Year in Review: Eat the Gains in 2017 – a look back on 2017 with everything that happened and a business update for Eat the Gains!
It’s the end of the year and it’s time to look back on everything I did this year! I’ve never done a business update before, but thought it would be fun to see everything I did and accomplished this year.
I will be totally honest, sometimes [read a lot] I see other bloggers doing epic shit and wonder why can’t I be doing that. From going on sponsored trips, partnering with big time brands, creating their own health and wellness programs – the list can go on and on.
So looking back helps you realize how far you come and all the amazing progress you had. Sometimes it has to be right in front of your face to see it ya know. So let’s get into it all!
So major things went on behind the scenes of ETG, so I figured I would recap on those as well:
- Mikey and I got engaged!! Wow I almost typed out married for some reason. Slow down Kelly. We actually haven’t planned anything for the wedding yet, but hoping to hit it hard in 2018. I wrote up the full story of the engagement. This is more on the personal side, but figured I would throw it in there.
- We bought a house!! Yay to a bigger and better kitchen to make you all the recipes! You can check out the sneak peak, but I am loving my new kitchen and it’s going to make recipe creation so much better.
- I did a segment at SXSW with feedfeed! Not too many people were watching live, but I was live on their Instagram showing people to repurpose crockpot chicken. It was my first time doing something “live” and it was so fun! The people at feedfeed are amazing too and I loved getting to meet them.
- I got to takeover the @whole30recipes feed. That was one crazy and exciting week where I was pretty much on my phone for countless hours, but it was so much fun! I got to connect with thousands of people and having so many people try my recipes and liking them made my heart so happy.
- I started and somewhat stopped a meal prep business. I had lost my job at the end of 2016 and needed to find a way to make money. People had asked me to meal prep for them before so I figured I would give it a try. Well it grew way faster than I could handle and I needed to take a step back. While it was extremely fun and rewarded, it was very stressful and after stopping for a bit, I kinda didn’t want to get back into it. I still have a lot of people ask me about it, so I am planning on writing out my thoughts.
- I am finishing up a certification to be a nutrition coach! I hopefully will be done by the time this publishes or very very close, but I’m excited to expand this part of my business. I absolutely love nutrition and I can’t want to help some people make their lives better with it.
- I traveled to some pretty awesome places – Portugal (recap on that coming soon hopefully), Baltimore, Asheville, and San Fran to name a few. Hoping to continue that and travel even more next year!
I screenshot that comment from Melissa Hartwig. I mean can it get any better than that?!
Okay so enough about that, let’s get into some business talk.
2017 was a year of recipes and workouts. And that was mostly it. While I continued to do my monthly recaps and had a few travel posts, I’m hoping to expand more on the content I am bringing. I love food and working out, but life is a lot more than that. I really enjoying traveling and am hoping to do some more of it in 2018 and talk about it here.
I want to dive more into nutrition and things like pre and post workout, intermittent fasting, and counting macros, which I am all familiar with. I also have dealing with some internal issues that I want to talk about. Health and wellness is so much more that what you put into your body and how you are moving it and I hope to touch on some of those things to make is a more well rounded blog.
That being said, here are the recipes you guys love the most!
Top 5 recipes posted in 2017:
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Protein Muffins – this was an older recipe, but updated and reposted in 2017
- Buffalo Chicken Tenders
- Pumpkin Cinnamon Raisin Balls – this was an older recipe, but updated and reposted in 2017
- Taco Spaghetti Squash Boats
- Apple Cinnamon Protein Cookies – this was an older recipe, but updated and reposted in 2017
Top 5 recipes from ETG for 2017:
- Pumpkin Pie Butter
- Spiralized Sweet Potato Egg in a Hole
- Homemade Cranberry Sauce
- Avocado Cauliflower Rice
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Protein Muffins
My top 3 favorite recipes of 2017:
- Kale & Beef Stuffed Butternut Squash with Cinnamon Tahini Sauce
- Buffalo Chicken Tenders
- Whole30 Turkey Collard Wraps – a weekly staple for me
Michael’s top 3 favorite recipes of 2017:
- Sweet Potato Broccoli Frittata
- Paleo Cilantro Lime Chicken Salad
- Protein Chocolate Peppermint Energy Balls
Running a business online is hard, especially in this day and age. You need to be promoting yourself and sharing quite a bit. I was never huge into social media either. I would post pictures on Facebook in college when that is what you did after you had an epic night of partying, but after college not so much. I didn’t get a personal Instagram until 2014 and I had probably just gotten an iPhone shortly before that. I didn’t even create a Pinterest until I needed to for this blog. So constantly being active on social media is a struggle for me. And I do really like the aspect of IG, just coming from a business standpoint it is a little different.
I did this thing the other day where I deleted Instagram from my phone. Granted it was only for 24 hours, but it felt so good. It was actually kind of sad how many times I was bored for a few minutes and thought about opening up IG or going to post a story and then realizing I didn’t have it. I’m thinking it might become a weekly thing to be more in the present.
The past couple months I have been really cutting back my time on IG too. I try not to scroll that much anymore or watch anyone’s stories. It was honestly a huge time suck and most of the time I would just feel shitty about myself after seeing things (hello comparison trap). People say you have to engage with others to grow and what not, but my well being and sanity isn’t worth spending so much time on IG.
I’m hoping that one day I will be able to hire someone to schedule my Facebook and Pinterest. I don’t really enjoy those things and would make some of my weekly tasks so much better. But as of right now, Pinterest is my number one traffic referral, so that isn’t going anywhere.
2017 was an amazing year for Eat the Gains in terms of growth. The beginning of the year is great for healthy food blogs because everyone is setting new year resolutions or trying to get back on track after an indulgent holiday. My pageviews grew in first few months and by March I was able to put ads on my site (more on that below).
My pageviews continued to grow throughout the year pretty steadily. I compared November 2016 to November 2017 had almost 4x the growth!! While I still may be not that big, it was awesome to see how much traction I saw over a one year span.
Pinterest is my main traffic driver, but I also attribute my a lot of my traffic increase to making easy and simple recipes and improving my photography. People eat with their eyes first and if you want someone to try your recipe, it should look pretty.
To reiterate, 2017 was really amazing for Eat the Gains. I actually started making money on this blog and turning it into a business!! A lot of the time I will get the question on how do bloggers make money and while it’s different for everyone, here are the ways I earn an income.
Ads – like I said before, I was able to join a great ad company and earn money every time someone visits my site. With the increase of my pageviews, came the increase in my income. While I know some people don’t like ads, it makes up a decent amount of my income and every penny counts when you are starting out a business.
Sponsored posts – I am lucky enough to partner with a handful of brands that I love and they compensate me to promote them. It usually comes in the form of making a recipe using their product, but it isn’t always food.
Freelance – I occasionally do recipe development for a few brands or blogs in which I am compensated. I also have been writing for a few publications which add to the pot.
And that is where most of my money from blogging comes from. I am hoping to expand my different revenue streams in 2018!
WHAT IS COMING IN 2018
Like I said above, I am hoping to expand more on the content I am creating. The recipes won’t stop and will be the main focus, but they will be mixed in with other things as well.
I am hoping to grow ETG more and be a place where people come for easy and nutritions recipes to fuel their active lifestyles or their everyday lives. Where you can find real life info on sport and exercise nutrition and also nutrition to feel your best. I also am planning on taking on nutrition clients in person and online.
It was an amazing year and while somedays I don’t have a clue on what I am doing, I need to thank every single one of you that has visited this tiny space on the internet. I’m sure most of you won’t even see this post, but it’s because of you that I keep pushing along. Because you try my recipes, message me on Instagram, or pass along my recipes to a friend. It’s the little things like that get me so excited to keep perusing my dreams.
Now here’s to a kick ass 2018!!!
PS – to help make ETG better, I would greatly appreciate it if you filled out this survey. It takes less than 2 minutes and will help me provide content that you want. And if you fill it out, you will be entered to win a fun prize!