In episode 379, Brooke Harmer teaches us how to monetize our blogs before hitting 50,000 pageviews. Explore 7 strategies ranked in order of difficulty and time required.
We cover information about the value of focusing on the qualitative aspects of your business before numbers, how to create habits that will push you towards successfully monetizing, why affiliate and email marketing are valuable and why unpaid events can also be valuable towards your EAT.
Listen on the player below or on iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast player. Or scroll down to read a full transcript.
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Bio Brooke launched her food blog in March 2020 because she knew she could work from home and still be a full time mom. However, after her son was born, she struggled to keep up with the demands of the job and constantly felt discouraged that despite her best efforts, she still hadn’t hit 50,000 monthly pageviews. Instead of focusing on what she didn’t have, she honed in on the time and talents she DID have and began to monetize her business in other creative ways, even while raising her 6 month old son by herself for a time. She has since self-published two cookbooks, landed 5-figure brand deals, and hired her first employee.
- Measuring progress with numbers is good but qualitative is important too.
- Habits should be built to get into the blogging groove and see success in small ways to get more intentional.
- When something becomes a habit, then you can free up some space to focus on numbers that move you faster.
- Affiliate marketing – You already need these items and use them.
- Email marketing – sell items directly to your audience.
- Sponsored/Freelance work – more work on your part however more cash as well
- Speaking – sometimes receives payment, other times you receive non monetary options such as exposure, boost in domain authority, backlinks, etc.
- Digital products – free checklist, workbook, ecookbook, opt-in offer. This can boost your EAT as well.
- Online courses – take a lot of time and a 3rd party platform.
Foodtography School – use the code “KAPAI” for 15% off any purchase (excluding bundles and memberships)
Email marketing course
Online Blueprint for Instagram Growth
Blogger Millionnaire Podcast
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EBT379 – Brooke Harmer
Intro: 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 blog’s 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 12 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.
Today’s topic is a hot one. Most food bloggers are looking for that monetization or to increase their monetization. I have Brook Harmer with me from Kapai Cooking and she talks about seven ways to monetize your food blog before you reach that 50K page view mark. This is episode number 379. You’re going to absolutely love all of the tips that she shares. This episode is sponsored by the amazing RankIQ.
Sponsor: Hey, awesome food bloggers. Before we dig into this episode, I have a really quick favor to ask you. Go to your favorite podcast player. Go to Eat Blog Talk. Scroll down to the bottom where you see the ratings and review section. Leave Eat Blog Talk a five star rating if you love this podcast and leave a great review. This will only benefit this podcast. It adds value, and I so very much appreciate your efforts with this. Thank you so much for doing this. Okay, now onto the episode.
Megan Porta: I have Brooke Harmer with me today. She’s going to talk to us about seven ways to monetize your food blog before hitting that 50K page view mark. Brooke launched her food blog in March, 2020 because she knew she could work from home and still be a full-time mom. However, after her son was born, she struggled to keep up with the demands of the job and constantly felt discouraged that despite her best effort, she still hadn’t hit that 50K monthly page view mark. Instead of focusing on what she didn’t have, she honed in on the time and talents that she did have and began to monetize her business in other creative ways, even while raising her six month old son, by herself for a time. She has since self-published two cookbooks, landed five figure brand deals, and hired her first employee. Brooke, that is all so amazing. Can’t wait to dig into that a little bit more. But what fun fact do you have to share with us?
Brooke Harmer: So this one’s a little bit obscure, but I would try to think of something that no one’s ever said before. My fun fact is that I keep a running list of emergency karaoke songs on my phone.
Megan Porta: Are you a frequent karaoker?
Brooke Harmer: I’m not. But I’ve had one time when I was on a cruise where my friends begged me to do karaoke and I was so terrified that I was gonna sound horrible and that I was gonna pick a bad song. So ever since that time I was like, I will always be prepared if someone calls me on the spot to do karaoke. So I’ve got 10 songs on my phone that I feel confident singing if someone needed me to do karaoke.
Megan Porta: Okay, so what are the top two?
Brooke Harmer: Oh boy. Top two? I’d probably say, If I Ain’t Got You by Alicia Keys or When I Was Your Man by Bruno Mars.
Megan Porta: Oh, ones I would not have thought of, but yeah, you’re prepared. Yeah, you’ve got this. So one day we’ll do karaoke together. Oh my God, I’m the worst singer. I probably shouldn’t ever offer that. If we’re ever together, I suppose we have to do it now.
Brooke Harmer: Hey, strength in numbers, right? We’ll both sound terrible.
Megan Porta: Yeah, that’s right. Okay. I love your topic because a lot of food bloggers are in this boat where they’re trying to get to that 50K page view mark to get into an ad network and they want money in the meantime. So you’ve got seven ways to monetize before you can get to that point. But first, Brooke, I would love it if you just talked through your story. I know that you got a degree in marketing and turned into an entrepreneur and then you know, some other things followed. So can you just talk through that to kinda set the stage for us?
Brooke Harmer: Yeah, for sure. So like most food bloggers that I’ve talked to anyway, my food blog started out as a hobby. At the time I was in my last semester of pre-reqs, before applying to one of the most prestigious business programs in the country, and I was extremely overworked and really anxious. I was going to therapy. It was just a really stressful time. So my husband, who loves me, sat me down and said, okay, I love you, but something needs to change. Either you need to cut a few things out of your schedule or carve out some time for a hobby; something that doesn’t have any responsibilities or grades or money attached to it. Something that just makes you happy and takes some stress off your plate. So I decided to create a little food Instagram account that maybe 50 of my friends and family would follow, where I could just post whenever I wanted. It would just be random dinners that I made up on the fly. Then three really big events all happened at the same time that really pushed that hobby into a full-time food blog. The first one was covid. I started my Instagram account in January 2020, and the world shut down two months later so that was part of it. The second one was my husband and I felt very strongly, we just felt really impressed that there was a little baby waiting to join our family. That decision was about two years ahead of schedule. We’d been married for less than a year and didn’t want to start having kids until I was done with school, but I was just about to apply to my program, and so I still had two years left and I was not interested in being a full-time student and a full-time mom at the same time. That just sounded way too hard. So we’re like, okay, if we do want to have a baby, then what am I gonna do with school and what am I gonna do with my career if I don’t graduate from college. Then the third one, the third event, was when I had stumbled upon a masterclass from Sarah, the founder of Foodtography school. She taught nine ways to make money as a food photographer and a food blogger. I was like, people make money doing what I’m doing for free? That’s crazy. That is so cool. So with all of these things happening at the same time and trying to figure out what was best for our family, we decided that I was actually gonna drop out of college and turn my food blog into a business and pursue it full-time so that we could have our family. It was really scary. You flash forward 18 months. I just had my baby and I’ve made less than a thousand dollars. My blog has a hundred page views a month from the time I was on Squarespace. Don’t ever do that if you’re listening.
Megan Porta: Oh gosh. I did it too. I did it too. I’m with you. I actually recognize your name from the Squarespace Facebook group, now that I think about it.
Brooke Harmer: Oh my gosh, really? Oh, that’s great.
Megan Porta: Were you in there? You were in there, right?
Brooke Harmer: I probably was. I needed help. Yeah, so I probably was. So I was on Squarespace and I was under the impression that if you just made as many recipes as possible in the shortest amount of time, that’s how you would grow. Who knows about SEO or keyword research or optimizing your backend or whatever. So 18 months in, I just had my first baby and I was nowhere closer to my goal then I was before. I was really frustrated and almost felt like quitting, but I loved it too much to quit. So I was like, okay, something needs to change. So when I finally figured out that there’s this thing called SEO and keyword research and all these other things that you have to do, I was like, okay, that’s great. But now I don’t have the time to do that because I have a newborn who eats around the clock. I was really overwhelmed. So I had to make a mindset shift and I had to focus on what I did know and what I could do with the time that I had. Once I figured out what that was, that’s actually when I saw the most progress and actually started making money when I had the least amount of time to do it.
Megan Porta: I love your story. I love how those three things just came together at the perfect time to create this opportunity for you and how you can look back and see that happened. You weren’t just blinded by, oh my gosh, these catastrophic events happen, not all of them catastrophic. You know what I mean? Like covid and these things came together to create this storm. Instead, you see it as a culmination of opportunity, which I think is awesome. It just shows that you have the right mindset for this business because it does require a positive, optimistic mindset at times. Then your mental shift. Talk more about that because a lot of us can get caught up in the, I have so far to go, I’m never gonna get there. But once you started looking at the things that were working and focusing on those, that’s when things changed, right?
Brooke Harmer: Yeah. So I evaluated what was important to me for those first 18 months and I was always focusing on, okay, how many hours did I work this week? How many recipes did I test? It was always numbers. That was stressing me out, especially now that I had way less time, way less resources. I was like, how can I even hit all these numbers when I don’t have all this time? I took a step back and I said, okay numbers are obviously important and that’s a really easy way to measure progress. But maybe right now what I need to do is focus more on the qualitative parts of my business rather than the quantitative, and try and establish a groundwork and a framework that’s built on habits that can be measured qualitatively, so that once I get those figured out, then I can start focusing on the numbers. So my mindset, instead of being like, how many hours a week did I work? It was, did I work on my business today? Something as simple as, did I listen to a podcast? Did I do a part of my online course? Did I practice my photography? Did I test a recipe? Did I do keyword research? It wasn’t how much, it was just did I do it? That made it so much more approachable, and it made me feel like, okay, if all I did today was listen to a podcast while I nurse my baby and wash the dishes, then I did something to help me move forward. It just made all the differe.
Megan Porta: Yeah, because the opposite is focusing on that gap that is lacking, right? That you’re not achieving, that you’re not getting, that you can’t reach, that you’re not reaching yet. I feel like all that does is create this storm of frustration and disappointment and discouragement. But when you’re focusing on what you’ve done, even if it’s just a simple act of listening to a podcast, then that sets this magic momentum going, which it sounds like you tapped into pretty quickly after that.
Brooke Harmer: Yeah. Yeah. It really helped me once I got those habits in place, it wasn’t like, okay, I have to send three emails a week. It was, I will send out an email every time I get a recipe published, even if that’s just once this month. I will make sure to send out an email if that recipe is published. Once I got those habits in place, then I could turn to these seven different ways to make money before I hit that magic 50,000 page views. Because I had now built a new foundation of principles and habits that were sustainable, even with my new crazy busy schedule, and it freed up some mental space for me to focus on numbers, right? Because if it’s a habit, you don’t have to think about it. So once those habits are set in stone, then you have all of this mental energy to actually focus on the numbers that will help you move faster.
Megan Porta: You are speaking my language, Brooke. I love this so much. I think this is the foundation of success, no matter what your goals are in food blogging. Whether it is to monetize or if it’s something else, you’ve gotta get those habits and just your mindset right before you work on anything if you want to have a sustainable business that you’re not stressing over. Yes, this is right in my alley. I love this. So are you ready to talk about your seven ways to monetize prior to getting those 50K page views?
Brooke Harmer: Yes. Let’s jump into it.
Megan Porta: All right. What’s number one?
Brooke Harmer: So number one is the easiest on the list, and I actually organized these from easiest to hardest. Easiest being least amount of experience, least amount of time, lowest barrier to entry, things like that. So the first tip is affiliate marketing. There’s a couple different ways that you can go about it, but the reason affiliate marketing is so great is because we’re already having to buy things for our business, right? Whether it’s our favorite chocolate chips or an instant pot, or a turntable to decorate our cakes. Whatever it is, there’s so many different things that we have to buy to make our recipes possible and it makes it so much easier to organically incorporate that into the copy in our blog post or the recipe card or our email list, because people are gonna be making the recipes that we make, so we might as well tell them what we needed to make it. Then it’s a really simple sale from there. So some of the programs that I love are the Amazon affiliate program. I honestly don’t know anybody that doesn’t shop on Amazon. Do you, Megan?
Megan Porta: Oh. Too often.
Brooke Harmer: Yeah, exactly. So everyone’s on Amazon, so that’s a really simple one. I haven’t done it in a long time, but I don’t think that there’s a lot of credentials for social media or page views or things like that to become an affiliate. So that one’s pretty simple. Another one is Like It To Know It. You’re probably familiar with that in the fashion industry where fashion influencers will link their entire outfit to know it and you can shop there. But for food bloggers, we shop at Target, we shop at Crate and Barrel and HomeGoods and all these other places that aren’t Amazon. Like It To Know It as a simple way to still earn affiliate commission off of those purchases. Then lastly, is being an affiliate for your favorite brands or companies or services. So for example, I’m an affiliate with Foodtography school, the course that taught me everything. about food photography and being a blogger. So for anyone who’s listening, if you’re interested in taking your photography to the next level, or learning how to do amazing reels and tos on social media or pitching to brands, Sarah does it all, and you can use my code kapai for 15% off her entire website. So that’s an example of being an affiliate with a brand and trying to make sales that way.
Megan Porta: I love this point that you made it the easiest one because Amazon affiliate, you don’t earn a ton of commission unless you have a ton of page views typically. But at least it’s something. At least you’re getting something in, and I think that’s your whole message is that get a little bit of cash into your business so that you see those positive numbers. Even if it’s just $10, a hundred dollars, 500, whatever. So that gives you the motivation to keep going and striving for other ways to make money.
Brooke Harmer: Exactly. It also builds trust with your audience, right? Because if you’re not being too salesy about it, then people are like, oh, if this is what Megan uses to make her recipes, then it must be worthwhile. If I want my recipes to turn out like Megan’s, then maybe it’s worth investing.
Megan Porta: Yeah. It increases your EAT too, because if you’re focusing on those products and services that really align with you and what you believe in and what your niche is, then that is only gonna boost all of that good stuff.
Brooke Harmer: Exactly.
Megan Porta: Okay, love that one. What is number two?
Brooke Harmer: Number two is email marketing. While this one doesn’t necessarily make you money right away, I’ve heard it from so many different places, that if there’s one way you want to make money as a business, no matter what your niche is, it’s to have an email list because it’s the one thing that you do own, right? We don’t own our Instagram followers. We don’t own our TikTok followers. We don’t even own our Pinterest traffic, right? So by creating an email list, you are getting a very specific group of people that are dedicated to your brand because they said yes, I will allow you into my inbox. That’s a very special place, right? We don’t let anybody get our email. So you’re technically 50% of the way there already just by getting their email. Then it’s that much easier to make sales on affiliate links or any digital products that you sell. Or maybe you have a cookbook that’s being published by Barnes Noble or whatever and it’s an easy way to drive sales that way. They’re already invested in your business to begin with.
Megan Porta: This is one that I feel like food bloggers discount for a while when they get started. I did this when I started. I was like, how important can that be, getting subscribers? If I could go back, I would do that differently because those subscribers are like gold because like you said, it’s like a really special, intimate way to communicate with people. So yeah, just don’t discount the power of that.
Brooke Harmer: Yes, and don’t quote me on this, but I have heard a couple birds tweeting here and there in our space that some brands are thinking about pulling their marketing dollars from social media and investing it in sponsored email work. So don’t quote me on if it doesn’t happen, but I’ve heard a couple different places and I’d rather be ahead of the game than not. So if that’s the case, email lists are gonna be a new thing in the coming years.
Megan Porta: Yeah. Yeah. I wouldn’t be surprised if that happened at all. Okay. What is number three, Brooke?
Brooke Harmer: So number three and number four actually go together. It’s sponsored work and freelance work. They both require you to partner with a brand, but there’s a couple key differences. Sponsored work, you basically do everything from start to finish. So let’s say if it’s for a recipe, you create the recipe. You test the recipe. You photograph the recipe. You have to do the keyword research and write the blog post. Send all the images over, publish the blog post. Then you also have to do all of the marketing. So the Pinterest, the Instagram, the TikTok, whatever it is in your package. While that is a lot more work, it’s also a lot more money and you can turn it in for the long term if the brand really likes working with you. So this is a really great way to make a decent chunk of change in one go. Also, continue with that affiliate and build trust with your audience and say, this is a brand that I really love and I love them so much that I’m working with them to create recipes for you. So it increases that EAT that we talked about and it’s a significant chunk of change in your pocket. So it’s not my favorite because of all of the work that goes into it, but it is a good way to do it.
Megan Porta: Yeah. Especially if you want cash fast in your business. I think it’s a great option.
Sponsor: Are you ready to learn, grow, and build relationships in person in 2023? Eat Blog Talk is hosting a 2023 spring retreat for food bloggers. This is super exciting. In-person retreats are an opportunity for food bloggers to convene in an intimate setting to learn, collaborate, and connect. These retreats involve mastermind style, peer-to-peer collaborating, and they are such a powerful way to grow your business, expand your network of peers, and make lasting friendships. Apply to attend the Spring 2023 retreat. Go to eatblogtalk.com/retreat to fill out the application. I hope to see you there. Now back to the episode.
Brooke Harmer: Then with freelance work strategy number four, this one is the same thing where you partner with a brand, but you basically are only doing one aspect of that whole project. The nice thing is that depending on what your skills are, you get to choose what that thing is. So for me, it’s photography. That’s my favorite part. That’s what I’m really good at. So I’ll partner with brands and just photograph things for them, whether it’s a recipe they’ve created or a product that they have. I just do the photo shoot and send the images over and I’m done. While it doesn’t necessarily make as much money as sponsored work, because there’s less work involved, at least for me, I can knock out three or four photo shoots in one day. So I feel like I can get more done in a shorter amount of time and it’s what I love doing. I prefer freelance work, but that’s the difference between the two. But they sometimes have the same payout depending on your package.
Megan Porta: Also, freelance work could mean doing work for other bloggers, correct? Like photography you could do for bloggers. Videography, et cetera.
Brooke Harmer: Yeah. You’ve had guests on here that do freelance copywriting or freelance SEO work or just recipe development. You could just be the genius behind the food and then send it back to the brand and they have other people that work on that. Or the food blogger, right? The food blogger loves photography, but maybe they’re not great in the kitchen, but they have an idea of what they wanna do. So they hire you to bring that idea to life, and then they get to finish it off with the photography in the blog post. Bloggers are a great way because we all need help, right? We all have similar goals, Megan. I’m sure that there’s some part of Pip and Ebby that you don’t truly love doing all the time?
Megan Porta: Yes.
Brooke Harmer: Yeah. So it would be super nice to hire that out and then for someone else that’s cash flow for them to help support their business.
Megan Porta: I currently hire out photography. I haven’t always done that, but I’m in a season where I’m not making the time for it. Then I have VA work on things like web stories, Pinterest idea pins, things like that. So those are good options. I was gonna say it too, like web stories right now. You guys have no idea how many people reach out to me on a weekly basis asking who can do web stories for me? I don’t wanna do these, but I know I need to do them. So if anyone listening is into web stories and you wanna make money, let me know because I have so many people who will knock down your door.
Brooke Harmer: Yes, add me to that list. I don’t have the time to do it.
Megan Porta: I am telling you, and I feel bad because I’m always like, I don’t know who to send you to. Then I’ll send them to someone for a while and then they’re full and then I’m like, I don’t know. So yeah, I definitely need more connections for people who are willing to do that aspect of food blogging.
Brooke Harmer: Yes. For anybody listening, I would love to be your photographer. I’ll do some free advertising here. If you need a photographer, you can reach out to me. I would love to see if we’re a good fit.
Megan Porta: Yeah, and sometimes all you need to hear is that, like an offer. I’m looking for this business and I love to do it. So glad you put that out there. What is number five, Brooke?
Brooke Harmer: Number five is speaking, and this one’s a little bit different because most of the time it’s free because it depends on what it is, right? So like right now I’m talking to you on the Eat Blog Talk podcast. So that’s an example of speaking. While I’m not being paid to be on here, there’s a boost in domain authority. There’s a boost in networking and all these different things that come from being on a podcast, right? So you could be on a podcast, you could speak at a wellness retreat. If you’re really knowledgeable, like Casey Markee, for example. I’m sure he’s spoken at the Tastemaker conference, right? So there’s different ways like that. Then, the smaller ways are things like podcasts, radio. I’ve been interviewed on the radio. Then going on your local TV network. I’m actually doing a TV segment tomorrow, sharing a recipe for the holidays. That’s not paid, but it’s exposure and it’s building my portfolio so that maybe down the line there will be a paid opportunity for me to do a speaking event on something that I’m passionate and knowledgeable about.
Megan Porta: Don’t discount this just because it’s not paid. Because as Brooke mentioned, there are these non-tangible benefits that you can’t even really put into words all the time that come along with these opportunities. The exposure you mentioned, the back links that you could get, and the connections you can make that might pay off down the road. So I think this is one of those things where it’s like, Nope, I’m not gonna get paid, so I’m saying no. But then you’re saying no to all of those kinds of hidden little gems that can really help your business.
Brooke Harmer: Exactly. I’m sure this is from some famous person. I can’t remember who it is, but I was always told it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Speaking is one of those chances to add people in your “who you know” list so that more opportunities will come your way.
Megan Porta: Well said. Okay. I love that one. What is number six?
Brooke Harmer: Number six is digital products, and I originally said eBooks, but I’m gonna kind of branch out and say just digital products in general. This could be anything from a free downloadable guide or checklist on your blog to a small workbook or even an e-cookbook that you know is a compilation of exclusive recipes that you can offer to your audience on your blog, or maybe it’s an opt-in offer for your email list. These are a great way to not only make an easy dollar, but it also boosts your EAT because you’re diving more into a specific topic and it’s establishing your authority in that thing. I can’t remember her name Megan, but maybe, yeah, maybe you remember. There was a blogger that came on and she is an expert in vegan cheese. Do you know who I’m talking about?
Megan Porta: Oh my gosh. I was just gonna mention Monica. I wrote a note down. I was like, you have to mention. So yes, Monica is a good friend of mine, Monica Davis. Her episode was number 326 and I was gonna say, if you guys are interested in the digital products and ebook route, she is brilliant. So go listen to that.
Brooke Harmer: Yes, I remember listening to that episode being like, yes, she gets it. BeCause you know, she’s really good with vegan cheese and so she’s got a whole bunch of free how-tos and recipes on her blog. But then she really wanted to offer something extra for her really dedicated, really loving followers. So she created this digital product available for sale where they could really go in depth and learn so much more about vegan cheese than what she was offering on her blog. It gave her a chance to connect with her audience and get some sales in there, and then build that authority of saying, listen, I actually know what I’m talking about. You can link to your products and your blog posts and just interconnect it through all of these different channels and really make it a profitable option.
Megan Porta: Yes, if you do it well, eBooks can be very lucrative and really solve those pain points that your audience is having on a deeper degree than you can through your blog posts. I love that one as well. Go listen to Monica’s episode. It is super inspiring. She just has this unique, amazing strategy that I’ve never had anyone talk me through the way she has. So if that’s on your radar, go listen. Okay. What is your last point, number seven?
Brooke Harmer: Number seven technically fits with the last one because it’s a digital product, but it’s specifically an online course. I’m gonna start off by saying that online courses aren’t for everyone and you shouldn’t create one just because you want some extra money. These take a lot of time and usually a third party platform, whether it’s a plug-in to your WordPress site, or just another third party hosting service to make the backend all possible. But the bonus and the blessing of having a digital course is again, it increases your authority in a certain topic. It gives your audience a chance to really dive deep into something that they want to learn about. You can usually price these at a much higher price point. So, let’s say you really love teaching and you feel like just writing a blog post about something doesn’t really fill your cup for teaching, but you’re really passionate about an aspect of your business, then a digital course might be for you. A good example is Tessa from Handle the Heat, she is a wizard when it comes to cookies and the science of baking. So she has a live course that you can sign up for that you get to just be right alongside her and learn everything there is to know about cookies and then create your own recipes and walk away with this new amazing knowledge. I really love that one. Another example, Megan, I actually thought of you, is if you do one-on-one coaching or group coaching and you want to expand that part of your business, but you don’t have more time to do that, then creating a digital course that replaces that live one-on-one or group coaching is the solution to that. So that you can pull your energy somewhere else, but still serve a ton of people in that same service.
Megan Porta: Yeah. Yeah. I think that’s the great thing about courses is that you can go so many different routes. You can do the live variety, like you mentioned. You can do prerecorded, that you put on Teachable. You can do group coaching. There’s so many ways to think about that and get creative with it. We all like talking about our subjects that we’re good at, our niches. We love talking about like you mentioned, the baking and the science of baking. Not many people enjoy talking about that, but if you do, people want to learn and listen. So yeah, I absolutely love this one. Anything else on courses?
Brooke Harmer: Yeah, I would just say if you’re interested in courses, really sit down and figure out what you’re passionate about and if you could sit down and talk about it for 20 or 30 minutes without interruption or without prompts, then you probably have a really good idea of something you could do for a course. Obviously this one takes the most work, that’s why it’s number seven. So it’s not something you could knock out in a month. It’ll probably be at least a six month project, if not longer. But if you really are passionate about something and you feel like you could talk about it for 30 minutes straight, then maybe that’s something you look into. It could really pay off. You could make a really nice amount of money by just doing all the work upfront and then leaving it up for sale.
Megan Porta: I was just looking up an episode I recorded with Kalyn Franke. She does courses that are really snapshot based, so like really short courses on a really specific topic. Hers happens to be baking, I think cookies and she got a lot of awesome traction from that. Look up her podcast episode on Eat Blog Talk. I’ll try to look it up here while you finish up, Brooke. Then I’ll get back to you. But what final words do you have to say about everything we’ve talked about, anything we missed? Anything you wanna be sure to mention?
Brooke Harmer: I would just bring it back to the beginning of, before you really sit down and figure out how to make the numbers happen, make sure that you have that framework of habits and qualitative measurement in place, because when those numbers don’t pan out the way you want to, whether you’ve been doing blogging for a month or 12 years, then you can fall back on those framework ideas and say, okay, are my habits and my principles really the things that are creating a solid foundation? Do I need to revisit some of those? Then once you figure that out, , you can really look at these seven different ways and figure out which one’s best for you. I don’t recommend doing all seven all at once because you’ll spread yourself too thin and you’ll probably feel really overwhelmed. But I’ve personally done all of these. I’m actually working on a digital course right now, so that’s the only one I haven’t actually launched yet. But I’ve personally done a little bit of all of these at different times in my business and they all serve their purpose in a different way. At the end of the day, this is a business, right? We do want to make money. We do want to see the results that we work so hard for, but at the end of the day, I want to do what makes me passionate and makes me happy and makes me want to be a blogger. I don’t want to choose one of these seven strategies just for the money, right? If it doesn’t fill my cup, if it drains me more than it invigorates me, then to me, that’s not worth the money. So really take some time to be introspective and figure out what aligns best with your needs and your creative cup. That’s when you’ll really see the magic happen.
Megan Porta: Brooke, that was amazing. Oh my goodness. Loved that. That was so encouraging and inspiring. Thank you for that. I did go back and find that cookie class that I was talking about. So if you guys wanna be inspired to do a different format for a, cooking class go to intothecookiejar.com. It’s Kalyn’s blog and she has a section on there called decorating classes. If you click over, you’ll see all of the little tutorials and classes that she’s created that are just amazing. She does like difficulty levels. So if you’re just beginner through expert and then she themes them too, by holiday. So I think these are really fruitful for her and successful. So just a little encouragement there to extend on your seventh point, Brooke. So thank you. This was so fun, so valuable. Thank you for taking the time for us today.
Brooke Harmer: It was so fun to be here. Thanks for having me.
Megan Porta: To end, do you have either a favorite quote or words of inspiration to leave us with today?
Brooke Harmer: I do. I’m going to quote my Band teacher in high school. He always drilled into our heads, here Megan, I’m gonna see if you can fill in the line – practice makes…
Megan Porta: Perfect.
Brooke Harmer: Okay. So he changed that word to make practice permanent.
Megan Porta: Ah.
Brooke Harmer: I really love that because perfection is never something that any of us are gonna have, right? No matter how hard we try. So instead of shooting for perfection, recognizing that the more we practice something, the more permanent it will be ingrained. Kind of like the idea of muscle memory, right? The more you practice keyword research, the better you’ll get at keyword research and the faster you’ll be so that you can then shift your time and energy to something else. So if you’re ever feeling discouraged or like what you’re doing isn’t working, maybe dial it back and simplify your business into two or three things, and then just say, practice makes permanent. Just try and get really good at those couple things and build that muscle memory so that you can build your confidence back and be able to move the needle forward in your business in a way that works best for you.
Megan Porta: Amazing words to end on. Thank you so much. Did you say it was one of your teachers that shared that with you?
Brooke Harmer: Yeah, it was my band teacher.
Megan Porta: Band teacher. Thank you. Brooke’s band teacher. That was so inspiring. We’ll put together a show notes page for you, Brooke. If you wanna go look at those, you can go to eatblogtalk.com/kapaicooking. I’m going to spell that because I had to have Brooke tell me how to pronounce it. It’s K A P A I cooking. Will you describe really quickly what that means and where it comes from because I think this is so cool.
Brooke Harmer: Yeah, so I served a volunteer mission for my church when I was 19. I got to do that missionary service in New Zealand. So I got to live with the natives there and really just dive headfirst into their culture and their food and everything that makes them so special. Part of that was learning their language. So kapai comes from the Maori language and translated in English, it means it’s good. So my brand literally means, it’s good cooking.
Megan Porta: So cool. I love that. I think more than any blog meaning xI’ve ever heard. So glad you shared that with me.
Brooke Harmer: Oh, thank you.
Megan Porta: So why don’t you, with that said, why don’t you share where people can go to see your content and where are you on social media and all of that?
Brooke Harmer: Yeah, so you can follow me on all social channels at Kapai Cooking. That’s K A P A I cooking. I’m currently on a social media break, but you can still follow me there because I’ll eventually resurface one day. But if you really want to stay in touch with me right now and be up to date on all of my recipes and all of the fun things I’m doing, then you can subscribe to my mailing list at KapaiCooking.com.
Megan Porta: Awesome. Go check Brooke out, everyone. Thank you so much for being here again, Brooke. Thank you for listening today, food bloggers. I will see you in the next episode.
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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