Hobbies, man. Some people like art, some people play a sport, I.. food blog? Food Instagram? When I tell people that, I’m met with an “oh, that’s kind of cool… I guess?” Honestly, I don’t blame them for the reaction. Having a food blog and food Instagram as a full-time job is more than a little weird, but in all honesty, I wouldn’t want any other job. Tennishealthfitness isn't just a hobby, it's a passion!


I created my food Instagram, tennishealthfitness, during my sophomore year of high school. I was stuck at home with the stomach flu,and was bored out of my mind. As I was scrolling through my explore page, I found some food pages that had quality content, delicious food, and I saw that some were even making money from it. Back then, the concept of making money off social media was foreign to me, and it didn’t even cross my mind when I clicked the “accept terms and conditions.” It seemed like a cool thing to do, especially since I was just getting into cooking, eating healthy, and working out.

I remember my first post so clearly. It was a bowl of fruit with the caption “nature’s candy!” To this day, it’s up on my page, and it’s cringe worthy. I didn’t know what food styling was, photo lighting, or any of that. I took photos of my oatmeal under dark lighting and put an over the top VSCO filter on it. Since then, I think I can say I’ve improved... About a month after the Instagram started, I launched my blog, Danielle's Kitchen, which grew my love of cooking even further.

Danielle Clark
Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Pancakes


I truly cannot remember when tennishealthfitness took off. All I know is that around the middle of my junior year, my following grew a ton, and with that, sponsorships came. I started being able to make money through posting photos of my food featuring companies, and creating recipes on my blog using their products. WHAT A CONCEPT! Soon, it started taking up more and more time, and pretty soon I found myself spending 5+ hours a day working on the blog, and that doesn’t include recipe testing.

Danielle Clark
Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

It still seems crazy to me that something I love (eating healthy and cooking) has turned into a full-time full-fledged business for me. I, at 18 years old and a freshman at CU Boulder, am a self-made entrepreneur; it truly blows my mind. I didn’t start this for money or “fame”, I started it because I was bored and needed a way to keep up with my healthy eating.

What I've Learned

Starting my food Instagram and blog has allowed me to explore myself and learn so much more than I ever knew. For starters, I realized how much I love planners. Seriously- they are lifesavers, especially if you’re like me and run a business from the comfort of your room. I also learned that while I am very type-A, it’s important to take time for friends and family. I used to spend my days cooped up at my house, recipe testing my butt off, and tiring myself out so much that I couldn’t go out to see my friends. I realized how damaging that was to my mental health, and learned to apply the “balance” approach to every aspect of my life.

The greatest lesson I’ve learned from my Instagram and blog is that you can truly do anything, as long as you are determined and truly love it. When I wake up everyday, I feel blessed to be able to call this my job, and I look forward to working. Sure, the little things like scheduling pins and Facebook posts are annoying at times, but that’s what helps me grow my brand. I feel determined to retest that muffin recipe for the fourth time, or spiralize yet another zucchini for the perfect shot, because I love what I do and want to give it my all.

Danielle Clark
Paleo Blueberry Pecan Muffins

I cannot tell you too much about how to grow an Instagram or gain followers because I don’t have a specific strategy. I will say that to grow, you must be original and authentic. Don’t do “follow for follow” or copy everyone else. Make your content stand out in the best way possible. So many people are trying to make it in the industry, and the best way to succeed is to stand out.

If you have any other questions, I’d be happy to answer them! You can email me at thekitchenofdanielle@gmail.com