This week, I’m chatting with one of my SEO Made Simple students. Klara Knezevic is a dietitian who co-owns a large, insurance-based group private practice in Maryland, but who has also added a blogging arm to her business – both for additional income via ad revenue and as a way to attract new clients to her private practice.
Klara joined my course in early 2019, so she’s been at this for about four years now, and she has so much wisdom to share about what’s worked and what hasn’t in her online marketing efforts.
In this episode, Klara talks about:
- Where she got the idea to start using SEO to boost her private practice
- What her website traffic was like before and after implementing a blogging strategy
- Ways that she’s used her blog to generate income in her business
- How she uses the income earned through blogging to benefit her team
Klara also talks about how her team shares the blogging workload and some of the additional ways that she plans to expand the online arm of her business in the future. Listen now to hear her story.
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More About Klara Knezevic
Klara Knezevic is the CEO and co-owner of Rebecca Bitzer and Associates. We are an insurance-based practice located in Maryland, with 13 dietitians on staff that work with clients with different backgrounds and health goals. In addition to supervising the clinical team, Klara works with the social media and marketing team to produce blogs, recipes, digital products and much more. She is also a business coach for other private practice owners that want to grow their business into a group practice.
Connect with Klara
- Website: rbitzer.com
- Pinterest: @MarylandDietitians
- Instagram: @MarylandDietitians
- Facebook: Maryland Dietitians
- LinkedIn: Klara Knezevic
Gentle Nutrition Resources
Check out the handouts available for purchase that serve as guides for meal planning, stocking your kitchen, pantry, etc with a gentle nutrition approach and focus.
This week, I’m actually chatting with one of my SEO made simple students. Klara Knezevic is a dietitian who co owns a large insurance-based group, private practice in Maryland, but who also has added a blogging arm to her business, both for additional income via ad revenue. And as a way to attract new clients to her private practice.
Klara joined my course in early 2019. So she’s been at this for about four years now and she has so much wisdom to share about what’s worked and what hasn’t in her online marketing efforts.
We chat about. Where Klara initially got the idea to start using SEO. To boost her in-person insurance-based private practice.
What her website traffic was like before and after implementing a true blogging strategy. Some of the ways that she has used her blog to generate income in her business. And how she uses that income to benefit her team. And we talk a little bit as well about how Klara’s practice shares the blogging workload and some additional ways that she plans to expand the online arm of their business in the years to come.
I love Klara story because she took an in-person insurance-based group, private practice, which is a business model where most people would probably shy away from applying online business tactics and using her own business acumen and my proven SEO process. She was able to create a whole new way to bring in income for the business.
And the best part is she diversified the way that they serve people and attract new customers. So you may remember that I featured Klara in episode 90 of this podcast, titled five RD bloggers to inspire you to go for it. And I was so excited to get the opportunity to dive deeper into her journey in this episode and hear her thoughts firsthand about the awesomeness of SEO. Of course.
And how she uniquely decided to apply that to her insurance-based practice. And of course, if you are hearing this and you’re super interested in getting a better understanding of how SEO can benefit your business.
No matter what business model you currently have. I invite you to download my free SEO roadmap. It walks you through the six core concepts. You have to understand. In order to get thousands of people to your website every single month via your content. And it guides you through the bigger picture of how SEO ties into your monetization strategies.
I also share three of the biggest mistakes. I see new bloggers making with their content and tell you exactly what to do instead so that you can skip over those common stumbling blocks and get on the fast track for success. I highly recommend checking it out again. It’s totally free. And it’s available at seofreebie.com.
All right. Let’s get into my interview with Klara.
Welcome to the Unconventional RD podcast where we inspire dietitians to think outside of the traditional employment box and create their own unconventional income streams. We’ll talk all things online business to help you start, grow, and scale your own digital empire.
Erica Julson: hi Klara. I’m thrilled to have you on the podcast today. You are actually one of the dietitians whose websites I featured back in episode 90 of this podcast titled Five Rd Bloggers to Inspire You to Go for It. And I know we connected after that episode came out and you were like, oh my gosh, I’m so excited to be featured.
And we, we were like, oh, hey. Do a whole episode on it, because I’m sure people would love to hear more about your journey. So thank you for, giving us your time here.
Klara Knezevic: Yeah. Thank you so much for having me. I’m, I’m very excited and like I told you, I saw that you had featured us and I was so honored and so excited, so I’m very happy to be here.
Erica Julson: Yeah. So just in case people listening have not heard that episode, basically I talked about the business that you are a co-owner of, uh, Rebecca Bitzer and Associates. Which is a large insurance based group practice out of Maryland, and I talked about how you were able to add a blogging arm to your business and earn some ad revenue that kind of stacks on top of the one-on-one work that you’re doing.
And I don’t think I know any other insurance based dietitians who are doing this kind of combination. So I’m really excited to have this conversation and hopefully inspire more dietitians to get more visible and add something like a blog. To their business, even if they are doing a lot of one-on-one work.
So yeah, to start out, I think it’d be great if you could take us kind of like back to the time period when you first even got interested in blogging. Like what were you doing at that time? What were your initial thoughts about blogging and how you thought it might benefit your business?
Klara Knezevic: Yeah, so I, since I was young, have always kind of had this interest in blogging, especially in the food photography, recipe development kind of area.
And I mean, like my dream job growing up and maybe still a little bit today, is to have my own show on Food Network. So, you know, if anyone from Food Network is listening, just let me know . Um, but I. You know, started with RBA back in 2014 and I was still a student. I was in college and I was a student intern and they were already blogging at that time, so they were, had a blog with the website and they were doing, doing things there.
And I remember when I started to get involved, like towards the end. Uh, like when I became a dietetic intern and then started as a dietitian with Rebecca, I started, we were looking at statistics and we would always see, okay, what blog is doing well, what’s not doing well? And we would just have the randomist blogs that were doing well.
Like it, we would, there was one that was this old, like personal statement from a dietetic internship, from like a former student that we had. Was getting just like thousands and thousands of views each month, and we’re like, what? Where? You know? Then when I started blog, I was putting time into photography, into recipe development, into writing, and.
Nothing, like no views at all. And I’m like, what the heck? This looks so good. Like, why isn’t anyone looking at this? And so, you know, initially as we were doing these blogs, we really kind of had hoped that we could land sponsorship so that we could get sponsored posts to work on blogs, work on projects to really kind of help monetize, monetize the business.
So that’s kind of how it all started. Let’s see if we can get some, hopefully some sponsorship and kind of make the website revenue generating.
Erica Julson: Yeah, that sounds very familiar. I was also of the thought, like, oh, you know, my pictures, they just look so amazing. Like my recipes are so creative. Like, won’t everyone love this
Exactly. . . Right. So what was kind of like the turning point? How did you figure out a better strategy?
Klara Knezevic: You know, I think I was just trying to figure out how to be able to spend more time blogging. Cuz you know, I, I talked to Rebecca and I wanted to blog and it’s that also that tough piece as a business owner where it’s like, okay, well this is great and it’s fun and obviously it looks great on our website, but is it bringing in money?
So it’s that like, Flip side of, well, if I was seeing clients with insurance, then I was directly bringing in money to the practice and I came across your course. I think it was on Facebook. It was on social media, I’m pretty sure. And I’m like, okay, maybe this is like what we can do to get more people on our website to hopefully.
Either, at the time I was still thinking, let’s go for some sponsorships so we could really like get our name out there. And I brought it to Rebecca and she was like, all right, let’s give it a try. Let’s do it. And that’s kind of where, where
Erica Julson: it all started. Nice. Was it challenging to convince other people like that this might be a viable option or was it kind of like a Hail Mary, like, well we might as well try it cuz what do we have to lose?
Klara Knezevic: Yeah. I think it was more of, it was like, okay, Klara, like. This, it all makes sense, right? Like it’s, it, it was, I don’t wanna say common sense cuz it’s not like totally common sense, but when you started to learn and you’re like, oh duh, of course. Like we should be looking for keywords that people actually are searching instead of just, you know, making stuff that we like to cook, right?
So I, I think once we got that moving and we. Got everyone on board and trained up and went through some of the, the learning curve. It was, it was smooth sailing. Smoother sailing. I’ll say.
Erica Julson: Do you have any tips for somebody who might be listening and maybe they’re not like, fully in control of all the business decisions, like maybe they’re in a position like you were, where maybe they’re doing more of the marketing for a business?
Um, any tips for. Conveying the importance of SEO and getting buy-in from the business owner. If you’re not like, fully in charge of making those decisions.
Klara Knezevic: Yeah, you know, I think numbers as now a business owner myself, numbers are always important and being able to speak to what those numbers mean and what the potential is.
So I think being able to explain, alright, what could. Good SEO do for the company and what are the company goals and knowing what your company goals are, because depending on what the business owner’s, personal and professional goals are, that could really well align with having great seo. So I think being able to use some of their wants and desires and goals to help convince them could really, really be beneficial.
Erica Julson: Yeah, that’s a really good point. That’s actually something. When I redid some of the course content in 2021, I tried to put extra focus on that in the beginning of the lessons. Like, okay, what are your goals? Like, let’s please get clear on those before you start diving in. Cuz you’re right. Um, if you’re not clear on where you’re trying to go, then how are you gonna formulate the right program to get there?
Um, right. So, yeah. Very important. Yes. So how long had the website existed before you started implementing SEO practice?
Klara Knezevic: So I actually was looking at our Google Analytics and it looks like Google Analytics started on our site around 2013. So I started as a student intern in 2014. Um, and page view wise, we were getting about 4,700 page views in May of 2014 and 3,800 sessions.
And then, so I was looking at our. Pages and it was our homepage, our meet our team page and our contact us page, which, so you could clearly tell like, people who found our website, were going for a very specific reason to make an appointment with us. Which of course not a bad thing, right? Like we want them to be making an appointment, but that’s not.
A hundred percent also what we wanted it to be doing. Yeah. So pre then your class, so January of 2019, things had improved slowly, and we were at about 12,000 page views and about 10,000 sessions. And so some of our blogs started to kind of creep up and one of the big ones was our lo Faap snacks blog.
And so that was one that I. Looking at, and I’m like, why? Like, it’s a great blog, don’t get me wrong. But I’m like, why is this working? And then I started to do your course and I’m like, oh, okay. This keyword is really, really good. And that, that’s what made it make sense. Yes.
Erica Julson: Yes. Um, well that’s a really good baseline actually to be starting from, um, around 10,000 before you add, uh, more targeted, targeted seo.
So, how long after you started. Implementing an SEO strategy, did it take you to get to, let’s just say like the media vine level, like 50,000 sessions?
Klara Knezevic: Yeah, so we started to see more of a pickup towards the end of 2019, probably in October and then 2020, we definitely saw some more growth there and then things really picked up in 2021, so we qualified for media Vine.
May of 2021 and then started earning revenue, like everything was set up in June of 2021, so June of last year.
Erica Julson: Yeah. So that’s pretty standard I would say. Like it usually takes people like, I think, On the faster side of the people in my course, it’s like maybe a year and a half, um, to two and a half years.
Somewhere in that range I think is where a lot of people end up falling. Yeah, and I think just anecdotally, like outside of my course, the fastest I’ve seen somebody do it is maybe like nine months is like the absolute fastest. But that’s insane. Like those people are. Probably not writing all the content themselves.
Usually they’re like badge writing like a hundred posts and publishing them all in the beginning and hoping they rank quickly. So different strategies, but yeah,
Klara Knezevic: for sure. And I mean, keep in mind too that we’re still seeing clients like we still have other. Responsibilities and things that we’re doing.
So this was not a full-time focus by any means. I, I won’t say it was back burner cuz it definitely wasn’t. But there were other definitely other things going on while we were kind of trying to do this.
Erica Julson: That’s a really good point too. Uh, so let’s see. What were, as you were implementing and learning, do you have any like big aha moments that stood out?
Or. Big mistakes that you realize in retrospect that you had been making with your content?
Klara Knezevic: Yes. Yeah, I mean, I think it goes, definitely goes back to keyword research and our, we’re our practice, we have a lot of different dietitians with different specialties on staff. So what we were trying at the time was to get everyone’s help when it came to creating content where, okay, everyone has a different specialty.
Let’s try to, you know, create a blog. I’ll say like, we’ll highlight that. So an example is we did like a Thanksgiving blog for like a Thanksgiving for every condition. So we had, you know, a low sodium Turkey breast and a lo fod map stuffing and like, you know, just different things. That was a little hodgepodge and.
You know, there were several issues with that. One was difference in quality in terms of like the photo that was being taken and the recipe and the content that was being written. Because for some dietitians that was definitely more of a strength than others. And then I would say the second big problem was, is that most people probably weren’t looking for a low fun stuffing recipe and a heart healthy like Turkey and you know, a low carb whatever.
So it wasn’t until we. Kind of switch to, again, obviously people are more likely to look for Okay. And all low FODMAP Thanksgiving and focus blogs more on that than trying to kind of spread it out. Mm-hmm. ? Um, I think, you know, the second biggest mistake we made was, for a while our blogs were very surface level.
So it was like maybe that 300 words, get it up there, get it up as quickly as you can, and we weren’t really providing value and. So what? Cause that’s what clients are asking. They’re reading this and they’re like, okay, like, so how does this impact me? How is this gonna help me? And we weren’t really addressing that.
And our, we were always just saying, we’ll make an appointment with a dietitian. But you would look at it and be like, okay, I don’t even know if you can help me because nothing here shows me that you can help me. So being able to provide more of that value. And Amy Porterfield, I don’t know if you’re familiar with her, she says, you know, give away things for free that are so, People look at it and they’re like, oh my gosh, this is free.
Like what am I gonna get when I pay for something? And so since we shifted to that, it’s made a huge difference.
Erica Julson: Yeah. And the layer of, you know, Google more and more year after year is focusing on search intent and like who is really meeting the needs of the searcher the most? And you’re right, right on the money, like you need to go above and beyond and be like, Am I fully answering this person’s question based on what they’re typing into the Google search bar in my post?
And if the answer is no or not quite, then there’s definitely room for improvement if you wanna be at the top of the search results. So that’s a really, really good point. What about. For the people listening who are like, oh, okay, I hear what you’re saying. Give away stuff of high value for free. But then why would anyone book an appointment?
What do you think about that?
Klara Knezevic: So from a counseling perspective, the way that I, I think about it is, all right, you people can read information all day long, right? They will find information wherever they can get it, whether it’s. Online through Google, through one of our blog posts, through whatever on Instagram.
But at the end of the day is how are they going to make that work for them and their lifestyle? And we all know that it takes a lot more than just, oh, I’m gonna read about how I should do X, Y, and Z to improve my blood pressure. And then actually, Doing X, Y, and Z to improve your blood pressure. And so I think that’s that gap of, as a dietitian, how are we going to communicate that?
Like that is part of the value that we can provide. Like, I have the information, but so do you and so does this book, but how are we can help you actually put it into practice. And that’s, I think that importance of how you can communicate that.
Erica Julson: Love it. Great advice, And, um, yeah, I, I don’t know. I feel. It’s the accountability.
And this applies I feel like, not even just with nutrition counseling, but even like any content really that you’re publishing online. It’s the accountability. And then also there’s always like, like even when I was freelance writing for Healthline, people would like hunt down my personal profiles or my businesses and try to like contact me to ask for me to help them
Like, and I’m not, at that time I was not even providing services. So, You do end up attracting some, like really, interested people who are like, wow, this person really seems like they know what they’re talking about. I want them to give their feedback on my specific situation, you know?
Klara Knezevic: Right. Yeah. Yeah.
We had a blog that just went up not too long ago that was about creating an intuitive eating meal plan and, and what that meant. And one of my dietitians wrote it and she texted me. She was like, I just went into a client session where that client found us. She like, you know, lives in another state that, you know, worked with our licensure, of course.
And she’s like, she printed out this meal plan, this like blog and this like paper that we had that went with it. And she was like, she brought it to session and we talked about it. And I’m like, so I think there’s room for that. You know, like she read this blog, she got the information. But then she wanted to take that extra step.
Erica Julson: Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . Yep. It’s a really cool opportunity. I don’t know, I’m just obsessed with creating content. Um, yeah. It’s, it serves your people and it helps you get found, so it’s like a double win. Uh, do you have any tips on. How you stayed motivated while you were waiting for things to pick up. Because we, as we just talked about it, it can take years sometimes to add like certain revenue streams.
Like, um, like add revenue. You do need a large amount of traffic. You need about 50,000 people coming to your site every month or so in order to qualify. So, uh, how did you continue to publish when you didn’t have the concrete, payoff?
Klara Knezevic: Yeah, so, you know, one of the things of course was I was looking at analytics all the time.
I think I would log on to get ready for the day. And this is probably a little bit of overkill, but I would like log on, check my email, and then go to analytics and just like see what was going on. I’m like, what’s happening? Where are things going? Um, and so that kind got kept me motivated cause I would see, okay, oh, people are here, or, oh hey, our like bounce rates.
Changing and is people are clicking different things. So as we were trying things, we saw changes beyond just, of course, more sessions and more page views. Um, when I took over as co-owner back in January of 2021, we also. Did some further shifts to our strategy on how we were producing content and what content we were producing.
And that’s when we really started to notice an explosion. So when it like took off, that was super motivating cuz we would just see these large jumps in numbers and it was like, okay, well this is working. And then even when things weren’t working, We had the flexibility to change it and we were like, okay, let’s shift this so that we can see if it’s gonna work or not work.
So those were just kind of some things that really helped stay motivated before we
of hit that Mark.
Erica Julson: Can we dive into that a little bit? Like what is your content strategy or how is it changed?
Klara Knezevic: So what we used to have is our strategy was we monthly would kind of have a theme, whatever that theme was.
So it would be. Maybe diabetes or vegetarian recipes or women’s health or you know, whatever the topic was, cancer and all of the blogs produced that month were. in that theme. What the problem was is that our, that wasn’t necessarily taking into account the best keywords that were out there. So the keywords, of course, we did keyword research and we were looking for things that people were Googling and wanted to know more about.
However, it wasn’t necessarily as high of a volume, and maybe the competition was harder. So, At that time, and I mean still today, we’re really focused on higher volume keywords with a moderate competition to be able to get people on our website and to have media buy revenue be, you know, higher and continue to help grow our business.
Uh, we are of course looking at. Some other keywords for like programming and helping convert clients more specifically for one-on-one things. So there’s like kind of two things going on at the time, but our first goal was definitely to. Get as many page views as many sessions. So having that kind of limit on, okay, well these are the keywords when we could have been doing higher impact keywords was a little bit limiting.
So when we changed that, I mean I can also email, you know, show you this graph with, you see you have 2021 and then 2022 are like, Views and page views exploded because we had the right content out there.
Erica Julson: Nice. So I, what I heard you say is like you could have. Gotten a little distracted by going after two goals at the same time, uh, in terms of trying to get page views or trying to get clients.
And it seems like at some point you were like, okay, let’s really try to prioritize the page views and go after the higher volume keywords and then that really. Made an impact?
Klara Knezevic: Well, what it was more of is the, when we were doing like our monthly themes is I don’t, we didn’t really have a goal for them. It was more of just like a way to organize content, if that made sense.
You know, like if our goal had been, well, we want to launch a program for diabetes, so we were focusing on, let’s say, diabetes keywords that maybe didn’t have as high of a volume, but the competition. Low enough that then we could use that to convert clients to, or I’m sorry, convert website viewers to clients.
I think that would feel different. I think it was just, again, that figuring out what our goal actually was at the time. And that’s where it kind of muddied up a little bit. Well, but then when we kind of shifted to, all right, well, we know we want media vine, why are we not just focusing on these keywords that are in our niche, that high volume keywords, moderate competition, And seeing how that helps our site.
Erica Julson: Yeah. And both strategies are viable, but it’s just like knowing what you’re trying to do . Absolutely. Absolutely. And for the people listening who are like selling services or a program, typically there’s like more on the back end that you have to do to convert someone as well. So, um, Absolutely add revenue.
It’s like get the people to your site, you make the money. versus Yes, exactly. If you kinda sell, then yeah, you, you probably need to brush up on like some copywriting skills and maybe some email funnels and things like that, uh, to get people to actually purchase. Um, pretty rare that someone will just like cold land on your site from Google and be like, yes, here I am to spend $500 on your program or something.
Klara Knezevic: Exactly. So you have to build that, know what I can trust. They have to know that like, Going to provide them with a great service.
Erica Julson: Yes, exactly. And so since you had like such a large backlog of content, when you started to get more serious about seo, did you spend time revising some of that older content or were you like, whatever, well not, we’re not gonna worry about that right now.
We’re gonna focus more on putting out good content. Like what was your strategy there?
Klara Knezevic: Yeah, I would say a little bit of both. We definitely revamped some older content and it got to the point where it just took so much effort to revamp it. Like we were basically writing blogs from scratch that Then again at that point.
We were like, let’s just focus on producing newer content. Um, and, and still now of course we like go to some of our bigger and more popular blogs and making sure that stays updated. And we’ll do updates on things like, we have a blog about Starbucks and diabetes and we’ll do an update when the new drinks come out.
Like, so things like that to have it stay relevant. But for the most part we’re, um, we’re, uh, creating
Erica Julson: Nice. Yeah, I’m always curious about that. Because there’s, you know, different trains of thought of like where to put your time and, you know, whether it’s better to prune your site a little bit and have everything be super high value, or if it’s okay to kind of be like, eh, well we’ll get to it someday.
Like, but really we’re gonna focus on, you know, putting out better content. So I just like to hear people’s experiences and what they’ve, um, seen with their sites. So that’s good to know. Uh, what about. And this isn’t something that I like put on my list of things I was gonna ask you about, but do you build, um, any back links
Klara Knezevic: We.
Yeah, we’ve really been trying very hard on to, to keep building those back links. So, um, I won’t say we are perfect at it, but it’s definitely something we are trying and we’re working on, um, to, to be better at.
Erica Julson: Yeah, there’s, cause I, for people listening, there’s like, Passive link building strategies where you just focus on creating good content and ranking high and you’re like, okay, well if I’m at the top, like eventually people link to me because I’m the easiest thing to find on the internet basically.
Uh, and then there’s active link building, which a lot of people do, especially when they’re just starting out, cuz. It’s kind of like a chicken or the egg situation. Like it’s hard to rank well without back links, but if you are not ranking well, it’s hard to get those passive back links. So , um, right.
People will do things like, um, help a reporter out and submit themselves or, you know, there’s Facebook groups where people ask for quotes and all the, and all those things. So, what do you think has been your most helpful strategy with back.
Klara Knezevic: Honestly, a lot of it has been if we get like a request and people are asking, Hey, you know, what is your thought on this?
Or Hey, can I interview you for this? Or, it’s definitely a little bit more, more passive in that where either people are finding us or they’re asking for submission and we’re, you know, sending our, sending our. There. So we haven’t done as much of that active, like looking out and asking people to, to back link and trying to do that.
Erica Julson: Do you know what your, um, domain authority is Ish right now?
Klara Knezevic: Yeah. I believe we’re at 41 or 42.
Erica Julson: That’s good. That’s really good. Yeah. Yeah. Somewhere around there. Yeah, that’s a nice sweet spot of like high enough to. Speed out your competition and get higher on page one. . Yeah. but yeah, for, basically for people listening, it goes from zero to a hundred and like almost no one is up in the nineties.
Like that’s like Facebook and like huge websites like that. Super authority sites in various niches might be in like the sixties or seventies, and then there’s like a range from like 30 something to like 50 or 60 something, which is usually. You know, small businesses, blogs, like people who are taking this seriously but aren’t like HubSpot or like search engine land or like, you know, like huge websites.
Healthline Healthline is probably like 90 something. Um, yeah. So I. If you can get into like the thirties and above, things start clicking a lot faster cuz Google’s like, oh, okay, like you’re putting in the time, you’re putting in the effort, you’re taking this seriously. Other people are vouching for you by linking to you.
And it’s, it all starts to snowball from there. So if you look at your own domain authority, you can use tools like Moss Bar extension or any like keyword research tool. They all kind of have like their own version of trying to help you evaluate your domain strength. Um, if you look at your own site and you realize.
On the lower end, definitely a place to improve if you want to, uh, get better results faster. So circling back to ad revenue. Why was that a goal for you and how has earning ad revenue been able to benefit your business since it’s like, you know, an insurance based business? How, how have you been using that to your advantage?
Klara Knezevic: Yeah, so, you know, I think the first, one of the main goals for it, of course is keeping kind of a di diversifying the revenue stream just in general and having a mix of things that are more active, where you are, of course, like working with clients one on one or. Whatever to produce revenue. And then having things in the background that are producing revenue without necessarily like A plus B equals seat revenue.
And of course there’s effort that goes into maintaining our website and doing all of that. So Media Vine does what it needs to do. But you know, if I don’t work on the website for a week, let’s just say. We’re still gonna be making ad revenue in the background. So from a business perspective, it was important to us to have different streams to so that we’re not relying just on one.
You know, having ad revenue has really helped us. In terms of investing back into our business and then being able to put more money into social media, into marketing, and I mean, I can finally say of course, like our website is revenue generating, which is something that I wanted since I started as a student back in 2014.
So of course that’s really cool to see. And because we are an insurance based practice, and of course we plan to stay that way because. Insurance. I, I believe that access to nutrition care is so important and it should be accessible. And of course, not everyone can afford to pay out of pocket. The downside of that is that we are then really limited to what we are reimbursed by insurance companies.
So having that ad revenue, having those passive, that passive income. Helps bridge that gap, helps us, you know, make sure we can pay our team fairly, give them benefits and opportunities for growth, both personally and professionally. Which again, something that is really important to me and my business partner to make sure that we’re, you know, we believe it’s a symbiotic relationship.
Like you help us and we help you.
Erica Julson: Mm-hmm. . Yeah. I love that. So it’s, do you, I don’t know if you feel comfortable sharing. More specific numbers, but, and you don’t have to tell me exactly what, like how much your site’s making every month, but like ish, like, I don’t know. Then I can cut this out if you don’t feel comfortable sharing.
Klara Knezevic: No, we’re at about, uh, we’ve grown, we’re at about 2,500 now for Meine. Nice. On average, which, I mean, it’s not. It’s not a crazy amount, but if we look at the year, I think it’s brought in, we’re maybe at $15,000 this year, which when you look at it that way, makes quite a big difference.
Erica Julson: Yeah, that’s a significant sum of money.
Like I really like what you said, the ways that you can use it. It’s not. It’s not just like, um, a line item in your business and it’s like, okay, whatever. Like we’re making that money and nothing’s changing. It’s like you can decide, okay, this can be sort of like your, maybe your extra money to do exciting things like, you know, pay for development things for your team or give them benefits or reinvest in other types of marketing.
That you maybe were struggling to find the extra quote, unquote, extra money for in other parts of your business. So I really like all those ideas that you suggested, . Yeah. Uh, yeah. So you are, are you doing, um, Some social media marketing or like email marketing as well on top of all, all of your other stuff,
Klara Knezevic: Yeah, we are. We are doing some social media marketing. We have a really, I would say Instagram is probably our best form of social media marketing. Actually, let me take that back. Pinterest is our best form of social media marketing in terms of. Directing back to the website right now. But Instagram is coming up there and we’re again, finally starting to see, oh, these people found, this client found us on Instagram and started working with us.
And I know there are businesses where that’s very commonplace for us it was not. And so it was really cool to see. Oh wow. Okay. Like. These efforts are working and what we’re doing is working and um, yes, we are doing some email marketing and because again, we have different specialties clients coming in for different things, we’re trying to tab people appropriately so we can curate the content that they want and send it out to them.
Yeah, good. And market people where it’s appropriate.
Erica Julson: Yeah, it’s a great point as well. Because I’m thinking back to like how you’re doing like the themes for your website. It’s like that makes sense from maybe purely a user experience standpoint. If you’re like of the mindset that someone’s like reading everything you’re putting out like in chronological order, like blah, blah, blah.
Like they’re excited to get what you’re putting out, but. That’s obviously, as we know, like not really how it works from just an SEO perspective. Like probably someone’s googling a question that they have and they’re gonna land on your site via one specific post, and then where they go from there, who knows?
Maybe they don’t even go anywhere and they just leave as you answer their question. Maybe hopefully they get on your email list or something like that. But yeah, that’s, that’s a great way that you could create that experience for them. If you can get them on your email list and then tag them like, okay, they signed up through the diabetes related article, so we’re gonna make sure that we have a funnel set up to send them those related posts and then invite them to work with us or whatever.
Klara Knezevic: right. Yeah. And what it does is then we can provide content more regularly throughout the year. So let’s use diabetes as an example. If we only focus on, let’s say, diabetes one month out of the year. I would have great content for you, you know, for one month, but then what happens the rest of the year?
And so then you’re looking at either your CRE now in some ways doing double work to make sure you have content the rest of the year for this list serve. Or if we’re spreading things out a little bit, we can spread out the content a little bit more. And of course in there we’re trying to stay in inboxes and like send out content, but when we have a great blog that goes up, it’s a little bit easier to do that.
Erica Julson: Yeah. And it. I’m a huge fan. I wa I didn’t do this for a really long time, but, I’ve rediscovered the power of kind of like creating sequences and then just like adding to them .
Klara Knezevic: Yes, yes. Especially through convert hit. Yeah. It’s awesome.
Erica Julson: Yeah. So you just, every time you add a new. Diabetes related post, for example, you just like added on to the end of your list and then you know, when a new person subscribes, they already have this whole maybe list of like 20 emails they’re gonna get from content you created over the last few years even.
And you know, yay, someone’s gonna see this hopefully get value. Right? And it can drive page views and bring you ad revenue indirectly that way too. So a hundred percent don’t, don’t sleep on email marketing people. .
Klara Knezevic: Definitely not. And I will say the. Again, one thing that we had for a really long time is we had one newsletter and everyone got dumped onto that newsletter, and we would send out newsletters once a month, but it was like, okay, we had one blog about this and something else about this.
Or again, if we had, let’s say, all blogs about whatever the theme was, all the other people on that list server, just like, oh, I don’t, I don’t need a low FOD map. What’s a FOD map? Like, I don’t know what this is. So now we are targeting it a little bit more and we’re getting click rates that. Awesome and like opens that are awesome that we never dreamed of before because content wasn’t relevant to people.
Erica Julson: Yeah, such a good point. I see sometimes dietitians struggle a little bit with email. They’re like, I don’t know what to send, you know, or I don’t. They feel like if they’re just blogging, like what’s the point? , because you know, if I’m not selling something, like do I really need to be sending them an email like so yeah.
I. I think we hit on some of the good value, um, regardless, especially just like keeping that connection and having people like remember that you exist , you know mm-hmm. . Yeah. And get those recurring, um, recurring pages as well. So, yeah. Um, yeah, and I just out of curiosity, I like to hear like how people tackle these things.
Did you kind of like, for example, try to master SEO ish and like get a process and then you were like, okay, I feel good, and then like move on to try to add another strategy or were you like, we’re hitting the all and then see what worked? Like what was your strategy there?
Klara Knezevic: Yeah, I would definitely say SEO came first and then we’ve, with sprinkles of everything else is the best way to, is the best way I can describe it.
Like we were really focused on SEO and we were trying, there were some other things, you know, going on in the background and now we’re trying to kind of focus at one thing at a time while still continuing to bolster the foundation that we have and that we’ve built.
Erica Julson: Yeah, I think, yeah. I found that to be the most effective strategy personally because I have also tried to like do everything all at once in the past.
Didn’t quite pan out. So focused energy. Yeah. Yes. Uh, so speaking of staying focused, you have a very large practice with multiple locations. I think I looked on your website, and I don’t even know if it’s like fully up to date, but I think there was like 13 dietitians or something listed. So how do you stay organized with everything
Yes. Like walk us through how you tie the blogging work in with your business and all those different employees. Like how, how does that all work?
Klara Knezevic: Yeah. So, um, in general, to stay organized, to do list, and my calendar is like my family, like favorite thing is I, you know, I would get nothing. Without that. And in the second vein, my business partner Candy is a godsend.
And I’m so lucky to have her because I don’t know if you feel this way with content and some of that like strategic thinking, but I need like a focus time for that. I can’t, you know, be doing more day to day stuff when I’m trying to do that. Especially if I’m writing content, I need blocks of time. Um, so I’m so grateful for her because I can be like, Hey, I need to do X, Y, and Z, and.
Don’t worry about it. I’ll take care of like, if anyone’s like has a question, just send them to me. So she is, she’s amazing in, in that regard. So I, when we’re kind of tying the blogging to the client work that we’re doing, and you mentioned this on your episode, we’re really trying to be practical and provide realistic advice that, of course one people are gonna be looking for on the internet.
and my dietitians can use in session so that they can
Erica Julson: wait. I love that. I have to like, just like, say that again. Like , you know, like it’s not just for the seo, it’s like yet like the example of the person who printed it out and brought a post to their session, like practical hands on. Like, sorry. They just had to like it back.
It’s so true. .
Klara Knezevic: Yeah. Thank you. Yeah, so I mean, cause we have blogs on, you know, again, I’ll go to low FODMAP Bread, that’s one of our bigger ones. If one of my GI dietitians is like, oh, here you go. Here’s your a bunch of low FODMAP bread. Brands, they can just direct them to the website. And so we don’t have to necessarily have them coming up with everything on their own if we’re having things on our website that they can use.
So, um, that’s one way how we kind of try to marry it. I have, excuse me, several dietitians that are writing content for our website, depending on the. Topic and you know what’s going on. And two of my dietitians, so Caitlin, who’s our director of social media, and Kristen, who’s our creative director, are our social media team.
They’re really helping me with the implementation and the content and the keyword research. Um, and. We this, our production would definitely not run without the two of them. So we’re really kind of staying in content or in contact and using things like the content organizers to make sure, okay, here’s our checklist for each blog.
What’s done, what’s not done? You know, what do we need to get moving to make sure that we’re getting what we need out?
Erica Julson: So you have like certain people, two people it sounds like, that are kind of in charge and spearhead. The strategy and the implementation it sounds like. And then is it something where like you bring on a new dietitian and maybe do you like ask them like, are you interested at all in writing And then they can like say, yay, yay or nay, or you know, how does that go?
Klara Knezevic: Yeah, so I kind of always surveying and then also looking at what people want to learn about. I used to write almost all of our low FODMAP blogs just because I, you know, know about low FODMAPs. I did some GI counseling work and unfortunately I have a few other things that need my attention, so I just don’t have enough time to write all of them.
And so one of our other dietitians, Kathleen, who is an incredible GI dietitian, knows a lot about the FODMAP diet. I actually used your course to help train her on how to write a blog, and she’s been able to help with that. So we have a very kind of specific way that we go about having people produce content for us so that our messaging is consistent, the quality is consistent, and we’re able to meet the benchmarks that we want to.
Erica Julson: Yes, yes. Great points. Kind of having like standard operating procedures. Mm-hmm. , yeah, I, that’s been one of the harder things for me, like trying to outsource, it’s like taking it all out of your own brain . Mm-hmm. and putting it on paper for somebody else. Uh, yeah. But very important if you wanna grow, cuz Yeah.
You can’t be the own bottleneck in your business forever. You have to end .
Klara Knezevic: I will tell you. It’s so hard. For me, it’s been like one of the hardest things as an entrepreneur, as a business owner, to be able to hand things off and be like, Hey, can you do this for me? And I hope that I can communicate everything that’s in my brain.
And sometimes it’s a, you know, a learning curve and we kinda have to work out a few kinks. But it, it’s very important as a business owner like you to be able to, to do that.
Erica Julson: Yeah. And sometimes you just like forget if you’ve been doing some, some. For a really long time. You forget, you know what you didn’t know in the beginning,
So sometimes you have to revise those standard operating procedures a few times. . Yep. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. And I just, before we move on to the next topic, I just wanted to highlight again, like sometimes I feel like when people think about blogging or I don’t know what examples they might be looking at on the internet, maybe even like some of my past content.
Was writing like really technical posts on my site back in the day. And sometimes I feel like people think, oh, that’s the only way, like you have to write these like really intense, like research these sciencey posts. But I really like that you are, you’re kind of doing the opposite strategy of like, , what’s the practical like stuff that people are asking in real life and Googling and like, that doesn’t require me to do like 10 million years on Google Scholar.
It’s like there’s no peer reviewed research on like the best lo fmap breads. Like, you know what I mean? But that’s a real valid question that people have. And so there’s a balance there in terms of the type of content you’re creating. Um, um, you can create a content strategy that works for you in your business.
Uh, you don’t have to follow some. Someone else’s strategy, you know, cuz every business is unique, so
Klara Knezevic: For sure, for sure. And it, I think, comes down to what your goals are and who your audience is. And if our audience is lay people and people who are, you know, following the Lofa Met diet, for example, or have diabetes and.
Like to go to Starbucks, that’s what they care about. You know, they don’t necessarily care about the mechanism of whatever blood sugar thing when it comes to ordering, you know, their afternoon drink at Starbucks. So that’s where our audience is definitely more of people who are just trying to get this nutrition thing done and keep moving with their life so they don’t have to spend too much time focusing.
Focusing on that piece.
Erica Julson: So looking back, is there anything that you would’ve done differently throughout this whole process?
Klara Knezevic: Yes, definitely. Um, I would, if anything I would’ve started sooner, which of course, hindsight’s 2020. Um, but I think one of the big things that, looking back I would’ve changed, and I mentioned this a little bit, is spreading responsibilities a little bit too thin.
You know, of course I don’t expect all of our content to sound the same or look the same because we all have unique voices, and I think that’s important, but making sure we have. Each writer has proper training on how to, you know, write a blog and the tone and the verbiage to use so it doesn’t sound like a research paper.
Um, because for a while we again, had a lot of people writing things and I was rewriting content like all the time. And it was just, it was way too much. Couldn’t definitely, it was not sustainable. So that training piece was so important.
Erica Julson: That’s a really good things. Consistent. Yeah, I see that come up a lot because at this point I’ve had over 700 people enroll in my course.
And so, you know, people share their posts and um, maybe some, it’s their first blog post they ever posted, and that is one of the things that you have to like, Consciously try not to do, I feel like as a dietitian, cuz in school it’s like science paper, science paper, science, paper. And then you’re like switching and it’s like, oh, a blog post.
Like you wanna talk usually a little more conversationally and you know, you want your, your paragraph to be like a line or two, not like 20 . So yeah, that is one of the things like, almost always when people first start out, their paragraphs are too long and too formal. , so Yeah.
Klara Knezevic: Yeah. Yep. So it’s definitely a shift.
I remember one of my dietitians, she was in grad school too at the time, she wrote this blog and I was like, okay, let’s, let’s just talk about this. Because I’m like, we, I’m like, I don’t wanna call your word boring cause it was not boring. But I’m like, we just need to lighten this up a little bit. Yeah,
Erica Julson: yeah, yeah.
And it’s not intuitive, honestly. And sometimes even when you’re you. Cause sometimes another thing that I see, Say, just in passing in our industry, they’re like, oh, I don’t read blogs. Like, so why would I start a blog? But it’s like if you’re googling something, like you’re technically reading a blog, , it’s like a blog is just content on someone’s website.
It’s no longer like this personal journal thing that people maybe still think of from back in the day. So, uh, sometimes we just don’t. Even really like, like we read a piece of content and we’re like, oh, I like this, but like, why do you like it? And what about it makes it flow well and connect with you?
And then how can you take some of those things and use that in your writing as well. , right, exactly. Um, so moving forward, how are you envisioning your income streams growing or changing in terms of adding these online revenue streams for your practice?
Klara Knezevic: Yeah, so, you know, of course we wanna continue to have the website be a patient referral source so that our.
Our D team and our practice can grow. Um, and I have to, I mean, I have to say that’s been one of the cooler things to see. We’ve been tracking it a lot more closely and we’re at now monthly, like 50 to 60% of the people who come make an appointment with us have found us online, which was not the case, a while ago.
So it’s been, it’s been very cool to see that. So of course, I’d like that part to continue to grow, to help. Um, income and, and revenue stream. But beyond that, keeping our passive revenue with Media Vine. And we also have affiliate links on our website and then opening up more to the digital products and looking at courses and classes and like handouts and things that are gonna be practical and people can help people with that day to day, um, in their nutri.
Erica Julson: I get really, it’s like not even my business. And I’m like, yeah, , I get all excited. Yeah. It’s so much potential. That’s that’s what, yeah. Gets me all like, yay. Tell me more. Uh, so yeah. How do you like juggle that though? Do you have it kind of like planned out, like, this is where we wanna go in a few years and, but it might take, you know, six months to create this new framework for a course or something like, how are you tackling.
Klara Knezevic: Yeah, so I actually sat down with Kate and Kristen, who I mentioned earlier, and, you know, looked at both of them and said, okay, like, let’s talk about what your goals are because I, I think it’s important to check in with your team about that. And they both told me what their goals are, and I knew what our business goals were and.
You know, we talked about, you know, like developing a course was a goal for both of them. So I said, okay, well we have to take some baby steps in order to get to that course because we need to make sure we have funnels in place to have people who are, we have lead magnets so people who know us. Cuz like you said, very few people are going to go onto Google, find you, click on you and pay $500 for a course.
There’s a lot of work that needs to go, um, before you can go there. So we basically looked at. Mapped out our baby steps and set kind of benchmarks for ourself. So before the end of the year, we wanna make sure X, Y, and Z has happened, and then kind of take it from there and evaluate as we go to see what’s what’s happening.
Erica Julson: Yes. I love that. I, it’s, it’s so important to take it from your head to paper, , like mm-hmm. and whatever timeline. I may, if you have a lot of experience, maybe you’re better at this, but for a lot of people, whatever timeline you were thinking, like double it. , a hundred percent. Yeah.
Klara Knezevic: Hundred percent. Yeah.
We’re working on a project right now that no joke I thought we would have done. Already, and we’re like, okay, yeah, it’ll be up by the end of the year. Which honestly was about the time that we wanted to have it done anyway, so it’s not like we’re behind. But in my head I was like, oh yeah, we can have this up by the fall.
Absolutely. No . There’s just so many other things that happen in the, in the meantime.
Erica Julson: Yeah. Yeah. Uh, so yeah. I guess to close out this interview today, could you give us maybe your top three pieces of advice for dietitians who are thinking about adding passive income streams alongside a private.
Klara Knezevic: Yeah. Um, so I will definitely say it does not have to be perfect or done all right away.
And I say that as a perfectionist and someone who likes to have it done all, you know, in order and figured out, um, because our SEO was definitely not perfect. Neither were our blogs and you know, we’ve grown and we’ve learned a lot and. Been really an incredible journey, and again, doesn’t have to all be figured out all at once.
the second is definitely letting your personality shine, which we talked a little bit about. It’s, you know, you don’t, not, don’t have to write a paper for school. This can be a time to like show your personality, have a little bit of fun, so people. Wanna, you know, enjoy reading what you’re writing. And then also remembering it’s a long game and you might not see that return on investment right away.
But if it doesn’t happen right away, it also doesn’t mean that you’re failing. So just reminding yourself that it might take some time and that’s, that’s okay.
Erica Julson: Yeah, and I think we talked about what you did to stay motivated, but I think it, a lot of it comes back to your why. You know, like, why are you doing this?
And like, if you really have a strong why, Usually you’re okay if it takes a little bit longer cuz you understand the bigger reason why you want this passive income stream or this business or whatever. Yeah, right. Exactly. Like, not to go off on a tangent, but I was just listening to a podcast this week and the, the guest was saying, you know, his why was like, Hey, you know, God forbid like something happens to me or my health, like I wanna build an asset for my family.
Where Yeah. You know, these passive income streams will continue to run like. Family could pick, pick it up and, you know, yeah. Keep blogging, um, and run this site with or without me kind of thing. Um, because I guess he had had some health issues that had severely impacted their financial status previously.
Yeah. And then this was like a big why I think I wanna create recurring, stable online income, not just for me, but you know, for my family for years to come. Things like that. I think if you can nail down why , you want you want to do this, it can really help keep you motivat. .
Klara Knezevic: Yeah. And especially whatever’s gonna remind you of that.
Why? You know, I think I saw this meme the other day that was like entrepreneurship, where it’s like, things are great, things are awful. Why was I worried? What’s going on? Why do I, I’m gonna quit? Like, yes, this is great. And it’s just like that up and down. And I said to my business partner, we were laughing about it, but it’s one of those things like, you have to remind yourself like when you’re down here, Why are you doing what you’re doing?
And so I love sticky notes. So I have sticky notes like up, I’m like, okay, like this is what we’re working towards. Um, but whatever it is that’s gonna help keep you motivated, I think is important.
Erica Julson: Yes, yes. Well, where could people go to connect with you further if they wanna keep following along with your journey and all that?
Klara Knezevic: Yeah, so they can go to our website at rbitzer.com. Um, or I also offer business coaching for other dietitians who are in private practice and wanna grow and diversify their practices, especially if you wanna grow into a group practice. So I offer coaching for those rds, and that information is also on our website.
And then follow us on social media. We are on Facebook. facebook.com/maryland dietitians, and then also Instagram at Maryland dietitians as well.
Erica Julson: Great. Um, and for your coaching, is it one on one or how are you running that?
Klara Knezevic: Yeah, it’s one on one. So we really tailor it to whatever each person’s individual goals are and wherever you are in your practice and, and what that all looks like.
Erica Julson: I’m glad you mentioned that. Again, I mean, this isn’t like my area of expertise, it’s not like group practice. So I’m not like dialed into that like space really. But, um, just from being in the dietitian world online, I don’t know a ton of people who provide guidance on that topic. Mm-hmm. . So, um, hopefully if someone listening.
Thinking about expanding to group practice now. Now they have a resource, so yeah. That’s great.
Klara Knezevic: Yeah, and I love being in group practice and I could talk all day about why being in group practice is amazing, but you know, I won’t bore you with that, but definitely if someone needs support there, I’m happy to help.
Erica Julson: Awesome. Well, thank you again for your time today. I really appreciated it and I know that this is going to be a very inspiring, uh, episode for people listening. So just thank you and, uh, thank you for being a student in my course as well and taking the risk .
Klara Knezevic: Yeah, I mean, I already told you how, uh, life changing it’s been.
I don’t think I said it today, but it’s been absolutely life changing. So I hope if anyone out there is thinking about it, Do it. So it’s cause it was great.
Erica Julson: Didn’t ask her to say that, but ,
Klara Knezevic: she didn’t. I promise she absolutely didn’t. But that’s, that’s how strong way I feel about, yeah. About how great it is.
So thank you for that.
Erica Julson: Well, thank you. Yeah. It’s so much fun. It’s like, Sometimes I’m like, this is my job. Like . Yeah. All right. Well, um, yeah, great. And I hope you have a, a wonderful rest of your week and have fun logging and seeing patients. .
Klara Knezevic: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. And thank you for having me.
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.