Simply beyond herbs - My herbal journey

Simply beyond herbs – My herbal journey

As the founder of Simply beyond herbs, my mission is to encourage people to forage and grow their own herbs, show them ways how to identify, preserve, and use herbs throughout the year.

Name of the founder: Vladka Merva

My herbal journey 

My passion for herbs began during my years in college, where I studied pharmaceutical science. I was particularly drawn to botany and pharmacognosy. Over time, I have shared my knowledge and experiences through my website, and I am proud to say that it has evolved into a successful source of income.

My journey as a health and wellness enthusiast began when I was working as a pharmacist, dispensing over-the-counter medicines. Over time, I became increasingly interested in exploring natural healing methods and found myself drawn to the power of herbs, healthy meals, and natural remedies. My experience with herbs was truly elevated when I moved to the alpine region, where I could experience the plants in a new way through their scents, textures, and flavors. I went back to my books to deepen my understanding of the herbs and began experimenting with them in recipes and natural remedies, as well as in immunity-boosting drinks and cocktails. Growing my own herbs was also a valuable experience, as it allowed me to establish a deeper connection with the plants and develop a greater appreciation for their healing properties.

Founder of Simply beyond herbs – Vladka Merva

Starting my own blog 

Identifying your passions is a fantastic accomplishment, but how can you turn it into a source of income? This is where the concept of starting a personal blog came into play. Initially, I simply shared my favorite experiments with my followers. However, I soon learned that blogs can be monetized through advertising. Once you have a substantial number of monthly visitors, you can apply to an advertising agency. If accepted, you can earn a steady monthly income from the advertisements on your blog. This can be a great way to turn your passion into a viable source of income all while sharing it with the world.

Growing herbs in eggshells

Becoming a successful blogger is a challenging journey that requires hard work and a steep learning curve, particularly in search engine optimization (SEO) and keyword usage. When I started, I wrote about recipes that I found fascinating. However, I soon realized that I needed to write about topics people were actively searching for to be successful. Effective use of keywords and SEO strategies can improve the visibility and ranking of your blog, making it easier for people to discover your content. 

Furthermore, blogging requires significant time and effort to produce high-quality content and engage with your audience. I noticed significant growth when I started to post new content three times a week.


Scented Lilac oil                                                        making wild teas from foraged herbs

The challenges I am facing 

Diversifying your income

Search engines like Google frequently update their algorithms, which can impact the visibility and ranking of your blog. It is, therefore, crucial to diversify your income sources to avoid relying solely on traffic from Google. There are other ways to monetize your blog, such as through affiliate marketing or developing and selling your own products. For bloggers like me, who reside outside the United States, creating e-products, like e-books, can be a viable option. By having multiple streams of income, you can ensure the sustainability and success of your blog, even in the face of changes in search engine algorithms.

Writing blog in a foreign language 

Writing recipes and remedies in English would open up a much larger audience and, therefore, a higher potential for monetization. However, writing in a language that is not your native tongue can be challenging, particularly when it comes to grammar and syntax. I had to improve my writing skills and ensure that my content was grammatically correct and easy to understand for English-speaking readers. Additionally, living in Europe and using different measurement units presented a unique challenge. I had to carefully convert my recipes and remedies into the more commonly used units in the English-speaking world to ensure that my audience could accurately follow my instructions. 

Pain relief salve from nettle

Culture differences 

I learned that there are great cultural differences between English speaking audiences from the USA, Europe and Australia. For example, while Americans call it “aubergine”, the British call it “eggplant” and in Australia, it is known as “brinjal”. These differences extend beyond just the names of dishes, but also include ingredients, cooking styles, and cultural norms. As a blogger, you should be aware of these differences and adjust your content accordingly to ensure that it is accessible and relevant to your target audience. For example, if your target audience is primarily based in the US, using American terms and measurements in your recipes and remedies may be beneficial. On the other hand, if your target audience is based in the UK, using British terms and measurements may be more appropriate. By being mindful of cultural differences and making the necessary adjustments, you can create content that connects with your audience, improves engagement, and, ultimately, drives monetization.

Opportunities in blogging 

Blogging can offer many opportunities for those looking to start a business or build a brand. By consistently producing high-quality content, you can build a strong brand and establish yourself as an expert in your niche.

Blogging allows you to reach a large and diverse audience, which can be valuable for building your brand and promoting your products or services.

While it looks like you work on your own, bloggers collaborate with other bloggers from the same niche to grow faster. 

The greatest deal of blogging is the flexibility that allows you to work from anywhere and anytime. You can travel the world and work at the same time. 

dandelion capers

Lessons learned from running a blogging business 

Running a successful blogging business requires careful consideration of where to focus one’s time and resources. While there are many tasks that one could undertake to grow their blog more quickly, it is important to be selective and choose the most impactful ones. For example, in the early stages of my blogging journey, I spent a lot of time on social media, engaging with my followers and posting regularly. However, I soon realized that the quality of my content was just as, if not more, important than my social media presence. Therefore, I consciously decided to focus more on my writing and less on social media, which was a key factor in the success of my blog.

Additionally, I learned the importance of understanding search engine optimization (SEO) and using the right keywords to rank higher in search results. The blogging world is constantly evolving, and staying up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies is crucial to success. This requires ongoing education and a dedication to continuously improve one’s skills and knowledge.



      Foraging wild violets                                                        Foraging for dandelion capers

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Nutritionist, Cornell University, MS

I believe that nutrition science is a wonderful helper both for the preventive improvement of health and adjunctive therapy in treatment. My goal is to help people improve their health and well-being without torturing themselves with unnecessary dietary restrictions. I am a supporter of a healthy lifestyle – I play sports, cycle, and swim in the lake all year round. With my work, I have been featured in Vice, Country Living, Harrods magazine, Daily Telegraph, Grazia, Women's Health, and other media outlets.

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