|The Engels family produces the popular WannaBite food blog from their Fort Thomas home.|
Many of you have probably seen food videos online—they're short, often shot directly above the bowl or pan, overlaid with simple text, upbeat music playing in the background. Take, for example, this video, WannaBite's most recent, showing you how to make Cheesy Potato Taco Casserole:
Fun, right? This wasn't made in a large corporate setting—rather it was dreamed up, shot, produced and written in a Fort Thomas home, as is all the content on WannaBite.
The brainchild of Fort Thomas residents Nathan and Lacy Engels, WannaBite is a food blog filled with recipes and how-to videos. A graduate of Moyer Elementary and Highlands High School (class of 2000), Nathan Engels attended Campbellsville University. In addition to his work on WannaBite, he works full time as Senior Marketing Strategist at Northlich, a Cincinnati ad agency, with various brands including St. Elizabeth, Kroger, Marco's Pizza, Formica and others.
Lacy Engels, originally from Franklin, Ky., also graduated from Campbellsville University with a degree in music. She primarily writes and manages WannaBite as well as teaches voice lessons and volunteers on the worship team at her local church.
In addition to the main site, WannaBite also maintains an active social media presence. You can find them on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram.
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Following is a Q&A about the Engels' work on WannaBite, their most popular posts and how they handle such a time-intense blog while also working and raising their daughter, who attends Woodfill Elementary.
Inspiration to start WannaBite: We had a 2-year-old and I kept finding myself asking her "wanna bite?" My wife said it would be a great blog name, and bam, a new blog was born.
Monthly unique visitors: 200,000 unique visitors.
Monthly pageviews: 350,000.
Fans on social media: Over 125,000 fans.
Monthly views of videos: 25,000 to 50,000.
Most viral post: Crockpot Pumpkin Bread, with 450,000 pins on Pinterest.
Personal favorite recipe: White Chicken Chili. You can’t go wrong with this one!
Best part of blogging: Sharing what you love. We get to work with great brands and share our family's table with yours. People comment on what we post and it's a very cool experience.
Worst part of blogging: Constantly creating content. It's a lot of work. It takes time to plan, then write, then photograph; you get the picture. It never stops. A typical day would consist of a normal day of work, filming dinner as Lacy cooks it, eating, putting our little one to bed and then editing the video and touching up the photos as we binge watch a series on Netflix. It looks a lot easier than it is.
Advice to someone who wants to start their own blog: It's not as easy as it looks. Don't start for money, start because you want to share a passion. We have had two successful blogs because we write what we know.
Best cooking tip: Butter makes everything better. All kidding aside, use real ingredients. Organic, raw, fresh, whatever it is, shopping the perimeter of the store, will often make a difference.
Advice on how to manage blogging while also raising a family and working a full-time job: Make blogging easy. Creating content is a very hard thing to do, day in and day out. My wife and I are currently building a new home in Fort Thomas and as part of that home, we hope to have a full production food studio in the basement. We want to make content creation as efficient as possible while maintaining our normal lives. We also enjoying eating our food when it's hot, so taking 500 pictures isn't practical. We have a simple rule: Content doesn’t have to be perfect, but we have to be proud of it. Every piece of content we publish is never going to be perfect, but we want to be proud of everything we publish. If it's true to us, it's good enough to share.