How do I go from content creation to making bank?

If this is a question you’ve been asking yourself, friends I think you’ll really enjoy the lesson’s that my guest today learned on her journey. Nikki Webster is an award-winning vegan food blogger and now two-time author who has transformed her passion for vegan food into a successful business through content creation. 

In our chat today Nikki shares:

  • How she started creating content and learned what resonated most with her audience – while she was still holding down a full-time job
  • How having her blog Rebel Recipes helped her to crystalize her message and find her voice while she was still learning her craft
  • Why it’s not enough to be passionate about content – you need to be aware of the transformation you want to affect in your readers, viewers or listeners
  • How she almost turned down a major styling contract in India because she thought the email was spam
  • How she diversifies her income streams to alleviate the risk from the inevitable peaks and troughs of running an online content business
  • Her publishing journey to her two books and how she went from a good offer to a great offer with her first book proposal
  • How Nikki balances work and self-care and her top tips for aspiring authors, including what to be aware of and how to get started

JUMP OVER TO MY INSTAGRAM PAGE & TELL ME: what’s one action you’re going to take from listening to this episode?

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Transcript

Nikki Webster (00:00):
And I had this lovely shout out from Nigella Lawson, which was a complete shock. So she would post them on my photos. And in a day I think I gained about, Oh goodness, you know, sort of 4,000 new followers...

Narrator (00:14):
Welcome to the ideal life club podcast, where it's all about. Fast-Tracking your ideal business and life with more clarity, courage, and consistency. Join your host business coach and author of the happiness habits, transformation, Michelle Reeves for inspiration interviews and practical tips to finally claim success on your terms,

Michelle Reeves (host) (00:40):
Friends, Michelle here and welcome back to the ideal life club podcast. If you've ever wondered how to move from content creation to making bank with enough money to support your lifestyle. I think you'll really enjoy the lessons that my guest today learned on her journey. Nikki Webster is an award-winning vegan food blogger. And now two time author who has transformed her passion for vegan food, into a successful business through content creation in our conversation today, Nikki shares how she started creating content and learned what resonated most with her audience or why she was still holding down a full-time job. How having her blog rebel recipes helped her to crystallize her message and find her voice while she was still learning her craft. Why it's not enough to be passionate about content and how you need to be aware of the transformation you want to affect in your readers, viewers or listeners and how she almost turned down a major styling contract in India because she thought the email was spam.

Michelle Reeves (host) (01:47):
Nikki also shares how she diversifies her income streams to alleviate the rest from the inevitable peaks and troughs of running an online content business, her publishing journey to her two books and how she went from a good offer to a great offer with her first book proposal, some great tips there and how to keep balances work and self-care and her top tips for aspiring authors, including what to be aware of and how to get started. And as always, you'll find all the links and details from today's show and all the other shows in this series at Michelle Reeves, coaching.com forward slash listen. But before we get started, have you ever wondered what it might be like to have a podcast just like this one to promote your business? If you have, you might also have put it off because you're not sure how to get started if that resonates with you.

Michelle Reeves (host) (02:42):
Then my online program, practical podcasting for beginners is for you. In fact, we've already seen one of our students launch into the top 100 on iTunes in her niche with step-by-step videos, covering all aspects of creating and launching your first podcast, plus to me for help and support when you need it. Even if technology isn't your BFF, what could a podcast do for your business? Find out more and get the first 10 lessons of the course completely free with no credit card required at Michelle Reeves, coaching.com forward slash podcast free. Okay. Back to today's show and my chat with Nikki Webster. So welcome guys. I'm excited today because we have not only an author on the show. She is also a blogger and a health coach as I have given you all the details in the intro. Let's not hold off any more. Welcome to the show, Nikki Webster.

Nikki Webster (03:47):
Thank you for having me.

Michelle Reeves (host) (03:49):
Hey, it's great to have you on the show. I cannot wait to dive into your amazing journey because it has been a bit of a roller coaster ride. So why don't you kick off by giving us a little bit of that backstory, how you got to where you are now because you started off in corporate life, right?

Nikki Webster (04:08):
I did. So yeah, the vast majority of my career for some time was basically in marketing. So yeah, it's, it's yeah, you wouldn't necessarily imagine where I am now where I started, but I've always had an overriding sort of passion for food. So I think it was all sort of, you know, bubbling away in the background, but yeah, basically I went to university and study something completely unrelated. I'm so random to marketing. I basically studied sociology, criminology. And then when I left uni, I needed a job essentially. And I was looking for sort of graduate trainer trainee opportunities, which is basically like, which I did. And I started in breakfast cereals. So again, it's always been just like a food association. But very quickly I sort of realized in very projects that I really was quite keen to explore marketing.

Nikki Webster (05:00):
So I sort of managed to sort of find my way into the marketing department and, and that's where I saved for it for a number of years. Because I loved it and I suppose it's all linking back to, you know, again, it was being, you know, food, creativity yeah, so I stayed there for a few years and then I, and then I had this very potty tissue by the way. And then I was thinking at the time I needed to change it probably, you know, got to where I could go within that company. And I had a boyfriend at the time and he was, went back to studying at in Birmingham and I still got poached by a recruitment agency. So I had to spend sort of 18 months having a crazy sales time sort of toughened me up from my sort of, you know, marketing days and was amazing.

Nikki Webster (05:48):
Actually, I think that was quite a pivotal moment. Not because I love recruitment, which just because it sort of enabled me to pay for my student debts and I find that I'm really sort of a freeing experience. And after that, but I knew I didn't want to do that forever. So I went me and my boyfriend he'd finished university. So we went traveling for six months and that was amazing. So went all over Asia backpacking went to six or seven different countries, mostly India. And that's sort of where partly I've been to India a couple of times already by that stage, but that was sort of where my real passion for sort of Indian cuisine was really, really developed. And that's you know, if you knows my recipes, now you can really see that because I absolutely adore sort of, you know, vegetarian Indian cuisine.

Nikki Webster (06:34):
I think they do that so well. Yeah. So came back, went back into marketing because I knew that sort of sales and recruitment wasn't really, for me, even though it had been super, super helpful. I went back into marketing, food marketing, and then I had a couple of, couple more marketing Bromont and management and digital marketing roles, all in food, which I really very much really loved, very cool prep. But at the same time, I just, I, I just had a stronger and stronger, stronger feeling that I really wanted to work for myself. I didn't entirely know what that looked like. But it was just sort of sitting there and sort of probably about four or five years before I started my blog. Again, I was sort of thinking, I love food, maybe like sort of blog, but at that time I didn't have the confidence.

Nikki Webster (07:30):
I had no idea how to do it, but it was sort of sitting there, if that makes sense. And then the earth just, just became sort of stronger, stronger. And eventually I I felt that I've just, I've just got to do it, you know, because, because, you know, I've always been cooking and cooking and cooking for my friends and and I've always had you know, and it, I suppose not to humps took about my sort of, cause my recipes, vegetarian vegan, and for me, that's something I've always felt really passionate about. So I sort of started cooking for myself from a teenager and I was just like, it's super weird picky eater that wouldn't eat any, any meats and had a dairy allergy. So I sort of had to cook for myself for a long, long time. So yeah, so I had a sort of corporate career, but then I, it was sort of like, yeah, really passionate, like food and veggie and vegan food for a long time as well. So eventually I persuaded my lovely husband. Who's a graphic designer amongst other things to actually create my first website. So yeah, so that was five years ago basically. And yeah, I haven't looked back really because it's been up and down, but it's been a sort of, a bit of a crazy roller coaster.

Nikki Webster (08:49):
Wow. And so you started this, this, you know, your blog five years ago, which was

Michelle Reeves (host) (08:56):
Called rebel recipes. And, you know, I just, where did that name come from? Because it's quite an unusual name, you know, it's not kind of talking about vegan or vegetarian specifically, but what was it about the name, you know, what makes you the kind of rebel cook hosts?

Nikki Webster (09:14):
Oh my goodness. So basically there's a few answers to this one, but essentially we again, my husband and I were sitting in a hotel in Barcelona. This was a time when I finally convinced him that I needed to have my blog and website up. And we were just of thinking about, about names really. And the, the name rebel really stems from my my feeling because, you know, the sort of vegan scene as it is now is so developed, but five years ago, it really wasn't at all. So I was just sort of thinking about our, you know, my recipes. I wanted to sort of be a bit, a little bit challenging and say, look, basically vegetarian, vegan food is absolutely amazing that, you know, it's not just falafels and lettuce and all that sort of stuff that people used to associate with it. So, so that was sort of the ethos of being a little bit cheekily rebellious about people's perceptions of what a vegan food bulls. And then the other thing, I think I've just always been a bit of a rebel in a nice way, if that makes sense. So, and I just liked it. I liked that the alliteration rebel recipes as well,

Michelle Reeves (host) (10:23):
Gotta love a bit of alliteration [inaudible] no, I love that. And it's interesting, isn't it? Because you're right. The vegan scene as you call it, you know, has, it's almost become like, you know, part of everyday life people have, you know, a vegan day a week or they might have a couple of vegetarian days a week, but as you say, you know, five years ago, it was, it was a bit different and it's, and it's kind of your kind of grown with that, I suppose. And, and so tell, tell me a bit about how the blog kind of started. Were you still working full time when you started the blog?

Nikki Webster (10:59):
Yes, absolutely. So I started and because, you know, I've got a business background, I suppose I did go down to in quite a businesslike way. I'm not saying that it was, was great because I was really sort of learning and I didn't know how to sort of start a blog and write recipes properly. And you know, it was, it was definitely a learning for me, but, but I had decided to do it. I wanted to to do something that I was passionate about. And I, and I sort of felt that because I was feeling a bit sort of, I liked my job. It was a great job, but I did feel a little bit constrained. So I just think having that sort of creative outlet with my, my blog and the set of channels I started at the same time was just amazing.

Nikki Webster (11:42):
So even though I was a bit rubbish, my photos were terrible. My recipes weren't that great. It was just a really lovely creative outlook you know, creating a hate before me. And so I just thought, right. Okay. Because also I've got quite somewhat obsessive nature. So for example, I, you know, I used to do lots of exercise before going into work and I just essentially swapped that. So instead of doing my sort of, you know, half an hour exercise before driving into work, I basically get up and obsessively, take photos of my breakfast and sort of start documenting everything. And then, and again, yeah, but purely sort of, you know, this is a hobby I w I was obviously imagining and hoping that, you know, it could go further, but I really, you know, as it wasn't, I had no audience really, and the content wasn't great, you know, what, not many people were seeing it, but, you know, I think that was actually quite helpful at the start because, you know, it's obviously a hue, you know, a long journey and where I am now is completely different to what I was producing when I started, but I locked it.

Nikki Webster (12:52):
So I was just sort of, you know, continuing taking photos of my breakfast, starting to sort of get to know the different social media channels. And I absolutely loved Instagram. And again, like vegans, I mean, Instagram, isn't the, wasn't the beast that it is now, this huge thing. But that was great because it felt more, much more like to just people posting photos of their everyday food. And I started to develop this really lovely network of people all over the world, which were, which were basically just do exactly the same thing as me sort of having this huge passion sort of a plant-based food posting, their terrible pictures, and that we all sort of became friends. And it's incredible because you know, what, five years on, so many of them have just done absolutely amazing things. So I just think it must've been something in the ether at that time.

Nikki Webster (13:42):
There's all these people sort of, you know, following their, their, their plant-based passion. And then, yes, so after a few months maybe, you know, like four or five months, I was starting to get a bit better. My photos were improving, starting to get a little bit more engagement. And, and I found that really encouraging, I suppose I was just sort of, you know, celebrating the small wins of getting more followers and more more engagement. And yeah, I think, I think it will be took about maybe eight, nine months. And I think, I thought, okay, okay, this is really starting to, to grow a little bit now. I mean, nothing like the sort of, you know, engagement or following I've got now, but I maybe it was up to about, you know, sort of 5,000 followers and I'd had it. And I was enjoying it.

Nikki Webster (14:25):
I was obviously juggling with my, with my job. And then there was a couple of things that happened, which I suppose really was sort of like the catalyst to making me think that maybe it could be more of a career. I just, essentially, I started to get really, you know, a lot more followers and I had this lovely shout out from my gellan Dawson, which was a complete shock that she posted one of my photos and in a day think I gained about, Oh goodness, you know, sort of 4,000 new followers. And then I was sort of nearly at 10,000 followers which was just, you know, because I'd worked so hard, you know, it's so hard to find to grow, you know, your social media following. So yeah, that was incredible. And then after that, because the Instagram algorithms were not in place, then it really started to snowball.

Nikki Webster (15:14):
And and I was getting a lot more, a lot more interaction followers and also really just my content had improved and, and I was just sort of learning, learning along the way, you know, what to people want, what are people interested in? You know, I was sort of doing less of the things people didn't like and more of the things that people were super interested in and, and that, that really seemed to work. And yeah. And then then yeah, it grew, it grew, it grew, it grew. And then of course the busier I was getting with my, my blog and I was doing all of the channels. So I, you know, I had a sub because I had a marketing background, I had sort of relatively clear view that I'm just going to be an all of the channels. So every time I posted, I would see Nick or something on my blog and Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest.

Nikki Webster (15:55):
So I stopped everything at the same time and yeah, just sort of, sort of grow with and growing. And I suppose within 12 months yeah, I was getting more opportunities from brands. I was very, very lucky to win the soil association and organic food blogger of the year, which was amazing. And I thought after, you know, sort of maybe 15 months, I think I thought about, okay I think, I didn't know, but I think there might be an opportunity to do something in a more professional capacity with this. And I think I just got to a stage in my career where I thought, look, it's now or never basically. And if worst came to worst and I did take the scary step of, of leaving my job, I could, I could go back into marketing. So, but it was a massive decision because, you know, my husband's self-employed as well. There was absolutely no guaranteed income coming in at all incredibly carriers. I hadn't got that my many savings, but I just knew that I would do absolutely everything I could just to, you know, make it work. And I ended up sort of saying yes to every single opportunity that, that came in.

Michelle Reeves (host) (17:07):
Wow. That, that is amazing. So after 18 months or so, I mean, yeah. Fairplay, Nigella, Lawson giving you a shout-out know was, was fantastic. So well done for that. You can get, you know, an, a Lister to, to share one of your photos. And then you'd obviously we're doing a lot right. To make that happen, which is, which is brilliant. But even so, you know, after 18 months kind of taking the plunge with no guaranteed income, not much savings and your partner being self-employed as well, that that must have been quite a scary time.

Nikki Webster (17:43):
It, it was really scary. It, and again, I'd been thinking about it for so long, because even before starting my blog, I had thought that I wanted to work for myself. I wouldn't have my own business. I didn't know what that looked like. But I just thought, Oh my goodness, well, this is the best opportunity I'm going to get. Because I'm sort of, you know, I'm quite a determined sort of, you know, I'm not, definitely not scared of hard work. And I knew, I knew that I would have to just work solidly 24 hours a day to try and make it work, but I wanted to, and I just think it's completely different, you know, working for yourself and, and building something for yourself and working for a company as much as I loved it, you know, it you're always working for someone else.

Nikki Webster (18:27):
And I just got to that stage that I really, really wanted to, to have my own business and see whether I could, I could make it work. And yeah, I thought, right, I've just, I've just got to do it. And the first few months they were just crazy. I was go, yes, yes, yes. I can do that to me. And I had, you know, I'm just completely blagging it. You know, saying yes to things that I really didn't know that I could do or not. And I mean, you know, my goodness, I look at it now and I think the quality, except for example, I was doing probably some workshops and some photography and some styling you know, sort of opportunities, advertising opportunities from brands and things, and, you know, Oh my goodness, quality, wasn't amazing. I think the clients were happy, but I mean, I look back and I'm thinking, Oh my goodness, that looks terrible.

Nikki Webster (19:12):
And then I had a, and again, this is only maybe sort of a couple of months, or maybe a couple of months since like, after I left my job. And then I had this very random email from a lady who worked in easier saying, would you like to come to Carola? And obviously my huge love for India. So I was immediately excited, but I thought maybe this is famine. I said, would you like to come to India and start on a vegan Arivale cookbook for for a month because I'm just sort of, you know, I just tend to jump into these things. It's like, Oh yes, yes. Yeah. You know, I mean, it's, it's crazy. I mean, I hadn't, you know, of course I was sort of doing my own styling for my own channels and some little bit of run work, but, you know, to actually going to India and style for a whole book was just insane. But of course I said, yes, I went over and did it. I was sort of walking around the streets of Carolina trying to find props. It was crazy. But honestly it was one of those things. It was, you know, I just think the more you throw yourself into situations that you're scared of and you don't know whether you can do it and then somehow you do it it's army. So Oh yeah. I think it's the best feeling ever. And it gives you so much confidence.

Michelle Reeves (host) (20:30):
Oh my goodness. That, that is, that is quite amazing guessing I, I would have been the same as you, I would have thought it was spam. So, but fantastic jumping in 100% and going out to Carola to style a book that from someone that you didn't even know that was such an adventure. And I think you're right. You know, we often you know, our natural inclination is to shy away from these scary things, but it's, I'm often talking with my clients and also on the show about how the only place we actually grow is outside our comfort zone. So you, my goodness, you definitely stepped outside your comfort zone to do that and not, and I'm guessing, you know, with some income for the business. Cause that was my next question for you is, you know, you left your full-time job. How did you start turning that blog into a money-making business? Because I think it's like, you know, it's the $64,000 question, isn't it. So many people start a passion, a side hustle, you know, maybe create a blog about something that they love, but turning it into regular income. That is the hard thing. So how did you make that transition?

Nikki Webster (21:39):
Yeah, and I, I think, I mean, it is hard and you know, income now, luckily first six months, I've, I've, I would say I wasn't making so much money, but since then it's been, it's been great. And of course there are massive ups and downs, you know, cause it's, you know, one month I'll have many, many, many jobs. And you know, I consider my money on the job and I'm not really quiet, but my really it's just sort of spreading the risk really. So, and having sort of multiple income opportunities. Maybe for example, it's a little bit harder at the moment because all of the sort of physical things that I would sort of an income from like to give, you know, workshops, and sometimes I could go on retreats. You know, that stops at the moment, but so say for example I was sort of saying, okay, well I've got the stuff that comes in advertising income brands, wanting to advertise all my channels, primarily my Instagram account that can be, you know, that could be great money, but it is in no way guaranteed.

Nikki Webster (22:49):
So, so, you know, that's the classic thing that, you know, some months I could work before brands the next month, no. So, but it can be super lucrative, but you know, some people, for example, some of my peers have different business models. So for example, some people would only do influencer type work. And that means, I think that's a little bit more precarious. And I think sometimes that means that you have to take things that might not serve your following so well, just because that you're relying on that as your only income. Whereas yeah, so basically I've got the sort of influencer work. I do photography and styling for brands, sort of content creation, recipe creation. And then sometimes we cook on retreats hold workshops. And then obviously my, my cookbook cookbooks actually, cause I've just finished my, my second one, so that those have both been huge projects over the last couple of years. So yeah, sort of making sure you've got to look and, you know, as many little fingers in lots of little parties, which were all sort of connected which I think sort of, you know, sort of alleviates the risk a little bit.

Michelle Reeves (host) (24:07):
I think that's so true. The key and it's certainly something, even those of us that have got the full-time businesses that we run, that there aren't blood related and, and people with offline businesses, you know, the pandemic that as we're recording this, we're still in the middle of COVID-19 has meant that so many people have had to pivot and add new income streams. And it's definitely something I recommend to, you know, to everyone is to not just have a single income stream because something like this can happen or even if we're not in a pandemic, if your income stream is based on social media, say on Facebook, for example, or an Instagram, all that needs to happen is for Facebook or Instagram to change their algorithm. Or let's say they switch off ad to one day who knows, you know, write your, then your whole business model goes down the toilet. So having multiple income streams does allow you to kind of smooth out that curve that you get, that you talked about that kind of feast and famine curve, which is just the nature of, you know, running a business. So I really love that. Let's talk a bit about your books though, because so you had your blog and you're working with brands. How did the book come about?

Nikki Webster (25:25):
Yeah, so a cookbook has been buying to eat like I'm sure many before for years. So but of course when I started, I really didn't think that that was in any way going to be a reality. So a little bit of a sort of twisted history with that you know, in terms of how it actually got my first book. So when I was very lucky enough to win the, as the, the blog of the air source association I actually got approached by a number of eight, a couple of agents at that time and which was amazing, but I started to work with them, but Oh my goodness, I was in no way ready to to write a book at that stage. So, I mean, Paul's got a proposal, but it was pretty appalling and it really didn't go anywhere.

Nikki Webster (26:14):
But I, I felt, I felt a bit sad and a bit scarred from that experience because of course it was my dream. I really wanted to have a cookbook, but yeah, I on reflection, it wasn't very good at all, so I'm not surprised. So I sort of parked it, the idea of having a book for a little while. And then basically, and I'm trying to work out the exact time. It's probably a couple of years ago now, cause it's quite a long time to actually write a cook book a couple years ago. I got approached by a American who said, you know, we love what you do. And would you be interested in I see your book, of course I was interested. And I thought, okay, maybe I'll revisit that. And so I was having sort of conversations with them you know, pulled together a number of concepts and then yeah, come up with an idea that I really liked.

Nikki Webster (27:04):
They made me an offer and then my, my friends and also colleague actually they called patina in kitchen. I think lots of, lots of work with she said she already released a cookbook. And she said, well, I think it would just be sensible to have a chat with my UK agent and see whether, you know, it's opportunities in the UK because, you know, yeah, it's great to have a publisher in America, but you know, you could get you know, maybe a better offer. And so I thought, well, yeah, of course, because you know, once you've got one offer, it's probably easier to get other offers. So, and it's entirely sensible just to see, you know, see what all the opportunities are right at that. So yes, it's when I spoke to her agent lyrical Becky, and then she said, yeah, you know, I think this is a great proposal.

Nikki Webster (27:50):
You know, here's a few tweaks and let's send it out to the UK publishers. So that's what we did very quickly. And then, yeah, I mean, I just think it's about sometimes it's about timing and about being ready because you know, my, my proposal from you and hard before was, you know, no one was interested. And then, but this proposal, which I wrote much quicker, I don't know. I just think it was, you know, that the vegan market had changed. And obviously what I was saying had developed, and I was much more confident and yeah, basically I got lots of interest from publishers and yeah, it was, it was like a mini bidding ball, which is basically the best moment of my life.

Speaker 4 (28:36):
If you can imagine it, that was basically do I have friends

Nikki Webster (28:38):
Turns to Wales and Becky was calling me saying, Oh, we can't do it an offer. So it was just, it was amazing. And then yes, and decided to go with upstate who were parts of Bloom's rate. And they're a really lovely publisher and yeah, that's how, that's how it happened basically. And then I yeah, it takes quite a long time to, you know, to make a big chunky book. So so I think that was in August and then it didn't sort of arrive on the shelves for a whole like year, year and a bit and was finally released in this December 26th, December boxing day. And that was amazing. So it was absolutely is I was, you know, incredible moments in my life when you sort of realized that, you know, a long a long-term dream. But I just think in that, I mean, because I just felt so disillusioned and so like, you know, and I mean, it's hard, it's hard getting a book deal.

Nikki Webster (29:33):
It's not an easy thing. And I felt like all of my friends to sound a bit prophetic or, you know, about having books or multiple things like that, it's just never going to happen. But I think if you sort of hang in there and, you know, then yeah, and if you've got an audience North course or publishers these days and looking for a sort of like a proven audience, I think, so if you just sort of like stick at it and continue doing what you're passionate about, then it, you know, there are opportunities out there.

Michelle Reeves (host) (30:01):
So it's such a great story about how you came to publish rebel recipes and, you know, I know how long it can take to publish a book. You know, the writing of it is just one small part of, of, of the whole book process. So how did you kind of overcome that initial, you know, I guess the feeling that you hadn't managed to get the book done with the first proposal that you wrote, that, that must've been quite nerve wracking sitting down to do that again, you know, what kinds of, sort of challenges was your, were your brain throwing up at that point?

Nikki Webster (30:40):
Oh, I, I felt awful actually. I, it really knocked my confidence. So yeah, it was really difficult and that's why I think I parked it for so long and I was like, Oh, I just don't think anyone's going to be interested. And it's, you know, maybe the timing is wrong and it really took a lot for me to, to to think that even to dare to think that people might be interested again, because I don't know. I think, I feel like I know a lot more about publishing now, but from my first experience, I was so inexperienced and I really didn't know. And yeah, I started didn't know what a good book cookbook proposal was. You know, who, who was good to work with you know, what the process was like. So I probably didn't even realize how difficult it was to get a book deal.

Nikki Webster (31:34):
So without that context, I felt, I felt even worse, you know, I I've took it really personally. So I think it was really me just continuing and sort of getting on with all of the other stuff and, you know, forgetting about it for awhile. And then when I was approached by the American publisher, that sort of, I suppose, that gave me the confidence that they go, okay, well, people might be interested now, but I think it was just because my stuff was much, much better at that stage. And then, yeah, but it was still heart wrenching, you know, to actually put myself in a position where I felt confident enough to sort of, you know, talk to the new agents and, you know, it's exposing, you know, it's, I mean, I think all of the stuff you do on a daily basis, putting stuff out there in terms of your recipes and content, it's quite expensive and you're asking people to react to it or judge it or like it or not like it.

Nikki Webster (32:31):
But I think even, you know, something that's a book which takes so much work and time and effort, and you're putting all of your hearts into this proposal, which is no mean feat either a proposal or proposal is like a mini book. So you're very invested in it. And then, you know, it's going out there and you're going to be judged and people are gonna like it or hate it. So, yeah, it took a bit of courage, but I suppose I've just always had this thing that I have to just sort of, you know, go forward and face my fears and see what happens, because unless you do that, you're sort of stuck, you know, you, you're not going to change anything. So yeah, I did it and thank goodness I did. So yeah, it just shows what a difference timing can make and yeah, I'm very happy. I, I did decide to, to go for it and, you know, even though I was terrified,

Michelle Reeves (host) (33:22):
I think that that's so such a great message there you know, facing your fears so that you don't otherwise, you're going to basically, you're not moving forward. Are you, so what tips would you, I'm just kind of imagining, you know, people listening to this saying, Oh, I've always wanted to, you know, write a book, could maybe they've got you know a business that, where a book could be a great part of that, or, or perhaps, you know, people running a business where they've got a passion, that's got nothing to do with their business, but they've just got that creative urge to get something out there. How would you recommend, what kind of steps could they take to get started?

Nikki Webster (34:02):
Yeah, I mean, I think that I mean, of course, you know, there's, there's lots of ways of writing book and getting a book published because, you know, I, of course, you know, the traditional sort of working with the publisher route, but I'm not sure that's necessarily, you know, the most profitable and lots of people self-publish, and that works really, really well for some people, but but if you wanted to do the additional work like me, which I felt that I wanted to do, because I think not knowing too much about publishing, I felt that having, you know, experienced publishing place would be helpful. You know, give me structure and take away a little bit of the risk. So essentially I think the idea is obviously key and having, having an audience. And that doesn't mean, I'm not saying that you need to have a huge mass audience.

Nikki Webster (34:56):
I think you just need to have a relatively loyal and proven audience and to be able to demonstrate to a publisher, if you're going to the publisher routes that there's an audience interested in the content that you're creating and you're doing, cause that's, it's so competitive and that's what they're, they're really looking for. And I suppose one of those ways is the read the ideas, which is having a, you know, a strong social media following, but that's not, but that doesn't mean that's the only way by any means. But I think, I suppose, like anything, for example, I've had conversations with you know, chefs that have had quite long TV careers, and yeah, and they've been on TV, they've had a great audience, but because they haven't got a strong, they didn't have strong social media following publishers send up, you know, you need to build that up.

Nikki Webster (35:53):
So I think that's, it is probably one of the most important things just to try and get your audiences you know, as loyal and as, you know, as big as you can, but you know, obviously keeping engagement and then yeah. Coming up with an idea, but how I always think about content is not, I mean, you have to be passionate about it because my goodness it's hard work and to do something, you know, every day, relentlessly sometimes with not much reward, it has to be something you're super passionate about, but I always sort of look at it in the context of what, what other people are getting from it. So I think some people sort of say, well, you know, this is my passion. I'm just going to go, but I love, I don't know what it might be. I don't know, potatoes, for example.

Nikki Webster (36:40):
So I'm just going to, you know, talk about potatoes, which could work brilliantly, but you know, it's like, we have to think, well, okay, if I'm passionate potatoes or people getting, you know, growing tips or they're getting recipes every day, are they getting, you know, seasonal content? So it's like always thinking what other people, and it was sort of, you know, filter my content through that lens. What, what other people getting from this rather than just, what am I wanting to put out that? So I think that's, that's something to bear in mind, but if you're thinking about a book proposal or an ebook or course content yeah, basically what is the end goal? What w what, what, what is that audience going to really what the tangible benefits that that audience is going to get? And I think that would make for a much stronger proposal.

Michelle Reeves (host) (37:29):
Oh, I love that really good tip there, guys, in for any creative content, as, as Nikki said, you know, what is the transformation that people are going to get as a result of reading your book, reading your blog, watching your videos, doing your course. I mean, doesn't matter what it is, I guess, you know, that transformation is absolutely key. And how, how much did you think about when you were writing the book? How much did you think about your readers? Did you have like an ideal reader in mind?

Nikki Webster (37:59):
Yeah, I mean, I always, I always genuinely with my recipes, I always just want to make them as delicious as possible. So there's a number of ways that people approach sort of feeling cooking the recipes and being cookbooks. And I think some people are approach recipe creation and content creation from a perspective of okay, I'm creating a vegan recipe and that might be a meat replace Hill, or that might be you know, something's emulating something that they're missing without meat and genuinely. I don't do that. I'm always trying to think about how to make the most delicious tasting food, which happens to be vegan and full of, you know, and, and just sort of taking all my inspiration from all the countries I've traveled in and, and just sort of, you know, sort of inspired by, but sort of taking or, you know, everything I can from to do it, you know, Asia, middle East, and all those amazing places that, and cooking basing forever and, and trying to put them into a format of my, you know, creatively in my way that I think people will really like.

Nikki Webster (39:06):
So I am always thinking, like, I think that's delicious and I think people will really like to cook that. And I was, I do, I do obviously better lots of things in my mind thinking, yeah. Is it a balanced meal? Is it, you know, has it got layers of flavor? Is it healthy? Is it wholesome, which are all there in back of my mind, but I'm always just thinking is someone who's going to think that's really, really delicious. And I tried to do that, which with each, the rest of is in my book to say, you know, would I just, you know, just really, really, really important to eat it. And also try to make things dizzy, you know, not too complicated, that's actually quite difficult because for some people you know, haven't got so much skill in the kitchen, even something quite simple is a little bit of a challenge. So it's always a bit of a balance and I've got to think, so I sort of, you know, decided to, just to go for a range, really some recipes, a little bit more complex and maybe to make them on a Sunday afternoon. You know, there's a lot of stuff there that connects to the one pan dish, which, you know, super, super, super, super simple. And you can just whip up in, you know, 20 minutes.

Michelle Reeves (host) (40:10):
Well, I'm loving that for start whipping something up 30 minutes and it's delicious, you've sold, or and, and, you know, Melissa is no, I'm, I'm not completely vegan, but, but definitely pescatarian, I don't eat at any, any meat. So I'm really excited by the idea of this, of, of your books anywhere. I've got to go and grab myself a coffee. Let's just talk a little bit about you Nikki, because there's obviously there's a lot going on. You've got a new book coming out, which we'll talk about in a second. You've got your first book that you're obviously still promoting, you're doing interviews. I know that you've been in a lot of national press and you're still running your blog and your social media accounts. How do you kind of balance all that and make sure that you've still got some time for you? Are there any kind of habits or practices that you've put in place to give yourself that bit? A bit of self-care? Yeah,

Nikki Webster (41:06):
I mean, yes. I mean, how I managed it really is just, I'm not, I'm a huge sort of, you know, list maker. So I obsessed with Evernote and and I just sort of like, my whole life is sort of sinked on every single device. And I write all of my recipes, all of my planning, everything I'm doing. And every day I have a a day plan basically, and I just tick it off and I feel dramatically better about myself, but basically what is that, what I do is like also schedule in you know, time for things for myself. So for example, this morning, I do twice a week. I do virtual weights sessions with my friends. So that's scheduled in, so basically from eight to nine on Tuesdays and Fridays, I D I do that. And I even schedule schedule in walks, you know, yoga sessions and what I'm going to do.

Nikki Webster (41:56):
I mean, basically sort of exercise keeps me sane basically. And yeah, I also schedule it. This is the time I'm going to see my mom. And so it's actually blocked out, which might sound a bit strange, but for me it really works. And then it sort of part of my schedule and it means that I'm not sort of working, working a minutes, but also I do actually just love what I'm doing. So for example, there's stuff I do. And I try to keep things I do in the dates of like, what work stuff say, sort of client, staff, book, things, promotion I've also got a podcast. So, and then in the evening I try and do sort of my social media stuff. Basically. That's sort of how I work it because I don't see, even though, you know, my own channels are for sure a full-time job they're not necessarily sort of like, you know, paid, it's just basically stuff I'm putting out there to my audience.

Nikki Webster (42:53):
So I sort of do that very casually while sort of watching TV and things like that in the evening, which for some people may not work and they think, well, I just completely want to switch off, but for me, I'd be happy to do that. So I'm just going to engage with everyone and have conversations and, you know but also, you know, what you have Netflix at the same time basically. And then, yeah, in the day I do this sort of work, work on my calls, clients, staff sheets book things, and then, yeah, probably do some exercise and and and then yeah, my social stuff and evening, and that's how I work it. And at the weekend, I'm, I'm a bit naughty. I'm not amazing at shutting off reading to do that. I live in Birmingham, but on my family and my friends live in [inaudible], that's where I'm from. So really what I do like to do is sort of go back there at the weekend and then I'll just completely switch off. I'll go for a huge full walk, you know, spend time with my sister and my mom and my friends. And then I will, you know, I won't be working with, I have a tendency if I'm at home just to, to work basically. So I'm just sort of mindful and to sort of remove myself from working,

Michelle Reeves (host) (44:03):
Oh, I totally get that. It's so easy to work. I mean, you really could work 24 hours a day when you run your own business. It's so important as you say, to shed jewel in everything whether that's blocks of time for different parts of your business or blocks of time for yourself. So I really love that you do that. I think it is so important that we, that we showed your all that stuff in otherwise it's just not going to get done. So Nikki, I've absolutely loved hearing about your journey and you've got this new book that's coming out. So just tell us a little bit about that. How is that different from rebel recipes?

Nikki Webster (44:39):
It's actually really quite different. So this book is it's called be more vegan and it's a book for young people and teenagers. So lots of, lots of lots of people now are considering being a little bit more plant-based or vegan. And certainly, you know, young people and teenagers are very much part of that. So essentially it's it's partly cookbook, which has got loads of sort of easy, accessible sort of family friendly, but fun recipes and then partly textbooks. So it's got everything that you would probably want to know if you're considering being more based vegan, vegetarian. So sort of things like what you need nutritionally or the sort of history of veganism or sort of you know, hints and tricks and techniques and absolutely everything. It's also checked by by a dietician. So it's all completely great if you're you know, if you're a mum and you're worried about your teenagers cited to come vegan, they're basically, you know, everything's in there to make sure that, you know, everything's texts nutritionally and, but it's also just fun. It's very lighthearted. It's not in any way preachy. It's just basically giving some, some information and some, and some lovely, easy and tasty recipes that hopefully the whole family will enjoy.

Michelle Reeves (host) (46:05):
Well, that sounds great. I mean, I think that's so needed, isn't it, when it must be quite challenging, you know, young people thinking, Oh, you know, I don't want to eat meat anymore, but if you come from a sort of a meat and edge type family, you know, that's going to send real alarm bells off for some, some parents. So really great idea to everyone to get a bit more knowledge about it. And there's so much evidence that shows that the plant-based diet, even if you don't follow it a hundred percent of the time, even if you just become 50% more, plant-based the health benefits are incredible. So that sounds like the most amazing book. Definitely going to be checking that out and talking about checking it out. Can you maybe just give us you know, a little bit of information about where we can find you. So if someone's interested in finding out about your books, maybe checking out your blog, having a look at what you're doing on Instagram. Cause I know there are some gorgeous photos on there. How can people find you Nikki?

Nikki Webster (47:04):
Super, super easy. So it's all just rebel recipes basically. So the blog is www.recipes.com and then Instagram is sort of actionable recipes. And then, yeah, I mean, buy books are sold everywhere, but I mean, it's sort of super easy to find them all on Amazon and they're usually a little bit cheaper on there. Yeah. And then, but of course I'm everywhere. So I'm on Facebook, just again, liberal recipes, easy peasy topic, and

Michelle Reeves (host) (47:30):
I'll be amazing, such a great fun having you on the show. Nikki, it's been really great chatting with you and I can't wait to go and check those books out. I am going to go and look at them right now. Thanks so much again, it's been great having you on the show. Oh thank you, Michelle. Loved it. Thank you.

Michelle Reeves (host) (47:53):
So there you have it. My interview with Nikki Webster, I think what I love most about our chat is how Nikki brought the reality of content creation as a passion and as a business. And I just have to say that I've got a copy of Nikki's latest cookbook, be more vegan, which she mentioned, which is aimed at teenagers, but I love it. And we've cooked some of the dishes from it and they are delicious. Be more vegan is actually out today and you can grab a copy on Amazon and Hey, if you enjoyed this episode, would you do me a favor? Would you head over to iTunes and leave me a comment and a review? It really does mean that more amazing people will be able to find the show. Okay. That's it for me today. Thank you so much for tuning in. I know your time is valuable.

Michelle Reeves (host) (48:43):
I really appreciate you taking the time to join me today. And this is actually the last episode in this series of the podcast. I'll be back with another series in the new year, but in the meantime, I would love you to continue the conversation with me in the ideal life club, Facebook group, a supportive space I've created on Facebook for ambitious women who want to grow themselves as well as their business to find out more and join us, head over to Michelle Reeves, coaching.com forward slash ideal life club. In the meantime until next time be positive, be powerful, be productive, stay safe and keep fast tracking your ideal business and life. Bye for now!


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