Welcome to episode 221 of The Food Blogger Pro Podcast! This week on the podcast, Bjork goes live on Instagram to answer your questions about blogging.
Last week on the podcast, we focused on growth and how you can grow your social following, track your growth, find your super fans, and more. To go back and listen to that episode, click here.
One of our favorite things about working with a community for food bloggers is connecting with that community.
When we were thinking about ways we could connect with our podcast community, we quickly figured out that it’s difficult to connect with your podcast listeners. Podcast episodes are typically made up of two distinct “sides” — a recording happening on one side, and then the listening happening on the other. Rarely do those sides meet in the middle.
That is, of course, until today. 😉
Bjork went live on Instagram yesterday to connect with our community and answer their blogging questions, and we turned it into today’s podcast episode! He answers questions SEO, keywords, podcasting, monetization, and more, and all of the questions you’ll hear are sourced from our incredible community. Enjoy!
In this episode, you’ll learn:
- What backlinks are and how to get them for your site
- When you’ll see results from your SEO work
- How many recipes you should have on your blog before you launch it
- How long it takes to monetize a blog
- If you try to optimize for long-tail or short-tail keywords
- How to monetize and grow a podcast
Listen to the Food Blogger Pro Podcast below or check it out on Google Play Music, or Spotify:
- 097: How to Create a Full-Time Income from Blogging Using The Egg Carton Method with Bjork Ostrom
- 108: From Struggling Podcast to Six-Figure Success with Natalie Eckdahl
If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions for interviews, be sure to email them to [email protected].
If you’d like to jump to the comments section, click here.
Alexa Peduzzi: Hey, hey, hey, and you are listening to the Food Blogger Pro Podcast. I’m Alexa, and we have kind of an unconventional episode of the podcast for you today. You see, one of our favorite things to do is to connect and chat with you, whether that be on the Food Blogger Pro forum, at conferences, like the Tastemaker Conference I just went to last week, or in member live Q&As. But that got us thinking. How can we connect with a lot of you, answer your questions, and then create a podcast episode about it? Our answer? An Instagram Live Q&A that we turn into a podcast.
Alexa Peduzzi: Bjork actually went live yesterday, and if you’re listening to this episode the Tuesday we release it, then he went live yesterday, which was a Monday, and he answered our viewers’ questions live on Instagram. It was definitely a new experience for us, but it was a great way to connect with some of you and have meaningful and hopefully helpful conversations about growing your blogs.
Alexa Peduzzi: Bjork answered a bunch of questions about things like SEO keywords, podcasting, monetization, and more. We really think you’ll enjoy this Q&A type format of the podcast. So without any further ado, here is the recorded Instagram Live Q&A with Bjork.
Bjork Ostrom: All right, here we are on the first-ever live broadcasted on Instagram Food Blogger Pro Podcast. For those of you that are listening after the fact, on demand as we call it, this Food Blogger Pro Podcast episode I’m actually holding my phone right now broadcasting this to Food Blogger Pro followers on Instagram. If you’re not there yet, be sure to just search Food Blogger Pro and follow along.
Bjork Ostrom: We are taking questions. We have some that were submitted ahead of time by Food Blogger Pro members. We’re taking questions from anybody that is watching live on Instagram, and that is you, for those of you that are tuning in live, I’m looking at you now, submitting those questions. You can just do that below, and then Alexa will bring those over and submit those on this side so I don’t miss them.
Bjork Ostrom: But we have some that we have submitted ahead of time, so I’m going to go through those. Just as a heads up, this episode’s going to be a little bit shorter than most episodes because of the unique format that we’re doing where we are not only recording it, but we are also broadcasting live on Instagram. For those of you that are tuning in live, great to have you here. Thanks for doing that. Let’s go ahead and kick it off. This is a live Q&A, and we have some questions that have come in already.
Bjork Ostrom: This is a question specifically about backlinks. For those who aren’t familiar with the concept of backlinks and what those are, it’s really important to know that backlinks are an indicator to search engines, like Google, on the authority of a website. That’s one of the main things. There’s lots of different things that Google and other search engines use to figure out how to rank a site, but one of those is backlinks. Backlinks are essentially just links to your site, so links from other places, from other pages, back to your site.
Bjork Ostrom: There’s all different types of backlinks, and those are valuable on… there’s different levels of value for those links. A link from a really spammy site that isn’t well-built and maybe is scraping content, a link from that site back to your site isn’t a very valuable link because that page, that site itself isn’t an authoritative site.
Bjork Ostrom: But let’s say that you have a link from a really authoritative site, and maybe that is the New York Times. Let’s say the New York Times wrote an article, and they mentioned your site. Maybe they mentioned Pinch of Yum. They included a link back to Pinch of Yum, and maybe the article they wrote was like The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever, and they linked to Pinch of Yum as one of the ultimate recipes online.
Bjork Ostrom: That would be a really valuable link because the New York Times is a site that is known and, in Google’s eyes, it’s what’s considered to be an authoritative site. If you get a link from a really authoritative site, from an established site, from a popular site, they are saying, in a sense, “We’re taking some of our authority, and we’re giving that, we’re passing it,” it doesn’t go away from them, “but we’re passing that along and saying, ‘Here’s a recommended site. Here’s a site that we are linking to that you should check out.’” Backlinks are important, all the different types of backlinks. There’s some that are more valuable than others. Not all backlinks are equally created.
Bjork Ostrom: Amanda is saying… or Paula, excuse me, is asking, “How do you get backlinks? Do you ask other people to link to your site? What’s the best way to do back links?” Much like any advice that exists on the internet, there’s all different versions of people who would say, “Here’s how you go about doing back links.”
Bjork Ostrom: I’ll share our story about that, and our story is that we’ve never intentionally searched for backlinks. We’ve never gone out, we’ve never asked somebody to link to something. We’ve never sent emails to somebody saying, “Hey, would you be up for linking to our site? That’d be super helpful. Here’s the link, and here’s what you should say about it.” It’s just not anything that we’ve ever done.
Bjork Ostrom: Our approach has always been thinking about how can we be as spot-on as possible with technical SEO, technical SEO meaning SEO that you can control on your site that has to do with how it’s structured, that has to do with the page load speed of your site, all of these things that have to do with how your site is built, how the page is structured, how it’s coded, and how well it loads. That’s all technical SEO. That’s always what we’ve kept in mind first and foremost.
Bjork Ostrom: Then instead of thinking, “How do we get backlinks?” we think first about how do we create content that people would link to? It’s really important. That’s why this… you can almost roll your eyes at how often you hear it, this idea of content being king. That’s an example of why content being king is such an important thing is because people that view a post as awesome or helpful or insightful, naturally, what we want to do is we want to share that.
Bjork Ostrom: You can think about products that you love. Maybe you’ve bought a product, and you just love it. You naturally want to share that with people and say, “Oh, my gosh. This thing is awesome,” or maybe you went on a trip or a vacation and you visited somewhere, and you’re like, “Gosh, this is so great. I want to tell people about how awesome this was.”
Bjork Ostrom: The same thing exists with content online. Instead of thinking about “how do I connect with people and how do I get them to link back to my site?” I think it’s important to first think about “how do I create something that people are naturally tell other people about, something that builds some excitement or that’s unique or interesting?” Those are approaches that I would take first and foremost when I think about the type of content that I’d be creating as opposed to thinking, “How do I go about getting backlinks?”
Bjork Ostrom: Now, there are some people who are expert backlink-getters. They’re just really good at figuring out how to do that, how to do cold outreach, how to email people and say, “Hey, I saw this link on your site was broken. I have a resource that’s kind of similar. You can update it and link to my site.” But that’s going to be a lot of work. That in and of itself is going to create effort, and there’s going to be a lot of intentional work that goes along with that as well, and so my opinion would be it’s better to spend that time building the content and thinking about how you can create something awesome as opposed to spending that time reaching out to people and doing grassroots link-building reaching out.
Bjork Ostrom: That’s just a personal opinion. I know there are other people who’ve had success going about reaching out and getting people to link back to their site, but it’s not anything that we’ve ever done, and so I don’t want to pretend to have expertise or insight into it. I would encourage you, especially if you have a limited amount of time and resources, to think first about the content. That’s a question coming in from Paula, howtomakedinner.com. Thanks, Paula, for submitting that.
Bjork Ostrom: Anybody that’s watching live, would be interested to hear if you have any questions, anything that you want to talk about here on this live podcast. We are recording this, and this will go out as an on-demand podcast. Questions coming in, “Can I ask a question here?” Yes, indeed, you can. Anytime that you think of something, you have something come up, just drop it in there. We have Alexa who’s moderating. She’s going to pass that along to me, and we’ll make sure that we hit that question for anybody that’s watching live.
Bjork Ostrom: Let’s keep moving on. We have some questions that have come in ahead of time. This one also relates to search engine optimization. It actually kind of… it calls back something that we just talked about, so maybe it’d be a good transition question that we can hit. Amanda from mum.dk, M-U-M-M-U-M dot D-K says, “What’s your biggest SEO tip? How do you optimize it the best way, and how quick will you see results?”
Bjork Ostrom: I would say, calling back to what I had just talked about before, for me personally, I’ve used search engine optimization as technical SEO, so making sure that your site is set up in a way where Google understands the content that you’re publishing as certain content. In our case with a recipe blog that understands it as recipe content, and in order to that, you need to use a plugin, which structures your content as a recipe and communicates that back to Google. That would be one tip. Make sure that you’re optimizing any special content, we’ll use recipes as an example.
Bjork Ostrom: The recipe that we use and that we created, it’s a part of a company that we own, it’s called WP Tasty. That’s the company name, and the recipe plugin is called Tasty Recipes. That’s what we use, and a lot of, a handful of really significant bloggers also use that, and hundreds of people, now thousands we have… I think we just crossed the 4,000 mark now for total people that have used WP Tasty plugins on their site, which we’re super, super proud of, and love serving that group of people.
Bjork Ostrom: That would be one thing, make sure that you’re using a plugin that optimizes your content. Also, along with that, you should use a plugin like Yoast SEO. There’s a free version and a premium version. We use the premium version. It has a few additional features, and for the price, we feel like that’s worth it, especially for how important search is for our site. That would be one tip.
Bjork Ostrom: The second tip is make sure that you have Google Search Console set up. I’m actually right in the middle of recording a course for that on Food Blogger Pro. If you are a Food Blogger Pro member, stay tuned. That course is going to be coming out, but make sure that you have Google Search Console set up. I would say, just set a recurring reminder once a month to log in and to make sure that everything checks out, that you don’t have any errors that are coming up for your site, and make sure to clean those up when you do.
Bjork Ostrom: Set that up. Check that. Then also make sure that you have email notifications on Google Search Console. Why that’s helpful is because if there’s ever a huge issue that comes up with your site, Google’s going to email you. It’s like they literally send you an email and say, “Hey, we noticed this was an issue. You should fix it.” Then you can course-correct that issue by logging in and making the changes, and they’ll tell you usually it’s some general guidelines about how you can go about fixing it, updating, or tweaking that.
Bjork Ostrom: That would be another thing. Make sure that you have the correct plugins. If you’re a recipe site, we use Tasty Recipes, and then we also use Yoast SEO. That’s for our WordPress site. We love WordPress. We recommend WordPress as the platform to use. Make sure that you have optimized there. Set up Google Search Console, and check on that. Make sure that you have notifications and emails coming in to notify you of any errors or issues that will be happening with your site.
Bjork Ostrom: Then it has to do with the content site of things. Google’s not going to rank content unless their indicators consider it to be valuable, helpful content that’s structured in a way that’s not only easy for people to consume and understand, but also easy for Google to understand, and that’s technical SEO. Technical SEO, luckily, isn’t super technical. You can use the tools within WordPress, the plugins that you have and the formatting that Google gives you to create a piece of content that is fully optimized so you don’t have to know super deep HTML, CSS coding in order to have a really well-structured site. My advice, Amanda, SEO advice or tip, would be that, optimize from a technical perspective, and then figure out ways to create the content that is most helpful for the niche that you are serving, for the group of people that you are creating content for.
Bjork Ostrom: Then the question here, this is the big question mark, “How quickly do you see results?” There’s so many different variables that are a factor there. One variable would be the variable of how old and authoritative your site is. If you have a site that has been around for a really long time, and you’ve consistently be published, have consistently published content to it, you might be able to make changes that have an immediate impact or close to an immediate impact.
Bjork Ostrom: An example would be for Pinch of Yum, if we’re going in and updating a post, and we’re adding additional information, we’re republishing that to the front of the blog, we could see results within a day or two in terms of how that impacts search, but if you’re in the early stages, if you’re in year one or year two of creating content for your site, and you don’t have a lot of momentum built up with it, it could take a while. It would be awhile before you actually start to see the results from some of the search optimization that you’re doing. That is a little inside information, a little tip on the search side of things.
Bjork Ostrom: A question here coming in from Varsi from eatlivebegrateful.com, and she’s saying, “What’s the best way to make money from blogging?” Very high-level, very big question coming in. I have some thoughts on it. I’ll share them, and I’ll keep them equally high-level, and hopefully, it provides a little bit of information. I see that Varsi you are tuning in live, which is kind of fun to have you here, so great to have you on this live Q&A.
Bjork Ostrom: I think the important thing to think about as it relates to creating an income from anything that you’re doing, anything that you’re building, any work that you’re doing online is finding the overlap… if you imagine a Venn diagram, and the Venn diagram’s like two circles, I’m holding my other hand, so you have to imagine like circle here, a circle here. Imagine one of the circles is my glasses, for those that are watching, and then overlap is like that’s about right there. Hard for those of you watching the podcast to realize what I just did, for those of you not watching the podcast live Q&A here to imagine what it was, but just imagine a Venn diagram. That’ll be my point.
Bjork Ostrom: In the overlap space, and the overlap would be your area of passion, interest, and pursuit, so what are the things that you think about, what are the things that you want to be an expert in, what are the things that you find yourself reading, researching, combined with the need for that in the world.
Bjork Ostrom: An example would be, one of the things that I’m fascinated by and love to listen to podcast about and read books about is business and tech and things online. That’s one area that I’m just fascinated by and look into it, I love to read about it. The other thing that I know exists in the world is that there are people who want to learn about that, so there’s the need for it in the world.
Bjork Ostrom: If I were to enter in a third piece, it would be working with Lindsay, so Lindsay, my partner in life, also partner in business, realizing, “Okay, she has an interest in food and recipes and photography,” so we’re able to find this spot in the middle, if those are three different circles, whereas I’m interested in business and things online and tech. There’s a group of people, there’s a niche out there of people who are interested in food and content and business building online, and then that’s also what Lindsay’s interested in. We’ve found that little spot in the middle where we’re able to build something here. What we’ve built is Food Blogger Pro, and we have this community of thousands of people from around the world who are interested in similar things. Same is true for WP Tasty. We’ve said, “Hey, we’ve realized there’s other people who have these similar interests and desires.”
Bjork Ostrom: The point is when you’re thinking about creating an income, think about the things that you’re most passionate about and interested and naturally pursue combined with some intentional thinking about is this needed in the world, are there people would want this, and could I create a product or service or even content around helping people with this thing that I’m interested in? Find the area where this idea of your great interest and passion with the world’s great need, where does that overlap. That’s a great spot to start thinking about creating an income from your blog.
Bjork Ostrom: What does it look like from there? I would say it’s probably a scaled-up version, a little bit of a ladder that you create, starting with services. When you’re in the early stages, I would say it makes sense to start by thinking of a service that you could offer, trading your time for dollars. That’s going to be the easiest way to get started.
Bjork Ostrom: After you do that, what you’ll be able to do is you’ll be able to get kind of user research. You’ll be able to look into it and say, “What are the consistent things that people need?” I’ve been doing this for a while, and this consistently comes up as a question that people have. Once you’ve realized what that is, you can probably start to create some either productized services, meaning something that’s kind of a set template that you follow, and it’s the same for people, and maybe there’s a service element to it, or it’s just a product itself. Maybe it’s a digital product like a book.
Bjork Ostrom: An example would be Lindsay was really into photography, loved photography, and realized, “Oh, I can do workshops around those,” but it’s not just workshops that would be a service, people come and it’s a service, but she also could do an ebook. That was a digital version of something that was helpful for people.
Bjork Ostrom: Then what happened is those workshops become productized. It’s kind of a weird way to say it, but you’re not having to recreate it every time. It’s a similar thing that you’re able to do. That’s a great way to start, but over time, usually, what you’ll find is you’ll want to figure out how to make that a little bit more sustainable. A lot of times, what people find is that just strictly trading their time for dollars isn’t the only thing that they want to do. They also want to have to some type of element of recurring or some type of product that they want to layer in.
Bjork Ostrom: To answer your question, Varsi, when you’re first getting started out, I would think first about any type of service you could do. It’s going to help you transition as quickly as possible. Then what that will allow you to do is do a little bit of user research. It’s going to allow you to get to know the needs and wants of the people that you are serving a little bit more, and you might be able to think of some things that would allow you to create a product around that. That would be my recommendation, high-level response for kind of a high-level question there.
Bjork Ostrom: All right, for those who are tuning in live or listening after the fact, this is the first-ever Instagram Live Q&A that we’ve done, so if you’re listening to podcast, it might sound like a normal podcast, but I’m actually holding a phone in front of me and broadcasting live to Instagram, which is kind of fun. We’re sourcing questions that are coming in in realtime from Instagram users, and we’re also have some questions that we’re working through from Food Blogger Pro members who have submitted these ahead of time.
Bjork Ostrom: A question here coming in from Merissa. She says, “How many recipes should you have on your blog before you launch it?” It’s a great question, and this could apply to anybody creating content online, posts, pages, just general availability of content on your site. The question is coming in, and it’s how many of those should I have before I launch?
Bjork Ostrom: My response to you is I think you should launch with one, or even launch with none. Have your site up and running and available, anybody can visit it, and your launch will be the first post that you publish. The reason that I say that is because in the early stages, what you’re going to find is there’s not a lot of people that are going to come to your site. It’s really all about getting the snowball rolling. It’s more strategic to start with the really small snowball at the top of the hill and get it rolling as quick as possible versus trying to build up a big snowball, and then pushing that down the hill and having that start to gain speed.
Bjork Ostrom: My opinion is if you figure out a way to press publish, and then moving forward, every point from that, maybe it’s once a week, maybe it’s twice a week, whatever your rhythm is, if you figure out how to get into a rhythm with consistently publishing content, you’re going to be much better off starting and then getting into that rhythm than trying to build up a bunch and then getting into that rhythm after the fact. Now, I know some people are people who would consider themselves to be planners. They don’t like the idea of the pressure that comes with needing to have content that goes out next week, so what they would want to do is they would want to have a queue. Maybe your goal is to have a queue of two months of content, and you’re always working to have that queue filled, so you never get to the point where it’s like, “I need to publish something next week. I’m super behind, and so I’m just going to take a sprint and work on this overnight and publish it.”
Bjork Ostrom: Maybe you’re somebody who you want to make sure that you have that queue. If that’s you, maybe build up that queue, and then jump into publishing right away, but in terms of the actual amount of content that you need, I would say you don’t need a lot in order to press publish. Just jump in and start working against it because what can happen is we can use that as a hurdle that we don’t jump, and then we just delay working on our site. My encouragement to you is as quickly as possible to start moving forward and to publish content on your site.
Bjork Ostrom: Super fun to have people tuning in here the Instagram side of things on the live Q&A. Let’s do this. We have some people who are watching live. Let’s hear a little bit about you. If you’re watching live right now, let us know where you’re tuning in from, maybe if you have a drink of choice that you were sipping on right now. For me, it’s just water. Kind of boring. But I have it in this new Hydrate water bottle, and it tracks, like any good nerd would, how much water we’re drinking.
Bjork Ostrom: For those who are tuning in live and wondering what’s happening, we’re actually recording this as a podcast, which is why I have this giant mic, and we’re going to publish this a little bit later, so if you missed out on anything, you’ll be able two watch this back a little bit later. So fun to have people tuning in live and to see you from all around the world. Isn’t that amazing, technology. We can be sitting here in Minnesota, and we can be connecting with people all around.
Bjork Ostrom: Let’s keep moving on here. We have a few more questions that we are going to hit. We’ll make sure to try and get as many of these as possible. I’m going to do a little bit of a speed round, so we are about a half an hour in to this Q&A, and I’m going to go maybe another 10, 15 minutes, or until my voice gives up. Nope. Just another 15 minutes. I’ll call it at that. We’ll do a little speed round through a few of these questions that come in here.
Bjork Ostrom: Shu from naturallyshukria, if I’m saying that right, says, “How long does it take to see money from your blog?” It really depends on how you’re structuring your blog and your website. If you’re building your blog and you’re launching it and you’re creating a service, you could pretty quickly see an income from that. An example would be we launched WP Tasty, which is a WordPress plugin’s business, and relatively quickly, we were able to start getting sales from that.
Bjork Ostrom: Now, if we were monetizing that through ads, it would be still be a struggle for us because we don’t have enough traffic from that site to create an income from ads, from the business model is such that people who come are looking to search and learn more about certain things like optimizing Pinterest through SEO for recipes, and so we have products that they’re able to purchase, so we were able to create an income from that really within the first month of launching it.
Bjork Ostrom: For Pinch of Yum, which is a content-first site, that’s how we’re monetizing is ads and sponsored content, it was probably a year and a half, two years until we got to the point where we’re creating a significant income, significant for us at the time, hundreds of dollars as opposed to a dollar or two because it takes a while for that to snowball.
Bjork Ostrom: Now, there’s other people who can do that more quickly. They’re able to scale something up really quickly, maybe they have something that catches on, it goes viral, maybe they’re just really good at what they do, and a lot of people follow along, maybe they’re SEO or social experts, and so they have a little advantage there, so you can do it quicker for sure. You could scale something up, a content site, create money from ads and sponsored content within a year. There’s certainly people who have done that before, but I think I wouldn’t be giving good advice if I said that’s what you should expect to do. I think it takes a lot of time and energy to get to the point where you’re creating a substantial income from a site if you’re monetizing through ads and sponsored content. You have to put a lot of coal in the engine of the train for it to get up to speed in order to create an income from it.
Bjork Ostrom: But think strategically. There’s other ways that you can create an income from a website. You can sell a product. You could do services. You could do ads. You could do sponsored content. One of the podcasts that we have in the past, which we’ll link to in the show notes, is talking about this idea of the egg carton method, so you can think about multiple different ways that you can create an income. It’s kind of like an egg carton, and you can try and fill all the different cartons, so you could do affiliate, you could do sponsored, you could do ads, you could do services.
Bjork Ostrom: What will happen is, over time, you’ll say, “Hey, there’s one of these that feels like a really good fit,” and you’ll scale that up, but if you are intentional to think about all the different ways you could do that, what you’ll find is there’s a lot of different ways that you can create an income from a site. My encouragement to you would be think both about how do you scale the content, how do you get visitors, how do you acquire people, but also, once people are there, how do you maximize that return on that visit? There’s lots of different ways that you can do that, a lot of which are ways that I had just mentioned. How long does it take to see money from your blog? It could be months, it could be years. It really depends on how you’re monetizing and how successful you are at scaling the traffic in the early stages.
Bjork Ostrom: Some other questions coming in from Paula. Paula is asking a question. She says, “If you have a lot of old content that is no longer relevant or useful that you are purging, what is your process?” I would say that there’s two different ways that you could handle this. Well, I’ll just talk about a few different things that you could do.
Bjork Ostrom: I was just reading an article about the founder of Kissmetrics. One of the co-founders, his name is Neil Patel, he’s kind of like a marketing SEO expert, and he talks about acquiring all of the content and the domain, kissmetrics.com, and what he did with that after the fact. One of the things that he did was he deleted, it was like half of the content. It was thousands of posts and pages because it was no longer relevant.
Bjork Ostrom: His decision was it’s better to not update it, it’s better to not to redirect it somewhere random, “I’m just going to delete it because a site,” in his opinion, “was more valuable if it had only super high quality relevant content,” so he deleted a bunch of it. That could be one option. You could just delete content. It would go to a 404 page.
Bjork Ostrom: Another option could be you could update it. If you have a piece of content that you feel like is, maybe it’s getting some traffic, maybe it has some links, maybe it’s something that you feel like you want on your site still, but it’s not at the quality level that you’d want to, you could go back, and you could update that piece of content. We’ve had a lot of podcast recently where experts and insiders have talked about the value of taking an old piece of content, updating it with more relevant information, maybe it’s better photos, pushing it to the front of your blog, and the positive impact that can have from a search perspective.
Bjork Ostrom: Some of those indicators, people sharing it, things on social, and then email going out, people visiting the page, some of those things will be indicated, so Google, “Hey, we can bump this up now in search results,” so maybe you have something that’s not ranking super well, or it’s ranking okay, but not great, let’s say position seven or eight, you can find that, update it, and you might see a bump.
Bjork Ostrom: That would be another option. You could delete, you could update something, or if you have a piece of content that is really, really similar, let’s say you have, on Food Blogger Pro, let’s say we have two articles on food photography and the best cameras for food photography. Chances are, the best way to handle an old, outdated piece of content is just to redirect that content to the more updated, better piece of content. That would be another option.
Bjork Ostrom: You could do what’s called a 301 redirect, which is essentially saying this old version of the site, or the old version of the page is now down, but a new up-to-date better version is located at this URL, and you want to make sure that you’re only doing that when the thing that you’re redirecting to is a very, very similar page or resource or recipe or whatever it would be.
Bjork Ostrom: You don’t want to do that… let’s say you have a bunch of links to a pumpkin pie recipe. You don’t want to redirect it to an apple pie recipe, even though it seems like, “Well, then everybody will go to this page and all those links will be redirected there.” You want to make sure that you’re only redirecting to very similar content, so it’s not just making sure that you grab the traffic and the links. You’re making sure that the content is similar.
Bjork Ostrom: That’s how I would approach it. It’s not bad to delete content, and a lot of times, people will talk about going through and updating and deleting old content that’s not getting any traffic and is not very helpful, or it’s outdated, and that actually having a positive result in terms of the search performance on their site. Something to consider if you’re looking at updating old content on your site or maybe not even updating it, but just managing old content on your site. All right, we’ll hit a couple more questions here, and despite having my water close by, I can feel that I’m coming to the end of talking by myself into the microphone as my voice turns into a raspy, grungy version of myself.
Bjork Ostrom: Question coming in from The Twin Cooking Project, “Should recipe be named as the most common search or a unique name?” I think this really depends on where you are with your site, so it’s a question of whether some people consider long tail or longer keywords versus a really common keyword. “Chicken Alfredo” versus “chicken Alfredo with broccoli” or something like that. If you’re in the earlier stages, I would say it probably makes sense to be more strategic with thinking about things from a long tail perspective, but as your site starts to pick up more attraction, as you become more authoritative, as you have the ability to rank a little bit easier, you can start to be more intentional to approach some of those common terms.
Bjork Ostrom: For Pinch of Yum, we can think about, hey, what does it look like to rank for freezer meals? But if we were just starting out, we maybe want to think about, instead of just ranking for freezer meals, we’d want to think about vegan freezer meals, or maybe we’d want to think strategically about something like “quick and easy vegan freezer meals.” You could go really long tail with it.
Bjork Ostrom: Earlier, it’s going to be easier to rank for longer keywords because there’s less competition. It has everything to do with competition, and when you’re just starting out, you’re not going to be able to rank in the same way that a site that’s been around for 10 years would be. It kind of depends on where you’re at with things with your site and how long you’ve been doing that is and also how impactful the individual piece of content is that you’re creating.
Bjork Ostrom: You could be creating something that’s really an awesome piece of content around freezer meals, and if you do, it should be super informative. It should have a ton of resources. It should have links to other places. It should have links to other places within your site. All of these things should be a piece of the puzzle when you are wanting to rank for a really common short keyword like that. You could be earlier stages, but you could strategically be saying to yourself, “I want to be more intentional to really use this as the landing spot for this specific keyword moving forward.” If that’s the case, that’s going to have to be a strategic decision, and you’ll probably have to think about going back and continually updating that piece of content over time as opposed to just pressing publish on it once, and then letting it ride. That would be my quick high-level overview or thoughts on that specific question.
Bjork Ostrom: We are coming to the end here of the first-ever live Instagram podcast where we are talking to people live on Instagram and then also recording this for a podcast to show, or to publish later on for all of our on-demand folks. We will hit one more question here that has come in, and looking through all of these different questions here.
Bjork Ostrom: Oh, this is kind of a fun on from Betsy from dinnersisters.com. She says, “Do you think we are in early stages of podcasting now?” This is for podcast, and it is relevant in that sense. She says, “Similar to where blogging as 10 years ago, they’re tricky to monetize because ad money hasn’t consistently moved in, but is it a good time to start? For context, I host a food podcast, and we get about 7,000–8,000 downloads a month, which we’re happy about, but it feels less straightforward than blogging when it comes to finding a successful path to monetizing, growth, et cetera. I appreciate any thoughts. I’m guessing you follow the podcasting space, and clearly, you are invested in it as a platform. Thanks, Betsey, dinnersisters.com.”
Bjork Ostrom: Really interesting question. I think that, realistically, it’s not difficult to monetize a podcast, but it’s difficult to do it through ads. I think what will happen is that will change over time like you’ve talked about. They’ll get easier to track. I think, realistically, more people will come into this space as it becomes easier to do, but a couple of considerations to make before I get to the monetization piece.
Bjork Ostrom: One consideration is I think any platform that you are considering, you need to make sure that it’s a platform that you feel comfortable with. Right now, we’ve pressed record on this Instagram Live Q&A, or start 40 minutes ago, and I’ve just been talking by myself in a room by myself to a mic. Not everybody could do that. Not everybody would want to do that, and to some people, that sounds absolutely miserable to think on your feet, to talk on your feet, to record it, to not have the ability to edit, and it just goes out into the world. But for me, that feels pretty comfortable. For some people, that doesn’t feel comfortable.
Bjork Ostrom: Other would people would rather sit down, and they would rather write. They’d rather be able to rehash ideas, to develop a thought, to cut and paste, to rearrange things, and then to press publish, and to have the ability to go back and edit when they want to. Those people would be really great at writing. There’s also people who love to be in front of a camera, and they love to press record, and they love to publish to YouTube, and that’s a really good platform for them.
Bjork Ostrom: My point is, I think regardless of the platform, it’s not a question of “is now the right time to get in, did that ship sale?” It’s more a question of ability, skills, and interest in performing on that platform. If you’re an incredible writer, like books have been around for hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of years, if you’re an incredible writer, you can still publish a book and get thousands of people to purchase it.
Bjork Ostrom: Same with audio. Audio’s been around for hundreds of years, and the ability to publish audio has been around for hundreds of years, or broadcast, I should say, not even necessarily publish, but that’s changing now where it’s becoming easier for people to do. But if you’re somebody who doesn’t enjoy recording yourself or having conversations, that’s going to change. That’s going to look a little bit different. My point is, the point here is that it’s important to think first and foremost what you’re most skilled at, what you’re interested in, and to move into that space as opposed to saying, “Hey, is now the right time to get into podcasting?” It’s going to matter much more about your skill and your ability to execute than it is how early you are into something. I would consider that.
Bjork Ostrom: As it relates to monetization, there’s a great episode that we’ll put in the show notes where we talk to, I’m trying to remember her name, and I’ll look it up here. She has a podcast called BizChix, and she talked about really struggling with her podcast and figuring out ways to monetize it, but coming up with this idea to start to do services related to her podcast. Natalie Eckdahl is her name, and it’s episode 108. She talks about how she’s made this change, this shift with her podcast where she started to do service and how that, she was able to create an almost seven-figure, and maybe it was actually seven-figure, I don’t remember, business from her podcast. But she didn’t do ads. It wasn’t ad-based.
Bjork Ostrom: Same was true for Food Blogger Pro. We’re not ad-based, but we have memberships, so for people who watch this, a lot of times, people will follow the Food Blogger Pro Podcast, and they’ll be like, “Actually, I want to take the next level up,” and so they’ll go to level 201, and they’ll join Food Blogger Pro as a member, or maybe they discover the plugs that we have with WP Tasty, and so they go over and say, “Hey, maybe these are plugins that I could use for my blog,” so they go, and they investigate those and realize, “You know what? I do want to figure out how to optimize my content for Pinterest,” so they download Tasty Pins.
Bjork Ostrom: All of that comes from things like what just happened now where I just casually mention those services. That casual mention of those services plants a little seed, and people say, “This might be something that’s a fit for me,” but it happens in a natural way where I’m not actually advertising something in a traditional sense.
Bjork Ostrom: Now, there’s some people who have podcasts with thousands and thousands or hundreds of thousands of downloads, and they’re able to use ads to monetize successfully. A good number you could use, and I don’t know if this is still relevant or there’s a lot of fluctuation with this, but the one I always think about is like $20–30 per ad per thousand downloads. If you have 10,000 downloads, you could say, “Okay, if I get $20 per ad, that would be $200,” and you could do multiple ad slots within a podcast episode. Super rough numbers, but kind of similar to blogging in the sense that could have a CPM that you could go off of, and there’s a huge variable with that depending in your podcast, the niche, the ad that you’re doing, but that’s one that I always use to do a rough calculation of what you might be able to learn from podcast advertising.
Bjork Ostrom: My encouragement to you as a podcaster would be not to think about how to do ads but how to think about something that you could offer to your audience. What you’ll find is that’s a much better way to create an income from your podcast than advertising for somebody because with any advertisement, they’re going to be need to be making 2, 3, 4, 10X what they’re paying you in order to justify it, so if somebody’s earning $25 per thousand downloads, you could say, “Hey, chances are, to them, the value is maybe $100 per thousand downloads.” There’s a good chance you could think of something that you could offer to your audience that would be just as valuable, but then it would all be coming back to you as opposed to getting a fraction of the value in an advertiser paying you.
Bjork Ostrom: Just something to think about as it relates to podcasting. Super cool to hear about your success so far, Betsy. It sounds like your site is dinnersisters.com, so we’ll do a little plug to you, and people can check that out and learn a little bit more about it. It looks like maybe on your About page that you have some information on the podcast, so people can check that out. We’ll include it on the show notes as well.
Bjork Ostrom: That’s a wrap for the live Q&A here today on Instagram. Really fun to have people joining us throughout this live Q&A. We’re excited to publish this as well. If you’re watching live, and you’re like, “Gosh, it’d be really fun to go back and listen through some of those questions,” stay tuned because we’re going to be publishing it in just a little bit. For anybody who listens on-demand to the podcast, we really appreciate you, and we wouldn’t do this without you. If there weren’t people downloading this and listening to it and using the content, it would be pretty pointless for us to record this podcast, so we appreciate you tuning in, and we hope that you’re able to get valuable information from it.
Bjork Ostrom: Thanks to everybody who is on Instagram Live Q&A. I will throw out some waves to you as we sign off here, but really good to connect. Thanks to Alexa for setting this up, getting everything ready. She makes all this stuff happen with the podcast. Really good to see everybody here, and we are officially singing off from the podcast.
Alexa Peduzzi: That’s a wrap, my friend. Thank you so much for tuning in to the podcast this week. We hope you’re able to apply some of what you learned in this Q&A to your blog or your business. If you do, let us know by emailing us at [email protected], or if you are a Food Blogger Pro member, on the Food Blogger Pro forums.
Alexa Peduzzi: But before we wrap up today’s episode, I wanted to remind you to subscribe to the Food Blogger Pro Podcast on your favorite podcasting app, I personally love Spotify, but I’ve also been known to use Google Podcasts, and just leave us a review with your thoughts about this episode. Reviews really help the show get in front of more people, more bloggers like you, and we’d just really love to know what you think.
Alexa Peduzzi: Another reminder is that Food Blogger Pro enrollment is open, so if you’re ready to take your blog to the next level, to that 2.0 level, as Bjork said in today’s episode, we really encourage you to join. If you’re kind of of the fence, it’s okay. We totally get it. We actually have a 60-day money-back guarantee, so you can try Food Blogger Pro out for two whole months before committing to the content and to your membership. You can learn more and sign up today at foodbloggerpro.com.
Alexa Peduzzi: We so appreciate you tuning in today, and we hope to see you here next week. Until then, this is us signing off, me from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Bjork from Minneapolis, Minnesota, make it a great week.