Jenna has recently graduated of the University of Florida and got a bachelor’s in Business Administration.
She wants to be an entrepreneur and start her own business. For Jenna, cooking is one of her passions and with her blog, A Savory Feast she really enjoys learning how to start and grow it, and continues to work to make it a success.
It’s turned into something she just LOVES doing. This is her story.
Please tell us something about yourself. Is food blogging your profession or just a hobby?
I started food blogging as a hobby about a year ago. It quickly took off and I found that I really enjoyed working on it. After several months, I started to realize I could make money with it. I now work full-time on it and have several other things on the side to supplement my income when blogging isn’t enough. I hope to be making a full-time income through my blog soon.
When did you get an idea to launch your own blog and how important is it for you be online?
I had thought about starting a blog several times in the past, but never knew what to write about. Over the past several years I had started to cook a lot and create my own recipes or modify ones that I found through Pinterest. Last year I got the idea to start a food blog. I love that it is a way to share my recipes and I have loved connecting with the community of bloggers.
Did you have someone help you make the website or did you do it by yourself?
I set up my blog on WordPress myself using a free theme. After about 6 months I decided that I really wanted to get serious about blogging and needed a way to stand out. A custom design was a must! It had been a challenge to teach myself how to set up my blog as I don’t know HTML or web design. Because of this, I decided to hire someone to redesign my blog.
The right domain name is important. How long did it take you to come up with the domain name for your blog?
That was one of the hardest things about starting my blog! I probably decided to start a food blog about a month or so before I actually set it up, and during that time I was trying to figure out a name, especially during the last week. I looked online for all sorts of food-related words and tried different combinations until I found one I really liked.
What kind of Theme do you use on your blog and what are the “must have” plugins for a blog?
I used the Twenty Twelve theme. A few of my must have plugins are Ziplist Recipe, Ultimate Nofollow, All in One Favicon and W3 Total Cache.
What CMS (Content Management System) do you use on your blog? How hard is it to navigate within your CMS (making a new post, inserting images, moderating comments, etc.)?
I use WordPress. I was fortunate to have had some experience with WordPress at a previous job. When I first started my blog, I had to choose between WordPress and Blogger. I heard that many bloggers start on Blogger because it is so user friendly and then have to switch to WordPress eventually. I decided to go ahead and start with WordPress. I have not regretted it! To me, making new posts, inserting images and moderating comments is not hard to navigate at all. The tough thing for me is anything that involves coding.
How much time do you spend blogging?
At least 40 hours a week.
How do you promote your blog? Do you use social media channels to attract more visitors to your blog?
Word of mouth, social media, link parties, etc. Social media is my biggest source of traffic, particularly Pinterest.
Is there a way to monetize (make money) through a blog?
Absolutely! I didn’t get into blogging to make money, which I think is very important! You can always tell when someone is just out there to make money. Instead, I found that I could make money doing something I love. I make money through ads, blog sponsorships, sponsored posts, etc. I also get a number of products to review.
Would you encourage other people to make their own blogs?
Yes! However, I think you should really look at your motive before you begin. If you aren’t passionate about what you write about and truly enjoy blogging, you most likely won’t be successful. Blogging is so much work, and it takes a lot of dedication and effort. It’s not by any means an easy source of income, so I would never recommend that someone start a blog just as a way to make money.
Please give us some advice for new bloggers and for people who are still not sure should they make a blog of their own?
Start by writing about something you are truly passionate about, whether it be food, fashion, family, faith… I spent countless hours researching about blogging and learning from other bloggers. When you first start your blog, focus on learning as much as you can, creating quality content and growing your following. Reach out to other bloggers and grow your community. After you have been doing it for awhile, decide if you are passionate enough about it to invest money in having your blog professionally redesigned and trying to make money.
Photos ©: A Savory Feast