How did you become a blogger?
I think besides the question of „How did you get so many followers on Instagram?“ the question of how this all started is the most frequent one. I never really know what to answer, as I feel people expecting this huge, cheesy story about me finding my passion and fulfilling the dream I was chasing since young. Well, I can’t give you a cheesy fairytale, but a real insight on how I became a blogger.
Blogging is the career that a lot of young people want to pursue. It’s the career that creates an illusion of traveling the world, french pastries, free stuff, happiness and glamor. I don’t know why so many people think about blogging in such a way. As for me, I try to stay away from all these glamorous parties, wanna-be invites and socializing. Can I just write my texts and make my pictures and talk to the few people I actually want to? Thanks!
I think my first blog post (when I still had my wordpress.com page and really ugly pictures, no design, nothing) was created in 2011 and I was posting pictures of Valentines Day Cupcakes I made. 3 people read the post and I was proud as a peacock. At that time I did not know about the possibilities of blogging and I just enjoyed producing content, that was available online for everyone to see.
Then for maybe a year I’ve spent my time in observing and frequently visiting other blogs. My main inspiration was Pinterest where I have built thematic boards that helped me order the chaos in my head. Over the years I never stopped learning and implementing new things on my blog. If you are interested in starting your own blog, you might be interested checking out my Blogging Tipps.
Three years after my first blog post I was convinced that I have found the love of my life and so I registered my blog as a business. Do you know how exciting it is when you put the name of your business on your mail box? Or that first invoice you send to a company? Haha, Yes it doesn’t need a lot to get me excited!
How do you know what to write about?
Within that first question, I can answer another question from you guys that was „How do you know what to write about?“ I think as a blogger you get inspiration from everywhere. Of course there are days or month when the inspiration is not there and you don’t know what to write about, but usually, you can get inspired by so many things around yourself. I tell you about my personal sources of inspiration:
- Personal life and occurrences
- Ideas created through random talks with friends, family, strangers
- Articles online, in magazines
- Blog posts from other bloggers
- Pictures on Pinterest or more food related from Foodgawker or FindingVegan
Almost all or let’s say all of my blog posts have a personal note where I either talk about a disease I have or had (like here) or where I address a topic that I am dealing with for a longer time like for example going off the pill.
Concerning recipes, I like to go with the season and include seasonal ingredients in my recipe. I get inspired by new combinations and flavors from all around the world. What I like the most is turning a traditional recipe into a healthier version, or playing with the flavors and giving „old“ recipes a new twist. Speaking about new twists this is totally the moment you should consider making my Vegan Cookie Dough Icecream. A recipe that combines our two old friends cookies and Icecream into a heavenly creamy yet crumbly mixture of Love and Peace and Happiness.
Overall I am not really planning my blog posts as ideas come and go as they want and they cannot be fit into a perfectly detailed content plan. I write when I am inspired and kind of into that productive flow. I also call it the beauty of this profession, to do what you love, when you want to do it, from wherever you want to do it.
How do I sustain myself financially
In Switzerland, we don’t speak about the money. Telling people I am a full-time blogger is nothing easy, I can tell you. So you earn money by just putting pictures on your blog? How does that work? Does it mean you can sleep everyday as long as you want and you just work for 4 hours or something? Well, there are many prejudices about bloggers and I might speak about them in another blog post. Back to the money.
There are several ways you can earn money with your blog:
Banners on my page
On Vanillacrunnch.com there is a possibility for companies to have their banners on my page for a predefined running time between 1-3 months. When I decide on banners, I look at two things. The relevance of the content for me and my readers. The design and quality of the banner.
Paid blog posts also called advertorial
An advertorial is when you partner with a company to „advertise“ their product. I am very picky with my advertorials and that is why I just do them very rarely. Call me old fashioned, but I want to know the client, talk to the people, know their values and last but not least have and test the product or service by myself. I get tons of well-paid offers, that I decline, simply because I don’t like their offering email, the way they talk to me, their product or their philosophy. If you are not sure how to deal with offers make sure you read my tipps on collaborations.
There are several ways you can use affiliate links but, to be honest, I am just familiar with the one from Amazon. So, basically what happens is, that I link a product I used in a recipe (for example coconut oil) to the Amazon shop and then I get a
small very small percentage of your transaction. I guess, I am „too small“ to make money with this kind of income source or maybe I am just doing it the wrong way or not enough aggressive.
Google Ads or Gourmet Ads on your page
We know them all the ads on blog posts. What I hate? Ads that can’t be closed or too many on my page! If you ever come across that on my blog, please drop me an email or a comment. In terms of delivering amazing ads, I recommend using Google (of course :)) and GourmetAds. Most of people don’t get accepted as blogger, but I show you what you need to do in order to monetize your blog with Google or Gourmet Ads in this post about advertising.
Selling your own product
I think the most fulfilling way of advertising is when you can do it with your own product. No one else you would do it with that amount of passion, blood, sweat and tears. Two years ago, I launched my Ebook, called Nicecream for breakfast in English and one year later in German. The ebook has a total of 55 pages and contains 45 vegan desserts and breakfasts. There are baked goods, smoothies, raw treats, oatmeal and other desserts in it. It was a blast doing that ebook although it took me over a year. If you are doing an ebook, please make it for the sake of fun and real passion and because you think you can earn a shitload of money with it. I mean you maybe could, but then you might have to sell your soul, aggressively promote your stuff and always have an eye on sales. You will lose connections to your followers and if they are clever, at some point the will know your game and turn away from you. Don’t go down this path.
Dream or dread?
For me, full-time blogging is the most fitting and incredibly challenging job I could have ever wished for. I met incredible people and got confronted with amazing opportunities. On the other side of the medal, it can be the loneliest and the most self-obsessed job. For now, I am happy but who knows what the future brings and where this will take me… I really hope that I could show you that blogging is not just about posting nicely arranged breakfast pictures or promoting a new lipstick. Blogging is HTML and CSS knowledge, Blogging is implementing SEO. Blogging is Meta Hashtags, Plugins and Fixed widgets. Blogging is creating content, edit content and review content. Blogging is dealing with partners. Blogging is creativity and hard work. At least then when you really want to earn money with it.
If you have any further questions feel free to drop me a line below or send me an email to
Until then happy blogging and thanks for reading.
Hi Lara, great post! I’m proud you go this way and you are so right to live no and see what the future bring you. Good luck. xoxo Janine
Great post :)! So nice you can do what you love as a job ! And thank you for all the tips, too 🙂
I really new into blogging so they are very helpful. Keep up the good work
Best wishes Lena
Such a wonderfully informative post! I’ve been thinking about writing an ebook, so I definitely need to look into how to do that!
Danke für die vielen Tipps, liebe Lara. Arbeitest du nur noch als Bloggerin?
kathy patalsky says
I love this Lara! I totally agree with you here „On the other side of the medal, it can be the loneliest and the most self-obsessed job“ It can feel so lonely and you get sick of yourself sometimes. But so many positive things too! ps. I love Switzerland! So beautiful! <3
Lili @ Travelling oven says
Thank you Lara for this great post! As someone who has been working on my blog for a bit over a year now and slowly building my followers base, I appreciate any input and advice how to actually start making money with this passion of mine! 🙂
Hi liebe Lara, toll geschrieben und ich wünsche dir alles Gute und viel Spaß. Mach weiter so! Klara xx
Vielen Dank liebe Klara. Bist du eigentlich auch Vollzeitbloggerin?
Pro Bowl 2017 says
I love this Lara! I totally agree with you here „On the other side of the medal, it can be the most solitary and self-obsessed work“ You can feel so lonely and you get sick of yourself sometimes.
Hi Lara! Great post! Question hon .. Where if did you get your HTML / CSS knowledge ? Also any tips on a EBook? Thanks Zeena x