Today we are very lucky to be having a chat with the 6 figure food blogger behind Recipe This. Let’s welcome Samantha! Samantha and I started blogging around the same time. I started my very first blog in September 2007 and I discovered people were earning £200 a day from Google ads alone. That blew my tiny mind and I got started immediately!
It’s a real delight to chat to someone who has been in the industry for so long and there’s so much to learn. So let’s get started.
Motivating Secrets Of A 6 Figure Food Blogger [The Interview]
Thinking of becoming a food blogger? Read how to start a craft blog the easiest way possible. All of the information is the same EXCEPT maybe which type of theme you should install. But that’s the end of the tutorial.
When and how did you start as a Food Blogger? Is there an interesting story here?
I first started blogging on Christmas Day 2008. It was one of those awful Christmases where you don’t feel you are not having a good one. The recession had hit and we were living in a caravan with no money. It was myself, my husband and our 7 year old son back then. A friend I had made online talked me into starting a blog. Making the move from running websites on HTML to becoming a food blogger.
It sounded like something fun and different and I sat there and did it there and then. The blog then earned us enough to get out of the caravan and have a family home again.
I got the blogging bug straight away and fast forward to 2015 and many niches later, lots of blog flipping, and we decided to create a blog that would one day become our pension pot.
Instead of running several blogs we would just run one and be a full-time food blogger. On the month our daughter turned one we started recipethis.com. Based around cooking with kitchen gadgets it would have a heavy air fryer presence.
She will be six years old later this year and it is now a six figure business with 6 employees.
Related: Using This Business Plan Template Is The Fastest Way To Your Success
What’s your technique for
staying productive working effectively as a food blogger throughout the day?
I am one of those crazy organized people. Think Monica from Friends. A list for a list and plenty of efficiency.
I will make sure that each day that I am working that I set goals and that I meet them. With having a three year old and a five year old my husband and I swap work weeks. I will work 2 weeks, then he will work two weeks and then it will be back to me again. One our working weeks we will often work a 12 hour day with the intention of getting as much work done as we can.
Because the other person is with the kids and cooking the meals it helps keeping us efficient so that we can focus just on work.
Related: Goal Setting Worksheet + Epic Strategies To Smash Your Goals
For example, A Week In The Life Of A Food Blogger;
I am on the last day of my 2 weeks working and over the 2 weeks (working monday to friday) I have:
- Edited photos and typed up 17 blog posts of approximately 1500 words each
- Created a new sales funnel for a new set of ebooks i have launching soon
- Creating some new cornerstone content
- Put together a new big list of to do jobs for my virtual assistant for when i am offline
- Loaded up extra social media using smarter queue
- Written a new ebook
There has been more than this, but I do so much in a day that sometimes I forget everything that I have completed.
How do you define “successful” as a Food Blogger?
I think success means different things for different people. The moment it felt like Recipe This was successful was the moment i earned enough from it not to have to freelance or do sponsored content. Both of these were tasks I didn’t want to do because they took my time away from my kids and from building my business.
I felt Recipe This was successful when after 9 months I could quit freelancing and when it earned $1200 a month because that was what our outgoings were back then.
Related: Making Money From Home? It’s Easy If You Do It Smart
What did your path to six figures look like as a food blogger?
Steady growth. Working hard. Remaining focused. Consistency.
I have always been incredibly consistent with Recipe This. Blog posts even went out the month our son Jorge was born in the summer of 2016.
I believe in the saying “content is king” and focusing on good quality content on a regular basis. This is what has helped me reach six figures.
It has allowed me, as a food blogger to grow to millions of visitors a year and then focus on making sure our content is well monetised.
Of course, there is always something you want to tweak and I don’t think anybody is 100% happy with their blog and always wants to improve something.
What has been your most recent “teachable moment”?
The lockdown. I thought to myself that many are at home complaining about being stuck indoors and instead I would like something positive to come from this.
- worked at growing Recipe This and creating new content and new digital products
- my teenage son beside me, working for us, so that he can save up for driving lessons
- had my kids in the kitchen more to teach them cooking skills
- taught my kids photography skills too
What do you like to do when you’re not blogging?
I am lucky to live in Portugal and we have some of the best beaches and best waterparks in the world. In the summer you will find us with an annual pass at Portugal’s version of Seaworld. As a British Expat, we struggle to deal with the heat so in August you will find me under the waterfall at the waterpark cooling off while watching the kids on the slides.
Out of the summer season I love to watch Netflix documentaries, take our boxer on country walks, but most of all I love to cook.
Many say i am obsessed with cooking. I think about it from morning until night and love teaching my kids to cook.
What do you wish more people knew about the blogging life?
That it is hard work. We often work more hours than those in a 9 to 5 job. Or that just because you are at home all day, doesn’t mean that you are sat on the sofa watching TV. Or that bloggers just wear pyjamas all day.
Who’s doing things that are just cutting-edge and incredible in the blogosphere right now?
I don’t read many blogs now as I am focusing on growing my own business and don’t have the time. But when I was starting out blogging I always followed Pro Blogger and it was the blog that I read for advice to increase traffic and monetise a few years ago.
Instead of blogs to follow I find podcasts much more worthwhile. I take the dog for an evening walk and will listen to The Theory Of Content, The Blogger Genius Podcast and I am now working my way through the back episodes of Dishing With Delishes.
What’s the one thing you’d like to change about your site?
I would like to optimise it more. I look back at blog posts from 2015 and 2016 and know that every single one of them needs a rewrite. They need to be inline with what Google wants today, not what they wanted four years ago.
But that’s not all I want to optimise them for. I started receiving a US audience rather than just UK and AU in 2017 and many earlier recipes are not optimised for American readers.
Plus, back in 2016 there was not much competition for the niche. You just wrote it and it went to the top of Google and I feel like I need to go back and make more of an effort.
How do you see the evolution of life as a food blogger compared to ten years ago, when you started using it? Is it on the right track?
I believe so. Blogging back then was incredibly spammy. Content was short and very low quality on many sites. I partly believe this is down to a lack of information for new bloggers compared to now. You didn’t have blogging courses back then. You didn’t even have beginner guides for setting up a blog. You just did your own thing and enjoyed it.
When I look back to when I was blogging in 2010, blog posts were rarely over 400 words and you enjoyed it. You didn’t think i can’t write this because it wont rank in Google or how many images should i make for pinterest. Instead you focused on getting numbers on your mailing list.
Ten years on creating and building a mailing list should be a top priority and I am sure that will still apply ten years from now.
What do you think is the most efficient way to market yourself as a food blogger right now?
Don’t have your eggs all in one basket. Diversify your traffic and get out there so that your target audience knows where you are.
Focus on 5 main traffic sources and then you are not stretching yourself thin and crying when you lose a high traffic SEO position.
In 2020 I would recommend spreading your traffic between Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, SEO, email list and referral traffic. If you lose traffic from one then you still have ⅚ of your traffic to go and it won’t ruin your business.
Focus on good SEO tools such as Answer The Public & SEM Rush. Focus on using tools like Smarter Queue that way you can loop your best posts back through Facebook, Twitter and such like.
Thank you so much to epic food blogger Samantha for sharing her experience with us. That truly is golden advice to follow for anyone in the blogging world, no matter what niche you’re in. It’s the secret to my personal blogging success and longevity in the business and I’m sure it’s the same story for many many others. And I’m also sure that none of them would change it, instead of maybe levelling up yet again.
If you have any additional questions, please ask them in the comments!