In episode 456, Megan chats to Nick Minnick about how Chicory’s seamless, contextual shopping experience can help new and veteran bloggers monetize their blogs.
In this episode, we cover information about how the contextual commerce advertising platform, Chicory, works, including why it improves food bloggers’ site engagement and helps them make money through their blogs.
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Bio As the Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at Chicory, the leading contextual commerce advertising platform, Nick Minnick strategically builds, fosters, and oversees relationships with key recipe publishers, grocery retailers, and retail media networks. His purview spans 5,200+ recipe sites, including the Food Network, Delish, and Food52, as well as *70+ leading retailers. Minnick is hyper-focused on developing partnerships that fuel synergies between Chicory’s audiences and enhance the impact of Chicory’s contextual commerce advertising solutions for retailers and CPG brands. Minnick brings over 20 years of sales and marketing experience.
- *Since we recorded this podcast, Chicory’s retailer partnerships have grown from 60+ to 70+
- Monetize your blog using contextual commerce.
- Contextual commerce advertising solutions use recipe categories and ingredient data to target consumers with relevant, shoppable ads.
- Benefits to shoppers include privacy and a better browsing experience.
- Bloggers benefit from ads that align with the values and content of their blogs.
- Increase site engagement by using ads relevant to your users.
- Increased site engagement leads to more revenue.
- Create a simple shopping experience for users.
- Why does a positive shopping experience make a difference?
- Gain access to consumer trends through Chicory – gain insights into your top-performing content.
Click for full script.
EBT456 – Nick Minnick
Food bloggers, hi, how are you today? Thank you so much for tuning in to the Eat Blog Talk podcast. This is the place for food bloggers to get information and inspiration to accelerate your blogs’ growth and ultimately help you to achieve your freedom. Whether that’s financial, personal or professional.
I’m Megan Porta, and I’ve been a food blogger for over 13 years, I understand how isolating food blogging can be at times. 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 00:37
Hearing about new ways to monetize your blog is always welcomed. Am I right? In this episode, Nick Minnick from Chicory joins me and he tells us all about Chicory, how bloggers can use it to monetize their blogs no matter if you’re a very new blogger or you’re a more experienced blogger. It doesn’t matter. Anyone can install Chicory and get started today. Nick does such a great job of talking through benefits of Chicory on the user side and also benefits on the blogger side they really prioritize a good user experience for our users, which I know is important to all of us. Nick does a really good job in this episode of talking through how Chicory brings bloggers money, how it can increase site engagement, how easy it is to install and customize and so many other things. In a nutshell, Chicory provides a seamless shopping experience for users and a great way to monetize for food bloggers. I hope you love this episode and that you’re inspired to get Chicory installed on your site today and start earning money. This is episode number 456. Sponsored by RankIQ.
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Megan Porta 03:00
As the Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at Chicory, the leading contextual commerce advertising platform, Nick Minnick strategically builds, fosters, and oversees relationships with key recipe publishers, grocery retailers, and retail media networks. His purview spans 5,200+ recipe sites, including the Food Network, Delish, and Food52, as well as 60+ leading retailers, such as Kroger, Walmart, and Ahold Delhaize. Minnick is hyper-focused on developing partnerships that fuel synergies between Chicory’s audiences and enhance the impact of Chicory’s contextual commerce advertising solutions for retailers and CPG brands.
Minnick brings over 20 years of sales and marketing experience in the retail, CPG, shopper marketing and digital advertising sectors to his role at Chicory. Prior to joining Chicory, Nick advised retailers on their digital couponing and retail media platform development strategies while at Quotient. In addition to product development, marketing and sales roles, he led the retail in-store advertising sales and marketing teams at Valassis.
Hello, Nick, thank you so much for joining me today. How are you?
Nick Minnick 04:12
Terrific. Thank you, Megan. I get to say I’m really excited to be joining you today. On behalf of myself and Chicory we’re big fans of the Eat Blog Talk podcast too and have to say like we love how you’ve become a resource for the food blogger community too and there’s not just for like kind of larger bloggers food publishers but but really bloggers across the spectrum too. And like we’ve kind of like built our business around working with food bloggers too and are always kind of have our eyes open for like what resources are available and kind of what information is available to help food bloggers too so have to say congrats on on building out your Eat Blog Talk too but we love how you’ve become like a resource for food bloggers and kind of the creator economy.
Megan Porta 04:53
Oh, thank you. That was so nice of you to say yeah, thank you for that and just so happy to have you here. I love Chicory as well. And I’m excited to learn more about it and to share about Chicory with food bloggers. So I guess before we get into that, though, I like to ask all my guests if they have a fun fact to share about themselves. So wondering if you have something to share?
Nick Minnick 05:15
Oh, ah, yes, I do. So fun fact about me, I am actually a big fan of the outdoors. So I’m very passionate about hunting, fishing. And it really kind of translates to the great thing about my role is working with food bloggers, too, is I’m always looking for new recipes that involve kind of wild ingredients too. And I think it’s kind of the attraction of, you’ll be able to, you know, to work with and find ingredients that aren’t available at the grocery store, too. But that’s something that I enjoy is on the weekends, like going through kind of like food blogs that have like recipes for kind of wild game or wild ingredients too and kind of unique applications for those. But But yeah, I’ve got a hobby farm. And like, for example, a couple of weeks ago, I was hard at work making like way too many jars of blackberry jam too. But that’s really kind of what what excites me is like being able to kind of find some of those wild ingredients and make some cool things out of them.
Megan Porta 06:08
Oh, I love that you can kind of tap into food blogger resources too as well as helping food bloggers with their businesses. So great, fun fact. Good idea sharing that one.
Nick Minnick 06:19
Yeah, definitely though, it makes it fun to kind of work in this space too kind of get to combine a bit of more hobby with what I do professionally.
Megan Porta 06:25
Absolutely. That’s so cool. Love to Learn that about you. Now let’s talk about Chicory which I know provides a really seamless shopping experience for users. So to start, would you mind Nick, just kind of telling us what Chicory is in case people don’t know?
Nick Minnick 06:41
No, certainly. So Chicory like in a nutshell is a company that was founded on working with like food bloggers and food publishers to really create tools that they can use to increase kind of advertiser and sponsor engagement with the fantastic content they create. And Chicory was literally founded by kind of our two co founders, you know, roughly 10 years ago or so. And as the digital recipe space was kind of taking off, they early on, like recognized like one the value of all of the fantastic and very inspirational food content that was out there, but definitely saw a need to kind of streamline and make it easier to purchase the ingredients that were available via digital recipes. But at the same time kind of also recognized like the power of all of that very inspirational recipe content and the value of some of that very contextually relevant food content that lives within recipe sites and the value that that has to grocery retailers and food brands to be able to kind of advertise within that. And so that really was the genesis of Chicory is figuring out how we could make that shopping process a little bit more easier for users of food bloggers and recipe sites, but then also like, what kind of tools can we create within that content to really make it easier for food bloggers to really kind of, I guess, for lack of a better term, extract the value and the power of kind of the inspiration that lives within their recipes, and be able to let advertisers tap into that.
Megan Porta 08:09
I love how you have thought through the benefits for both shoppers and food bloggers. And I think that is so important to us as food bloggers, because obviously we want to do things that are great for our business and that benefit us. But also, our users are top priority, so we care about them as well. So this kind of fits all of those categories. And then before I get more into that, I was going to ask you, I know you guys use the word, like contextual commerce. Can you explain what that means?
Nick Minnick 08:40
Yeah, yeah, definitely too and to your earlier point too like, as you know, as we’ve been working with, with food bloggers for years now too like we’ve realized is food blogging is not easy, like it is, it is a difficult task to on a consistent basis, create, you know, engaging ads and like applicable and valuable content to your users too and, and really is kind of one of the premises that Chicory was founded on is the tools that we can make so that food bloggers and creators can really focus on on building out that valuable content. But we also know it’s always a balance between kind of that user experience and the advertising experience. And, you know, we’d like to see ourselves as being a partner to the food bloggers, and really kind of figuring out that optimal mix of being able to deliver, you know, relevant advertising that food creators and bloggers can monetize. But kind of not upsetting that cart too, with the user experience too, and making sure that it’s still streamed online and valuable and useful experience for the users that are engaging with their content too and really, that’s all kind of combined to create a concept that that we call contextual commerce, and it’s really trying to figure out how advertising and sponsorship opportunities can live within that that recipe content and provide actually provide value to the users too so versus kind of being a more obtrusive ad that, that might kind of diminish the user experience, like how can we create tactics and sponsorships that live within and kind of complement and show kind of applicable or relevant items within the ingredients or are adjacent to the recipe that, again, allows the bloggers to monetize that content while still providing a valuable user experience.
Megan Porta 10:19
That was such a good explanation. Thank you. I mean, I kind of gathered what it meant. But I could never have said that. So thank you for that. Okay, so you’ve mentioned the user in which the user is the shopper usually like going to the food blog and wanting to purchase ingredients. So what would you say are the biggest benefits to our users by utilizing this, Chicory?
Nick Minnick 10:44
Yeah, so we’ve really created a suite of different tactics that that bloggers can deploy on their sites, but really just kind of two, two main focuses of our functionality, Chicory has created what we call like recipe activation. And it kind of manifests itself in the get ingredients button that lives within the the recipe sites that we partner with. And essentially, it’s functionality that allows a user like rather rather viewing a recipe to be able to click on that button, and essentially cart all of the items that are in the recipe at local retailer that has e-commerce functionality. So over the years, what we’ve done is built out partnerships and actually formed technical integrations with retailers so that we’ve got the ability to add items to cart. And when somebody clicks on that button, we’re essentially applying an advanced natural language processing application that actually parses out and assigns search terms real-time for each of those ingredients. And then via our retailer integrations, what we can do is place those items in those search terms into a retailer’s e-commerce search functionality. So, again, all real-time, what we’re doing is allowing users to essentially cart and purchase those items at a local retailer. And so really kind of its kind of our flagship functionality is that get ingredients button. But again, this is this is user functionality that, you know, we’ve shown it provides value to shoppers on recipe sites to kind of again, kind of connects that last mile of allowing site users and shoppers to be able to shop those items, and cart them too so it definitely increases kind of the stickiness of sites if that functionality is built in, but again, drives the more positive user experience. So that’s our kind of our flagship functionality. But in addition to that, and this is where we provide a lot of value to the blogger community. And it goes back to the concept of contextual commerce is we’ve created ad units that live with in the recipe sites actually can be delivered within the ingredients like directly underneath the ingredients. And also adjacent to the recipe sites. And when our technology is deployed on the sites, we’re essentially recording all the ingredients in the recipes and actually assigning values to for the recipe type. And what this allows Chicory to do is our in house sales team is working with retailers and working with CPG brands, and going out to them with the ability to deliver very relevant and very contextually targeted ad campaigns. That, for example, I could deploy an ad unit, you know, advertising, gold medal flour for General Mills, like directly underneath flour as an ingredient, and applicable recipes, you know, or if a brand is interested in targeting a campaign that has a back to school theme, like we can target recipes that are kid friendly, too. So we’ve also kind of created these these very relevant, very non-obtrusive ad tactics that live within the recipe card, and essentially allow food bloggers to monetize the content that they’ve created via the retail and CPG communities.
Megan Porta 13:48
A couple of questions. So you mentioned retailers a few times, how do you decide which retailer you connect the ingredients to in the cart? Do you have a few preferred retailers you use?
Nick Minnick 13:59
Yeah, no great question. We really let the user decide that to a certain extent. So we’ve built out partnerships with over 60 different large grocers within the US. So it’s all targeted by ZIP codes, when a user clicks on that button, depending on the zip code that they’re in, we’re actually going to display a list of retailers that have local e-commerce functionality, whether that’s delivery or pickup from store. So whenever somebody clicks on that button, they’re going to see a list of retailers that are available in their immediate geography. So I live in a in the Detroit area. And so when I click on that button, I’m going to see six or seven retailers that are local to me, but if somebody is on the east coast or the west coast, they might see a completely different set of retailers based off the geography and so really, at the end of the day, it’s the user that that in their location that gets to decide what those retailers that are featured.
Megan Porta 14:50
Okay, that makes sense. And then you mentioned the ad campaigns that can be produced. Does that interfere with, say ads from an ad network?
Nick Minnick 14:59
Oh, Oh, great question. No, it does not too. And that’s, that’s an important distinction with the service and kind of the suite of tactics that we offer. These ads live within kind of proprietary Chicory ad units within the recipe card. So they essentially complement the other ad placements on site that may be powered by an ad network partner too and for example, like we actually have a partnership with Mediavine too so, Mediavine bloggers have the ability to sign up for Chicory’s ad units and get ingredient button within the media vine dashboard too so again, the units that we’re powering are very contextual, and kind of complement a lot of the other activity that’s going on site, but are very non obtrusive, like, if we don’t have a campaign that’s targeting a specific ingredient or a specific recipe, you know, for a particular recipe that a user is viewing, there’s no ads at all that show up too. So we’re only serving these ads, you know, to applicable ingredients and applicable recipes to which is, which is also great. You know, it is definitely again, like very relevant advertising. So the targeting kind of proves out that you know, when when a user is viewing an ad, that it’s going to be something that’s relevant to the recipe that they’re viewing. But because we’re targeting these campaigns, contextually, we’re not targeting specific users, like a lot of the concerns with cookie list advertising that are coming up to really well impact what we do. And the way that we’re delivering these ads, like not only ensures the relevancy to users, but because we’re using that contextual targeting to target them too the kind of cookie proof to as well. So it’s a model I think we see as we think it’s going to see a lot of more interest coming up. I like
Megan Porta 16:36
Cookie proof. That’s music to our ears. So basically, information that is not relevant does not get shown, which is also music to our ears, because, yeah, it feels like there’s a lot of noise on the internet. And so we don’t really need any extra noise. Right? So yeah, that’s great news. And then for bloggers, did that kind of fill your list of benefits for shoppers? Did you have anything else there before we move on?
Nick Minnick 17:02
Yeah, so just want to mention that it’s important to note that all shop ability services aren’t created equal too and there’s, it’s very much a science and an art like working with different retailers to be able to parse out those ingredient terms and ensure when you’re adding baskets to a retailer’s cart that you’re putting the relevant items into too. And I would like to say like we’ve built and perfected over the last 10 years, but what we’ve certainly learned is, it’s an ever changing game. And there’s always a lot of development work, and some retailer specific work that goes into making sure that when somebody clicks on that button, or they click on an ad to add an item to cart that the correct item is being added to the cart too. And again, for us, it kind of comes back to the user experience too, because you we want to be good stewards of the activity that we’re delivering within the recipe cards on food bloggers sites too. And it’s, it’s frankly, a poor user experience, if somebody clicks on that button, and doesn’t see the items that they are expected to be added to the cart too and that can be a reflection of the blogger themselves. So we definitely it’s, you know, we’ve definitely spent a lot of time over the years kind of building out the functionality and the technology that we have now. But it’s also an ongoing process to make sure it stays perfected too and that’s one thing that’s great about Chicory, we don’t hesitate to put the effort behind that. Because we know as a trusted partner or the blogger community that you need to ensure that it’s a positive user experience, you know, for the shoppers that are on your site.
Megan Porta 18:26
I love that you have thought through that and thought that for the if it’s a bad experience for the user, that’s a reflection on the blogger because a lot of businesses don’t necessarily think through that. But that means a lot. Because it is it’s a reflected, they don’t they don’t know that we didn’t build the tool, you know, they were like this didn’t work. So I’m never coming back here again.
Nick Minnick 18:47
Yeah, for us, it goes back to that that balance of the user experience and the ad content too and always making sure that like we’ve we’ve got our finger on the pulse and what that optimal combination is that is a positive user experience too. Because at the end of the day, like it’s that site traffic that’s so important and so critical too and we know the effort that food bloggers put into maintaining and and keeping their audiences engaged too and anything that we create, we want to make sure supports kind of that mission.
Megan Porta 19:17
So appreciate that. Now on to benefits for bloggers, I know this is the part that a lot of bloggers are going to want to hear about. So can you talk through some of those?
Nick Minnick 19:25
Yeah, certainly. And really kind of the first and foremost, the benefit that we provide is just the ability to monetize the recipe content that is so inspirational for the users of the sites too and I’m saying that Chicory frequently does is we’ll conduct studies too where we’re pulling users on their usage and engagement with digital recipes. And in a recent study that we performed that we found that 75% of consumers reported that online recipes have inspired them to purchase a new ingredient or product. And that’s really to us kind of summed up the basis of what we’ve created here. And why we get so much engagement from the CPG community and the food brands, you know, for the ad tactics we’re deploying on sites is that that relevancy. And the ability to reach users or shoppers like when they are in a moment of inspiration is enormously valuable for advertisers. So when creating our suite of tactics, like, again, we wanted to build something that really allowed bloggers to monetize the fantastic and inspirational recipe content that you’ve created. So if you think about the benefits that Chicory provides, it’s first and foremost, the ability to monetize that content and again, to do it in an unobtrusive way.
Nick Minnick 20:42
But we also again, it kind of goes back to like recipe bloggers and food bloggers, and food content creators are in our DNA, too. And we’re always thinking about like, what additional value can we provide as part of kind of the Chicory like suite of tools and services. And I think we do a pretty good job of kind of reporting back to the bloggers on the content that’s getting the most engagement. Like we place a lot of time and effort into building out tools that essentially allow users to get other bloggers to get better insights of the engagement with the food content on their sites. And we regularly report back to bloggers, and they’ve got the ability to see ongoing insights from Chicory for things like for the recipes on their sites, like which recipes are getting the most engagement with our get ingredients button, like what retailers are most frequently chosen by the users of their site, and even like ad revenue, and like what recipes are driving the most ad revenue. And something we’re very excited about too that our product and engineering teams have been working on for a while now is a new we’re calling partner portal. But it’s essentially a dashboard that Chicory blogger partners are going to be able to log into and see a lot of these insights real-time within this new platform to something we’re rolling out in a couple of months. We’re definitely very excited about it. But for us, it’s just another another tool we’re creating to give bloggers more insight on the content and their sites that are driving the most engagement with the ads, you know, or with the shoppable experience because those are again, insights that the food bloggers are going to be able to use to to look at future content and see what’s the most engaging for shoppers and what’s the most engaging for advertisers.
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“You know, we all had our strength, they will use their strengths to help push me and help me grow. So I grew a lot over the course of the mastermind. And 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, like was a full circle whole growth sort of situation”.
Megan Porta 23:34
Using insights to plan and I mean, the more knowledge the better honestly, and I so appreciate that you guys do that as well. So before the dashboard goes live, how do you currently report the value to bloggers?
Nick Minnick 23:47
Yeah, so we’ve got a publisher team at Chicory that is sending out monthly reports on some of the engagement that we see within our platform to our partners too so we’ve got reporting that we can send out now that provides those insights. But we’re really looking forward to having kind of the real time blogger or the blogger partner portal, roll out to because it’s going to be a real time tool that bloggers can use to be able to see which which what content and which recipes are getting the most engagement.
Megan Porta 24:18
Oh, that’s exciting. And then you’ve said CPG a few times. I just want you to talk about what that means real quick. Do you mind doing that?
Nick Minnick 24:25
Oh, certainly, sorry to use acronyms and jargon there too. But yeah…
Megan Porta 24:29
No, it’s okay. I just like to be on the same page.
Nick Minnick 24:33
Yeah, we live in really what’s kind of a shopper marketing space too. And that’s kind of like a term that we use to encompass like that interaction between brands and retailers too. And then when we say CPG, we’re essentially talking about consumer packaged goods brands. So actual food brands that are placing advertisements, you know, across our, our blogger partners, so companies like Kraft, General Mills, you know, Coke, Unilever, so a lot of the um have major CPG brands and even a lot of smaller brands and advertisers that are a little bit more non-traditional, like some of the commodity boards out there, like the National Kettlemans Beef Association or avocados from Mexico. It’s all for us, like when we say CPG is kind of an all encompassing term that represents all of those brands that we work with them that we’re out talking about the value of recipes too, and really encouraging them to look at advertising and think about how they can leverage recipe sites to drive sales with their brands.
Megan Porta 25:28
Thank you for going over that. We get in our own little acronyms, right. And we just use them assuming that everyone is on the same page. But I just thought I would pull that out. And you’ve mentioned monetization. So it’s a great way for bloggers to monetize, do we get like a certain percentage of ingredients purchased? Or how does the monetization work?
Nick Minnick 25:49
A great question too. So when we deliver ads on the site, it’s all impression based too, and this is an important distinction that we like to make with our blogger partners, is, you know, the affiliate models that exist out there, like we in large part, don’t believe give the food bloggers a fair representation of fair compensation of the value that they drive. So when we’re deploying tactics, on blogger sites, like they’re all a CPM base to so you’re getting paid for the actual impressions of those ads, that the site’s delivered, or for sponsorship activities that live within the get ingredients button, you know, for like views of items within the cart, or items that we’re placing into the cart, bloggers are getting compensated for that. And, and that’s kind of a bit of a different model than the affiliate models out there where, you know, bloggers are driving traffic, but they’re really not getting compensated, you know, from the affiliate partner, like until that content actually converts to sale. And there’s always a lot of qualifications built around that, like, usually, there’s, there’s timing requirements, you know, or there’s, that could be last touch too. So you could, you could have, you could inspire somebody to place something in a cart from your site. But if they then go back at a later date and add something from another site, too, it’s kind of you lose credit for that, too. And there’s, there’s always concerns with some of the affiliate tags and what happens with them on Safari. So we’re really proud of the model that we’ve created for the bloggers because we think it delivers more value too and because we pursue kind of more of that, that CPM model that’s based off the actual like views, you know, or the initial Add to Cart and just driving that action to the retailer. We think bloggers get more value out of out of the model that we’ve created.
Megan Porta 27:24
And is there a certain level or I don’t know, can any blogger, apply Chicory to their blogs? Or does it have to be someone who’s monetized? How does that all work?
Nick Minnick 27:35
Megan Porta 28:39
So this really is a great option for everyone. It’s especially great for bloggers, who are not yet on an ad network and who are looking to explore monetization, right?
Nick Minnick 28:48
So definitely yeah, and it’s, it’s so easy to test it out. Like we’re always encouraging bloggers to go ahead deploys for a month and see what happens to overall site revenue too and something we’re really proud of too is over the years, we’ve built out our publisher network to the point where it’s now over 5000 different sites, and we’re definitely adding a lot more than than ever. Test us and for whatever reason, like might take the Chicory technology off of their site. So we’re very proud of the size of the network now and we feel like that’s that’s indicative of the value that we’re providing and and really kind of the revenue that our platform can generate.
Megan Porta 29:24
Absolutely. And then page speed is always a concern for food bloggers. Does the app, the Chicory app slow down pages at all?
Nick Minnick 29:32
Yeah, it definitely does not like the way that they are the technology and the ads are loaded, it should have almost unrecognizable impact to page speed too. And again, that’s one of the reasons why like we make it very easy and there’s no cost or no obligation to deploy our technology and then remove it at any point like we want bloggers to test it out and take a look at that impact and definitely let us know if if if anybody deploys to technology and sees any impact on page speed but the the fact that it’s not an issue and that the network has continued to grow to us kind of highlights like the minimal impact.
Megan Porta 30:04
Nick Minnick 30:05
But we recognize to like, it all kind of comes back to that user experience, and how we can help support that too. And like, we know if if page speeds are increasing, again, that’s a poor user experience. And we want to do whatever we can to help minimize that.
Megan Porta 30:17
Yeah and then, as far as installation goes, can you talk through how that usually goes?
Nick Minnick 30:22
Megan Porta 31:27
For the bloggers who see really good results, as far as monetization goes, is there anything they do, you know, that kind of puts them over the edge? Is it just a matter of having increased pageviews? Or do they have special tactics they use any hidden little secrets we should know about?
Nick Minnick 31:43
Yeah, no, in many senses, it comes down to the traffic that the site is driving, but we’re always working with bloggers to figure out really the content that’s driving the most engagement, because really, it’s it’s positive on a couple of different levels too, because, you know, if there’s certain recipe content that is getting engagement with the users like we can report back on that, and highlight like certain recipes for certain times of year that are getting the most engagement. And that essentially allows bloggers to get insight into what their users are engaging with. And then at the same time too as, as you kind of create content in response to that. It’s increasing kind of the views and the ad impressions that are driven through kind of that new content that’s put on site. So the bloggers that that tend to maximize the value that we drive are kind of actively like looking at the reporting, and figuring out the on the content that’s driving the most engagement with our users.
Megan Porta 32:39
Yeah, that’s important. I love all of that. And then one last question, are you able to customize the button? I know, there’s like a shoppable button. I don’t know exactly what it says. But can you customize that, based on what your colors are?
Nick Minnick 32:53
Yes, definitely. And we recognize when we’re deploying, like any type of functionality on site, like how it fits in with and complements the kind of the viewer and the appearance of the site is always critical, too. And then we know the extent that bloggers go to, to ensure that they’ve got like attractive plate page layouts, too. And like the photography is engaging too. So to kind of align with that, too, and ensure that are shoppable technology and our ad experience to complement that, like we enable bloggers to be able to change the size, appearance, descriptions within the button too. And we actually consult with bloggers and advise them on the button descriptions that get the most engagement too. And yeah, we’ve gotten, you know, through the, through the years of executing shoppable technology on recipe sites, so we have a lot of insights on the button descriptions that get the most engagement too and, you know, within our platform, bloggers have the ability to kind of customize that to make sure that, you know, anything we’re deploying on site, you know, aligns with kind of the appearance that they built.
Megan Porta 33:55
I lied, I do have one more question. Because if food bloggers like to hear numbers is like, what’s the sky’s the limit? Like what are some ranges some opportunity that we have, with this feature?
Nick Minnick 34:09
Yeah, all driven by the scale that’s being pushed through the site to end user engagement and the traffic that the site receives. There’s no minimums to join Chicory to. So if you’re just starting out as a blog, or like this a solution that’s, that’s easy to deploy, that you’ll start to see monetization from immediately but all driven by the users like me, we have we have publishers that on the very higher end of the spectrum of what we power, you know, are getting, you know, seven figures plus with ad placement, revenue and sponsorship revenue that we’re pushing over. And that that goes all the way down to like some of the smaller bloggers that we have in our network that depending on their traffic, you know, it might be closer to the hundreds of dollars per month in that area too, as well. All driven by the site.
Megan Porta 34:53
Great. Lots of variables there, I’m sure but it’s good to hear that range. Because when you say like monetization, that could mean In $2 a month, that could mean seven figures a month. So thank you for spelling that out. And then is there anything that we’ve missed as far as what benefits bloggers can see from this?
Nick Minnick 35:10
I think we’ve we’ve covered off on most of the benefits that that bloggers see from all the different tactics that we deploy. But also, I just want to highlight the importance of having kind of that industry leading shoppable tech on your sites, because again, like this, the shoppable experience is really a reflection of your site to your users too so I gotta highlight, again, not all shopability is created equally too so when you’re looking at partners to deploy shopability on site, like ensure that you’re using kind of the most forward tech that’s out there, to be able to perform those actions and take the time to vet out different providers and, and see what’s available to and again, we’ve had take a lot of pride in the size of the network we’ve built and we think that’s a reflection of the quality of some of the parsing technology that that we’ve developed and are deploying on sites too. But always like to remind and and and highlight with the bloggers, too, that like the quality of that shopability is important.
Megan Porta 36:09
And then I know that I’ve heard Chicory premium, is that different from what we’re talking about? Or is that the in recipe ad that we were talking about?
Nick Minnick 36:17
Yes. So premium is a term that we use to describe our ad units. And that’s those ad units that live both within the ingredients and directly underneath the recipe card too. And those are the two formats that we deploy on our blogger sites too. But we call them Chicory premium, because they engage shoppers at a premium level as compared to other standard advertising on site too and for us, it kind of goes back too having those contextually relevant ads that sit within the actual ingredients of the recipe. And you know, as we as we execute campaigns and measure the performance and engagement with those campaigns for advertisers, we’ll continue to see as our in recipe and adjacent to the recipe card ad units always perform very well. And it’s a reflection of the I think the content that the food bloggers are creating and the value that users and shoppers see within that content too. And, yeah, as we mentioned earlier, too, like we know that when people are engaging with recipe content, it’s kind of a moment of inspiration for them. And you know, if you can deliver relevant advertising within that experience, it’s going to provide value to those users. And they’re going to engage with it to click on the ads to cart those items. And those are all opportunities for our bloggers to monetize the content that they’ve created.
Megan Porta 37:33
Absolutely, I’m super excited about this. And I hope that you guys get 5000 more users immediately. Because this is a benefit all around, it’s a benefit to you guys. It’s a benefit to bloggers, users. It just makes online shopping more seamless, which is the word you guys use for it. So yeah, this is amazing. Thank you for all of this, is there anything that you want to mention or touch on before we start saying goodbye?
Nick Minnick 38:00
So I would just like to mention I was in fact, I was talking to one of our blogger partners earlier today. And we’re so excited about the model that we’ve built, because it’s definitely a creator first model. But at the same time, the advertisers we work with whether they’re retailers, you know, or food brands, they see a lot of value in what we’ve built out here. And I was talking to a blogger earlier today who kind of went out of their way to kind of like describe like all the positive impacts of the model that we’ve created the value that they see in this and and the potential for growth too, especially as e-commerce continues to grow. And shoppers increasingly are, are thinking about purchases and wanting to shop within digital experiences and engage with the content that they would naturally be viewing and make purchases because of that too. And I was excited to you’re one of our partners kind of connect the dots and really explain what we’ve built here too. And and really, we’re excited about the value that they see in it too. So those are the conversations that we’d love to have. It tells us that you’re providing a lot of value to the bloggers, and also having a meaningful impact on their business.
Megan Porta 39:03
I did think of one last thing to ask you before we say goodbye. Do you see a trend of users engaging more with specialty ingredients are more common, like flour, like that type of ingredient?
Nick Minnick 39:17
Yeah, you know, and really coming out of COVID like we did see an increase in engagement with for more complex recipes and more specialized ingredients too. And like we’d like to joke and say that like COVID taught a lot of people to cook and in coming out of you know, kind of all of that learning that a lot of people did. You know during that period, it really has driven an increase in engagement with kind of more complex recipes and more specialty ingredients because frankly like shoppers are more more comfortable buildings are creating some of those more complex recipes now, there’s always ebbs and flows to like what we do see as economic impacts like kind of pushing some shoppers back towards more simple like fewer fewer ingredient recipes or recipes, data can be made in larger batches, things like that. But we’re excited about kind of the overall trend of I think it ties in closely with a shoppers kind of adapt to e commerce to it’s easier to get ingredients that were more difficult to get in the past to. And that’s also kind of powering increased engagement, we see what’s kind of more specialty recipes and specialty ingredients. And that’s kind of how Chicory came to be with our name too, because Chicory was an ingredient that you don’t see very often and it’s difficult to find in stores too. And, and really, that was kind of the the premises that we needed. The premise that we named the company after is, you know, we can make it easier to find and shop those kinds of unique ingredients and be able to attain them to make the recipes that users want to make.
Megan Porta 40:41
I love learning that about where Chicory came from, I didn’t know that that’s really cool. I think I’m officially out of questions, Nick, unless something comes to mind. But I think we’re gonna thank you for all of this. This was such a pleasure. So good to learn about Chicory and to talk to you and make the connection and, and just help spread the word about Chicory and what they offer bloggers. So thank you so much for your time today.
Nick Minnick 41:02
Most certainly. And it’s been it’s been a pleasure to join you too. Again, like we were very excited about how you’ve become a resource for the blogger community too. And it always helps to have those sources that you know, especially newer bloggers, but even even bloggers that are a little bit further down the development cycle to and have a more established kind of personal brand and food blogger or recipe site, provide a useful resource for informations on how to kind of like build your site and engage with more users, but also figure out to kind of when you’ve reached a plateau, like what other ideas are out there, and what other partners are out there for bloggers to work with to be able to continue to grow their business. So we’re very excited to join because we love some of the work that you’ve done and really kind of becoming a resource for the blogger community.
Megan Porta 41:45
Thank you, Nick, that was very kind of you. And I like to ask my guests as we kind of wrap up each conversation if they have either a favorite quote or words of inspiration to share. So do you have something to leave us with?
Nick Minnick 41:57
Oh, great question. I think it’s kind of more inspiration and, and really the message that Chicory would have for the blogger community is don’t discount the power of the content you’re creating, like has the ability to inspire and excite your followers and really change their behaviors. To add like, again, we know how difficult it is to consistently come up with engaging content. And you know, we would encourage you to all the bloggers that are listening to like don’t discount the value of what you’ve created, like you know, both from just the ability to kind of inspire and and engage users and encourage them to try something new but then also the opportunities it creates for you to monetize that content
Megan Porta 42:38
Love it, love those words of inspiration. We will put together a show notes page for you, Nick and will include all the stuff we talked about and links to Chicory, anything you need that we’ve discussed here in this episode. If you go to eatblogtalk.com/chicory, you can access all that info. Tell everyone Nick where they can find you and where they can find all the information about Chicory that they need.
Nick Minnick 43:02
Yeah, so definitely go to our website. So www.chicory.co/foodbloggers and we’ll have more information on the platform too. And again, those kinds of detailed instructions for how you can you can deploy the Chicory suite on your site.
Megan Porta 43:19
Awesome. Thank you again, Nick, for your time and thank you so much for listening food bloggers. I will see you in the next episode.
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