Connect with us


How This 60-Year-Old Earns $12k/Month Sharing Chef-Inspired Gourmet Recipes on Her Food Blog



How This 60-Year-Old Earns $12k/Month Sharing Chef-Inspired Gourmet Recipes on Her Food Blog

Carol Borchardt’s culinary education began at home, and although she initially held several office jobs, she couldn’t ignore her passion. 

She eventually launched an extremely successful personal chef business, but after an unfortunate accident, she had to stay off her feet. So she did what any food-loving, recipe-sharing chef would do: she launched her food blog.

From a Chef’s Kitchen is now earning up to $12k per month, and Carol’s just getting started. When many people her age are retiring, she’s excited to be “reinventing” her future once again.

Keep reading to find out:

  • Where Carol’s passion for cooking began
  • What happened when she started a business
  • Why she created her first blog
  • Where her income comes from
  • How she markets her blog
  • Her thoughts on SEO
  • How she approaches keyword research
  • Her content creation process
  • Her thoughts on having an email list
  • The tools and resources she uses
  • Her greatest challenge
  • What she wishes she knew when she started
  • Her main mistake
  • Her advice for other entrepreneurs

Meet Carol Borchardt

I was raised on a picturesque farm in central Wisconsin, red barn and all. 

The farm-to-table, free-range, and wild-caught concepts so important today were a way of life growing up. Milk didn’t come from a carton, it came from the barn. 

Until a few years ago, my amazing 96-year-old father tended a huge garden, foraged for mushrooms and berries in the woods, and hunted and fished. Almost everything we ate and that my mother cooked came from the land, the barn, or the chicken coop.

We had a large family (I’m one of seven) with many uncles and cousins that came to help on the farm when it was time for bailing hay or threshing oats. Feeding all those hungry, hard-working men a hot meal was a major undertaking my mother pulled off regularly, but we were expected to help. 

She was a prize-winning cook (including being a finalist in two Pillsbury Bake-Offs) who developed original recipes while feeding our large family.

So, as with so many passionate cooks, chefs, and food bloggers, my background in the culinary arts began at home. 

From the moment I discovered my mother’s old Betty Crocker cookbook as a child, I’ve been fascinated with food and cooking and I’m always dreaming up new recipes the way my mom did.

Carol Follows Her Passion

It all goes back to needing a creative outlet while working in various office jobs over the years. College was something the women in my family didn’t pursue (except for one but she waited until after she had children.) 

After high school, we went to work in an office until we got married. Cooking became my creative outlet because I loved it and people told me I was good at it. I honed my culinary skills through self-instruction, various classes, and practical experience working for a caterer on weekends.

In 1994, I met the love of my life, had a whirlwind romance, and in 1995 moved to the Memphis, Tennessee area. 

After helping to raise two stepchildren and experiencing mind-numbing burnout in yet another office job, I decided in 2002 it was time to pursue my passions. 

On a leap of faith, I quit that job and, without any clients to replace my income, I went all in with a personal chef business I named A Thought For Food Personal Chef Service

It took about two years to get a full calendar of clients, but it wasn’t long before I maintained a continual waiting list for 16 years.

Cooking for my personal chef clients kept me extremely busy and I wasn’t looking to do anything different or in addition to it. 

As a personal chef, it’s necessary to alter recipes and develop dishes that fit your client’s needs, so I learned how to develop original recipes. 

One original recipe I submitted to the Memphis newspaper, The Commercial Appeal, for a feature they were doing caught the attention of the food editor. She liked my style and asked me to write a column with a recipe for the food section entitled “Dinner For Two.”

I just thought it would be a good way to advertise my personal chef business, never thinking it would lead me down the path I’m on now. 

Until the newspaper cut its freelancer budget, my column enjoyed a 7-year run. Writing recipes for publication taught me a lot about how to write a recipe. 

​​As part of the arrangement, the newspaper was going to send a photographer out to photograph the dish for each column. However, with my cooking schedule and where I live, scheduling the cooking, styling, and photographing of each dish was impossible. 

After two complicated sessions, I decided to take the photos myself. The first photo I took was not very good; however, it passed and the newspaper was happy to let me take all photos after that.

How This 60 Year Old Earns 12kMonth Sharing Chef Inspired Gourmet Recipes on
Quinoa-Stuffed Swiss Chard Rolls with Fire-Roasted Tomato Sauce, Carol’s first photo

Suddenly, I was a food photographer too, which was pretty interesting because my knowledge of photography, in general, was quite limited.

Why She Created Her Food Blog

In an effort to learn how to do food writing better, I read Dianne Jacob’s book, Will Write For Food. Because of that book, I became intrigued with food blogging and wanted to start a blog, but didn’t have any extra time.

Then, in 2014, after fracturing my kneecap from a fall in a client’s kitchen, and with six weeks of recuperation time, I started a blog called A Cookbook Obsession (I’m an avid cookbook collector). 

However, that name caused a lot of confusion from people so a year later I rebranded to From A Chef’s Kitchen. I knew I had done the right thing when someone said, “Now THAT tells me who you are.”

How This 60 Year Old Earns 12kMonth Sharing Chef Inspired Gourmet Recipes on

From A Chef’s Kitchen is a general recipe blog where I share easy, creative chef-inspired gourmet recipes from my kitchen for the home cook. 

My recipes are inspired by ingredients I already have on hand or what’s in season at the market. I include plenty of tips and information to help readers succeed in making each dish. One reader recently told me: “Whenever I’m in a cooking rut, I come to your site for inspiration. You never disappoint.” 

I’ve been slowly downsizing my personal chef business for the past couple of years but at the end of this year, I will retire it and become a full-time food content creator with the goal of starting an additional niche website or two.

How Much Carol is Making

I average between $10,000 and $12,000 per month with 95% of that being ad revenue through Mediavine. The rest is affiliate sales, ad income through syndicating my content on the Newsbreak app, and occasional photo sales. 

I haven’t done sponsored posts in several years because I want to create my own content in my own way. My first month with Mediavine was July 2016; I made $160. 

I reached six figures annually in 2020 and have maintained that while continuing to cook for personal chef clients.

In terms of traffic, I currently average between 350,000 and 375,000 page views per month.

1688072164 805 How This 60 Year Old Earns 12kMonth Sharing Chef Inspired Gourmet Recipes on

And for how much I work on my business, the days I’m cooking for a personal chef client, I get up early and put in about two hours on my blog. When I’m not cooking for a client, I put in an eight-hour day on everything from cooking and shooting to social media. 

Even when I can’t devote a lot of time, I try to do something every day that will help push my site forward.

Her Top Marketing Strategy

First and foremost, I try to create the best recipes that will make people happy and they’ll love. I want my readers to look like culinary heroes when they’re with their family and friends around the dinner table. 

But, I realize a great recipe doesn’t get you found in a sea of other food blogs and major food sites like AllRecipes. So my strategy in order is SEO, my email list, Pinterest, and Facebook.

I have accounts on all the main platforms: Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, and LinkedIn. 

I devote the most time to Facebook and Pinterest because that’s where I feel my readers are. For Facebook, I publish something daily that includes a custom graphic. 

For Pinterest, I upload between two and five fresh pins per day. I recently pulled back from Instagram because I wasn’t seeing much of a return.

The Importance of SEO

SEO is absolutely key. 

My overall SEO strategy is to find topics with the keywords people are searching for. However, I don’t let that stop me from posting a good recipe I think my readers will enjoy. 

“Smashed” potatoes are a super popular recipe with a high search volume but no one was searching for “smashed” turnips. I came up with a recipe and method using turnips, published it anyway and now it’s one of my most popular and copied recipes.

Keyword Research

This depends on whether I’m creating new content or refreshing old content. 

I use KeySearch for keyword research, so when I get a new recipe idea, I enter various keywords to see what the approximate volume and difficulty are. 

If I’m refreshing old content, I enter the URL of the existing post to see what I’m already ranking for and what the volume is along with trying to find new keywords that I can incorporate, then I marry the two. 

I try to use at least five different keyword phrases in each post with the highest volume/lowest difficulty being #1.

Link Building

I spend some time on it, but I focus more on my content. I try to publish one new post and refresh one old post per week. 

The last old post I republished went from being on page 2 of Google to page 1 in one day. I used a link building service at one time, but my traffic actually fell during that time. 

I currently network with other food bloggers to get links into roundups.

Carol’s Content Creation Process

My husband and I really hate wasting food, so quite often my content/recipes start with what I already have in my freezer, refrigerator, or pantry—the way everyone else starts a meal. 

It also depends on what is in season and what looks good at the market. For example, I can’t plan to shoot and publish a recipe for artichokes if I can’t find good artichokes.

If I come upon beautiful artichokes, other recipes I have planned will get pushed back. I may not publish the artichoke recipe right away, but it gets worked on while they’re still fresh.

1688072164 808 How This 60 Year Old Earns 12kMonth Sharing Chef Inspired Gourmet Recipes on
Roasted Asparagus with Walnut Lemon Gremolata and Goat Cheese

Once I have the topic, an idea of keywords, and the ingredients, I get to work. I prep the ingredients and cook the dish with a photograph for each step. I then take final hero shots of the finished dish. After that, I edit the photos, upload the photos and begin writing and putting the post together. 

The entire process takes two days: one for cooking and shooting the photos and another day for editing and writing the post. Right now I’m doing it all myself, but I have been screening photographers to reshoot old posts for me.

Her Email List

An email list is very important, and with all the changes occurring in SEO and the elimination of cookies, it gets more important every day. 

I haven’t been that assertive in growing my list and resisted a pop-up on my site until recently. But, with the changes coming I mentioned, I realized how important an email list is because those are your most dedicated readers/fans. 

Grow by Mediavine has been instrumental in helping me grow my subscriber list to almost 9,500 subscribers. I send emails out to my subscribers at least once a week, sometimes two.

Her Favorite Resources

My favorite resources are as follows:

  • Podcasts: Food Blogger Pro, Eat Blog Talk, The Blog Millionaire, and Niche Pursuits
  • YouTube channels: The Bite Shot with Joanie Simon for improving food photography
  • Books: Any food photography book you can get your hands on
  • Websites:

Carol’s Go-To Tools

I use KeySearch for keyword research and SerpRobot for monitoring keyword ranking. 

I used to use schedulers for social media and Pinterest, but it’s just as easy to upload directly when I want to post something. Other than that, I’m a pen-and-paper kind of gal.

1688072164 237 How This 60 Year Old Earns 12kMonth Sharing Chef Inspired Gourmet Recipes on

Her Greatest Challenges

There are two:

–Time and running two businesses myself. While I have to hand it to young moms who start online businesses and become successful at it, finding time is just as challenging later in life because family commitments never stop.

–Social media. Although I was already pretty computer savvy from all the years I spent working in offices, I went into social media kicking and screaming. I’m a private person and was raised in an era where you didn’t tell the world every intimate detail of your life. I still don’t care for it, but it’s necessary.

Her Main Accomplishment

My greatest accomplishment has definitely been achieving a 6-figure income on my blog part-time. 

Although there’s always room for improvement, I’ve reached a level in food photography that I never thought I could based on that first photo I submitted to the newspaper all those years ago.

Things She Wishes She Knew When She Started

I wish I had known more about SEO and how to apply it when I first started out. In fact, I didn’t know anything. I didn’t start paying attention to SEO until I attended a food blogger’s conference in 2016 (Everything Food which is sorely missed by many food bloggers) and an SEO expert presented a segment on how to write a meta description.

The following year, at the same conference, another SEO expert gave a presentation and talked about ALT descriptions. At the time, no one was including ALT descriptions in their photos. Even big bloggers were having to play catch-up on those. 

I was applying SEO but it didn’t start to take root until I had a site audit by a well-known SEO expert two years ago. Then, last year, I did another audit by an SEO expert with a different approach that focused on keywords and finding the low-hanging fruit in your existing posts. That’s when the process really gelled for me.

I still have a lot of catching up and work to do because learning SEO is ongoing and because it’s constantly changing. With over 500 recipe posts on my site and running two businesses, there’s still a lot of catching up to do.

For anyone trying to learn SEO, I suggest listening to the podcasts I mentioned above, watching the webinars I mentioned, and following SEO experts on Twitter like Barry Schwartz from SERoundtable or Google’s John Mueller.

Invest in an SEO audit. I’ve never heard anyone say an audit was a waste of money.

Carol’s Biggest Mistake

My main mistake would be thinking that people would flock to my website and that it would be easy. Food blogging is HARD. 

It’s constantly changing and you have to pivot and adapt. Food blogging is something that can’t be taught; it can only be learned.

Her Advice for Other Entrepreneurs

No matter what your start in life or background is, believe in yourself and believe that you can do it. Follow your passion and your dreams. 

If you quit, you’ll never know what could be. Growing up on a farm, I learned the value of hard work and not to fear it.

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address


These Website Mistakes Could Be Costing You Thousands. Here’s How to Maximize Your Return and Drive More Sales.



These Website Mistakes Could Be Costing You Thousands. Here's How to Maximize Your Return and Drive More Sales.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You’re losing thousands of dollars on your website and might not even know it. You have a site and a marketing team, and traffic is flowing in. But your site — and business — may fail because you’re losing customers and conversions.


Leads fail to convert because of poor user interface, slow speeds and bad design practices. If your site isn’t optimized for SEO, it gets even worse: leads will never land on the site in the first place.

How much does a website cost?

Small websites cost $500 to $5,000. Your costs will vary depending on whether you use a template, hire a developer and the complexity of the site. Sites with hundreds of pages, expert optimization and design can cost $10,000 to $20,000. Your initial investment can’t be recuperated if your site isn’t optimized properly or set up to convert leads into sales.

Site visitors have higher expectations, and there is a growing list of requirements that sites must meet. You need a snappy site, and it must be accessible. However, you also need to capture the right data from your forms, continually optimize your site and fill in the leaks that are causing you to lose money.

Related: 3 Powerful SEO Techniques That Will Boost Your Website’s Search Engine Ranking

Is your website investment worth it?

Small business owners lose customers, even with a well-functioning website, because they don’t know how to utilize the data available to them. So, after all, is your website investment worth it, and if yes, how can you make sure you get an ROI?

Nobody tells you that web forms can cost you a lot of money

Forms are boring input fields to failing site owners and a goldmine to successful ones. What are leads doing when they enter data into the form? Are errors causing potential customers or clients to leave the site? According to WP Forms, more than 67% of site visitors will abandon your form forever if they encounter any complications; only 20% will follow up with the company in some way. Analyzing how users interact with forms is especially critical for small businesses, which may not have as many opportunities as larger corporations. They can identify common issues such as broken forms, confusing fields or errors. This insight allows small businesses to simplify and optimize the form-filling process, improving the overall user experience and significantly increasing the chances of conversion. Thankfully, you can use a form tracking system that will help to pinpoint problems with data entry and missed opportunities, ensuring that small businesses are not carelessly losing leads.

Testing your forms and sales funnel regularly can save you a lot of money if you fix issues that are found in the test phase.

Data is the king of website optimization

Analytic data is king of website optimization, but you need to know what to look for and how to make changes. For example, if you have a high bounce rate, your site may look like it was designed in 1999, or it takes 15 seconds to load.

Bounce rate means users are leaving the site on the page of entry, and you have multiple areas of potential improvement.

Review your site speed and follow PageSpeed Insights’ recommendations to optimize your site. Try to bring loading time down to two to three seconds at most. Complex navigation and poor-quality landing pages can also cost you sales. Work with a copywriter to optimize your sales funnel copy.

Data will help businesses to pinpoint exactly where users engage most frequently and where they face obstacles. With careful analysis of this data, companies can optimize every aspect of their website, from navigation to content.

Important aspects of a high-converting website

High-converting websites have a lot in common:


Expertly written content, with the help of a copywriter, will allow you to hit on the pain points of leads and close more sales. Hooks and storytelling from an experienced copywriter can help you turn a low-performing sales funnel into one that exceeds sales forecasts.


Poor design practices cause sites to fail. Yahoo! is a prime example. The site was once Google’s biggest competitor, but with the bland and outdated design, the bounce rate was high, and people flocked to Google.

Work with a design team to create a functional, feature-rich site that appeals to your target demographic.

Lead capture forms

High-converting sites use lead capture forms to collect basic information about visitors, such as their email or phone number.

In exchange for providing information, leads receive something valuable in return, such as a discount or free eBook.

Once a user provides their email address or phone number, you can start nurturing them and eventually convert them into a customer. It’s important to note again that receiving instant notifications about broken forms and issues is a solution to avoid losing potential customers.

Related: 9 SEO Tips to Help You Rank No. 1 on Google in 2024

Call-to-action: More than just a button

Call-to-actions (CTAs) tell visitors what to do next, such as signing up for a newsletter, making a purchase or scheduling a consultation. They play a crucial role in improving your site’s conversion rates.

Without them, visitors would leave your site without taking action, resulting in lost opportunities to convert leads.

To increase conversions, CTAs must be clear and concise and use action-oriented language, like “Buy now” or “Contact us.” Tell your visitors exactly what to do next so there’s no confusion and they feel confident taking the next step.

CTAs are highly effective at improving conversion rates, but visitor behavior can change over time. Testing and optimizing your site’s CTAs can help maximize your conversion rate and adapt and change as user behavior changes.

Make sure that you’re engaging in A/B testing to determine which CTA works best for your audience.

You must respond to leads right away

Research shows that 78% of customers purchase from the first responder. Surveys also show that the highest-ranking companies in lead response audit reports respond to leads in 30 minutes or less. The quicker you respond, the better. Conversion rates can be as much as eight times higher if you respond in the first five minutes.

Every minute that passes increases the chance that the lead will move on to a competitor.

How can you improve your lead response time? Start by automating your lead qualification process to identify and prioritize high-quality leads. Track the lead from start to finish and pinpoint the issues that leads are facing. Set response time goals, train your reps, and streamline your lead management processes to reach out to leads as quickly as possible.


You spend thousands of dollars on a website. To maximize your return, you must ensure that your site has all the right elements to increase conversion rates. Once you have these elements in place, you must respond to leads immediately to seal the deal.

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading


What Are the Highest Paying Jobs in Every U.S. State: Report



What Are the Highest Paying Jobs in Every U.S. State: Report

Sometimes, it’s not just about finding a job that pays well, it’s all about location.

A new report from shows that compensation for the same job can vary from state to state, so where a job is located can really matter, especially if you’re trying to maximize your earnings.

The report matches pay to location by figuring out which jobs yield the highest average salary in each state compared to the national average.

The result is a map of the jobs with the highest earning potential specific to every U.S. state.


The map shows the professions in each state with the highest differences between the average statewide salary and the national average pay.

Related: These Jobs Have the Highest Entry-Level Salaries

Every state has a minimum of one job that pays at least 25% more than the national average.

In midwestern states, such as Minnesota and Indiana, medical professionals make more than they would in other parts of the country.

Physicians take home 38.63% more pay in Indiana, and dermatologists make 56.98% more in Minnesota than either profession makes on average in the U.S.

Related: College Graduates Make the Most Money in These U.S. States

Three states have jobs in business and finance that pay more than 50% more than the national average.

Alaska pays personal financial advisors 66.69% more, Nebraska pays credit counselors 59.46% more, and New York pays credit analysts 50.98% more than the U.S. average overall for those occupations.

1716944163 691 What Are the Highest Paying Jobs in Every US StateCredit:

Here are the highest-paying jobs in some of the most populated U.S. states and how much more (%) each job pays than the national average.

1. California

Craft artists: 89.06%

2. Florida

Quarry rock splitters: 42.40%

3. New York

Crane and tower operators: 109.03%

4. Pennsylvania

Iron and rebar workers: 65.30%

5. Illinois

Hoist and winch operators: 71.79%

6. Ohio

Mathematical science occupations: 40.46%

7. Georgia

Cloak room attendants: 52.49%

8. North Carolina

Healthcare practitioners and all other technical workers: 34.49%

9. Michigan

Plant and system operators: 63.48%

10. New Jersey

Floor layers: 90.03%

Click here for the full list.

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading


5 Types of Content That Will Attract Ready-to-Buy Prospects



5 Types of Content That Will Attract Ready-to-Buy Prospects

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

They say that content is king — but not all digital content is created equal. While most digital content can help increase awareness for your brand, the most valuable content is designed to draw in warm prospects who are ready to make a purchase from you.

Of course, even the best content isn’t likely to result in a purchase on the first exposure. The marketing rule of seven indicates that consumers must be exposed to your messaging at least seven times on average before they decide to make a purchase. While this may often be the case, strong digital content will go a long way in lowering this total.

Related: 5 Digital Content Types Prospective Buyers Love to Engage With Online

1. Email campaigns

Email marketing remains one of the most effective methods for communicating with warm leads and staying in touch with existing customers to ensure they will buy from you again. Not only are emails far more likely to be read than other types of content, but their average return on investment towers over other options.

According to the HubSpot Blog, most marketers see an average open rate of 46-50% and a clickthrough rate of 2.6-3% — numbers that far outpace the engagement levels of social media and other popular forms of content.

Even if they are mostly comprised of previous customers, email lists are an essential marketing tool because they are made up of people who agreed to receive additional messaging from you. This fact alone already makes them far more qualified leads than someone who randomly stumbles across your blog.

2. Personal engagement on social media

While the overall engagement and reach of many social media platforms have declined, there is still much to be said for the potential these platforms offer for fostering one-on-one engagements with your warmest leads.

When marketers comment strategically on other people’s posts, actively participate in relevant groups and conversations, and respond to the comments and messages they receive, it helps create a meaningful dialogue with their target audience.

By pairing this personalized engagement with relevant, authoritative content (including videos, polls and more), you can leverage social media to nurture warm leads.

3. Cost calculators

Most companies have at least some kind of on-site content marketing strategy, which usually revolves around blogging. A blog can be undeniably beneficial for building SEO and domain authority, but depending on the type of content you create, it isn’t always going to create warm leads.

However, if your website content focuses on the customers who are ready to buy now, you can greatly increase your own sales potential — and one of the best ways to do this is with a cost calculator.

From calculating the cost of shipping a car across the country to determining how much it would cost to build your own website, these tools are inherently targeted at warm leads who are ready to make a buying decision. In this case, providing useful budgeting and planning information directly influences the user’s purchasing decision, providing a powerful way of reaching warm leads.

Related: 4 Steps to Writing Content That Converts

4. Webinars

Webinars have become an increasingly popular digital content option, and for good reason. When webinars are promoted to the right audience, they can become far more engaging and attractive to warm leads than a blog post covering the same topic would be.

The simple fact of displaying content in an audiovisual format helps make the webinar feel like an event in its own right. With an engaging topic and professional presenters, you can build a large audience. And when the topic of the webinar itself ties into your offerings, you can create a natural segue into how you can help viewers solve their most pressing problems.

Webinars can be even more effective when paired with other content, such as an e-book or follow-up video lessons. When done right, webinars can be an excellent resource for collecting email addresses and other information from warm leads who are most likely to be interested in your services.

5. Software demos

Admittedly, this digital content option doesn’t apply to every industry. However, there is a wide range of companies that offer software services, addressing everything from tracking logistics and customer relationships to managing the back end of a website.

A software demo gives warm leads the opportunity to try the service before they commit to a purchase. Firsthand interaction and experience with the software is ultimately far more convincing than a series of sales calls could ever be, as this helps buyers clearly determine whether or not a particular product works for them.

It should be no surprise, then, that opt-out free trials see an incredible 48.8% conversion rate. It’s worth noting, too, that companies that don’t sell software can use similar “trial” options, such as a two-week trial for their services. Trials and demos appeal to the warmest buyers, who often use them to finalize their purchase decision.

Related: 5 Steps for Creating a Content Marketing Strategy That Drives Business Results

While regularly updating a blog or social media profile can be useful as part of your content marketing strategy, it is essential that brands in every niche focus on the types of content that are poised to deliver the greatest return.

By focusing on the types of content that are most likely to capture warm prospects in the first place, you can turn more leads into sales and maximize the success of your content strategy.

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading