Whitney from Salt & Baker joins us today with her inspirational journey of running her food blog full time. From working smarter and outsourcing, to overcoming vision challenges and creating absolutely mouth-watering photography.
Welcome to the 14th interview of Full Time Foodies with Whitney from Salt & Baker!
Full Time Foodies is a series which shares stories from full time food bloggers around the world with helpful resources, recommendations and advice.
Now, without further ado – over to you Whitney!
Let’s Get Started
How did you come up with the idea to start your food blog?
A friend of mine had a food blog, so I talked to her a lot before starting mine. I was the one making dinner every night and I found myself adapting recipes quite heavily to fit how I liked the food. So I decided I should finally give in and start my own blog.
The name “Salt & Baker” comes because I LOVE salt, and my maiden name is Baker. Haha, very basic but it works and I think the name suits the site well.
My niche is very widespread. But I focus on family friendly baking and cooking recipes.
What does your day to day look like?
I have kids at home, so my day-to-day is a bit hectic. I photograph food usually around dinner time if we are eating something I plan on posting to my blog. Or, I’ll try and squeeze in shooting a recipe during the afternoon before or after lunch. All of my editing is done in the evening after kids go to bed. I’ll sometimes stay up until 11pm. My work life balance isn’t great at the moment!
What task gives you the biggest joy with blogging?
Reading my reader’s comments. I love it. I love the feedback!
But as far as “tasks” go, I would say actually making the food. I love it! I really love being in the kitchen and have become very comfortable, especially when it comes to baking, particularly cookies.
Do you celebrate your achievements? How?
I should! But I don’t. However, once I hit my 10 year blogging mark I would really like to throw a party for my family and community. That’s in 5 years, so I’m not sure if it’ll happen, but it’s something I’ve thought about and something I would like to do.
What’s the most difficult aspect of blogging for you?
Social media. My personality is one that is very competitive and I compare myself with others. Social media is hard for me because I see what everyone is doing and I feel like I fall short and I need to be doing more. Social media is also difficult because algorithms are constantly changing. It’s also really easy to see other people’s success on social media, so if your numbers don’t match up to others, it’s quite defeating.
Have you come across any challenges or pitfalls? If so, how did you overcome them?
Definitely. My vision isn’t great, so recently photographing the food and editing has been a bigger struggle, but I still do it and love it! I guess just like everyone else, the best way to overcome, or in my case, continue forward is just to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
How do you stay motivated?
Every weekend, usually Saturday or Sunday, I bake or cook something just for fun. I don’t photograph it or video it. It’s merely for the joy of cooking and baking. I guess this acts as more of a reminder that I can be in the kitchen and make something without always having to post about it.
Going Full Time as a Food Blogger
How old is your blog? How old was it when you transitioned to full time?
It’s 5 years old. I just went full-time this past year. I was doing freelance videography and have since quit because I have 3 kids and couldn’t juggle it any longer. Video takes a lot of time! I’m really happy that I’m able to finally put more time into my blog.
What does working full time on your blog mean to you?
It means a lot. I feel a much deeper responsibility to have it be “successful.” (Whatever that term means… this can vary person to person). I like that I’m able to fine-tune my content and publish more frequently.
Would you say your blog has grown at a faster rate since going full time?
Sadly, no. I’m able to produce more content, which I enjoy. So for that reason I’m glad I’ve been able to go “full-time.” Blogging is really saturated these days! Growing, and growing fast seems to be a lot harder to do today.
Do you outsource any aspect of your business? If so, what?
I hire out most of my writing, email and Pinterest to a VA that I trained. I have a little help with my social media (Instagram), merely because I don’t like doing it.
What is your biggest traffic referrer?
Organic from Google.
What is your income split between ads, affiliates, sponsorships or other?
So, I actually don’t do any sponsorships. I’ve thought about reaching out to a few brands, but haven’t gotten around to it.
I would be VERY picky with sponsorships because I really dislike when creators are working with a brand and it doesn’t seem authentic. If a brand approached me, and it’s one that I already love using, I would definitely work with them!
But most of my income is currently via display ads (Mediavine). I make pennies from affiliates!
Does your blog fully support you, or do you have other income streams?
My blog supports itself and some of my family expenses. My family couldn’t live off just my blog’s income, so my husband also has a job and we rely on his income as well.
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What skills have you mastered to get you to where you are today?
Photography and recipe development!
How many posts do you aim to publish per month? Do you schedule your work in advance?
I publish about 4-5 times per week. So anywhere from 20-25 posts per month. I ALWAYS schedule them in advance. I try and work a month out. If there’s ever a time when I feel too overwhelmed, I will just delete one of the posts from my calendar and decide to move it a few months out so I’m not too overwhelmed.
That’s the nice thing about blogging, you can work as much or as little as you want.
That’s also the problem with blogging, you can work as much or as little as you want! 🤣
I tend to want to work, work, work! I’m trying to keep things in check though! I have young kids and I don’t want to miss them growing up.
Advice, Learning and Looking Toward the Future
What’s one piece of advice you would give your younger self about to make the transition?
Keep doing what you’re doing. Just because one person is doing XYZ, doesn’t mean you have to. Everyone’s journey is different, so don’t compare what your progress looks like to someone else’s.
Where do you go when you’re looking for blogging advice?
I have a few blogging friends that I run ideas off of. But my biggest blogging advice person is my husband! Haha, I like to call him my blogging therapist because blogging is stressful!
What resources have helped the most, and had the biggest impact on your blog?
I’ve had an SEO audit and I thought that was very helpful! I did take an SEO online course years and years ago as well.
What’s your current focus or area of study for your blogging?
Work life balance is always something I’m adjusting constantly. There are times I do a lot of work, and then weeks I’m burnt out and I don’t photograph or touch my computer. So getting to a place I can be more steady and consistent is a priority.
The other area of focus would be creating content. Trying to get more recipes on my site that will be applicable to my readers.
What current goal are you working towards?
I’d like to increase my pageviews! I’ve never had a million monthly pageviews, so I would really like to see that happen in the next year or two.
Where do you see yourself and your blog in 5 years’ time?
I’m really happy with what it looks like now. I hope in 5 years I’ve continued to produce content and I hope readers are loyal and continue to make my food and leave comments. Like I mentioned above, readers comments are my favourite part about what I do.
Now we have to ask…
What’s your funniest cooking fail?
Oh my gosh, just a few weeks ago I made a Biscoff cheesecake and it was as hard and dense as a brick. I could tap on it and it sounded like I was knocking on wood! Biscoff is such a thick ingredient… it was back to the drawing board for me!
Which recipe do you cook the most from your blog?
Finally, where can people find and connect with you?
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