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 on Kitchen Thyme.
Meet Danielle from Went Here 8 This!
Check out Danielle's recipes on Kitchen Thyme!
Kitchen Thyme: Hi Danielle! Thank you for being part of our Kitchen Thyme Blogger Spotlight Series! Tell us where you’re from and how you got into blogging?
Danielle: I am from San Diego, CA (originally from Texas) and I started blogging about 2 years ago. I started blogging as a potential side hustle – my ultimate goal to retire early from my 9-5 and focus on my blog. I work full time as an accounting manager and blog on the side in my “spare” time.
KT: How did you come up with the name of your blog?
Danielle: I started the blog with the intent of traveling a lot more than I do and writing about the food I find in my travel, which is how I came up with the name – Went Here 8 This. Because my day job is relatively demanding, I don’t have a lot of time to travel, so the blog is more focused on creating recipes from food around the world, with a little travel sprinkled in.
KT: How many recipes do you publish each week?
Danielle: I published a lot during the holidays, sometimes up to 6 recipes per week. Now that the holidays are over, I publish 2 recipes per 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 recipes to?
Danielle: After I publish a recipe, I share it on Facebook, Twitter, Yummly, Instagram, and Pinterest. I use Tailwind for Pinterest, so it is scheduled to pin to many different group boards over a period of time. I also include the post in my weekly newsletter. I belong to share groups on Facebook as well that I participate in when my post goes live. I submit each post to Foodgawker, Kitchen Thyme, Fridgg, Foodyub, and Yumgoggle.
KT: What does a typical week look like for you? Do you create recipes and blog posts on certain days of the week?
Danielle: I create the recipes I have written in advance (I’m usually 1-2 months ahead) on Friday-Sundays. Since I publish posts Monday and Thursday, I typically spend most of those days promoting the new posts. Then I try to get all my photos for the recipes I made over the weekend edited and ready to insert into the post. Once photos are ready, I draft the blog posts and get them scheduled. Then I schedule social media for all the completed posts. I do batching as much as possible for efficiency.
KT: Do you have a good blog/life balance? Do you unplug at night or on the weekends?
Danielle: I only work from about 5 Am to 10 AM on the weekends, and reserve the rest of the day for relaxing/fun/etc. However, I don’t have as good a work/life balance as I would like. I do not unplug much at all during the week.
KT: How much time do you spend on Social Media each day? Do you have a Virtual Assistant to help you?
Danielle: I use Tailwind for Pinterest and use the free version of Buffer for Twitter. I use the Facebook scheduler to schedule all my Facebook posts. When I’m not promoting my posts in share groups on Facebook, I spend very little time on social media. I would say about 1 hour on Facebook each day for that, and less than 30 minutes on all the rest.
KT: What social media networks/websites give you the most traffic to your blog?
Danielle: About 50% of my traffic is organic, with the next largest traffic driver being Pinterest. I don’t get a lot of traffic from the remaining networks.
KT: What AD networks do you have on your blog?
Danielle: I use Mediavine and Amazon affiliates.
KT: What are the main sources of income from your blog? Sponsored Posts? Advertisements? Affiliate Links?
Danielle: Ads and sponsored posts are my main source of income. I get a small amount for affiliate links, but am still working on my strategy there.
KT: Do you have a long relationship with any particular Brands?
Danielle: Not at this time.
KT: Do you enjoy going to Blogging Conferences? If so, which ones do you recommend for Food Bloggers?
Danielle: I’ve only been to one and it was okay. I am planning on attending the Everything Food Conference in May 2019 and hope to get a lot out of that.
KT: Where do you find inspiration to create new recipes?
Danielle: My boyfriend and I go out on a regular basis and I get a lot of inspiration from new foods that we try. We specially like trying hole in the wall ethnic restaurants, which gives me a lot of new ideas.
KT: What are your top 3 favorite recipes on your blog?
Danielle: I am a pretty big fan of all my recipes so it's hard to pick favorites. I would have to go with Turkey Pot Pie, Thai Red Curry Ramen and these Instant Pot Oxtails.
KT: Do you have great lighting in your house for photos or do you need to use artificial lighting?
Danielle: I do have great lighting in my new house (we just moved), but tend to shoot in the evenings just due to time, so I use artificial lights about 70% of the time.
KT: What advice would you give to new food bloggers when it comes to taking photos of food?
Danielle: Practice is the most important. Also, look at other bloggers/photographers and use that inspiration to find your own style.
KT: Do you have a favorite cookbook?
Danielle: Not really a cookbook – I like to read Cook magazine and Bon Appetit when I have time.
KT: If you could cook with a famous chef or celebrity cook, who would it be and why?
Danielle: Honestly, the only chef I would have been interested in cooking with would have been Anthony Bourdain.
KT: You are constantly working with food. What are a few ingredients you cannot live without?
Danielle: Fish sauce, cream, butter, soy sauce, sea salt, chicken stock.
KT: Do you have any advice for someone starting a food blog?
Danielle: It’s a lot harder than you think. My advice would be to read as much as you can and absorb as much as you can. And just start. You will never actually be ready so just get going and you can learn/tweak things along the way. But most important, always be learning.
KT: Danielle, thanks for sharing your delicious recipes with us and taking part in our Kitchen Thyme Food Blogger Spotlight! Where can our readers find you?
BLOG: Went Here 8 This