I never, ever, ever thought I would be a professional blogger.
I started my first blog when I was 13. At first, I just shared art, poetry, and short stories (you can still see some of that here). When I took up veganism at the age of 15, I started sharing recipes. And I kept on sharing them as well as my personal experiences as I was diagnosed with autoimmune disease and took up the AIP at the age of 22. All along, blogging was a fantastic way to combine my interests in web design, art, writing, and cooking. I never imagined very many people would stumble across my little corner of cyberspace. I definitely never imagined that very many people would actually like what they saw. And over the years, I found blogging becoming less and less a priority as things like work and family life intervened. For example, you’ll notice that I haven’t shared many photographs on A Clean Plate. That’s because I was working a full-time night shift for most of this blog’s lifetime!
Getting a job with The Paleo Mom last year changed all that. Sarah is not only a full-time blogger, but she reaches more people than you can shake a stick at, and even before she and I met, even before she knew I existed, she changed my life forever. She saved it. That’s legit, guys. I’ve learned a lot about running a blog and, more importantly, building a community from Sarah, who, as a boss and human being, is everything. She’s smart, compassionate, genuine, understanding, supportive, practical, and funny, and all of that shows in her work. And I knew that if I was going to continue to fill my corner of cyberspace with my favorite recipes and resources, I needed to redefine A Clean Plate’s place in my life. It stopped being a hobby I can jump in and out of when I feel like it the second other autoimmune patients started reading it. I don’t know where you guys came from, but I’m glad you’re here. Because of you, this blog is more of what makes working with Sarah so wonderful: Connecting with other autoimmune patients and having the opportunity to help them reclaim their lives the same way Sarah helped me reclaim mine.
And because building that kind of community takes a lot of time and money, there are a few big steps I’m taking to ensure A Clean Plate’s place in my future. One of them is the occasion for this celebratory “chocolate” cake: A Clean Plate is now an LLC! An LLC, or limited liability company, offers certain legal protections and tax advantages to small business owners, like protecting your personal assets in the event of getting sued, allowing business expenses to be deducted from taxes, and, basically, ensuring that your personal and professional lives are kept separate. With a growing blog that was beginning to generate a little bit more than mere pocket change, I wanted to protect the A Clean Plate name and benefit from some of the tax breaks. The application process was very straightforward through my state department’s website, though Texas’ filing fee was a whopping $300 (fees will vary from state to state). There’s also a $50 annual fee to keep the business registered. If I ever stop paying that fee, A Clean Plate LLC will simply cease to exist and someone else will be able to claim the name for their company. I also had to apply for an EIN from the IRS, which is basically a second SSN so that I can file my business’ taxes separately from my own. I’m sure tax season will be more complicated this year, but I am super excited. So excited, in fact, that I baked. Because even though I don’t ever include baked goods in my diet because of our serious sugar addiction… I’m probably only going to start one business in my life. Why not have a cake to celebrate its birth?
And, I hope my business is half as successful as this cake recipe was.