This episode is sponsored by Clariti.
Welcome to episode 340 of The Food Blogger Pro Podcast! This week on the podcast, Bjork interviews Benjamin Delwiche from Benjamin the Baker about how he has grown his TikTok account to over 500k followers.
Last week on the podcast, Bjork chatted with Andrew Wilder from NerdPress about the current state of tech for food bloggers. To go back and listen to that episode, click here.
During the day, you can find Benjamin Delwiche working full-time as a math teacher, but on nights and weekends, you’ll find him sharing TikTok videos about the science of baking!
Over the past year, he has grown his TikTok from the ground up, and he just recently surpassed 500k followers on the platform. In this episode, you’ll hear how he intentionally leaned into a niche on TikTok, how he works with brands on the platform, and his best advice for creators looking to grow on TikTok.
It’s an incredible interview that will leave you feeling inspired and motivated to get the most out of TikTok as a content creator. We hope you enjoy it!
In this episode, you’ll learn:
- How Benjamin started posting on TikTok
- How his TikTok content strategy evolved over time
- What types of content he shares on TikTok
- What he uses to record his videos
- How he repurposes his TikTok videos on Instagram
- His advice for creators who want to start posting on TikTok
- How he works with brands on TikTok
- Mark Rober
- Made In Cookware
- Plugra Premium Butter
- Benjamin’s website
- Follow Benjamin on TikTok and Instagram
- The Food Blogger Pro Podcast Facebook Group
- Check out the Food Blogger Pro YouTube channel (and subscribe while you’re there!)
About This Week’s Sponsor
We’re excited to announce that this week’s episode is sponsored by our sister site, Clariti!
With Clariti, you can easily organize your blog content for maximum growth. Create campaigns to add alt text to your posts, fix broken images, remove any broken links, and more, all within the Clariti app.
Sign up for the Clariti waitlist today to receive:
- Early access to their $25/Month Forever pricing
- Optimization ideas for your site content
- An invitation to join their exclusive Slack community
- And more!
If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions for interviews, be sure to email them to [email protected].
Transcript (click to expand):
Bjork Ostrom: This episode is sponsored by our sister site Clariti. You’ve heard me talk about it a few times now on the podcast and it’s a tool that I’m really excited about. We’ve been spending a lot of time and energy thinking about how we can build Clariti as the go-to source, the tool for bloggers who want to learn how to organize, optimize, update their blog content, in service of growth, that’s what we’re after. And we’re looking to build a tool to help bloggers do that and it came out of some of the things that we were doing for Pinch of Yum. So, Clariti gives you insights into the way your content can be stronger and more valuable for your readers, either through automatic suggestions. It’s not really suggestions it’s just like information like, hey, the alt text is broken here, or alt text is missing, you need to go in and fix that or the links are broken, you need to fix those.
Bjork Ostrom: So, not only does it help you optimize your library of blog content, maybe you have multiple hundreds of posts, or for some of us even thousands. But once you do that, it’ll help increase your traffic SEO ranking, revenue. But it also helps validates your updates with a direct integration with Google Analytics. So what we’re doing is we’re saying, hey, we want to tie all of this together. So we want bloggers to have the ability to not only understand their content, to see the hundreds or thousands of pieces of content that they have. To also see some areas they could improve that. Maybe there’s some things that are broken or missing that you could add. We want to allow people to also create campaigns. So if you do have things that you want to improve, great, you can create a campaign around that and say, hey, these 100 pieces of content, we want to optimize these 100 pieces of content, you’d use in Clariti what’s called the campaign.
Bjork Ostrom: But we’ve also released a new feature that integrates with Google Analytics. So now you can make a note you say hey, I made this update. And you can start to see what are the pieces of content and how have they have performed over a certain period of time. So you can look back and say, over the past 30 days, is there any content on my site that has gotten zero page views? Right? None of us want that. But maybe that’s a consideration around, should I have this piece of content on my site or should I treat this a little bit differently if it’s just there and kind of taking up space? Maybe I want to either republish it or just remove it. Some people do that with their content they say, how do I filter out this content? Or maybe you want to look back and say, hey, over the past seven days, what’s the piece of content that’s been doing the best? Or 30 days, what’s the best piece of content has been doing the best?
Bjork Ostrom: Maybe I want to focus on some monetization efforts on that, could I add a video to that piece of content that is going to earn higher ad revenue? So you have a ad player like through AdThrive or Mediavine, you create a video player and add that. It’s a great way to optimize revenue. Just start to think strategically around some of those decisions. And we’re building Clariti as a tool to help people do that ourselves included. So Clariti is C-L-A-R-I-T-I.com. And all of this happens automatically. So you set up your blog with the plugin that we have, you connect your Google Analytics, and all of your post information appears within Clariti it integrates with Google Analytics. And our goal is to make it as simple as possible to understand that. And what we’re doing is we’re offering early access, we’re calling it 25 Forever Plan for Clariti.
Bjork Ostrom: For anybody who wants to sign up early, be an early user, you can go to clarityi.com/food F-O-O-D to sign up and get on that early access list. We’re doing the 25 Forever Plan for anybody who signs up early as a thank you to signing up early. And also as a way to say hey, no matter what down the line when we increase the prices, your account will not go up, it’s 25 forever you’ll be locked in. Even if Clariti goes to a more expensive price point, $50, $100 whatever it might be. As an early user we’ll honor that 25 Forever Plan that you signed up for. So again it’s clariti.com/food, we’re excited about this, it’s going to be something that we’re focusing on not only for ourselves to use for Pinch of Yum and the other sites that we have but also for our users. It’s one of the things that we love doing we did that with WP Tasty as well.
Bjork Ostrom: Is building a tool spending lots of time, money, energy resources, building the thing that we use ourselves in this case for Pinch of Yum and for the other sites. But then offering it up for other people to use in a way where you don’t have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars building this thing. You only have to spend $25 a month if you sign up for the early access program. So foodbloggerpro.com or clariti.com/food is the best way to get there. Thank you to the Clariti team for sponsoring the Food Blogger Pro Podcast. Hello, hello. This is Bjork and you’re listening to the Food Blogger Pro Podcast. Before we get into today’s interview with Benjamin, D. Benjamin from Benjamin the Baker, we are going to do a quick plug here for the Facebook group. So for those of you who haven’t yet heard about this, we have started a Food Blogger Pro Podcast Facebook group.
Bjork Ostrom: And you can get there by going to foodbloggerpro.com/facebook, that will redirect you to the page where you can apply to be a part of the group. When I pulled it up today, I can see that we have 12 people who are waiting to be approved to be a part of the group which is just so cool to see. Like this group is growing. And what’s fun for me is I’m looking at the names of the people here today I won’t say the full names, I respect the privacy of people. But it’s just fun to see like all these are podcast listeners. It’s Judy and Sachiko and Carrie and Marie and Jill and all of these people who are podcast listeners, that we finally get to see your faces and interact and be a little more communal in terms of what this looks like as opposed to just people listening. And maybe jotting down notes taking action. And then every once in a blue moon, we connect and you’re like, hey, listen to the Food Blogger Pro Podcast.
Bjork Ostrom: But now, we can actually have conversations here within a group. And one of the things that we do is we’ll publish a prompt like anytime that we have a guest coming on, we’ll say what do you want to hear from this person? So you get to help build the queue of questions. And we also will do occasional follow up. So an example is with Andrew’s episode that we published. Andrew from NerdPress, we did a follow-up and we’re like, hey, what additional questions you have for Andrew about anything that came up? So, it kind of adds a layer of additional conversation and additional information around each podcast. So, if you want to check that out again, go to foodbloggerpro.com/facebook, that will redirect you to the place where you can apply to be a part of the group which is really fun. When we’re recording this we have 130 folks a little bit more than that who have applied to be a part of that and I’m sure that number will go up each and every week.
Bjork Ostrom: As is the case watch this for a transition, with Benjamin and his TikTok account, Benjamin the Baker, also his Instagram account. What’s amazing here is it’s currently crossed the 500,000 follower mark. So his TikTok account specifically, and has had a lot of success with that and has started to work with some sponsors. And we’re going to talk to him about what that’s like to not only bounce his job as a teacher, but also what it’s like to think intentionally about kind of focusing on an area of interest, a niche, creating content that resonates his thoughts around what works well on TikTok and just general ideas and thoughts that he has around what it looks like to grow a successful following on social and specifically on TikTok. So, it’s a great conversation, I think you’ll enjoy a lot of the takeaways and things that he shares. Let’s go ahead and jump into it. Benjamin, welcome to the podcast.
Benjamin Delwiche: Thank you for having me.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, it’s going to be fun. We’re talking about TikTok. In researching for this episode, I pulled it up and immediately I was like I felt my age because I’m like, I don’t spend a lot of time on TikTok. And I was like wait, what’s going on here? What’s a duet? Like, wait you can do like a baking and a dancer duet? Like what is this world?
Benjamin Delwiche: There’s a lot going on.
Bjork Ostrom: There’s a lot going on. And you’ve had a lot of success there so we’re going to talk about that. And not only have you had a lot of success, but in a really fun niche. And you’ve also had a lot of success there while working a full-time job. So I want to talk about all of those things. But take me back to the first video that you posted on TikTok, did you know that you’re going to focus on this that you’re going to create consistent content? What brought you back to that point? Or was it even TikTok that you started with?
Benjamin Delwiche: Yes, it was TikTok that I started with and it was about coming up on the year anniversary of it. I think like a lot of people. It was, my wife had COVID we were stuck at home quarantining, baking is something that I’ve always enjoyed working in different bakeries, reading about it, experimenting. So I figured hey, why not turn this into a video?
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. And that was a year ago. And in a year, so what is the one-year mark of your first, do you remember what the day was?
Benjamin Delwiche: Yeah, I think it was the 30th of December.
Bjork Ostrom: Okay. So which is a great marker, right? End of the year?
Benjamin Delwiche: Yep.
Bjork Ostrom: So we’re coming up on this as we’re recording this will be published after that, but and today you’re at like 478,000 followers on TikTok and it’ll be even more once we publish this. So adding over 1000 followers a day, my guess is it didn’t start at that point or did it? Like within your first few videos, did you get traction right away and know like, oh my gosh, this is something that I need to invest some time and energy in? At what point did you know that you had something there?
Benjamin Delwiche: Yeah, it was really crazy. So the first couple of videos that I posted were videos that I had on my phone from different things that I had filmed while baking. And first video or the first couple of videos that I made intentionally for posting on TikTok, one of them ended up taking off just a few days in and that was how to fill a piping bag and use a piping bag and kind of fix around that. And it was just incredible to watch the numbers of views go up and up. And it kind of caught me by surprise because I didn’t expect that kind of traction. And then that was the point I was like, oh, maybe I can share some other things that I have learned. And it was a while before I really started to focus on this experimentation side of baking, math and science side of baking. So it took a while to figure out that that’s really what I wanted to focus on.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. I’m curious to know. So your background as a math teacher, that’s what you do middle school, high school math. Naturally, you have this combination and baking expertise and math and numbers expertise. And so in like some of your videos an example would be like cookies, like how are they going to produce a different result at different temperatures. It’s like it’s not just the ingredients it’s also the temperatures as an example. I can see how there’s this kind of cool mix between your experience with baking and then also your experience as a math teacher in numbers. So it sounds like starting out is like hey, I just like baking, this is something I’ve done I really like it. But over time it evolved into the niche of kind of science and experimentation around baking. Is that right?
Benjamin Delwiche: Yeah, absolutely. Because for me that’s the side of baking that I really enjoy. The thinking about why certain ingredients do what they do or the interaction of certain ingredients or the ratios of the amount of ingredients. So that it playing around with different things is the side that I really like. I like decorating every now and then and doing those types of things. But for me it’s really the looking at why they do what they do.
Bjork Ostrom: Right. So we always talk about on the podcast how important a niche is. And the example or analogy I use is this idea of different vehicles and a niche in the early stages is kind of like a motorcycle where you get on it and you’re able to get a lot of traction really quick. And then maybe over time you can level up you can go to like a sports car and then you can go to a car and a semi and eventually you’ll have this double semi which maybe isn’t as agile in the early stages. But maybe the reach of it is a little bit bigger and similar to this like land and expand idea of picking a niche. But you see that to be really true with you where you were able to get a lot of traction really quickly early on. I’m curious to know, do you feel like the options within what you’re doing are like, have you just started to scratch the surface of it?
Bjork Ostrom: Or do you get to the point where you’re like, hey, you know what? Maybe I need to expand into not just baking but cooking. where do you feel like you’re at in regards to the niche and your focus and the amount of content that you can produce within that?
Benjamin Delwiche: Yeah, I still feel like I’m beginning to scratch the surface. So I still really want to focus on baking. That’s the thing that I enjoy the most, the thing that I have the most experience with. I enjoy cooking but it’s not something that I know as much about. I don’t want to share things that I don’t really know as much about. But I feel like I’m flipping through recipe books frequently. And I see a line in a recipe that says do this or don’t do this. And that just makes me wonder, well, why not?
Bjork Ostrom: Why? Yeah.
Benjamin Delwiche: Yeah. Can I run some sort of experiment to see well, what happens if I don’t do it or really zone in on that specific ingredient or that specific procedure?
Bjork Ostrom: That makes sense. So let’s talk about TikTok. So this crazy platform where you’re able to get a lot of traction really early on. You’ll see videos that you have 20,000, 50,000 views and like 1.2 million views. Like you have these videos that kind of take off on a platform like TikTok. Being a year into producing content there, do you feel like you have any idea when you’re producing something where you’re like, this one has a high probability of being a really viral video or catching on, or does it still feel like this could or couldn’t and it’s hard to really pinpoint one way or the other.
Benjamin Delwiche: Yeah, sometimes it’s still uncertain. There are certainly times where I think something’s going to do really well. And it does okay, or sometimes when I think it’s going to do okay and it does better than I expected which is always exciting.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.
Benjamin Delwiche: But I think the thing for me that I try to focus on is, and similar to teaching you go to my teaching background is, can I make an explanation clear and then have a clear visual that goes along with it?
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, it’s such good teaching. It’s like, you have two really specific skills, the ability to teach and the understanding of baking. And it’s cool to see those two things playing well together on a platform.
Benjamin Delwiche: Yeah. And that’s really the thing it’s can the two really go well together? Because an explanation is one thing. And that’s something that’s very traditional, you read books, and you see these explanations about things to do or not to do.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.
Benjamin Delwiche: Adding a visual element to that to really drive the point home is something that I like to think about and tried to represent, and I think something that has been part of the success.
Bjork Ostrom: It’s cool. I made a note here when I was thinking through the interview and I talked about what is good content? And I talked about this reflection on good content being informative or entertaining, or ideally both. Like if you can get something that in this niche at least, that is both interesting to look at and has a certain level of entertainment to it but it’s also informative. And it sounds like that’s what you’re speaking to a little bit which is, how do I make this interesting, engaging, fun to look at, but also, where it comes out with almost like Lindsey and I talk about it as like bubblegum type content. Where it’s like this kind of juicy little takeaway. It’s like a tidbit or an interesting thing. And it seems like you really nail that where it’s clear, it’s concise, but it’s also helpful where people are like, oh, that’s interesting, maybe something that I didn’t think about before.
Bjork Ostrom: I’m going to try and express this and you can let me know if this is right. It feels like different than other platforms, there is an element of TikTok which is like, oh, interesting. Like that’s a cool little tip. And I think like in the cleaning world, where they talk about like hey, did you know that you’re like washing machine for your clothes actually has this little compartment that you need to clean once a year? But it’s like nobody knows that and this video goes viral. But I feel like there’s similar elements to any industry where it’s kind of like, hey, here’s this kind of cool thing that you didn’t know about and something that would be helpful next time you bake. Are you tracking with that? Does that feel like-
Benjamin Delwiche: Yeah, absolutely. So certainly that element of okay, it’s relatable, right? Most people are going to make chocolate chip cookies every now and then. So how can there be some informational aspect brought to something that a lot of people have an experience of doing?
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. Idea being hey, if you like cookies that are chewy, here are some things that you can do versus if you like a crispy cookie here’s some things that you can do. Which I think is really cool. So talk to me about your process. What does it look like in terms of equipment that you use? And when are you doing this? Right, like teaching? I have many friends who are teachers. Can’t do it during the day. Like you can’t do it during lunch. Your 17-minute lunch break. So it’s like nights and weekends I’m guessing, what does that look like for you?
Benjamin Delwiche: Yeah, nights and weekends. I think the process goes kind of like I look around my kitchen see what kind of ingredients I have, different things I’ve been thinking about, flip through a lot of the cookbooks that I have and try to think of something that might be an interesting visual, interesting explanation. Walking through the aisles of the grocery store and seeing, oh, that’s an ingredient that I haven’t seen here before. And maybe I can explain something about it or do a test with it or something where you tried in the new recipe. And then in terms of the filming and the editing and all of that, yeah, nights and weekends.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. And your setup is what? Your phone? And for those who haven’t seen them, we’ll link to your profile in the show notes so people can check those out. But it’s generally like we were talking about it as hands and pans videos. So it’s like you talking through a thing, it’s not like you’re on camera much. So it’s kind of top-down. Is that your phone? Do you have a stamp that you put it on? What does that look like in terms of your setup?
Benjamin Delwiche: Yeah, in terms of my setup it’s pretty simple. It’s my phone and I have a cabinet right above my counter underneath, I put my phone in the catalogue. Film below and try to get short little clips and then edit them together and add a voiceover at the end.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, what do you use for editing? Is that within the app or?
Benjamin Delwiche: Yeah, at this point I just do everything within the app. So I’m thinking about and expanding into using an editing software or using a different camera. But at this point, everything that I’ve done is just on my phone and edited through the app.
Bjork Ostrom: I love that and here’s why. Because the best equipment is the equipment you have. And I think sometimes we can get lost in the thought of like, what camera do I need? What editing process do I need? But what it’s really about is the content that you’re producing. And is that content informative, is it entertaining? And if it is like great, equipment, like voiceover editing, that’s all a multiplier. But the thing you need to start with is like, does the content really hit? And in your case that’s a great example of that where you have your phone, you have a cupboard, you set your phone in the cupboard and you press record, and you do it all from your phone. And I think what’s amazing is and I’ve thought about this wouldn’t be in the near future. But I have this idea of wanting to as an experiment do like starting a business from your phone and like closing out all my computers for like a year.
Bjork Ostrom: And just saying like, can you build a business from your phone? Because I think in a lot of ways you can. Through social media, you can record podcasts, you can publish the podcast. And what you’re doing is an example of that, you can build an incredible following as long as the content that you’re producing is solid. So in terms of a content production standpoint, are you thinking ahead and saying like, hey, you know what? I want to do a video every week and release at this schedule, or is it kind of at this age where it’s like as you come across something that would be good, informative, helpful, hey, let’s record a video and publish it on that? Are you trying to do it on a rhythm of like every Monday, I’m going to publish no matter what.
Benjamin Delwiche: I’m trying to do a rhythm but it’s not really happening. At this point it’s more I have an idea. I have some time to film it. That’s when it happens. And then I have some time to edit it together. So I edit it together. So, I’m trying to work more towards having the schedule and having a sense of predictability.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.
Benjamin Delwiche: But this one has been, like I saw this ingredient that I had in my cupboard that I haven’t seen in a while like I want to do something with that.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, that makes sense. And then how about the comparison or other platforms? So have you noticed like you publish a TikTok, but then you can also take all the platforms now for the most part have a similar kind of TikTok ask type option, right? You could do stories on Instagram, YouTube shorts. Have you noticed the ability to port over that content to other platforms and find similar success with something that does well on TikTok? Like, this had a million views on TikTok and then I put it on Instagram and it’s also successful there. Or are the platforms from a content perspective different enough where it’s hard to find consistency with one piece of content being successful across the platforms?
Benjamin Delwiche: Yeah, sure. So I haven’t messed around much with YouTube but in terms of Instagram and TikTok, I have recently for about last half-year been posting the same videos on TikTok and Instagram just because people are on different platforms. And there’s differences between them in terms of the following and videos appearing. And it’s not always the equation of if it does well on TikTok it’s going to do well on Instagram, or it does well on Instagram it’s going to do well on TikTok. So, that has been interesting. See, I don’t know that I figured it out yet. But I just continue to try to do the best I can in terms of explaining it and having something informational. I know early on so before I started doing TikTok, I tried to post pictures of the things that I was making. And my photography skills they are okay, but they’re not great.
Bjork Ostrom: Sure.
Benjamin Delwiche: So once I started doing the more of the informational or the explaining the teaching element of it, that started working much better for me and that it felt more genuine for me as well.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, that makes sense. And there’s something about finding the thing that works and then doubling down on that.
Benjamin Delwiche: Great.
Bjork Ostrom: Let’s say you get traction here, people like this. What are other iterations and versions of this that I can continue to do? I thought about that this weekend when I saw Mark Rober video who does those awesome YouTube videos of like squirrel neighs or he just did like Glitter Bomb version 4.0. He essentially does a leveled-up one every year because it works and it gets millions of views and we talk about that with content where people are like, how do I get more traffic? How do I get more followers? And I think one of the ways to do that is to look at what works for you and then to iterate off of that. So you’re not doing the same thing. You’re doing something that’s related to it, or a little different version of that. Does that feel like early stages what it was for you is, hey, you know you want to kind of post in this general category of baking. And then finding the thing that worked and doubling down on that.
Benjamin Delwiche: Yeah, absolutely. So exactly, finding the ones that proved to pick up traction to be relatable. So looking at different cookies or talking about ratios in a dark chocolate ganache and then all of a sudden okay, well, now people have questions about, what if I want to make a ganache with white chocolate? So, it’s a very similar idea, the ratios end up being different because of the makeup of the different chocolates. But it’s that same idea of okay, how can I take something that maybe some people are weary to try and make it more relatable through using ratios or talking about just the makeup of it.
Bjork Ostrom: Cool. Talk to me about TikTok specifically, so not being somebody who understands it. My guess is there are some people who are listening to the podcast who are like yeah, know TikTok, love TikTok, post to TikTok, and there’s always going to be people who have had success on Instagram, Facebook, that are more like old guard creators. And they’re like, I just haven’t gotten into TikTok yet. Would you have any advice for people who maybe want to step into it around how do you be successful? What are the things that you can be doing? We know, it’s like good content, right? That’s any platform, but how about the tricks of the trade as it relates to the platform itself?
Benjamin Delwiche: Yeah, I would say for me one of the biggest things is because TikTok happens very quickly. You’re watching a video, the videos have gotten longer over the past year but still, in my experience still stick to around the 20 to 32nd range. And they happen fast and you can just swipe on to the next one, is trying to really get to the point quickly. So don’t drag it on. If you’re trying to make a point, it might be able to be made in 15 to 20 seconds and that’s all you need. And then also minimize all of any extra distractions, because it happens so fast to have so many things going on at once where you’re trying to talk, you have the sounds of whatever you’re baking, maybe you have a song that has lyrics in it, it’s too much stimulation.
Benjamin Delwiche: So if you’re really focused on okay, if I’m doing a voiceover, I’m never going to include a song that has any lyrics to it. Something that’s a little bit softer, something that’s just instrumental, right? Maybe even sometimes don’t have music at all if I want the sounds of the baking to be in it. So, really trying to minimize all of those extra things so that the point that you’re trying to make is really the focus.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, that makes sense. So I was exploring your profile kind of looking at it. And then I was like wait a minute, there’s this like a duet and it was the ones that I watched it was three separate girls and they did like a let me whip, let me nae nae, whatever that song is. It was to something that you were baking. That was a moment where I was like, who am I and what is this world? But what’s going on there and is that you doing that? Or is that somebody picking up your content being like, we’re going to make a little dance-off of Benjamin baking this thing?
Benjamin Delwiche: Yeah, I mean, I think one of the cool things about TikTok is the creativity of everybody that’s on the platform. So that was never my intention and now the video was about making ganache. So I talk about if you want to have a whipped ganache, right? This is the ratio that you want to use. And then someone taking that and saying okay, well, I’m going to dance to this, right? I’m going to whip to this. It’s a cool thing that happens. Never my intention but they are fun to see.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, and it was like, do you remember what it was? It was something like 1, 2, 3. Is that right? So it was one dance move and then it was two and then it was three.
Benjamin Delwiche: Yeah, because I showed three different ratios for making ganache if you want to have it for whipped ganache, or if you want to use it just for spreading, or if you want to have a piped ganache.
Bjork Ostrom: So awesome. So one of the things that I feel like is different from Instagram versus TikTok and I think that would be the platform that people can most closely correlate to would be, to your point maybe how condensed things are. Like on Instagram I think we think about, hey, you can be successful with a one-minute video that kind of like walks through the recipe. Start to finish and there’s maybe music in the background kind of like three years ago, four or five years ago kind of Buzzfeed tasty world, hands and pans type video. Do you see that type of content being successful on TikTok? Or does it have to be shorter, more informative, more entertaining, and less story arc even just in one minute of start to finish here’s a recipe? Or do you see that having success on TikTok?
Benjamin Delwiche: There’s certainly creators that have a lot of success doing that. So I think it’s about finding, as we talked about finding what you’re going to do and what you’re good at, and then running with that. I follow several creators both cooking and baking that do an arc of a recipe from start to finish and it’s amazing. I love it, I watch it, I’d sometimes try the recipes out myself. But for me, I like more of the short here’s a one piece of information that you can get out pretty quickly.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, that makes sense. One of the shifts that we’ve seen happen over the last, so we’ve been in this world in some way for probably 10 years, actually 10 years. And early on, I would say for the first five years or even more six, seven. So let’s say from like 2010 to 2015, ’16, ’17, kind of that range. A lot of people would be content creators where they’d be blog first with social supported. So you start a blog and then how do you get social to support what you’re doing? I see a shift now happening where people are social first, they see that they have some traction and then it’s like, hey, we’ll get a blog here to support that. It’s important to have and might as well get that up and running. Can you talk to me about how you think of the platforms that you have? And my guess is your TikTok first.
Bjork Ostrom: But then what does that stacked order look like in terms of the other things that are important? And I know you’re still early in this and figuring it out. But the other platforms that you consider to be important is it like, TikTok blog, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, or what does that look like for you?
Benjamin Delwiche: Yeah, for me right now it’s TikTok and Instagram. And then I’ve been working on trying to build out a website and a blog, it’s been a slow go of it. But for me it’s about, TikTok first for that visual element. And not just through pictures because I think for me at least when I’m explaining something I can have some visual element of breaking something open or mixing something or sliding a tray onto a screen that has three different things on it. That visual element of movement seems to be more engaging than just a picture on a blog site, at least for right now. Like you mentioned, I’m still early on and still playing around with things. So that’s why that’s first for me. But I’m trying to move also into the element of well, a TikTok or an Instagram real is a short 15, 20, 32nd thing. But there are people that want a little bit more of an explanation.
Benjamin Delwiche: And that really would call for a written up, maybe more traditional blog posts where it’s yeah, okay, here’s what’s going on, here’s why, right? And then also here’s a recipe that you can take away with more specific steps. So I try to post many of the recipes that I use in the comment section or in the caption, but typically it’s mostly the ingredients and then a brief a whole couple of phrases for the instructions of it.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, recipe description and that makes sense. And there’s something about this equation, like a creator equation which is how much time do you have? What are your areas of expertise? Where’s the best place? What type of content do you like to create the most? I’m building this equation on the fly. So after it’s created, this is a creator math equation. So these are all the different variables to get our final greater success outcome. But it’s the what platform is the best for you as a creator? Time, your background and expertise. And I think there’s also some element of a hot platform. Like a platform that you’re going to be able to find success on, TikTok feels like a version of that. Where you’re going to be able to grow quickly in a way that maybe you couldn’t in the same way on Pinterest just because of the age of the platform and just how things look a little bit different.
Bjork Ostrom: So, not that Pinterest isn’t a smart platform to be on. But it’s one of the things that is fun for me to hear you talk about is kind of some of these filtering mechanisms of like, hey, blog would be awesome, it’d be important. But it doesn’t work great for the content, it takes more time for what you’re doing. And the way that you want to explain things is different. So it’s like, that’s naturally kind of filters down to TikTok is a good platform. I’m curious being this far into it and applying that equation of creator success, have you gotten to the point where people are starting to reach out and say, “Hey, we are a chocolate chip company and we would like to work with you when you do your next video on different baking temperatures.” Or have you had any kind of sponsor content stuff being a year in now? And what has happened?
Benjamin Delwiche: Yeah, in the past couple months especially I’ve had different brands reach out which is exciting thing for me to have communication from these brands that I’ve been using and baking with for so long. Because those are the ones that I really like to work with something that I’ve already been using. And then they reach out and say, “Hey, would you be interested in featuring us in your next post?” Whether it’s a recipe or an explanation, whatever it is.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. And that’s been within the last couple months, have you had any sponsored content deals yet or getting to that point? And I think one of the things for people who are early stages and it’s really fun to hear you do all this within a year. It’s both exciting and also a little intimidating to get to the point where somebody is like, “Hey, we want to partner with you and pay you money to produce content.” And it’s suddenly like, well, this is legit and you are now an influencer. Not that people aren’t influencers unless they do sponsored content. But it’s a pretty clear marker in the journey of a content creator who at least somebody who’s interested in creating some level of business around it. But how did you navigate that? Is it kind of like, you go into Google mode and research? What did that look like as those first deals started to look like they might be potential realities?
Benjamin Delwiche: Yeah, definitely. I mean, doing research into what it’s all about because I’m still relatively new and I’m still learning things. So researching as much as I can, talking to people that are more established especially in the baking and cooking creation. Seeing what their experience has been, learning as much as I can from them. I’ve been very fortunate to have some deals over the past few months for brands and post stuff using their products.
Bjork Ostrom: What were some of the brands that you worked with?
Benjamin Delwiche: Yeah. So I’ve worked with Made In, they make amazing cookware and bakeware. Plugra recently for their butter is, again I’ve been using it for years and-
Bjork Ostrom: It’s the best when you have a deal where that aligns. And did they reach out to you or did you reach out to them?
Benjamin Delwiche: They reached out to me, yeah.
Bjork Ostrom: So is that through like a DM in TikTok?
Benjamin Delwiche: Yeah. So it actually started with a DM in Instagram and then transferred over to email then a phone call from there.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, what I love about your story here is that all of this is within a year. And I think that’s not always the case, a lot of times there’s a grind that has to happen. I think for us it was really like two or three years and this is early on like 2010, so it would have been 2012, 2013 we are like, wait a minute this is something that if we want to and if we’re intentional about it and really think through it, this could build into a career. And the same is true for you, you have all the things that you need to start to put together these elements to say, this could potentially be a career. And similar to us, Lindsay was a teacher, I worked at a nonprofit. That’s a really big deal, that’s a really cool thing to be able to kind of fold that into who you are and what you do.
Bjork Ostrom: This is really early in that process but you have thoughts around hey, if I continue to do this for two years, three years, this maybe could be what I’m doing full time or you’re like, you know what, teaching is a core part of who I am and what I do. That would never be something that I would like leave my job to do this or it’s still too early to even talk about that?
Benjamin Delwiche: I think it’s still too early to even talk about. I mean, I really love teaching and especially teaching math. So that’s not something that I really envision leaving. This is another thing baking is something that I really enjoy. So I love to be able to do both and to use the background that I have in teaching to explain different baking elements. Or on the other hand, bring different baking elements into the way that I teach math.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, it’s a great…
Benjamin Delwiche: You’re going to find that crossover both ways.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, that’s great. So how about this, any tips, advice or inspiration that you’d give somebody who is early stages, maybe just as a creator but also within TikTok as a platform for somebody who is kind of tiptoeing into TikTok and saying, I don’t know if I want to do this, I’m a little bit hesitant about it. Any words of wisdom or insight that you’d give to people?
Benjamin Delwiche: Yeah, I would say try different things out. Especially I mean, unless you already have the idea of this is what I want to focus on and I know right away this is why people are going to follow me, try a few different things out, see what sticks and then don’t necessarily feel obligated to continue doing exactly that, but find different ways to then as you create different pieces. Now you’ve kind of started to realize, okay, well, this is actually what I really like to do. This is what I have the most experience with, this is what I feel like I can share. So then move your focus that way. Early on try different things out.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, that’s great. Iterate, test, don’t be afraid to press publish, see how it goes. Remember when TikTok was Musical.ly and Gary Vaynerchuk. You maybe know Gary Vaynerchuk, I feel like if you’re a creator in the world there’s like a 90% chance you come across his content whether you like it or not. But I remember looking, pulling it up, and seeing he was using it but it was just like experimental. But he wasn’t like he was producing content. It was like recording a video in a conference room and being like, hey, making a Musical.ly video, how does this thing work? I don’t remember exactly what it was. But it’s like, oh, that’s a huge part of it is just pulling it up, pressing buttons, seeing how it works, being light on your feet, pressing publish on something, seeing how that works, iterating. So I love that that’s the advice that you give for anybody who’s looking into it.
Bjork Ostrom: My second piece of advice for them would be once you do pull it up to go ahead and follow what you’re doing. So that’s a that’s a little transition into a plug for you to talk a little about where people can find you.
Benjamin Delwiche: Yeah, so I’m on TikTok and Instagram right now, Benjamin the Baker. Yeah, I try to share different explanations, different visuals, sometimes recipes. Whether they’re traditional recipes or something a little bit crazier, or a tip that I’ve learned from working in different bakeries. Yeah, most all are baking-related.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, that’s awesome. And it’s been fun for me to check it out. I know that we’ll do that again. So Benjamin, thanks so much for coming on the podcast. Really fun to chat.
Benjamin Delwiche: Yeah, thank you so much for having me, appreciate it.
Bjork Ostrom: Another big thank you to Benjamin the Baker for coming on the podcast. Such a fun story to hear his background not only as a teacher but working in bakeries and then rolling all of that up into this cool niche around numbers and science and math and baking and food. And then doing that strategically on platforms like TikTok and Instagram. So, a lot of takeaways there. Thanks again to Benjamin for sharing those. One more quick plug for the Facebook group if you want to check that out. It is foodbloggerpro.com/facebook. And that will allow you to be a part of the follow-up conversations when we have those. Maybe there’s additional questions that you have after a podcast episode goes live and you want to ask either the person who is on the podcast and you can get direct answers from them or potentially the Food Blogger Pro team. And you can also help build the queue for upcoming interviews that we have.
Bjork Ostrom: So, it’s going to be a great way to layer on a community element to the podcast and we’d love for you to be part of that. Again, it is foodbloggerpro.com/facebook. And you’ll have to kind of apply, there’ll be some questions and some prompts. And then once a day or so we’ll go through and prove anybody who is a good match which will be most people. So, that’s a wrap for this episode. Our hope with this is it helps you get a tiny bit better every day forever. We’re going to continue showing up each and every week in an attempt to do that. We appreciate you and we’ll see you again next week. Thanks.