9 min 33 sec

Engineer Beats Wildest Eggspectations With Recipe Blog

A Minnesotan software engineer turns healthy recipes into an online business that has over three million website visitors a month.
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What It's About

A desire for healthy eating leads an engineer to a second income!

Business Model
Skills Required
Cooking & Experimentation
Profit Potential

Words of Wisdom

The hardest part of generating traffic was Search Engine Optimization. It took Maya a lot of time and research and is always a work in progress. But, by creating helpful, easy to read content and continually making sure her website is fast, she is able to stay on top of her Google ranking as much as possible.

Her biggest piece of advice to aspiring side hustlers is to pick a niche, which increases your chances of success exponentially. And, “Be prepared to work hard, and a lot. If you love it, it's worth it.”

Fun Fact

The word “avocado" comes from the Spanish word aguacate, which is originally from the Nahuatl word "ahuacatl." Avocados are a major export of Mexico, and they are loved worldwide, especially on toast during brunch.

They’re also a favorite in ice cream for Brazilians! With nearly 20 vitamins and minerals per serving, we hardly needed another excuse reason to chow down.

Notes from Chris

Episode 468

Side hustles are a lot like recipes. When you have the right ingredients, in the right measurements, and mix them in the right order, you can make magic. Or cupcakes… those are good, too. Maya Krampf, a Minnesota native via Russia, has learned that creating a side hustle is more similar to baking a paleo-friendly Nutella molten lava cake than you might think.

Maya, a full-time software engineer, always had a lot on her plate. Keeping up with her husband and two little girls running around the house was a fun challenge. But work and family, two of her biggest priorities in life, didn’t always blend well. Long days at the office left her with little time to cook healthy meals for her family if she wanted to enjoy quality time with them at night, too.

But in 2010, Maya noticed her energy dropping, which she initially chalked up to her busy schedule. It was only when a friend recommended she try switching unprocessed food did she see an improvement to her mood, energy level, and general well-being.

A fog she hadn’t even noticed before was now lifting.

Making two sets of meals every day was entirely out of the question, so Maya transitioned her family to this new, unprocessed, and healthier way of eating. As she began to experiment with recipes and food combinations, she noticed a pattern in her recipes. Her family’s most loved meals were all under ten ingredients—a weekday godsend for parents with limited time between carting the kids to all of their extracurricular activities. And, as she felt more and more comfortable crafting recipes on her own, she started to appreciate the challenge of putting a healthy spin on classic dishes.

After seeing the impact of how food played a role in her family’s well-being, Maya decided to keep track of her recipes online. If she could help her family with her new recipes, she might be able to help others create healthy, tasty meals for their families, too.

Wholesome Yum” as she called it, became Maya’s passion as she mixed one-half science and one-half creativity to create meals that were packed with simple, natural ingredients. They’re also keto-friendly, paleo-inspired, low carb, and free from gluten and preservatives. You could say that she’s really going against the grain!

Traffic to Wholesome Yum was slow at first—which is usually how it goes! It took Maya a few months of trial and error to begin building a following. She began posting her images and recipes to Pinterest, and that became the first platform that started to successfully drive traffic to her site. SEO, Facebook, and direct traffic began to slowly grow after she started generating views. Today, Wholesome Yum is well-known enough that most of Maya’s traffic is organic.

While her startup costs were almost zero, the income from her side hustle has surpassed that of her day job and now includes a full-time employee and a number of contractors. 80% of her income is generated from ad revenue, with the rest coming from affiliate revenue, sponsored posts or items, and selling Wholesome Yum cookbooks and meal plans.

Maya’s biggest goal is for her and her husband to retire earlier than they had planned to before she started her side hustle. It hasn’t been a cakewalk—she hasn’t had time to loaf around—but success is now ingrained, she’s on a roll, and it sounds like the best is yet to crumb.


  • Wholesome Yum: If you've got a craving, Maya knows a way to satisfy it without breaking your wallet...or the scale!

Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,


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Quote of the Day
"Nothing happened the first time I got a site visitor. But I did celebrate the first time I reached 100,000 visitors in a month. It's such an amazing feeling to see so many people visiting and being able to resonate with them."
—Maya Krampf #SideHustleSchool

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Chris Guillebeau