Welcome to episode 448 of The Food Blogger Pro Podcast! This week on the podcast, Bjork interviews Faith Christensen from Faith’s Fresh.
Last week on the podcast, Bjork chatted with Ewen Finser. To go back and listen to that episode, click here.
How Faith Christensen Grew Her TikTok and Instagram Platforms to 2.5 Million Followers
Faith first started posting food content to Instagram and TikTok in 2019 when she learned she was intolerant to gluten and dairy. Since that time, she has taken her career as a food creator full-time and grown her social media accounts to over 2.5 million followers (!!!).
In this interview, Bjork and Faith talk about Faith’s strategy for creating video content, how she uses trending audio, her tips for navigating the algorithms, and why she decided to work with a management agency to support her with brand partnerships.
If you’re looking to up your game on TikTok or Instagram this year, you won’t want to skip this interview!
In this episode, you’ll learn:
- How Faith grew her social accounts to over 2.5 million followers.
- More about how she uses trending audio on TikTok.
- About her process for creating video content on Instagram and/or TikTok.
- How she approaches reposting content between platforms.
- Her thoughts on navigating the algorithms on social media.
- The importance of changing camera angles when filming videos for TikTok.
- Why she exclusively edits on her phone.
- How she uses analytics to shape her strategy on TikTok and Instagram.
- Why she decided to work with a management agency.
- Follow Faith’s Fresh on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube
- Digital Brand Architects
- Join the Food Blogger Pro Podcast Facebook Group
Thank you to our sponsors!
Thanks to Raptive for sponsoring this episode!
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Transcript (click to expand):
Bjork Ostrom: This episode is sponsored by Memberful. Looking to find sustainable sources of income from your blog this year that don’t include fighting against changing search engines and social media algorithms? With exclusive membership content, you can create a new source of income by turning your food blog into a membership business while creating the content you’re passionate about. Memberful has everything you need to quickly get your membership program up and running with content gating, paid newsletters, private podcasts, and much more. Plus, Memberful seamlessly integrates with your existing WordPress website, or you can use Memberful to create your own member home within minutes using their in-house tools.
And with Memberful, you can create multiple membership tiers, limiting access to certain recipes, meal plans, and cooking tutorials to better connect with your most devoted followers and monetize the content you’re already producing. By using Memberful, you’ll have access to a world-class support team ready to help you set up your membership and grow your revenue. They’re passionate about your success, and you’ll always have access to a real human when you need help. Food creators are already using Memberful to foster community within their audiences and monetize their content. And listeners to the Food Blogger Pro podcast can go to memberful.com/food to learn more about Memberful solutions for food creators and create an account for free. That’s M-E-M-B-E-R-F-U L.com/food. Thanks again to Memberful for sponsoring this episode.
Emily Walker: Hey there. This is Emily from the Food Blogger Pro team, and you are listening to the Food Blogger Pro podcast. This week on the podcast, Bjork is interviewing Faith Christensen from the social media accounts Faith’s Fresh. Faith first started her social media accounts in 2019 when she was still in college, and since that time, she has grown her accounts to have over two and a half million followers, and it’s her full-time career. In this interview, Faith shares more about her strategy for creating content on TikTok and Instagram, including how she uses trending audio, how she films the videos, and edits her content, and how she navigates the algorithms on both platforms.
Bjork and Faith also chat about how she uses analytics to shape her strategy on TikTok and Instagram, and why she decided to work with a management agency to help her manage her brand partnerships and sponsored content. If you are looking to up your strategy on TikTok or Instagram this year, this is a can’t miss interview. It’s really inspiring to hear how much thought and attention Faith puts into all the content she creates, and just how strategic she is about sharing content on these platforms. So I’ll just let Bjork take it away.
Bjork Ostrom: Faith, welcome to the podcast.
Faith Christensen: Thank you. Thanks for having me.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, we’re going to be talking about your journey of growing your social accounts to, collectively, over two and a half million followers in what I’d consider to be a relatively short amount of time, four or five years. And you started in college, so this is your career now. This is what you’re doing, this is your job. And at what point in that journey, in the past four to five years, were you like, “Hey, actually I can do this as my job.” Because you were in college, and usually as we’re in college, we’re thinking about our career. And for you being, this was kind of introduced at the same time that you were in the middle of that. So what did that decision making process look like for you?
Faith Christensen: There was never a day that I was like, “Okay, this is what I’m going to do.” I feel like I started my account… So I started on Instagram in 2019 and I started just posting recipes every single day, just static photos. This is before reels and everything, so I was just posting static photos with the recipe and I really enjoyed it. And the reason that I started it was because I am intolerant to gluten and dairy. I don’t know if you knew that, but I am intolerant to both of those, and believe it or not, cooking without gluten and dairy can be really hard. So when I found out that I was intolerant to both of those, I started just experimenting for myself. And then I started to really the things that I was making, and I just wanted to post them just in case anybody else was in my position, or if anyone else just wanted recipes, healthy, easy recipes.
I like to cook, but I don’t like to spend hours in the kitchen, so I like to make things that are really fast and easy. So I started doing that, and it kind of just grew from there. I started in 2019, but I didn’t really start making it my job until the end of 2020. I was consistent, but not. I would go a month with posting every day, and then I would go six months without posting. And then in the beginning of 2020 I had just recently quit my job. So before that I was in school and I was also working. And so Faith’s Fresh was just a side project. It wasn’t really anything that I was like, “Oh, I’m going to make this a job.” It was just like a passion project, I guess. Just something fun for me to do on the side.
So during 2020, in the beginning of the year, before COVID happened, I was like, “Okay, you know what? I’m going to stick to this. I’m going to post every single day.” I saw a lot of other creators at that time, especially starting to blow up, especially on TikTok. I feel like this is the beginning of the TikTok era. And I saw a lot of other creators blowing up on TikTok, especially with food, and I was like, “Wait, they’re getting paid to do this. They’re posting pretty similar things to what I could do.” So I was like, “I can do this too.” And so in the beginning of the year, I started posting every single day on Instagram, and then I started posting, not consistently, but just when I would remember on TikTok every now and then. I did that for a few months, and at this point too, I had quit my job.
I wasn’t working. I was applying to a ton of places, and because COVID had happened, nothing was getting back to me. So like everyone else, I was just sitting in my house, and this was just something that I put pretty much all of my focus into because I had literally nothing else to do. And so I did that for almost a year, and then at the very end of 2020, I had a video blow up on TikTok, and it was just a compilation of a ton of my recipes. It’s like the end product of all my recipes. It was a satisfying video just of a ton of different food that I had made, and it blew up like crazy. I had 500 followers on TikTok at the time, and I had maybe five or six videos posted. They had maybe 500 views too. There was nothing crazy.
And then this video got 14 million views, and I went from 500 followers to 500,000 followers literally within the next 24 hours, which was crazy. And when that happened too, I was like, “Wait a minute, I can make this a job.” I had been applying to so many places and nobody was getting back to me because of COVID. And I was like, “I feel like I don’t need to be doing that anymore.” I am seeing all these other creators with similar followings doing this and making money from it. So I was like, “I’m just going to try it.” So I ended up doing that, and then I got my first brand deal. And at the time I was like, “You want to pay me to do this?” And it’s so funny to think back to it.
Bjork Ostrom: That first deal is always…
Faith Christensen: Yeah, even though it’s so low, the money was so low, but I was like, “Wait, you’re even going to pay me to post for you? Yeah, I will do that.” And so yeah, I got my first brand deal and I was like, “Okay, I’m going to do this.” And then it’s just taken off from there.
Bjork Ostrom: So often, I think, it’s comparable to any other profession where you have to pay your dues until you have something that catches. I talk about songwriting occasionally, but you have to write hundreds of songs before you have a hit song, or song that resonates with people, paint a hundred paintings. And I think sometimes we expect it to happen sooner than it should. And the nice thing about starting when you started is you’re coming out of a phase where you haven’t had lifestyle creep.
You’re able to operate with really low margins and just commit to the thing for a long period of time. And then eventually you do find that thing if you stick with it long enough, find ways that you can improve, that does hit and that does land. So at that point… Well, a quick question about that. To what degree did you look at that piece of content and say like, “Oh my gosh, this got 14 million views. This piece of content gained me hundreds of thousands of followers. I’m going to try and replicate this and create something similar.” Was it replicatable in terms of the content itself?
Faith Christensen: I think so, yeah, because I’ve done it a few times since then, just over the years, whenever I’m like, “Oh, I haven’t posted a video just of a ton of my recipes in a while.” And so I’ll make a compilation usually with a trending audio. Sometimes I’ll say something in the beginning. The audio that I had used on this video, the reason that I think it got everyone’s attention was it was another creator’s audio, and she was saying basically, kind of like dogging on eating fast food and about how fast food is so expensive and it’s unhealthy and how you can make really easy clean meals at home.
And I saw another creator do it with just a ton of the recipes. And so I was like, “I’m going to do that.” So I did it. But I’ve recreated it before, not in the same way, more so just with trending audio and just a few clips of the final product. And so when I first posted it and it blew up, I didn’t think about replicating it for a while. I immediately was just like, “Okay, well, people want my recipes.” I had also gained a following on Instagram at the time too, because my Instagram was on my, or it was connected to my TikTok. So I had gone from… It wasn’t as big of a jump as TikTok, but it was 3000 to 30,000. So it was still a really big jump, especially for Instagram.
Bjork Ostrom: Through that video on TikTok that went viral? Because on your TikTok account, you linked out to your Instagram.
Faith Christensen: Yeah. And I also had put in the caption. I said something like, “Follow me for more recipes,” and then I had put in the comments, all the recipes to everything were on my Instagram. And so because of that, a ton of people had went over to my Instagram. And so many people were commenting for the recipes. And I was like, “Okay, well, I do recipes anyway.” So I just started creating videos of myself making recipes, not recipe compilations anymore, just similar to what I do now, but a little bit of a different style. But yeah, just recipes.
Bjork Ostrom: Yep. Can you talk about the trending audio piece, how you think about that and strategically approach that? All of these different variables that exist, and I feel like each one is a multiplier on the potential for virality. Obviously, we never know how something is… There’s no predictable formula where it’s like, “If you do this every time, it’s going to go viral.” But you do know that there are these variables that you can look at and say, “Okay, what is the audio going to be? Am I going to be in the content or not? What is the content actually going to be about? What is the first image?” So talk a little bit about trending audio and how you look at that and approach that. And then maybe let’s talk about some of the variables that exist.
Faith Christensen: Yeah of course. I love trending audios. I think it’s a tool that’s right there for you to use. And I do think it really does affect the virality of a lot of videos, not just for me, but for a lot of other creators as well. What I like to do is I will go through TikTok and… There’s always the trending audios that you hear every single person using, and you’re like, “Okay, this is a trending audio. I’ve heard it 10 times in the past 20 scrolls.” And so whenever I hear an audio like that, I always save it. And then other times I’ll look for trending audios. I go to other people’s pages who I know use trending audios, and I’ll usually go through their most recent videos. And if I’m not seeing anything on the for you page that I’m like, “Oh, this is a trending audio,” I’ll go through other creators pages who I know use trending audios. And I’ll always press on the audio and then see how many times it’s been used, like how at the top on TikTok, it’ll say 30K views or whatever, or not views used.
Bjork Ostrom: Used. Yeah.
Faith Christensen: And so I’ll look at that and then if it’s like 20,000 plus, I’m like, “Okay, this is probably a trending video.” And then I’ll look at the most recent-
Bjork Ostrom: Trending audio?
Faith Christensen: Yeah. Trending audio, sorry. And then I’ll look at the most recent videos just using that audio. And if they’re posted within the timeline of a week, almost every single one of them, I’m like, “Okay, this is a trending audio.” And pretty much all these videos I’m looking at have at least a million views. So that’s how I find my trending audios. And then I really like to utilize them because I think that when you have content like mine, especially a lot of my really fast-paced recipe videos, it’s like you need a trending audio to help push it so that people can see… Because I’m like, “I think people really like this video.
I just need the algorithm to do me a favor and push it for me so that more people can see it.” And then, yeah, I’ll use the trending audio. And I think it really helps to start with on the algorithm, because I think it helps push it out to people. And then usually if I am getting a really good response on the video, people will find it anyway and it’ll just get pushed anyway because of the engagement. But yeah, I think it’s an amazing tool to use just to help. Why would you not want to help?
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. And that being one of those variables, okay, let’s find something that is going to boost it. Let’s say if the variable could exist from one to 10, 10 is this great multiplier, whereas if it would normally get a hundred thousand views, maybe if you use a great trending audio, it gets a million.
Faith Christensen: Exactly.
Bjork Ostrom: But when you find that, are you creating the content that matches that trending audio or are you finding audio that overlaps with a specific piece of content that you’ve already created and overlapping over that content?
Faith Christensen: I always create the content first. And so usually my process is I’ll video myself, I’ll edit it, and then I’ll have the piece of content done and finished, and then I’ll find the trending audio, probably like an hour or two before I’m posting it on TikTok. And then… There is some videos where if the trending audio has a specific beat and I’m watching it over my video, if I’m like, “Okay, wait, this would look really good and satisfying if the clips aligned with the beat, pouring ingredients at the same time that the beat drops or something.” Sometimes, then I’ll go back and edit it. But most of the time, no, I just pick the trending audio after.
Bjork Ostrom: And how often is it a trending audio that’s like… I’m not a proficient TikTok user, but occasionally will see content. And for me, it’s optimized around life with toddlers, and it’s like one of them is a Jordan Peterson clip of trending audio around how quickly kids grow up, essentially. It just makes you feel so guilty about any time that you’re working. One of those clips. But it’s just him talking and maybe with some audio in the background versus a song that’s trending. And you referenced both of those, like a beat. So that would be a song, but also somebody talking about how fast food isn’t good and you should make food at home. So what does that look like when you’re overlapping the audio?
Faith Christensen: I usually don’t go for audios that have people talking on it. The one with the fast food, that’s really the only video I feel like I have in a long time that I can remember, especially with the recipe compilation that has someone actually talking over a video or over the audio. But I just do music most of the time, especially because I like watching videos with music that are fast-paced. And so it keeps my attention, and I’m like, “If it’s going to keep my attention, I’m hoping it’ll keep my audience’s attention,” because I have a very short attention span.
Bjork Ostrom: Sure. And do you use that same audio then on Instagram, or do you have an original piece of audio for that piece of content, post that on Instagram and then use trending audio on TikTok?
Faith Christensen: So in the past I did use to do that. I post it on TikTok first, and I would use the trending audio, and then I would save the TikTok from TikTok with that audio, and then I would just post it straight to Instagram. And so the audio would technically be my original audio because it was on my video. But nowadays, I don’t do that. I’ve noticed that… I don’t know if this is recent, but I noticed it recently that on Instagram Reels, when you’re picking an audio, if you’re going through the music library, a lot of them will have a little arrow, which means that it’s trending. And so nowadays I just use Instagram’s trending audios because what’s trending on TikTok might not be trending on Instagram. And since I’ve done that in the past where instead of just using my original audio, which is just my saved TikTok with the trending audio on it, and just posting the raw file with one of Instagram Reels’ trending songs on it, it does a lot better.
Bjork Ostrom: Sure. That makes sense. So audio being one of those variables, different on Instagram and TikTok, being strategic about finding one that fits within the vibe of what you’re producing, maybe doing a little bit of tweaking after you do an edit to see if you can line it up. But for the most part, just looking at it and saying, “Okay, how can I be strategic about finding a piece of content that’s trending to give a little bit of a boost to this piece of content?” What do you think are the other variables? As you think of on your TikTok account, you have 2.2 million followers and you scroll through and it’s 2 million views and 300,000, 1.3 and 500,000, 1.1 million. It’s obvious that 14 million, I see one recently, that you’ve figured out some of the elements of creating a piece of content that does well. Trending audio being one of the considerations. Are there other things that you would say, “Hey, I’ve kind of distilled it down to this being an important element of a video that does really well?”
Faith Christensen: So it’s interesting that you say that because I feel like it’s switched recently, in the last six months on TikTok. So in the past, before six months ago, I feel like for the last two years I had it down, I knew how long a video should be in order for it to get people’s attention and to keep their attention. It would usually be around seven to 12 seconds, and that was it. If it was more than 12 seconds, I was like, “Okay, they’re going to be bored. I’m going to be bored, they’re going to be bored.” And so if you scroll down my page, pretty much almost every single one of my videos is 12 seconds max. And so when I was doing that, it was just really fast-paced videos of me just making a recipe, and it was different transitions with the camera angles.
I do think that that really helps, and I still utilize that with different camera angles, because I think that when you’re constantly moving the angles, it keeps it new, it keeps it fresh, and it helps keep people’s attention. Because when I’m personally am watching a video, I’m an avid TikTok user, so I’m like, “If I’m not going to be entertained, they’re not going to be entertained.” So when I’m watching a video, if it’s just somebody who has the camera straight on, unless it’s a really great video, I will get bored after 10 seconds depending on what the content is. But especially with food content, I feel like I do get really bored. I’m like, “Okay, come on. Next please.” So a lot of my old videos were like that, but recently, in the last few months, I’ve tried to utilize making them longer. One because I did kind of get bored with that old content.
I feel like it was really great for me in the time and the place. And now I feel like as I’m growing my page and I’m growing just my brand in general, I have really wanted to try something different. I filmed those videos every single day for two years. And so now I’m like, “I want to try something different. I want to challenge myself. I also want to help grow my audience and try different ways to do that.” And so now a lot of my videos are… I still do those short videos on occasion, but most of them now are around 45 to 60 seconds-
Bjork Ostrom: Which is a big change.
Faith Christensen: It’s a massive change. And so that was really scary too because I was like, “Okay, I’m getting one plus million views on every single video I’m posting that’s below 12 seconds long.” And most trending audios too are maybe 20 seconds. So a lot of the trending audios that I would use, I can’t really use anymore with these longer form videos. So it was really scary to be like, “Okay, I’m going to try something new and just see how it works.” And I feel like it’s actually working really well, especially with TikTok. I think they’ve changed their algorithm, and that was one of the reasons why I wanted to try something new, and one of the variables that I wanted to try out. Because every time I would post a short video in the last six months, I would get a notification that would be like 90% of users are engaging with 60 plus second videos. And I was like-
Bjork Ostrom: Oh, interesting.
Faith Christensen: … okay. And so I kept seeing-
Bjork Ostrom: It’s obviously a nudge that TikTok is doing to try to get you to create longer content.
Faith Christensen: Yeah. So I kept getting that notification. I was like, “Okay, I’ll try it out.” And so I tried it out a few months ago and the first video that I tried it out on got a few million views. So I was like, “Okay, they weren’t lying.” And so I’ve tried a lot of that recently and it’s been really fun too to switch that. But I’m still trying to figure out what variables work and what don’t with this new content because it is so new for me.
But I do think that trending audios, it still helps, but I don’t use as many trending audios because there’s not as many 60 second audios, and they’re a lot harder to find. But yeah, I do think that changing different camera angles, that’s one thing that has stuck with me and that I think really, really helps with my videos, is that it’s constantly like, I’ll be chopping this way and then you’ll see me chopping from the side and then it’ll be zoomed in and then over top. And so I think that’s one of the biggest things that I have liked to implement in my videos.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, it’s amazing whenever you get into video editing, I don’t do a lot of video editing, but maybe 10 years ago did, and I remember editing early on and thinking, “Oh, this is good editing.” I’m clipping it well. But then you watch it back and you’re like, “Actually, it’s really slow.” And that was 10 years ago. And now it’s just the pace of things is so different, and it really has to be a new angle or a new view every second or half second. Do you feel like there’s a beat for changing that you have internally? And it’s probably hard to know what that is. People could go and watch your content to get a feel for it, but it’s almost like every half second. Every second.
Faith Christensen: Yeah. I do feel like since doing it for so long, I really do have it down where if I’m filming something and as I’m filming it, I’m like, “Okay, the last clip is this angle.” I’m not going to say it had the same clip, or I’m not going to have the same angle for four clips in a row. If I’m cutting a tomato and it’s from this direction, I will be like, “Okay, I’m going to make the onion be from in front of me or zoomed in or over top.”
And so yeah, I do feel like since editing so many videos, I do think I have it down to where I know when to switch the angle and when to do what, depending on what I’m cutting, or what kind of recipe I’m making. And also, like I said, I am an avid TikTok user, and I feel like most people who are their attention spans are shot, myself included. And so I get really bored. And if I’m watching my own content when I’m editing it and I’m like, “Okay, this is so boring, this is so slow. I spent too long on this or this specific angle,” then I’ll know to switch it.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. So are you editing on a computer then or is it on your phone?
Faith Christensen: I do everything on my phone.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. Which is crazy. So probably the majority of your business you run from your phone?
Faith Christensen: Oh, yeah.
Bjork Ostrom: On a given day, how much… Say it again.
Faith Christensen: I rarely use my laptop.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. Which is crazy. So on a given day, let’s say you have a eight-hour workday. This is just a curiosity, are you touching the laptop or not at all?
Faith Christensen: No. I literally… My laptop is dead-
Bjork Ostrom: Is this interview the first time you’ve touched a laptop in 2024?
Faith Christensen: I had to find the charger. I had to find the charger because I haven’t touched it.
Bjork Ostrom: It’s been in a closet.
Faith Christensen: It’s been dead. Yeah. Literally. And my laptop too. Me specifically, it’s hard to use my laptop because I’ve had this laptop since I was 18 years old, which was in 2017. And so it’s definitely deteriorating. And I tried editing on my laptop before, a long time ago when I had first started, especially because I saw a lot of other creators doing it on their laptop. So I was like, “Oh, that’s what I’m supposed to be doing.” And so I would try doing it on here and it just doesn’t work for me. I feel like with my phone, because it’s such a smaller screen, I guess, it’s not so wide, I can see the video so much better. And I think that also using my hands to adjust the clips and everything, it’s just so much easier for me than using a mouse. And I feel like I can get it a lot more precise. And also the video is on my phone anyway, so I’m too lazy to switch it to my laptop.
Bjork Ostrom: Well, and I think there’s something… We talk about this often on the website or blog side of things, the importance of consuming the content on the device that somebody’s going to be watching it for you as the creator. And I think a lot of people who are publishing content to a website view it on their desktop, whereas 80% of people who are actually consuming it are consuming it from a mobile device. And so it makes sense, in your case, you’re just doing as much as you can from a phone. I have a couple of follow-up questions on that, but before we get too far away from it, so those variables that you surfaced, trending audio, if you can find some that it works. In a case where you can’t, are you then just going and pulling royalty free audio that you use? What are you doing in a scenario where you’re not using trending audio? Or is it just audio that isn’t trending that’s available on the platform that you use?
Faith Christensen: So if I can’t find a trending audio, usually what the first thing I do is I’ll think of an audio that I have used depending on how long my video is. So if my video is 60 seconds and I posted a video last week that’s 60 seconds with a different audio, and say it did well, I will usually reuse that audio and then just see where it goes. Sometimes it does still do well and sometimes it doesn’t do as well as the previous video. I think it does differ, depend on the type of content too, depending on what the video is about.
But yeah, I’ll first do that and then if I use that audio and I’m like, “This does not look good with my video at all,” I would usually just try and think of songs that I like and then I’ll look them up on the TikTok search bar… Whenever you’re editing the video, when you’re pressing the audios, you can look up certain audios on TikTok, so I’ll do that. And then sometimes it’ll come up with a little symbol at the bottom that says popular. And I don’t necessarily think that means it’s trending. I think… Because a lot of the videos that are… A lot of the audios that I see on TikTok that are popular in TikTok’s opinion are videos that are… Sorry, audios. They’re audios that I heard months ago, but they have a lot of views or a lot of videos.
Bjork Ostrom: Like total views versus… It’s like on Spotify, if you listen to a song, it’s top hits right now versus a classic song that people still listen to all the time, but it’s not going to be necessarily trending.
Faith Christensen: Exactly. And so that’s one thing with TikTok, I do think that a lot of their popular edit or popular audios, they are popular view wise, but not necessarily trending on the For You page right now. But I do prefer to use those other than ones that just don’t have a lot of views anyway. And I do think it has worked out pretty well.
Bjork Ostrom: That’s great. Before we continue, let’s take a moment to hear from our sponsors. This episode is sponsored by Raptive. You may be like the many other Food Blogger Pro members and podcast listeners who are working towards increasing their traffic to be able to apply to an ad network. Raptive, which is formerly AdThrive, for instance, requires a minimum of 100,000 page views and brand safe content to join the community. These qualifiers attract premium advertisers and ensure creators like you benefit from Raptive’s expansive solutions and services. But if you’re not quite there yet and you want to be, Raptive can still help. Raptive put together a comprehensive email series.
It’s 11 emails in total that will help you optimize your content, understand your audience, grow your email list, and grow your traffic to help you reach your ad network goals. Pinch of Yum works with Raptive to bring in passive income each month. The ads show up on each Pinch of Yum post, and when that ad loads on someone’s screen or somebody interacts with that ad, Pinch of Yum earns money. So more page views equals more money. And it can really add up over time. That’s why so many Food Blogger Pro community members are interested in getting their page view numbers up so that they’ll be able to apply to an ad network and make money on display ads. So if you’re in the same boat and are interested in getting some traffic tips delivered to you for free, head to foodbloggerpro.com/raptive.
The 11 weekly emails you’ll receive are designed for creators who have a working knowledge of SEO, keyword research and email list, but haven’t yet been able to crack that hundred thousand page view mark. Go to foodbloggerpro.com/raptive to opt into this free newsletter series. Thanks again to Raptive for sponsoring this episode. So that being an important one, moving quickly, I think that’s super important, captivating people’s attention, different camera angles, short clips. I would also assume that part of it is what you’re actually creating content about. The content subject matter. Do you have anything that you could share about that in terms of being strategic about things that you would imagine working well or not working well when it comes to the actual food content or sometimes lifestyle content, and how you approach what to post?
Faith Christensen: So with food content, there’s so many different types of recipes to make, and whenever I’m looking for a different recipe, I will usually look on Pinterest for inspiration. And I feel like now since doing it for so long, I feel like I know which kind of recipes are going to do well and which ones won’t. I don’t know what it is. I think that recipes that use either ingredients that you don’t usually see, or ingredients that are really easy to catch people’s attention in the beginning. If I’m cutting a massive head of cauliflower rather than just putting a cup of flour into a bowl to start out with, I do think that the cauliflower will catch people’s attention because I think also using ingredients that I am having an action with cutting or doing something like that or chopping really fast, for some reason, those videos always do so much better because I think that it immediately grabs people’s attention, rather than if I’m just dumping a cup of flour into a bowl, it’s like, “Okay.” It’s not that entertaining to see at first.
I don’t know, it’s hard to say because I do think also, I think that a lot of the recipes that I see and that I’m like, “Oh, I want to recreate that or ideas that I have,” it’s hard to explain, but I feel like I just know if it’s going to do well or not depending on the type. I think also with all the content that I have created, I feel like recipes where it’s like if I’m baking something and yeah, the first clip is me putting a cup of flour into a bowl, it doesn’t do as well as, like I said, when I’m all of a sudden just cutting a cauliflower in half. Because I don’t think it grabs people’s attention. And so I think just knowing, depending on the ingredients, if it’s going to catch people’s attention is the biggest thing that I utilize. And I feel like it doesn’t make any sense, but it makes sense in my brain, and I feel like it’s worked.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, it almost is… Part of what our job is as content creators is figuring out these… It’s the art and the science. And the art is what are the things that we… It’s that sixth sense which gets developed over years using and creating. And like you said, you use the platform a lot, and so you start to understand. And you probably couldn’t distill it down into these really specific things, “Hey, this is exactly what it is,” but you start to develop a little bit of this sixth sense around what works and what doesn’t work by creating a lot, but also consuming a lot. The other piece is looking into analytics. To what degree do you deep dive into analytics on TikTok and Instagram to see what works versus just looking at, “Hey, this got 13 million views. What do I feel like were the different component parts of this that made that piece of content up in order to try and do something similar.”
Faith Christensen: With analytics, I feel like I don’t look at them as much as I should because I do think with Instagram or TikTok, especially, Instagram, I do look at it a lot more because I do think… At least right now, I think that I have figured out the Instagram algorithm. And I feel like with TikTok, I feel like I have it figured out to a degree, but I do feel like it’s constantly changing. So one video that would do well might get 13 million views, and then I could recreate that same video six months later and it could get 500,000 views. And so I do like looking, though, at the analytics on TikTok and seeing when people drop off on the video because it’ll tell you what the average retention rate was, how many seconds people watched it on average. It will have a graph as well that shows when people usually left the video.
And so I do really using that and seeing, “Okay, what was I doing when they left the video?” If it’s 30 seconds into the video, what was I doing at 30 seconds? Or what was I doing before that to not keep their attention? And so I like looking at that kind of stuff and then seeing that and then using it for videos in the future, to be like, “Okay, say I was cutting this certain vegetable at this second, I should probably rearrange it. Or maybe I had this camera angle at this second, or maybe I was focusing too long on this certain ingredient. I need to switch it up.” And so just using that to know when people are staying interested and when they’re not, I think helps a lot. And it’s really interesting to see too, just from another person’s point of view, what keeps them engaged and what doesn’t.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. Yep. That makes sense. So to go back to working off your phone, do you edit within the apps themselves or do you have a video editing app that you… So you shoot everything, my guess is you just natively shoot that, or do you shoot within the applications or respective applications, and then where do you edit?
Faith Christensen: So I shoot everything in the Instagram app. I use the Instagram Reels shooting thing. I don’t know what it is, but I feel like it is so easy to use. And I also, I’ve just been using it for so long. And I do really like that it doesn’t invert the video when I’m doing it with the front camera, where if I’m filming with my normal phone and I’m just using the regular camera app, when I’m using the front camera, when I go to rewatch it, my face will be flipped. And I hate that. Because I’m like, “Oh, don’t like that. I don’t look good like that.” And so I like using the Instagram app because it doesn’t do that. And I also do feel like the Instagram app is really, really easy to use. And when I was doing all of my videos, seven to 12 seconds long, I edited every single one of them in the Instagram app because it is just so easy to use.
And I don’t really need very many different types of editing tools really for my videos because I think they’re pretty simple. And so that’s what I would always do. But I did just recently start using Capcut, especially for my longer form videos, because the flaw with Instagram is that it does have a 90-second window. You can’t go above 90 seconds of content. And so when I’m filming my videos now that are like 45 to 60 seconds long, total. It’s really hard to film it and then keep it within the 90-second range because when I’m filming it, not every clip’s a second long. Each clip will probably be 10 to 15 seconds longer, and then I have to go down and edit it down. And sometimes I will do that on the Instagram app, but then if I’m short for time or I’m just getting lazy, I will still record it in the Instagram app, which probably sounds dumb, but I do.
And then I’ll just do… I’ll get 90 seconds of footage, save it as a draft, and then I’ll start a new video with 90 seconds of footage and so on until the video’s done. And then I’ll usually transfer all of those videos into Capcut. I did start recently using a little bit more editing tools for my longer videos. And it’s been really fun too, to try new editing things, especially on Capcut because I am not familiar with a lot of the tools. But extracting the audio and putting audio of myself talking over video or over footage where, say, I’m dumping oatmeal into a bowl, I’m telling people what I’m doing while doing the action. And so I did start recently using that editing tool, and I think it’s really fun. But those are the Instagram Reels and Capcut are-
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. That’s great.
Faith Christensen: … my saving graces.
Bjork Ostrom: Awesome. And then how about from a business perspective? So even for scheduling the podcast interview, I saw it’s the agent that you work with who’s helping to facilitate it, but the brand architects, what has that been like to work with an agent, to find an agent? How have you navigated the world of sponsor content? Would be interested to hear your thoughts on that.
Faith Christensen: Yeah, so I started working with the Digital Brand Architects, also known as DBA last October. So it’s been a little bit over a year now. Before that, I was doing everything on my own, and I was basically just my own agent, own manager, which I think when you’re in the beginning of your social media career, I do think you can do it by yourself, because I don’t think it’s… It’s not that hard, especially because I did really talking to the businesses and I liked being a part of the business end of it. And so that was a hard thing for me to give up, to be the one talking. Because I felt like when you’re talking with the business, you do have more of a relationship because you’re not talking through somebody.
Bjork Ostrom: Which is valuable to have that connection. Yeah.
Faith Christensen: Right. And so I really did having that connection with a lot of brands, but I feel like as my account grew, having a management agency has helped a ton because I think that when you’re with somebody who knows how to, or already has this relationship with brands, you don’t have to wait for brands to reach out to you, which is what I would do. I would just wait and be like, “Well, I hope somebody reached out to me and wants to work with me.” And it was working for the time, but it’s not very consistent. It’s just like I’m crossing my fingers and hoping that somebody wants to reach out to me. And so that was a lot of what it was, but now I don’t have to do that, and I have somebody who reaches out for me and is constantly cold calling and just-
Bjork Ostrom: Pitching.
Faith Christensen: Yeah, exactly. Constantly pitching me to a ton of brands that I probably wouldn’t be able to work with if it wasn’t for this agency. I feel like a lot of these brands too, they might not even know who I am, and then when they’re getting pitched about me, they might look at my content and be like, “Oh, wait, yeah, she’s perfect for whatever our campaign is about.” And so I’ve really, really enjoyed having an agency, and also with other business ventures, such as writing a cookbook, doing product collabs, or coming out with my own products in the future. I think having an agency helps a ton because they already have a ton of connections that can make those kinds of things happen, such as a cookbook. They already have connections with editors, publishing agencies and stuff like that, where if I was doing it by myself, I’d be like, “I don’t even know where to start.” Do I just Google Publishing Agency? Just reach out.
Bjork Ostrom: Reach out to a bunch of them. Did they reach out to you or did you reach out to them? What was that process like?
Faith Christensen: They reached out to me.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. And it probably came at a time where you were doing a lot of the sponsor content stuff, back and forth and then realize, “Oh, there’s actually an opportunity here to work with somebody who can help take that off your plate.” Which is great, but also to do more intentional outreach, which is great.
Faith Christensen: Yeah, it’s been great.
Bjork Ostrom: When you look at the arc of the last four to five years as you’ve built your accounts, what would you say have been the most important things that you’ve done to get to where you are today?
Faith Christensen: I think consistency is the most important thing that I’ve done. And anytime that anybody asks me for tips on how to grow on social media, and I feel like every person on social media says this, but consistency really is the biggest thing. Because when you’re posting every single day or every other day, depending on how consistent you want to be, I think the more consistent, the better. But when you’re posting a ton, I think that the algorithm notices that and picks up on it, and it starts to push your videos, at least from my experience. I do think that… When I’m posting… I usually also… I like to post… I post almost every single day on Instagram and TikTok. Instagram, I do post a little bit less. I have found that posting two to three times a week, three, ideally is the key for me.
But in the beginning, I was posting every single day on TikTok and Instagram. And I do think that that got me to where I am today. I think that now that I’m at a place where I’m at, I can take a step back. And especially with recipes, it’s hard to come up with a recipe every single day. So it is nice to be like, “Okay, I’m going to post every other day,” or something like that. So on TikTok, I usually aim to post, if not every day, every other day. And I think it’s really helped with the algorithm. I think the algorithm sees that and it knows when you’re going to post. And I also post, at the same time, every time that I post. So depending on whatever day of the week it is, it differs on the day depending on what kind of day it is.
So I think that on a Friday and a Saturday, when I post around 8:00 PM I’m thinking, “Okay, people are going to see this video at night. They’re probably going to go lay in bed tonight and scroll TikTok,” because that’s what I do, and they’ll see this video. And so depending on what day of the week it is, I have certain times that I will post. And so if I’m posting on a Monday, I know to post at this time, and if I’m posting on a Thursday, I know to post at this time. And I think being consistent with that has helped a ton. And same on Instagram. I do the same thing on Instagram. I try to post it on the same time, because I think that’s… Even though it’s interesting… In my analytics, it shows that people are on TikTok, or at least on TikTok for me. It shows that 2:00 PM is the highest engagement. But I post at 7:00 PM, and every time that I’ve posted at 2:00 PM it doesn’t do as well as it does at 7:00 PM. I don’t know what it is.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, interesting.
Faith Christensen: Yeah, it is really interesting. And I think also a lot of trial and error has come from that, and so figuring out when my posting window is, when it works, when it doesn’t, has been really… It’s been something I’ve had to figure out. But I do think that in the long run it’s been worth it. And so I think that knowing when to post and also posting as much as you can, is the most important thing if you want to grow on social media.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, that’s great. That’s awesome. Faith it’s incredible to hear your story, the success that you’ve had, continued success. You continue to publish new content and explore new areas of opportunity. I’d be curious to hear from you if people want to reach out, connect, obviously TikTok and Instagram, other places that people could follow along, or would you point them to those platforms and then it’s Faith’s Fresh on each of those, is that right?
Faith Christensen: Yeah, yeah. It’s Faith’s Fresh on Instagram, Faith’s Fresh on TikTok. And then I do also post YouTube shorts. I do a lot of original content on YouTube shorts, and that’s also Faith’s Fresh. And I am in the future wanting to do longer form content, where just like cooking. I think I like the cooking show kind of style, and I think that’d be really fun to explore. And so yeah, Faith’s Fresh on all platforms. And thank you so much for having me. This has been so fun. I love talking about this kind of stuff.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, it’s awesome. Thanks for coming on, really appreciate it.
Faith Christensen: Of course.
Emily Walker: Hello. Hello. Emily from the Food Blogger Pro team here. Before we sign off for the day, I wanted to pop in and chat a little bit about a resource that all Food Blogger Pro members have access to, and it’s called our tools page. The tools page is home to tons of different tools and downloadable resources that can help you stay organized and working towards your blogging goals. So a little sneak peek at some of the resources that are available to you on the tools page. We have an amazing SEO checklist, a social media checklist. We have a brand email template for pitching yourself to companies for sponsored content, and an email marketing workbook.
We also have a great super handy image size checklist, and even more resources available to you. So you can download any of these resources right to your computer and reference them whenever you need them. If you’re not yet a Food Blogger Pro member and you want to join to get immediate access to these resources, head to foodbloggerpro.com/join to learn more about the membership and community and get started today. We hope you enjoyed this episode of the podcast, and we can’t wait to bring you another good one next week. But in the meantime, hope you have a great week.