In this second installment of Featured Familypreneurs, be prepared to have the following myths dispelled:
- You can’t do what you love for a living
- You can’t have a job and a business at the same time
- If you do, you can’t expect them both to be successful and fulfilling
- Your work and your hobbies must remain separate
- Your hobbies can’t make you money
Lindsay and Bjork Ostrom are a fun husband and wife team who have found ways to do what they love for a living.
An elementary school teacher, Lindsay promptly declares teaching to be her first passion. Although she’s thought about becoming a full-time blogger, her “heart needs to teach.” (Love the phrase. That’s passion!)
Busy teaching by day, Lindsay still managed to find the time to turn her other passions – food and photography – into a business, complete with a blog (Pinch of Yum), a book (Tasty Food Photography), and a membership program (Food Blogger Pro). Lindsay and Bjork worked together to grow from a just-for-fun food blog into a robust and engaging community.
Pinch of Yum is a foodie’s visual buffet. Packed with scrumptious food recipes (accompanied by equally appetizing photographs) that will have you salivating over your keyboard, Pinch of Yum smartly incorporates food, photography, and entrepreneur tips. As part of their business transparency and desire to help other entrepreneurs, they publish their full monthly income andtraffic reports, and publicly share the resources they use to run their business. Impressive!
Tasty Food Photography is a detailed guide to – you guessed it – the art of food photography. A popular amongst food photographers, Tasty Food Photography covers all the necessary ingredients for creating stunning and delicious photos. Get it here for just $19.
Food Blogger Pro helps people make awesome food blogs. Backed by the Olstroms’ experience in food and photography, Food Blogger Pro provides a comprehensive learning experience for anyone wanting to start and grow a food blog. For just $25 per month, Food Blogger Pro provides more than 250 instructional videos, a vibrant online support community, and all the tips and tools you can shake a tripod at.
If having a day job and running a business weren’t enough to keep their lil’ family busy, Lindsay and Bjork also spent time working at an orphanage in the Phillipines where Lindsay’s three siblings lived before being adopted.
What’s most striking about Lindsay and Bjork is that they just look like they’re having fun. This is what lifestyle design is all about! It’s obvious that they’re passionate about what they do. By finding ways to turn their passions and hobbies into income, they are able to create the life they want.
There. Myths dispelled.
Thanks heaps, Lindsay and Bjork, for inspiring us with your story:
Q: What’s your story, morning glory?
I grew up in a food loving family, started cooking for one in college, and fell in love with making meals for Bjork and I when we got married. I would always post recipes or recipe links on Facebook and I started to think that maybe my friends were getting annoyed with me, so I jokingly made a comment about starting a blog. Bjork told me to go for it, so I did, and here we are today with Pinch of Yum!
Q: What makes Pinch of Yum and Food Blogger Pro special?
I think both sites are unique because Bjork and I are both fully invested in each one. It’s pretty common to find bloggers whose boyfriends or husbands are filling their tech support role, but our relationships and roles with Pinch of Yum especially has evolved into so much more than that. Bjork is half of the “face” of Pinch of Yum along with me, and I love that we are both passionate enough about different elements of the site that we can do it together.
Q: Who is your ideal reader/customer? How do you relate to them and help them?
All of them! But definitely the people that I feel like I am trying to target with Pinch of Yum are people who generally like cooking and eating, but need or want a little encouragement to try a new ingredient or a new style of recipe. My hope is always to make people walk away from a blog post or recipe feeling like it’s something that’s attainable for them. And for Food Blogger Pro, obviously the target reader or customer would be a new food blogger who wants some detailed support while going through the process of setting up and growing their food blog.
Q: How did you turn your blog into a business?
Kind of on accident. We had a conversation with Alex and Sonja of A Couple Cooks 2 years ago and they really got us thinking about partnering with an advertising network, which we hadn’t been doing at that time. Bjork was really interested in all the behind-the-scenes stuff and the financial element, so we decided that we would document the things we were doing to generate an income and he would post about it every month. I think things really started to change when we joined the BlogHer network and when I wrote my ebook, Tasty Food Photography. Having a product to sell that you are proud of and can be helpful to other people is a really feel-good way to earn a blogging income!
Q: You do many things that you’re passionate about – teaching, photography, food blogging, etc. How did you get involved in those things and think to incorporate it all into a blog/business?
The teaching part doesn’t really connect to the blog for me, other than that blogging is kind of my hobby for the days when I’m not teaching, so it’s nice in that it gives me a good balance of regular work and creative work. The photography definitely was not a passion for me right off the bat. I had no idea what I was doing… the only thing I knew about blogging was that I wanted to post recipes so I could tell people what I was making for dinner. I only learned about photography because I had to, and then once I started learning, I didn’t want to stop. And now learning and improving my photography has become my one of my favorite parts of blogging!
Q: How did you learn of passive income and devise a strategy to earn it?
Bjork was really the leader on that. He was already following a handful of other bloggers that were making money through passive income, like Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income, so he had a good understanding of what was needed to earn money through a blog. We started by creating a How to Start a Food Blog page with an affiliate link for Bluehost, providing a quick answer to one of our most commonly asked questions (how do I start a blog?) and a referral to Bluehost. At this point, we literally sit down and meet every few months and talk through what’s coming next and how we can maximize the earning potential of the site.
Q: How do you balance and blend your family, blog, and other aspects of your life?
It’s hard. I try to intentionally schedule things that require me to get out of our house and be somewhere at a certain time, even if it’s just going to a movie. That way I HAVE to stop working and get out and relax a little bit. Being around family and friends is always a reminder of what really matters in life and helps me to unplug from the blog world a little bit.
Q: What is your mantra for challenging times, both in and out of your business?
Focus on what’s important, whether that’s a certain aspect of my work, or literally just loving people and loving God. When I think about what really counts in life and what I want to live for, my little blog or personal problems become so insignificant.
Q: What advice do you have for other people who are thinking about starting a blog as a side business/means to passive income?
Do it because you love it! It’s really hard to start a blog with the expectation of earning money. You have to love it and get satisfaction from it, because that’s the only guaranteed income that you’re going to get, especially in the beginning.
Q: What can we expect from Pinch of Yum and Food Blogger Pro in the future?
You should see our idea list – it’s overflowing with thoughts about new ebooks, monetizing strategies, video projects, and on and on. So we’ll see.