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It’s hard to believe that this blog has been around in various incarnations since 2011, but it has! September 2021 will mark the ten-year anniversary for Indie Herbalist, and ten years old is a heck of a long time in Blog Land. Most blogs quietly fizzle out long before now. Indie Herbalist is reader-supported, and that is the reason for its success!
Most of the staying power behind Indie Herbalist is that I love what I do. I also know there is a need for the topics I write about. My readers are a friendly bunch! You pop into my email from time to time and let me know. And that’s the way it should be. Herbalism is a folk practice. At its heart, herbalism is about sharing knowledge.
I’ve kept writing through some crazy tough life changes, but I’m still here and so is the blog. And that’s because of my readers. So thank you! When I say we are reader-supported, I don’t just mean financially. If it weren’t for my readers being a constant source of joy and encouragement, this blog would never have made it.
The evolution of the Independent Herbalist
Initially, Indie Herbalist was an online diary back when people mostly used blogs like social media- as a way to keep up with friends and family. (I know, that’s forever ago now!)
Then I began using Indie Herbalist as a platform or portfolio of sorts for finding herb-related freelance work. It helped fill in the gaps when I was cobbling together part-time jobs, and even full-time jobs that were well below a living wage.
Because of this blog, I’ve been fortunate to work with some incredible brands and magazines as part of their writing teams. I was even offered a book deal through Adams Media (which was then acquired by Simon & Schuster). The best part of that is that my book earned out- so a HUGE thank you to everyone who has bought copies and spread the word about The Complete Guide to Adaptogens!
Why Indie Herbalist is reader supported
For a while, I juggled part time jobs and starting a community herb school and clinic called Common Branch Herb School. Eventually, I had to pack up and head back to Atlanta. Rural communities need help, but it was impossible to find a full time job with a set schedule and decent pay that would give me the stability to nurture my herbal projects on the side.
Now that I’m back in Atlanta my personal situation has improved 100%. I’m fortunate to have family that believes in and support my long term goals. Even though we are still navigating the uncertain terrain of a pandemic, I’ve found a stable job that pays far better than even the management-level jobs I worked in Calhoun. I have a set work schedule and full benefits.
Over the last year, I’ve been able to double down on my writing projects, both here and at the Teacup Alchemy blog and podcast. Making the switch from freelance writing to other streams of income was scary, but seems to be worth it! I’ve been thrilled to see Indie Herbalist begin to support itself through affiliate income with enough money left over to invest in a quiet co-working space where my ideas for a boutique media agency can finally put down some roots.
For Indie Herbalist, going with a reader supported model is what makes sense. I don’t want to run ugly ads all over the website. I want to write beautiful books and tell you about wonderful courses and products I find and love. And your support of my book and the way affiliate sales are trending tells me that’s working really well for you too!
Indie Herbalist’s next big adventure
So where are we headed next? I can cheerfully tell you that I have no idea.
But it’s going to be great.
There are awesome garden plans in the works for this year, so I should have lots of useful things to turn into blog articles. I’m slowly working my way back through the archives to update old articles. There are plans for more books, more herbal mischief, and even some artistic avenues to explore. (Herbal, of course!)
I’m finishing a bachelor’s degree in communications and professional writing and a health and wellness coach certification through the American Fitness Professionals Association. Both of these milestones will help immensely. If you’re interested in working with me once my certification is done, be sure to take the survey. It will help me determine what services people need the most.
Once the degree is done and the certification is complete, I will have a better idea of next steps. Right now is seed time. Germinating. Exploring with little roots in the soil to see what takes hold.
Again, thank you to everyone who has been a loyal reader for the last ten years. I can’t wait to make more memories with you!
(A version of this retrospective article originally ran September, 2015. It was updated April 19, 2021).