The Kitchen Thyme Blogger Spotlight Series is a way for you and I to get to know and support the wonderful Food Bloggers who share their delicious recipes at Kitchen Thyme.
Meet Denise from My Life Cookbook!
Check out Denise’s recipes at Kitchen Thyme!
Kitchen Thyme: Hi Denise! Thank you for being part of our Kitchen Thyme Blogger Spotlight Series! Tell us where you’re from and how you got into blogging?
Denise: Hello! I am from Pittsburgh Pa. My sister Patti also blogs and we started our own blogs about the same time. We went to a blogging conference right at the beginning and I was blown away that people do this for a career.
KT: How did you come up with the name of your blog?
Denise: Originally I wanted to write about many different subjects related to my life. For instance, my in-laws live with me and my mother-in-law has Alzheimers. I wanted to share helpful information regarding that. I also have a son and wanted to share lifestyle articles about raising him. So My Life Cookbook was to be a “cookbook” where I would share tips and tricks that helped me over the years for all of these subjects. However, I found out that I only like writing about food and by then I was stuck with the name!
KT: How long have you been blogging?
Denise: I like to think I started in September 2014 right after I came back from that conference.
KT: Are you a part-time or full-time blogger?
Denise: I am a full-time blogger. I work at least 40 hours a week and enjoy every minute of it!
KT: How many recipes do you publish each week?
Denise: 3 low carb recipes every week
KT: After you publish a recipe on your blog, walk us through the steps you take to get more eyes on that recipe. What sites do you submit your recipe to? Do you use a spreadsheet to keep track of where you share your recipes?
Denise: Oh my. I schedule my new post to Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, my Low Carb Facebook group and Twitter. I then share it to Yummly, FoodGawker, FoodYub, Healthy Aperature, Fridgg and of course Kitchen Thyme! I don’t keep track though I should. I get overwhelmed sometimes with all the social media.
KT: What does a typical week look like for you? Do you create recipes and blog posts on certain days of the week?
Denise: I have every intention to be organized and work from a schedule, but for the most part, I cook when I feel like cooking. All the other work that goes into the post, I just plug along doing every day. I do what needs to be done most first and then work on what I’m in the mood for.
KT: Do you have a good blog/life balance? Do you unplug at night or on the weekends?
Denise: That’s a tricky one. I don’t take much time off unless we go on vacation. However I do prioritize my family. I’m home for my in-laws and my son. I can run them around to all their activities and appointments. However, I really, really enjoy blogging and as hard as it is, I enjoy every minute of it. At least most of the time. 🙂
KT: How much time do you spend on Social Media each day? Do you use any schedulers for Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram? Do you have a Virtual Assistant to help you?
Denise: I do have a good friend who does some scheduling for me every week. I also use Tailwind for Pinterest and Buffer to schedule the other social media. I would say I spend half of my time on social media.
KT: What social media networks/websites give you the most traffic to your blog?
Denise: I get most of my traffic from Google but then it would be Pinterest.
KT: What AD networks do you have on your blog?
Denise: I use MediaVine and I really, really like them.
KT: What are the main sources of income from your blog? Sponsored Posts? Advertisements? Affiliate Links?
Denise: I would say 80% from ads, 10% from sponsored posts and then the rest is affiliate links and my low carb ebook.
KT: Do you have a long relationship with any particular Brands?
Denise: I have worked with Torani syrups for awhile now and I just started working with Certified Angus Beef.
KT: Do you enjoy going to Blogging Conferences? If so, which ones do you recommend for Food Bloggers?
Denise: I went to Haven last year with my sister and loved it even though it was more home decor and lifestyle based. Mostly it was fun to go there with my sister Patti. She’s the biggest reason I do as well as I do because we share tips and bounce ideas off each other. She gets it where as others still don’t understand the blogging world. I also went to Blogging Boot Camp by Massive Sway back at the beginning and it was a mindblower at that time. I hope to go to MediaVine’s Conference this year.
KT: Where do you find inspiration to create new recipes?
Denise: My belly. I love all things related to food (cooking, eating, shopping). So often if I’m in the mood for something or had a great meal out, I try to think “how can I make that low carb?” Also browsing through Pinterest or watching cooking shows on tv.
KT: What are your top 3 favorite recipes on your blog?
Denise: Low Carb Molten Chocolate Cake in the Microwave, Raspberry Keto No Bake Cheesecake ( a low carb dessert), and Savory Zucchini Waffles (Only 5 ingredients in these Low Carb, Gluten Free Waffles)
KT: Do you have great lighting in your house for photos or do you need to use artificial lighting or filters?
Denise: I have NO light in my house. I try to shoot all of my photos in the afternoon otherwise I use artificial lighting. But that is rare.
KT: What advice would you give to new food bloggers when it comes to taking photos of food?
Denise: Practice and really try to figure out what makes a good photo. Study light and learn how to use a DSLR. I still have a lot to learn but I think my photos have gotten better with more practice.
KT: Do you have a favorite cookbook?
Denise: No, I have many. But I do love WellFed which is a Paleo cookbook. She uses healthy ingredients and puts a nice twist on it.
KT: If you could cook with a famous chef or celebrity cook, who would it be and why?
Denise: I think the Barefoot Contessa. She seems to really know a lot about flavor. She doesn’t seem to give in to fads and she seems to entertain a lot.
KT: You are constantly working with food. What are a few ingredients you cannot live without?
Denise: I would say nuts, dark chocolate, cheese, peppers and eggs.
KT: Do you have any advice for someone starting a food blog?
Denise: Join Facebook groups for food bloggers and learn from others. I joined Food Blogger Pro and they had a wealth of information to get you started.
KT: Thank you so much for joining us at Kitchen Thyme! Where can our readers find you?
BLOG: My Life Cookbook