Wow, guys. WHAT A YEAR. I swear every year since I’ve started Fit Mitten Kitchen, major events have happened. Does this just mean I am getting old? Possibly… But seriously, each year has had its fair share of memorable moments. I am forever grateful for starting this space but more importantly that you all continue to support me every day.
In 2015 (my first year in) I got married. This 2015 recap is quite comical.
In 2016 Drew and I moved back to Michigan, I pursued Fit Mitten Kitchen full-time, and traveled to Scotland and England with my LTF and her husband. In 2016 I learned some big lessons about blogging.
In 2017 we bought a house, continued to kickass blogging full-time and was able to replace my previous corporate income with income from this business along with other freelance jobs. 2017 gave me more insight into what it was really like to run a blog full-time and run a profitable business. I cover the recap in this post – lots of valuable information there for beginning bloggers.
In 2018 Drew and I traveled to Hawaii for our (very) delayed honeymoon, we got a yellow lab puppy and named her Gilly, I traveled for work events, and then I was in three weddings – my older sister’s, my best Canadian friend, and my younger sister’s. Not to mention bridal showers and bachelorette attending/planning. From June until mid-December my weekends were pretty much booked. It was an INSANE time filled with so much love and gratitude. However at times I put too much pressure on myself to keep my blog going at lightning speed like I had in the past. But this year with all of the various events, I realized it was time to work smarter, not harder. And also truly give myself the permission to rest more, even if that meant giving up my blog posting schedule.
Fit Mitten Kitchen’s Third Year in Business
Because I know there are many of you that are looking to either a) start a blog b) have a blog and are looking to grow and/or make an income from it or c) are just curious, I thought it would be helpful to share some insights with you.
You should know that while my success can be looked at as “quick” in comparison to other blogs that have been running for the past 5-10 years, it wasn’t simple getting to where I am now. Growing a blog to run full-time is HARD work, can take a lot of hours (especially in the beginning) and is often not what it seems to those on the outside.
My path and journey has been different compared to 6+ year old blogs. I launched my blog in the spring of 2015, during the time when Instagram and influencer marketing started taking off. Over a couple of years I continued to grow on Instagram, while my growth on other platforms, such as Facebook and Pinterest, has been rather slow in comparison. I try not to get caught up in numbers now because in the long run I know it’s about serving my audience (you guys).
It’s also really hard to grow multiple platforms at one time without help. So for a long time I focused on Instagram because that’s where I was seeing success. But when I compare other platforms like Facebook and the growth other bloggers have seen (who have been around much longer than me) my following there is miniscule. I’d love to grow on those two platforms, but one day at a time.
Long story short, you can’t do it all and be everywhere at the same time. Not to mention all of these platforms are constantly changing (I’m talking to you, Instagram Algorithm/Facebook) and it’s frustrating to try and figure it all out. So if you’re in this space and are looking for numbers as guidance, sharing my “stats” with you isn’t going to help. “Comparison is the thief of joy” and I know this all too well. I think two or three years ago numbers possibly would have helped you gauge your success or help you set goals. But in reality, this business is changing and changing fast. It’s no longer a numbers game, it’s about the value you can bring to your audience and your brand partners (if working with brands is your goal). So instead of wasting time worrying about how everything changes so quickly, focus on your people and what you can do for them. Get strategic and think like a business owner.
Hitting 6 Figures
I’ll be honest… It feels just a little bit strange to put this out there but as a woman in business and paying it forward (thank you to all of the other women and bloggers out there that have shared information with me that in turn helped me grow) I think it’s only fair to share this bit of information: Fit Mitten Kitchen hit six figures this year. I was doing some research and came across this post Numbers of a Six-Figure Business, by Racheal Cook, where it is said that supposedly only 12% of women business owners only hit $100,000 or more a year. I hope we can change that.
Last year at this time I almost hit six figures between my freelance work, blog and teaching (fitness classes). I came up about $7,000 short, but was still hella proud. So when it came to set my 2018 goals, I aimed to double my blog income and hit $120,000. Then it happened. Not just like magic, obviously. I was strategic, set SMART goals, analyzed my systems, value and business.
I have you, my readers, to thank for continuing to put your trust in me, the brands I partnered with that helped me help you by sharing new content, and many other business mentors, inspirations and food blogging friends. And of course my family and friends for their continued support as well.
Through this journey, Nicole Culver* has been my business mentor since the beginning. I don’t think I would have met my goals without her guidance. There would be days, weeks actually, where I would get in a funk and feel stressed out, burnt out and not sure what I was doing with this business anymore. Our phone calls often felt like (much needed) therapy sessions, where our conversations would end with actionable items, tough love and also the permission to give myself some grace. I can’t thank her enough for reaching out to me over three years ago now asking if I wanted to work with her. *I have an affiliate link for working with Nicole. I cannot recommend her services and programs enough! Whether you’re beginning your blogging journey or you’ve been at it for years she is amazing to work with.
One of my goals for this year was to do more travel and press trip with brands. The Universe was listening 😉
In March I traveled to Detroit for a Legendairy Weekend with Kroger and Tillamook.
Not to mention met bloggers in real life who have inspired me from the very beginning.
In August I visited a beet farm in Rochester, New York with Love Beets and met even more amazing people I’ve connected with on and off the ‘gram.
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STAY TRUE TO YOUR ROOTS ✌️ If you would have told my 4 yr old (beet hater) self that in 25 years I’d #lovebeets and even get to tour an organic beet farm in upstate New York, I would have looked at you like you had four eyes 👀👀 ⠀ ⠀ But here I am, looking lovingly into these beets and learning so much about their goodness – from the farm, to the amazing @lovebeets production facility and eventually to your homes. This brand is changing the way we think about beets and I feel honored to be a part of the movement 💕 ⠀ ⠀ #lovebeetspartner #beetbonanza #organicfarm #upstatenewyork #wholefoods #realfood #realfoodie #fitfoodie #foodiesofinstagram ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀
In September I visited Portland and the Oregon coast with Tillamook for a fun retreat.
These were rewarding experiences and I don’t take them for granted one bit. I traveled with business owners of all sizes on these various trips and all I could think about was how lucky I was to be a part of the experience.
I can’t let this recap end without sharing some amazing personal highlights too!
We traveled to Kauai and had the most amazing time. Drew and I had never really vacationed together on our own so this trip was pretty special.
We got our first puppy, a yellow lab we named Gilly (mainly after Gillyweed, from Harry Potter).
I visited friends and spent time all over Michigan and Ontario for bridal showers, bachelorettes, and weddings from June till December.
And here’s a cute one of Gilly and Mr. FMK, just because.
Personal Favorite Posts of 2018
- Almond Flour Banana Bread
- Healthy Cashew Butter Eggs
- Meatless Walnut-Cauliflower Bolognese
- Quick & Sweaty Resistance Band + Plyo Workout
- Patriotic Paleo Flag Cake
- Almond Matcha Muffins
- Real Talk Tuesday: Swimsuit Season
- Fluffy Banana Cinnamon Rolls
- Paleo Gingerbread Cookie Dough Truffles
- Everything Bagel Breakfast Strata
THANK YOU for helping me celebrate an amazing year – both personally and professionally. I couldn’t be here with your support.
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.
Questions, comments, etc. feel free to drop them below!