Vegie Head: A Journey to Online SuccessBy: Abby Johnson - April 9, 2012
It’s no secret that the Internet has created countless opportunities for individuals. Not only has it become a destination hotspot, but it has also become a home for many people to share their passion and build it into a business.
What business opportunities has the Web created for you? Please share in the comments.
(image) Adele McConnell-Cummins is one of the many that can testify to the business opportunities online. What began as a Tumblr account for food images a little over a year ago, has now turned into a successful business.
McConnell-Cummins began a hobby of posting pictures of vegan and vegetarian dishes she had prepared. However, she started gaining a following that wanted more. As a result, she created a website called Vegie Head to post her recipes and food interests.
The site really took off as people began asking for cooking classes and other information regarding her specialty foods. Before she knew it, there was an entire community of “vegie heads” that followed her.
McConnell-Cummins told WebProNews that she tries to educate people that come to her site but not in a “preachy” way. Her site doesn’t say, “Don’t eat meat!” and doesn’t have graphic images of animal cruelty. According to her, those types of sites scare people away.
“There are so many vegan and vegetarian websites, there are so many gluten-free websites, so I think mine is a little bit different purely because of the fact that there’s no preaching… and I’ve always had that policy,” she said.
While she credits much of her success to this policy, she also believes social media channels, and particularly Facebook and YouTube, have played a significant role in her accomplishments. McConnell-Cummins told us that her YouTube videos receive a lot of feedback and that her Facebook page is her biggest source of traffic, even without advertising.
“[I have] a fantastic network of my vegie heads,” she said.
McConnell-Cummins admitted to us that keeping up with her fan email and, especially, dealing with criticism were her two biggest challenges. Although the criticism has been the most difficult to handle, she said she grew a “thick skin” really quickly.
“Overcoming criticism has been the hardest thing for me,” she pointed out. “But, any criticism – good criticism – makes me work harder.”
The criticism, however, has not kept the queen “vegie head” down. She was recently named the winner of The Vegan Woman 2012 Vegan Food Blogger Award. Also, she has two ebooks that are scheduled to be released this year called Vegan Essentials and Kitchen Mojo.
As for the future, McConnell-Cummins said she would continue her cooking classes, ebooks, and menu development for restaurants but indicated that she may appear in some Australia cooking segments as well. She did say, at some point, that she hopes to publish a big coffee table cookbook full of her recipes.
At the rate she’s going, this dream might not be too far in her future.