This episode is sponsored by Clariti.
Welcome to episode 364 of The Food Blogger Pro Podcast! This week on the podcast, Bjork interviews Chelsea Cole from A Duck’s Oven about self-publishing a cookbook.
Last week on the podcast, Bjork chatted with Alison Bechdol about Google Analytics 4 and how it will affect bloggers. To go back and listen to that episode, click here.
Self-Publishing a Cookbook
We’re so excited to welcome Chelsea back to the podcast after three years!
When we last chatted with Chelsea, she had just self-published her first cookbook, and since then, she’s been busy: she has become a full-time blogger and self-published another cookbook.
And in this episode, she’s sharing everything she has learned when it comes to planning, writing, designing, self-publishing, and marketing your own cookbook. If you’ve ever dreamed of writing a cookbook one day, you won’t want to miss this episode!
In this episode, you’ll learn:
- What Chelsea learned self-publishing her first cookbook
- What sous vide is
- How she earns money as a freelancer
- How she keeps track of her income and expenses
- Why she decided to lean into a niche
- How her cookbooks have created so many opportunities for her
- How she stayed organized when writing her cookbooks
- What tools she recommends using to self-publish a cookbook
- Why she decided to launch her Sous Vide School
- How she prints her cookbooks and fulfills orders
- How much she earns per cookbook sale
- How she teaches others how to self-publish cookbooks
- A Duck’s Oven
- The Cookbook Lab
- How to Determine Your Cookbook Topic
- Chelsea’s Income Streams as a Food Blogger
- 187: How to Self-Publish Your Own Cookbook with Chelsea Cole
- Pinch of Yum Traffic and Income Reports
- QuickBooks Self-Employed
- 097: How to Create a Full-Time Income from Blogging Using The Egg Carton Method with Bjork Ostrom
- Google Drive
- Sous Vide School
- Kindle Direct Publishing
- Follow Chelsea on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest
- Join the Food Blogger Pro Podcast Facebook Group
About This Week’s Sponsor
We’re excited to announce that this week’s episode is sponsored by our sister site, Clariti!
With Clariti, you can easily organize your blog content for maximum growth. Create campaigns to add alt text to your posts, fix broken images, remove any broken links, and more, all within the Clariti app.
Sign up for the Clariti waitlist today to receive:
- Early access to their $25/Month Forever pricing
- Optimization ideas for your site content
- An invitation to join their exclusive Slack community
- And more!
If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions for interviews, be sure to email them to [email protected].
Transcript (click to expand):
Bjork Ostrom: This episode is actually sponsored by our sister site Clariti. I’ve talked about Clariti before on the podcast as a tool that we use. So it’s just come up naturally, but also as an official sponsor, as an official advertiser on the podcast. And the reason that we’re advertising on the podcast is because it is a perfect fit for the people who listen to this podcast. People who are thinking about how they can optimize and improve their existing content. And that’s why we built Clariti, really came out of this need for us as we were working on Pinch of Yum to have a tool that would facilitate our projects and the work that we needed to do on posts in a way that we were doing, but with a giant spreadsheet. So we created this tool called Clariti.
Bjork Ostrom: It’s C-L-A-R-I-T-I, so it’s Clariti with an I, and the simple premise of Clariti is to build something that will allow you or to have an … it’s a software app that will allow you to look at your content at a high level, and you can filter and organize and understand your content. And then you can build projects around the things that you need to do. So what does that look like? And how does that practically work? I can give you some specific examples of what Pinch of Yum is doing right now.
Bjork Ostrom: One of the projects that we have is adding internal links to posts. And the reason why that’s important is because you want to make sure that the content that you have on your website, on your blog links to other places on your site. Now, of course, you want it to be relevant content, content that makes sense to link to, but if you don’t have any internal links on a post that potentially could be an area for you to optimize. It could be something for you to look at and to add internal links. So for Pinch of Yum, what we did using Clariti is we filtered and we said, “Show us all of the content that doesn’t have any internal links,” or in your case, you could say maybe just one internal link. And you might want to add two, three internal links to that post. So you could filter using Clariti, and then you could take all of that and add it to a project called add internal links.
Bjork Ostrom: Another project that we’re doing is simply adding alt text to images that don’t have alt text. We have 772 different posts on Pinch of Yum that have an image that is missing alt text in some way. So we filtered using Clariti and we said, “Show me all of the posts that have at least one image with alt text missing.” And then we took all of those posts and using Clariti, it takes 30 seconds, we said, “Create a project where we are going to look at these pieces of content and find those images and add alt text to those.”
Bjork Ostrom: There’s lots of different things that Clariti can do. We’re still early stages with it. And because of that, we’re offering what we’re calling 25 Forever campaign. We’re allowing the first 500 users who sign up for Clariti to get their plan, to get a subscription to Clariti for $25 a month forever. We’re not going to raise that even down the line when Clariti becomes more full-featured, and it’s already pretty powerful with the things that you can do, but even when it becomes more full-featured and we increase the pricing, maybe we change it based on how many page views you have or how many posts your site has, whatever it might be. Anybody who signs up in this early stage will continue to get that $25 a month forever plan.
Bjork Ostrom: So if you’re interested in doing that and getting that deal, you can go to Clariti.com/food. It’s C-L-A-R-I-T-I.com/food. And that will bring you to a page where you can sign up and we’ll follow up with you once you’ve signed up expressing your interest, and we’ll talk through how you can do it, how you can sign up and really what comes with Clariti subscription.
Bjork Ostrom: So thanks to Clariti and the Clariti team for sponsoring the Food Blogger Pro podcast. We have a tight-knit family here with the TinyBit companies, but it is an official sponsorship. And we want to thank the Clariti team for sponsoring the Food Blogger Pro podcast and for building an incredible tool that we’ve been able to use across the TinyBit brands. So if you want to join, there’s still time for you to sign up. It’s not like we’re going to run out of those 500 user accounts right away, but they also won’t be there forever. So you can check that out by going to Clariti.com/food, and thanks to Clariti for sponsoring the podcast.
Bjork Ostrom: Hey folks, you are listening to the Food Blogger Pro podcast. If you are here, chances are that you are similar to the other people in this community and you are somebody who wants to learn about publishing content online that helps you move your mission forward. For a lot of us, that mission is figuring out how to run a successful business, a successful business that’s online and oftentimes food-based. Not always, but oftentimes it’s people in … more often than not, obviously because of the name Food Blogger Pro, it’s people who are in the food or recipe space. But we actually have lots of folks in other niches as well, people who are publishing home-related content, DIY content. Maybe it’s somebody who’s in the parenting niche and you talk about what it’s like to be a good parent, which for those of us who are parents, we know it’s a hard thing.
Bjork Ostrom: But the purpose really of these conversations that we have with other creators is to try and open doors, to try and communicate new ideas or potentially to provide inspiration for you and your craft and your pursuits, your mission. What is it that you are after? And the conversation that we’re having today with Chelsea Cole is that. She has a blog. She publishes in multiple places, not just her blog, but under A Duck’s Oven. And she talks about what it’s like to self-publish, that’s the focus that we’re talking about, but also we’re talking about what it’s like to build a business, to work for yourself.
Bjork Ostrom: One of my favorite parts of the interview today with Chelsea is as she talks about what that’s been like for her to put together the pieces of the puzzle, to allow her to move forward with her mission, what she’s after. And for a lot of us that is not just creating income, not just having a business that makes money, but behind that, it’s the autonomy that might give us. And what I would encourage you to think about is the different ways that you can create that perfect picture for you.
Bjork Ostrom: It might be with your pursuit or your blog as a side hustle, along with a job that you really love, or maybe you’re doing four or five different things that create revenue for you that allow you to spend more time with your kids and work on the nights and weekends or during nap time, whatever it might be. That’s our hope for these interviews, is to expose and shine a light on different ways that people are doing that. And that’s what you’ll find in the interview today with Chelsea. She’s going to be talking about how she does that, one of the ways being self-publishing.
Bjork Ostrom: She’s also going to talk about how self-publishing can help in the other areas that are important for her. It’s not necessarily just about doing self-publishing in order to make money, but how self-publishing can be a supporting asset to those other ways that she’s looking to create an income, whether that be in support of search engine optimization. She’s going to talk about why that might be helpful or becoming an expert in a certain area that you can then teach other people about, or really just being seen as an expert in a category.
Bjork Ostrom: She’s going to be talking about how a niche was really important for her. She looked to grow her business. So it’s one of those interviews where there’s a lot of different pieces, and the big takeaway for me here is Chelsea’s stick-to-itness and how she continued to pursue her business and to show up every day. And that’s what we’re all about. And if you do that long enough, you’ll figure out ways to unlock those different levels of success, which Chelsea has done.
Bjork Ostrom: If you would be interested in joining the conversation on these podcasts, you’ll often hear me refer to questions that people ask in Facebook. And that’s a part of our Food Blogger Pro Facebook group, which you can join by going to FoodBloggerPro.com/Facebook. That will redirect you to the page where you can sign up and join in on the conversations.
Bjork Ostrom: You can ask questions ahead of time for guests in a certain area, or sometimes have conversations after a guest has been on the podcast, if you have some follow-up questions. It’s free to join, and it’s a place for us to add a little bit of conversation, additional conversation to this podcast to allow the audience and listeners to join in. So we’d love for you to join us there. Again, that’s FoodBloggerPro.com/Facebook. All right. That is it for the intro. Let’s go ahead and jump into this interview with Chelsea Cole. Chelsea, welcome back to the podcast.
Chelsea Cole: Thank you. I’m so excited to be back.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. It’s almost like Shark Tank. I think of when they do the initial, like you meet the person, you see what their idea is, and then you come back and you’re like, “Here’s three years later what this person’s been up to.” This is a similar podcast interview. We had a conversation when you had first self-published your cookbook. We talked about what that process was like, what you learned, and we’re going to revisit that now. You’ve self-published another book. We’re going to talk about some of the reasons behind it, some of the things that you’ve learned and it’s going to be a great conversation.
Bjork Ostrom: Before we jump into where things are now, can you catch people up to … just do a quick recap, that first conversation that we had. What were things like for you at that point? So this was like threeish years ago, what had just happened and then we’ll talk through what you’ve learned since then.
Chelsea Cole: Yeah. Yeah. So at that time I had just self-published my very, very first cookbook and I self-published a cookbook about sous vide cooking because I had discovered it about two years earlier and totally fell in love with the cooking method and really wanted it to be a more approachable thing for home cooks. And so this was a way in which I wanted to make that happen. So that was-
Bjork Ostrom: Can you talk about sous vide? Most people would be familiar, but for those who aren’t, what is that?
Chelsea Cole: It is a very goofy, very nerdy cooking method that I’m trying to make less like nerdy explicitly, but it is, but it’s essentially just cooking in a water bath. So you put food in jar, in a vacuum seal bag, something like that. I promise it’s safe. And then you cook it at much lower temperatures than you’d normally cook. Usually between 120 degrees and 185 degrees, usually for a longer amount of time.
Chelsea Cole: The idea is that it’s way more precise than other ways of cooking. You set the temperature of the water bath to the precise temperature you want your food to reach, so that way you’re never overcooking it. Whereas, if you want to cook in an oven, you might set it to 400 degrees. You’re going to cook chicken. You don’t want your chicken to reach 400 degrees. That would be bad. So it’s just a guessing game of when that chicken might actually be done. With sous vide, you’re actually doing it right every single time. So it’s famous for steak and seafood.
Bjork Ostrom: And nerdy do you think because it’s exact science versus they talk about baking is science and cooking as art? And this being one where like, oh, it’s literally this long, this temperature. It’s very exact scientific type cooking?
Chelsea Cole: Exactly. Yes. And so it actually has a reputation for being a food nerd thing. It’s really got a reputation, especially before for being a guy gadget. And I’m really trying to undermine that and be like, okay, this isn’t hard. In fact, it makes things way easier. More home cooks should be using this because it takes the guesswork out of the equation for you.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. And especially when I think about chicken, like just the other night I was grilling chicken and I feel like I was, every 30 seconds was checking the temperature. Because I didn’t want it to be too overdone, but I also it’s like our family’s eating it. Our girls are eating it. I don’t want obviously to be underdone. So what ends up being is, well, this one is done on the kebab and the one in the middle’s not. And so then you have this issue of like now what do I do? So you can see how it would be beneficial even for a family to say, “Hey, we know we want it to be cooked exactly to this temperature. So we’re going to set that and go through the process of letting the machine get there and cook it. And then when it’s done, it’s done.” And you know it’s done because it’s at that temperature, so I feel like-
Chelsea Cole: Yeah, for food safety, it’s amazing. Like you can even … my father-in-law is really squeamish and you can pasteurize so you can have a steak that’s medium and you can also pasteurize it. So you can guarantee it’s really safe to eat. And now that you hit on that, it’s actually very great for that.
Bjork Ostrom: Totally. And so you had published this cookbook and it’s specialty cookbook, which I think makes a lot of sense. We talk a lot about niches, focusing on niches and nicheing down. And in the three year sense, what do you feel like you’ve learned to be true about self-publishing and then what were some of the things that you thought were true when you first started out that now you have dismantled that as a truth and said, “Oh, I thought this was going to be how it was going to play out. It actually didn’t, but that’s okay, because there’s these other things that I’ve learned that are actually great benefits,” or whatever it might be?
Chelsea Cole: Yeah, totally. So in the time since then, I’ve actually gone full time with food blogging, which has been really exciting.
Bjork Ostrom: How long had you been working on your blog or brand?
Chelsea Cole: I started food blogging in 2010, and I went full-time in 2021, so 11 years.
Bjork Ostrom: Good. Good for you. One of the things that I find to be true is that if you stick with it and if you continue to figure out ways to deliver value and show up every day, and we’ve seen this over and over with interviews that we’ve done, connections that we’ve had, interviews that we haven’t done that are just people that I know that have stuck with it. You can get there and I think it can be encouraging or discouraging when you hear somebody’s like, “Hey, I started this two years ago and now I’m like super successful,” maybe because it’s a great skill. Maybe it’s because it’s great timing. Who knows what it is. A lot of times it’s all of those things. Somebody catches a wave at the right time, but regardless, if you continue to show up you’ll get there. And it sounds like you did that, which is awesome. So congratulations to you. Do you feel like there’s something along the way that you did that helped unlock that? Or was it really showing up every day and continuing to do the work?
Chelsea Cole: A few things. One thing I talk about a lot, one is definitely nicheing down. That helped, that changed my whole career. My first cookbook was what started that. But another thing that was huge for me is a lot of times I knew that my, I was doing things … I was bringing in money in different ways. I was freelancing. I was like doing brand partnerships, things like that. And I was bringing in money, but I just didn’t feel like I understood my business. And so it was a side hustle and I just like, I didn’t even understand what it meant to grow it because I didn’t understand what it was.
Chelsea Cole: And so one day I broke my whole business down in terms of streams of income, and so I would closely monitor my streams of income, how much I spent in one stream, how much I brought in another stream. And right now I have, depending on how you break them down, between seven and eight, which is probably more than anyone needs, but it’s what helps me feel comfortable.
Bjork Ostrom: It’s a safety net in the diversification of that. If one of them goes away, you have seven others. Yeah.
Chelsea Cole: Yep. And so thinking about it that way and being like, “Okay, this is a really important arm of my business. I need to feed that, and then how can I like grow these other ones in the meantime?”
Bjork Ostrom: Do you have an example of that?
Chelsea Cole: Yeah. So freelancing for me has always been the bread and butter. I started freelance copywriting, like blog post writing for other bloggers in 2014. And I started doing freelance social media on the side for small businesses a few years later. And that’s how I got into marketing eventually. And so I knew that this was something that like worked well for me and then monetizing my blog was something I didn’t do until 2020. And it was something that I knew was an important stream for me to implement.
Chelsea Cole: And so it would just be like when I was working in my business and like even making to do list and just the way I thought about it’s like, “Okay, these are the efforts I’m doing to maintain this important stream, my freelance business. And these are the efforts that I’m doing to create, to grow this other stream over here. And so just thinking about it that way was really helpful for me.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. It’s it feels like the difference between working on your business and working in your business. You hear people talk a lot about that, but when I hear you talking about … I almost imagined as like, hey, I’m going to take a step back, go to a coffee shop. Or if not that, pour your favorite drink and turn email off, turn social media off, and I’m going to spend time looking at my business and saying, “Great, there’s this revenue, okay. Here’s how much this revenue is in January. How much did I also spend in that category?”
Bjork Ostrom: So whatever that looks like, and starting to think really strategically about it. It sounds like what you’re saying is the unlock with that was saying, “Great. Here’s an opportunity that makes sense to invest in. I want this to grow and flourish. So I know that I’m going to strategically put more time towards that in order to let it grow and flourish.” And I think it’s one of the things as entrepreneurs that’s most important is figuring out what’s the most important thing to be working on. Does that resonate at all with what you’re going through and what you’re doing at that period?
Chelsea Cole: Absolutely. And I mean, this is totally inspired by your guys’ income reports from back in the day, but I’ve started doing quarterly reflections where I look at all these streams and I have an email list of food bloggers and I’ll send that out. In part because I feel like it’s, I am not somebody … I’m not making millions and millions of dollars. I am doing fine. And I feel good about that. And I think like you were saying earlier, it can be helpful to see people who are doing that. I have a full-time business. It’s going well, but it’s not crazy. And so I’ve been using that as an opportunity to reflect on that. And it’s more, these emails have just turned into a stream of consciousness, which is really helpful for me to do for me to reflect.
Chelsea Cole: And it’s nice to have that conversation with people too. And it gives me an opportunity to even be like, okay, sure. Once again, I made the most money this quarter in freelancing, but my digital products did weirdly well this quarter. What’s up with that? Or like, even be an opportunity to say, “Hey, I’m not making a ton from my cookbooks,” which spoiler alert. Nobody makes a ton of money from cookbooks unless you’re Ina Garten, but the cookbooks are still valuable for me because they serve this other purpose and they grow my business in other ways. And so it’s just a good opportunity to be able to zoom out and really look at everything that way.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. It’s one of the things that I found most valuable from doing those reports was the rhythm around reflecting and looking at what we were doing and being strategic about it. And then also, because we’d read a report, thinking strategically about what changes we were going to make, but it almost became a forcing function around reflection and planning, which wouldn’t have existed if not for doing that.
Bjork Ostrom: And I think it’s, as I think about moving away from those, it’s one of the things that I think we miss or I miss is that forcing function of once a month saying, “I’m going to step back. I’m going to take a look at the lay of the land and what did I learn? And then what are we going to implement moving forward?” And for anybody, even if you publish it or not, it feels like a healthy thing to do with your business, probably with your life. To have a time to step back, to reflect and to look forward, because otherwise we can get into the minutia every day. There’s endless messages, there’s endless email, there’s endless stuff that we need to do. So we end up working in the business all the time. So it seems like a really smart thing for you to do. Was that something you just thought of and said, “Hey, I know I need to like be, understand this better and here’s how I’m going to do it,”?
Chelsea Cole: Yeah. I think I was just curious one day about my breakdown of income. Or actually, you know what? I think what originally triggered it now that I’m thinking about it is it was right at the start of the pandemic and I had just started a new job and I was worried I might get laid off.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. So it’s like, “What?” Yeah.
Chelsea Cole: And I was like, “Okay. What do I need to if I did this happen?” I was like planning. And I was like, “If this happens, what are the ways in which I make money now?” And so I wrote down a list and I was like, “Let me look at how each of those areas are performing for me.” And then that totally inspired this. And so now I track all that. I use QuickBooks Self-Employed and you can use tags in there, so I just tag every transaction and it’s really easy for me to keep tabs on.
Bjork Ostrom: Cool. So are you taking a transaction, both with revenue and then also where you associate that as an expense so you can see these different buckets?
Chelsea Cole: Yeah. Exactly.
Bjork Ostrom: Oh, that’s cool. That’s great. There’s this terrible name, decent concept. But we talk about this idea of an egg carton and as a business owner, egg carton method, figuring out ways to, hey, if you’re going to think of your business, you could have all these different sources of income and it becomes less intimidating when you start to break that down a little bit. And say like, “Okay, I’m going to get $1,000 a month from freelancing,” or, “$2,000 from freelancing and 500 from my site,” and build your way up to what could potentially be a full-time income.
Bjork Ostrom: I think you could also do that with gaining money back, like, “Hey, I’m going to renegotiate my cell phone contract and get $25 off.” You can start to make hundreds of dollars that way as well. But what I love about that and hearing your story is to your point, it represents some level of the ability to get you to sleep well at night as an entrepreneur, which I feel like that’s really important and different people have different degrees of how much they need, but if one thing goes away, you have the other thing to support you, and I just think that’s really smart.
Bjork Ostrom: One of the things you had mentioned was self-publishing cookbook, that’s a revenue stream, but you also mentioned like, hey, the reason I’m doing that isn’t necessarily for the direct revenue it creates, but the ripple effects that it has on the other areas of your business and that lifting all the other areas up. Do you feel like that’s true? And can you reflect a little bit on what you’ve learned over the last three years around self-publishing as it relates to the impact that it has for your business?
Chelsea Cole: Yep. So for me in particular, I have always been really resistant to the idea of nicheing down. And I think so many people are like, we get really freaked out about being pigeonholed or pigeonholed, stuck in a corner. And so I realized after I had published my book, I had like inadvertently cornered myself into a niche. And at first I felt panicked about that. I was like, “This is what I’m going to be like known for now. Is that something I meant to do is, do I really want this to be my thing? Am I going to like this in three years?” And so it was like, it was very unsettling for me at first. And then I started to embrace and it totally changed everything for me. It’s being known for something and doing something like self-publishing a cookbook, both of those things are really great when it comes to essentially PR and marketing yourself, because then it’s really easy to understand you.
Chelsea Cole: So people could just easily be like, “Chelsea Cole, she Sous Vides, she just self-published a cookbook.” Those are things that they can talk to me about and give them a reason to talk to me and just make opportunities a little easier to get. So that’s how I found that that’s one way in which I found that to be really impactful for me. So I was able to do TV appearances, podcast interviews, book signings, all of these things after I self-published my cookbook. Because one, there was something exciting. I had, self-publish a cookbook. And two, I was known for something. I could come and talk about a really specific thing to people, and that was huge for me.
Bjork Ostrom: Versus, this is Chelsea and she does food and recipes. It’s like, okay, maybe, but if it’s something really specific, there’s a stickiness to it. It’s marketing essentially. I almost imagine it as in the world of books where it’s like, this is a book on how to do business well. Okay. It could be anybody versus, “Hey, this is a book for anybody who wants to learn how to use QuickBooks really well, if you’re self-employed. And then suddenly you’re like, ”Oh great.” Like you’ve probably, you have a strategy with QuickBooks. You’ve probably watched videos, maybe done a course. Suddenly it becomes very specific and tangible. And it sounds like that creates opportunities, or you’ve noticed that it opened doors when you could tell a really specific story around what you could do. And as doors open, that creates a positive impact.
Bjork Ostrom: Not necessarily like, hey, you get on a … I remember we were on a morning news show and everybody’s like, “Oh, your traffic must have gone through the roof.” And it was like, “No, but they probably place a link on their site.” There’s some tangible benefits. So you would have credibility, you can put the video on your site, which lends credibility. Do you feel like that is circling around the benefits that you’re getting from the cookbook that eventually become revenue impacting, but aren’t revenue impacting in that like the cookbook creates revenue? Is that tracking?
Chelsea Cole: Exactly. Yep. And so, and it just like for me, actually, it even led … if this is something that you’re interested in doing, my cookbook led to my next job. I was at an event and was placed next to … I was like doing a … it was a demo event and a book signing event. And I was placed next to a Sous Vide company. And the woman at that table was like, “Hey, we’re looking for freelancer to help with recipe development. Would you be interested in this?”
Chelsea Cole: And I’m like, “Absolutely dream. Perfect.” And I ended up becoming their Marketing Director a couple years down the road. And so it just creates these opportunities. And like you were saying too, it also positions you as an expert. So I have the benefit of being quoted in articles online. Sometimes I’ll provide a quote and sometimes I’ll just go to my site and find a little soundbite that works. And either way it’s fine with me, because then that helps with my eat for Google and gives me those links across the internet that are so helpful for the traffic for my blog.
Chelsea Cole: So yeah, like you were saying, it just helps in all of these surrounding ways that you wouldn’t have thought of before, and then even for freelancing and for brand partnerships and things like that. When I’m pitching companies, I can add that to solidify my expertise and give them more reason to want to talk to me about it. If a recipe for them is developed by somebody who’s a cookbook author in this really specific area, or maybe even not. Writing a cookbook just even shows that you’re well versed in technical recipe development, if you’ve done it correctly anyways, it’s going to help you get those jobs.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, that’s great. A couple questions we have our Facebook podcast group for Food Blogger Pro, which you can get to by going to FoodBloggerPro.com/Facebook, small group of folks in the podcast community. It’s a little way for us to have more communication, as opposed to people just listening. They can ask questions as well. And sometimes interviewees will jump in after as well and answer some questions.
Bjork Ostrom: But Danica has a question about self-publishing, there’s a few of these from the group, that relates to that. And she was asking, how did you … well, this is more technical. When you’re in the process of doing this, what did it look like? She was asking, “How did you keep everything organized in terms of documents and notes while writing the cookbook?”
Bjork Ostrom: So this is getting into a little bit of the nitty-gritty of self-publishing, and I know that you have a course that people can go through. You can do a little shout out to that. We can talk about it at the end as well, but any thoughts on that in terms of tools and ways to do that. And then if you want to talk about your course, as well as we have some additional questions here, but you can mention that. That’d be great.
Chelsea Cole: Perfect. Yeah. So this is huge. And luckily this is a strong area for me, I’m very type A, very, very organized. So I usually, for my first cookbook, for example, I used Asana and Google Drive essentially. And so for my second cookbook, I have become a huge fan of Airtable. I love Airtable. So I used Airtable, Google Drive, and then a couple other methods. So the biggest things that you’re keeping track of, one, your recipes. Two, all of the written content. And then I am a really strong proponent of using recipe testers. For me, those historically have all been volunteers in my community, but you have to track, who is testing what? Have they given feedback yet? Are they willing to test more recipes? Do they have any allergies so I shouldn’t send them this recipe? And so I use essentially just like Mondo spreadsheets to track all of these things.
Chelsea Cole: And then I also create timelines, to-do lists, things like that. And for me, again, all of these are in Airtable, but any to-do management system that works well for you, don’t make yourself learn something new. It’s going to be helpful. And then I find, I really like working in Google Drive for this. Because again, since I’m working with recipe testers, I can easily just share a link to the recipe document. And I have a virtual assistant who was really helpful with everything, and I could easily share things with her. My sister-in-law, I actually hired her for my second cookbook to manage all the recipe testers, because I found that to be so difficult the first time.
Bjork Ostrom: Totally. A job in and of itself, yeah.
Chelsea Cole: And so she was able to access everything in there. Yeah. So those are my big ways for managing everything.
Bjork Ostrom: This is a little bit of a tangent, but how did you find the VA that you worked with?
Chelsea Cole: Oh, I love her very much. I’ve been working with her for about four years and I found her in a Facebook group. So I just did like a call for submissions and a couple Facebook groups. And I had an application that people had to fill out, and I found her that way.
Bjork Ostrom: Cool. It’s one of the things I know a lot of people are thinking about, potentially working with people, wanting to know how to do that. Those Facebook groups were virtual assistant Facebook groups?
Chelsea Cole: No they were-
Bjork Ostrom: Or food Facebook groups?
Chelsea Cole: Not even food Facebook groups. In fact, my virtual assistant … one thing that I always tell people is my virtual assistant didn’t have background working with food bloggers and that was totally fine. For me, I don’t think specific experience is that big of a deal. I mean, I can mean that-
Bjork Ostrom: Depends on the job. Yeah.
Chelsea Cole: Yeah. Our industry changes constantly. Yeah. Like, who knew about TikTok few years … there’s new things. We’re all having to learn new things all the time. So something, some skill could be obsolete in six months.
Bjork Ostrom: So if not skill, what were you looking for in the process of interviewing people?
Chelsea Cole: One of my specific things was, when I hired her, I was still working and I was just having a really hard time wrapping my head around everything and getting everything done. And I was like, I want somebody who will manage me. I want somebody who will tell me what to do. Tell me what’s on my docket, and be really comfortable doing that.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. Keeping you accountable.
Chelsea Cole: Exactly. That was my biggest thing. And I just wanted somebody who was really organized and self-sufficient, and this person is that. And she knows my business so well at this point that she needs almost no direction from me. Yeah. I put up a new blog post this week and she just sent me an email and she’s like, “Hey, I drafted an email for you to send out about this new blog post. Let me know if it’s proof …” didn’t ask her to do it. She just knows, so.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. That’s awesome. What a dream. So when it comes to tools, how about actually, because you’re self-publishing, it’s not like you’re working with a designer and somebody putting together … you could, but my guess is in some ways, or maybe not, but in some ways that you’re also doing some of the design or do you hire that out? What does that look like once you have the recipes, you have them developed, you have them tested, you have the written content? Now you actually need to put it together in a way that you can make it look nice. Some people are better than others in doing that. Did you work with a third party to help package that or did you do it on your own? And if so, what did you use?
Chelsea Cole: I did it myself, but you don’t have to do it yourself. You can hire it out. And then I want to … so I co-founded The Cookbook Lab with my friend who’s a graphic designer. And so we teach people how to do that in The Cookbook Lab and offer templates too. And so we use InDesign and we recommend people use InDesign, which everybody’s like, “Can I please just use Canva?” And we give a couple reasons why we … you can use Canva, but we give a couple reasons why we don’t recommend it.
Chelsea Cole: InDesign is a platform that’s explicitly, like its purpose is book and magazine creation. And so it has so many things that just make the process better and easier. For example, adding page numbers. Do you really want to add each individual page number in Canva? Because I wouldn’t want to do that. That sounds terrible. And margins and these really specific things that when it comes to document printing, Canva just isn’t as good at because that’s not what it’s designed to be doing.
Chelsea Cole: And so we use InDesign and that can be really intimidating for people, but it’s among the … it’s in the Adobe Suite. And so if you’re familiar with Adobe products, which most food bloggers are, it’s not that big of a leap to figure out InDesign. And so we just say like, just do it. It’s worth it. And we teach branding too, and basic graphic design and things like that. So you can be thinking about colors, fonts, all that stuff. I love that part of the process, but my background is in marketing so not everybody loves it and you can totally hire it out too.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. That’s great. A couple other questions from the Facebook group. How about time management? So somebody was asking, Joanna was asking, “Are you able to keep up with your blog while also writing a cookbook?”
Chelsea Cole: Yes. So that’s a great question. So in theory, yes. One thing I’ve learned about myself, especially through these projects like this, is I, especially when it comes down to like the finish line of something, it’s really helpful for me to be in an all-or-nothing state. And so I manage everything really well until about a month before my cookbook. I really wanted it to be done. And then I pretty much didn’t do anything else. I’d worked on my committed freelance projects, things I’d already signed up to do, but I didn’t take on new work and I didn’t keep up with my blog or social media or barely anything else for a month.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, just like entirely focused on.
Chelsea Cole: Yep. And you don’t have to do that though. I wanted to publish. So I made a … essentially did my second book in five, six months, which is really fast. And so other people, that’s the beauty of self-publishing, you can take two years if you want to take two years. So for me, that’s what I find to just work best. Is it, can you do everything at once? Totally. Like for my first cookbook, I was still working full-time. My mom and I were in the process of opening an Airbnb together. I was building a new home and did the cookbook and my blog. So it’s totally doable. It’s just how you want to do it.
Bjork Ostrom: Do you still have the Airbnb?
Chelsea Cole: Yes. Now after, during the pandemic we started using it for oh, traveling nurses. So now we host traveling nurses who are here for longer stays and it’s-
Bjork Ostrom: Is there a dedicated site to do that?
Chelsea Cole: Yes. Yes there is. I don’t remember what it’s called though, but yeah. We use a dedicated site for that.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. Is that something is, again tangent, but I’m just curious. Do you think, is that something you’d do more of? Would you do that again? And I think what’s interesting for me is, as a quick note, it’s an additional revenue stream. It’s outside of blogging, but I think one of the things as publishers or creators that we can do is we can take some of the income that we have and put it in completely separate areas, which we’ve done with commercial real estate. It’s not like we have this massive portfolio of commercial real estate, but we’ve done that to diversify into actual brick-and-mortar things that we own that aren’t digital. And it’s cool to hear you doing something similar. So that’s reason for asking. Just curious.
Chelsea Cole: Yeah. No, so, and it’s interesting that you say that too, because one of the things that made me feel more comfortable with taking the full-time leap my dad is in the process of oh so slowly retiring and he owns property. And so my brother and I are taking on the property management for him. He’s always done it all himself.
Bjork Ostrom: What type of property?
Chelsea Cole: Rentals, like really small plexes, like two to eight plexes.
Bjork Ostrom: Yep, dupelex, yep.
Chelsea Cole: And so I do a lot of his property management for him, which made the stuff like the Airbnb a little bit easier. So it’s just one of his units that I do that out of. So Airbnb, I would not do, like traditional travel Airbnb because the laundry is so hard to keep up with.
Bjork Ostrom: Sure. It’s like the management of it. Yeah.
Chelsea Cole: Yeah. I got so sick of doing laundry. Like I was like, and you can hire that out. It’s a little trickier to find places that will do everything, including laundry. So anyways, that’s like a small … but the long term stays are great, like three to six months, the traveling nurses are usually excellent tenants. They’re really nice to have in there. They know the drill so they’re used to this, and that has been a really great experience.
Bjork Ostrom: Oh, interesting. That’s really cool. Good for you. So anyways, rewinding back. So publishing, you had mentioned here since doing it, having that you sold, I think it was, what … do you have the number, how many cookbooks you sold?
Chelsea Cole: It’s just shy of 1,100. So over 1,000 books.
Bjork Ostrom: Which is cool when you think of it. It’s not exact, but it’s essentially like selling one cook every day. And you’re you also said, I think not including the Kindle or digital versions.
Chelsea Cole: Yep.
Bjork Ostrom: And I think what I love about the work that we do as creators is, there’s these snowballs and I feel like that cookbook is some snow on the snowball. It’s this thing that you fold in that you do once and it is continually there and it’s working for you, it’s a multiplier on all the other work you do. So if you publish a blog post, it gets more traffic. There’s going to be people who might catch wind of the fact that you have this cookbook and they end up buying that. So there is the revenue component to it, but then there’s also this idea of like, it gives you opportunities in all these other places. What else have you found to be beneficial about going through the process of self-publishing as it relates to your business?
Chelsea Cole: Yeah. So one thing I really tried to be strategic about similarly, especially with my second book, was going off what you just said, really capturing like those potential followers and people who can be with me long term and just making that into a broader relationship, essentially. So for example, in my second cookbook, I utilized QR codes. And I would say, “Hey, if you want an up to date list of my recommended Sous Vide products, scan this QR code and I’ll email it to you.” And so then they’re on my email list and then they can keep up with me in that way.
Chelsea Cole: And so that has been a really helpful tool. And then it’s this way to make multiple connections with people, because maybe they find me on Instagram and then they learn I wrote a book and they really like my style and they’re happy to see sous vide being used in a way that feels more approachable to them, or whatever it might be. And then they buy my book and then they follow my blog, and so it just creates all these touch points.
Chelsea Cole: And even about a year after I self-published my first cookbook, I had had this thing stewing in my head where I kept hearing from people, stuff along the lines of like, “I got an immersion circulator and it’s been in the box for six months. I’m just too intimidated to get started.” And like, I heard that over and over. And I was like, there’s a problem for me to solve here. I don’t know how I’m going to do it. And then eventually it clicked. And I created a digital course. It’s called Sous Vide School and I made it super affordable. At first, I was only charging like $17 for it, and now I think it’s $27.
Chelsea Cole: I did that because it’s like, okay, there’s already a barrier for people to get started with Sous Vide cooking. I’m not going to create a $100 course that furthers that barrier. And so the whole idea behind it was just like super easy, really walks you through with videos and like charts and things like that the basics of how to get started, how to care for your immersion circulator, the basics of how to use it. Other accessories you might need, stuff like that. And that has been a really great passive seller for me, because if somebody signs up for my email list, they get told about Sous Vide School and it’s just been this other great source of passive revenue. And so it’s just opened up all these other little doors.
Chelsea Cole: I feel like it’s really strengthened the relationship that I have with my community, especially because I can also be seen as a resource. I try to make it very clear that people can DM me whenever they want to with a Sous Vide question or something like that, and try to keep that line open. And so I think it’s been really good for me in that way.
Bjork Ostrom: That’s great. This is, I’ve had 9,000 business ideas of which 8,999 haven’t been good. This is maybe one of those, or not. Maybe this is the second one that will work. But one of the things I thought about doing was this idea of … There would have to be a better name for it, but visual manual. And it would be a site where essentially anything that you want to learn how to do, you’d go and buy the ability to go through the visual manual of it, where you don’t have to read a manual. So many people are like, you get a new camera and you have the manual and it shows you all of the awesome stuff you can do with it. But nobody actually is going to sit down and read through that.
Bjork Ostrom: But it sounds like a little bit of what you’re doing is saying, we’re going to create a visual manual for this. Here’s your thing that you paid for that’s awesome that you’re intimidated to use. You have a manual that tells you how to do it, but you’re not going to read it. So what you heard, and I think that’s the important piece to point out, listening to what people are saying, a problem that they have, and then creating a solution around that.
Bjork Ostrom: I think the other piece that’s a little bit of subtext underneath that is that people were telling you those problems they were having because they viewed you as a resource. And I think they wouldn’t have viewed you as a resource. I’m going way back now, unless you add decided I’m going to focus on this as my niche, as my niche, whatever you want to say. And once you’ve done that, then people say, “Great, I’m going to come to you for you to help me solve my problem around this thing.” And then it’s a continual process of figuring out, what are those ways that you can help solve those problems?
Bjork Ostrom: So if you were to rank order, you said freelancing is important. And I think what’s great about that is it’s this mechanism that allows you to make that entrepreneurial switch and have a little bit more control over it than the “passive income”. And then you can work on the passive income on the side. So I think that’s super smart, but if you were to rank order those different revenue sources for you, what are the most important ones and anything that you’ve learned along the way as you’ve diversified your income sources?
Chelsea Cole: Yep. So number one would probably be the work I do for my dad, and I rank that as number one, not necessarily because it’s the most money, but because it’s the most reliable. I just, I know that’s going to be there. And so for me, for my personality, that’s very important. And then probably freelance, but closely tied to ad revenue for my blog. So those two, as I’m working more and more on my blog, as we all are, those two are now starting to compete for me in terms of how much money they bring in, which is really nice. And the blog feels a little bit more … it’s not entirely passive, but it feels a little more passive.
Bjork Ostrom: And it’s also hard because then you have to make a decision. Do I work to add a little bit of momentum incrementally to a thing that has a potential to be a lot more or work this freelance gig that has the guarantee of a certain payout? How do you balance those decisions when you have a freelance opportunity come in?
Chelsea Cole: Yep. That’s a great question. That’s actually like something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. For me, it’s similar to a hate rate. It’s like, there’s a certain amount that I know I want to be bringing in. And then if there’s anything beyond that, it’s like, is this like really, really good pay? And I say, so that base rate means I need to be bringing this much in for us to meet our savings goals that we want to be meeting. And then anything else I am more hesitant to take on because taking on that work means taking away from other arms of my business or my free time, which are both invaluable to me.
Chelsea Cole: So at that point it’s like, is this going to be a dream client that I can really see us working more together on? Or again, is this a great amount of money that I feel really, really hyped about? There has to be some incentive there. Otherwise, it’s too important to me to be building those other things. And sometimes like, and as similar to you, I have 1,000 ideas all the time about things I want to make. And maybe they’re products, maybe they’re not, sometimes usually they’re products. And even though sometimes strategically, those might not be the most important thing for me to be focusing on, they’re really fun for me. And usually they end up growing my business in the long run, even if I don’t see incredible results at launch or something like that.
Chelsea Cole: And so making sure I’m saving enough time for things like that is really important to me. And that’s something I’ve had to learn to let myself prioritize, because before I would feel guilty about prioritizing something like that. But now that I’ve seen the payoff, both literal money and just business building that they can have for me in the long run, it’s like, okay, that’s good for me to be doing.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. I think the other piece with it that I try and bring up occasionally, I don’t think I do it enough on the podcast, is anytime that you’re building business revenue that isn’t reliant on you. So let’s say ad revenue versus freelance revenue. You’re also building a product which is your business. We work with a personal finance person and we he’s like, “You really should be tracking your net worth over time.” And if I would think of that, I’d think of like, “Okay, equity in our home, 401k, like any investments we have.” He’s like, “You should also probably be tracking like the value of your business.” I was like, “Oh.”
Bjork Ostrom: And I think for all of us, not only is this thing that we’re building something that creates revenue for us, creates income for us. It’s also something that in itself is an asset. And you can say, whether it’s three to five times … Five times would be high, but for a content site, you could say three to four times, depending on where the market is at, the profit that a site is earning, that could be the value of it.
Bjork Ostrom: So if you have a blog that’s earning $100,000 from ads a year, or that’s your profit, that might be a $300,000 to $400,000 valuable asset. And so that’s a number two that you can start to play in. Whereas you can’t sell a freelance business, but it’s fun to think about when we’re building a business. We’re not just creating income. We’re also building an asset in and of itself, which I think sometimes as entrepreneurs, for myself at least, I get lost and forget that sometimes.
Chelsea Cole: And that’s like, I think about that even in terms of I really enjoy creating digital products and physical products, obviously with my cookbooks and things like that. Although, for when I’m creating one of … I think a lot of people are chasing a high of they create that thing and then there’s this big launch and they see a ton of money. For me, that’s not what I’m necessarily seeking when I create something like that. This isn’t quite what you were saying, but it builds my business. It creates more to my business every single time I make something like that and just creates another small stream of passive revenue that supports me doing these other random things that I want to accomplish.
Bjork Ostrom: It’s the example that you gave about somebody signing up for the email list is a great one, because before you had a cookbook, somebody signed up for the email list and maybe you’re publishing, or you’re sending through not a responder series, “Hey, here’s some other posts you can check out, follow me on social media.” All those are great things. But incrementally, in terms of revenue it gains your business, maybe not super huge, but then you add in the ability to sell a cookbook and maybe 1 out of every 50 people, 1 out of 100 to say, “Hey, this is a good fit for me,” but now you’ve put a little multiplier in on the value of a email subscriber. So if you get more email subscribers, it’s going to be more valuable because it’s all part of that system that builds, which I think is so cool.
Bjork Ostrom: So this is just maybe going back a little bit, but you said physical products, and I know we talked about this before as well, but how are you managing that? So is it on-demand printing? And what does that look like in terms of the cost of that? And to go back to the Shark Tank, what do margins look like on a self-published cookbook?
Chelsea Cole: They are not as great as one might expect, but still better than traditional publishing. And so, yeah, I use on-demand. I have no interest in having thousands of books sitting in my garage that I’m responsible for selling and shipping. Like, no, no, no. So I don’t do any of that. So the great thing about modern on-demand services is somebody goes to Amazon, for example. They see my book, they want to buy it, they click buy and it literally prints and chips at that moment. So there’s no … because you can self-publish and you can use your own printing houses.
Chelsea Cole: A lot of people like to do this, because one, they like to have control over the quality of the print. Two, maybe they want to do a format that isn’t super common, for example, like spiral bound or something like that. But then you have to pay the upfront cost of getting all this printed and hope you sell them and everything. And so I use KDP, which is it’s called … that’s a Kindle, oh gosh, digital printing or something. KDP from Amazon, which it’s not…
Bjork Ostrom: Direct Publishing, is that right? Kindle Direct Publishing?
Chelsea Cole: Yeah. But it’s for way more, that’s for physical cookbooks too. It’s a misleading name. They used to also have CreateSpace, but they converge those two things together. And then I use IngramSpark as well. So IngramSpark what’s used for any bookseller who wants to buy and carry my book, which I actually get a decent amount of sales from. That’s been really fun. Oh. Other people, it also will work for other third-party sellers. So you just upload your book as a PDF and that’s it.
Bjork Ostrom: Cool. That’s great. And the wonderful thing about that, like you said, no inventory, and it allows you to continue to operate in the mindset that a lot of us have, which I think we maybe don’t even know is like, we’re never having to pre-purchase inventory. In the traditionally commerce world, you’re maybe having to spend $50,000, $100,000, buy all this stuff. To your point, hope that it sells. Maybe it doesn’t. If it doesn’t, then you just have a bunch of this inventory sitting around, but it’s great to be able to do that on demand. So the only time you’re selling it is when something actually sells. Do you have an example of like, if you sell a cookbook for $25, can you expect to make 10% or what is just a rough margin on that?
Chelsea Cole: One thing that was … so this past book was really exciting because this was the first time KDP offered hardcover. So I got to do a hardcover copy, or version of my book, which is awesome. I make way less money on a hardcover, which is interesting. So I have to sell that one for, I want to say I have it listed for right around $29 and I make roughly $2.75 per book that I sell. Yep. And then with my paperbacks, it’s a far better margin. So those I have listed for around $24 and I can expect to make, just shy of like $4 per book that I saw there. And then for Kindle though, I can make like $8 a book, which is really nice. And I have those marked way down.
Chelsea Cole: And then the costs that are in between. So you’re wondering like where did the other $22 go or whatever? Those are obviously Amazon or IngramSpark is going to get a cut and then the costs of printing and shipping your book will go into that as well. However, with traditional publishing, most folks make less than a dollar per book. So it’s still better than that, because you’re not sharing it with anyone but yourself.
Bjork Ostrom: That makes sense. And with the bet with traditional publishing is you get some upfront amount that you’re paid that could be really low, could be really high if you’re really well-known celebrity chef or something. And then you’re working against that even. So even if you are making a dollar a book, but you got $100,000 advance, let’s say you got a great advance. You’d have to sell $100,000 copies before you then able to get … Those numbers aren’t going to be great. And anybody who’s in publishing, aren’t going to be accurate.
Bjork Ostrom: Anybody who’s in publishing will say like, “Eh.” That’s not exactly how it works, but the basic idea is you’d get a lump sum early that you work against. If you get through that, then you’d be able to get paid commission on that. And to your point, with self-publishing right off the bat you’re able to make whatever it is that the margin is. And you can also set that. So you can say like, “Hey, here’s the amount that I feel comfortable with, and I want to set that at $29,” or, “$24,” or whatever it might be.
Chelsea Cole: Yeah. And this is something that I found to be really interesting when I was going through this process. The biggest factor that determines the cost of printing your book is the page numbers. So it’s not … I figured it would be how many photos I have and things like that. Those things don’t really matter. And it’s the page numbers. So I try to like … I wanted a photo with every single recipe. For me, pictures are so important in a cookbook. And so I did prioritize that, but then it’s like, okay, Chelsea, you can’t be as wordy as you like to be. How do we get strategic here? And playing around with those margins and stuff like that too.
Chelsea Cole: And one thing that I think is interesting for people to consider from a financial perspective, when it comes to creating a cookbook, whether you do that through traditional or self-publishing. So yes, with self-publishing you are fronting the costs yourself, self-publishing. Some people crowdfund, which is an interesting idea. Yeah. And you can keep those expenses. I usually tell people at a minimum you should expect to spend $1,100, $1,200, and then that can go way, way up from there.
Chelsea Cole: But with traditional publishing nowadays, I think that there … I actually saw a Twitter thread recently and I was like, “Oh yeah, I knew about that.” But a woman was traditionally publishing a cookbook and was horrified that her publishing house told her if she wanted to do a book tour she had to pay for it. And there’s so much that people don’t really consider that even with traditional publishing, the author is still responsible for, or it comes out of your advance.
Bjork Ostrom: You’re the marketing engine. Yeah.
Chelsea Cole: Yep. Even photography for your book, a lot of the authors end up having to pay for that.
Bjork Ostrom: Sure. Yeah. Interesting. And that’s where it gets into all the strategy around negotiation and a whole another world, which some people love that. But if what you want to be doing is writing recipe development, photography, you can cut that out and you can self-publish. So for those who are interested, you had mentioned this briefly, but I know that you have a course that people can go through to learn the ins and outs. Super wise, anytime somebody’s gone through it, especially gone through it twice to shortcut that for somebody who wants to learn how to do it. Best way to do that is to learn from other people. So can you talk about that course and what people would learn if they’re interested in that?
Chelsea Cole: Yes. Yes. So my course is called The Cookbook Lab and it teaches you how to self-publish from idea to completion. So with idea, we really talk about refining your topic a lot in there. So most of us who are deciding … No, actually, that’s not necessarily true. A lot of us who are deciding to self-publish don’t necessarily have massive social media followings. And so we talk about being strategic with your topic in such a way that it can be discoverable by people outside of your audience.
Chelsea Cole: So we treat an Amazon search engine like a Google search engine. So we do essentially keyword research into your cookbook topic, and I teach how that process works. There’s a lot of resources in there around templates for all of the to-do management that we talked about, including how to manage all of your recipe testers, recipes, all of that good stuff.
Chelsea Cole: We go deep into technical recipe development. When you are developing a recipe for your blog, it’s probably different than a recipe you’re developing for your book. And I think technical recipe development is a good skill to have for us as food bloggers anyways. And writing a book is a really great way to push yourself in that arena. And photography, branding. Obviously we talk about design as we talked about earlier, a ton in there, and then we go deep into marketing and PR because that’s my background and where I have so much fun. So yeah.
Bjork Ostrom: Cool. That’s great. And then if people are interested in, how do they get there?
Chelsea Cole: You can go to ADucksOven.com/CookbookLab.
Bjork Ostrom: Cool. And we’ll link to that in the show notes as well. Chelsea, this was a great update. Super fun to hear what you’ve been up to. Congrats on making the transition to doing this full time. I think it’s inspiring to hear your story and what you’ve been up to. I know people would actually be interested. You had mentioned your email list with bloggers. Is that something that you have a separate sign up for if people want to follow along with your journey?
Chelsea Cole: Yes. I am trying to think of a good way in there, but if you go to ADucksOven.com/Determine, you’ll find a link there where you can actually get a guide to determine your cookbook topic idea, and that will get you on that list as well. I also have a freebie that I made, this was like just for fun because other people were interested, on my QuickBooks tagging system that I made. And you can find that on my blog at ADucksOven.com. And if you go to self-publishing resources and food blogger resources, you’ll see it in there.
Bjork Ostrom: Okay. Cool. Chelsea, thanks so much for coming. Great to chat.
Chelsea Cole: Thank you.
Leslie Jeon: Hello. Hello. Leslie here from the Food Blogger Pro team, we really hope that you enjoyed this episode of the podcast. So since we’ve already entered the month of July, which I just cannot believe, I don’t know where this year is going. It’s flying by. I wanted to take a quick moment to let you know about some exciting new content we have coming to Food Blogger Pro for members in the month of July. So if you’re not familiar, we do have our Food Blogger Pro membership, where you get access to our courses, our live Q&As, our study halls, our forum, our deals. The list goes on and on, and we’re always releasing new content on there each month. And so I wanted to just let you know what’s coming down the line over the next couple of weeks.
Leslie Jeon: So first up on July 7th, later this week, we’re going to be having our monthly study hall. And this one is going to be all about time management. So in these study halls, our members get together on Zoom and talk through some questions related to a specific topic. And this month we’re focusing all on time management. We’ll be chatting about how we all prioritize blog work each week. If we feel like we have enough time to work on our blog, how we manage all of the content. If we do content batching, are other strategies we use. It’s just a great way to connect with fellow bloggers, meet people face to face on Zoom and learn from one another. The study halls are some of my favorite days of the month and I always look forward to them. So if you’re a Food Blogger Pro member, you can get registered for this month’s study hall by going to FoodBloggerPro.com/live and signing up there.
Leslie Jeon: Then on July 21st, we are holding our monthly live Q&A. And this one is going to be a solo one with Bjork where you can ask anything. And so any blogging question is totally fair game. Whether you have a question about how Pinch of Yum monetizes their site, how to use affiliate links, how to structure your blog as a business, or how to manage your time, any and all questions are welcome and you can get registered for that live Q&A as a member, by going to FoodBloggerPro.com/live and signing up. And you’ll also get the chance to submit a question ahead of time. And then we’ll answer as many of the questions as we can during that live Q&A.
Leslie Jeon: Last but not least, on July 28th, we have a full-on course update coming for you. And that is a complete overhaul of our Facebook course. So we have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to update this Facebook course. And it’s going to have all new lessons walking you through how to use all of the different features on Facebook as a blogger. And it’s also going to have a strategy session with our social media strategy expert, Andrea, and she’s going to be talking all about how to strategically use Facebook as a blogger, how to use it to grow your traffic, and all of her best recommendations when it comes to sharing on the platform.
Leslie Jeon: So keep an eye out for that full-on course update coming July 28th. And that’s just a quick overview of what July is going to look like on Food Blogger Pro. As always, we’re always also releasing new podcast episodes and new blog posts each week, and those are available for everyone. But if you want to get access to all of this exclusive membership content, you can head over to FoodBloggerPro.com/join to learn more and get signed up. That’s all we’ve got for you today, though. Thank you so much for tuning in. We really hope that you enjoyed this episode. Until next time, make it a great week.