Client spotlight: specialty diet bloggers

A few weeks ago, we asked some of our travel blogging clients to share their thoughts about travel and blogging. This week we’re highlighting another group: specialty diet bloggers.

These bloggers spends hours creating recipes—alternative versions of classic dishes or brand new dishes that feel more like a luxury than a dietary limitation—photographing their creations, and writing blog posts to share them with the world.

Keep reading to find out why they do what they do, what they love most, and what the hardest part of being a specialty diet blogger is for each of them:

Keto Zuppa Toscana from Real Balanced
Sara, Real Balanced: Keto Zuppa Toscana

What led you to start a food blog?

Like many food bloggers, I truly enjoyed cooking, developing new recipes, and was an avid learner about all things nutrition; but, to be totally honest, the true reason I started a food blog is because I knew the power of blogging and that I could monetize my site quickly if I was strategic. I know this isn’t the most “romantic” answer, but I am very business-focused and money motivated, so the idea of being able to own an online business was very compelling to me.

Sara, Real Balanced

My husband was diagnosed with food allergies 7 years ago, and the few gluten free options we could find on store shelves were either super expensive and/or didn’t taste good. I took to my kitchen and developed some gluten free recipes that actually taste good, and now I share those on ThereIsLifeAfterWheat.com.

Celeste, Life After Wheat

It started as more of a part time hobby. It was a way to share some recipes that helped me stay on the Keto diet, and avoid cheating. But also to raise awareness for the Vision Beyond Borders Ministry, helping victims of human trafficking, that I support.

Julianne, Keto Cooking Christian
Keto Low Carb Beef and Broccoli from Sheena at Noshtastic
Sheena, Noshtastic: Keto Low Carb Beef and Broccoli

I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease ten years ago and that led to a massive shift in my diet and how I approached meal planning, eating out, and everything food related so I wanted to share my recipes with others in a similar position. I started my blog in 2014 and it’s grown from there. 

Sheena, Noshtastic

When I became vegan I found that there were a lack of really good, tasty, comfort food style, vegan recipes. I had always loved cooking and creating recipes so decided to set up my website and share my own recipes. 

Melanie, A Virtual Vegan

I started Keto Size Me because I wanted to share my weight loss journey and recipes with others trying to live the Keto lifestyle.

Celeste, Life After Wheat

A Clean Bake is my second food blog. I originally started blogging when grad school was winding down because I needed something to fill my time. I got my masters degree in the evenings and weekends while I was working full time, so I forgot how to relax! I had a conventional baking blog for about a year, during which time I was struggling with a lot of digestive and general health issues that were not going away. I had to make some pretty drastic dietary changes to heal (more on that here), so I started A Clean Bake as a way to keep myself on track with my new (and daunting) restricted diet, and to share my recipes with others in the same situation.

Nora, A Clean Bake
Death by Paleo Chocolate Cake by  Nora at A Clean Bake
Nora, A Clean Bake: Death by Paleo Chocolate Cake

Did you always intend to focus on a specific diet or lifestyle, or did that change over time?

Yes, it’s always been gluten free and that’s how it will remain as there is currently no cure for Celiac Disease so that’s not going to change. I have however adapted over time to include cooking gadgets like pressure cookers and air fryers and I also incorporate some other diets that fall under the gluten free umbrella such as Paleo, Whole 30 and Keto/Low Carb.

Sheena, Noshtastic

I started my site as a sugar-free website, which focused mostly on paleo-compliant dishes. Since that time, my blog has shifted to conform to the diet I personally follow: a nut-free ketogenic diet. For quite some time, Real Balanced was just a keto recipe site, but after being diagnosed with life-threatening peanut and tree nut allergies in 2018, I had to shift to a nut-free keto recipe site so I, ya know, didn’t die in the kitchen. 🙃

Sara, Real Balanced

Yes, when I started A Clean Bake, my purpose was and always has been to focus on real food, lower-glycemic, gluten- and (mostly) grain-free food. That said, the recipes in the archive reflect where I am in my personal health. For example, there are a lot of sugar free, keto-ish recipes from a couple of years ago, when I couldn’t tolerate almost any carbs. There was also a time when I was more strictly grain free and dairy free. Now I tolerate some grains and dairy, so you’ll see that reflected in more recent recipes. I don’t ever believe in restricting foods or food groups if it’s not medically necessary!

Nora, A Clean Bake

What is your favorite thing about being a specialty diet blogger?

I get to make a living doing what I am so very passionate about, while helping others stick to healthy way of eating.

Julianne, Keto Cooking Christian

I think the best thing is that it allows me to earn a living while setting my own hours. And as someone who lives with two chronic autoimmune diseases it’s really a blessing to earn passive income even if I’m too unwell to work for days or weeks at a time, I can’t think of many jobs that would still pay nicely in those circumstances!

Sheena, Noshtastic

I love the personal emails I get from people asking questions because I am a certified personal trainer and nutrition coach so naturally that is where my passion lies and helping others has always been my goal.

Shasta, Keto Size Me

Helping people! I love getting emails, comments, or notes from readers who are finally enjoying gluten free food because of one of my recipes. It makes my day!

Celeste, Life After Wheat

Connecting with readers who have used my recipes to be able to enjoy their meal, party, or holiday, despite dietary restrictions.

Nora, A Clean Bake

I really like being able to use my creativity each and every day, set my own working hours and schedule and eat great food all the time! 

Melanie, A Virtual Vegan

The business side of things! I love allll things online marketing and strategy and my passion for this topic has actually allowed me to become a blogging coach. I coach my blogging clients on how to build a profitable blogging business, rather than just a hobby project.

Sara, Real Balanced
Easy Gluten-Free Biscuits from Celeste at Life After Wheat
Celeste, Life After Wheat: Easy Gluten-Free Biscuits

What is the hardest part about being a specialty diet blogger?

The technical aspect of running a site, which thankfully I have the very capable team at Agathon to help me with!

Julianne, Keto Cooking Christian

The hardest part about being a food blogger is the sheer amount of work it takes to stay on top of everything. We wear so many hats and it is really hard having to do everything yourself. Of course, that’s also a good thing because it means your working week is really varied and you aren’t stuck doing the same thing all the time.

The hardest part about blogging only vegan recipes\ is knowing that most people who aren’t vegan will see your recipe and automatically dismiss it because they see it’s vegan. They often don’t even consider that it might actually be just as good or better than a similar recipe that isn’t vegan. It’s pretty frustrating! 

Melanie, A Virtual Vegan
Best Instant Pot Roast with Gravy from Julianne at Keto Cooking Christian
Julianne, Keto Cooking Christian: Best Instant Pot Roast with Gravy

The hardest parts in general are how rapidly the landscape changes, and how you’re expected to casually do it all, perfectly, yourself. Suddenly food bloggers are supposed to be professional recipe developers, food photographers, videographers, social media marketers, email marketers, brand managers, account managers (if you work with brands), editors, and SEO experts. Not to mention all the back-end website management demands. It’s impossible! And so many of us do this while balancing a full time job and/or a family, because let’s face it: it takes awhile for food blogging to pay the bills, if it ever really does. It’s SO discouraging. 

I wrote a post about how I deal with this, and have spoken on several podcasts about it, because I want to spread the word that if you’re not doing everything and doing it perfectly, you’re not failing—you’re human! 

The hardest part about blogging within the specific dietary restrictions is that a lot of people get turned off when they hear it is gluten free, paleo, or otherwise compliant with a certain elimination diet. People who can eat anything assume it tastes like cardboard if it’s [insert diet here]-friendly, when in fact my entire site is driven by my obsession with making gluten- and grain-free recipes that are JUST as satisfying as the originals for everyone, regardless of dietary restrictions (or not). 

Nora, A Clean Bake
The Best Vegan Banana Pancakes from Melanie at A Virtual Vegan
Melanie, A Virtual Vegan: The Best Vegan Banana Pancakes

The most challenging part of my job is absolutely the desire to want to do ALL THE THINGS, ALL THE TIME! It can be quite difficult to turn down opportunities or wait on exciting projects, but often, it’s worth it and a more strategic move than simply doing a lot of different things at only a mediocre level.

Sara, Real Balanced

Managing my time between all my responsibilities as wife, mom, blogger, etc. is tough. I have had to learn some time management and prioritization skills. Blogging can be hard because you are never “done”. You can always do more, learn more, or become better at something, so you have to learn how to decide when you’ve worked enough and hold yourself to it.

Celeste, Life After Wheat

It’s not hard for me to blog about being gluten free as that’s simply how I live now and it’s totally normal for me. I think the hardest parts for me are trying to stay on track as I’m working at home alone and there are lots of distractions! I have a lady that comes to my home one day a week to cook recipes with me and that’s been the best investment I’ve made as it ensures that I follow through and create recipes when she turns up and my kitchen is very clean by the time we are done which is not how it is if I’m left to my own devices. 

Sheena, Noshtastic

The food blogging world is a competitive and ever-changing niche. Professional food bloggers are skilled chefs, photographers, and writers who have to watch and respond to these changing trends. What they shouldn’t have to worry about is the technology that makes their site run. And that’s why we’re honored to serve as a technology partner for these bloggers (and all of our clients!) so they can focus on the parts of blogging they do best!

How can we help support your site?

Whether you blog about a speciality diet or something else, we’d love the opportunity to support your business, not just as your hosting company but as a tech partner! Contact us for a free, no-obligation hosting assessment today.

Mandi Ehman

Director of Marketing at Agathon
With 10 years of experience as a professional blogger—and as a former Agathon hosting client herself—Mandi’s passionate about the good work Agathon does and sharing that message with more people.
Mandi Ehman

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