vegan blogger interviews

Vegan Bloggers Share Their Recipes for Blogging Success

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Actress Alicia Silverstone said: “I can’t think of anything better in the world to be but a vegan.”

Ask our blogging experts and they might add “How about being vegan and a blogger?”

Each of our interviewees is passionate about helping others live healthy, rewarding lives. They use their blogs to make the vegan diet more appealing (vegan comfort foods, anyone?) and easy to try.

Now they’re sharing their struggles, mistakes, and triumphs to help you achieve your blogging dream.

Meet Our Panel of Blogging Experts

Our blogging experts took something they love and succeeded in and turned it into a platform with impact.

Their personalities shine and their stories are intriguing.
 

Shannon, Yup, it’s Vegan

yup its vegan
https://yupitsvegan.com/

First up, at 5’2″ and “currently weighing in at 115 pounds of plant-powered muscle,” we have Shannon, creator of Yup, it’s Vegan. (No, she doesn’t wear a cape, but we think it’d be a natural fit.)

Shannon started experimenting with a vegan diet in 2011. She wound up feeling healthier than ever, resolved medical issues, and continues to “feel amazing.”

“I am in the best shape of my life,” she says, “and I believe this to be due to how I eat.”

Shannon launched her blog to help others enjoy that same experience. How? By offering delicious recipes to cater to a wide variety of palettes.

Shannon’s recipes incorporate local produce of the Mid-Atlantic. She publishes new recipes every 4 to 5 days. Visitors can sign up for her email newsletter to receive a compilation of the most recent recipes.

“If you’re in the Baltimore area and want to work out with some crazy badass vegan athletes, shoot me a note!” she adds.
 

Rhian Williams, Rhian’s Recipes

rhians-recipes
https://www.rhiansrecipes.com/

Rhian is a reggaeton-loving graduate of the University of Cambridge who speaks 4 languages, lives near London, and writes for The Independent.

After being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis 3 years ago, she began recreating her favorite recipes with vegan ingredients.

“I started my blog because I wanted to banish the feelings of overwhelm, frustration and isolation that come with leading an alternative diet, and wanted to create a community where those people could feel at home,” Rhian explains.

Her process draws on the cuisine she learned from her Japanese mother: “Japanese food offers different and interesting naturally vegan and gluten-free alternatives that a lot of people don’t already know about,” Rhian notes, “so it has helped me expand the boundaries of vegan and gluten-free cooking.”

Rhian is the author of Easy Dinners Recipe Cookbook.

 

Wendy Werneth, The Nomadic Vegan

Forget Waldo, we want to know: where’s Wendy?

Wendy Werneth left her home in America in 1999 and she’s been traveling ever since.

nomadic vegan blog
https://www.thenomadicvegan.com/

She’s now visited over 100 countries.

This modern-day adventurer is on a mission: to sleuth out the best ways to eat vegan pretty much anywhere. And to leave a trail of compassion behind.

At first, Wendy thought her blog would be a “survival guide” for those seeking to squeak by on whatever vegan dishes they could scrounge up while traveling. But Wendy has turned a challenge into a banquet of delights.

“Not only has being vegan not ruined travel for me, it has actually made it about a hundred times better,” she enthuses “I discover vegan treasures in the most unlikely places!”

Click on her colorful interactive maps to find information about a region of the world.

Resources abound on Wendy’s blog: movies, books, podcasts, YouTubers to follow, health lab testing for monitoring your progress; apps, vegan tours, cruises, trips, and travel clubs, and more.

Her books Veggie Planet and 9 Steps for Easy Vegan Travel have garnered enthusiastic testimonials.

 

Annabelle Randles, The Flexitarian

flexitarian blog
https://theflexitarian.co.uk/

Annabelle, the co-founder of retailer By Nature, was born and raised in France. Given her mother and grandmother were marvelous cooks, Annabelle never ate a store-bought meal.

“And in France it is fair to say that meat eaters (as long as they are adventurous) are particularly spoilt,” notes Annabelle.

She recalls bringing her English boyfriend home for Christmas; the holiday feast included “snails, frogs’ legs, pigeons and deer.”

Her own journey to a “flexitarian” diet was influenced by her “eco husband,” and issues related to animal welfare and the environment.

The Flexitarian includes not only recipes but lifestyle topics, green living, eco travel, and more.

“I feel the flexitarian diet is a great solution for many people who do not want to give up meat entirely yet feel that for health, ethics and/or environmental reasons have to eat less of it,” says Annabelle.

 

Marly McMillen Beelman, Namely Marly

Marly Beelman is a former COO who left the C-Suite for the blogosphere.

namely marly
https://namelymarly.com/

“We love celebrating – life, family, and the little things that happen every day,” says Marly. “We’re devoted to healthy living, easy vegan recipes, and days full of abundance.”

Her recipes are organized into helpful categories like sweets, savory, sandwiches, and breakfast. Site visitors can also sort intuitively through recipe collections like 10 ingredients or less and 30 minutes or less.

Marly hosts a matching podcast featuring interviews with intriguing people on urban farming, all things vegan, and personal issues like facing your fears.

Namely Marly also provides resources on food conferences, travel tips, and personal insights on the link between food and self-image.

Mark your calendar for spring 2019 when Simon & Schuster will release Marly’s new book The Everything Vegan Meal Prep Cookbook.

And be sure to check out her Chopped Academy and the Chopped Podcast.
 

Bianca Haun, Elephantastic Vegan

This blog is all about “simple and delicious vegan recipes” for veginners and the veg-curious.

elephantastic vegan
https://www.elephantasticvegan.com/

Creator Bianca Haun hails from Linz, Austria, but she experienced her first vegan dish over 4,000 miles away in Philadelphia at the Loving Hut restaurant.

Since then life has been filled with happy food adventures.

She initially created her blog “to keep better track of what I was eating and what I was able to cook.”

“Most of the times I can’t even remember what I had for lunch the day before,” Bianca explains, “I’m terrible at remembering things.”

“Elephants . . .  can remember literally everything . . The title is a combination of elephant and fantastic,” she shares.

Bianca also uses her blog to answer common questions she gets, like: “How can you get enough protein?” “What are you eating all day long?” “What are you allowed to eat?” “Are you sure this is healthy?” “Are you living off seeds and nuts?”

Bianca co-authored The Veginner’s Cookbook with her boyfriend, Sascha Naderer.

And she’s generous in sharing her blogging expertise to help others who want to become food bloggers.
 

Sina Weber, Vegan Heaven

Sina went vegan 6 years ago and never looked back. She quickly developed a passion for creating new vegan dishes.

vegan heaven
https://veganheaven.org/

She first created her blog as a way to organize her recipes.

“For years, I used to scribble down my recipes on grocery bills, napkins, and other small pieces of paper. Every time, I was desperately looking for one of my recipes and just couldn’t find it.”

Sina sums up her blog’s focus: “heavenly simple and sinfully delicious vegan recipes.”

Visitors will find tantalizing recipes for holidays like July 4, regional favorites like this jambalaya with beans and colorful Thai pineapple fried rice.

For newbies, there’s a handy Vegan 101 guide and valuable tips on vegan traveling.

“When I’m not standing in the kitchen together with my husband Flo cooking vegan meals, I love to take my backpack and camera and travel the world,” she says.

Sina lives in Germany and has a German-language vegan blog as well.

Q&A With the Vegan Blogging Experts

We asked these blogging experts the same five questions.

You’ll be inspired — and well-equipped — by their answers.
 
starting vegan blog
 

Why did you start blogging?

Wendy Werneth, The Nomadic Vegan

When I became vegan, I worried about finding vegan food while traveling. I soon discovered that vegan food was everywhere and that being vegan made travel better, not worse!

I created The Nomadic Vegan to help people who had the same fears and misconceptions I’d had about vegan travel.

Marly McMillen Beelman, Namely Marly

I was inspired to share my story about personal transformation. Although that resonated with me, I soon expanded to sharing vegan recipes because cooking was such a passion.

Sina Weber, Vegan Heaven

For years, I used to scribble down my recipes on grocery bills, napkins, and other small pieces of paper.

Every time, I was desperately looking for one of my recipes and just couldn’t find it – as you can guess this happened quite regularly – I told my husband, Florian, that I really should start a food blog to get my recipes in order.

It took me, however, years to finally create my own blog in late 2014. And I’m so glad I did!

Over the years, it turned from a hobby into my full-time job.

Shannon, Yup, it’s Vegan

I was exploring a new way of cooking (vegan). I really intended my blog at first to be a personal blog documenting my experiences, including the hits and misses of trying out vegan cuisine.

Bianca Haun, Elephantastic Vegan

I went vegan in 2012. As most vegans, I was faced with the same questions: “How can you get enough protein?” “What are you eating all day long?”

“What are you allowed to eat?” “Are you sure this is healthy?” “Are you living off seeds and nuts?”

The blog was an easy way to show how wonderful, versatile, creative and delicious a vegan diet can be.

Rhian Williams, Rhian’s Recipes

I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2015. After having to overhaul my diet, I decided to take matters into my own hands and try to recreate those foods I missed in a way that would suit my new diet.

I discovered that I loved experimenting with cooking for alternative diets.

As I discovered these new recipes, I felt a compulsion to share them with others in similar situations. So, harnessed by the power of the internet, I became excited by the possibility of being able to share them with people all over the world.

I started my blog because I wanted to banish the feelings of overwhelm, frustration and isolation that come with leading an alternative diet, and wanted to create a community where those people could feel at home.

Annabelle Randles, The Flexitarian

I went to a personal diet change. For most of my life I was a committed carnivore but around 6 years ago, after realizing the impact meat production had on the environment, I decided to eat less meat and discovered the flexitarian diet.

It has been such a positive life changing decision that I decided to start a blog about it.

Along with recipes, Bianca of Elephantastic Vegan demos kitchen tools, like this one for opening coconuts. 

 

motivation vegan blog
 

What’s your secret to staying motivated & inspired long term?

Bianca Haun, Elephantastic Vegan

I love what I do. I didn’t start the blog because of the income. I actually didn’t even know that you could make any money with a blog when I started out.

I enjoy creating recipes, taking photos, writing recipes and posts. It’s my favorite thing in the world to do.

And of course, I get to eat everything afterward, which is quite nice too!

Shannon, Yup, it’s Vegan

I focused on posting content that I myself really enjoyed, making the food I like and excel at making, and being personable in my writing.

While continuing to blog, I was learning more about the foods I like to eat and the direction I wanted vegan food to take, and I continue to be future-oriented today, always dreaming about the next creation I want to make.

Marly McMillen Beelman, Namely Marly

I have a continued passion for learning. I almost gave up several times, but then I decided to start a podcast.

Through my Chopped Podcast, I interviewed food bloggers. I expected to learn some single secret to success, but what I learned instead is that there are several ways to be successful as a blogger. That advice has been empowering for me and my audience.

I believe a quest for continual learning is imperative for people interested in blogging.

Rhian Williams, Rhian’s Recipes

I think it’s because I was so passionate about my mission to share my recipes with people who would find them helpful.

It’s important to blog about something that you really love and that you would enjoy posting about even if you weren’t getting any traffic or money, because you will need to consistently create a lot of content for a long time before your blog will take off, and if you don’t enjoy it at the beginning you will soon become unmotivated and unlikely to continue.

Annabelle Randles, The Flexitarian

Doing something I love and having a very supportive husband. I hope to help others make a positive change in their diet. This has become a bit of a mission.

I love cooking but I have also become passionate about food sustainability, health, the environment and animal welfare. There is so much happening in the meat-free world that is easy to stay motivated.

Wendy Werneth, The Nomadic Vegan

My main motivation is to spare as many animals as possible from unnecessary suffering. If I were just in it to be a travel blogger, I probably would not have stuck with it this long.

But my blog has a bigger purpose, which is to spread the vegan message of compassion and non-violence towards all beings.

Sina Weber, Vegan Heaven

I think it’s important that you connect with other bloggers. They’re in the same situation as you and you can help each other, share ideas, and work together.

I’ve made some great blogger friends over the internet! You should also try to follow a schedule and have blog-free days.

Wendy Werneth, The Nomadic Vegan, takes us on a culinary adventure on Mozambique Island. 
 
successful vegan bloggers
 

What do you think had the biggest impact on making your blog a success?

Marly McMillen Beelman, Namely Marly

When I reached the point I was willing to invest in my blog, things started to happen.

I hired an SEO consultant who gave me lots of actionable items and as a result, my traffic increased. In addition, I changed ad networks and increased my revenue.

I think networking with other bloggers (at conferences, through listening and participating in podcasts where they’re featured, and through online private groups) has been very helpful in understanding how to take my blog to the next level.

Shannon, Yup, it’s Vegan

It wasn’t until a few of my recipes starting seeing wider success that I started to slowly pivot my strategy to be more business-oriented.

I pictured myself as someone new to vegan food, looking for recipes, and thought about the kind of content that I would want to keep coming back to read; and that’s the kind of content I started creating.

Bianca Haun, Elephantastic Vegan

To keep going. Sometimes blogging is not fun. Sometimes social media is not fun.

Sometimes recipes don’t turn out well even after the fourth try. Sometimes photos get deleted. Things happen.

But I didn’t stop blogging just because of a few down days. Oftentimes this motivates even more to create awesome content.

Rhian Williams, Rhian’s Recipes

Understanding what my audience was looking for and creating content that they would really love.

Learning what your target audience wants is not something you can do overnight, and for me, it took about a year of consistently creating new content three times a week for me to fully understand what type of recipes would resonate well.

Also making sure to create recipes that people will actually want to make and that will turn out great for them has had a big impact on gaining trust with my audience and ensuring that I have a high percentage of returning visitors.

Sina Weber, Vegan Heaven

The success of Vegan Heaven really started with Pinterest. Pinterest still is my number one traffic source followed by Google.

I think my recipes could do well on Pinterest because I mainly focus on easy recipes that everyone could make with a healthy vegan twist.

Annabelle Randles, The Flexitarian

Posting regularly and trying to engage with my audience through social media.

Wendy Werneth, The Nomadic Vegan

Early on in my blogging career, I was approached by HappyCow about a possible collaboration.

We produced an ebook together, and that gave my blog lots of added exposure and gave me the confidence to keep going.

 

best vegan recipes
Enticing photos are a critical element of successful food blogs. From left to right, these photos are from Elephantastic Vegan, Yup It’s Vegan, Rhian’s Recipes (top), Vegan Heaven (bottom), and The Flexitarian.

 

lessons vegan blogging
 

What lesson about blogging do you wish you’d known before starting out?

Rhian Williams, Rhian’s Recipes

I wish I’d known that it really is possible to turn a hobby blog into a full-time business and that there are no secrets or tricks for how you can do it.

If you’re passionate enough about what you do, work really hard, consistently put out a lot of content and continuously look for ways you can improve, then you will eventually be able to gain traction and begin to generate an income.

I think having confidence in knowing that this is actually possible is something that is really valuable when you’re just starting out, otherwise, it can be easy to lose motivation.

Sina Weber, Vegan Heaven

I wish I’d known more about SEO when I first started my blog.

It’s so much work to improve all the old content now. But it’s a constant learning process, so I’m sure that’s absolutely normal.

So if I could do one thing differently I’d be reaching out for help earlier and working with experts.

It’s a big investment especially for new bloggers, but it can totally make a difference!

Annabelle Randles, The Flexitarian

I totally underestimated the amount of time and effort it took to build the blog. I have learned to focus and prioritize.

Shannon, Yup, it’s Vegan

I listened to a lot of arbitrary advice about how many times per week to post, how to fill out my image ALT tags, and other things that I now know are not so consequential.

I wish I had known from the beginning that creating timeless, high-quality, well-tested recipes was the only thing I should have been doing, to build a base of content that would continually attract new readers.

Marly McMillen Beelman, Namely Marly

I wish I could have realized earlier on the value of working with others. I tried so hard to do it all myself. But when I gave that up and asked my husband to help me with the photography, the site really took on a look I was happy with.

It wasn’t easy — I had to learn to communicate with him (and others I work with) about what I want for the site.

But once I had the vision in my mind and could communicate that to him, we took the site to another level.

Bianca Haun, Elephantastic Vegan

SEO. I really wish I’d have paid more attention to finding good keywords.

Wendy Werneth, The Nomadic Vegan

I wish I’d known about search engine optimization (SEO). I had no clue how blogging worked when I first started.

I’ve learned a lot along the way, and learning by doing is always the most effective method.

But my blog could have grown much more quickly if I had employed some smart SEO and social media tactics from the beginning.

Do you need expensive photography gear? Marly Beelman produces the Chopped conference. In this session, attendees learn how to “make compelling food videos.” Note: everyone’s using a smartphone.

 

advice for vegan bloggers
 

Best advice would you give a new blogger?

Shannon, Yup, it’s Vegan

The blogging landscape is more competitive than ever. You need to constantly be finding ways to improve.

Stop comparing yourself to others; compare yourself to yesterday and always challenge yourself to be better and create better and more impactful things.

Put your destiny in your own hands instead of wondering why you haven’t succeeded yet!

Rhian Williams, Rhian’s Recipes

Blogging is really competitive these days so you really need to focus on finding a niche that will help people, and then consistently produce the best quality content possible.

This means you should analyze your content against your competitors’ and work out whether what you’re doing is adding value to people’s lives in ways that they’re not.

Marly McMillen Beelman, Namely Marly

Know your vision. I heard Seth Godin say something to the effect of, create something you’ll feel proud to leave as a legacy.

And that had a big impact on me. If you’re going to spend time doing this, make it something you love!

If you feel “meh” about it, how can you expect others to love it? Turn it into something you’re proud of!

Bianca Haun, Elephantastic Vegan

Don’t do it only for the money. More often than not, I see bloggers giving up after a couple of months because they don’t have the page views they want and therefore don’t have the income they want.

Blogging is a longterm-thing. Commit to it. Post great content. And the right audience will come.

Annabelle Randles, The Flexitarian

Don’t try to emulate anyone. Be yourself.

Authenticity is really important to build an image.

Wendy Werneth, The Nomadic Vegan

Just hit publish. If you want until you feel “ready” you’ll never start.

Your first post will probably be terrible, but that’s OK. Connect with other bloggers so that you can support each other and learn from each other.

There’s a great community of people out there who are passionate about the same things you’re passionate about.

Sina, Vegan Heaven

Connect with other bloggers on Facebook and don’t be afraid to ask for help (experts or other bloggers)

Final Notes and Resources

A big thank you to the intrepid bloggers profiled here. Their creativity and perseverance are inspiring.

We highly recommend that you spend time delving into their blogs. You’ll learn a lot from direct observation.

Know a vegan blogger who we should feature here? or Have another idea for a blogger interview? Please let us know!

Key Takeaways

  • Produce the highest quality content possible. Experiment to find what resonates with your readers.
  • Reach out to bloggers with questions. Delegate or outsource where it makes sense.
  • It’s hard work but yes, you can “turn a hobby blog into a full-time business.”

What’s Next?

Grab some more food blogging inspiration from our interviews with keto and low-carb bloggers.

Need some ideas for easily creating compelling images for your blog? Check out our recommended apps for visual impact.

Sherrie is a former magazine editor and marketing executive who helps small businesses identify and solve their biggest digital problems. That includes helping clients discover the power of a good blog.
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