Dine & Dish by Kristen Doyle

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Kristen Doyle is the creator of the award winning website, Dine & Dish. Since early 2006, Kristen has been sharing her favorite recipes, photographs and life stories with an ever growing audience of engaged readers.

Kristen has expanded her reach to include working with major brands (Bush’s Beans, Green Mountain Coffee, Hallmark,Zatarain’s…just to name a few) as well as providing editorial content and direction for nationwide print publications and websites. Her freelance writing career spans working with magazines on a local and national level as well as creating valuable web content for a variety of sites across the web.

Kristen is a busy mom of 4 young kids, loves to entertain, has a passion for photography, and believes in keeping things simple. An avid reader, a kind of runner, a horrible gardener, and the wife of an outstanding man, Kristen’s ultimate life goal is to connect and create meaningful relationships with others.

Please tell us something about yourself. Is food blogging your profession or just a hobby?

My blog started out as a hobby, but has since turned to my profession. Well, my blog is the vehicle that has led to my profession which is freelance writing, food photography and recipe development. I do a lot of work for clients who found me through my blog, but what I do for them isn’t necessarily on my blog.

When did you get an idea to launch your own blog and how important is it for you be online?

I’ve been online for a very long time.. I’ve always been fascinated by the online world. I originally started my blog when my 3rd child was born. Soon after my parents moved 16 hours hours a way and I felt like I needed a way to connect with them and keep them updated on my life. What started as a chronicle of my kids soon evolved into what Dine & Dish is today.

Did you have someone help you make the website or did you do it by yourself?

I have zero skills when it comes to website development and graphic design. I had someone design my current blog as well as former versions of Dine & Dish. I think it is extremely important to hire out what you aren’t capable of doing or don’t have the talent/desire to do.

The right domain name is important. How long did it take you to come up with the domain name for your blog?

I honestly can’t remember how long it took me to come up with my blog name, but it wasn’t long! It’s been so long ago!

What kind of Theme do you use on your blog and what are the “must have” plugins for a blog?

I work on the Genesis theme and my favorite plugins are currently Yoast (for SEO) and CoSchedule!

How much time do you spend blogging?

It’s really hard to say. I don’t spend as much time blogging as I do the things that go along with having a blog (social media, community building, etc).

How do you promote your blog? Do you use social media channels to attract more visitors to your blog?

I use just about every avenue to promote my blog and others… pinterest, twitter, facebook, g+ and a newsletter are the main forms I use.

Is there a way to monetize (make money) through a blog?

Yes. I make money through my blog by having ads through The Blogger Network and BlogHer. I also work with sponsors on recipe development and photography and share those posts on my blog or their websites.

Would you encourage other people to make their own blogs?

I love blogging, but it’s a lot of hard work. So many people think it looks easy and fun, and parts of it are easy and fun, but to have a blog that makes money and is successful requires a lot of effort and hours of hard work.

Please give us some advice for new bloggers and for people who are still not sure should they make a blog of their own?

I think if you want to start a blog, you definitely should! If you want to quit your full-time job and start a blog to make money you really need to make sure that you have a solid business plan in place. Also, my biggest piece of advice would be to connect with other bloggers and find a mentor who can answer questions and help you along the way.

Photos ©: Dine & Dish

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