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Blogging As A Full-Time Job (Part 2)

Breakfast:

scrambled tofu

Today’s breakfast was this recipe: Eggless Breakfast Scramble.

See? Proof that I don’t just eat chocolate! It’s an older recipe, with terribly old photos, but I still love it. There are actually quite a few old recipes on the site that I missed when archiving the recipe page, and I’m trying to go back to find them all. It’s like a Where’s Waldo…

scrambled tofu

Tomorrow I’ll get back to the chocolate recipes.

Promise.

Today’s post, though, is a follow-up to Thursday’s Day In The Life post, since so many people had the same questions. I figured it’d be best to answer them all in the same place.

I also wanted to apologize.

In my last post, I stressed the fact that I work hard at my job; that running the website takes up a majority of the day—nights and weekends, too. But re-reading my post, I’m cringing at how it almost sounds like I’m complaining about the amount of work.

Perhaps I chose the wrong words; it was definitely not my intent to compare my job to those of people who do manual labor or spend long hours at tedious jobs they hate. I can see now how my post could’ve sounded privileged and insensitive. If you took offense, please accept my embarrassed apology, as well as my gratitude for enabling me to have this job that I love.

To answer the questions…

How can I become a full-time blogger?

To be really honest (and blunt), I think that if your goal in starting a blog is to turn it into a career, you’re going to fail. You should blog because you love it, not because you want to make money. I didn’t set out to make this my job, and I happily blogged for years without getting much (or any) pay. My goal in blogging has never been to earn tons of money; it’s just to make enough money that I can continue doing what I love. I’d still run this website if it made absolutely nothing; I’d just be forced to devote less time to it.

If it turns out—without your trying—that you can blog for a living, that’s a happy coincidence. But I think if you specifically tailor your content to become a full-time blogger, people will see through you and see that your heart really isn’t in it.

So… how many visitors does your blog get?

At first I wasn’t going to answer this question. But the truth is, I’m curious too, and I’d love it if more bloggers shared.

My website received almost 8 million visits for February and March. If you’ve ever told your friends or family about Chocolate-Covered Katie, or shared my website on facebook, I am forever grateful to you… I’d bake you a giant batch of “thank you” cookies, but it wouldn’t be anywhere near enough!

(Seriously, it wouldn’t.)

Are you going to blog forever?

I don’t know what the future holds, but I’d love to continue running this website for as long as anyone cares to read. There is something else I’m working on, and many of you already know about it because I’m lousy at keeping secrets. I’m planning to finally announce it officially on the blog next month!

How does a person make money from a blog?

I have a sponsor, Foodbuzz. Their ads are on the side of my blog, and in return they pay me. This amounted to a few dollars a month when I first started out. But if a blog gets popular enough, you can actually make a living from it. I’m sure there are more lucrative ways to make money from a blog, but I haven’t looked into it. As I said earlier, I’m not interested in making a huge amount of money—just enough to pay the bills, cover the expense of my baking supplies (I go through a lot when doing recipe experiments!), and pay the server costs for website hosting.

Can I make a donation to your blog?

I actually don’t have a donation page… I know many other bloggers do, but I’d feel weird asking for donations when there are so many charities out there more in need than my need for money for baking supplies. But if you made a donation to your favorite charity in my honor, that would absolutely make me so happy!!

Do your parents financially support you at all? Does your husband?

My parents don’t, and my husband definitely does not support me. Unless you mean my imaginary husband. In that case, yeah he gives me tons of money. 😉

How do you make friends when you work alone?

I’ve kept in touch with some of my college friends and high school friends, and I’ve made more friends through their friends; plus many of my roommate’s friends and coworkers have also become my friends. Then I also have you all! Reading your comments makes me feel like I’m getting to know you and like we’re friends. I love being part of this online community and can’t understand how a blogger could take comments for granted and ignore his or her readers. You all teach me so much, and I wish there were more time in the day to respond to every comment and to try all the recipe ideas people send me.

(2015 edit: It’s so fantastic how many real-life friends I’ve made from people who have recognized me on the street from my blog! If you see me, please do feel free to say something!! Meeting new people is one of my favorite things, and it’s one of the top reasons I enjoy living in DC.)

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Published on April 15, 2012

Meet Katie

Chocolate Covered Katie is one of the top 25 food websites in America, and Katie has been 
featured on The 
Today Show, CNN, 
Fox, The 
Huffington Post, and 
ABC's 5 O’Clock News. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating dessert every single day!

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200 Comments

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  1. Dreena Burton says

    Katie, your apology is sincere, and no doubt accepted by all of you readers. Anyone that blogs regularly knows that unlike some other work, this one is tricky in terms of time mgmt. For me, with 3 girls at home, it’s always ‘interrupted’ work! And, often hard to draw the line to take a break… And when you do, you are often still there mentally.

    Congratulations on building a large and loyal following. And, I do believe a chocolate drizzle was waiting at the table for your scramble. 😉

    Hugs…
    -Dreena

  2. Nicole says

    hmm..are they chocolate chip raspberry cookie? maybe frozen/no-bake? some kind of red fruit is in there, I can see that. hm, hm, hm 🙂

  3. Heather W says

    I for one would like to say that the amount of love that you have for what you do is apparent. I would never think that doing what you do is easy and think that you are allowed to feel like it is alot of work. No apology necessary. lol And we love you just as much for all of the thought and creativeness that you put into the recipies that we, in turn, serve to our friends and family (or selfishly keep all to ourselves). Your food is healthy, beautiful and delicious, and you deserve every penny that you recieve! Anyways….I’ve been craving a good ginger cookie and since I’ve been sucked in by your site I prefer the eggless recipies with little flour! Any chance you have one of those in that genius brain of yours?! 🙂

  4. Michelle says

    I was so disappointed to see that you’re only sponsored for page views in the USA! I’m sad that my page views don’t contribute as I adore you and your site (and visit it at least once a day while procrastinating studying).

    When I went home for Christmas, I even saw my dad browsing your site and I hear your sweet potato chilli is quite a hit with my family! He’s recently completely altered his diet after a triple-bypass surgery and is loving the new healthy lifestyle; thank you for contributing to that 🙂

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      Oh no worries! As I said, page views really don’t matter to me as much as just knowing that people are reading and trying the recipes. Money is NOT the most important thing in the world, and I love my international readers just as much as the ones in the US.
      Often, y’all are the ones who leave the best comments, because I learn so much about different parts of the world (and different cultures and traditions) from you. So you’re definitely contributing!!

      • niki says

        i agree that money is definitely not the most important thing in the world, but you should never apologize about making a living (or feel like it is unseemly to care that you make money). you created and run this blog, something that many many people read, and you should be compensated for that.
        so for all you people out there (especially women who tend to make less money and to feel more embarrassed talking about money) know that your work and your time are valuable commodities! dont be shy– earn what you deserve!!

  5. Heleen says

    You’re honestly one of the most charming and genuine online girls I know of, and I was surprised to read your apology for the previous post – anyone who reads your blog should be aware of how kind you are and that you never meant to seem conceited. Anyway, I’m happy that you have no intention of giving up blogging anytime soon! Your blog is an incessant inspiration 🙂

    • mrsluckypants says

      Heleen said it better than I could have. I agree with her 100%. I love reading your blog and think it’s so neat that you shared how to support yourself through this job that you love! I was honestly very curious about how you made it a full time job. I wish everyone had a job that they loved. There would be alot more happy people in the world. You are blessed to have found your passion and calling in life. Your site is wonderful and I would be lost without it. I visit almost everyday and suggest your site and recipes to people all the time. I am a stay at home mom who recently started working very part time at an exercise club as a coach so recipes and eating come up alot and I share yours very often. Most women struggle with sweets and you make it possible to have them with a little less guilt. I guess somehow I missed any clues you gave to what your next “project” is, but I can’t wait to find out….. maybe a cookbook????? Katie, keep doing what you are doing as long as you love it. Keep smiling and being yourself. We wish you the best in all your future endeavors.

  6. Katherine says

    Katie,
    You’re blog is one of few that I check everyday (even if there is no email in my inbox!). Your joy and care is apparent by all the work you put into the blog. Thanks for being such a wonderful person and I hope that you continue to gain success!

  7. Erin says

    I just want to say that I ABSOLUTELY LOVE reading your blog and making your recipes. Thank you for being so dedicated 😀 My favorite thing to do when I get home from school in the afternoon is to check your blog for new posts!

  8. Veggie V says

    I didn’t think anything about your earlier blog post. People are too sensative. Or jealous. People who don’t do what they love are jealous of other’s happiness.

    Cookbook?!

    The cookies look poofy like my grain-free cookies if I don’t flatten them out, especially the sunflower seed butter chocolate chip walnut ones. Yum!

  9. Kimberlee Lorenz says

    Hi Katie,
    I’ve been following your blog only for about 6 months now, and when I say follow, I mean check out weekly or so. I am trying to commit every day to support the blogs I love, since I good friend of mine, also a blogger, explained how the system works. She is a very close friend, and asked us to please comment as much as we would like, as the comments count. So, now after reading her posts, I diligently try to contribute something meaningful in response to her writing.
    I think it is absolutely wonderful that you are able to maintain a modest lifestyle by blogging. I can tell you love it, and I feel that you “share,” rather than “preach,” which I find to be an annoying presence in many other blogs.
    Although I am not a vegetarian, I do try to limit gluten, and I appreciate anyone’s efforts to experiment with the difficulty of baking with non-traditional ingredients, knowing full-well the time it takes to do this on a trial and error basis.
    Kudos to you for sticking to your intended goals, and for standing up for yourself when some commenters became judgmental. After all, this is not a blog about the general layperson’s uneducated opinion of someone’s health or lack thereof…judgmental comments only served to detract from the content and objective of your blog.
    I look forward to reading it more in the future…chocolate and cooking beats out the news any day! Thank you!

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      Thank you so much, Kim. I definitely am trying to experiment more with gluten-free recipes, because I know including such options helps a lot of people. Personally, I don’t have any issues with gluten, but people thrive best on different diets. Of course, I think everyone thrives best on chocolate… 😉

  10. Katie @ Peace Love & Oats says

    Haha I have to agree, I kinda want to know how many visitors other bloggers get! I’m a small, new blog (no advertising or anything – just for fun!) and I got about 22,000 page views last month, and it seems to increase every month as I get more readers. But that’s page views, I don’t know how to figure out how many unique visitors I get since I am not self-hosted (I use wordpress).

  11. connie munoz says

    I love your blog, i have tryed several of your recipes, blogging is hard and i so couldnt do it, being under the eye of so many people and one word could set off a huge debate, just baking and cooking alone is time consuming much less taking pictures and posting about them. I so couldnt do it, i have several times tryed to start my own blog, and share some of my frugal tips and cooking experiences, would do a couple times and just couldnt do it, i belong to several blogs and i love them, yours is one:) thank you for putting in the work and sharing with us all….

  12. Nadiya @ Milk and Honey says

    There is no need to apologize 🙂 Blogging is as demanding as other jobs but in their own way. Anyways, all that matters is that you enjoy your job and that we the readers enjoy your delicious chocolate covered goodies 😛

  13. Ali says

    Hi Katie,

    I felt really inclined to respond to your post after you felt the need to apologize. I think those of us that read your blog regularly (and drool at all your amazing recipes) know just how genuine you are. Your passion shines through each and every post and honestly, kudos to you for following your dreams. I so admire those that have the courage to pursue what others think are impossible. The words say it: I’m possible!!!! When we do what we love, it seems opportunities present themselves. Why? Because it’s undeniable that people are drawn to those that stick to what they genuinely love.

    All that to say, I wish you the best in everything you do! I hope you continue to bless the rest of us with this amazing gift that God has given you. Lord knows not all of us are as talented in his arena of our lives, but it’s what makes life so neat isn’t it?

    Have a wonderful day!!!

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      Thanks, Ali! And I definitely agree with you about the talent thing… I look at doctors or engineers (or even teachers like my mom, with the patience of Job), and I have no idea how they do it. It makes life interesting that we all have different skills, and it’s also the only way “life” could work! If they expected people like me to build spaceships… 😕

  14. Cyndi says

    First off, I can’t wait to see what those cookies are. They look absolutely amazing!

    I can tell that you love blogging! You are so genuine and you blog about things that you love. And you’re teaching people that there are so many other options when it comes to food/desserts. How awesome is that! But you’re right, blogging can be hard, and it does take up a lot of time 🙂 But speaking for myself (and I think the rest of your readers) I’m so glad you take the time! I seriously stalk your site to satisfy my sweet tooth every single day.

    Btw let me know if you ever need an extra hand 🙂

  15. cucicucicoo says

    thank you so much for this post! i’m always really curious about how professional bloggers manage to get by. it’s really fascinating to me. plus i just love how you always emphasize just how much you love what you do. it makes the rest of us all the more excited about your recipes!

    as for the preview…it’s too little, but i think i see some red in there. some sort of cookies with some cranberry or rasberry swirl? whatever it is, i’m sure it’s delicious!! 🙂 lisa

  16. Grati says

    Even if it doesn´t make a big deal I will still like you and share your blod with my friends,just because if find your recipes pure genius and very yumy:)))
    And as far as I´m concerned,i don´t think you sounded whiny or insensitive in you last post,i think there´s way easier to work at someting you love,but in the end hardwork is hardwork.Just because i enjoy lifting weights doesn´t mean i won´t feel the pain of it 😉 I wish you will blog for a long time tho:D llooooooongg time:)))

  17. Arielle says

    Thanks for answering all those questions! As other commenters have implied, I don’t think you sounded privileged or insensitive at all in your last post. As with pretty much all jobs, things can get difficult and stressful at times, and I think it’s important for people to realize that blogging is no exception.

    Also looking forward to your next recipe! I just love “puffy” cookies 🙂

  18. Deborah says

    Hi Katie I have been reading your blog for inspration on a daily average! I just want to let you know how great your blog is and how I admire you greatly! Keep up the good work and enjoy it 😉 Debz xX

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      As I said to someone else, I’m just as grateful for the non-US readers as US ones, and I really don’t care about the money. Non-US readers offer a different perspective, and I’ve learned a lot from you all. Plus, I get really excited to see people are reading my blog in places I’ve never even been, like Poland or Australia. 🙂

      • Babs says

        Glad you mentioned Australia 🙂 I definitely read your blog a lot and tell all my co-workers when they ask about a recipe of yours that I bring in. The chickpea desserts have been a huge success down-under. (No one in Australia says down-under, but since I’m an American-transplant I figure I can use it … hehe)

        I’ll be happy to host you, if you ever decide you want to come visit 🙂

  19. K says

    You never answered what you made…if you had given the cent amount I could have calculated it myself but you purposefully didnt. WHY CANT YOU JUST SATISFY OUR CURIOSITY

    • blogger says

      First of all, it’s a direct violation of the Foodbuzz contract to tell someone how much they’re paying you. Second of all, haven’t you ever heard that it’s rude to ask someone how much he/she makes?

    • Anonymous says

      Wow, are you serious? That is THE most offensive/rude thing you can ask someone. “oh, excuse me, how much do you make?” Lacking social skills and manners are we? And why on earth does it matter to you? She really didn’t even need to tell the whole world that she makes enough to support herself without help from others, that is also NO ONE’S business. Katie does what she does because she loves it. Katie needs to justify nothing nor did she even have to address the questions regarding making a living blogging but she did and she gave more than enough information. Can’t you be happy with that? Leave it alone already. You MUST have more important things to worry about than someone’s income, no?

  20. ah ha says

    Ah hah! I figured you got money per page hit and comments solely from the fact that you constantly link to other pages on your site, and end pretty much every blog with a question for your readers. Not that I blame you, I’d set it up that way too if its how I supported myself. Congrats on the blog. 8 mil views per month is incredible.

    • Abby says

      Don’t you think your comment is just a little rude? 🙁

      Katie’s already written that she links back to old posts because she has been blogging for eons and has a ton of older posts, and she feels sad to have worked hard on them only to have people never see them again after the day they’re published.

      Plus, for someone like me, who hasn’t been reading her blog from the beginning, I find this enormously helpful. For example, today I found a new recipe that I’m excited to make for breakfast tomorrow: tofu scramble!

      And finally, pretty much every blog I read links back to older posts. Some do it way more than Katie. I don’t find her linking excessive or annoying. Rather, I am glad she does it because it helps me find new recipes or ones I’d forgotten!

      • anonymous says

        I agree with Abby. And as for the question of the day I would agree with you, ah ha, IF Katie asked a question and then didn’t care about our responses. However if you read her blog regularly you can see that she’s VERY active in the comments section, so this discredits your theory.
        Long live the questions of the day! 🙂

        • ah ha says

          Hey Guys, I never said it was annoying that she linked back- in fact, I said I’d do it too. It was more just something I wondered. I don’t really see any fault in it. And anonymous- about the questions– she can still care about responding to them even if she’s happy to also make money off of it. I don’t see those two things as mutually exclusive at all.

          • Abby says

            Oh ok. I guess I just figured that, with the comment name you chose, you were trying to be snarky. The way I see it, we all benefit from concepts like this: Katie makes enough to keep blogging, WE as the readers don’t have to pay for a cookbook (not that I wouldn’t buy one, I’m just trying to make a point in general), and the advertisers are happy as well.
            Win win win :).

          • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

            I definitely don’t ask a “question of the day” for the extra page views. Even if a post got 100 comments, that would only translate to a few dollars worth of page views.

            I ask the question because I love hearing from people. Sure, maybe on a particular day a certain question is a bit dumb or superficial (“What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?”) But it’s fun to see who answers, and how they answer. It’s fun to get to know other people through the comments. I know it sounds strange, but you really do start to get to know other people. Plus, everyone likes getting mail, right? This is the same idea :).

          • mrsluckypants says

            Katie, you definitely have a way with words, and that is a very good thing. It takes me quite a while to write a comment, memo or e-mail because when something is written you can’t see facial gestures or hear the voice therefore, it is very easy to misinterpret the intent. I have to reread my written words several times to make sure my comments aren’t taken the wrong way. You, however, do this all day long every day and always seem to respond in very effective and kind way. I like to believe that people don’t intentionally make rude comments maybe they are just misunderstood and/or speak before they think, but I’m certain there is info on the web to help them answer any questions they may have about blogging if they are indeed interested in getting this information in order to possibly start their own. Or maybe it would be more appropriate for them to ask you some question in the form of a private e-mail. As I’ve been following your blog for months it seem to me that you would be happy to help someone or give them advice. Some of the comments do come across as being rude and/or disrespectful with regard to how you support yourself; hopefully this was not their intent, but rereading before sending might have been a good idea. It’s really not polite to ask someone these questions and while I will admit I was curious about it too, I would have never asked. I’m happy for you that you can do what you love everyday and I’m sure there are those out there that are maybe jealous and would like to be successful working at something they love too and can’t quite verbalize that in an appropriate way. I wish they would take a few minutes to reread their posts before they hit submit and consider how others might interpret their words. I’m sure over the years you’ve learned to let these types of things roll off your back, but obviously some of your “follower friends” aren’t so good at it as we want to stand up for you. Maybe part of it is selfish on our part as well since we don’t want you to get discouraged by some people and stop doing what you are doing as that would affect all of us as well. However, it seems to me that the majority of the comments you receive are positive and you certainly have alot of people who will stand up for you and back you up because you come across as a nice, sweet and sincere individual. I can’t wait to see what that next dessert is. Keep up the good work Katie!

  21. Michelle says

    Katie, I think it is very sweet of you to address the many questions you get. People seem to think that having a blog, or putting yourself out there on the net…gives them a right to ask anything, say anything and assume a whole lot!
    In the short time that I have been following your blog, I have seen you take several hits. You handle it well in the face of the forum. I certainly hope that you take the nonsense with a grain of salt.
    I, for one, am glad you do what you do…Whether it is a paying gig or not, it shows that you give it your all!
    😀

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      Thanks, Michelle! I’ve really had to learn to take criticism less personally. If you can believe it, there are actually entire websites devoted to bashing food bloggers! But I just don’t ever click on those sites anymore, so whatever they’re saying doesn’t bother me. Most of the people I’ve met through blogging are amazingly kind and caring.

  22. Sarah the official CCK drooler says

    Are you serious? My imaginary husband gives me millions too! ( in Monopoly money, but hey, its the thought that counts 🙂 ) Great post btw. I’ve been thinking of starting a blog (really, who wants to read a grammatically challenged post from some high schooler?) mainly because I might as well do all my yakking where people of taste WILL APPRECIATE my ramblings * sniffs in contempt at family members who will go unnamed* Seriously speaking, I have a passion for health and fitness as well as the issue of body image. I have dealt with these issues so I feel like I might as well share what I’ve learned. Problem is, it can be a little embarrassing and discouraging when you only have two views and one comment. And those two views are from your Grandma Opal and Uncle Jed. And the comment is from your mom. get a life, Sarah. Thanks for the inspiration though.
    p.s.- i am nosy so i did some quick math with the few cents and 8 million views. I will not say the numbers but boy is that IMPRESSIVE!!! Congrats! 🙂

    • Samantha says

      Sarah – Don’t be afraid to go for it. 🙂 I get very few regular comments and at first it was family primarily. But the thing is, I love the process of blogging. Truly I do. And the people I do comment that I would never have connected with outside the blog world I have always enjoyed and usually really look forward to (I think there was one advertising one that I just did a quick delete on).

      You can always try it and destroy it later if you hate the process. 🙂

      Good luck!

      • Sarah the official CCK drooler says

        Thanks for the supportive words both of you!!! I guess I should seriously consider it- maybe not now but definitely some day! Good luck and God bless to both of you and your blogs.

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