From Side Hustle to Full Time: How @forkurdiet Turned Her Love For Food + Insta Into a Business

I don’t know about you but does owning a food blog not sound like the best job idk, EVER? Don’t be fooled. I know first hand just how hard it is to stay consistent with content and posting when it comes to owning a blog (and I literally have 1/10 of the followers our guest has) but I’m so curious how people turn their blog and/or side hustle into a full time job, like I have to know how they do it, and I obvi want tips and it’s hard to relate to mega superstar guests on podcasts. So, as I always say, you’ll never know until you ask. And that I did.

I’m beyond thrilled to have my girl crush and fave IG food blogger as a guest on Still In Progress this week. Today you’re going to find out how Catherine (or I like to call her cattyv) took her university’s old IG spoon account under her own wing, waved goodbye, and literally said fuck (urdiet) it. I needed to have Catherine on the blog because she knows all too well what it’s like to graduate and have no fcking clue what to do. I wanted to understand how she found her strengths, gained clarity on her journey, and decided to turn it into a business. She represents exactly what I want SIP to be – no excuses, no BS – figuring out what you’re good at and going for it.

I know you’ve scrolled through this page before, I mean how could you not? Is it the bright, eye catching aesthetic, catchy captions or the mouth watering food that makes you want to whip out your wallet and hit the DT scene to get in touch with your inner foodie? I’m going with all 3.

HOW FCKING CUTE IS SHE.

HOWDY, c’est moiiii, Catherine, also known as CattyV, forkurdiet, and my boyfriend’s new fave, Garfield. So I’m originally from Calgary but moved to Hali about five years ago to go to Dal. Loved it. Uni was amazing and would do it again (like actually, I could be in school for the rest of my life I loved it that much). Like your typical post-grad (& no, I’m not about to say I found myself in South East Asia … I wish I did though) I had ZERO idea what to do when I graduated. Had a pretty tough summer of trying to figure out what I was good at and where I could execute my strengths, but still NO ONE in Hali was hiring me. Defeated was an understatement. Eventually, an opportunity to work remotely for this marketing agency in Toronto came up, so I’ve been with them for a few months & loveee ittt. Who woulda thought remote work was an option? It is seriously the best. Anyways, aside from working remotely and food blogging, I have been in the process of starting something TERRIFYING … my own company. EEEK. I’m not going to spill too much about it but it has to do with IG 😉 

What inspired you to start forkurdiet?

ALRIGHT, let’s rewind to first-year university, where my best friend and I are literally bribing our friends outside of Howe’s meal-hall with Hi-Chews in exchange for signatures on our petition to bring something called “Spoon University” to Dal’s campus. A Costco-size of Hi Chews and forging 50 email addresses later … we OFFICIALLY brought Spoon to Dal’s campus. I can’t take this seriously LOL. As time went on, the top dogs from Spoon came in and gave me an ultimatum “either take over the chapter and start writing articles, or give up your Instagram.” Being the stubborn and aggressive gal that I am, I made the rash decision to change the Instagram name to “ForkUrDiet,” block almost everyone from Spoon on my account, and change my bio to “over spooning, time to fork.” Sorry Spoonies … no hard feelings, just trying to have something last longer than my grade ten relationship.

When did you realize food blogging was something you wanted to pursue?

This sounds so ridiculous, but this whole food blogging thing just happened so organically that I didn’t even realize I was food blogging until like a year ago LOL. I’ve always loved going out for meals and at that point, I was ordering in sushi and making it my snapchat story so often that I was pretty much already doing what I do now, but on a different platform. After the Spoon opportunity came, it just made sense to get into the swing of the food blogging thing. 

What were the fears you had to face to get you and your blog to where it is now? How did you overcome them?

Oh gosh, there are a few things that I had to overcome. The first was getting over the idea that my friends and people who knew me would creep my account and totally judge me. I’m not oblivious, I mean I know I have “friends” out there that judge me for what I do, but I just don’t really think about it anymore. Getting over this has seriously helped with my creativity and my ability to post as authentically to who I am as possible. Another fear of mine was reaching out to brands/restaurants for partnerships. I actually hated this part so much at first, but you need to build your brand portfolio somehow!!! Now I have international brands reach out to me and I’m able to negotiate pricing because of the portfolio I started with. This is also a piece of advice I give to many who are starting accounts, reach out to brands and try to collab! Start small, start with a giveaway, or ask for free product and once your portfolio expands, you will be a PAID influencer before you know it *snaps* to that BBG. 

What’s one piece of advice you’d give someone who is thinking about starting a blog but keeps going back and forth?

Go big or go home. Starting this whole blogging thing is scary, believe me, I know. But I am such an advocate for people getting into social media and blogging. When you start, go fricken ham. Like engage TF out of Instagram!!! I’m talking commenting, liking, following, DM’ing … the list goes on …  accounts similar to yours so you can start building a network of local peeps and also a network online. This has been amazing for me and engaging has actually formed many of my in-person and online friendships! IDK, if you need a hype man/someone to talk to about this I am so willing to help so anyone can DM me.

What do you do to get inspired to create new content?

Ouuu okay so my content is dependent on when I go out to eat and what time of the day. Example: if I go out for dinner I’m not going to post it on my feed because that doesn’t go with my light & bright aesthetic. Usually what I do is creep TF out of Instagram and save posts of restos / cafés / bars in Hali and try to hit these spots every so often. I don’t really seek out content ideas because I am always eating out anyways, whoops! 

What steps do you take to make sure you’re consistent + disciplined with your posting?

I am SO bad for this. I’ve been really hard on myself lately about not posting every day, but the truth is that ITS OK. I try to remember that this account is meant to be fun and not stressful. My motivation for my account is a total roller coaster … sometimes I thrive & have so much fun with it, and other times I just want to sell it. But I feel/hope this is normal ??? To avoid this I try to have everything ready to go AKA caption, hashtags, and accounts to tag so when I am ready to post I can just copy & paste it all. I also try to have a story up at least every 24 hours so I am still somewhat relevant lmao.

How do you mange your blog, stay fit and keep a social life?

I say I’ve been actively running this blog for over a year now, so I have kind of figured out a routine on what works for me and what doesn’t. Regarding social life, well my friends like to eat & drink as much as I do so that is one big #notluckyjustblessed situation in itself. It’s hilarious, my friends are literally trained now. Like to the point where they don’t touch their food or move anything on the table until I take photos. They are seriously the best for this. Depending on how much of a diva I was, I actually contemplate paying for their meals because of the hassle. & then ie staying fit, lol, wellllll, I just hot yoga or gym it out a few times a week. Not trying to brag but my metabolism is so on my side right now so I’d be nothing without her. I’m just waiting for the day that she fails on me and I blow up like a balloon. 

How do you stay healthy while going out to eat? Or do you?

This is what I’ve been struggling with lately. I am transitioning into a healthier lifestyle (well trying to), which includes clean eating, however that is so unaligned with my food blog, I mean it’s literally called f**k your diet … haha. I’ve tried to come up with a system where I go out for 1-2 meals a week and where I know I can use as content (AKA a breakfast/lunch because of the natural light) and eat relatively healthy for the rest of the week. I’m on like week 3 of this so fingers crossed it sticks lol.

I have to ask you, what is your go to meal right now at home?

Oh no … I was worried you were going to ask me this LMAO. Just saying … there’s a reason why I go out to eat so much. Kidding (kinda). UHHMMM, so I’ve been really into baking lately, particularly blueberry muffins. But for meals, I’d say buddha bowls with spicy peanut sauce.

Who do you always stalk on insta for motivation/inspiration?

OOOOooooh, this is a toughy. So I found out about this account @thenaughtyfork (after I came up with my name funny enough), & she is this amazing food blogger/photographer. Her stories are so artistic and beautiful, so I sometimes will go to her if I am in a creative rut. However, I try to not refer to other accounts that often. Obviously, inspiration is great (& sometimes so necessary), but I generally try to be on my own so I don’t get carried away with others work.

Must have beauty product?

Tatcha Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil!!!!! My skin is DRY as a g’dam bone, so I find this is such a great product to help with that. + you can leave it on for 15 ish minutes to really hydrate. Its definitely on the $$$ side, but the large bottle lasted me and year and a half. 

FOLLOW CATHERINE HERE.

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