Crafting a Booming Business Around A Niche Need

June 25, 2018


Join Jenna Kutcher as she interviews Danielle Walker on the Goal Digger Podcast. Danielle is the beloved author of three New York Times best-selling cookbooks--Against All Grain, Meals Made Simple, and Celebrations.

Danielle Walker is the beloved author of three New York Times best-selling cookbooks–Against All Grain, Meals Made Simple, and Celebrations. Danielle serves as the voice behind one of the most popular grain-free blogs on the Internet, After being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and suffering for many years, Danielle found health through dietary changes.

She has become a beacon of hope in the autoimmune world, and has been a leader in the Paleo and gluten-free movement for nearly ten years. Danielle has appeared on Today, The Doctors, Fox News, Access Hollywood, and many other syndicated shows. Her work has been featured in People, O (The Oprah Magazine), USA Today, Shape, Women’s Health, Parents, and Fitness.

While I am a fellow gluten-free foodies, what also captivated me about Danielle is how she serves a niche audience so well. Not everyone suffers from autoimmune disease or intense dietary restrictions, but those who do, need someone to trust! Danielle has flawlessly created a thriving business that serves a  smaller, niche audience. Today, I am going to get the low-down on how we can all develop our niche, serve our clients well, and turn a niche business into a wide-spread success! Goal Diggers, welcome Danielle Walker!


When Danielle Walker found out she was gluten intolerant, she turned to the internet and found nothing. She was looking for information, recipes, cookbooks- ANYTHING that could help her navigate this journey. While 2018, it seems that everyone knows what gluten intolerance is, but in 2007 is was a much rockier road to navigate. “I just started doing my own research “I was kind of just ushered out the door without much instruction on what to do next… and I eventually just came to “food” on my own and realized a drastic reduction in symptoms”

I love that Danielle took something she was walking through and created a platform to share her experience with others (that later turned into a whole female empire!)
“There wasn’t a lot out there of food-conscious food recipes at the time, and I just created my blog to share my journey and it just kept growing.” It took me a long time to fully accept that there is  “A real need for this… people who are coming to this with a whole gamut of autoimmune diseases… not just mine, and I just kept attracting more and more readers”


One thing we discussed at length is the process of monetizing your passion. Danielle’s recipe for so many years had been free to all of her readers, and she really struggled with the idea of monetizing it. “I didn’t want to offend people… they’d been getting free recipes from me, and I was worried they won’t ever buy something from me”

With prompting from friends and family that she needed to get paid for all the work she was putting in, she started small but becoming an affiliate (which basically means that if she recommended a product, she would get a percentage of the purchase if a reader bought it). She thought this was a great first step to monetizing because it felt very authentic due to the fact she could just get a small cut of profit from products she was already recommending! “Becoming an affiliate didn’t charge them any more money, but I was able to get a little commission from projects I would naturally recommend”

One thing that Danielle touched upon that I loved was that her business “Just started from the heart of helping people and eventually became monetized, but it was such a gradual transition into it where people knew my heart was in it despite being profitable”


If someone falls into that niche, they will find you. Kind of the mindset “if you build it, they will come.” Because if you are struggling with something, chances are someone else is struggling with it too– even if it is a “niche” problem!

That was absolutely the case with Danielle’s story, (where without even trying she was on the cusp of a movement!) By sharing grain-free recipes, she attracted people with the same problem as her. “It’s been growing exponentially with me, and I feel like I’m kind of at the forefront of the movement which is so cool” One of the bigger perks of getting into a niche movement, is the chance that if the niche evolves and booms, you could be the voice of it if you get in “early”.

One con of the niche-built business is that sometimes you get turned down for opportunities because a businesses don’t think it is “broad” enough (For example, Danielle spoke to the fact that a cooking show gets turned down because her recipes are so focused on one type of cooking), but in the same way that a niche business can work against you, it also works for you… because if people need your product, then they really need your product. A prime example of this is the fact that Danielle released her first cookbook and within ONE WEEK it was a New York Times Best Seller. (Yes, really!)

This episode is RARE- we somehow managed to cover health, business, monetizing strategies, book writing, and of course, #glutenfreeprobz . This woman is an expert on ALL of the above, and I truly think this episode is going to rock your world. You can’t miss it!

Hungry for more of Danielle? (Thought so!)

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  1. Thank you ladies for this podcast! I am a fellow photographer, mom and foodie and I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease when I was 14. It’s refreshing to hear you talk about helping people but also realizing that you cannot be at an 8 hour a day job without getting paid. This also gives me more confidence to talk about my autoimmune disease openly. I am always on the fence about how much I should share with people.

  2. Komal Minhas says:

    You covered so much in this episode, and I loved it. Loved hearing Danielle’s journey and enjoyed her thoughts on monetizing.

  3. […] still remain true to the heart of why you started and serve the people you set out to serve. Click here to […]

  4. I am absolutley loving the honesty of this podcast.



Before you get any further... Hi! I'm Jenna Kutcher!

I’m an expert at online marketing, a nerd when it comes to the numbers, and my obsession is teaching others how to make a living doing what they love (without it taking over their life).  One of my favorite places to be is here, sharing what I'm learning with you. I'm glad you're here!



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