In episode 357, Olivia Parsons teaches us how to fit video into our food blogging workflow, cutting down on the time spent on production while seeing the same gains as everyone else.
We cover information about how to streamline creating videos while working on other elements of blogging, different types of video to engage your audience with, adapting your content to different platforms for different ways to interest people and knowing when you’re entertaining, educating or inspiring your audience.
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Bio Olivia Parsons has been the food blogger and content creator behind livglutenfree.com since 2020. At the beginning of the pandemic, she dove head first into the food blogging world, focusing on efficient workflows, adapting to trends, and creating quality recipe, photography, and video content. Olivia has been gluten-free due to an intolerance for over 4 years, and shares 100% gluten-free recipes often with dairy-free, vegan, or other dietary modifications. She lives in the Toronto area with her taste testing family on her mission is to prove that eating gluten-free does not have to be fun-free!
- Create a process to show the “action” of making a recipe to provide the reader so they are confident they are preparing it correctly.
- Different video types: teaser, process shots, tips and tricks and behind the scenes.
- Create audio that helps you connect with the audience: share a video and have a voiceover telling a story of some sort, ASMR audio does well.
- Trending songs help go towards the algorithm.
- You have to work at being consistent on any platform you’re sharing content on.
- IG – short teasers with trending sounds do well.
- TikTok – entertaining, educated or inspired videos with full recipe
- Be yourself (authentic)
Click for full script.
EBT357 – Olivia Parsons
Olivia Parsons: Hi, this is Olivia Parsons from Liv Gluten Free, and you are listening to the Eat Blog Talk podcast.
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Megan Porta: Hey food bloggers. Welcome to Eat Blog Talk, the podcast for food bloggers looking for the value and confidence that will move the needle forward in their businesses. This episode is sponsored by RankIQ. I am your host, Megan Porta, and you are listening to episode number 357.
I have Olivia Parsons with me today. She’s going to talk to us about how to efficiently fit video into your food blogging workflow. Olivia has been the food blogger and content creator behind Liv Gluten-Free.Com since 2020. At the beginning of the pandemic, she dove headfirst into the food blogging world, focusing on efficient workflows, adapting to trends, and creating quality recipe photography and video content.
Olivia has been gluten free due to an intolerance for over four years now, and shares 100% gluten-free recipes often with dairy free, vegan, or other dietary modifications. She lives in the Toronto area with her taste testing family on her mission to prove that eating gluten free does not have to be fun free. Olivia, so grateful to have you here today. How are you?
Olivia Parsons: Hi, Megan. I’m doing well. Thank you so much for having me. I’m really excited for our conversation today.
Megan Porta: Me too. I think this is going to be a great one and so valuable for food bloggers. But do you have a fun fact to share first?
Olivia Parsons: I do, and my fun fact is that I actually have a degree in civil engineering.
Megan Porta: Ooh.
Olivia Parsons: So very different from here we are with food blogging.
Megan Porta: That is funny. Not funny, but Yeah, it’s very different.
Olivia Parsons: Very different, very unexpected. So I completed a five year university program in civil engineering with a minor in business. For those who may not know, civil engineering is like roads, buildings, all the things that you see in our society. That’s what civil engineering focuses on. And so a kind of sub fun fact is that when you graduate from a university engineering program in Canada, you actually receive a ring to wear, which we call the iron ring. So you may notice this in some of my recipe videos, that I actually wear this silver looking ring on my left pinky finger. You are to wear it on the pinky finger of your dominant hand.
Megan Porta: Whoa.
Olivia Parsons: So the purpose of this iron ring is to serve as a constant reminder of the ethics and obligations of the engineering profession. Since you know the things that engineers do, it’s a big deal and it is to be taken seriously when lots of things are at stake with the designs and you know what it is that we do. So this ring serves as a reminder of the importance of that. So I just thought it was funny. I come from this educational background and here I am with this ring on my finger that you can see in some of my food videos. So anyone who is familiar with engineering in Canada would recognize that.
Megan Porta: OK, I love how we’re talking about video so we can actually maybe go see the ring that you are referring to. That’s super cool. I was also gonna say, it’s weird how common it is for people to be on here and to say a fun fact like that. Like, I have a degree in something completely unrelated to food blogging, but that happens more than you would think, and I don’t know why that is. Maybe food blogging is just like a fun, creative journey, experiment or something that people do. I don’t know. It’s just weird how common that is.
Olivia Parsons: Yeah, no, I can see that though because I come from engineering and it’s a very intense analytical program. Then, when I come to food blogging, I do still find that I get to use aspects of that, like the organization. The communication and all those analytical skills that I had to do, but this food blogging lets me have a much more creative outlet. So maybe it’s those people who like the mix of the two. But I find it works really well.
Megan Porta: Food blogging isn’t all creative. There is, like you said, there is a lot of analytical and thinking involved, so it just happens to have some creativity built in too. It is a very interesting topic. We should talk about that some other time, Olivia, dig into the reason for all of that. Okay. You’re here to talk about video, and I’m really excited about this because it’s an angle that we haven’t really covered here on Eat Blog Talk. So do you wanna just start by telling us about your food blogging journey since it started not too long ago, and how you got to the point where you realized you needed to dig into short form videos?
Olivia Parsons: Totally. So I began food blogging in 2020 just after the pandemic. I had just graduated actually from this engineering program during the pandemic, a little bit chaotic, and I was working just a contract job that I was lucky to have lined up. In my spare time, I came across a food photography course, Foodtography school for those who are familiar, and I took it. I learned that there was so much more behind that in terms of the blogging world, and I learned just how much possibility there was. Looking at people’s income reports and seeing some of the big bloggers and also looking at the little bloggers who were coming in and seeing how fast they were growing. It was just so inspiring to me. So I went head first in, and I started my blog shortly after in the summer of 2020. I was formerly livglutenfree.ca and I’ve since switched over to be livglutenfree.com. For I guess the past two years I’ve been there creating a hundred percent gluten-free recipes.
I focus on people with dietary restrictions because I believe that everybody should eat good food. I myself have a gluten intolerance and I do avoid dairy for the most part. So that’s my key combination there. I just love to make good food that no one would guess is gluten free.
Megan Porta: Yeah, that’s great. Your blog is so young and I’m just so inspired by the fact that you got in and you were like, Okay, there are people who are making this work. Not just work, but crushing it and it’s new bloggers and more seasoned bloggers. So you just decided that you were gonna dig in and figure out how to make it work for yourself. So how did video come to be a part of that whole equation?
Olivia Parsons: Yes. This was around the time, summer 2020, fall 2020. This was right around the time when Instagram reels launched. So I had seen them around, I saw people start to create them. It certainly wasn’t what it is now, but it was the first introduction of video. I think I had just downloaded TikTok around the same time as well. So right when I started blogging was when the video started. I don’t really know the world before it as well. I saw these videos coming up. I saw the larger bloggers saying, when Instagram has a new feature, you need to jump on it. You need to stay on top of the trends. I saw people saying this and in my head, I knew that was true. I need to stay on the trends, stay current, and that’s how my content will be pushed out on social media. I knew that I had to do this in my head. I just really struggled with how to fit that into my process that I already had, with our keyword research, recipe development, process photos, final photos, blog post writing, then social media. I was like, how the heck do I fit video into this?
Megan Porta: Yeah. Cause it is a lot, right? So like how do I fit this whole puzzle together exactly? I love that you mentioned that you didn’t know pre Reels. You came in when reels were thin and a lot of us more seasoned bloggers are like, Oh my gosh, Reels are so new. But I just think it’s so cool that there are bloggers out there who are killing it that didn’t know the pre Reel world. I don’t know, That’s mind blowing to me. So how did it go from there? So you needed to fit video into your whole workflow and your process, so how did you set that up?
Olivia Parsons: Yeah, and at this time I was still figuring out my whole blogging process. It’s only been about two years. So my process has evolved to be, I think, much more efficient these days. So adding in video too, I was like, how the heck am I gonna do all of this? Because I was and I still am a big consumer of this video content on Instagram and TikTok, so I could pick out you know what videos were doing well, and I enjoyed them, but I still couldn’t figure out how to fit a video into my blogging workflow without having to remake a whole recipe again just for a video. Because that was the thing, you’re making a recipe. You’re testing it maybe 1, 2, 3, 4 plus times. Then you’ve gotta get your process pictures, and then you’ve gotta get your video. So that’s a lot of things to handle. It wasn’t until this year in 2022, maybe February or March time, I don’t know what happened. I just had a revelation.
Megan Porta: Yes, I love those revelations.
Olivia Parsons: It just clicked and it came to me and I thought video should be used to record the action of performing recipe steps. Then the process photos should capture the result of said step, and that way we can capture both at the same time while making a recipe.
Megan Porta: Brilliant. Oh my gosh. I love it. So you ran with that, you had this revelation and you’re like, Yes, this is awesome.
Olivia Parsons: Yes, I ran with it. This really helped me streamline my process because that was the main problem. I was like, I have to do these process pictures for SEO. I knew that was very important, but the video was trying to capture the same things. So I really struggled with how to do both at the same time until I had this revelation. I can provide a couple of examples of my workflow to really help you understand what I do.
Megan Porta: Yeah. Take us through an example, take us through maybe a certain recipe and how you do this.
Olivia Parsons: Totally. So let’s say that I’m doing a cookie recipe chocolate chip cookie recipe. Of course I have a tested and developed recipe at this point, and I’m going to shoot my final content for the blog and for a social media video.
So I pre-measure out all of my ingredients so that I can get that nice ingredient shot at the beginning for the blog. Then once you have everything pre-measured out, it’s very easy. The recipe will come together quite quickly. So I will turn on I, I use my phone to record my videos, so I’ll turn that on and I will record me doing every step.
So the first step would be, say whisking together my butter and sugars. I’ll take a video of that, and then at all of the key steps in the recipe, I will stop the video. I’ll move my bowl over, and I will take a process picture of what the batter should look like. Then I’ll take my bowl back and then I’ll mix in my dry ingredients, stir them all together. Then I’ll stop, take it back and take a process picture. Because in my mind, the process of pictures, when you’re going through a blog post, you think about how a user would use it. You want to see what the cookie dough looks like so that you can compare and see, does my cookie dough look like that? Having a picture of me pouring flour into a bowl isn’t really as helpful as the final cookie dough so that I can see if mine looks right. So that revelation really helped me also, that the process picture is to help the reader on the blog to see if they’re following correctly. Then I can use video for all of the high action things like the mixing, the pouring, the chocolate chips, all of those things that people find interesting and they keep watching. So the video in the pictures I realized really do have two separate purposes, and through that I’m able to go back and forth recording each one in the same recipe.
Megan Porta: Okay. This is brilliant. I think you’re speaking my language here. I think you know that Olivia. Streamlining and making things more efficient is what food blogging is all about. Because if you can’t find those ways to do this, then you are just working all the time. So I love your revelation. I love that you took it and ran with it and that you found this great process. I think we can all learn from you. So what do we do? Or I guess, what do you do with your video once you have it? So you’ve got all these videos of the action. Then what do you use that for? How do you repurpose it?
Olivia Parsons: Yes. So there are so many people using video these days. There’s so many different trends. The apps I find require different things and I’m gonna go into that. But on watching all of this content, I’ve found about five main types of food videos that you’re then able to edit together with this content.
So the first one would be a classic hands n pants style recipe. These were the original videos, with the Tasty videos and everything. You are not in the video yourself, you’ve just got the camera down and you’re mixing, you’re showing your hands, and then you’re showing the final recipe. This is one that I do a lot of the time. It’s probably one of the easiest ones to record since you don’t have to be ready, you’re just showing the bowl what you’re mixing and then showing the final product. So this, when you show the whole recipe in this way, they can do fairly well because they are very helpful for the people watching and how to make your recipe.
The next one that I’ve seen people doing is a play off the hands and pans is where people will film yourself while you’re making a recipe. So the camera will be in front of you versus down on the food. So you are in the video and you know this one is really effective because it gives a human element behind the scenes. If you do it consistently, people will start to recognize your face once they see a video. So filming yourself is really good for engagement and community building because people can build up that relationship with you. So I see people oftentimes doing a combination of these two. So for one shot you’ll film yourself pouring the sugar in, and then the next one, it’s the bowl with something falling in. So changing up the angles, especially when you’re editing, is really helpful for keeping interest and keeping it quick. Because video these days is quick, quick.
Megan Porta: Yes. So true.
Olivia Parsons: The next little one that I’ve noticed, this is specifically on Instagram, I see them do well is short teaser videos. So you’ve recorded the whole recipe. That’s great. You use it for the previous two types of videos, but these short little teaser videos, they’ll have maybe one or two important steps in the recipe, but mainly it’s a beauty shot of the final recipe. Usually about three to seven seconds on Instagram to those trending sounds, and these ones have a tendency to blow up. It is just crazy. I had one video go super viral on Instagram Reels back in May, 2022, and it was literally just like a five second video of someone saying wow. I was showing different recipes. It was five seconds long and it got almost 5 million views.
Megan Porta: What??
Olivia Parsons: On Instagram. That resulted in about 30,000 followers.
Megan Porta: Oh my gosh.
Olivia Parsons: Which is crazy. So these little short videos, don’t discount the short little teaser videos because with the algorithm it’s based on watch time and how engaged people are. So with these short, quick little videos, people end up watching them several times in a row just because it’s so short. So that can really help boost you up in the algorithm. So there’s one that went viral. At that point, I had been trying to do video consistently, but at the same time with all of these, there was a little element of luck to it, I think. You get picked up, swooped up and people keep watching and it’s great. But that type of thing is hard to predict without the consistency of continually putting out these videos.
Megan Porta: Oh, I loved what you just said. That was the best line. There is sometimes an element of luck and you just have to be consistent in order to increase the chances that you can tap into that.
Olivia Parsons: Basically, yeah. Because if you’re only putting out one video a month and then, maybe that one doesn’t take off, then there you go. There’s nothing else for the people to see. So that’s one of the number one tips with video is to be consistent and to keep practicing, even if you don’t think that you’ve put together the best video, put it out there because you never know what’s gonna happen.
Megan Porta: Oh my gosh, that’s so true. Sometimes those things we put out that take off are things that we discounted or we were about to just shove under the rug, so you never know.
Olivia Parsons: Absolutely. Absolutely. And that one video that went viral, it was not the one that I had planned. It was one that I put together in about five minutes before posting and thought, What the heck? Let’s throw it up there. It ended up being very successful for me. So you never know.
Megan Porta: Oh, I love that. Okay. What other kinds? Do you have any other ones to go through?
Olivia Parsons: Okay. I had two more types of the main types of food videos that I see. The next one I call educational tips and tricks. So I did one where I have this tip where whenever I bake cookies, I take them outta the oven right away and I run either a cookie cutter or a glass around the outside of the cookie to shape it into a perfect circle. So I had seen people do this before. I don’t take credit for the tip. If you film it as a part of your recipe making, then you could pull that out as a whole other separate video. Share the tip with people who, there’s definitely people out there who don’t know that. You can share a little educational tip and trick. People really eat those up when they get to learn fun, new things. Oh, I may not have come across that before. That one can really help, earn your trust and authority as a food source. So that’s a good one to throw into the mix as well.
Megan Porta: You can do double duty with that. So while you’re filming a recipe, you can also do those tips and tricks.
Olivia Parsons: Oh, absolutely. Any little things that you do and you might not even pick up on it. Little tips that you do can be so helpful for people. So just share all of those little things that you do. There’s bound to be people who find it new and interesting.
Megan Porta: Yeah. Okay. What’s your last type?
Olivia Parsons: The last type that I have is called behind the scenes. So this would be, maybe while you’re making a recipe video, you could maybe film a secondary video at the same time of you behind the scenes making this video or of something that’s going on while you’re making the video and put together a behind the scenes of how I make my food videos. I’ll do this sometimes and I’ll show my lighting set up. I use artificial light for my photos. Maybe I will show the disastrous mess that’s on the counters afterwards. So these little things behind the scenes so that again, people can see the real person that you are and people love it when you know you’ll throw in something that maybe doesn’t go right, in a video. Maybe the flour flies everywhere or something. People love the little imperfect moments. Throwing some of those in behind the scenes and maybe editing them together into its own behind the scenes video, maybe you’re including some bloopers at the end of a regular video, those types of things, keep it real and again, let people get to know you more.
Megan Porta: Behind the scenes videos are my most popular type of video. People eat it up.
Olivia Parsons: There you go. I know, because it’s so fun. You see all these recipe videos, you’re like, Oh, cool. But to see someone create that in the back end, it’s very interesting for people. People get very curious about how it works, what you’re doing, you know what your process is. So sharing your process. Even as a fellow food blogger, I find it so fascinating.
Megan Porta: Yeah. The messes I find that people are really intrigued about too, because you assume food bloggers have everything put together in the kitchen. Everything’s always clean, and we all know that’s not the case. But it’s fun sharing that with people because they eat it up. They just think that’s hilarious. Seeing a huge kitchen full of dirty dishes is okay, she’s actually a real human.
Olivia Parsons: Yes, absolutely. All of those little moments showing the real person behind the hands in the pans is what really helps build community, engagement and interest in watching these videos too. I can be guilty sometimes of getting too comfortable, maybe just filming my hands and pans type videos. So throwing in, a shot of yourself or a behind the scenes video every so often can really help people get to know the person behind the hands and pans.
Megan Porta: I like that concept. Just throwing in a little bit of discomfort on our end once in a while actually adds value to the consumer, the people consuming our content. That’s such a good concept. Which kind of leads to my next question, and that is audio. Because I know a lot of people don’t like video. They don’t like being on video, having their face on video or maybe their body even. But audio is a really good way to tiptoe into the world. It’s a step up into being more comfortable with putting yourself on video. So what do you recommend for audio?
Olivia Parsons: Totally. So I would say the first type of audio that I see trending a lot is the ASMR. No background sound. There’s no voiceover. It is just the sound of the bowl hitting the counter, and then the whisking of what’s in the bowl, and then the pouring into the batter and the sound of you putting it in the oven. These videos, they’re typically edited quite quickly because you just want to have those key noises. You need to be conscious of, if you’re trying to film an ASMR video, you can really be deliberate about making these specific noises so that they stand out once you’re editing it together. These ASMR videos are really great, I find on social media, because there’s no sound, there’s no language. So there’s no language barrier. So they can really go far and wide because anyone can find these videos. Anyone can understand them. So these ASMR type videos can be really successful for that reason. Food
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Olivia Parsons: So the next audio type that I see a lot and that I create a lot, is a voice over. So I will record the whole process of making a recipe. Then in my voiceover. you can do a couple different things in your voiceovers. You can explain the steps of you going through the recipe so that someone can follow along with you both visually and audibly. Or what I find successful that I see people do is in their voiceover, so again, in the video, they’re making whatever recipe it is, and in the voiceover they’re telling a story that may or may not have anything to do with the recipe that they’re making. Because people are listening and they’re trying to figure out what’s gonna be the end of the story, they watch the whole video. So that one is a really good way to keep the viewership up, keep the engagement, is to tell some sort of interesting story. It can relate to the recipe or not,but it will keep people watching for the whole time. So that’s a really good one that I’ve seen.
Megan Porta: Okay. I have an answer for ASMR, but go ahead and I know you have another audio type. Why don’t you talk through that?
Olivia Parsons: Yes. The last one that you’ll see is trending songs. So there’s trending songs on TikTok and there’s trending songs on Instagram. Oftentimes they’re different trending songs. You can go in on both of them. You can go over to the viral song page and you can see what’s trending. Or even if you just give it a scroll for five minutes, you’ll likely see several of the same song trending. So putting that song over your video can really help give it a boost in the algorithm because it knows that videos with this sound, people are watching them. So if you put that song over your video, it may give it just another boost to get it seen in the algorithm. I do this two ways. I’ll either put the trending song full volume, so that’s the only audio. Or sometimes I’ll turn the volume of the song all the way down, so it’s just a little background and then I’ll also do a voiceover on top to explain the recipe or whatever it is. But having a trending song in your video just gives it another chance in the algorithm.
Megan Porta: Don’t discount those trending songs. Once I started believing that, because I was like, Oh How effective can this be? But I started playing with it a little bit and there’s a lot of power in those trends and hearing a song that’s really trendy. So play around with that. Yeah.
Olivia Parsons: Yes, and it’s best of course if you can hop on it as soon as possible. These trending songs go in and out within usually a couple days, so you know, being a viewer and a consumer of this content as well, will help you stay on top of what’s trending at the moment.
Megan Porta: Okay, so ASMR, Olivia, stands for Autonomic Sensory Meridian Response. I don’t know how wow, I’m glad it’s an abbreviation. No one’s ever gonna remember that. But it’s basically referring to that experience you get when you’re exposed to either auditory or visual stimuli. Like what you’re talking about, like the bowl or the whisking or whatever, and how that can actually be pleasing to people. So I love that.
Olivia Parsons: There you go. Thank you, Megan.
Megan Porta: Yeah, . So we have a few audio types we can choose from to go along with all the video types that you mentioned. Thank you for running through all of those. Now how do we decide what to do with all of this once we’ve got our videos and audio together?
Olivia Parsons: Absolutely. So the main platforms that I personally show up on are Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest. This is gonna vary from person to person. Like I said, I only came into this scene in 2020, so I really don’t touch Facebook. I never really had a Facebook presence and I really don’t now. But, throw that into the loop too if you do keep up with that. Yes, I a hundred percent recommend repurposing this video content across these platforms. But I do just wanna mention some key differences that I’ve noticed in what types of videos do best on which platforms. Number one, Instagram, everybody’s favorite. I find on Instagram that the short teaser videos with trending sounds do really well. So that’ll be something like, the final shot, a big slice of cake on a plate with a fork digging in and that’s the video. These short little teasers, because people are scrolling so fast, they really keep interest quick. If there’s a trending sound that kind of goes with it, then that does really good as well. On Instagram, longer videos do well as well, if you’re showing a full recipe. But Instagram I find the short little teasers of just, the final beauty shot are what people really like on Instagram.
Megan Porta: Okay. What do people like on TikTok? Is it the same or is it a little different on TikTok?
Olivia Parsons: Again, this is my research both as a consumer and as a creator. So I found on TikTok, they don’t like those short little teasers. TikTok people want to be entertained, inspired, or educated. Those are the main three things that I’ve heard people say before and I do find it to be true on TikTok. So on TikTok, I find that they like the full recipe. They don’t like to be left hanging with just the little teaser. TikTok people come to, scroll for minutes and or hours and be entertained. So on TikTok, I like to post a full recipe, making it start to finish, of course, with the beauty shots in there. That could either be any of the audios. It could be an ASMR, I often do a voiceover, explaining how the recipe’s going. Or you could share a story, people like that as well. Or a full volume trending sound with quick cuts and good editing. Those ones do really well on TikTok too.
Megan Porta: Okay. I have a couple questions about TikTok. So I use my TikTok account for my podcast side, so not necessarily for food, but I’ve found that the most popular ones are the ones that people like the most, are the ones where I right away, right off the bat, I explain what I’m going to do. Whether I’m going to entertain, inspire, educate. So I say Okay, we’re gonna talk about how to increase your blog traffic quickly or something like that. Tell them right off the bat what your goal is and then get into it. Do you do that with food videos as well?
Olivia Parsons: Absolutely. So I’ll maybe start with something quick, it’s hot outside. Let’s make this refreshing smoothie recipe. So that you can grab the people right away. You wanna grab ’em in the first one to two seconds, otherwise they’re scrolling because there’s so much other content out there. So that’s great, Megan. That’s what I do as well. If it’s either an audio, explain right away what you’re gonna or if it’s a very quick video shot, ideally you’ll have maybe some type of movement. Maybe it’s the fork going into the cake. Maybe it’s you taking a bite of a cookie, something very quick right at the beginning to hook them in and keep them watching. That’s great.
Megan Porta: Then how long do you keep those TikTok videos? I know there’s probably a range, but can you tell us your range?
Olivia Parsons: So, if I do a full recipe video, it’s generally 30 to 60 seconds in total. I keep the clips of each little step generally under a second. You wanna have very quick cuts, different angles going on to keep people’s interest. Sometimes I’ll speed the clip up a little bit because that’s just the style that I like, is having very quick cuts, moving through it quickly because it not only keeps me engaged, but it keeps other people engaged and watching.
Megan Porta: Okay. That is such great info. I love it. So talk us through what you do for your Pinterest videos.
Olivia Parsons: Okay, So Pinterest is probably where I spend the least amount of time out of these three, but I think Pinterest is great to just throw any and all content at, specifically with the idea pins. So all of these videos that you’re making for Instagram and TikTok, throw them up as idea pins. I probably have less of a strategy with Pinterest than with these other ones because I just throw things up on Pinterest and see how they do. It’s a bonus for me with these video idea pins, but either one of these short teasers, if it’s the full recipe video, I like to throw up as idea pins. Then generally what I’ll do, you can number one, just put the video up. There you go. Easy and done. Sometimes what I like to do is I like to make a second page of the idea pin and I’ll put the final picture of the recipe and then I’ll put, find the full recipe at livglutenfree.Com, just so that people know where they can actually go as opposed to just entertaining them. Sometimes I’ll do that as well.
Megan Porta: I feel like Pinterest isn’t as picky of a platform. With TikTok and Instagram, you have to get creative and cater to that attention span thing. But with Pinterest, and that’s what I’m gathering that you’re saying too, you can just throw things up and see what, what’s working.
Olivia Parsons: That’s my current strategy. I don’t know as well what Pinterest actually likes as opposed to Instagram.
Megan Porta: What do you like on Pinterest?
Olivia Parsons: It’s a great question, but I also know that well, myself, I’m not really going on Pinterest and specifically looking for videos. So these videos are really just gonna be what pops up in front of people. So you also wanna hook them in. But I really find Pinterest as a great place for just repurposing this content because I don’t find a need to make a third type of content at this point.
Megan Porta: That’s a great point. You don’t go on Pinterest, and I don’t think most people do, to find videos necessarily. They go to find maybe recipes or fashion. They have a topic in mind, but not necessarily a video. Whereas on TikTok, you go to consume videos, so it’s completely different.
Olivia Parsons: Exactly. So I create this video content with Instagram and TikTok in mind, and then putting it on Pinterest, I just see it as a bonus. Bonus content.
Megan Porta: Yeah. Oh my goodness. This is so good. Okay. Can you talk through Olivia, the equipment that you need? You mentioned earlier that you use your phone for video, which I love because the days of elaborate camera setups with all the video equipment are not necessarily needed anymore. So talk through what you use.
Olivia Parsons: Absolutely. So yes. I film all my video content vertically on my iPhone. I use an iPhone 10, guys, which I don’t think many people are using anymore. But it just proves that it doesn’t matter what you have. Anything that can record video is gonna work great. So I’m actually hoping to upgrade that soon. But my iPhone is what I use to record all of this video. I have a tripod for the phone, but the one that I have has a clamp base, so it clamps onto the countertop. I might be upgrading that one soon as well. I know a lot of people like the Arcon Mount. So it sits flat on the table and then it has a couple little levers to put the phone above the table. So there’s a couple different types. Megan, I can send you some links for those afterwards for people. But basically a phone and some sort of phone tripod.
Megan Porta: Okay. And that’s it for actually taking the video.
Olivia Parsons: That actually is it. I don’t use anything extra for audio. I don’t use anything extra for the video. It’s just me, my phone, and my tripod when I record.
Megan Porta: What do you do for lighting? Do you do it naturally? Artificial?
Olivia Parsons: I do use natural lighting exclusively for my videos, which I know a lot of people do actually because of course it’s the most accessible. I dabble in artificial light for my photos. I have a large flash and a soft box, just because I was looking for the picture specifically, my natural lighting was a bit inconsistent. So what I’ll do is, I’ll be at my counter. I have my phone recording the video at my counter of whatever it is that I’m doing, and then I will pause. I’ll take my bowl or whatever, walk it over just a couple steps to where I have my light set up and then I’ll snap the process picture and go back. But if you’re doing this all in natural lighting, you don’t even have to move. You can just stop recording, snap your process picture, and then keep going with the video.
Megan Porta: Okay. I love your ability to streamline. This is so exciting for me.
Olivia Parsons: You can see the engineering background.
Megan Porta: Yes. But it’s so efficient, which like I said earlier, you have to figure these things out in order to stay sane as a food blogger, so I love that you are doing this. What do you use for editing your video?
Olivia Parsons: For editing my video again, I do it all on my phone. Since all the content is on my phone, I like to edit on my phone. I use an app called Cap Cut. C A P C U T. I don’t hear a lot of people talking about this one, but it’s very similar to InShot, like I know a lot of people use. It’s totally free. It has great features. I can edit my clips down. I can change the speed of the clips, change the audio. I can do the voiceover right in the APP. You can even add captions right in the app. It’ll do the auto generated captions from your voiceover if you want. It has lots of effects and transitions if you like that. You can also adjust, you know the color a little bit if you need to. Sometimes I find my shadows are really dark, so you can actually adjust that in the video in this app. So I highly recommend using Cap Cut. That’s what I use to edit.
Megan Porta: Awesome. I do use InShot and I really like it. It’s very robust, I feel like I can do whatever I want there. So glad to have another option there. Do you have any just overall video tips for us? As far as I don’t know, anything, like anything that comes to mind.
Olivia Parsons: Yeah, I just have a couple that I always tend to remind myself of when I am filming these videos. Number one, which can be challenging, is to just find the best lighting. So I actually just moved last week, and so I’m having to go through all of this again in a new place to find out what time of day has the best light. What area has the best lighting and how can I make that work for my videos? This is, again, if you’re using natural lighting or if your best lighting is using an artificial light, you can use that too. But lighting is the number one thing that you know, you can’t really edit away in a video and it’s what can make the video pop. So if you know you just have to find the best light in your kitchen, maybe you have to move a little cart or something in front of your window to find your best lighting. I’ve seen people do that, and that’s where they film their whole video.
But another thing with lighting is, It can also influence a style that people begin to recognize from you. So I see some food bloggers, they only record their videos in direct sunlight, so they get that really bright light and those really, strong shadows. When I see one of their videos come up, I recognize it just because of the lighting. So lighting is very important, can be very tricky, but I recommend just practicing and finding the light that you like best in your videos.
Megan Porta: So lighting can actually be part of your style.
Olivia Parsons: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Those really harsh, bright sunlight makes you think of summer. Maybe they live in a tropical place or something. It can really affect the whole vibe of your video for sure.
Megan Porta: That is a great tip. What other tips do you have?
Olivia Parsons: Okay, so definitely you want to be yourself. Like I said, you want to maybe throw in a clip of yourself, show your personality. Show your, this is a business term, your unique selling proposition of why people should follow you, why people should make your recipes, and that could be through showing those little imperfect moments where maybe the flower goes everywhere. Maybe you get butter all over the counter or something. Those little things that don’t go right, that you happen to catch on video, because we’re recording everything. Throw those into the video and it really helps people see the real human behind the video.
Megan Porta: I think that’s so important. That’s such an important tip. Okay. Do you have any others for us?
Olivia Parsons: Yes. So you wanna show those drool worthy shots. You wanna make sure that you get a really nice final shot of whatever it is that you’re making in the good lighting, ideally with some type of action. So if it’s a casserole, scooping it out of the dish. If it’s a cake, you’ve got the fork going into the slice. Those different types of final action shots are great, and I actually like to put those at the beginning of the video to hook people in and see what it is that they’re gonna get to make if they watch the whole thing. That was my second point, as well as to have a hook to grab the viewer’s attention. So some sort of action, some sort of beauty shot of the dish to put in the beginning, grab people’s attention, make it look so good that they need to keep watching the video to know how to make it. Then they’ll keep watching. Maybe they’ll click over to your website. Maybe they’ll make it. That’s the pipeline, ideally.
Megan Porta: Lucky for all of you listening, you are a food blogger, and food by nature is just inviting. So use the food to invite people in, whether it’s with that fork full of moist cake or like an oozy cheese pull. There’s so much opportunity too, in two seconds, to pull people in with food. So I think that we have a leg up on other content creators because of that.
Olivia Parsons: Absolutely. Absolutely. I have two more points here, quick tips. Number one is I like to keep quick jumpy clips to keep attention. Like I said, I like to keep my clips under a second each, and maybe sometimes I speed them up to 1.5 speeds depending on what it is. Different angles, different shots. Throw in a shot of you, then a shot of the bowl. Keep it interesting for the people watching. Then my last one is, this one has a time and place, but to have a story or a purpose of the video. So that could be as simple as showing the recipe start to finish. That could be telling a story in your voiceover. That could be sharing, a helpful tip or trick. So to have a purpose with every piece of content is really important. I always try to think back to that when I’m recording and editing a video as to what is the purpose of this? What am I helping someone to make? What am I showing them how to do? When something is helpful, that’s what people are looking for and that’ll help them keep watching.
Megan Porta: Olivia, this was so good. I am so excited about this episode. This is so helpful. I think anyone listening is gonna be just so grateful for all of the information you provided. Is there anything we’ve forgotten that you feel like we need to touch on before we start saying goodbye?
Olivia Parsons: I think that we just about covered it. My main thing is to just keep practicing and to keep up that consistency with video. It can feel so overwhelming at first. Like I said in the beginning, it took me about a year and a half to get this process down pat and this is how it works for me. So to keep practicing, to keep videoing things and to keep putting it out there on social media is gonna be your best chance at improving and having success with it.
Megan Porta: One of my favorite concepts that you brought up is just that consistency is going to increase your chances of being lucky and getting traction on something that you had no idea would ever get traction. So just that consistency piece is absolutely vital here.
Olivia Parsons: Absolutely.
Megan Porta: Thank you so much, Olivia. It was such a pleasure to chat with you today. I loved all this information. Do you have either a favorite quote or words of inspiration to leave us with today?
Olivia Parsons: I do, Megan. So my words of inspiration are twofold. Number one, as I said, don’t give up. If food blogging success is something that you really want, you have to keep moving, making baby steps forward. There may be some steps backwards but that just means that you have an opportunity to take an even bigger leap. Number two, to pivot when you feel ready. So if pivoting to the newest trend like video stresses you out, I highly encourage you to try it at your own pace, to practice and learn these workflows that work best for you and your space and your business, and keep practicing, posting and the feedback and engagement will come if you’re consistent.
Megan Porta: Oh, that is such great advice. I love it. The great thing is that there’s no template that any of us have to follow. We can do our own thing and make our own journey work.
Olivia Parsons: Absolutely. That will only work out for the best for you to be unique and to tell your own story and to run your business in your own way.
Megan Porta: Beautiful. Thank you for ending that way, Olivia. We will put together some show notes for you. If you wanna go look at those and all the resources and information that Olivia provided during the episode, you can go to eatblogtalk.com/livglutenfree. Why don’t you tell everyone where they can find you online and on social media?
Olivia Parsons: Absolutely. So my website is livglutenfree.Com. That’s l i v glutenfree.Com, where I post all of my gluten-free, dairy-free vegan recipes. You can also find me mostly on Instagram and TikTok where I am at @livglutenfree.
Megan Porta: Everyone, go check Olivia out. Thank you again so much for being here, Olivia, and 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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