432: Creating a Community of Food Bloggers with Morgan Peaceman from Nomaste Hungry

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A blue photograph of two women sitting it a table of food with the title of Morgan Peaceman's episode of The Food Blogger Pro Podcast, 'Creating a Community of Food Bloggers.'

This episode is sponsored by Businessese and Clariti.

Welcome to episode 432 of The Food Blogger Pro Podcast! This week on the podcast, Bjork interviews Morgan Peaceman from Nomaste Hungry.

Last week on the podcast, Bjork chatted with Lauren Toyota. To go back and listen to that episode, click here.

Creating a Community of Food Bloggers

Food blogging (or any career as an online creator or entrepreneur) can sometimes feel like a lonely space. But Morgan Peaceman is working to change that!

Morgan started her blog back in 2018 and has been cultivating a food blogging village ever since. She is extremely intentional about reaching out to fellow food bloggers and like-minded brands to build her community.

She has seen increased success since growing her community, which she attributes to sharing resources, experiences, and contacts with other food creators. In this episode, Morgan talks more about how she has the confidence to reach out to other creators and brands, and why she thinks it’s so important to do so.

A photograph of pear waffles with a quote from Morgan Peaceman's episode of The Food Blogger Pro Podcast, "There is so much room in this space for everybody to be successful."

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How to create a community of like-minded food bloggers.
  • About the early days of Nomaste Hungry and how her content strategy has changed over the years.
  • Her advice for reaching out to connect with other food creators.
  • How to be more confident when reaching out to brands for partnerships.
  • How she tracks and manages her communications and follow-ups with brands.


Thank you to our sponsors!

This episode is sponsored by ​Businessese​ and ​Clariti​.

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Thanks to Clariti for sponsoring this episode!

Sign up for Clariti today to easily organize your blog content for maximum growth and receive access to their limited-time $45 Forever pricing, 50% off your first month, optimization ideas for your site content, and more!

If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions for interviews, be sure to email them to [email protected].

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Transcript (click to expand):

Bjork Ostrom: This episode is sponsored by Businessese. That’s business with ese at the end. We hear it time and time again, the business side of running your own food blog can be tricky. It can be difficult to navigate how to protect the content that you create and accurately create important website policies like a privacy policy and website terms, especially when privacy laws are changing so quickly.

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Danielle, the owner of Businessese and our Food Blogger Pro legal expert is so generous with her knowledge and time with this community, and she’s given all Food Blogger Pro Podcast listeners free access to a resource called Four Tools to Protect Your Food Blog.

In this resource, you’ll learn all about the most essential website policies, including an overview of the current state of privacy laws and get an exclusive discount code to use in the Businessese shop. If you decide to purchase any templates or bundles from Businessese, you’ll get lifetime access to any of the updates they make.

Head to businessese.com/foodbloggerpro, Food Blogger Pro is all one word, to download the Four Tools to Protect Your Food Blog resource for free. Again, that’s businessese.com/foodbloggerpro. Thanks again to Businessese for sponsoring this episode.

Emily Walker: Hey there. This is Emily from the Food Blogger Pro team and you’re listening to the Food Blogger Pro Podcast. This week on the podcast, we have Morgan Peaceman from the food blog, Nomaste Hungry. Morgan first started her blog back in 2018 and has rebranded and taken a different approach to her blog in recent years.

We all know that food blogging or really any career as an online creator or entrepreneur can sometimes feel like a lonely space, but Morgan has been working since she started blogging to change that. Morgan is super outgoing, but has also been really intentional about how she reaches out to fellow food bloggers and creators and like-minded brands to help build her community and make this space feel a little less lonely. Morgan has noted that she’s had increased success with her blog since growing her community, which she attributes to sharing resources, contacts, experiences, helpful tips and tricks and other things with her contacts in her community.

In this episode, Morgan shares more about how she’s had the confidence to reach out to all these other food creators and brands, and her recommendations for others to start doing the same. Morgan also shares more about how she tracks and manages all of her outreach, especially to brands, and why she thinks it’s so important to start growing a community and building a village in this space.

It’s a short but sweet episode, and I think all of us will leave feeling inspired to work to grow our community and to reach out to other food bloggers in this space moving forward. Without further ado, I’ll let Bjork take it away.

Bjork Ostrom: Morgan, welcome to the podcast.

Morgan Peaceman: Thank you so much for having me. I’m so excited to be here.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, great. It’s going to be a fun conversation. One of the things that we’re going to be focusing on is this idea of creating a community of other creators, bloggers, mentors. It’s one of the things that we hear a lot about. People get into it and they’re like, “How do you connect with people? How do you create that community?”

Knowing that it’s a really important thing, I was just even thinking about it this morning as I was getting ready for the day. It’s like, gosh, it would be really nice to connect with a group of people who are solving these similar problems. We have unique problems that we’re trying to solve, and I was thinking for myself, who are those people? So even for myself, I’m thinking about that, how do you create that community? Because I think as you do that, especially in the world where you’re remote, it feels less lonely, you have those connections.

But before we do that, let’s hear a little bit about your story. You started your site in 2018 and then have kind of had a revisioning of what it could be. So, take us back to when you started it and how it’s progressed along the way.

Morgan Peaceman: Yeah, so I literally started my food blog in 2018 in August at a Mets game in Citi Field.

Bjork Ostrom: Nice. At the game?

Morgan Peaceman: Legitimately at the game sitting there, I was like, “I think I’m going to start a blog.” My husband was like, “Now?” I’m like, “Yeah, why not?”

Bjork Ostrom: You know you’re not invested in the game when you’re like, “I think I’m going to start a business.”

Morgan Peaceman: Yeah, I was like, “I think I’m just going to use my time more efficiently.” So I went on, I think it was GoDaddy and just found the name. I had a friend just tell me, “Yeah, I think Nomaste Hungry is a really cool kind of play on my peaceful side to who I am and loving to stay hungry and food.”

So yeah, August 2018 it came to fruition, and actually it started when I came back from the Europe trip with my husband. We had traveled around Europe a little bit, and I was really invested in the culture and the atmosphere that food really cultivates, especially when you’re around new people and you’re with people that you love. Food has always been something that’s been a part of my life since I was a little girl. My grandmother always baked, my family always cooked, so I was always in the kitchen, and I figured what better way to tell my story about food than having my own website.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. Yeah, that’s awesome. So, you started it and then somewhere along the lines kind of had a revisioning of what it could be. Is that right? Your story was such that, as I was reading into it, is like, oh, there’s a little bit of a shift or pivot that happened.

Morgan Peaceman: Yeah, so initially 2018 was one of those years where it was a lot of cheese pull accounts on Instagram. There was a lot of those zooming in on the pizza, the cheesy, gooey, oily food, so I initially was like, “I don’t know if that’s the avenue that I wanted to go,” or if I wanted to go in the avenue of calling out restaurants that I really liked.

At that time I lived in Brooklyn and that’s rich of really cool, awesome spots to hit up, and so one of the things that I started doing was a mixture of both. I had recipes on my site, on my Instagram, I also had calling out and going to restaurants, getting invited to restaurants, but then also taking that really large LED light that many influencers have and going to restaurants and bothering everybody around me taking those photos.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, it’s impossible for everybody in the restaurant not to look at you when you set up a giant LED light.

Morgan Peaceman: Exactly. Then I started to really reach out to people that I became friendly with through social media and on my platform, and it became more apparent and clear to me that what I really wanted to do is create my own recipes. Even from there, it was a big rebranding of figuring out exactly the type of recipes I wanted to do. Did I really want to go into all sorts of cuisines? What type of cuisine did I really want to hone in on? Who was my audience? What was my vision? What was my mission for who I am as a blogger? What’s going to make me stand out?

So from 2018 till now, it’s been a lot of questioning and trial and error and just using the people around me to help kind of identify what works, what doesn’t work, what can I continue to improve on.

Bjork Ostrom: Mm-hmm. Yeah, that’s great. So, let’s talk about that idea of the people around you.

Morgan Peaceman: Yeah.

Bjork Ostrom: Like I said, one of the things we hear often is like, “Man, it would be really helpful if I could connect with people, if there could be people that could understand what it is I’m trying to do.” Or people talk about meeting with friends and they’re like, “Wait, what is it?” You’re trying to build a following online. What is that all about?

It’s becoming more common now, I think, than it was five or 10 years ago, but still, I think the work can be lonely if you don’t have a community. Can you talk about what that was like for you, how you started to build that community, how you connected with people? Then functionally, what does that look like?

Morgan Peaceman: Yeah, so when I first started and I was more just about going to restaurants and figuring out exactly what I wanted my account to look like, I had started to join … I guess back in the day there were these DM groups that you would join and everybody would share a post that everybody would engage on, and that’s just the hopes to get folks to follow your account, like your account, et cetera.

But from those groups there actually stemmed a couple of friends that we would chat on the side through DMs, “Hey, how’s your day? Oh, I really like this.” Or, “Oh my God, I’ve been dying to go to this restaurant, tell me more about it.” That actually turned into let’s go together, let’s take our social medias and kind of combine to do some stuff together and share it on each other’s channels.

So that was initially what happened when I was starting out in around 2018, 2019, and then when COVID hit, it was really we’re just home and not doing much. I actually had my son St. Patrick’s Day of 2020, so being home with him, being home trying to build my business from the ground up, really just starting to re-envision exactly what I wanted my website to look like was more home stress-free recipes for everybody to enjoy, no matter if you’re a novice in the kitchen or you are somebody who’s been cooking for years.

So, one of the things that I had started to do was just comment on many different food bloggers’ accounts and send them messages. I’m a very personal person, I’m never afraid to just slide into someone’s DM and say, “Hey, I love your stuff, just here to help support.” It’s turned out to be really successful. I have really close friends with a lot of bloggers across the country, in the UK and other areas and other countries, but I think it’s become more about me being comfortable reaching outside of my comfort zone to find those people has been a big success.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. Yeah, and it was last week I think Lindsay had a get together with some of her friends, and the initial connection with these friends was eight, nine, 10 years ago, not all of them, but some of them through blogging or online things, whether it be Instagram, blogging.

We have a lot of those friends, and I remember the first time that we ever connected with people who weren’t friends that we had in real life, but friends that we knew from the internet. It was Alex and Sonja, they have a site called A Couple Cooks, and we were going to visit our friend in Indianapolis and they’re like, “We’re in Indianapolis, you should swing by.” We’re like, “Whoa.” This must’ve been 12 years ago, even longer maybe. It was weird, we’re going to meet with people that we met on the internet. At the time it was such a weird novel, questionable thing, but now it’s just so common. I think as our lives and the internet has kind of overlapped, they’re not as separate.

But even for Alex and Sonja, it’s not like we see them all the time, but still are people that we’d consider to be close friends and people we really appreciate. Eventually what we found is initially what you have is this connection of you are doing things online, but eventually you get connected with people where that becomes a secondary, it was almost like the reason that you connected.

Morgan Peaceman: Right.

Bjork Ostrom: But then you are just friends and you’re friends who are maybe doing similar things in a similar industry. We’ve also had a lot of friends who we made the initial connection because they are doing online business or building a side, a following, and then move away from that and then they do something completely different. But because we have connected initially and are friends through that, continue to stay connected. Point being, one of the benefits of doing this can be connection to really cool inspiring people who are doing things in the world.

One of the things you talked about that I think is important to point out is this idea of going outside of your comfort zone. It’s one of the things I’ve seen is a lot of times what it takes is you making the effort. A lot of people will say, “How do you get into these groups? How do you connect with people?” The expectation I think a lot of times is how do people get asked? Usually it’s less of how do you get asked and more of how do you figure out ways to ask people?

Morgan Peaceman: Right.

Bjork Ostrom: It sounds like that’s kind of a little bit of what you were saying. So, can you talk through and give some encouragement to people who are maybe a little bit gun shy around reaching out and connecting or making the ask with a relationship with somebody that they’re like, “Hey, this would be really fun to connect with this person.”?

Morgan Peaceman: Yeah, like I said, I’ve always been somebody who really enjoys talking with people. I’ve worked in restaurants, I’m a special educator by trade, so for me, a lot of what I do comes a little bit organically, but I think for folks who are looking to kind of build their community, build their village, as I say, I think a lot of times it’s just sending a message and seeing what happens. I mean, the worst that can happen is they don’t read it or they read it and they like it and they keep moving forward.

But in particular, a really good friend of mine who’s a food blogger, we have been chatting since 2021, the later of the year of 2021, and I think I just messaged her saying, “Wow, your food looks really good,” or I wrote a bunch of emojis. We then learned our sons have the same name, coincidentally.

Bjork Ostrom: Oh fun, yeah.

Morgan Peaceman: She’s in New Jersey, I’m in New York, and we met up in January of this year and had a phenomenal time together, and we text all the time. I think I text her more than I text family members at this point.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.

Morgan Peaceman: She’s the first person I text in the morning, it’s great. But I think it’s really just having that initial, hey, what’s the worst that can happen? You could build a really great friendship. I have other friends, food blogger friends as I call them, my food blogger groupies that live on Long Island with me in New York, and we get together every now and again.

I’ve had opportunities even with brands that I know are local too, just reaching out to them and saying, “Hey, I’m local. If there’s anything happening in your area, I’d love to help support.” I’m actually doing that on Saturday with a brand. So, I think it’s really about just winging it and seeing what happens, taking that initial I’m going to message them and see what comes of it.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. Yeah, this is a little bit of a long shot analogy, and it’s not even an analogy, it’s just a similar thought to a completely different industry. But when I was a kid, one of the things that I did was I loved sports, still do, and loved cards as well, like baseball cards. Is your son old enough to … probably not, ’cause you said … yeah.

Morgan Peaceman: He has little figurines. My father-in-law brought over some Mets figurines, so he plays with them when we go out.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, yeah. Okay, so eventually he might get into sports cards, and I was really into cards, collecting them. Then one of the things that I found was at our local library, there’s this book and the book had addresses for all of the different stadiums of the sports teams. So you could make copies at the library, and so you do five cent copy.

I copied all the addresses and then I took those home and I wrote up a letter, just about who I am and what I’m interested in. Then I would take the card from a pack that I would open and I would in the letter replace the player’s name. So it’d say like, “Hey, Michael, or Hey, Josh,” or whatever. Print it out, and then I would take a self-addressed stamped envelope and put in another envelope, and then send it to the stadium with a card, and it would be asking for autographs.

The reason I’m thinking of this is because I have a friend who has boys that are at the same age that I was when I started to do this, and I gave them each a pack of card and book a stamps, and I was like, “You guys got to start doing this.” Just for the first time, his son, his name’s Paxton, got an autograph back and my friend sent me a video.

All of this to say, here’s where I’m going to draw the connection back to your story is the key to doing that and for that to be really fun is sending out 100 different envelopes to 100 different players and asking for an autograph. What happens is you get 10, 20, 30 back, but it’s not like you send one and then you just wait around and hope that something happens, it has to be an active part. For me, it was every day I’d come home and I’d send five out and then two would come back.

It becomes really fun when you start to get to that point where you have some of the flywheel going-

Morgan Peaceman: Yes.

Bjork Ostrom: But where it’s hard is in the beginning stages where you’re doing the initial outreach and nothing comes back yet. So, for you to say like, “Hey, you got to put it out there, you have to reach out, you have to connect with people, and you have to do that repeatedly,” and you will get some of those back. Worst case scenario is you don’t, same with the cards. Sometimes people just don’t respond and you don’t get the card back. So that’s a little bit of a bummer, but it’s not as much of a bummer as how cool it is when you do make that connection.

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One of the things that you said was the brand piece. I think that’s a really interesting element, and I often think it’s important for anybody who wants to do branded work to make a relationship before you are doing this initial pitch, especially in the early stages as you’re starting to grow and build a following.

Can you talk about what that’s like specifically, how you go about facilitating some of those conversations with the brand, and what that looks like to just say, “Hey, do you have anything going on?” What does that mean? What does that look like?

Morgan Peaceman: Yeah, so I’ve been doing brand work probably since October, November of 2021, so I’m still fairly new to the game. This year has been way more successful, I think because I have become more confident and comfortable with taking risks and to the point of showing up consistently. I think finding brands that align not just to what I value as somebody who’s a consumer of the brand, but also the niche and what I represent as a food blogger in this space.

So for the brand perfect example, I’m working with a local or an East Coast grocery store chain that has a very family-oriented view. So I reached out, I actually had a friend in a book club that I’m in send me the message, and it goes, “Hey, they’re looking for people to support.” I was like, “I shop there all the time. My son loves this store, so yeah, I’m going to reach out.”

I said, “Hey, I’m local in the area, I shop at your store all the time. Do you have the best person to contact so I can send over an idea of potentially working together? I’m very interested in collaborating, I know that this would be a great fit.” I kind of just say, “I know I’m a great fit, because I believe in myself and I’m very confident in the power of manifesting those achievements and things to come to fruition.”

So, I sent a message and she responded and she goes, “Oh my God, that’s great. I love your feed, let’s chat.” I always try and get to a discovery call or a video call so it doesn’t just sound like carbon copy a lot of times.

Bjork Ostrom: Sure.

Morgan Peaceman: At the beginning I would send novels and dissertations to brands and they would never get read, because it’s very just, here’s why I love you and you’re awesome, and I love this brand of cheese and I can use it here and I can use it there. But ultimately it’s about what are you bringing to the table and how can I align with the brand’s vision? So, I think a lot of it is following up consistently and showing up for yourself consistently too.

Bjork Ostrom: Can you talk about some of the brand deals that you’ve done? What successes have you found in that as you’ve started to get into it? You talk about the idea of, hey, keeping emails short and succinct, trying to get to a video call or a discovery call as soon as possible. I think those are great takeaways, like shortening the sales process, prioritizing a call over a bunch of email exchanges.

What other things have worked well for you and how much of it is you reaching out, like that baseball card analogy, like sending out a bunch of these inquiries and what does that process look like?

Morgan Peaceman: Yeah, so if I don’t have the contact, I’ll try and use a website to get the contact information. I’ll do some research on my own looking at their website, looking at the brand’s Instagram, social media, Facebook, et cetera, to see what recipes or what style and aesthetic they’re looking for.

So if it’s freelance, I love freelance photography work as well, if it’s sponsored content, I look at the style or what they’re looking for or how I can fill the void in which they’re missing. So, it really just boils down to sending a message saying, “Hey, I’m a big fan of your product. Do you have this contact? Do you have the best point of contact? I’d love to send over some pitch ideas for a potential partnership this year or maybe next year.”

The successes that have come from that have been very direct, very succinct in my emails, so not being wordy and painting a picture of this grand spread that I would do for them, but being very direct and saying, “This is the service I can offer. I have expertise in this area, I have worked with X, Y, Z brands before and here’s my media kit, and I’m happy to hop on a call. I have availability on Friday at 2:00.” I had one call today with a brand saying, “Yeah, let’s hop on a call. I have availability on Thursday, so let’s chat.”

Every time I’ve had the opportunity to chat virtually person to person, it’s become more of a connection, building that relationship, as you had said, building that village, whether it’s people you lean on in terms of the blogging community or having brands that have turned into friendships.

Bjork Ostrom: Yep.

Morgan Peaceman: I have a long-term partnership with one brand who I text her all the time, we chat about life, we chat about other things, and then we can quickly switch code to, “Hey, did you receive that video?” Or, “Oh, let me send it over again,” ’cause we have that trusting relationship with each other.

Bjork Ostrom: That’s cool. So with the brand work that you’re doing, how much of that is … in those calls that you’re having with them, what do you feel like the brands are after? Or does it really depend per brand? Is it you saying, “Hey, I have this expertise in food photography and food video. I can create these, post them to my account, get some exposure, and then you can use them as well for your content.”? Or is it recipe development ideas? Can you help shape a little bit the idea of what the campaign or the project is as you’re working with these brands?

Morgan Peaceman: So, it’s really a mixed bag. It depends on if the brand is looking for freelance photography. The client that I just referred to, I do both. I do some white label freelance work, but I also do sponsored content. A lot of it has been sponsored. I know that brands and clients are still looking for getting their name out there on social media, and then there’s been evidence to support that influencers are really the leading cause for a lot of driven sales, which is fantastic.

Lately it’s been trying to get more blog posts, because going back to the initial discussion around building up and refocusing my brand has been getting brands that I know to be true to their vision, brands that I would use a regular basis, and having a recipe developed in partnership with them on my website, that’s been a real focus for me.

Then if brands want just a reel or a TikTok video or a static carousel, it’s really just about what they’re looking for at that time. I know that Q4 is the Super Bowl for a lot of us-

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.

Morgan Peaceman: So there’s definitely a mixed bag so far of what brands and clients are looking for.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, well, I’ll frame up the question a little bit by talking about a conversation that I had probably two weeks ago over lunch with somebody. He’s the vice president of sales for this company that’s rolled up a bunch of gear-related sites and outdoor sites, and he does all of the brand-related stuff. He talked about the importance of maintaining their connection with their contacts at the different agencies and the brands that they work with.

It’s such an obvious thing, but it was also a good reminder to me that part of what we’re doing is we’re generating content, we’re building an audience, we’re getting traffic, we’re building followers, but another part of what we can be doing is behind the scenes, and it’s less one to many and it’s more one-to-one, and it’s developing these relationships.

You talk about that connection you have with a person who’s at the company, the brand that you worked with, you are very top of mind for them. So when something comes up, you’re going to be a really easy connection to say, “Hey, we need some photography, we need some video. We want to work with somebody, here’s who we can go to.”

Part of what we can be doing, if we want to pursue the path of working with brands or getting sponsored content, is even if we’re not signing deals, we’re not at the point where we’re still too early for that, or if we are doing a lot of that and we want to do it even better, to think about nurturing this, you called it a village, this group, this database, if you want to be more scientific with it, of contacts.

We’re just in the early stages of starting to do this, we’re using an app called folk.app, which is a CRM. But when I met with, his name is Kyle, he talked about they use Salesforce, they’re a little bit bigger and more official. But he’s like, “Yeah, I probably have 60 people on my list and then I have four or five people that I work with and they have 50 to 100 people.”

So I think for us as creators, we can start to think about that. Who are the people that we consider to be important for our business, and how are we managing those relationships in a way where we’re prioritizing checking in with them? He says, “Every once in a while we’ll just send an email and say, Hey, we’re coming up on Q4, we have some openings for sponsored content on Instagram if you’d want to chat.”

That’s part of their process and their routine, and so it’s encouraging to hear you talk about that and the process that you use for it. Do you use any software at this point to manage those relationships or keep track of conversations? Or for the most part, are you kind of like, hey, I know who I’m talking to and when I’m talking to them, and keep the contacts in my Gmail account?

Morgan Peaceman: Yeah, I started an Excel document on Google Drive. Google Drive is where I put everything. I was originally very old school, I had a composition and Mead notebook and I would write down week one, I would do this, this, and this recipe, reach out to this person. All color coded, ’cause that’s my teacher in me.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.

Morgan Peaceman: But I realized quickly, no, that can’t happen. I got to move to something a little bit more digital, a little bit more updated. So I have just an Excel document with updated brand contacts, the brand itself. If it’s an agency, last follow update, and regularly I’ll check it and just send follow-up emails.

If I haven’t worked with that brand or client in a couple months, I’ll email and say, “Hey, I hope you’re doing well. Want to just quickly check in and see if there’s any need for any photography at this time. I know we’re coming up to the spring and I know we’re looking for St. Patrick’s Day content, for example, or now it’s getting towards Halloween. I have these recipes in mind, I’d love to feature your product in this recipe. Let me know. Thanks.” Just keep it really easy that way.

But I’m very big on follow-up and being consistent with it, and I think that’s important is to be top of mind, you have to have some skin in the game to get there.

Bjork Ostrom: Uh-huh. Yep.

Morgan Peaceman: I think in terms of thinking about the village and the community that I build, I am not a gatekeeper of contact information. I know that that’s like, oh, we’re sharing information, but I mean, if I can win, we all can, and there’s so much room in this space for everybody to be successful.

So, if I hear of anything or if I know that there’s a contact looking for brands … I’ve had a brand ask, “Do you have any other influencers who would be interested in this?” I’m just like, “Absolutely. There’s so many who are interested.” So, having those contacts and being top of mind and also being willing and ready to share with those that you know can benefit from that.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, it’s almost like we do so many things as solopreneurs or solopreneur+, like maybe you have a couple of team members, you’re creating content, you’re doing photography, you’re doing video, you maybe need to understand tech a little bit. This is another one where it’s like if you decide to do this, you’re kind of doing sales. You’re just going through the process of you have your contacts, you have your leads, you try and nurture those leads.

That makes it sound less relational, but I think at its core what it is, it’s relationships with people with … there’s the spectrum, part of it might be purely business, part of it might be purely personal. A lot of times it ends up being something in the middle where you’re like, “Hey, give me an update. How are you doing?” But you’re both out to accomplish business-related things, which is advancing the goal of the brand, and for you as a creator, it’s creating revenue for a content business.

Morgan Peaceman: Right.

Bjork Ostrom: But if you can find that point where it overlaps and you can help each other out, that’s the sweet spot. So often it comes from developing these relationships and maintaining these relationships and using a system around that. It could be Excel, it could be Salesforce, it could be Folk. Whatever it is, it’s important to get it out of your brain and onto something else, and then create a system around managing, checking in, following up.

Can you talk about what the follow-up looks like? If you’re sending a follow-up email, is it another quick little one or two line email that’s like, “Hey, how are you doing? Anything coming up that I could be aware of or help with?”

Morgan Peaceman: Great question, because it’s something that I’m still working through. I’d follow up before saying, “In three weeks, it’s going to be cold or it’s going to be cozier month,” or whatever I said. It wasn’t working, so I just was like, “Okay, let’s get blunt and let’s get direct.” I was talking to my friend who’s a food blogger who I text in the morning at this point, and I was like, “I think I’m just going to be very blunt with this brand.”

She goes, “Yeah, just say, you ultimately need to make sure you have space in your calendar to create the content for this client, so tell them that.” So I did and it worked, and we got on a call and we’re like, “Yeah, let’s actually get this done sooner than later.” Or, “I’m actually waiting to hear back from my budget person and I’ll all get back to you tomorrow.”

So, the follow-up has now then sounded like, “Hey so-and-so, I hope you’re having a good day. Hope all is well. With the biggest quarter of the year coming up, my calendar’s starting to get a little full and I’d love to prioritize my work with you. Do you have any updates on the budget,” if I know I’m waiting on a budget to be confirmed or finalized, or, “Have you heard anything about content you might need? I’ve looked at this product in particular, and I’m hoping we can work on this for an X recipe. I’m looking forward to hearing back from you.”

Bjork Ostrom: Cool.

Morgan Peaceman: I usually wait seven to eight days to send a follow-up, it’s usually weekly. Then it’ll go to about two weeks, and then if I don’t hear back after the seventh or eighth, I’m usually like, “Oh, I got ghosted,” but that’s okay.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, sure. Yeah, it happens a lot.

Morgan Peaceman: Yes, it does.

Bjork Ostrom: So, I use this email program called Superhuman. One of the things you can do is you can say, remind me in seven days if no reply. So, I send an email and I say, remind me, which essentially puts the email back into my inbox if somebody doesn’t reply. Then it’s easy for me to be like, “Hey, quick follow-up on this, any updates?” It’s a nice system, so then I don’t have to remember. Do you have a system that you use for that like you’re using in the Excel spreadsheet to say, here’s the last time I reached out, here’s when I should follow up again?

Morgan Peaceman: I haven’t been as high-tech in that regard yet, but it’s definitely something to keep in mind, so thank you for that.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, yeah.

Morgan Peaceman: I actually use my phone and I have Notes and I just update it weekly, weekly reminders for now.

Bjork Ostrom: Totally, yeah.

Morgan Peaceman: What Google’s email does, it kind of has that nudge that you can dismiss, so I’ve been leaning on that, ’cause that’ll nudge me every couple of days. Then what I’ll do is Monday through Thursday I do my blog work or brand work at night, so I’ll schedule myself on a Monday night to schedule that follow-up email to go out on Tuesday at 9:00 in the morning.

Bjork Ostrom: That’s great. Another one that I’ve used in the past when I was using Superhuman is a different app that you use Gmail, but it brings Gmail into the app-

Morgan Peaceman: Oh, okay.

Bjork Ostrom: An extension. That’s another good one for anybody listening that does a similar thing, it’s called Boomerang. I think some of those features are built into Gmail, but Superhuman, Boomerang, all things to check out. I think a lot of it is like, what is the system you normally use?

We’re doing a trip to Disney World with our five and three-year-old, and I was like, “How am I going to build this out, build a plan for this?” I was like, “I think the Notes app is probably the best. I can share it with Lindsay, it’ll be easy for us to communicate.”

Morgan Peaceman: Yeah.

Bjork Ostrom: Sometimes the thing that you actually use is going to be the best thing to use, the best solution, so-

Morgan Peaceman: Yes.

Bjork Ostrom: That’s awesome. I love this idea of building a village, building a community. Kind of the two different components with it, it’s almost like your support community, the people who are in it with you, who get it, can give you advice, can give you encouragement, not being afraid to reach out and connect with those people. Then also thinking about building your network, some people would maybe even just call it networking. You’re getting to know people, you’re building that network.

Even if you’re not at the stage where you’re doing hundreds of thousands of dollars in sponsored content, if you do a really good job of building that network while also building a following, and those two things are growing at the same time, it’s going to be a lot easier when you do reach that inflection point to start having those conversations to say like, “Hey, I’m kind of at this point where I have critical mass.” Or even if you don’t have that, brands still need really high quality content. They need video, they need photography.

There’s a conversation we’re having right now with a brand for Pinch of Yum, and we can tell the primary interest is the assets. The benefit above and beyond that, the frosting on the cake is that being shared on Pinch of Yum, but what they’re after is we just need some high quality content that we can share internally.

So even if you aren’t at the stage where you have a following that would justify doing sponsored content, you do have skills and expertise in creating content. So just a reminder for anybody listening, that’s a valuable thing to offer as well.

Really fun conversation. Fun to hear your background and story, Morgan. For people who want to follow along with what you’re up to, maybe people who want to connect with you, want to become part of your village, not that you have any guarantees, but is there a good way to reach out and connect with you and to have a conversation?

Morgan Peaceman: Yeah, the more people to come and hang with me, the better, the more fun it’ll be. So yeah, I’m on most handles at Nomaste, so it’s Nom, N-O-M-A-S-T-E.hungry on Instagram. On TikTok, it’s Nomaste Hungry, Facebook, Nomaste Hungry, and my website’s nomastehungry.com.

Bjork Ostrom: Awesome. Morgan, thanks so much for coming on.

Morgan Peaceman: Thanks so much for having me.

Alexa Peduzzi: Hey there, Alexa here. Thanks for tuning into this episode of the Food Blogger Pro Podcast, we hope you enjoyed it. If you are sitting there thinking, “Man, someday I’m going to start my own food blog,” or maybe you’re sitting there thinking, “I just started my food blog and I have no idea what to do next.” Don’t worry, we’ve all been there, and we actually have a free ebook just for you, and it’s called The Food Blogger Starter Kit. It’s full of different resources just to help you along the journey as you’re getting up and running with your very own food blog.

So you’ll get access to our free course all about setting up your food blog, some of our favorite podcast episode recommendations, some tips about plugins and photography, and then just some other ways to continuously learn and get a tiny bit better every day.

If you’re interested in downloading that ebook for free, just go to foodbloggerpro.com/podcast-start, and you can download it right there for free. We’ll have a link to it in the show notes as well, so you can easily click on that there. Otherwise, you can just go to that URL, foodbloggerpro.com/podcast-start to download that Food Blogger Starter Kit PDF for free. So, we’ll see you next time. Thanks for tuning in again, and until then, make it a great week.

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