How This 35-Year-Old Earns 6 Figures/Year From Her Baking Blog While Working Part Time

How This 35-Year-Old Earns 6 Figures/Year From Her Baking Blog While Working Part Time

Jessica Holmes was working as a copywriter when she determined to begin a weblog as a facet hustle.  As she was educating herself to bake, she thought she’d begin sharing her creations. 

Over the years, Jessica constructed up a stable fan base by means of a mix of constant posting, high-quality recipes, and many engagement along with her followers. During lockdown, her visitors went by means of the roof, and after the pandemic, her readers caught round. Eventually, she was capable of stop her day job. 

Today Jessica is incomes 6 figures a yr from her baking weblog, Sweetest Menu, which permits her to work part-time and keep house along with her son and new child child.

Keep studying to seek out out:

  • Why she created her weblog
  • How she made her first greenback
  • What occurred when Covid hit
  • How lengthy it took for her to have the ability to stop her day job
  • Her prime advertising methods
  • Her views on Website positioning
  • How she approaches key phrases
  • How she creates content material
  • Her favourite instruments and assets
  • Her biggest problem
  • Her greatest accomplishment
  • Her principal mistake
  • The recommendation she would provide different entrepreneurs

Meet Jessica Holmes

My identify is Jess and I’m the self-taught baker and author behind the meals weblog, Sweetest Menu. I dwell in Melbourne, Australia, with my husband, Josh, my two-year-old daughter, Lucy, and my new child son, Jack. 

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I graduated from college with a level in communications and labored for over a decade as a copywriter. In 2014, I created my web site, Sweetest Menu as a facet hustle.

After six years, my weblog began to earn more money than my full-time day job. I made a decision to pursue running a blog as a full-time profession in March 2020—fairly a time on the earth to make a giant change!

Why She Created Sweetest Menu

Rewind again to 2014. 

I used to be working full-time as a journey copywriter. I used to be additionally ending up a diploma in graphic design and was searching for someplace to channel my newfound artistic abilities.

It was additionally a time when meals blogs have been taking off. Since I used to be dabbling within the kitchen and educating myself learn how to bake, I made a decision to make my very own meals weblog, with none intention of making a enterprise. 

I began publishing and sharing my very own dessert recipes. They have been very primary and so have been my images abilities, however I used to be having the time of my life. 

After 18 months, I used to be utterly obsessive about running a blog and had cultivated a small readership on-line. I made a decision to place some advertisements on my weblog and within the first month I made $50. I used to be in awe that I may become profitable doing one thing so enjoyable.

My progress was gradual and regular from that time, rising progressively yr after yr. Once I started to actually perceive Website positioning and the idea of making good-quality content material, my progress started to speed up.

And when Covid hit and far of the world was in lockdown, my progress hit the roof, with hundreds of thousands of month-to-month pageviews. 

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How Much She’s Earning

I at present make over six figures a yr nearly completely from advert income. It took six years to get to that time, however I’ve managed to maintain that degree of revenue for over three years now. 

The draw back of counting on promoting income is that it’s very unpredictable. You earn completely different quantities all year long, which may make it laborious to plan and funds your revenue. 

Bloggers sometimes earn extra in quarter 4 with greater RPMs. And for those who’re a baking blogger like me, Christmas is a very worthwhile time of yr. 

I used Google AdSense for a couple of months however I already had sufficient of a readership to use for Mediavine. I heard nice issues, so converted as quickly as I may.

I’ve been a member of Mediavine since 2016 and so they handle all my promoting for me. I can’t converse extremely sufficient of their superb customer support, I see them as a part of my staff! 

I’m at present on maternity depart so I solely spend round 15 hours on the enterprise every week. Prior to that, my work hours can be round 20-25 hours per week. 

As for visitors, my weblog receives about half one million web page views per thirty days.

Jessica’s Top Marketing Strategy

So a lot of running a blog and content material creation is concentrated on Website positioning and social media. But one factor that I’ve all the time tried to do is make time to prioritize my viewers. 

I like connecting straight with my readers and I plan in time and area to try this repeatedly. Answering feedback and questions in a well timed method is one very easy method to try this. I learn and reply each weblog remark or query on my web site myself, and I chat with my readers each day on Instagram. 

Even within the content material creation course of, a lot of our time is directed in the direction of key phrase analysis and Website positioning. But if I get fixed reader requests for a sure recipe, I’ll positively add it to my plan. 

At the top of the day, if Website positioning and social media went away, there’s nonetheless a robust cohort of readers who come on to my web site once they wish to bake. And on the core of it, they’re the folks I wish to create content material for!

The Importance of Website positioning

Website positioning is the lifeblood of my enterprise and at present accounts for over 65% of my visitors. 

For social, I focus primarily on Pinterest and Instagram as they’re the most important visitors drivers and the most effective locations for me to attach with my readers. 

My technique with each as modified considerably over the previous few years, and I’m nonetheless studying learn how to use video to finest join with my viewers. 

My favourite factor to do is train readers learn how to bake, so I like to make use of step-by-step movies to point out my readers learn how to make my recipes on Instagram Stories. 

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In 2017, I had my first Website positioning audit with an expert marketing consultant. It actually helped me perceive the aim of Website positioning and the way I might be extra intentional when creating my content material. 

Website positioning is sophisticated, however after I lastly understood that lots of the guidelines are actually simply directing us to make the absolute best content material with the reader in thoughts, I used to be capable of do a a lot better job. 

When creating recipes, I at present use KeySearch to double-check visitors volumes and perform a little competitor evaluation. I’m normally seeking to ask two questions: 

  1. Are folks trying to find this recipe? And if that’s the case, how are they looking out? (For instance, what phrases are they really utilizing?)
  2. Could I rank for this key phrase?

But as I discussed above, even when I can’t rank for it, it doesn’t essentially imply I received’t create and publish that recipe.

I would like readers who come to my web site to seek out no matter recipe they’re searching for, so I do a mixture of Website positioning-focused content material and reader-inspired content material. 

Jessica’s Content Creation Process

As a artistic individual, I like to create recipes and content material that I’m genuinely keen about. I all the time begin with an concept that’s sparked both by one thing I’ve tasted out and about, seen on my travels or has been requested by a reader. 

After performing some key phrase analysis and competitor evaluation, I then undergo the recipe testing course of. This is without doubt one of the most time-consuming components of running a blog for me. 

I strive time and again to create a dependable recipe that works for everybody, whether or not they’re a novice or skilled baker. Amazing outcomes for minimal fuss is my motto!

Once I’ve the recipe down, I’ll take and edit the pictures after which craft the publish. After it’s printed, I’ll market it utilizing social media and my publication. 

I attempt to publish one new recipe every week however generally it will possibly take longer if the recipe is especially difficult. I’m nonetheless persistently reminding myself that it’s not about amount however somewhat, high quality. So if I’ve to take a bit extra time to publish the absolute best recipe so be it! 

I exploit Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook. 

Her Email List

I do have an electronic mail record and I encourage readers to join my publication in an effort to obtain new recipes, baking ideas, and ebooks. 

I like to keep up a correspondence with readers that method, and sometimes encourage them to jot down again and inform me what recipes they wish to see or what baking questions they’ve. 

Email advertising is one thing I actually wish to prioritize this yr.

At the second there are over 10k folks on my record.

Her Favorite Resources

I completely love the Food Blogger Pro podcast and Top Hat Rank webinars. They’re full of wonderful recommendation for bloggers, whether or not you’re a novice or an skilled on-line writer. 

Her Top Three Tools

If I needed to record my prime instruments, they’d be:

Google Analytics and Google Search Console: Two free instruments from Google which can be so useful in monitoring analytics and key phrase rankings. 

KeySearch: A primary however inexpensive key phrase analysis instrument, KeySearch is nice for newbie bloggers.

Canva: I exploit Canva to simply create pins for Pinterest and advertising supplies like ebooks and media kits. 

Jessica’s Biggest Challenge

For positive this might be time and tendencies!

In this running a blog sport, you by no means appear to have sufficient time to do all the pieces. There is all the time extra content material to create, extra enhancements in your web site, and extra issues to be taught.

It’s a beautiful factor as a result of it means it’s by no means boring, however I always must struggle the sensation of all the time being behind. It’s like having a to-do record that by no means will get smaller—it solely grows. 

Keeping up with altering tendencies can also be a giant problem, notably with the modifications in social media we’ve seen up to now few years. How the platforms are responding to content material can actually impression your visitors and your content material creation technique. 

To do that job properly, that you must be versatile and agile—two issues that don’t come straightforward to me personally.

As the weblog has grown, I’ve had the flexibility to outsource a couple of duties. I work with NerdPress to handle the technical facet of my weblog (they’re unimaginable at what they do). And I’ve two superb digital assistants that assist handle my Pinterest, Facebook, and electronic mail advertising.

Her Most Important Accomplishment

When I first began running a blog, I used to be too shy to inform anybody about it. But when my weblog overtook my day job in earnings, I used to be lastly capable of be actually happy with what I had completed. 

How This 35-Year-Old Earns 6 Figures/Year From Her Baking Blog While Working Part Time Jessica Holmes

I additionally had my recipes printed in one in all Australia’s greatest meals magazines. To stroll into the grocery store, open {a magazine} and see my work—that was a spotlight! 

What She Wishes She Knew When She Started

In some ways, I want I knew that it’s potential to make a full-time revenue (and extra) on-line. But on the similar time, I’m glad I didn’t have that stress on myself straight up. Instead, the enterprise was born out of a real ardour for creating and sharing superb recipes. 

I do want I began my weblog on WordPress. I started on Blogger, then moved to Squarespace, after which lastly made the swap to WordPress. I instantly noticed an uptick in visitors and had a lot extra management over the backend of my web site. I remorse not making the transfer sooner. 

Jessica’s Main Mistake

My greatest mistake was not treating my weblog as a legit enterprise sooner. It’s very straightforward to really feel prefer it’s only a pastime or a small facet endeavor. But the reality is, it’s an actual enterprise and it must be provided that respect, by you and people round you.

Her Advice for Other Entrepreneurs

Never cease studying.

Everything on-line is continually altering, whether or not it’s Website positioning or social media platforms, we’ve got to be agile as content material creators. 

We must sustain with tendencies and guidelines and never be afraid of change. So continue to learn, hold listening to podcasts, studying running a blog assets (like this one), and carry on prime of what’s taking place within the trade.

And ensure you take yourselves and your small business significantly. It may change your life!

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