t have to you at some point, you’ll start making enough money that you can outsource and sort of put a buffer between you and the work . Of course, that will cut into your profits a little bit. So can we talk a little bit about, you know, what expenses look like as a blogger? Obviously, if you’re hiring a blog manager, that’s not, maybe not everyone does that. If they’re just doing their blog full the time, you don’t need to do that, but what expenses look like?
Katie Dodd: You know, that’s, what I love about blogging is the overhead is so low. When I look at people who have like an in-person practice and their profit margins are like, You know, it is what it is. But as an online dietitian, we have really high like profit margins, which is so cool. So when it comes to starting a blog, it’s, it really depends on where you’re starting at. You have to pay for your website name. That’s like $12 for an entire year. That is nothing, website hosting, which isn’t that much money.
My website host, I think is about, $50 a month for who I’m paying for right now. And I have my own, virtual, private server now for all of my websites. And, I do pay a little bit for like, CloudFlare. I can pay like 20 bucks a month. So, so I am paying for a couple of, you know, different things.
But if you break that down per month, how much I’m paying for everything for my blog, Less than a hundred dollars probably per month for everything to run and manage my blog. And, I am paying someone now about 10 hours per week. My goal is, cause I mentioned my goal is a million visitors per month with my blog, the geriatric dietitian.
So as we’re making more money to be able to, pay my, blog manager more and eventually hopefully make it more of a full-time gig if it works for her schedule as well. So that’s kind of the vision and I don’t have the numbers broken down right now, but if we just say like my blog’s making $4,000, it costs about a hundred even with hiring someone out right now.
I think it’s math is hard for me. Okay. I’m gonna take a minute to calculate. I’m gonna look at April that month. I made $4,253 minus a hundred. So I’d say my profit margin with hiring, like someone to manage my blog is about 60% before that it was like ridiculous. It was like, 97%. Yeah, but, but again, I have, I feel like the longer I’ve been in my journey of learning, blogging, learning business skills, it’s really changed the game for me. And just recognizing that it does take money to invest. To continue to grow your blog and to continue to make money and make impact and all the things that I wanna do.
So I’m willing to take a smaller profit. It’s helping another dietitian. She is a stay at home mom and it gives me all the feel goods. I adore this person who’s working with me. And I just, I love to actually be in this position where I’m not just making money, but I’m also supporting other people in our field to be able to, you know, do what they wanna do with their careers.
Yeah. So with paying her, she’s gonna be doing the work to continue to grow the blog and then it will continue to make more and more income. So it’s really just being willing to have lower profit for a while. And honestly, even a 60% profit, still amazing compared to like in person. So,
Erica Julson: yep. Yep. And so a few things, if you didn’t do that, you probably would’ve remained the bottleneck for your growth. So that’s really important to sort of get out of your own way. And then. As your sessions go up, I’m imagining that you would probably make more money to the point where the profit margin will probably creep back up because you would probably make more money than you would be paying the manager. Even like the manager probably has a ceiling on how much they would work even full time and your income could theoretically continue to grow and grow. Yeah. Regardless. So,
Katie Dodd: well, I look at the fact that my website’s making, you know, for over $4,000 a month in passive income at around the hundred thousand mark. And if I do hit my million mark, I mean, my goodness that’s, you know, 10 X. So that would be like $40,000 per month in passive income, which I am here for. So I’m willing to invest the money to make that happen.
Erica Julson: And for people listening that is not a pipe dream that happens. People do that. I don’t know. I listen to a lot of blogging podcasts and there’s enough people to like, fill these podcasts. Endlessly with stories. So, yeah, I can’t wait to have you back in two more years when you have hit that milestone
Katie Dodd: yes, it’s on, I have a vision board and it’s right up here. There’s a little picture of me and it says how I get a million visitors per month. It was like the bar I found online. So it is on the vision board. .
Erica Julson: And can we talk about before we move on and talk about dietitian side hustle, can we talk about that second blog that you started? Like, what was your thought process on why, you branched that out as its own domain versus maybe lumping it into geriatric dietitian.
Katie Dodd: Sure. So when I started, the geriatric dietitian, I knew very early on, I wanted to create a food blog with high calorie recipes, you know, being a geriatric dietitian for 13 years. One of my favorite things to do actually is to help older adults gain weight. I just, I’m really good at fattening people up.
Like it is my gift and it’s something that really brings me joy. And you know, when I think of most older adults, when they are losing weight, unintentionally leading to malnutrition, all the things they don’t have appetite, oftentimes they’re living alone. They don’t want to eat. And what do we do in clinic?
We typically give them a black and white handout. That’s been photographed a gazillion times. And like, here you go. You have no appetite, you don’t feel like eating, but here’s this handout good luck. Where, when I think of, if I want a recipe, I Google it and I get these beautiful food blogs, these tasty delicious recipes.
So I wanted to create that for older adults. That’s what I wanted. And I was like, no more black and white handouts. Let’s give them a beautiful food blog. So I knew very early on, I wanted to create this, but I knew if I tried to do all the things at once, I would have success at none of the things
So I bought the URL. I bought the domain name very early on and I put it on hold until I hit media vine. As soon as I hit Mediavine December, I was working on getting that blog. Ready. It posted in, January of 2021. Yes. Okay. and so I, I published it and I will say I haven’t had as much time to dedicate it to it.
As I wanted to, the reason I created it as a. The second blog was it it’s similar but different. You know, the geriatric dietitian, I do focus on geriatrics, but I will tell you, I have a lot of people coming to my website who are not older adults. I actually target caregivers of sick, frail older adults, caregivers, and family members.
But I have a lot of people who are coming to my website because of the high calorie content who are cancer patients, body builders, women who want curves, like there’s this whole world out there that I, so when we talk about nicheing down, yes, niche down, people still find you. But for high calorie recipes, I didn’t wanna make it specific to older adults.
I really wanted to make this like, okay, this is for people who need high calorie. When you Google a lot of stuff, about weight gain. It brings up weight loss. So I knew that I wanted to create the separate space that was outside of the geriatric dietitian brand. And then also. Diversify my income and diversify my business because we talk about like the algorithm updates.
So what happens if the geriatric dietitian gets hit with an algorithm update, I’m not gonna quit. I’m gonna keep building up the traffic, but that’s gonna be loss of revenue. If I have two blogs making money then you know, it just, it’s, it’s a way of, diversifying my income and just building out a bigger business.
And I think of all the passive income I get from the geriatric dietitian, I can’t wait till high calorie recipes is doing that as well. And my goal and my plan is once that one hits ad revenue, I’ll be starting my next blog.
Erica Julson: Love it. Love it. Ah, I’m so excited for you. You are just like a, business like badass, I have to say , but before we move on, I had one more question. Did you do keyword research before you decided to go all in on this? Like, I haven’t looked into this space, but are there, I mean, obviously there must be people out there specifically Googling things about recipes and gaining weight. Or high calorie, blah, blah, blah. That’s like the whole thing.
Katie Dodd: Yes, it is the whole thing. And there’s so many things out there that we don’t even think about that we, as dietitians can help with. And it’s like, like I said, even women who wanna get curves, I mean, that’s like a legit thing, you know, there’s so much focus on weight loss, weight loss, where it’s annoying, but there’s a lot of people out there who are like, no, no, no, I need help gaining weight. Like, I feel like, you know, there’s, there’s all of these things. So it’s yeah.
Erica Julson: What are the volumes like, just ballpark, like, are people searching these terms in high volume?
Katie Dodd: Yeah. Well, it really depends on the particular topic. some of them, they’re not, you know, there’s certain things that I, I don’t use keywords for the, you know, like when we do keyword research, sometimes people search weird things. I’m not there for that, but , but the high calorie, the gaining weight, there’s actually really decent volume and it it’s worked out. And it’s also a combination of having like lots of articles or finding keywords that are overlapping.
So this keyword and this keyword there’s similar. If you rank for one, you rank for both. I think for me, that has been the gold in my own blog journey is really focusing on, you know, I, I do all the things I focus on the decent volume, low difficulty, but when I can find the keywords where I’m like, man, these are all so similar. If I can get in for this one, I’m probably gonna get in for all of these. And, then traffic goes bonkers. So
Erica Julson: love it. Okay. So based on all of your experience, creating these blogs and businesses, and for a very long time, these were side hustles for you. You have a whole brand called dietitian side hustle where you were sharing your journey and hoping to inspire.
And eventually at this point, I think you’re doing like coaching for people, helping them get to accomplish the same things. I mean, I feel like there’s also been a huge transformation since we last talked in that business. So can we talk through that? Like at first you were really, kind of, I felt like doing this the side dietitian side hustle as just another side hustle sort of, and connecting with other people. But now I believe this is like your full-time business, right? Yeah. Like you left your job to focus all in. So. Walk us through that. that whole journey.
Katie Dodd: Yes. Yes. Oh my goodness. So I started my podcast, dietitian side hustle as a hobby. I mentioned, you know, working with interns and how I would, I found myself telling them the same conversations over and over again in the car.
And when I would be talking to interns about these topics, I would be like buzzing, like on a high, like, just like, you know, in that zone of not just genius, but of loving what I’m doing, just inspiring people, building them up, showing them what they’re capable of doing. And so I realized my goodness, if I were to speak into a microphone, I could reach more people.
Now I listened to a lot of podcasts. One of them is smart, passive income from pat Flynn. And I learned about him from you. And, how my podcast actually came to be was I was, you know, driving in my car, doing home care. I listening to pat Flynn and he had an episode on the state of podcast in 2020.
And pretty much his takeaway was you need to start a podcast. So I said, okay, pat Flynn, I think it was like four days later, my podcast was live on the internet so it was like this very like, boom, boom, boom. And I started dietitian side hustle as a hobby. I just wanted to tell more people about all these cool things they can do.
I was like, I, I gotta tell more people, like I was teaching interns and so it started as a hobby and I will say I never intended to. Like make money from it. I never thought this was gonna be the reason I left my job, but I think, when you follow something that you’re passionate about and that you love, and you really come from this place of truly wanting to help people and change and transforms lives sometimes good things follow
So, I ended up working with business coaches and I think for me, that’s what changed the game was investing in working with business coaches and. Starting to learn like, okay, how can I take this thing I love that is a hobby and really help people at higher levels. So I started creating courses to help people on their journeys of building blog businesses as well, really focusing on mindset on the long term game, on those sales skills, providing that accountability, that support that they need long term to reach their goals.
So I started creating programs to help dietitians blogging as a business. I also created a mastermind where I will help, you know, dietitians at kinda like a higher level. And part of this is because being in masterminds myself, And just how I changed my mindset, my approach towards business and how I show up and serve people.
I think my entire journey, I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for investing in masterminds. And I always giggle and I told the story a lot, in my world. But I remember when I first took your course, SEO made simple. I, I found you in may of 2019, and it was because Facebook is recommending like this group for you, the unconventional RD.
I’m like, what’s that? Okay. I joined, as soon as I joined, I saw that you’ve had done a free webinar and it was kind of like the funnel end to SEO made simple at the time. And I took it and I was obsessed. I’m like, what is, what on earth is this business? You could actually like make money through blogging and not work with patients.
So I wanted to take your course. I felt like, and I don’t mean this in a bad way, but I felt like it was too expensive. I’m like, oh, that is too much money. And, and spoiler alert. I’ve raised the prices since then. yeah. Yeah. But I totally agree. Yeah. But it was the mindset I was at. Yeah. So I’m like, that is too much money.
I will just learn it on my own. I’ll Google it. I’ll figure out how to do it on my own. I was very lucky. I had an entrepreneurial friend who told me, Katie, this person is a dietitian. You are a dietitian. She’s doing what you wanna do. You need to take the course. And so I said, okay. So I signed up for the course.
I think at that time there was like a special around $300. And I giggle now because I, I now understand business better. And that was like a steal of a deal. like, so I invested in your course took. Totally mind blown. I’m like, oh my gosh, SEO is amazing. Learned SEO. Before I even created the geriatric dietitian from there, I proceeded to buy every other course that you offered.
just because like I saw the light, I saw the value. And from there I continued to invest because seeing like, okay, if someone is doing what you wanna do, if you invest in them, you’re gonna learn from their successes. You’re gonna learn from their failures. You’re gonna get there faster. Had I not taken your SEO
made simple course. I would not be here. I would’ve done everything wrong and I would’ve done two things. I would’ve either. Burnt myself out and have just said like blogging, doesn’t work. I tried it, it doesn’t work. Or I would’ve had to pay a lot of money to undo all the mess that I would’ve done because I would’ve created like, you know, wix.com dot dietitian, side hustle or something like that, you know, like doing everything for free and cheap.
So I always think of SEO made simple, was like my, my gateway into entrepreneurship. It’s like the flood gates opened and I continued to invest in working with business coaches and working on my mindset. And, and I giggled too, because I think of that $300 investment. I was so terrified to make where two years later I was, it was in June.
It was about the time that I had invested, in SEO made simple two years prior. And, my business coach, Greg Todd, he is a physical therapist who is absolutely lovely. He presented a year long offer for his mastermind, which was $30,000, which I joined, which is so crazy to see how much my mindset changed from.
$300 is too expensive to investing $30,000 a hundred X . Yes, I will say I was plagued with, Anxiety for like a week of like, what did I do? Cause I didn’t have the money at the time. I actually put on a credit card and you know, my business coach does say, when you pay, you pay attention, I paid attention I was able to pay off that credit card within 30 days in full.
And so, for me, investing in these high ticket offers, showing up, doing the work surrounding myself with other people who are doing what I wanna do, who just build me up, help me break through my own limiting beliefs has totally changed the game. I invested that money in working with my business coach.
a few, I think it was three months later. We were in Florida and in person mastermind event. And that’s I’m gonna kind of go into the story about leaving my job now if that’s okay. yeah. Okay. So, so I was in the room and with our mastermind, we always have asks and my ask was how can I improve my program where I help dietitians?
Like how can I continue to help dietitians better? And what everyone told me was you need to leave your job. Now I, and I think, you know, knew this about me from our last podcast. I didn’t intend to leave my job. I had a lot of identity in my brand dietitian side hustle, and I fully intended to be a side hustler.
Even when I invested $30,000. I’m like, what was I thinking? But I, you know, when they’ve said you gotta leave your job automatically. All of these reasons, an excuses on why couldn’t possibly leave my job now, I, I actually loved my job doing home care, amazing boss. I was making six figures as a dietitian without supervising humans, which is almost unheard of
So I was making good money. I had a pension. Because I worked at the VA and people don’t have pensions anymore. I had amazing healthcare insurance and my family is a high utilizer of healthcare. So I had all these reasons on why I couldn’t possibly leave my job. The lovely thing about being in my mastermind.
I was filled with these amazing entrepreneurs who were able to lovingly remove these limited beliefs that I have. And they’re like, Katie, you can buy your own health insurance, like what? That is ridiculous. . So they were able to help me kind of see the light. I will say after that conversation while I didn’t say it out loud, I said in my mind, okay, 20, 21 is gonna be the last year I ever work at the VA.
Now this is September. We have three months left to go and I’m like, I’ll know how this is gonna work, but this is what’s gonna happen. So I, was in Florida. I live in Oregon. There are no direct flights to Southern Oregon where I live. So I had two flights and a layover and lots of time to dream and scheme.
So during that time I just started on my computer, creating my exit plan. Here’s what it’s gonna take for me to leave. Here’s what it’s gonna take for me to sustain, be an a full-time entrepreneur made that plan. Implemented it at the beginning of December, I turned in my notice and the very, I think it was, December 29th was the last day that I ever worked at the VA.
And so it it’s been this completely crazy journey from starting this podcast, just for kicks. And suddenly investing all this money with business coaches, changing my mindset, focusing on helping people, providing lots of value and eventually leaving my full-time job. And I’m now in my seventh month of being a full-time entrepreneur.
And, oh my goodness. And I know you’re a full-time entrepreneur, Erica, and you’re, you’re a huge inspiration to me, but I just think of how grateful I am to be able to be more present with my kids, to be able to have true time freedom. I do a lot of self care. Like I go to the gym with my dad almost every day and he’s 71 and I value that time I have with him.
Cause I know he is not always gonna be here. So I love that I’m able to. Live in the now and have joy and appreciate every moment where I think my path before was like, I’m gonna work, work, work, take vacations. Then when I’m 60, well, 68 and a half. That was my plan. That’s when I’m gonna retire with my pension.
And that’s when I’m gonna start, you know, really enjoying what I’m doing, which is kind of silly, but that’s, I think what we’re traditionally taught. And so to be able to be in this phase now, where. I love what I do. Like it, it feels like I’m on vacation for my seventh month because the stuff I’m doing now was like, what I did in my side hustle was stuff I did on the, you know, on the side for fun.
So, you know, I just, I’m in this extreme state of gratitude because I am currently living a life. I never thought was possible for me. It’s just beyond any dream that I had. and I’m just so, so grateful to be here. And it’s, it really all started just cuz I followed my passion and my heart with something that, like I said, I never intended to make money, but here we are, I get to help people.
I get to serve people. I get to do what I love and be present with my kids. And I am so grateful to be a full-time entrepreneur.
Erica Julson: Well, I think a huge part like don’t I think you’re underselling your, you’re just really good at just going for it. Like you take action and so much learning happens.
When you do it, it’s not gonna go perfectly every single time, but like you’re never gonna get anywhere if you’re not trying. So I personally admire just how much you just like go for it. You know, you’re like, why not? That’s, that’s my, I get very inspired by watching what you’re doing as well. And I wanted to, I know you, you feel generally comfortable sharing numbers, so I don’t wanna put you on the spot, but, I can share my own experience as well.
I’ve never done a mastermind, but I did invest in a, a higher end coaching program last or not last year before I had the baby. So yeah. Yeah, like almost two years ago now, it was $18,000. And I, and at the time was like, oh my God, like, , you know, I can, I don’t know if I’m, this is the right choice, but I’m going all in.
and just from what I learned in that program and put into place the following year, I had earned back over 180. So, you know, what is that over 10 X, what I put in. So I don’t know, did you have something similar cuz obviously in order to leave a six figure job, you have to be hopefully bringing in at least that much. Right? So yes. how did that all go for you?
Katie Dodd: Okay. So actually I I share a, annual income report. A lot of it was inspired by your early income report that you shared on your website, which was so cool to see like someone peel back like, okay, here’s how much I’m making. Here’s how much I’m spending.
Here’s my net. Like I just I’d love that. So I actually do that annually. So I’m pulling up my, article right now it’s on dietitian side hustle.com just because I know I wrote about. Okay. So when I invested that $30,000 in business coaching, like looking at what the ROI looks like. So the previous six months in 2021.
So like from January to June, when I invested, I had made $34,000, which felt amazing because for reference my side hustle, the previous year made like 33,000. So I was like, man, I made as much money in six months as the previous year. You know, I’m like, man, I’ve made it big. And so after investing in that mastermind, which was a lot of money, which I didn’t have at the time, the next six months, I made $115,000, which was like, so I was able to, I think I made like 150 over $150,000 in my side hustle, which is like crazy for a side hustle.
Right. so, so yeah, that’s what I made. Even for reference. When I talk about this fear that I had of leaving my full-time job and I’m like, oh, I made six figures in my job. I can’t possibly leave. When I left the VA and I became a full-time entrepreneur, it took me about a month to generate as much income as I did in an entire year at the VA.
So all of those beliefs I had about, I can’t leave the VA, no, this is safe. This is secure. I can’t do it. It was just so funny how, you know, everything went out the window. I was like, oh, okay. I can do this. You know, not everyone wants to be a full-time entrepreneur. I do recognize that and understand that.
I think entrepreneurship is in my bones. It’s what I love to do. But, you know, I think there’s so many opportunities for dietitians who do wanna dive in full-time as entrepreneurs online. There’s like. There’s no ceiling. There is no cap. There is limitless ability to make impact and, and come online. And it’s pretty, pretty wild and bananas, but yeah, it’s, it’s been a crazy journey.
Erica Julson: so as, I don’t wanna take too much of your time, but I do wanna ask a few more exciting questions. No, take all the time. okay. Well, I wanted to dive into a little bit about what kind of offerings and like price points you have in your dietitian side hustle.
Cause I think that’s super inspiring. For people listening, obviously. Not many people listening probably would be doing any sort of like business coaching type of stuff, but you can do high end coaching in whatever niche you’re in nutrition or whatever it may be, for the people listening. So like, what are your, what is your offering?
Matrix, I guess look like, and how do you sell, cuz it’s so different in cuz I’m sort of in this weird dichotomy as well, where I have like website stuff that’s like on the side and then I have, you know, the unconventional RD and it’s very different. Like the marketing strategies and stuff for selling a course or, coaching or something is different than earning ad revenue on a website, for example. So can we speak to that a little bit?
Katie Dodd: Sure, sure. So I guess my value ladder of what I’m currently offering. I mean, I offer a lot of free stuff through the podcast, my Facebook community, the website, but as far as my paid offerings, I would say I have three tiers right now. Mostly I have a course that I created like two years ago, which is pretty crazy when I think about it called beyond the nine to five.
And it was a course really designed for dietitians who are like. I’m not ready to invest in a business coach, but I wanna start. So it’s kinda like a coaching course. It walks them through creating a, you know, a plan for their first year of business. What do you wanna do? What do you wanna create? All those things.
So that course, right now is being sold for $500 completely independent study. Then I have my blogging accelerator program, which is a community that really focuses on blogging as a business long term support, you know, different calls per month, focusing on mindset, accountability, different things like that, just to support them on which, you know, the blogging game is long term.
So to provide that long term support and my blogging accelerator program is currently $6,000. And then I have my blog boss mastermind . And so this is for dietitians who are like, okay, I really wanna level up. I think we know in the entrepreneurial space, there’s a lot of people who work with clients and there’s a lot of awesome business coaches out there who work with patients.
But my focus is what about these dietitians whose business is based on blogging and they all wanna work with other humans, kinda like I was, I mean, I work with dietitian. They’re humans too, but I didn’t wanna do like patient care. Right. And so that’s where my mastermind is focusing on is the dietitian who don’t wanna work with patients.
And I’m an introvert, you know, I feel like sometimes in business, I don’t look like it, but I really am. And, working with patients does give me a lot of anxiety. so that’s a lot of the reason why I was like peacing out from that. So, the blog boss mastermind is a $15,000 offer as of right now. So I have 500, 6,000, 15,000, which Katie, two years ago, would’ve been like, what on earth?
That is crazy. That is ridiculous. But I think part of it is, you know, as I’ve invested more money in high level offers, I show up, I do the work, I see the value and it’s changed my perspective of money and how I approach business. My business coach, Greg Todd. He has multiple business coaches. One of them is Myron golden, who is amazing.
I’m reading a book of his right now called boss moves. So good. And, so Greg said one of the best things his business coach ever said to him is, one of the best things that I could do for you is to charge a lot of money for you to work with me. Cuz when you pay, you pay attention. I, I mentioned that earlier and I, I never would’ve understood that or got it until I lived it.
When I invested that. $30,000, which felt insane. And then how my life just went crazy. I mean, I showed up and I did the work, but how I left my full-time job, I am making more money. I have time, freedom. I have financial freedom and I have so much joy and that would’ve never happened. Had I not invested that money.
So my mindset has shifted changed to where now I’m like, I really wanna help people. I, I don’t wanna help people in small ways. I don’t wanna teach them little skills. I wanna change their lives. And so that’s why I offer high ticket offers because they show up, they do the work. This mastermind I’m doing has been one of my favorite things.
I absolutely adore helping these dietitian. We are gonna have two in-person events, so they’ll be coming actually to Oregon in a couple of months and nothing beats in person too. I mean, virtual is great, but when you’re around people in person, whew, totally different energy. So that is my value ladder
So that’s where I’m at right now with my value ladder, my marketing strategy, I think for me. My marketing is really relationship building and it’s providing lots of value and genuinely helping people where they’re at. So I market through my own podcast, dietitian side hustle, my Facebook group, my Instagram.
I do have a kind of email marketing strategy. I feel I need to up my email marketing game. I always come back to that, but you know, I, I have a email list. I, I’m pretty active in my Facebook group. I do challenges. I offer webinars. I, I try to give a lot of free content away to help people. And if they’re at this point of like, wow, this is great.
I wanna do that too. Then I’m ready to work with them if, if they are ready. But a lot of my marketing it’s all organic at this point. So I haven’t done paid marketing, but it’s really about relationship building, providing lots of value. And I will tell you, when you have high ticket offers, you don’t have. Sell a ton, you know, it’s
Erica Julson: yeah. It’s I feel like that’s a huge mindset shift as well. Yeah. Yeah. I, yeah, we can sort of talk about, I don’t know if this is going on a tangent, but, I’ve been recently like expanding a little bit of some of the ways I can work with people as well. And it is weird, like when it is a higher ticket, like, it’s, it’s just a very different, mindset in terms, because you know, when you’re selling a couple hundred dollars course, typically you would like to sell maybe like a hundred to like, you know, meet your financial goals for your business.
And it’s a lower investment. So more people are willing. To buy. But if you’re selling something, you know, in those higher two higher tiers, like you said, you know, getting like five people is like a big deal. It’s just a very strange, like, different way of thinking about it. Um, yeah. Yeah. And what are your perspectives?
This I, this came up while you were talking, I’m thinking back to my experience, investing in the higher end, coaching program thing, it was like a course more so than a coaching program. They had calls, but it wasn’t like one on it. Wasn’t like I was meeting with someone one on one. Yeah. But there was also a time period attached to that investment, which looking back, I think really also was part of the reason why it gets you off your butt to, to take action as well, which is something I don’t currently have baked into any of my offers.
Like it’s like you sign up and you can just do it whenever, but. It’s much, I’m moving at a much slower pace now that I am a mom so I have all these like ideas of things I wanna do moving forward. And I think part of what I will experiment with moving forward within my, with some of my next things, is like, you’re investing with me for this time period.
and it’s not, you know, sign up and you have forever to implement because oftentimes those things get pushed down to the bottom of the list and knowing there was an expiration date on my access to these valuable trainings and things that I wanted to do really did push me towards the end of my, pregnancy to.
Finish it before I lost access, you know, and as I said, that paid off, you know, what, 10 X, so, and I’m glad I did, but who knows what would’ve happened? Maybe I wouldn’t have gotten my funnel done before having my baby, if there was not an expiration date attach, I’m not sure.
Katie Dodd: Yeah. Yeah. You know, with my mastermind right now, it’s a year long. So I mean, but people invest in that. They invested a lot of money, so they’re gonna wanna make their money back. And then some, cuz it’s an investment, not an expense. And so with that, there is a time limit. But with my blog and accelerator program, kind of like you, I don’t have an expiration day. And part of that is cuz we know like being in the blogging space, it is this long term game.
But I think for me, I’ve been experimenting with different things to provide that urgency. And a couple things I’ve done is like. giving people a cash back incentive if they finish the actual course part. So when you join my program, it starts with an eight week course. Then it goes into the long term support.
So offering a cash incentive of, Hey, if you finish it in eight weeks, you’re gonna get some cash back. So it’s kinda like paying you to do the thing you pick, you know, signed up for. Yeah. I love that. But another thing I’ve recently started is actually, in my community, we have a blog challenge every month.
So as dietitians are writing blogs, they share on a post in our Facebook group. And at the end of the month, we’re doing a drawing on a really fun spining wheel for $50 cash prize. So it’s just a way to incentivize it and make it fun because you’re right. We have to help people to move forward. It could be so easy in the moment to join something, to sign up for a course, but how do we maintain that motivation long term?
And that is the struggle having the time limits that that can help, but again, in a space like blogging, it’s like, oh, darn it takes so long to do. It’s like, so I don’t entirely have the answer other than. That is something that I’m definitely experimenting with. For me, like I said, being in a mastermind it’s time limited and so, well, not real.
I I’m always going to invest in a business coach. I can say that with confidence at this point, like I drank the Kool-Aid and I’m not going back just because the value it’s had in my life. So that’s something I’m always gonna do moving forward. And that does have a time limit. And I think too, when you pay a lot of money, you’re like, I gotta make this count. I gotta make this worth it. So, yeah.
Erica Julson: And I think there’s something to be said to you about, stepping into the room with other high level entrepreneurs and you’re like, okay, well, you know, I need to perform at not, you know, not like comparison, but like it’s aspirational to see what other people are doing. And you’re like, well, okay, like I can do this too. What, what’s holding me, like, why couldn’t I do this? Like what, there’s nothing holding me back to perform at that same high level as well.
Katie Dodd: Yeah. Yeah. And my mastermind, I’m actually the only dietitian, they’re mostly PTs one occupational therapist. And I think it’s Tony Robbins who talks about like the proximity to power and like how we become like those people we surround ourselves with.
And these, healthcare professionals are also different. A lot of them have in person practices, they work with PT students. Like they do a lot of different things, but when it comes down to it, business is business, whatever we’re doing and being around these people and seeing what they could do, you start thinking, well, why can’t I do it too?
And we, I think my biggest lesson learned is it’s all mindset. I think of my journey from when we spoke two years ago to where I’m at today, it, my journey, hasn’t been a matter of me working more hours of me, hustling of me, burning myself out. It has all been me changing my mindset. And I, that sounds so silly.
And I don’t think I could have understood that two years ago until I’m living in it, but it has been changing my mindset on how I help people and how I provide value and seeing other people doing it like. If they’ve done it, I can too. And also having this abundance mindset of recognizing there’s so much room for all of us.
and there’s so many people who desperately need our help and we can all get there together. So, you know, networking and being around the right people is so valuable because on the same, you know, opposite end of the coin, if I was around people who were negative, who were complaining all the time, who were focusing on, you know, complaining about things that they have no control over, that would affect my mindset and in a complete different way.
So I think it’s all about who you surround yourself with. And if I think I said this earlier, like if you see someone doing what you wanna do, like get in the room with them.
Erica Julson: great advice. So I think to wrap this up, I’d just love to hear where you kind of see. In one year, five years, 10 years, you know, and then of course, I’m sure I’ll have you back on the podcast and it’d be fun to come back and compare
Katie Dodd: if I did it. So I feel like my mindset is continuing to shift a change to grow. I honestly don’t know what the future holds for me, but I know in the immediate year, my goal is to make a million dollars. I wanna be a millionaire dietitian, cuz why not? And for me, that just means helping more people and serving more people.
So that is my goal over the next year is to make a million dollars. a couple of my other big, long term goals is I wanna continue to build out all of these dreams and businesses that I have. I mentioned wanting to have a million people visiting the geriatric dietitian every year. I wanna start doing more investments in real estate and really learning more about like the tax game and really leveraging passive income in other ways, outside of the blog, continuing to diversify my income and live in a place of, true passive income where I don’t have to work.
It’s just something, I feel like what I’m doing is what I love. It doesn’t feel like work, but be in this position of, okay, I have real estate, I have all of these things that are making money for me. And I have this time and financial freedom and am building generational wealth for my children and teaching them different from what I was taught
So I feel like that’s kinda like big, you know, pie in the sky, but in the current moment, it is focusing on my brand dietitian side hustle, serving people really well, building up my blog, the geriatric dietitian, getting high calorie recipes on media vine, the next blog. Cause I love blogging eventually and just continuing to serve and help people and just, you know, elevate dietitians in this online space that I think there’s just so much more room for growth and teaching dietitians things outside of traditional dietetic.
Erica Julson: It’s such a trip to think about, you know, what if you had never start, like, I feel like now you’re such a prominent figure in like the dietitian realm for helping people create income online. But you know, three, four years ago, this doesn’t even exist. Like , you know, so I’m just, so it’s such a good story of taking the risk, that initial $300 investment at the time with like an online course.
And then flash forward years later, you’re, you’ve just come so far. I just think a lot of people are gonna be leaving this episode with, lots of feelings of hope and, feeling very inspired by your journey.
Katie Dodd: Yeah. And I hope they take away that they can do it too. It’s like, I’m not this super special person, like what’s on the table is available for all of us. And this is completely possible. It’s just a matter of figuring out, like, what are you passionate about? What do you wanna do? And then finding the people to help you get there.
Erica Julson: Yep. And. What do you en like, what do you enjoy, like lean into, like you said, multiple times in this episode, the things that you kept being drawn to were the things that you just felt lit up when you were talking about it and extremely passionate.
And I agree. That’s part of why I ended up, kind of honing my business over the years, more deeply into SEO stuff. Cuz I find that’s really something I’m passionate about. Whereas before it was, I had a membership site and a blog and another thing and blah, blah, blah, like all this stuff and it was too much.
So, pay attention that I’ll probably my piece of advice, pay attention to what lights you up because that’s the stuff that you’re least likely to burn out on when you’re committed for the long term, cuz it is a long term.
Katie Dodd: For sure. Yeah. Yeah. And I’m so, so grateful that Facebook referred me to your community because like, I mean, you had such an important role in my journey and just really kicking me off and getting me started and you continue to inspire me. So thank you for everything that you are doing to help and build up dietitian in this unconventional space.
Erica Julson: Well, thank you. I feel like I’ve sort of like. My, production of content has dropped off since having a kid. So I’m like trying to come at peace with that.
Katie Dodd: you’re in a season. Yeah. You’re in a season. And I remember that season
Erica Julson: yep. Yep. but I still try every piece of content I do put out. I try to make sure it’s high quality and actually helpful. And I know this episode will check those boxes. so thank you for your time. Thanks for, thanks for having me on. so for people listening who wanna follow along, a, do you have any resources for people and B where, or should they go to connect with you? Like what platform are you most active?
Katie Dodd: So I am actually just typing up something really quick. Forgot to do this before we got on. Okay. So you can find me at dietitian side hustle. I am most active in my Facebook group and Instagram. I also have a podcast dietitian side hustle, which is found on all of the major podcast directories my website, dietitiansidehustle.com.
And I do have a really lovely freebie. It is, called the dietitian online minicourse and it’s a great little mini course that walks you through all the cool things that you could do as a dietitian online and some little tools and checklists and resources to help you get started. And you can find that at dietitianminicourse.com and I’ll send the link to Erica.
Erica Julson: Awesome. I will put that in the show notes. so you can go to theunconventionalrd.com, and find this episode and there’ll be a link there. I’m sure you can also find it through Katie’s channels. and then. I guess I’ll put the links as well for all of your actual blogs as well. Like, geriatric dietitian and your high calorie recipes, blog.
As I think people will be very inspired to check that out too. And I think just a side note about that stuff before we sign off, another great example of done is better than perfect. I think looking at your sites, I can tell that you were like, okay, this is sort of like the template of like how I’m gonna lay out my sites and I’m gonna go, and you didn’t spend, you know, $10,000 on a custom blog design with like some crazy layout for each one.
That’s like unique. It was like, this is, this is the main points that people need because like side note, if you’re focusing on SEO, not that many people care about your homepage anyway, so they’re yeah, they’re entering through your blog post. So like do not overthink it. I think that’s another great takeaway. so people should go check out those sites and see what you’re doing. That’s a great examples.
Katie Dodd: Awesome. Thanks for having me.
Erica Julson: Yeah. Thank you.
Okay. Wasn’t that episode incredible. If you’re listening and are interested in learning more about how to grow your website, traffic with my proven SEO framework, just go to SEOwaitlist.com and add your name to the list. You’ll receive some email tips about SEO, plus an invitation to watch my free masterclass that outlines each step of my highly effective framework. And then gives you a special invitation to join the course. Can’t wait to see you in there.
Erica Julson is a registered dietitian turned digital marketing pro. She has over 12 years of experience blogging and building online businesses and has taught over 900 wellness professionals inside her signature program, SEO Made Simple.