In this episode, Jillian Leslie teaches us strategies for how to get our mindset in the right place for 2024 and stay positive while navigating the ever-changing landscape of online business.

We cover information about the power of staying open-minded and flexible in the face of changing circumstances, the significance of surrounding yourself with positive and supportive individuals and how to leverage tools like MiloTree Cart to streamline online business endeavors and monetization efforts.

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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Guest Details

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JIllian Leslie loves building businesses on the internet with her husband, David.

In 2009, they started Catch My Party, one of the largest party ideas sites on the web.

In 2016, Jillian and David built MiloTree, a smart pop-up app to help bloggers and creators grow their social media followers and email lists.

And in 2021, they built MiloTreeCart, the easiest tool for bloggers and creators to sell digital products. It’s built for non-techies.

For the past 4 years, Jillian has been hosting her weekly podcast called The Blogger Genius Podcast. She interviews successful bloggers, entrepreneurs, and industry experts to break down what’s working now in online business.

Jillian received her BA and MBA from Stanford. She lives in Austin, TX with her husband and daughter, Lainey.


  • Flexibility and Adaptation – Due to the dynamic nature of business, be open to change and experimentation in business strategies.
  • Community Support – It’s important to surround yourself with positive and supportive peers who understand the challenges and opportunities
  • Embrace Authenticity – Be authentic and vulnerable, even if it means being perceived as imperfect or “cringey,” fostering genuine connections with audiences.
  • Be Proactive – Take initiative and seize opportunities for growth rather than waiting passively for success to happen.
  • Continuous Learning and Evolution Embrace continuous learning, adaptation, and a willingness to pivot strategies based on feedback and changing trends.
  • Optimism and Resilience – Foster a mindset of optimism, resilience, and belief in your ability to overcome challenges and achieve success in the blogging and online business journey.

Resources Mentioned

Find out more about Milo Tree Cart


Click for full script.

EBT506 – Jillian Leslie

Intro 00:00

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. I have been a food blogger for 13 years, so I understand how isolating food blogging can be. I’m on a mission to motivate, inspire, and most importantly, let each and every food blogger, including you, know that you are heard and supported. 

How are you handling this year so far? Are you handling it with grace? Do you feel like it’s been a really scary year so far? Are you unsure what to focus on and struggling with where your mindset is? I invited Jillian Leslie to this interview. She is from Milo Tree and Milo Tree Cart. We have a great conversation about how to handle the possible changes that are happening before our eyes and laid out before us here in 2024. Jillian has some really great insights about how to get your mindset in the right place for this year, how to approach it with positivity. She recommends doing a lot of experimentation and testing with what is working, what’s not working. She also touches on how to experiment with digital products such as eBooks or maybe memberships or in-person events or coaching or things like that, and how you can use Milo Tree Cart to help you sell those products and services. We give a lot of attention in this conversation to just staying positive and surrounding yourself with people who are positive and who aren’t going to bring you down through this year, because that is definitely not something you are going to need as the year goes on. I believe this is a really good conversation. I hope you really love this and are inspired by it like I was. It is episode number 506, Sponsored by RankIQ.

Sponsor 02:06

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Megan Porta 03:37

Jillian Leslie loves building businesses on the internet with her husband, David. In 2009, they started Catch My Party, one of the largest party idea sites on the web. In 2016, Jillian and David built Milo Tree, a smart popup app to help bloggers and creators grow their social media followers and email lists. And in 2021, they built Milo Tree Cart, the easiest tool for bloggers and creators to sell digital products. It is built for non-techies. For the past four years, Jillian has been hosting her weekly podcast called the Blogger Genius Podcast. She interviews successful bloggers, entrepreneurs, and industry experts to break down what’s working now in online business. Jillian received her BA and MBA from Stanford. She lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and daughter Laney. 

Jillian, welcome back to the podcast. How are you today?

Jillian Leslie 04:27

Oh, it’s so good to be here. Thank you for having me.

Megan Porta 04:30

Yay. I’m so excited to chat about 2024 and how to prepare ourselves. I think this is a really relevant big topic to chat about, right?

Jillian Leslie 04:40

Yes, definitely.

Megan Porta 04:41

Yeah, and you have some insights on this and we, we have had a conversation on your podcast kind of on the similar vein, so I’m excited to extend this chat today. Do you want to start off by talking about Milo tree cart a little bit and then I think that will lead into how we can be a little bit proactive going into the year.

Jillian Leslie 05:04

Absolutely. It’s funny, you were on my podcast and the whole topic was me saying, what are you seeing? Like what is changing in the world of food blogging? And we had this great conversation, and you can check that out at the Blogger Genius podcast, but then you gave me so much to think about in that podcast that I’ve been marinating in our conversation for a while. And I thought like, what could I be sharing then that builds on what you were talking about. Oh, and I think the word that I want to put out there is the word agency. We are agents. We have, we can do stuff in our businesses to move the needle rather than sitting back passively waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Megan Porta 05:52

I love that.

Jillian Leslie 05:53

So we have a software, a tool called Milo Tree Cart, which by the way, you use. The reason, and it helps bloggers sell digital products. So you’re using it, you used it for your upcoming mastermind, right?

Megan Porta 06:09

Summit. Flavor Media Summit. Yep.

Jillian Leslie 06:11

Exactly. And the way that we thought about it when we were creating it was how can we create the easiest tool possible in terms of the technology to empower creators, people who don’t like technology to sell to their audiences? And one thing about food bloggers is you guys have audiences, and my whole thing is, okay, well how can you then monetize that audience in new ways? So lots of food bloggers make money via ads, showing ads on your blog, and that’s great, and that can be a wonderful income stream. But what are other income streams you could turn on so that you can start to have agency in your business so that you cannot just be sitting back going, oh no, how is the world changing in 2024? But you could say, Hey, you know what, I can run all these tests and I can try selling like an ebook. In fact, I always say food bloggers who do not sell an ebook of their most popular recipes are missing out. And then how can you turn that into any, like other types of digital products, like a paid workshop where you show up and you cook with people for an hour, super low key. Like what? How can you have a membership? How can you do a summit? How can you have a course? What are the things that you could be putting out there so that you, again, can make change in your business? Especially as we head into 2024 where people seem scared.

Megan Porta 07:45

Yeah, there is a lot of fear out there right now. You can feel it, right? I feel like I can cut it with a knife some days.

Jillian Leslie 07:52

I emailed my list and said, Hey, what are you excited about, scared about in 2024? The biggest response I got was third party cookies going away.

Megan Porta 08:05

Yeah, that sounds about right.

Jillian Leslie 08:07

And nobody knows what that’s going to mean. Other people said AI and a couple people had some positive things that they were excited about, but it seemed that it was more fear-based. And it’s funny, I just went, I’m going live with a podcast episode with this SEO guy, and I get on the call with him and I’m, you know, and I could feel my own anxiety talking about and, and he wanted to talk about AI and how that’s changing the world and I could feel my anxiety, but he was so excited about the changes coming. And my husband too is super excited about AI that I realized by the end of the episode, I started getting excited about the changes. And the funny part is he was, he’s an SEO, right? So typically he comes on my podcast and he talks about Google and optimizing keywords and stuff like that. And what he said is that what is potentially changing could change his entire business because it’s no longer necessarily going to be Google focused. And he said, his wife is like, oh no, are you going to be out of a job? But he’s like, no. What this means is I have to lean into new things and learn new things and discover and experiment. And as he was talking, I could feel my shoulders lightening.

Megan Porta 09:35

Oh, that’s so great. That feels good, right? Just to be around people who have that perspective.

Jillian Leslie 09:41

It was, and I was like I said, I’m going to have you back on in a couple months as we talk about this. And I think what I shared with you before we pressed record is again, like the world’s changing and it’s always changing. By the way, this isn’t new. If you’ve been at this blogging thing for a while, you know that things are always evolving and changing. But it’s like, how can I then get my mindset in the right place where I can get my thinking and my inner monologue aligned with these changes? Because I can’t stop them.

Megan Porta 10:13

Yeah. A lot of this stuff is completely out of our control. So get a handle on your mindset. I think first and foremost is the message, right? Surround yourself with people who have gotten a handle on their mindset and who have a good perspective and outlook. And then dig into new revenue streams. Like digital products like you were talking about.

Jillian Leslie 10:33

This is what I want to say. We have a hypothesis of what we think will work, right? So you’re listening to this and you’re like, well, Jillian’s saying I should have an ebook and it’s going to sell like hotcakes. Well, it might. And I would say that’s a very good hypothesis to have. But the truth is, I don’t know. The only way you will know is by testing. So in 2024, I would say the word aside from agency is test, test, try see what works, see what doesn’t. So with my Milo Tree Cart for example, right now we’re selling it for a lifetime deal. You can test as many products as you want. We offer free fill in the blank sales pages. We’re rolling it out with AI. Like you can put up a hundred products and see where you’re getting traction, where people are connecting to what you’re offering. So many people say this to me, I tried selling an ebook, it didn’t work. Or I tried selling a course, it didn’t work. Digital products aren’t right for me. And I say, those digital products aren’t right for you. But I have a feeling if you keep testing, if you keep mucking around and putting stuff up that feels ready for it, slightly embarrassing , you will find traction. So it’s not you, it’s the process. Like business building is messy.

Megan Porta 11:56

Oh my gosh, that’s so true. So what if people are in that boat and they’re kind of in the situation where they have tried maybe an ebook that failed and a course that failed and they are feeling stuck. Where else did they look, do you think?

Jillian Leslie 12:11

Okay, couple things. One, I would ask if you have an email list, that’s another thing. Definitely be building your email list. If you have an email list, ask them. But make it simple. Like say, Hey, if I were to offer one of these three products, A, B, C, would you be interested? And just say, respond with the letter. You know? So all somebody has to do is go, yeah, I would want this A, you know, like just an A or a B or something. So I would start there. Now here’s something that I recommend as well. Get on calls with people. Like go look. You know, I’m sure if you’re on Instagram for example, you have super fans. They’re the people who always comment on your posts. They’re the people who like will reach out or get say to them, Hey, can I talk to you? Like, you know, let’s say you are, you are a food blogger who deals with autoimmune diseases. Well get on calls with people with the autoimmune diseases and say, Hey, what is interest? Like, where are you struggling? What problems can I solve for you? But the other thing that like, that feels like a lot, it’s a big ask. Yeah, I do it, I force myself to, but if you’re like, oh, no way Jillian, I’ll never do that, fine. Go into Facebook groups, look at what people are talking about in the world of let’s say food and autoimmune disease, something like that. But start being a fly on the wall. Go look at your competitors and I don’t want to call them competitors. Let’s call them people in your space doing slightly similar things to what you are doing. Go look at what they’re selling. Like go start. I think sometimes we get in our own bubbles and we only see our business kind of inside out. Like I create the content and then, you know, people consume my content versus the community in which I’m serving. So go be a fly on the wall. Go work with your quote unquote non-com competitors, people in your space to see if you can find ways to work with those people. Like, Hey, I’m thinking of creating this digital product. Would you be interested in promoting this product for me? So it’s like getting outside of your own work bubble.

Megan Porta 14:32

Thinking a little bit differently. And the calls thing is so intriguing. I mean, I think a lot of people would say, like you said, absolutely not. I’m not going to get on calls with people. But what if you did like a group call? I know we have talked about this before, where you just set up a Zoom call and you can ask people questions and then maybe deliver some value there and you can your time. 20 bucks. We’ll do a Q&A or something.

Jillian Leslie 15:01

Absolutely. That is the other thing. Okay. So think about it. If you think about it this way, right? AI is here, it, it’s not like coming. It is here. And AI content is exploding. So I don’t know about you, but like I by the way, I use it all the time. My Chat GPT window is open all the time. So content in and of itself becomes weirdly less valuable. What becomes more valuable is you, it’s like, whoa, if I could talk to Megan, actual Megan, that’s amazing. Because I admire her and I look up to her and she’s talking to me. So you become more powerful, more special, more scarce, like whoa, you become so therefore it is about building out your brand, which involves you. If you are one of those people who kind of stands behind their food blog and doesn’t really step out in front of it, I say 2024 is your year to go, hello world, I’m here to serve you. Not that my, not just that my blog is here to serve you. I am here to serve you because you want to lean into you.

Megan Porta 16:18

Yeah. Oh my gosh, I love that so much. You become more scarce. So giving yourself to your people is going to be highly valuable in 2024.

Jillian Leslie 16:28

Because think about it this way, if I can go to Chat GPT and type in, you know, some sort of recipe, like a salsa recipe and Chat GPT can give me that, then well, why do I need to go to Pinterest and look at salsa recipes and end up on some blog? But if I love Megan and she’s recommending a salsa recipe, I’d be more apt to go, whoa, I feel this connection in a different way to this recipe. So this is what I see as the big transition in 2024.

Megan Porta 17:03

Wow. Yeah. That’s pretty powerful. So on your end, I know you guys have Milo Tree Cart and people are using it to sell their products and services. Are you seeing any specific digital products or anything that people are using a lot right now already?

Jillian Leslie 17:19

Okay, so what I’m going to say is, and this is not surprising given, given what I just shared, where are people making the most money? And it turns out it is in exactly what I just shared, which is you selling you. If there’s a way that you can start a, an easy, what I call a low key online membership, that’s where the gold is. It’s also, by the way, in summits, notice something there too, which is you’re showing up live with people and it is in live coaching. These are three areas where I feel like if you can tap into this market, that’s where the money is. Now does this mean don’t start with an ebook? Oh my God, no, definitely start with an ebook. Because an ebook tells you you’re onto something. An ebook brings in those early customers where you could say, Hey, let’s get on a call. Or, Hey, maybe we can, I can just reach out to you on Instagram and I can ask you some questions and we can become like DM friends. So those early products are super valuable. Are you going to like buy your second home based on your ebook? No. But if you can build a membership where people are showing up with you and remember you can grow that without a lot more work on your end. So every new person is just recurring revenue to you. That’s the gold.

Megan Porta 18:55

And eBooks can, I mean, I do know those anomaly people. Who make a ton of money because they’ve just figured out a really big pain point that people really want information on. And eBooks seem to fill that gap.

Jillian Leslie 19:10

And again, though, here’s that thing which is how can you differentiate in your ebook from what somebody could get on Chat GPT? And again, I’m going to say the difference is it’s Megan, Megan solves my problem, not just Chat GPT. So put yourself in your ebook.

Megan Porta 19:28

That’s interesting that you keep saying that. So do you see 2024 being more focused on, like you mentioned live coaching or in-person events, that sort of thing, versus eBooks?

Jillian Leslie 19:43

Well, it’s hard. because I would say, again, I would combine them, which is, you know, this is Megan’s ebook. This isn’t just a healthy recipe ebook. You know, this has a certain point of view. What I would say is, I was reading this article in the Wall Street Journal and what it said is, people, regular people are posting on social media less often. Think about it because you know, you’re like that random mom, right? And you, god forbid you post something, people get upset at you. Even if it’s like, Hey, check out how great my kid is. You know, or whatever. Like people are posting about their kids less and God forbid, you know, you get blowback or what I, it’s scarier to be sharing. However, people are still on social media seeing what other people are doing, like stalking. Therefore I see an opportunity and in fact, one thing that I’ve done in 2024 is I have upped my game on Instagram. I’m doing reels now all the time because I read this article and I go, whoa, there’s an opportunity right there. I can put myself out and hopefully get more eyeballs on me because not as many people are posting. Great. Lean into that. So it’s cringe by the way, like it feels awkward and weird, but I’m learning and I’m trying and I’m experimenting. And to be honest with you, I’m having fun with it. So it is a muscle and you get better at it. Like in the morning, and by the way, I’m like I don’t have this all planned out. I wake up in the morning and I’m like, okay, I’m going to do a reel. And I have like a list of say quotes or things that I think about a lot like B minus work, right? Don’t be a perfectionist, B minus work is what you want to hit. And I’m like, I’ll do a reel about that. Or other things that, you know, I talk about a lot in my podcast when I, when there’s something that I, I hit on kind of like, you now need to be the center of your business. Like I will go, I’ll do a reel about that and I just kind of put it together and post it and who knows like has my following grown? It has not, has my engagement grown? Yes. Am I starting to see who my loyal fans are? Yes. Am I reaching out to them? Yes. So I feel like Instagram is enabling me to build my business one person at a time.

Megan Porta 22:14

That’s great. I love that you’re doing that and experimenting with that. It’s an experiment, right? You’re testing that those waters.

Jillian Leslie 22:20

Totally. Now I’m holding myself to doing it for 30 days. Oh I like that. Trying to put out at least two reels a day.

Megan Porta 22:28

Oh gosh, you are ambitious. That’s amazing.

Jillian Leslie 22:31

But honestly they’re like five seconds, you know? Yeah. And wait, here’s my, my sneaky thing. I’ve got my Chat GPT open. So I put out my reel and then I say in Chat GPT, write me a 200 word Instagram post where I talk about this, you know, and I give it all of what would’ve taken me hours to write. I know what I want it to say. Like I know the message, but there’s Chat GPT helping me along the way. And then I just copy it and paste it into Instagram and boom, I’ve got a post, I’ve got a reel. And what I’m noticing and other people, you can tell me if, if what I’m seeing is just in my feed or you are seeing it in your feed, people are posting these very short reels. Like we’re talking five seconds and saying like get the information in the caption. Yes. So you put a lot of value in the caption. It’s not as much a talking head doing like a really long reel. It’s more like, I got your attention, here’s what I’m talking about. Hey, if this is interesting to you, read the caption where I’m sharing lots of value.

Megan Porta 23:42

Yeah. I’ve heard that from other people as well. Load that caption up with really rich content.

Jillian Leslie 23:47

Yeah. Useful. And it’s very much from my point of view of what I am seeing where I’m seeing people having success. So it’s not just like random stuff, but Chat GPT helps me write it more quickly.

Megan Porta 24:02

Yeah. What else are you using? Chat GPT for?

Jillian Leslie 24:06

Oof. What am I not using Chat GPT for is really like I will ask it anything in my life. Like for example, personally we’re planning a trip and I go, Hey Chat GPT, like tell me the best like how many days do I need to spend in, you know, here or connect like give me an itinerary of my trip, I will ask it medical questions, I will ask it so much like it, it has become now my personal assistant. I almost feel like it’s human.

Megan Porta 24:38

I know. Isn’t it weird?

Jillian Leslie 24:39

It is weird. Like I call it a she and I please you know, please to it, you know, please help me with this or whatever. But in terms of my business, I use it in a variety of ways. From the very abstract to the very granular. I’m trying to think I did something. Oh, okay. So here’s one. I’m thinking about this reel today and I want it to be about how I continually fall into this business trap where I overcomplicate things even when I don’t mean to. And the reality is I just constantly need to simplify. I’m sure many of you probably resonate with this. Like I overthink it and then I build out something that’s like way too complicated.

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Megan Porta 26:53

So I said to Chat GPT, help me come up with a hook. This is what I want to communicate. How would you come up with a hook for this? So that’s an example of me using it as like somebody, something I can bounce ideas off of. Then though, I will use it for emails that I’m writing. By the way, over Christmas, you know, we got gifts from, I hope my relatives aren’t listening to this, but you know, we got gifts from relatives and I’d be like, okay, hey. And I usually write the same thing in my thank you emails and I thought, hey, I’ll use Chat GPT to help me write thank you emails. And it did. It was great. You know, write a two sentence thank you email. But it didn’t sound like what I always say year after year. So for that. But I use it for business emails. I give it and, and, and here’s the thing. I load it up with a lot of information so that it starts giving me what I’m looking for and I have a conversation with it. So I will say, so there’s a kind of a marketing strategy called the pass marketing strategy. I dunno if it’s pass or just PAS, but it’s problem agitation solution, right? So when you’re writing something, you start with what the problem is, then you agitate it and make it like, oh, that’s pokey, that hurts. And then you say, Hey, but guess what, I’ve got a solution for you. So I will say too, Chat GPT, write me a sales email using the past marketing method. Ah. And you know, and I will always start with you are one of the best marketers in the world. Like I endow it with who I want it to be. And then I will say, use the PAS method to write me an email, a concise email or a fun email or an email to a friend. I typically write that a lot like I’m writing to a friend, because I don’t want something that sounds super salesy or sounds super formal. That’s not how I think about myself or my business or anything like that. I want to be relatable.

Megan Porta 28:58

Yeah. It’s interesting. Like you can use, oh what was it the other day I was writing a business email and I used, can you write this in more of a casual tone? And I did not, it went from very professional to casual. I think I used the word deets, like short for details. I’m like, okay, that is not a word I would ever use in a business email.

Jillian Leslie 29:19

Oh, that’s so funny. I know. Like, hey bud. Yeah, exactly.

Megan Porta 29:22

Yeah, it was just way too casual. So I’m like, what, what’s a word that’s in between casual and professional? So maybe friendly or relatable, I think you’ve said. Something like that. But you can like play around with that.

Jillian Leslie 29:36

And so I always say like I never use the first, I almost never use the first response. I’m always fine tuning it and I’m in conversation. I think about it as if I’m in conversation with it. Like, hey, not exactly this, but this. And by the way, okay, so back to my reels strategy, I want to use 30 hashtags. But the I in my, in my phone, for example, in my notes app, like I have tried to be doing reels so many times in the past and I have all of these notes in my phone with like all these different hashtags where I would have to copy and paste them. And it was so hard. And now when I write, when I have Chat GPT write the caption, then I say, Hey, come up with 30 popular hashtags that relate to who I’m trying to speak to, what the problem is I’m solving and what the solution is. And lo and behold I get 30 hashtags and then I just copy and paste them.

Megan Porta 30:42

Oh, that’s great. Do you see extra traction, do you think, because of those hashtags? Or have you not experimented with that?

Jillian Leslie 30:48

Honestly, I don’t know. So everything is an experiment. And what I’m going to do is just really look at my analytics week by week and do it that way because I can get very obsessed with like, did how many people watched my last reel. And it can really impact how I feel about it. Like whether I’m like, oh, this isn’t working. And then I’m less inspired the next day. So I’m trying to limit my diet of analytics.

Megan Porta 31:17

Yes. Oh, that’s a story of my life. I’ve been through cycles and cycles of this.

Jillian Leslie 31:23

Yeah. So, but by the way, like, so what I do is before I do my reel, like, okay, so I have a 16-year-old daughter and her favorite word is cringe. And there will be times where she’s like, mom, that was so cringe. Like what I’m doing. And, and it is weird because I do want to please my daughter. Like I don’t want her to think I’m cringey. But then I’ve decided that like, I don’t know, maybe other 40-year-old women won’t think it’s as cringey and that hey, good for me for putting it out there. So I am willing, I give myself permission to be sloppy, to be cringey, to make mistakes because these are things that hold me back. And I can be really hard on myself. So how can I prime myself before I say record a reel and not overthink it? Because as I shared, I tend to overthink things and overcomplicate them and just go, you know what I am posting. And I guess I do hope that my personality shines through and that people go, oh, I get her vibe. Like that’s what I kind of feel like I’m selling is my vibe. You people who would resonate. And by the way, if you worry like, oh, I don’t know, there are enough people in the world that will be attracted to your vibe, you know? So let’s say I, you know, let’s say I were this perfection, I am, you know, let’s say I’m like a recovering perfectionist, but let’s say I, you know, if I have to like make sure I dot all my i’s and cross all my T’s, like there will be, and I have to do that. There will be people who are attracted to that. And, and by the way, if you’re that person, you probably won’t be attracted to me. because You’ll see like spelling mistakes and kind of cringey stuff. And by the way, anybody who wants to like follow along with me, my Instagram handle is just milotree. So I would love it if you did, and if you hear me on this podcast, please reach out to me and DM me and you know, tell me how it’s going and, and like I’ll follow you back. Like, you know, so please, like, I want to be in conversation with people. Yeah. So I don’t want to be, I’m not the perfectionist, I want to say like, Hey, I’m winging it. Like maybe you can wing it too.

Megan Porta 33:30

Oh, do you think that’s a theme for the year? Just less overanalyzing and analyzing and more just winging it.

Jillian Leslie 33:37

I would love that to be the theme. I feel like, okay, so from this podcast, I feel like there are certain words that seem to be resonating, like winging it, like experiment testing agency, like you can impact your own business. And I would say the other one is seeing what prism you see the world through. So for example, when we were talking about AI and I realized that I have a fear prism through which, and like change, you know, change this year, third party cookies, those kinds of things. And I need to be around people who don’t have that perspective. So like my husband is a good counterpoint to that because he’ll be like, cool, come over here, check out this cool thing that I discovered, you know, some AI tool and to be around him where he’s not freaking out, he’s excited.

Megan Porta 34:25

I love it.

Jillian Leslie 34:27

How do you surround yourself with people who feel this way about the world?

Megan Porta 34:32

I think that is so important this year. If you’re not surrounded by people like that, you need to find those people because otherwise don’t you just feel like we’re all going to be, I don’t know, feeling like we’re underwater and trying to grasp for air and like we’re always sinking.

Jillian Leslie 34:48

And one thing that I would say, so we started our conversation today because you reached out to me with something that would fix my podcast, right? My episodes weren’t showing and you’re like, Hey, just wanted you to know that like you can fix, this happened to me and you could fix this. And I was like, oh my god, Megan, you are my friend. Oh, I felt it before, but I was like, and then you said to me like, I hope that was okay. And I’m like, are you kidding? Like, I, you need friends like Megan, you are my friend because you understand what I’m doing and I understand what you’re doing in this crazy online business world of blogging. And so find the Megan’s. Seriously, that’s so you can, like, I could like go, Hey Megan. like I’m, I remember by the way, there was something weird that like happened a year ago and I’ve reached out to you and we talked about it and it was like, oh, that was so nice. You know, the only you would understand.

Megan Porta 35:45

Yeah. It’s, it’s vital right now. And on the other side of that, be the friend too. Ooh. Like when I saw that, I mean it was a tiny issue, but I saw that thing on your on Apple podcast and I was like, I think this could really help Jillian if I mentioned it. And I went back and forth like, is she going to receive this well? And I, I landed on that thought of, no, I’m going to be a good friend and that’s why I reached out. So I say be both like, welcome in the friends and also be the friend.

Jillian Leslie 36:12

And to go back to what I’m seeing on the backend of Milo Tree Cart. because I can see what people are selling and where they’re having success. Notice it’s online memberships, it’s, it’s showing up with people. Again, hopefully you do not have to provide a ton of content with an online membership. In fact, I just rolled out, if you email me and say, Hey, will you send me, I just wrote an ebook on how to start a low key membership. So I’m selling it on Facebook, but I will give it away for free to anybody who emails me at [email protected]. Because it is how to set where the focus of the membership is on solving a problem for your members. But equally as important, it is about creating a community of like-minded people.

Megan Porta 37:05

Yeah. So important.

Jillian Leslie 37:06

So people get all up in their heads about they need to overcomplicate it well, but they expect all these lessons and all these PDFs and all this stuff. And I’m like, no, no, no. Just show up as a human wanting to help with, with hopefully knowledge. I mean hopefully you are.

Megan Porta 37:23

No, hopefully that’s there.

Jillian Leslie 37:24

Your members are. But if you can show up with compassion and with understanding and with the desire to help, you will create a community of people who want to show up with you and pay you.

Megan Porta 37:39

And I love how Milo Tree Cart is the perfect solution for this. Do you guys feel, do you and David feel like this was fortuitous because you just created this fairly recently, right? And now it’s kind of a solution for all of these things for a way to get our solutions out to our people.

Jillian Leslie 37:58

It’s funny. So the way that we came up with this idea, so we have our first, our popup app called Milo Tree that many of you use to grow your social media followers and your email subscribers super easy. So when we created Milo Tree, our popup app, our thinking was how can we make this so easy for bloggers, especially food bloggers to use to install it on their sites in like two minutes? And by the way, we stand by everything that we built. So it plays really well with Google. Even though Raptive and MediaVine will be like, Hey, you shouldn’t have these kind of WordPress plugins like trust us. Like it, it’s totally cool on your site. I can give you the documentation that shows it will not slow down your site. And by the way, collecting email addresses is even more important today than ever. But we built it with this idea that technology is hard, it’s harder than most people think. Like meaning it just kind of is in the water that we all swim in that of course technology is hard. We don’t even see how hard it is. Therefore, when we built our popup app, we said, Hey, if we can make a decision on our end that is the right decision for 95% of our customers are users, we’re going to do it because why burden you? So when we decided to create our payment tool, and it came out of the fact that I, during the pandemic was lonely, created a membership of bloggers and what I discovered was a lot of them had elements to their business that they could really monetize. Like they had an email list or they had a Facebook page that was big or they had a lot of traffic and they weren’t monetizing it by selling to their people. So if this is you think about this. Yeah. Like there’s money sitting there. So a couple of them said, you know what, I want to start a membership. That’s really where it started. And I said, and they go, but I wouldn’t know how to set this up. So I said, Hey, you know, I’ll set it up for you just to go through the process. Like where I’ll put a payment tool connected to a dashboard, who knows? And I was like, this is really hard. Nobody, how would anybody be able to figure this out on their own? And I remember sitting down with David and saying, could we build a solution where we made it so easy that it would be a no-brainer?

And so that’s how we set out to build it. And then we started giving it away in the beginning to people say who already had communities but weren’t tapping into the money. This is what I would say, that money is sitting there. If you’ve got a lot of traffic, you got a big email list, you’ve got some a social media following, you want to tap into that and take the money. Like that’s what I would say. So we started giving it to people, getting their feedback, get getting on call. I would get on calls with people and say, what do you think, in fact Megan, you’re using my literacy card. And I said to you like, what do you like? Like what could we fix? And so it’s this constant process of tweaking and changing and getting feedback and making it easier and saying wait. So for example, we’re rolling it out as I mentioned with AI sales pages. So whoa, you just tell us what your product is and you’ll have a sales page and then you can tweak it and stuff like that. But it’s like you’re not staring at a blank canvas. And so we’re we were like, whoa. Like what’s holding people back? Like when they go, oh my God, I have to create a sales page. Like that seems really hard and therefore that’s how we approached building Milo tree cards. I’m not sure if that answers your question, but it was organic. It was like we saw a problem and we put our perspective on it, which is technology is hard and thought how can we create something easy?

Megan Porta 41:41

Yeah, I think that’s great to hear the backstory. And I feel like your timing was impeccable because now was the time for food bloggers and other bloggers to start branching out with everything we’ve been talking about. Just

Jillian Leslie 41:55

So you know, because, okay, so right now we are selling it for a lifetime deal. 3 49, pay for it once and you own it. Like you can use it forever and, but we’re not going to continue to do that. It’s just for our first thousand customers, which we’re getting close. So therefore, and the reason we wanted to do this was to say trust us. Like we’re the real deal. Like we will help. And anybody who buys right now, I get on an hour long call with you to talk about strategy to share what I’m seeing where people are having so much success to review your sales page, to talk about what I’m seeing in terms of bestselling strategies because I want to lean into you and love on you. So you will love on me, you know, so that you’ll give me feedback so that you will talk about my tree card. So that like, I believe, and I, I think I might have said this on my, on the last episode I was on with you, I believe in karma on the internet.

Megan Porta 42:49


Jillian Leslie 42:51

Like I believe be good to people and they will be good back to you. And so that’s really our M.O.

Megan Porta 42:58

Oh and you can tell that shines through and I think Milo Tree Cart is great. I love what you touched on earlier, which is the sales page doesn’t have to be a daunting white screen, a big task because this is a hangup for a lot of us. It’s all set up. And I loved that. I was like, oh good. Oh thank you. All I have to type in is my event name, the date, the description. I appreciated that.

Jillian Leslie 43:23

And I think it will only be getting better and all of those features will be rolled in like you know, if you buy the lifetime deal. So on our roadmap, we are building out an easy course platform as well and right and a way where you can offer a freebie and collect an email address. So we already integrate with all major email service providers, Convert Kit and MailChimp and Flow Desks and all of that. So your sales will, your emails from the people who buy from you automatically get added to your email service providers. So that’s the thing, I guess there are so many platforms that we see that are bloated, like they’re your email service and I don’t know. And you can do all these like a million things and I don’t know about you, but I’ve tried using them and I get so overwhelmed and then I’m on YouTube watching tutorials and I’m thinking, where’s the button for this? So we try to strip all of that out and say, Hey, use your best in class email service. We’ll integrate with it and no, no need for Zapier, which is a nightmare. Go try and set a Zapier. It’s horrible. So it’s like how can we make your journey easier? And we’re always, I’m always open for feedback. In fact, I love it when people say, you know what would be great is if you could do this.

Megan Porta 44:51

Yes you are. I love that about you. You’re very receptive and you take feedback well and yeah, I appreciate that. I love our themes that we pulled out today. What would you say our main top two themes are, if you had to define them?

Jillian Leslie 45:06

Ooh. Okay. Oh, that’s a good one. Okay. I would say that 2024 is all about staying open and testing and, and, and recognizing it’s a journey. Like meaning, if your test fails, okay, you know what, go test something else. Like always be thinking, hypothesizing what could be working for my business. So I would say the first one then, and I don’t even know if we really, if I really said this earlier, is just being open to this, like your mindset. So I would say that is definitely a theme, being willing to pivot and change and learn from others, like flexibility. And then the other one would be surrounding yourself with people who are positive, people who will help you, people who brighten your day.

Megan Porta 46:00

And you’re here, right?

Jillian Leslie 46:01

And you’re here and in real life, like meaning life. You, you and I, we’ve never met in real life, but like we’re we, like we’ll get on a call or we’re in, you know, there’s a real person there that I’m, that I’m friends with and, and something about that for me really feeds me.

Megan Porta 46:18

I love it. Thank you Jillian. This was so good. I feel extra inspired as we get into this year. And it’s not so scary. We’ve got this.

Jillian Leslie 46:27

Exactly. We’ve got this like, and do think about that Wall Street Journal article I read where fewer regular people are posting on social media. So see that as an opportunity. Oh, and here’s one last thing. You can look at this whole thing as an opportunity, because if you are willing to try stuff most people won’t be like, you can bet on that most people will do the things the way they continue to do them, hoping for the same outcome. But if you are willing to say, wait a minute, I’m going to try something new, you will win. So that’s kind of my thinking with doing cringey reels on Instagram.

Megan Porta 47:07

Yes. And not just with reels, but any way that you put yourself out there. Right? Absolutely. Whether it’s your blog or podcast or wherever else, be willing to be cringey.

Jillian Leslie 47:16

Absolutely. Another thing, be cringey. Be cringy.

Megan Porta 47:19

Thank you, Jillian. This was such a pleasure. Thank you for coming back to the podcast. Do you have either a favorite quote or words of inspiration to leave us with?

Jillian Leslie 47:27

Yes. Okay, here we go. Ready? Because I, you know, I believe in this stuff. So here’s my favorite quote. And when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. And that’s from The Alchemist. And I believe this, I believe that you put out your intention and it’s amazing who shows up to help you get there.

Megan Porta 47:50

I just read The Alchemist recently. I can’t believe it’s taken me so long. I loved that book. It was so good.

Jillian Leslie 47:56

Yes. Oh my God. Definitely one of my favorites.

Megan Porta 47:59

Yeah, love it. Love the quote too. We’ll put together another show notes for you, Jillian. You can go to to find those. Why don’t you reiterate where everyone can find you, Jillian?

Jillian Leslie 48:13

Okay, great. So you can email me. I love email [email protected]. You can find me on Instagram @MiloTree, and definitely check out Milo Tree Cart. If you have any questions, if you want to get on a free 20 minute call with me, just go to as I like to say, because I’d love to meet you and help you.

Megan Porta 48:35

Yay. I hope you guys take Jillian up on that.

Jillian Leslie 48:37

Oh wait, one last thing. Oh, go ahead. Check out Megan’s, Megan, you’re coming on my podcast. And that should be live by the time this goes live. So definitely check out what Megan had to say about new food blogger trends in 2024.

Megan Porta 48:50

Thank you again, Jillian, and thanks so much for listening today, food bloggers. I will see you next time. 

Outro 48:58

Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Eat Blog Talk. Don’t forget to rate and review Eat Blog Talk on your favorite podcast player. Thank you and I will see you next time.

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