Anetta Lancaster is a busy woman. She works a full-time job in healthcare administration by day — and by night, she’s a blogger, recipe innovator, food stylist, and photographer with a penchant for Star Wars, Harry Potter, crème brûlée, and coffee. “Lots and lots of coffee,” she says. Anetta lives with her husband in Portland, “a foodie paradise.” Together they enjoy traveling and have visited countries in Asia, South America, and Central America. She started her food blog, www.thewanderlustkitchen.com, in June 2013 (the day after she finished her MBA) as a way to fuse her love of travel and food. Plus she says, “My friends were sick of me posting cell phone pictures of my dinner on Facebook.” Among her favorite recipes are mulligatawny soup and 20-minute skinny Szechuan chicken and anything with cilantro and lime.
Anetta experiments with different advertising and monetization partners on her blog. “I like not to put all my eggs in one basket,” she says. As part of her experimentation, Anetta came to sovrn through a fellow blogger referral. She signed herself up and installed her own ad tags. Anetta‘s sovrn ads complement her use of Google AdSense and the Amazon Associates affiliate program. She is also experimenting with the VigLink link monetization program through sovrn, in addition to doing occasional brand work with direct advertisers. During her experiments, Anetta likes to maintain control over her revenue goals and the quality of the ads served on her site. “With sovrn, I like that you can set your baseline bids for ads. I like having control over setting my RPM. I also haven’t seen any ads that I wouldn’t want on my site.”
TheWanderlustKitchen is growing daily and is frequented by about 4,000 readers/day, primarily from North America and Europe. Readership is evenly split between women and men, with 60% of readers falling in the 18-49 year age range, most of whom have college or post-graduate educations and earn between $60k – $100k+/year. “It’s been nice to have access to sovrn’s audience demographics. I work hard to keep it gender neutral. The demographics show me that my audience is pretty evenly split.” Her ideal reader? “Young professionals who want to try something different — and someone who shares [my recipes] the most.”
Anetta works hard to drive traffic to her website through social media. “Pinterest is a huge traffic-driver for me.” She has more than 7,300 followers on Pinterest, Google +, StumbleUpon, Twitter, and Instagram — and more than 1,800 likes on Facebook. Anetta understands that engaging imagery is important for social sharing. “If there isn’t an engaging image, people will skim right over it.” Anetta initially started snapping her food pictures with her iPhone, though she now shoots with a Canon EOS Rebel T3i and a 50mm f/1.8 lens. “I also highly recommend investing in a tripod and a good light reflector,” she says.
Anetta’s recipes and food imagery have been featured in The Berry: “Coupla things I’ve been craving…” and “Nothing cozier than a bowl of soup”; Appetite for Health: “A healthy baked Greek chicken recipe”; and Yummly Dish: “Spice up your day with quick, cozy curries.”
Advice for New Bloggers
“It’s never too early to monetize. It takes a long time to figure out how to do it and who the great companies really are,” says Anetta.
Thanks for agreeing to partake in sovrn’s Publisher Spotlight program, Anetta! – sovrn