Clean Eating Kitchen

Carrie Forrest, Founder

Pismo Beach, CA
Clean Eating Kitchen Clean Eating Kitchen
Creating a space for connection

Looking for a way to be creative and connect with other people, Carrie Forrest started a blog, Clean Eating Kitchen. “I was at the beginning of my health journey and used the website as my own personal journal,” she says. “I started to grow an audience of readers who were interested in how I was managing my health. But they kept asking me for recipes. So over time, my site became less about my own health journey and more about sharing easy recipes that others can make too.”

A few years later, Carrie was diagnosed with cancer, but she kept working through it, channeling her energy into the site and earning her masters degree in public health.“While I was undergoing my recovery from cancer,” she says, “it was really helpful to connect with other women who had gone through a similar experience and get support from each other. My blog was an amazing way to do that. Health stuff is super scary and it can be incredibly meaningful to connect with a real person who's gone through the same thing as you. So I keep that in mind when I write health articles or develop recipes, leading with empathy from my experience and including accurate information from my research into the scientific literature.”

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Carrie's clean eating recipes are not only healthy but beautiful and delicious!
“Ad revenue now supports my family and allows me to work from home and be on my own schedule to help manage my health. I recently celebrated my 13th year of starting my website and I hope to continue for another 13 years...and beyond!”
Clean Eating Kitchen
Niching down and scaling up

Today, Clean Eating Kitchen has grown into a healthy recipe and women’s health site covering everything from gluten-free cooking to managing health issues such as PCOS and other chronic illnesses. “I’m lucky that I learned how to do scientific research while earning my master’s degree, so I feel comfortable writing health articles for my site in addition to sharing recipes,” Carrie explains. Though she covers several topics, she credits niching down to her success. “Picking a niche helps you find your audience, and that’s how you can really build engagement for the long term. It's not always positive and you have to learn how to handle criticism with grace. Once I did a copycat recipe of a popular grocery store chicken salad, and someone left a comment with a very deep dive analysis of why mine wasn’t as good. But I thanked him for the feedback! It actually turned out that he had misread the recipe and he left another comment with an apology.”

Clean Eating Kitchen
Building an ad-supported business

Though the blog started as a side hobby, Carrie has been building it into a business for the past eight years, working with Mediavine, a Google Certified Publishing Partner. “80-90% of my revenue is from ads,” she says. “Since Mediavine handles the ads for me, I’m able to focus on increasing my page views and driving traffic to the site.” With inspiration from her finance–savvy brother-in-law, Carrie decided to invest some of her earnings back into her site and test how that impacted her growth. “I hired someone for a few months to help me do some work on the website,” she explains, “and within 3 months I had hit new goals - I had my first month earning more than $10,000 in ad revenue in 2021. This year, my ad revenues are up 70% overall and my site is growing quickly. It’s pretty amazing.”

Embracing the opportunity to make a positive difference in the world

With her recent success, Carrie is eager to keep building for the future. “You have to be willing to go on the ride, find new opportunities and go after them,” she says. “As bloggers, we create content that can be read by millions of people and change their lives - the way they eat and live. That’s a big responsibility but a huge opportunity to make a positive difference. It’s what keeps me going.”

About the Publisher

Carrie Forrest is the creator of Clean Eating Kitchen, a website dedicated to sharing easy gluten-free and dairy-free recipes. A cancer survivor, Carrie is passionate about healthy eating and loves visiting farmers' markets for fresh produce. When she's not in the kitchen, Carrie can be found hanging out with her two cats (who are basically her children), hiking, or spending time with her husband.
About the author