Welcome to episode 212 of The Food Blogger Pro Podcast! This week on the podcast, you’ll learn about the new podcast format, new courses on Food Blogger Pro, how bloggers can approach creating new content, and more.
Last week on the podcast, Bjork talked about Enrollment Week here at Food Blogger Pro. To go back and listen to that episode, click here.
It’s the first episode of our new format for the Food Blogger Pro Podcast! We’re trying a little 10ish episode experiment with this podcast format, and we’d love to hear what you think.
In this new format, we’re going to split each episode up into a few mini interviews, all surrounding the same topic.
Today’s topic is “New,” and we talk about the new format, some of the new content we’ve published to Food Blogger Pro, how bloggers can approach creating new content, and more.
We’re so excited to launch into this new series!
- What’s up with the new Food Blogger Pro Podcast format
- What’s new on Food Blogger Pro
- How Lindsay creates new content for Pinch of Yum
- How a Food Blogger Pro member found success from connecting with others
- Food Blogger Pro enrollment is now open! Enroll today
- Food Blogger Pro Experts
- Big Magic
- Food Blogger Pro Deals
- Hot Rod’s Recipes
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.
Bjork Ostrom: Hello, hello, hello ladies and gentlemen. You are listening to the Food Blogger Pro podcast. My name is Bjork Ostrom and I am especially excited to be talking to you today because today’s podcast is a little bit different. You’re going to notice that things aren’t as they usually are here on the Food Blogger Pro podcast and that’s because we are switching things up. We are trying an experiment. We are going through a series of a new way to format this podcast. Now, why are we doing it? What’s the reasoning behind it? One of the things that I often talk a lot about here on the podcast is this idea of everything as an experiment and I’m combining that idea with 1% Infinity and as Alexa and I and Alexa, who is really involved with the podcast and she’s actually going to be speaking next in just a little bit. As Alexa and I were talking about, “Hey, what are the ways that we can improve the podcast?” We came back to this idea of 1% Infinity.
Bjork Ostrom: For those that aren’t familiar, for those of you who haven’t heard that idea or that concept before, it’s one that we often talk about on the Food Blogger Pro podcast. It’s this idea of getting a tiny bit better every day forever, right? The infinity part means forever, one percent means getting a tiny bit better and it doesn’t have to be 2X, 10X, it doesn’t have to be 100X, it’s just one percent. Finding out ways to make small improvements every single day and we wanted to apply that to the podcast. We combined this idea of everything as an experiment along with 1% Infinity and we said, “Hey, let’s try an experiment where we do a 10 part series of a different way, a different type of podcast, where we’re going to break it out into these little sections and we’re going to have multiple people that are appearing on the podcast.”
Bjork Ostrom: Today, Alexa, who’s the general manager at Food Blogger Pro, she’s going to be coming on and talking. Lindsay is going to be talking after Alexa and then we’re going to have a member success story from somebody that is a Food Blogger Pro member. All of this to say, we have a new format for the Food Blogger Pro podcast and for this series, this 10 part series, what we’re going to do is we’re going to focus on a word. We’re going to have one general topic that we’re going to focus on and we’re going to have different guests who come on and speak around that topic and today’s topic is new. The theme here is, everything that is new. If there’s anything that falls under that new category, we’re going to be talking about it here today. Alexa is going to be coming up in a little bit and she’s going to be talking about some of the new things that are happening with Food Blogger Pro.
Bjork Ostrom: I right now am talking about the new format for this podcast. Lindsay is going to be talking about how she comes up with new recipes for Pinch of Yum and like I said, we’re going to be wrapping up with a quick member success story because one of the things that I think is important to hear is from other people who are at different stages. Maybe they haven’t been blogging for 10 years, maybe they haven’t been blogging for 7 years, maybe they’re earlier stage and they’re finding success and we want to share those success stories because that’s inspiring for us. Whether you have been doing this for a long time or whether you are in the early stages, it’s always a good reminder to know that there are other people who are jumping in and finding success and that can be motivating to hear of other people’s success, so that’s how we’ll wrap up today’s episode.
Bjork Ostrom: Some of the other things that we have coming up down the line for the new format for the podcast, next week we’re going to be talking about trends. After that, we’re talking about optimizing. Later on in the series, we’re going to be talking about monetization. You can see that we’ve kind of shifted from having a guest, a single guest and a conversation back and forth to multiple guests or multiple people appearing on the podcast and focusing on a certain topic or kind of key word for that episode. What does that mean for you? Really nothing other than a heads up that things will look a little bit different, feel a little bit different, but we’d also love to hear from you. As we get into this, one of the ways that we pick where we’re going with the podcast is hearing feedback from listeners. If you have any thoughts, drop us a line, [email protected]
Bjork Ostrom: The goal here, the intent, what we’re trying to get at, is to unlock or discover the type of content that we can be sharing on the podcast that is the most helpful and engaging type of content that we can come up with and those two things combined, that’s the sweet spot for us. It has to be engaging because if it’s not something that it pops up and you’re excited to listen to, you’re excited to download, and you’re excited to consume the content, then it’s going to be a really hard time convincing. We’re going to have a hard time convincing people to actually download it and it also has to be really helpful because you can have engaging content but if it’s not helpful, then the type of content that we produce isn’t worth producing. We’re not an entertainment podcast. There are those and those are great and I listen to some of those, we’re an information podcast.
Bjork Ostrom: Our goal, the reason that we exist as a company, Food Blogger Pro, is to help this very specific niche of people who create food and recipe content and I know there’s some others of you that listen to this podcast who aren’t in that category but the goal here for us is to do whatever we can to serve you, the person that is listening to this, in that category of food, recipe, maybe it goes outside of that a little bit, content creator on the web and we want to figure out ways to do that and this new series that we’re doing, this 10 part series that’s a little bit different, is an experiment in us trying a new format to see if we can get closer to that really core area of … that core problem that we’re trying to solve of creating engaging and helpful content.
Bjork Ostrom: Again, we’d love to hear from you, [email protected] You can drop us a note at any time and we would love to see and hear any of the thoughts that you have. With that in mind, this is something that I’m really excited about. We’ve been talking a lot about it and the team here has been working really hard to get this all into place and I’m excited to pass this off in our first ever in podcast guest transition. I’m excited to pass this off to Alexa. She’s the general manager at Food Blogger Pro. She’s going to be talking a little bit about some of the new things that are happening at Food Blogger Pro, specifically around some of the content, some of the courses that we have. For those that aren’t familiar, there’s a lot of people who are Food Blogger Pro members who are listening to this, might even be helpful for you to hear some of the things that are happening because sometimes we can miss that, even if we are members, but if you’re not a member, you’re going to hear some of the other things that are happening behind the scenes.
Bjork Ostrom: Make sure to stay tuned for that and also, make sure to check in on and hear a little bit about what she shares in regards to how Food Blogger Pro is changing and approaching some of the membership side of things. One of the things that we’re changing is how enrollment happens at Food Blogger Pro, so tune into that as well. We’re really excited to kick of this series and we really appreciate you listening to the podcast. I will stop now. I won’t take up any more time and Alexa is going to be taking things from here.
Bjork Ostrom: Alexa, welcome on.
Alexa Peduzzi: Thank Bjork. How are you?
Bjork Ostrom: I’m doing great. It’s always good to have you on the podcast because people know you, people are familiar with you, but we don’t get to have kind of these conversations in the same way, so excited to have a conversation, a recorded conversation with you today.
Alexa Peduzzi: I know. I feel like the last time we did this, we had to rerecord it and it was all a thing, so hopefully this one goes a little bit more according to plan.
Bjork Ostrom: Yes. It was the only time we’ve ever done a podcast that we’ve had to rerecord, which I’m so thankful for because I would feel … I felt bad asking you for sure. I’d feel really bad asking somebody that we had to do like a double ask for like, “Hey, can you please come on the podcast?” Then they do, they do a great job, and then you have to rerecord, which is always a bummer but I think-
Alexa Peduzzi: I cannot imagine.
Bjork Ostrom: I think the second time … I have a strong belief that the second time through a podcast, it’s actually better. You forged that path and you’ve kind of reworked what you want to say, so I’m going to go ahead and say that it was an even better podcast because of it.
Alexa Peduzzi: Oh for sure. Right there with you.
Bjork Ostrom: Yes. Great. We’re going to be talking in a little snippet today, all about things that are new and specifically we’re going to be focusing in on Food Blogger Pro, some of the things that are happening that are new on Food Blogger Pro. We’ve had a lot that’s been happening behind the scenes and the interesting thing is, we are so close to it. You’re so close to it, I’m so close to it, because we’re working on it every day but we don’t surface that up to the podcast very often. Excited to have you on to talk about that a little bit. Before we jump into the specifics, why don’t you share a little bit about what it is that you do at Food Blogger Pro, your day-to-day role and some of the things that you do as general manager of Food Blogger Pro?
Alexa Peduzzi: Yeah, so my days are just full of talking with members and publishing content on Food Blogger Pro for our members. Basically everything I do is in service of our members and I love every single minute of it because our members are amazing.
Bjork Ostrom: Yes.
Alexa Peduzzi: But some highlights include the podcast. You’ll hear me doing intros and outros for the podcast quite a bit. I like to edit the courses that we publish. We publish new courses and updated courses every single month, which you’ll hear more about. We also do lots of events that I help organize and just a lot of talking to members, which is really fun too.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, for sure. You mentioned courses. That’s a really big part of Food Blogger Pro. A lot of times it’s the reason why people join Food Blogger Pro. We talk about people come for the courses and stay for the community but courses are a really important piece of the puzzle for Food Blogger Pro. Can you talk about some of the new upcoming courses that we have and some of the things that we’ve been focusing on lately?
Alexa Peduzzi: Definitely, yeah. Actually back in June, we published three new courses and one was made by you, Bjork. It was one that has been on my, we must make this list for so so long and it was our Blogging as a Business course and it focused on how you can improve and stabilize your business with different business decisions, like setting up your own business and EINs, business bank accounts, keeping track of receipts, all that fun stuff, and it may sound like a really dull topic but I was just totally fascinated and engrossed by the way you communicated it, especially with your use of emojis. It’s just like … just masterful use of emojis-
Bjork Ostrom: Thank you.
Alexa Peduzzi: It’s pretty impressive.
Bjork Ostrom: One of my greatest skills, yeah.
Alexa Peduzzi: For sure and then we also published a new ActiveCampaign course that was actually made by Barry Moore from the site, the Active Marketer, and he knows everything there is to know about ActiveCampaign and it is a huge email marketing tool and there are just so many different ways that you can use it but this course, because he’s an expert in all things ActiveCampaign, you’ll just learn about it in a way that it was actually designed to be used, which I think is just so so valuable. It’s a beast of a course but you will learn a ton going through it and then we also recently published a Designing Your E-book course.
Alexa Peduzzi: Jasmine, our just absolutely incredible affiliate manager, she’s just a great designer as well and she published this course and it has actually three levels within the course. I would call it the 1.0 level is Canva, so it’s a free online, easy to use solution that I think a lot of people are already familiar with. The 2.0 version is Mac Pages and that’s if you want a little bit more functionality when you’re designing your e-book and then the 3.0 version is Adobe InDesign and that’s if you want a ton of control and you just kind of want to nitpick and make sure that you have the complete control over your final look and feel of your e-book.
Bjork Ostrom: That’s awesome.
Alexa Peduzzi: Yeah and that goes along with our other e-book courses like, Creating an E-book, Writing an E-book and Selling. That just kind of fits in so well with all of our other e-book courses that we already offer. In July, we went all in on Instagram and as you may know already, we published an Instagram playbook event and that was when Bjork and Lindsay went on live to talk all about how Pinch of Yum built their Instagram playbook. It was a free public event. If you want to learn more kind of about what they talked about in that event, you can access our 210th podcast episode by going to foodbloggerpro.com/210 and if you missed it or you want to check it out again and you’re a Food Blogger Pro member, you are in luck because it’s actually already on Food Blogger Pro as a course and then in August, as we look forward kind of into the future, we’re publishing an update to our Pinterest course.
Alexa Peduzzi: Our current Pinterest course is a couple of years old but our fabulous social media manager, Abby, will be publishing a complete update to that course and that’s just going to be great because Pinterest is a constantly changing social media platform and it just poses so much opportunity to food bloggers, so we’re really excited to get that course updated and then we’re also holding a master class in conjunction with the Instagram playbook event that I just talked about and Bjork, do you want to talk a little bit more about what that masterclass is going to look like?
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, for sure. The quick explanation, the masterclass is for yearly members. At Food Blogger Pro, we kind of shift outside of Food Blogger Pro and we use a tool called, Slack, where it’s a little bit of a different way to have a conversation and the session that we did, the free live event that we did, was with Lindsay, talking about Pinch of Yum’s Instagram playbook, so essentially going through the process of how Lindsay views Instagram and how she’s built Pinch of Yum as a brand on Instagram. What we’re doing in the masterclass is we’re actually diving in and we’re saying, “Hey, let’s walk through the process of you, you podcast listener, you Food Blogger Pro member, building your playbook,” and we’re doing kind of a real time build on that and we’re walking through each one of the seven different areas that we talked about to kind of have a framework for you to use as you think about what it is that you want to do with Instagram and how you’re building it and kind of helping you make some of those decisions, so then all of your content stuff moving forward is a little bit easier and Lindsay has talked about how that’s been a really important step for her in growing Pinch of Yum, is really clarifying the playbook and the approach that she uses for Instagram.
Bjork Ostrom: That’s what the masterclass is going to be all about. When you talk through it, it’s a lot of stuff that’s going on. It’s amazing when you kind of step back and actually talk through it and that’s just the courses. There’s other things that are happening like live Q&As. Can you talk about what those are and some of the stuff that’s happening with the live Q&As?
Alexa Peduzzi: Yeah, definitely. The live Q&As, I say this every single month but they are my favorite days of the month because it gives us a chance to just connect with members one on … Well, not one-on-one but face to face at least and answer their questions live in … just on Food Blogger Pro. It’s great and it’s just kind of a time where we can all get together and using a Bjork word, intentionally just kind of go through everybody’s questions and some days we’ll focus on a certain topic and other times it’s more general, like the one that we had in July but we have live Q&As every single month and they’re just the best. I’m sure you can attest to that too, Bjork.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. It’s one of my favorite things to do as well and one of the reasons that I love it is because I know that the things that we’re talking about are the things that people are interested in having answers to and the reason is is because they’re coming straight from members, so we’re not manifesting what we think people want to talk about. These are actually people coming in and saying, “Hey, this is a really specific thing that I’m wondering about,” and people can vote on questions that they’re especially interested in. It’s one of my favorite parts of the membership component of Food Blogger Pro as well but that’s not it. There’s some additional things that exist if you’re a member, including happening now videos and the forum and obviously there’s forum threads that exist that are more popular and get a lot of interaction, so can you talk a little bit about some of the stuff that’s happening now and the forum as well and what those components are and some of the new things that are happening in that area?
Alexa Peduzzi: Yeah, I totally see what you did there.
Bjork Ostrom: Yes.
Alexa Peduzzi: But in our happening now videos, we publish these every month too and it’s when people from the team, so whether that be the Food Blogger Pro team, Pinch of Yum team, [inaudible 00:16:54] team, Nutrifax team, we have lots of teams on our team, very inceptiony-
Bjork Ostrom: What’s up, teams?
Alexa Peduzzi: Yes but we go on every month and we talk about the things that are, quite frankly, happening now in our lives. The processes, the tools that we’re using, events that are coming up, anything that we think would be valuable for Food Blogger Pro members and sometimes Food Blogger Pro members are able to just take that and move on it and apply it to their own lives or to their own blogs and other times they just kind of put it in their back pocket and say, “Wow, that’s really great. It’s working for them. I’m not quite ready for that but I at least know that that’s a possibility for me in the future.” They’re really informative and fun and they are just snippets of what’s happening in our lives now, as the name says.
Bjork Ostrom: Yes for sure, example being one of the things that we recently did is this Instagram event that then led into offering people the chance to sign up for Food Blogger Pro and I talk about that from a marketing perspective. That’s not something that I would ever talk about in any other place but it’s something that’s happening now and so what I do is I’ll step back and I say, “Okay, here’s strategically how we went about doing this event from a marketing perspective,” and there might be things that you, as a creator, as a blogger, as a business owner, might be able to take from that and say, “Oh, I see how doing an event like this would be a great way to generate emails and then have a conversation about the thing that you were teaching about if you have some type of product related to that.” So I talk about that from a marketing perspective and how we go about doing that.
Bjork Ostrom: It’s just an example of one of the things that might be included in a happening now video. I really like those because we’ve expanded those out to our team, so it’s not … It used to be just me coming on and doing it and then I was like, “Wait a minute, I’m like 10% of what’s happening. There’s a lot of stuff that’s happening that people could learn from,” so we’ve expanded that out so team members, whether it be video, photography, it could be somebody talking about the behind the scenes of sponsored content. Everybody is able to jump on and share some things that we think would be most relevant for members that are happening now and then what about the forum? Obviously that’s a really active place on the … forum members and for conversations in real time. Anything that would be worth mentioning that members should keep an eye out for as it relates to the forum?
Alexa Peduzzi: Yeah, definitely. If you’re not a Food Blogger Pro member, just to kind of give you an idea of what the forum is, it’s basically broken down into different topics, so generating income, general discussion, photography, video, et cetera, and within those sections, you can have conversations where you can ask your questions to not only your fellow Food Blogger Pro members but also to our industry experts and we have quite a few industry experts who come into the forum and just kind of help us out, help all of the Food Blogger Pro members with their questions based on their expertise. If somebody has an SEO question, we can hand that question off to Casey, our resident SEO expert and he can really dive deep into that question. The forum is just a great resource for all food bloggers because as Bjork said, there’s a ton of discussions on there already and you can add your own if you have something that hasn’t already been asked but at the time we’re recording, some of the recent, popular discussions kind of revolved around theme design, whether you should actually buy one that’s already made or if you could work with a designer and make one custom, which one is better.
Alexa Peduzzi: Somebody is promoting a Facebook group that she made for her audience, another member is talking about how to get compensation from brands and then another one is just about plug ins and how to navigate having multiple active plug ins on your site and kind of managing that whole process. The conversations just ranged totally but you can glean a lot of helpful information from the conversations.
Bjork Ostrom: It’s the one stop shop, the place that you can go and ask those questions and if you want to check out the experts that are a part of Food Blogger Pro, I always love to give a shout out to these people because they are coming in, they are volunteering and it’s a lot of time and energy they put into the forums. They all have their own businesses that they are running in their area of expertise. If you are looking for people in a certain area, whether that be WordPress support, web development, SEO, Pinterest, consulting, legal consulting, affiliate management, there’s tons of experts that are a part of Food Blogger Pro. Just go to foodbloggerpro.com/experts and we’re going to have links to all of their different accounts. I won’t go through each and every one of them but just check that out. We’ll include that in the show notes as well, so you know who those people are because they are incredible and smart individuals that are very generous with their time.
Alexa Peduzzi: Definitely.
Bjork Ostrom: Alexa, anything else that you’d want to mention or anything else that people should consider that kind of fall under this new category? Obviously there’s something new every month but anything else that you want to mention before we wrap up?
Alexa Peduzzi: Yeah, well I will say that Food Blogger Pro enrollment is now open, which is new I guess from the beginning of this month actually and we’re just really excited to welcome new members to Food Blogger Pro. Food Blogger Pro members are just so near and dear to my heart and they inspire me every single day and I know that if you join and you really hunker down and learn the things that we’re teaching and kind of view all of the content that we have on Food Blogger Pro, that you’ll be so inspired too and I’m just really excited to see where you can take your blog and your business and I’m just really excited for you. That’s just like … I guess- [crosstalk 00:22:23]
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah and that’s why you’re so good for this position because I can attest that it’s not like you’re just turning it on for the podcast. It’s one of the things that is a consistent through line that I always hear you talk about, is how excited you are to see members having success and that’s why it’s so great for you to be the person that’s making all of this stuff happening behind the scenes. Thanks for coming on the podcast, Alexa. Thanks for editing the podcast and making sure that it happens and it’s always fun to have you on for a little conversation.
Alexa Peduzzi: You got it. Yeah, this was great.
Bjork Ostrom: Great. Next up we’re going to be talking to Lindsay and we’re going to be staying in this theme of new. She’s going to be talking about how she organizes and plans new content.
Bjork Ostrom: Lindsay, welcome to the podcast.
Lindsay Ostrom: Well thank you.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, we’re going to be talking all about new today. That’s been the focus for this podcast and what we’d like to talk to you about is how you come up with new recipes. Obviously you have a food blog, recipes are a really important piece of that and it’s important to, as our friend, Melissa, says, feed the beast or feed the monster. It continually needs to be fed, not recipes but content. How do you come up with new content all the time?
Lindsay Ostrom: Well that’s a good question. It’s funny because literally right before we were chatting on this call, that’s what I was working on and I think it’s the kind of thing where people think of the work that goes into food blogging and content creation as the work, which is making a recipe and doing the photos and getting stuff prepared to share on social media and all of the tangible deliverable things but a big part of my job is just sitting and thinking about food. I think that’s something people, I know myself personally, we don’t always factor in the time needed for that. It’s like, I just got to go, go, go, make a recipe, get in the kitchen, try something out but I’m learning and I’m currently working on this, that taking some of that time and dedicating it to the process of thinking about new content is really important.
Lindsay Ostrom: For example, today when I was thinking about new content, I have a list that I keep, like a running list in Asana and basically, when I think of ideas, I’ll just drop them into Asana. I have the app on my phone, so I can do that from my phone. I can do it if I’m at my computer and I … Okay, this is my workflow, I kind of take it week by week. I like to look a month out or maybe two or three months out and think of some of the bigger pieces or the bigger picture things, like I know once September hits, I’m going to start doing more Instant Pot content and right now it’s summer, so I’m wanting to do more casual, fun summer foods. Big picture, I’m thinking about that stuff ahead of time but then when it comes to a given week, I sit down on my computer and I’m like, “Okay here’s my idea list. What from my idea list is jumping out at me?” And then I just research it and one of the ways that I build the idea list is just by talking to people about food and about what they eat in real life.
Lindsay Ostrom: Yeah, so for example with this week, I was thinking of, what would be something that I’d be excited to make and I thought about a conversation that I had with Jenna on our team and she talked about this recipe that she had made, this bowl recipe with corn and quinoa and I was like, “That sounds really good.” Now I’m going to go into research mode, so start googling similar recipes and looking at pictures of stuff and getting ideas of ingredient combinations and now tomorrow, when I’m back at work again, I’m going to get all the ingredients and start playing around with that but today, there was a decent chunk of time that I spent just thinking about that and doing the research for that.
Bjork Ostrom: It’s interesting because I feel like I have a sneak peak into that where I know that one of your favorite things to do with any of our friends or even people who aren’t our friends, is to talk about what they eat and you talk about going to the grocery story and being super fascinated by seeing what people are putting in their cart and just this idea of you being so fascinated with what that looks like for other people in their day to day lives and that then informing some of the decisions that you make around content. One of the things that I think is interesting that you have talked about in the past is this idea of inspirational to you content versus potential for traffic content. Can you talk a little bit about that as it relates to how you plan new content and what bucket each one of those goes into?
Lindsay Ostrom: What do you mean, which bucket?
Bjork Ostrom: Oh, so one bucket being inspirational to you and then one bucket being potential for high traffic and intentional business decision bucket.
Lindsay Ostrom: Decision bucket, were you thinking?
Bjork Ostrom: It’s one of those things where if you didn’t know me so well, you wouldn’t [crosstalk 00:27:57].
Lindsay Ostrom: If I wasn’t married to you, I would not make fun of you for saying that.
Bjork Ostrom: If you were any other podcast guest, that would have flown under the radar.
Lindsay Ostrom: Not with me, boy.
Bjork Ostrom: Did he say that weird? And then they never would have listened to it again but now that that 30 second rewind, you can hear me say decision.
Lindsay Ostrom: Decision. Oh it’s all good. Okay. I think what you’re getting at, you can steer me if I need steering but I think what you’re getting at is that, so when it comes time to create content, there’s this … I might have the thought in my head like, “Hey, I’m so excited this week to make sugar cookies,” and that’s … Oh, I’ve just been really craving sugar cookies. I haven’t because I actually don’t love sugar cookies, which I know you’re going to have an opinion about but- [crosstalk 00:28:47]
Bjork Ostrom: I don’t like sugar cookies as sugar cookie dough.
Lindsay Ostrom: That’s true. You do like the sugar cookie dough but if I’m feeling excited to make that this week, the question is like, do I just go ahead and make that and publish it because I’m excited about it or do I pause and say, “Well it’s the middle of July, people aren’t really thinking about sugar cookies. Maybe I should think about a salad or a drink or something more seasonal instead,” and so kind of balancing those two things out and for me, what I try to think about in … because you don’t want to just do what is seasonal and just always be …
Lindsay Ostrom: Maybe some people do it. It really depends on what energizes you. I think for some people, what energizes them is they’re more business minded, so it’s like, as long as it does well, that’s energizing to them and if that’s your focus, then you’re really going to be heavily weighted on the side of, what do people like right now and if you’re more of a creative, not that you can’t be creative, both ways, but if you’re more driven and energized by what you are excited about, then you’re going to say, “I don’t really care what’s going to respond well with people, I’m just going to follow the pull of my own creative self and go where that takes me,” and I feel like for Pinch of Yum and for me, what I try to do is I try to find the center of the Venn diagram.
Lindsay Ostrom: If the one circle over here is like stuff that people are going to love and the other circle over here is stuff that I’m excited about right now, I ideally, in an ideal world, I want to find stuff that overlaps both of those things. Maybe I am excited about sugar cookies but I’ll probably say, “You know what? Let’s try that again in October when it’s getting closer to the holidays, people are more excited about baking.” Let’s think right now, what am I excited about and what are people excited about and maybe there’s something that would overlap between those two.
Lindsay Ostrom: I think people can sense if you don’t have the energy behind your ideas and if you don’t have somewhat of a spark for it and so that’s why I think it is important to factor in both sides of it because I think it’s easy to say, “Well look, right now this type of recipe is super popular and so why wouldn’t I just make that all the time?” And for me, the answer is, because maybe you’re not energized about that all the time and I think people can … I’m a big believer in the idea of Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert talks about, in her book like, the life of an idea and kind of an idea personified and yeah, kind of like the … I guess it’s just the personification of content and of ideas and I think there is something to ideas that have a spark and people being able to sense your attachment to an idea or your spark with something. Basically, if you’re genuine, if you’re excited about it or not.
Bjork Ostrom: And I think that’s what I was trying to get at. I think what can happen sometimes is we can get lost in the numbers and the metrics and we can start to serve those in front of our interests and engagement and attachment to an idea or an art around a thing and what can happen is and I think this is maybe what you’re getting at, there is potential for it to be soulless in service of getting numbers and I think there has to be a balance, which you’re saying but it can’t be just one or just the other. It has to be a little bit of both.
Bjork Ostrom: As you think about new content, I think it’s a consideration. What is that perfect overlap of something that the world’s great need and your great interest or your great skill, where do those overlap? And that could be in a broader perspective like career, I think there’s a space for that but also in a smaller perspective, when you are creating individual pieces of content, what is the thing you’re excited about and can you find a way to find people who are in need of you creating that thing? You had mentioned a tool, you had mentioned Asana as part of your workflow as you think about new content.
Lindsay Ostrom: Yeah.
Bjork Ostrom: Sounds like that’s kind of an idea … a place where you put ideas into, it’s also a project management tool but can you talk about a high level outline of start to finish, what that looks like when you’re coming up with new content? It starts with you sitting down, having conversations, it’s not a formal process but you’re kind of always idea gathering, you’re putting those into Asana as a place to kind of store and assess, what does that look like to take something from idea to pressing publish on a blog post?
Lindsay Ostrom: Okay, so here’s what I’ll say before I explain this, is that this process is always changing for me, like always. It’s just always evolving and I don’t feel … Yeah, I will tell you what I’m doing right now but I just would like you and everyone listening to know that-
Bjork Ostrom: It might change.
Lindsay Ostrom: -next week it might be different. What I’m doing right now is I am … I’ve recently implemented for myself, what I call a content break, and I’m doing that quarterly and it’s a two week break. It just means no new content goes out for two weeks on the blog. It’s just a quiet two weeks and I’m using those two weeks for other projects, like we’re just coming off of some other stuff with Food Blogger Pro. I just came off of a content break and was working on a bunch of stuff for Food Blogger Pro but a big goal, the primary goal with the content break, is to use that as some of the thinking time and the planning time. Look ahead at the editorial calendar, get some stuff in order, make a bunch of lists in Asana and right now I have two lists in Asana that I have built out during my content break and I’m just actually going to pull them up so that I have them right in front of me.
Lindsay Ostrom: One of them is just called … Where is it? It’s just called content, very exciting. It’s just a list called content and that’s more like big, long term ideas. For example, one of the things that I would like to do is bulk up our freezer meals post that we did about a year ago and so I put … I have ideas ongoing about that and I don’t know when those are going to go out but I just have a section, I have a column that’s called, freezer meals, in my big content document. I have columns. My columns right now, freezer meals … These are like undeveloped ideas, half baked ideas, freezer meals, plastic, vegetarian, lifestyle, food editor post, need to test, pasta, Asian, dessert, all different types of posts categories and then I drop the ideas into each of those categories, okay? That’s just generic.
Lindsay Ostrom: I’m just going about my day, boom, pop an idea in there. Then on these content breaks, I look at that big list and I’m like, “Okay, here’s what I want to plug in for the next couple of months, this one, this one, this one,” and I transfer them from that big column list to another list I have that I call the quarterly post log and right now, my quarterly post log just looks like a big list with again, a couple different categories. It’s just formatted a little bit differently. I have recipe posts, lifestyle posts, throwback posts, which are like older recipes that I’m going to be updating and then other ideas and within those sections, I have the recipes that I’ve tentatively put onto the calendar. I feel like this is really hard to envision or just follow when you’re just listening to it, so a recap that would maybe be easier to understand would be like, from Asana general list to a more specific quarterly list.
Lindsay Ostrom: The specific quarterly list is when I actually go ahead and drop it onto the calendar as well and I have little tags that allow me to see like, has this been tested? Does it need to be tested? Am I waiting on someone else for something with this, et cetera? And then from there, right now what I’m planning for are the recipes for next week and so I’m making my grocery lists and getting ready for my shoot, which will happen tomorrow and I’ll make the recipes, I’ll record the Instagram stories, I’ll shoot, do the photos, and then I’ll get everything locked and loaded hopefully by the end of the week, so it’s all ready to publish for next Monday and then I do it all over the next week,
Bjork Ostrom: Awesome. Can you talk about how CoSchedule fits into the puzzle?
Lindsay Ostrom: CoSchedule is what we use for editorial calendar and just content holding. We don’t use it for Facebook as much or Pinterest but we do use it for Instagram and the blog. That’s where I, during these content breaks that I have when I’m doing the bigger picture planning, I’m looking at three months and I’m saying, “Okay, here’s what I know I have. I have these sponsored posts here, I have coffee date post here, I have a post about this here,” and then I go in and finish kind of what’s left.
Lindsay Ostrom: One thing that’s helpful for me and maybe this helps to fill out the picture too is, I set monthly regular posts. Almost every month we have two sponsored posts and those are set spots that we have reserved, saved, already booked out, so those are booked. I also have a beginning of the month post that’s called, what I ate Wednesday, boom, scheduled out already. I have an end of the month post that’s a coffee date post, boom, schedule that out already. By the time I put those recurring pieces into the editorial calendar, I maybe have four or five recipe slots for the rest of the month and then I just go through and I refer back to my Asana list and kind of fill in with some of the ideas from my Asana list into those spots. Does that make sense?
Bjork Ostrom: Yep, that’s great and I’ll mention this for anybody that’s a Food Blogger Pro member, make sure to check out the deals page. We have 60 day free trial for CoSchedule, which is longer than their normal free trial which I think is 14 days. If you haven’t started using that yet and want to check that out, be sure to do that in the deals section. It’s a really important piece of the puzzle for Pinch of Yum and we actually also use that for Food Blogger Pro as well for content planning and scheduling. Lindsay, thanks so much for coming on and sharing a little bit about how you approach new content and we are excited to have you be a part of this new version of the podcast on some future episodes as well.
Lindsay Ostrom: Cool. Thank you.
Alexa Peduzzi: Oh hey, Alexa again and before we wrap up this new podcast episode, I wanted to actually take a second to share a recent member success story from the Food Blogger Pro forums. Remember how we talked about the forums a little bit ago? It’s a place for Food Blogger Pro members to connect, collaborate, and troubleshoot with us, the Food Blogger Pro team, fellow Food Blogger Pro members, and the Food Blogger Pro experts. Recently, one of our members, Rodney from Hot Rod’s Recipes, applied what he learned from the forums, from the experts, and from our fellow members and the results are just super exciting. Here’s a little snippet from his recent post on the Food Blogger Pro forum.
Alexa Peduzzi: My traffic has increased exponentially. Advice to others looking for guidance on building traffic, listen to these experts. They speak the truth. I went from 600 views a month to almost 45 thousand views a month. I’m now at 36 thousand sessions for the past 30 days, which allowed me to apply with Mediavine. I also have over 3.3 million monthly views on Pinterest. I went from making $25 a month to averaging $5 to $7 a day. I know it’s not a lot of money but the point is that if you listen carefully and make the recommended changes, you can make a huge impact in a short amount of time.
Alexa Peduzzi: First of all, Rodney, that’s amazing and congratulations. We’re all doing happy dances for you and your success and second of all, to all of you listening, this is actually a great testament to leaning on others when you’re struggling with something. Rodney, in this example he realized that his monthly page views weren’t enough for the ad company he wanted to apply to, so he connected with others, applied what he learned from them, and it paid off in a big big way. Even if you find support outside of Food Blogger Pro, I still encourage you to find your support group and lean on them when you’re struggling or when you want to reach your goals.
Alexa Peduzzi: It’s so so important, especially for us bloggers who tend to spend a little too much time alone in front of a computer to branch out, find your peeps, and make those connections. You’ll be amazed by how much you learn from others and thus wraps up our first episode of this new format of the podcast and we’d love to hear what you think. As Bjork mentioned at the beginning, you can let us know at [email protected] and as for what’s coming up, we’ll hear more about trends, about optimizing, sharing content, understanding your numbers, growing, and more. We’re so so thankful to have you listening and we’ll see you next time and until then, make it a great week.