In episode 445, Megan talks about how you can experience a transformation in your business in 2024 by joining the Eat Blog Talk mastermind experience.
We cover the definition of masterminds, the differences between EBT masterminds from others, a value analysis of all that’s offered in the year-long program, and information on how to get started.
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- 8-12 members gather together for a year.
- Rotating hot seats so each member gets to bring relevant issues to the table and get help
- A dedicated consistent leader who is also a food blogger.
- Networking and connection are Megan’s superpower which fosters relationships within the community.
- Creates a value of service and love within the group.
- Guest experts are invited into the group once a month.
- A Slack group is created and shared for the group to use all year long, outside the weekly meeting.
- Members coming into the group are invited in, with the idea that they are willing to share and are invested in growth for themselves and the group as a whole.
- Friendships and bonds are made that bring a lot of value to the group and beyond.
- You won’t feel isolated anymore.
Click for full script.
Intro: Hi, how are you today? Thank you so much for tuning in to the Eat BlogTalk podcast. This is the place for food bloggers to get information and inspiration to accelerate your blog’s growth and ultimately help you to achieve your freedom, whether that’s financial, personal, or professional. I’m Megan Porta. I have been a food blogger for 13 years, so I understand how isolating food blogging can be. I’m on a mission to motivate, inspire, and most importantly, let each and every food blogger, including you, know that you are heard and supported.
Megan Porta: Hello there, my favorite people. Thank you so much for tuning in to the podcast today. This is Eat Blog Talk episode number 445, and it’s sponsored by the amazing RankIQ of course. Inside this episode, we will dig into some real life ways the Eat Blog Talk Mastermind groups can transform a business, as well as the entrepreneur behind the business. You all hear me preach about how powerful these groups are, but today you will be able to hear it from others outside myself, on top of that.
Before we get to the topic at hand though, here is a quick word from an EBT sponsor.
Sponsor: Taking a minute to chat about MealPro app real quick, food bloggers. Artificial intelligence, algorithm changes, cookie apocalypses, these are all anxiety inducing trends, and who knows what’s next. If you want to future proof your income, then the MealPro app could be the answer for you.
MealPro app helps food bloggers to repurpose their existing content into memberships that earn recurring revenue. With their platform, you can add your name, your logo, and your color scheme, add or import your recipes with ease, share customizable meal plans and grocery lists, sell subscriptions through their platform, or connect to your existing website or plugin. You can even launch your own mobile app. The best part? 100 percent no code involved.
If you are looking to add a sustainable new income stream to your business, the MealPro app might be the solution for you. Head over to EatBlogTalk.com/resources. Click the button below the Meal Pro app logo. Go to EatBlogTalk.com/resources to learn more and get started today.
Megan Porta: Hey, we are back and I’m so excited to be here chatting with you, just the two of us today. It has been a really long time since I have recorded a solo episode without a guest. I think it may have been an entire year, if I am correct, which is crazy. I definitely need to touch in more often, just you and me.
Now, we’re going to talk about the power of the Eat Blog Talk Mastermind today. So to prepare for that, if you’re at your computer, if you’re somewhere where you can look at your phone easily, open up the URL with all the information about the Mastermind so you have something to reference. Go to EatBlogTalk.com/Mastermind and you’ll have all the information right in front of you, including case studies, testimonials. All the information and details you will need to know.
I am super excited to let you hear from some of my current members and previous members, but first let’s go over some quick, frequently asked questions that will help to frame this topic really well.
First of all, you might be wondering a very general question, which is what is a mastermind group? I actually have people reach out and ask me this what are you doing in these groups? What is a mastermind group? The best way I can think to describe it is taking a quote from Napoleon Hill, who is the author of Think and Grow Rich, and he describes a mastermind group as the coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people who work toward a definite purpose in the spirit of harmony.
There is this indescribable, intangible magic that comes from quality run, coordinated mastermind groups that contain high-quality people who are like-minded. It’s really hard to explain it in words until you experience it, which is why I have such a hard time explaining it to people outside of just giving Napoleon’s quote. His description, two or more people working toward a definite purpose in the spirit of harmony, really is the gist of it, and it is the best description I can think of to share here.
The Eat Blog Talk masterminds specifically contain between 8 and 12 people depending on the year and the week. We meet on Zoom calls, so virtually once a week for 90 minutes, and we do what we call a hot seat rotation. So we rotate through the members, giving each an opportunity to present their own challenges and have the spotlight on them so that all of their peers in the group can really focus on just figuring out the answers to all of their problems and challenges. It’s really effective and powerful and transformative.
The next question is, how is the Eat Blog Talk Mastermind group different from other groups? I love this question and I get this question a lot as well. It’s my favorite one to answer because I strongly believe that the Eat Blog Talk mastermind group is very different from other groups, in many good ways.
The main thing I believe that sets it apart is just having a dedicated consistent leader, who shows up consistently, not just for the calls, but outside the calls in our shared Slack group. I provide my time consistently. I provide love and any expertise I have to share to guide and support the members throughout the entire year. That is not to say I don’t take time off, but if I do take time off, I make sure that there is a quality facilitator to step in for me that week to take over where necessary.
Another thing that sets it apart is just the fact that I have logged a lot of time facilitating these groups. I’ve also logged a lot of time being a food blogger. So I have experience in both realms and you can trust in the extensive experience that drives the success of this program.
Another thing that sets it apart is one of my superpowers is being a really powerful connector and networker. I love connecting individuals with the right people who can best serve them and assist them, which fosters really valuable relationships, partnerships, collaborations within the community. I’ve always been like this, even as a kid, a teenager, a young adult; I was always connecting and bringing people together with an intention of, honestly, just creating an environment of value, service, and love. I’m sure there are a lot of leaders out there who have these qualities as well, but I believe that this combination of qualities really helps to set this group apart.
Another thing that sets it apart, I also prioritize getting in really quality guest experts. We invite a guest expert once a month into the Mastermind group. It is also a Zoom call. These guest experts are not fluff. These are the best, most relevant experts in the food blogging industry who show up ready to serve the members, one on one answering their questions as needed, and just making sure that you receive the best insights and knowledge that you can get.
Also, these groups are one of my top life priorities, honestly. I prioritize the calls and everything involved with the Mastermind more than just about anything else in my life, minus my family and my own well being and my family’s being and all of that, obviously, but this group is such an important part of my life. I prioritize it like no other.
Another thing that really brings magic into the group is I like to make sure that the members who come in are very willing to share the information that they have. That ensures that we are just creating this environment of collaboration and growth and learning and that people don’t come in holding things back or holding things really close to their chests. The more we share, the more everybody grows and that is a common theme in all of the groups.
These groups also create life changing transformations. I know this because I’ve run them for multiple years now, and I’ve seen how this plays out. It’s not something that I’m anticipating will happen, I’ve actually seen it. I have friends who were in this same group last year, the year before. I’ve been watching how their businesses have changed and how their lives have changed and how things have evolved for them in such a good way, because of the group. Not to say that they wouldn’t have eventually made these changes, but the group massively accelerated these changes for them and it’s been so cool to see that.
Also I’ve just loved seeing the lasting relationships that have been formed inside the groups. This is something that I didn’t anticipate, and I don’t know why, but it’s been really cool to see that. One year together is a long time together, and you will very intimately get to know people and connect with them.
That was a long answer to that question, but I think it is very necessary. So the next question is a very important one that I’m sure is on your mind. What is the investment? Before I tell you what the investment is, and you can see it right on the website so you might already know, I would love to do something that I haven’t done before, which is a value analysis.
So let’s break down the individual pieces of the mastermind group and assign values to them. So we have 52, 90 minute calls per year, so one a week. I, Megan Porta, charge $597 for a 90 minute coaching session. So if you called me and you were like, Hey, let’s have a coaching session, that is how much I would ask for you to pay. So take that times 52. This component alone carries a value of $31,000.
Now granted, if you did like a coaching package with me, I would not charge you $31,000, but we also wouldn’t meet once a week with a coaching situation. On top of that, each mastermind call is so much more than just a coaching session with me. I do not bring value most of the time. The other members bring the value. So if you are in your hot seat, you are getting 8 to 12 different people and perspectives to help you solve your challenges as well as me. So the value actually is so much more than $31,000. I don’t even know what number I would put on that.
Now let’s talk about guest expert calls. One guest expert comes into the group every month to deliver value on a specific topic, like I mentioned. So they talk about things such as SEO, keyword research, Pinterest, email marketing, digital products, money mindset. We’ve talked about Enneagrams and maybe some of the more intangible stuff, but all kinds of topics across the board.
Let’s estimate that there’s an average of, I don’t know, $350 an hour for these guest experts time, which is probably shooting a little bit low, but that’s a value alone of $4,200. And starting in 2024, we are now including a member only retreat at the beginning of each year. So I don’t have a date set yet for the next retreat, but it’s going to be sometime in January or February. That is included in the pricing, which carries a value of $2,000. As of tomorrow, September 15th, a 90 minute one on one planning call with me is also included in the pricing, and that is valued at $597.
The things I have mentioned so far are things that are really easy to assign pricing and dollar value to. But there are also intangible benefits that cannot necessarily be assigned a number, such as the value of the Slack channel that you will have access to that is basically a direct line to answers within minutes most of the time, or the partnerships that come from the connections you make in the group that produce revenue down the road. Or the friendships that you will take away from the group that make you feel a lot less isolated. We could really go on and on with this. Again, I can’t necessarily put a price point on those things.
So let’s add up those tangible things that I assigned dollar values to. The $31,044 of the coaching plus the $4,200 of the guest experts plus the retreat, $2,000 plus the one-on-one coaching with me, $597 comes to $37,841. That’s a lot of money. I would never ask you to pay $37, 000, but that truly is how much value you’re getting if we had to put a dollar amount to it. So you’re getting all of that for $12,000, which is the actual price tag to be in the group for one year. The next FAQ is, are there discounts? The answer to that is yes. I’m really glad you’re listening to this today because I am offering 25 percent off from September 15th through the end of October 2023, mostly to bridge the gap between the old pricing and the new because I know it’s a sticker shock going from what it was. to what it is now. And I don’t want people to turn away just because of the price increase. We need good people in this group. You need this group. And so I want to bridge that gap. So 25 percent off if you want to be considered for the group, click the apply now button at EatBlogTalk.com/mastermind. Get on that list and from there I will contact you.
I do like to get on calls with every single person that applies. Because it’s really important that you’re a good fit for the group and that the group is a good fit for you.
Which leads me to, how do I know if I’m a good fit for the group? I really don’t like putting experience level on this question because I feel like there are so many new bloggers who just have so much value to share and add to a group like this. I’m really glad I haven’t ever done that because there have been new to newish bloggers inside of my groups who have provided so much value to the other members, and by telling them that they couldn’t be in the group because of an experience level, we’ve would have excluded all of this value that they have shared with me and other members.
To be a good fit for the group, I do have a few things that I look for. Your blog should be up and running. You should have a basic knowledge of WordPress and how to get posts up at the bare minimum. Preferably, you’ve got recipe posts that are published and that are generating some traffic, but that is not a deal breaker if you don’t have that part of it.
We have people in the group who fall into my baseline category all the way to having 10 years of blogging experience. So there really is quite a range and that is okay. In fact, I found that is really good because some of the newer bloggers come in with, oh my gosh, so much drive. They are so ready to crush it and level up. They really dig into the new, relevant, fresh information that some of us older bloggers don’t know yet. I find that I learn a lot from the newer bloggers and that some of us older bloggers or more OG bloggers, really have the most to learn in some cases and depending on the topic, et cetera.
That explains that aspect. I also look for people who are just really willing to share their knowledge. I’ve had a few calls over the years where I just get the feeling that people are holding their information really close to themselves and that they aren’t wanting to share it. But they want the information from others and that is not a good fit for this group. Something else I look for is people who are, I wouldn’t say outgoing necessarily, but just willing to speak up on a call and give input. Even if you consider yourself a newish blogger, that doesn’t mean that you can’t come to the calls and share and ask questions and speak up and give your thoughts, opinions, advice when needed and when asked for.
Those are the prerequisites. Also I guess I would say just a desire to learn and grow and a willingness to show up consistently or as consistently as possible is really vital too. You’ve got to come to most of the calls. You are not expected to come to every call. That’s ridiculous. Life is life. You have vacations and sickness and things going on. I get it. I don’t come to all the calls either, but you should do your best to get to most calls. That kind of describes in a big nutshell what I’m looking for when I fill these groups. But if you have any questions about those, you can let me know.
Then the next question is how do I get started? So I mentioned this a little bit ago, but fill out an application, go to eatblogtalk.com/mastermind. Click the apply now button. There is a short application that you will go through and answer a few questions about yourself and your blog and your goals. That will help me determine if we should set up a call. If we set up a call and everything is great. Yes, you’re a good fit. Yes. The group is a good fit. Then we move forward with payment and you’re in. Now, as far as next year, we already have quite a few people who are in the group. I have my list in front of me right here. So I have two, four, six. There are already seven people signed up and paid for 2024. So that doesn’t leave a whole lot of spots left. So if this is something that is intriguing you, please apply now.
Okay, I’m going to let you hear from my awesome current and previous members. I love my members so much. We get to know each other so well. So this is really fun for me to hear what they say to the interviewer who puts together these case studies and testimonials for me. It’s really fun to hear them talk about the power of the group.
The first lovely voice that you’ll hear is from a previous member and friend, Kara Myers. She is the blogger over at Sweetly Splendid. In this clip, she talks through what her blogging life and her professional situation was prior to joining the Mastermind and what it was like after it was done.
Kara Myers: Prior to joining the Mastermind, I had qualified for Mediavine. I had a couple of other goals that I was going for traffic wise, sponsorship wise, that sort of thing. I had met all of those in terms of income, traffic, qualifying for Mediavine, everything. I had met all of those goals. I hit this moment of, now what? Now what do I do? I don’t even know what to do next because I have hit all the major milestones. So I felt, I don’t want to say plateaued, but I just felt like I was floating along at that point because I thought, I’m not going for this major thing anymore. So now what do I do with my time? Do I just keep trucking along like I was, or, because it’s hard for me to not have a really tangible goal to be going after to stay super motivated and working as hard as I was prior to qualifying for Mediavine, if there wasn’t something I was trying to attain.
I remember I had talked to Megan and I said, this is the lull I’m in. I don’t know where to go next. She had said the mastermind would be perfect because there’s like-minded people in there that can help you come up with other things to focus on and more goals to make and different avenues to take. So that’s initially why I decided to join. It did exactly that for me.
We clicked so well. We were all very forthcoming. We were all very trusting of each other. They came up with things that I didn’t think of. Hey, grow your email list or a subscription service. I had been toying with it in my mind. They helped me implement that. There were all these different little avenues I didn’t think I could go down and they came up with those ideas and helped me, basically pushed me to achieve them and get them accomplished. It kept me from living in that lull. I continually had someone who was like, Hey. Have you tried doing this? Hey, have you grown in this area? They would help me, because we all had our own little things that we were good at. We all had our strengths. They would use their strengths to help push me and help me grow. So I grew a lot over the course of the mastermind. I would say, it’s not just monetarily and it’s not just in one area, but as a blogger, as a whole, my traffic, my sponsorships, my email list, all of it grew because I had people in my group who had really strong experiences in those areas and they were willing to help me and willing to push me and help me get there. Where I was prior to the Mastermind, growing in very specific areas, I feel like the Mastermind was a full circle, whole growth sort of situation.
Megan Porta: One of the questions I get frequently from people who are considering joining the Mastermind is how hard or how easy is it to get to know the other members? I have no idea who they are. You’ve just randomly put me with these people. So is that a hangup I should worry about? In this clip, Kara shares her experience with that very thing.
Kara Myers: I felt very comfortable very quickly. It says a lot about the people I was in my group with because they were also very forthcoming with information. They were very trusting and we all just went for it. One of the girls in my group I had met previously. So I had a small, one interaction with her prior, but the others, it was the very first time meeting them. It helped that everyone was so open and willing to share and be trusting with each other. I would say maybe two calls and I felt completely comfortable.
Megan Porta: There is no doubt about it. Joining the Mastermind is a big investment in yourself and in your business. I get it. I have been in places in the past with different groups that I’ve invested in that have been big investments as well. Before deciding to take the leap and make the investment, it was hard. It was no joke. I gave it much thought before actually doing it. So I completely understand this part of it and want to acknowledge that I get it. I totally understand. I obviously want you to take the leap if it’s a good fit for you, but I also want you to feel good about it. So in this next audio clip, Kara addresses this issue and how she perceived it as being a big investment as well, and how she got past that and took the leap anyway.
Kara Myers: It was a hard decision for me because of the money. It’s a big investment. It was a mindset of, is this worth it? Is it going to be all that they say it’s going to be? So I just had to trust and put that blind faith into, they’re going to show up as much as I am. They’re going to commit to it as much as I am. They’re going to be as forthcoming with information as I will be. And that was scary for me. What actually sold me on it was I talked to a few of the bloggers in the previous group and they all raved about it and they said, no, this is excellent. We love it. This is how it works. They all gave a lot of similar feedback that I will say was a huge point in me trusting that this was a good choice.
Megan Porta: One of my very favorite things to find out after masterminds have run the course of their year is the wins that people experience throughout their time in the group. Most of the time it’s things that I couldn’t even see or perceive or were even remotely on my radar. So I love hearing the answers to this question, and I especially like Kara’s answer here. She has such a great answer about her wins that came to her.
Kara Myers: One of my wins was my email list completely changed. Going into this, I treated my email list as… Just an extra on the side sort of thing. As I was the mastermind, my group basically educated me on how important your email list can be for you and how you can grow it and that sort of thing. So a major win for me was I just basically overhauled my entire welcome sequence, my email. I now have different segments that get different types of emails, things like that. My traffic specifically from email has grown significantly because I no longer see it as this just extra little thing on the side. I actually see the benefits of it. I think they were really important to getting it to where it is now.
In fact, one of my subscription things that I’m now doing that my group encouraged me to follow through on. One of my group members actually helped me come up with the entire email sequence that I have going for it now that has turned into basically a trip wire for that subscription and providing a free version of it and things like that. She helped me come up with that entire idea. I was overwhelmed to begin with, but after she talked me through it, I felt super excited about it. I ended up getting it all prepared and ready within 24 hours after her and I had talked, and I had put it off for months. That was a huge win for me because it was this monster that I didn’t want to address. She got me super excited about it and was like, no, you can approach it like this and then it’ll help them do this. Then you can help people with this. It’ll just move right in. I would say that was a really big win for me because I took something that I was not utilizing at all into something I utilize every day now.
Another thing was hiring. When I went into this, I was doing it all myself, all of it. It’s a lot. It’s a lot to do by yourself. That was something everybody encouraged. If you can hire a virtual assistant, if you can hire a writer, if you can hire somebody that can help you with some of this workload you can grow because it gives you time to spend more time on other things. I met my virtual assistant through the group. I have her now, which has freed me up, which has helped me grow because now I can dedicate more time to other things. I feel like just a major win for me was my business as a whole has grown from being in this because it’s helped me, not just, like I said, in a specific area, but overall in all the little tiny things that you don’t think will really move the needle, it actually did as an overall really move the needle for me. I grew a lot over the course of a year from all these little changes that everybody recommended to me.
Megan Porta: There are so many different reasons why a really well run mastermind works. One of those main components is just having a very dedicated, selective set of eyes on your content, on your work, on your business, on you and your mindset. Kara talks about the power of that in this clip.
Kara Myers: I don’t know. It was really nice for me, if I’m making a new opt-in or making some sort of graphic or anything like that, it’s like a whole set of eyes to review it and see it and say, Hey, this one’s a little hard for me to read. Could you make this a little bigger, a little bolder? Or what if you preordered it like this? It’s like your own little support group that will give you critique and criticism, like constructive criticism, but things you need to hear in a very loving way. It was very helpful for me across the board. I feel like there were tons of tiny wins, things I can’t even think of right now, but tons of tiny wins along the way.
Megan Porta: Having been through the Mastermind and knowing how the groups run very well, Kara gives such a great description of what type of food blogger might be looking for a group like this.
Kara Myers: If you’re looking for a support group and you are looking for people who are in your industry and looking to give you that constructive, supportive criticism, but can also push you and give you the nudges you need, because this is a very isolating industry. It can be very isolating. If you’re looking for that, a mastermind is great for you. If you’re in a lull and you’re looking to grow in any way, shape or form, it’s probably a good thing for you. Even if you’re not qualified for an ad network and you’re trying to get to that, it’s a good thing because having that extra set of eyes and that dedicated hot seat time, it’s major. Because we joke that you get hot seat hangovers and you do. It’s because you get so much information given to you and people are sitting there dedicating that amount of time to you and your site and your questions. You’ve got this panel of people that are spending all of their brain power in that moment to help you. I feel if you’re trying to grow or take that next step in your blog, or you just need that outside opinion and input, it’s perfect for that. But I will say, I always look at it as you have to give what you’re wanting to get from the group. So you have to be willing to dedicate the time. That means when you have to schedule appointments and other things, they have to happen around the mastermind. You have to prioritize the mastermind group and that time slot and show up every week. You also have to be willing to share, you have to be willing to trust your people in your group. If you’re willing to do all those things, and that’s a position you’re in, you’re trying to grow, but you’re willing to do those things as well, I think a mastermind is perfect for that. I’m a big fan.
Megan Porta: In this clip, Kara talks about one of the unexpected benefits that come from being in the Mastermind. She’s not alone in this. A lot of my members who have gone through the Mastermind report this very same unexpected benefit.
Kara Myers: One of my goals prior to joining the Mastermind was I wanted to be more involved in the food blogger community because it’s so isolating. I’m an introvert, so I’m quick to be like, cool, I get to work by myself and alone. Great. One of my goals, I had told myself for last year, actually for 2022, I was like, I will be more involved in the food blogger community. I will talk to people. I will develop relationships with people in my industry and that sort of thing. I did that and the mastermind really helped with that. I’m shocked that there are friendships that I’ve developed that have extended past the end of the mastermind.
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Megan Porta: The next person you will hear from is a previous member who I love. She is such a great blogger. She blogs over at Cook Eat Go and also That Guy Who Grills. In this clip, she talks about some of the pain points she had when she started the group and also the benefits of running your issues and challenges by a group who knows you versus just running them by a random Facebook group or another group of people who don’t know you as well.
Jennifer Johnson: I’ve been doing it since, what, 2011 ish. So I didn’t have Gutenberg on any of my sites. I didn’t have web stories. I wasn’t hiring out. So I was struggling to keep up with everything. So I joined the Mastermind in hopes that it was better knowledge than what I was getting from Facebook groups where you ask everybody and everybody has an opinion. The ladies in the group and the gentlemen, because we had a gentleman in ours, they grew to know my content and so they were able to fine tune advice to what my sites were about and what my needs were. Then they learned to understand how my brain works. So when they came down to explaining some of the technical stuff, they were able to break it down for me better than I would have with a stranger from a Facebook group or email.
I tried a couple smaller groups where they would run a mastermind through a Facebook group, but it wasn’t very personalized help. It was all just vague and maybe it’ll fit, maybe it won’t. There wasn’t the people connection. I was really looking for a people connection before joining the mastermind.
Megan Porta: During the course of Jen’s year in the mastermind, she took on a project that was bigger than perhaps any member I’ve ever seen take on. This is also an example of how OG bloggers like Jen and myself can benefit from newer bloggers. Listen to the project that she did and imagine how this has changed her business.
Jennifer Johnson: I hit a wall with growth is what it was coming down to. I couldn’t figure out how to grow my site and I couldn’t figure out how to keep up. Back in the day we used to write a 300 word article and you’d hit the front page of Google. Now you have to have what to serve, how to store and all that extra stuff and so finding the balance was really hard and so the group really helped me to fine tune that in. I actually converted every single blog post on both the cooking sites in the Gutenberg from November to February. There was a lot of ugly code and there’s still stuff I need to go back and keep adding to, but at least the bulk of it was done.
Megan Porta: Here’s another awesome example of a member who found that unexpected benefit of friendships and connection. I love this clip.
Jennifer Johnson: I really wasn’t expecting that. Now we’ve messaged about our private issues in life. In addition to the business, it all ties together, but I really wasn’t expecting to find such good friendship in a group like this. So I was expecting it to just be business stuff.
Megan Porta: When you’re just hearing about how often the Mastermind group gets together virtually, you might think that it’s an excessive, obscene amount of time, but it’s not. That weekly accountability is so huge and vital, and it really does go so fast. Jen talks a little bit about that in this clip, how the weekly accountability was such a huge benefit to her.
Jennifer Johnson: The weekly accountability was big because it’s so easy to, Oh, I’ll do it next week. Oh, I’ll do it next week. So knowing that I had set these goals with these ladies or talked about what I was doing, knowing that I had to come back and say, Oh, I sucked again and I didn’t do it, or I actually got it done kind of made a big difference in my mindset with everything going on. Then just seeing faces every weekend, talking about what we’re hearing in the interwebs and finding out what’s working for others on a factual basis instead of just speculation was really a big difference in my business.
Megan Porta: In this clip, Jen talks a little bit about the investment topic and how she determined that it was a good investment for her and her business.
Jennifer Johnson: It’s worth the investment you’re investing in yourself and your business. It helps to build a community where you didn’t know you were lacking a sense of community and also having a sounding board to bounce ideas off of to figure out if it’s the right move for your business. If you’re coming up with new ideas or new sources of traffic or any of that stuff.
Megan Porta: In this clip from Jen, she talks through some of the things that she’s now working through in her business. Thanks to the input from her fellow mastermind members.
Jennifer Johnson: I’m going to actually start making brand new content for the first time in a couple of years. So that’s huge. Also I’ve gotten advice on how to step up parts of my photography game and then just getting content out the right way, now, the first time versus having to go back through it and update with all the new changes since I had first started blogging.
Megan Porta: Now you will hear a few clips from my friend and previous member, Maren from eatingworks.com. She is such an inspiration. She was on the Eat Blog Talk podcast earlier in 2023. You might remember her story and her amazing traffic transformation that she experienced. But here you’ll get to hear some other clips from her. In this clip, she talks about why she joined the Mastermind and what some of her struggles were.
Maren Epstein: The unusual struggle of just not making Mediavine, feeling really frustrated with the content I was creating, not ranking. I took a few months off, maybe four or five months, where I really focused on the blog and republishing recipes. I felt like it took me so long to test the recipe test, publish a recipe, and then to wait six months to see if the SEO panned out and for it not to work was just so unbelievably frustrating. I got blogger burnout and just wanted to quit.
So I felt like I was either going to just put myself fully in it for a year and it was going to work. I joined the Mastermind, and if not, I was going to sell it for whatever I could get and move on.
Megan Porta: This next clip is something that I never think to mention, but Maren talks about how she listened to the Eat Blog Talk podcast and was able to learn some overarching concepts and strategies to implement in her business and how she saw a little traction with those and figured that the Mastermind would be just a much deeper, more intense, more growth filled version of that.
Maren Epstein: I heard it and started implementing a few of the suggestions from the podcast and that’s what started helping me see traction. So even though it wasn’t a lot of traction, it was just like a scrap of hope. I figured if this works, then maybe there’s more here. Blogging is a lonely road and when it’s not working, it’s hard to stick with things. So having a structure and people to lean on, I figured would be helpful.
Megan Porta: I hear this question all the time from people who want to be in the group. They say, I feel like I don’t have much to offer, like everyone else is going to be more experienced than me. Maren addresses this very thing and how she had some of these similar feelings and how that transpired for her.
Maren Epstein: My first impression was good. It was a little overwhelming because there were a lot of bloggers with more experience in my group who had been in Mediavine, were earning full time incomes off their blog already. So I felt a little bit like, I don’t know what I can really contribute here. I felt like I was taking more than I was giving, but everybody was really supportive and I was happy to be there.
Megan Porta: Here is yet another example of a member who did not expect to make connections the way that they did. So listen to Maren’s clip.
Maren Epstein: I didn’t expect to become friends with anybody, but I did. I felt like I made some lasting friendships.
Megan Porta: I always hear this. If you make a big investment in a group or a conference or something, coaching or whatever it is, all it takes is one thing to change your life and your business trajectory. For Maren, she has one thing that was mentioned early on in her membership inside the Mastermind and she talks about that here and how much it changed her business.
Maren Epstein: Web stories. I’ve heard it before and I just wasn’t doing it and I was just so frustrated. Making one web story just took me so long and then I just ignored it. But they suggested web stories and I said, all right, started doing them and I had immediate success. My blog shot up from I don’t know, 10,000 sessions to 16,000 pretty quick. I thought, oh, web stories are going to help get to Mediavine. So that was one thing that really stuck. Of course, then, as things in life do, as soon as it started going well, it started going back down again. But that was one thing that I implemented right away.
Megan Porta: I so clearly remember the first initial call that I had with Maren before she joined the group and how frustrated she was with her numbers and her lack of revenue. S o this next clip makes me so happy because she crushed her goals and she is aiming for even bigger goals, which makes me so happy.
Maren Epstein: Just focus on what you can, and not every business thrives in every single area. Ultimately, my goal was really for the income to come from the advertising network, and that is one thing that has steadily ticked up month over month since joining Mediavine. I could see how, while I’m not retiring off of spatula sales quite yet, that, down the line, how this is going to be a multi six figure business.
Megan Porta: We have some real talks in our mastermind calls and Maren talks about that here and how she approached the group and asked, Is this worth it? Is this blogging business worth my time and energy? We were real with her. We said, Absolutely. Yes, it is. Here’s how you need to do it. So she talks about that here in this clip.
Maren Epstein: Before I joined the mastermind, I was pretty overwhelmed and ready to quit. But then the mastermind helped me keep going. Those meetings every week made me realize I’m not the only one in the boat. There are lots of people struggling with the same things. I even asked, “Is this better off as just a hobby or is the income at the end of the line, really worth it? Is it worth it to sacrifice the time in my other part of my career to be devoting to this, working for literally less than pennies? They said, yes. So that really got me motivated, and I’m starting to see that they are not wrong.
Megan Porta: Sometimes it’s just those nitty gritty numbers and details that people want to hear about before they join. So Maren talks about her massive growth with her blog traffic, where she started, where she ended up, and also that it didn’t stop there. All the work she put in during the course of the year in the group is now compounding and paying off in fruitful dividends.
Maren Epstein: So basically I started with about 5, 000 sessions and when I left the group I was at about 55,000 now I’m to 78, 000 sessions and the growth is like 20 percent month over month So what’s nice is that it compounds so each month that the blog is alive, it grows that much more. So I’m still seeing all that growth.
Megan Porta: Here, Maren talks about how she’s feeling since the Mastermind has ended. It’s been a few months at the point where this is recorded and she talks about just feeling more motivated and having a clearer picture of her business.
Maren Epstein: I’d say I’m more motivated. I actually can see the light at the end of the tunnel, whereas before I just felt like I was spinning my wheels. And for what? Because I did quite well at what I used to do. It was a lot easier and very unique to me. So part of me was like, I didn’t even know why I wanted it anymore. Now I have a very clear picture of my goals, what I want to do with my website, where it can go and what I want out of it.
Megan Porta: In this last clip from Marin, she addresses the topic of, do I invest in this mastermind group to move my business forward? She also gives advice about what to think about before you get in the group and get started. Here you go. Maren’s last audio clip.
Maren Epstein: My advice would be if they really wanted to do this as a business and they should absolutely join. But to also be realistic about goals if you’re in a financial situation where you really need to make this work, to have strong goals in the beginning of the mastermind to help you reach those goals because just getting ad income from the get go is not enough. You need to do sponsored content. You need to do freelance work and things like that to bridge the gap while you’re waiting for those sessions to tick up and that income to roll in. So just be prepared for a long road. Content creation, it’s a slog. It takes three years, two years, really, in my opinion, from what I’ve seen to really build a successful blog. You’ve got to put in the time.
Megan Porta: To finish off this episode, I put together a very small collection of audio clips from my current Mastermind members. They were generous enough to take a little time with me and just help to explain the benefits, the transformations, all of the good things that they’ve seen so far. in the group. They haven’t experienced the full evolution, the full journey of this group yet, but they are in it and you will get to hear what they are loving.
Kathy Hester: Hi, I’m Kathy Hester from HealthySlowCooking.com and I’ve been in the Eat Blog Talk mastermind this year. If you’re on the fence, what I want to tell you is it’s like having your own private group of experts. So you know what you know, and you know it really well, right? But there’s stuff you don’t know. So you’re in this group of people where someone is the Pinterest expert. Someone knows a lot about email. Of course, there’s Megan, who knows a lot about everything. But what I’ve loved most is just the advice that I’ve gotten and being able to ask questions all the time. So even though we only meet once a week, which at first seems like a lot, then it doesn’t. You have a whole group where you can go and ask questions whenever and people are super responsive and they’re really willing to share their knowledge and expertise. So I feel like my business has grown in a lot of different ways and it’s been great being able to just come and bring these questions. and get them answered. If you’re on the fence, I say do it.
Jessica-Whole Wheat Kitchen: Hi, I’m Jessica, a food blogger with my sister, Merissa, at the blog, Whole Wheat Kitchen. I’ve been in the Eat Blog Talk Mastermind since January. We have been able to narrow down our niche and triple our traffic. We feel we have so much support in this group.
Micaela Preston: Hi, I’m Micaela and I am a blogger at Mindful Mama. What I love most about the Eat Blog Talk Mastermind is getting feedback from other smart bloggers on my content and my social media and everything that I do with my business. It has just been super helpful for me to provide insights that I wouldn’t be able to get otherwise. Because other people can view my blog and get a new outlook on it and give me ideas that I otherwise wouldn’t have. I love these, the focused weekly sessions where I just get so many ideas, whether it’s my turn for the hot seat or not. I always come away with lots of ideas. Throughout the year I’ve just learned so much and gotten great ideas for my content and other ideas to get my business going.
Eloise Jennes: Hi, I’m Elo and I’m a blogger at cookingwithelo.com. I’ve now been a mastermind since January and one of the most transformative things that has happened to me is the confidence I gained from the amazing women in the mastermind. Talking through new projects with them and getting their encouragement really helped me believe in me and my projects even more, so much that I started showing myself on Instagram reels and ultimately decided to turn my business into a Personal brand.
Now going from mostly doing freelance work to finding the confidence to grow that personal brand all while doubling my traffic in less than a year has been so unexpected and beautiful at the same time. I’m already thinking how much I’m going to miss it next year and how I’m going to do this without the group.
Jill Machovsky: Hi, I’m Jill and I’m a blogger at Cooking Up Memories. I’ve been in the Eat BlogTalk Mastermind since January, and one of the coolest things I have found about being in this group is I found blogging lonely before, and it’s been really great to have a group of people that really want me to be successful and help me do that. My biggest goal was to get on Mediavine, and I’ve done that really about 30 days sooner than what my goal was. So it’s been really great, and I’m so happy to be part of it.
Megan Porta: All right, that’s what I have for you this episode, everyone. I hope this paints a really good picture about what the Mastermind Group provides, what it can do for you and your business, whether or not you’re a good fit for it. How our calls are structured, some of the unexpected benefits, all of those things that we talked through and all of my amazing members have talked through as well.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. You can send me a direct email, [email protected] anytime, whether it’s about this group or not. I love getting emails from you. Again, go to eatblogtalk.com/mastermind to get all of the information you could possibly ever need. As well as looking through some of the case studies that have been created, stuff that we haven’t even talked about in this episode. Results you will see after 12 months, there’s testimonials. All kinds of stuff on there that you’ll want to check out.
Remember, if you want to apply, click on that Apply Now button on the website and fill out an application. This does not mean that you’re automatically in the group, so don’t worry, that’s not a commitment of any sort. It’s just getting the process started and showing me that you are interested. I will take it from there. I will reach back out to you and we can determine whether it’s a good fit or not. If this is a good fit for you, you will want to get in on that 25 percent off discount before the price goes up. I do not know if I’m going to give discounts again in the future like ever, so it would be a really smart choice to take advantage of that because that’s a big chunk of money that you will save.
Okay, everyone, I hope you have a wonderful day and a wonderful rest of your week, and I’ll see you back here next time.
Outro: Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Eat Blog Talk. Please share this episode with a friend who would benefit from tuning in. I will see you next time.
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