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Episode 108: Turning Your Blog Into A Sustainable Business With Laurie Buckle

Blog Title: Cookit Media

Social Media:

Cookit Media on Facebook

Cookit Media on Instagram

About: Laurie Buckle is the founder of CookIt Media, an influencer marketing agency that specializes in food and lifestyle content creation. Laurie has worked in food media for more than 25 years – at magazines like Bon Appétit and Better Homes & Gardens; with digital brands like the Kitchn; and with publishers like Clarkson Potter. She knows how to create a successful brand story and how to market it.

Notes from Episode #108:

Last week, CookIt Media launched Beyond the Blog, an online course that focuses on five key elements to help culinary content creators build an influential brand including how to craft a brand narrative, understanding audience, and building content strategy. This program has helped several successful content creators, such as Camille Styles and Fed and Fit, scale their businesses.

  • Fun fact: Laurie hates bananas. She is the one person who likes everything. Except bananas. 
  • Cookit had been an idea for Laurie before it became a business. 
    • Laurie had grown up in test kitchens so she was leary of starting a blog after seeing each recipe go through rigorous testing 6 or 7x each. But Laurie went from skeptical to being a passionate enthusiast for food bloggers. 
    • Content creation, editing, understanding brand story and the reader all translated from her previous experience. Laurie thought through how she was going to benefit someone and then came up with Cookit Media.
  • Laurie went to the digital space and met Gabi of What’s Gaby Cooking?
    • Laurie asked Gaby to be a guinea pig for her and they worked together for a year. 
  • Laurie began working 1:1 with influencers and food bloggers. She became a consultant. She asked the following questions:
    • What is their brand story?
    • Who’s their audience
    • Where’s their potential to grow?
    • What’s unique about them?
    • How do you build content strategy around that brand story?
  • Cookit Media created a digital course to help people walk through this process themselves. 
  • Now Cookit is an agency and supports influencers and their brands. They also are content creators that work with influencers.
  • Cookit Media helps you understand your competitive advantage and the marketplace. 
    • What’s the conversation out there and where do I fit in?
    • Complete a gap analysis.
    • Look for the gap in the marketplace – ask yourself, what makes YOU unique among the brands and products out there? Find where your opportunity is!
    • You need to understand this in a larger way – it’s positioning. 
    • Ask yourself – Who do you do it for and why is it important? Take this chunk of knowledge and go back to your audience, sharing your content from different perspectives.
    • Your boss is your audience. They might not tell you your to-do list, but they’ll tell you when they’re happy or not. 
    • Survey your audience to ask how you are helping them. 
    • Triangle – Entertaining, Serving and being Aspirational! You can help your audience with the small things and the larger aspirations to learn more and be better cooks. Help to teach them new ways to cook. Also, help them to entertain friends and loved ones too. 
    • You want to hang onto your current audience. But you want to find new audiences too and grow those demographics.
    • Shift some of your content strategy towards her. 
  • Social media is a chance to talk to people. Get helpful feedback
  • Really good blogs are like sharks. They have to keep swimming, moving to the next idea. 
  • Staying sustainable –
    • Food bloggers are hard workers and have accomplished a lot of success collectively over the years. 
    • The blog as the journal has run its course. Fighting the format is one reason some people are held back from growing in their business. 
    • You can’t put all your best ideas into one long blog post. All that content can and should be broken down into different reasons someone visits your blog. Create smaller posts and make it relevant to different audience members.  
  • Your reader is a different person at different times. 
    • Weeknight evenings, she is someone in need of a recipe that needs to get done quick. 
    • Saturday morning, she’s ready to dive into a recipe that’s more involved and being prepared for a special occasion and she’s open for teaching a new technique. 
    • Yet later, she’s going to the farmers market and she sees that you offer seasonal content towards a food she’s never made before but is curious about it.  
    • How are you serving these 3 people in 1?
  • Think of your site as a website vs a blog. 
    • Take all that content ideas you have and parcel them out. Let the audience be much more engaged with their own experiences. Your reader can be more deliberate about what she wants and where she gets it on your site. Help her create that experience on your site.  
    • Your recipe is the same but the content strategy is different.
    • Technique, ingredients are a couple of ways that you can teach the reader about different experiences. 
    • Be thorough, forward thinking, be audience focused! This will separate you from the pack.
  • Food bloggers need to embrace the long view rather than just get down to the wire all the time. 
    • There is a process that goes into content creation. 
    • Get very strategic. How is this information getting connected? How is it produced? 
    • Organization is a big part of survival. 
  • Think in chunks of a month at a time to help you look at the long view. 
    • Your ideas take shape within a format. It’ll become easier and fill in all the blanks. They offer a calendar to help with this in the course they offer at Cookit Media.
    • You can do it by seasonal planning and/or monthly planning. 
    • Google Trends can help guide you get valuable information. 
    • You can look at the 5 year scope or the 12 month scope to help you.
    • People can be very traditional about foods over the course of the year so this is important to keep in mind as you plan. Consider holidays and celebrations.
    • You as a content creator have an opportunity to put your spin on these trends and seasons.
  • Cookit Media’s course is called Beyond the blog –
    • Where is blogging now, how will it change and how will you get ahead of that game?
    • It’ll walk you through step by step to figure out your strategy and more.
    • You need to shift so you can take advantage of the opportunity available to you. 
    • What are you interested in next? Plan your future.
    • It sounds large! It is but it’s good. There’s workbooks and video teaching and a private facebook group. 
    • 20% off is available to EBTers who want to participate. To receive the discount, send a DM on the Cookit Media Instagram page to get that price point to participate in the course!
  • Favorite quote: Only do what only you can do. 

Helpful references from the episode:


Megan started her food blog Pip and Ebby in 2010 and food blogging has been her full-time career since 2013. Her passion for blogging has grown into an intense desire to help fellow food bloggers find the information, insight, and community they need in order to find success.

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