Full Time Foodies

Full Time Foodies – Mad Creations

07/12/2020

Megan from Mad Creations loves working on her blog 7 days a week, and as a result, the hard work has helped her build a fantastic community around her keto and low carb recipes.

Bread loaf sliced with text overlay and image of Megan Ellam.

Welcome to the 7th interview of Full Time Foodies with Megan from Mad Creations! If you’ve just landed here, don’t forget to start at our first interview with Alex from It’s Not Complicated Recipes!

We love Megan’s advice – and she shares some great contacts for who she relies on to help outsource parts of her business.

Now, without further ado – over to you Megan!

Let’s Get Started

Selfie of Megan Ellam from Mad Creations.

How did you come up with the idea to start your food blog?

My website is the Mad Creations Hub. I love creating mostly unique recipes and some outrageous ones, so it was a spin on that but also the MAD part is short for Megan And Dave, my partner in life and the business. Funnily enough I did get a bit of flack from business advisors that I should have added “keto” in the name so it would come up in a search. Our brand and home page is now our most searched for keyword now, which I think shows we are becoming a name that people know is a keto brand.

What does your day to day look like?

I wake around 7am. I spend every morning replying to emails, comments, DMs and a few comments on insta (my partner looks after other socials). This usually takes 1-2 hours as I get a lot of emails. I don’t want to give my mail to someone else to reply to as for the most part they are in regards to recipes etc and only I can advise on my methods etc.

Depending on whether I am working on a cookbook or website recipes I could spend the entire day (and night) writing recipes, editing recipes, editing photos, writing a blog post recipe or a big day cooking.

I tend to cook for an entire day (when I actually cook) and photograph all of them then work on the posts or cookbook on other days. I tend to work until around 1-2am 7-days a week. 🤣 I do get asked often how I produce so much content and it’s because I work every day and very long hours.

I do take time out of each day for one hour of exercise of walking 5km around our beautiful neighbourhood.

What task gives you the biggest joy with blogging?

To be honest it is purely that I work for myself and that our business can support us both in a comfortable life without working. For the feelgood stuff it also has to be seeing people enjoying the recipes. Especially when it gets the non-keto friends and family tick of approval.

Do you celebrate your achievements? How?

Yes, we celebrate a lot. 😂 We usually enjoy a very expensive bottle of champagne 🤣 But what we do at milestones is usually give back to our community whether it is through a great offer, sale or some great new recipes.

What’s the most difficult aspect of blogging for you?

I wouldn’t say anything is difficult it is just that I have so much to do and struggle to get through it all. I am just starting to outsource a lot of the work, in keyword research, blog articles and category descriptions.

Have you come across any challenges or pitfalls? If so, how did you overcome them?

Not particularly. I have grown to become comfortable with the rise and fall of launches and times where there is a big cash flow and others are quieter. 2020 in particular has provided opportunities but has also caused a downturn in sales over a period of time. With the launch of a new cookbook in just 1 week (at time of writing) I have my fingers crossed for a spectacular result.

How do you stay motivated?

I am one of those people who just DO. I don’t think about it, I do it. So, I don’t wait around for motivation to tap me on the shoulder, I guess I am just constantly motivated and always have been. The motivation in the long run is to always be self-employed and be able to have a healthy bank balance in our retirement.

Going Full Time as a Food Blogger

Screenshot of Mad Creation's website.

How old is your blog? How old was it when you transitioned to full time?

I went full time in 5 months of me starting the blog and 1 month after registering my business. I was previously in business development and wanted to take a chance on myself. For my partner he was part-time within about 6-8 months and full time with the business within 14 months of us starting out

How did you decide, or what made you take the leap to full time?

The launch of my first book(s) (my first book launch was a duo of two cookbooks published at the same time) saw sales that equal to half of my annual income in the first 24 hours. It was August and I went and found us an accountant and asked if it was a good idea to quit and focus on another cookbook for Christmas and build the website up.

What does working full time on your blog mean to you?

I suppose I would consider there is working “full time” and earning a full time income. I don’t really work full time on the website. I most certainly could as there is so much to still do to improve SEO, but I would say that I love that my website, and the business it brings us means everything to Dave and I as we get to work together and set our own timetable.

If the crazy year of 2020 had not changed the world, we would definitely consider travel and living in other parts of the world in our future. The amazing part of having a business mostly focused online is it gives you the freedom to work where you wish, sleep in if you want and achieve so many amazing things.

Plus, I love the community we have with our subscribers and followers and their love and joy of making a recipe makes my day every day.

Would you say your blog has grown at a faster rate since going full time?

I would say it grows every week so I guess it is just a combination. But certainly having the time to photograph and post at any time rather than fitting it around a day job helps a lot.

Do you outsource any aspect of your business? If so, what?

I use Static Shift for custom widgets, blog management, keyword research and a host of technical stuff.
For FB marketing I have a full time marketer in Natalie from NAI.
I have just hired a VA to write category descriptions for the website.
While I do all the design for my own eBooks, for my cookbook design I use Looksee Design.
I also have a copywriter Kristen Mawrey to create blog articles.

What is your biggest traffic referrer?

Google

What is your income split between ads, affiliates, sponsorships or other?

WooCommerce 52%
Program membership (this is an annual subscribers part of my business) 24%
Mediavine 7.5%
Product Retailers 5%
Affiliate 11.5%

If you’re happy to share, what are your current:

Average monthly views: 300K
Average monthly income ($US): 45K

Does your blog fully support you, or do you have other income streams?

The blog has opened up loads of new opportunities for us. We now have 4 products sold independently of us with our brand. The distributor has just hired a full time team to sell to wholesalers across the globe. So far, our new keto premix range is in 3 countries with lots of opportunities opening in the US and UK.

Mad Creation's Keto Pre-mix Range.

I do have a lot of income streams and see that they really stem from the website. The majority of all our cookbook sales come from organic traffic to the website rather than direct marketing.

As a recipe developer it only makes sense to work towards having your own brand in retailers nationally and internationally. 

What change do you think has made the biggest difference to your blog?

I worked with my web team to create a user friendly website that is easy to navigate. Adding quality recipes and details really has made a difference in the amount of users actually making the recipes.

What skills have you mastered to get you to where you are today?

My background included cooking professionally for more than a decade, and in business development, sales and marketing. I think that combined with a drive to succeed has helped immensely. 

How many posts do you aim to publish per month? Do you schedule your work in advance?

I would love to do 1-2 recipes per week but I have always failed at getting my posts scheduled months in advance. I am getting ready to try and get a few up and post 1-2 a week once I have some scheduled. I find it difficult when we go into book launch as you have the added work of not only creating the book etc but also creating and writing the product description on the site and marketing.

Advice, Learning and Looking Toward the Future

Low Carb Bread by Mad Creations.

What’s one piece of advice you would give your younger self about to make the transition?

Write quality content only.

Where do you go when you’re looking for blogging advice?

I will just ask other bloggers on social media. I am booking in for an audit out of interest and I use Karl from Static Shift for the tech questions.

If you offer advice to food bloggers as a coach or mentor, what’s the best way for them to reach out to you?

You can email me at megan [@] madcreationshub [dot] com.

What resources have helped the most, and had the biggest impact on your blog?

I haven’t used any other than stuff I have created myself. In the beginning I worked to a very rigid schedule and on Mondays a tracker of everything is filled in. I set monthly income goals for the entire calendar year each December and work out timelines for launches and what I may want to achieve with the site.

What’s your current focus or area of study for your blogging?

I want to improve SEO to grow our organic traffic. 

What current goal are you working towards?

3 new cookbooks in the next year and to quadruple our monthly sessions with improved SEO and a better post schedule.

Where do you see yourself and your blog in 5 years’ time?

In the Top 10 of my niche.

Now we have to ask…

What’s your funniest cooking fail?

That would have to be when I had had a few champagnes and was cooking lobster in pernod cream sauce. I had the lid on the pan and went to check if the lobster was cooked through and when I lifted the lid it ignited the pernod. The funny part was that the flames that leapt out actually set my eye lashes on fire. 😂 I had no eye lashes for quite some time but I can tell you it is a little scary when you very literally see flames in front of your eyes. Rule learned: Don’t drink and flambe 🤣

Which recipe do you cook the most from your blog?

The Low Carb Bread would easily be my most made recipe by me and my followers.

Finally, where can people find and connect with you?

Website: madcreationshub.com
Facebook: ketomegan
Facebook Group: Low Carb Mixers
Instagram: meganellam

Do you accept guest blogs? If so, where can people contact you?

If it suits my website I would consider. You can reach me at megan [@] madcreationshub [dot] com.

Thank you Megan!

If there’s a question you’d LOVE to know from full time bloggers, feel free to email us with your suggestions. We hope you’ve learnt a thing or two today to help you with your food blogging journey. Make sure to comment below and let us know your favourite take-aways!

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Full Time Foodies - Mad Creations

2 Comments

  • Reply
    Megan Ellam
    07/12/2020 at 5:24 pm

    Thanks for the interview girls it was fun!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      08/12/2020 at 11:44 am

      You’re very welcome Megan – thanks for sharing your inspiring journey so far! 😀

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