In this episode, Megan chats to Laura Scherb about how Substack can be used as a replacement for a blog to monetize our recipes or as an additional tool to drive traffic.
We cover information such how to get started on Substack, how much money can you expect to make and who will benefit most from using the platform.
Write Blog Posts that Rank on Google’s 1st Page
RankIQ is an AI-powered SEO tool built just for bloggers. It tells you what to put inside your post and title, so you can write perfectly optimized content in half the time. RankIQ contains a hand-picked library with the lowest competition, high traffic keywords for every niche.
BIO Laura is a food photographer, stylist, and writer based in Chicago, IL. Since 2017, she’s been taking pictures of food. Laura has created imagery for food blogs, restaurants, CPG brands, and cookbooks. Laura’s photography and styling have been featured on The FeedFeed, The TODAY Show, Esquire, The Spruce Eats, Eater, and FoodGawker. Aside from food photography, she’s passionate about travel, reading, writing, her cats, natural wine, and her nieces and nephew. Laura also runs a newsletter over on Substack where she enjoys talking about all of those things!
- What is the difference between an email list and a Substack?
- Share recipes, stories and opinions with your audience without worrying about SEO and a blog.
- Substack can used as a replacement for a blog or additional tool to drive traffic.
- How can Substack help you make money from your recipes?
- How long should your Substack content be?
- Substack can benefit food bloggers even if they still have a traditional SEO-based blog.
- The importance of making constant pivots in your business to create new revenue streams.
- Use Substack to grow your audience.
Page and Plate Substack
Click for full script.
EBT458 – Laura Scherb
Food bloggers, hi, how are you today? Thank you so much for tuning in to the Eat Blog Talk podcast. This is the place for food bloggers to get information and inspiration to accelerate your blog’s growth and ultimately help you to achieve your freedom, whether that’s financial, personal, or professional.
I’m Megan Porta and I’ve been a food blogger for over 13 years. I understand how isolating food blogging can be at times. I’m on a mission to motivate, inspire, and most importantly, let each and every food blogger, including you, know that you are heard and supported.
Megan Porta 00:37
Whether you have heard of Substack or not, you are going to want to listen to this episode. Laura Scherb joins me from Page and Plate. And she talks about how she has dug into Substack as a way to monetize her recipes, not on her blog. She went from doing traditional blogging and posting recipes on her blog to becoming a product photographer. And then getting back to this point where she realized she wanted to tap into that magic, kind of the old school magic of being able to write about whatever you wanted to write about regarding your recipes. And so Substack was a really good way for her to do that. And she makes money doing it. I think this option is a really good one for a couple of different categories of people that we talked about within the episode so be sure to give this a listen. I think you’ll be inspired to check it out for yourself. This is episode number 458 sponsored by RankIQ.
Are you ready for a game changer for your blogging business? Something that will transform your traffic revenue, relationships, collaborations, followers, knowledge and so much more? If so, the 2024 Eat BlogTalk mastermind group might be a great fit for you. Get 25% off now through October 31st. That’s tomorrow. So hurry and apply at eatblogtalk.com/mastermind. Here is Jen from Cook Eat Go, telling you why the Eat BlogTalk mastermind is a great investment for your business.
“It’s worth the investment you’re investing in yourself and your business. It helps to build a community where you didn’t know you’re lacking this sense of community and also having like sounding boards to bounce ideas off of to figure out if it’s the right move for your business if you’re coming up with new ideas or new sources of traffics or any of that stuff.”
Megan Porta 02:30
Laura is a food photographer, stylist, and writer based in Chicago, IL. Since 2017, she’s been taking pictures of food. Laura has created imagery for food blogs, restaurants, CPG brands, and cookbooks. Laura’s photography and styling have been featured on The FeedFeed, The TODAY Show, Esquire, The Spruce Eats, Eater, and FoodGawker. Aside from food photography, she’s passionate about travel, reading, writing, her cats, natural wine, and her nieces and nephew. Laura also runs a newsletter over on Substack where she enjoys talking about all of those things.
Megan Porta 03:03
Laura, Hello, long time no talk. How are you today?
Laura Scherb 03:07
Megan? I am so excited to be here. How are you?
Megan Porta 03:10
I’m so good. I’m so excited. So you were episode number 16 on Eat Blog Talk, can you believe it? So now, I believe you are going to be episode number 458. So whatever that minus 16 is. It’s been a long time. And I’m so excited to catch up.
Laura Scherb 03:28
I am to and Megan I just have to tell you, I’ve been so impressed and have just absolutely loved following along as you have built this incredible community, you are such a resource and the world of food blogging is so lucky to have you.
Megan Porta 03:40
Oh my gosh, you’re gonna make me cry. Okay. Thank you. That was very sweet of you. And yeah, I’m just I love it. I love this job. And people like you make me keep going every day. So alright, well, we talk we’re going to talk about a much different topic than last time. This time, we’re going to talk about Substack, which I’m so excited to get into because I really don’t know much about it. But you do. Before we get to that though, to have a fun fact to share.
Laura Scherb 04:07
I do. So actually I just got word last week. I think that one of my photographs is actually the cover of the Edible Chicago magazine for this issue in September. Yeah.
Megan Porta 04:22
That’s amazing. What is it a photo of?
Laura Scherb 04:25
So there’s a very talented pastry chef here in Chicago, named Emily Spurlin definitely give her a follow at @sourbittersalty, I believe her Instagram handle but she made this absolutely delicious cake. And we got to shoot it together in her garden space. And it was so fun. And I found out that that is the cover story for this edition.
Megan Porta 04:45
Congratulations. That’s so amazing. Super happy for you stuff like that, it’s like people outside of our world are like, Oh, that’s cool, but when you’re in it, you realize what a big deal that is. That’s a huge deal. So amazing.
Laura Scherb 04:58
You’re so sweet. It does. It’s something special to like hold something in your hand.
Laura Scherb 05:01
Oh, it is! Yeah. Being physical versus digital. There’s something different about it right? And I’m assuming you’ll be posting about that on social media so all of us can see?
Laura Scherb 05:13
Of course I will. As soon as I get a copy in my hands, I will yeah.
Megan Porta 05:18
All right. So let’s talk about Substack. And I guess to kind of frame this conversation. Do you want to just give us an update on where your blog is? It’s been four years since we caught up with you. So what has evolved on your blog since then?
Laura Scherb 05:34
Wow. I mean, again, what hasn’t changed in the last 3 years?
Megan Porta 05:37
Laura Scherb 05:37
We all have lived through a collectively wild experience. Yeah, so I think the last time we spoke, I was all in on food blogging. And that was my full-time thing, which was really exciting. But over the course of COVID, as with many other industries, you know, I went through some ups and downs with things and sort of reshuffled priorities. So you know, it just I wasn’t making enough ad revenue from my blog to be able to count on that full-time for income during the pandemic, especially. And so I got really into product photography. And that has been my focus over the last four years. I started an agency with another x food blogger, it’s called Four Course Media. And that has been, you know, where a lot of my attention was. But I still have a couple of clients in sort of more of the food blogging space. And you know, I’ve been maintaining those clients and those relationships over the last couple of years. But I made the decision to convert what I had previously converted from a Squarespace blog to a WordPress blog. And then I decided recently to change it back to a Squarespace website. And I did that because I really wanted to be able to prioritize the photography aspect in a way that I didn’t feel like WordPress allowed me to. And when I did that, I realized that I was going to kind of miss having the blog aspect of things. So I was searching for the new to put those words down. And I have been following so many amazing writers who have started a Substack. So I thought, you know, I think I’m just going to transfer my email list and start sort of blogging, for lack of a better word there, just to give myself a space, sort of like an open diary thing, like the way that blogging started originally. And since then, it has become just like, what I feel like blogging was to me when I first started, and it has become so wonderful. And I just think that every food blogger should think about it as a tool to sort of build an audience, build a revenue stream, and have a space to just kind of get back to the root of why we all started this.
Megan Porta 07:52
Okay, I love this. This is such a unique perspective these days. I have so many questions. So first of all, do you keep your recipes up on your blog? Are they still there? Do you still publish new recipes?
Laura Scherb 08:07
So I do still publish new recipes. They are not however, on my website anymore. I publish all of my new recipe content on my Substack actually, I do still have so you know, I mean, everyone who has a food blog knows that the back you know the background, you know, behind the scenes, aspects, the technical coding things of a food blog, like it’s hard to process when you download from a Squarespace site, re upload to a WordPress site, download your WordPress site, re upload it to a Squarespace. So it sort of got shuffled around, and it’s all stored on there on the back end, but it’s not accessible anymore. So my website at this point is really more of a portfolio than a food blog.
Megan Porta 08:50
Okay, and so, which is why you went back to Squarespace because I think they do a really good job of creating lovely portfolio sites.
Laura Scherb 08:57
I totally agree with you. And I think the last time we spoke, we’re both on Squarespace. And you know, right after we spoke I did, I made the choice to migrate over to WordPress because I was going to really commit to the SEO aspects of food blogging and getting all that traffic so that I could have a revenue of, you know, from ad dollars.
Megan Porta 09:16
Yeah. Okay, so if somebody is more interested in the photography side, this I think is a really intriguing avenue or writing, right? Like, I think Substack is a great option for either but I love what you said about going to the root of why are like some of us started blogging in the first place because we could make it more of like a diary style or a journal. Okay, how do you get started on Substack? Is it hard to get started? Do I have to like buy a subscription? How does that work?
Laura Scherb 09:47
It could not be easier. All you have to do is make an account and if you are on the receiving end of any Substack newsletters, you already have a Substack account so all you have to do is just you know click, you know, start my own Substack there’s like four things you fill out very think very like social media profile type of information, like who you are, what you’re going to be writing about, are there any other publications that you want to recommend to people, and then you can pretty much just start typing and hit publish that very same day, you don’t have to pay for it, which is really nice. And it’s super, super easy to use. And I am not a tech savvy person whatsoever. So just coming for me like, you can kind of just like open up the web page and start typing. And that is what I want.
Megan Porta 10:38
So as far as subscribers go, do any subscribers you had in your current email service provider database, go to Substack? Or is it a completely new set of people?
Laura Scherb 10:49
What I did was I just downloaded my existing email list and uploaded it same as you would if you were migrating, you know, from one email server to another, super easy to get started there. And then I’ve actually also found that the Substack network is a really rich opportunity to gain new audience members as well.
Megan Porta 11:09
Okay, interesting. So you can get you can take your current subscribers with you, but then there’s also opportunity for getting new subscribers.
Laura Scherb 11:17
Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, that was one thing I was gonna add to your, you know, your list of people who might benefit from a Substack. I think that you know, more than just people who are interested in photography, or the the writing aspect of maintaining a blog, if you have an email list, I’m pretty convinced that most people would benefit from migrating it over to Substack, to be honest with you.
Megan Porta 11:38
Would you recommend that they do both? So let’s say they’re on ConvertKit and then going to Substack? Would you manage both? Or would you just take everyone to Substack?
Laura Scherb 11:48
So I just took everyone to Substack, I would say it depends on you know, how you’re using your email list, right? Like, if you’re maintaining, like, downloadable files, that might be a different story. And you know, maybe chatting with Substack Health Department would be a great way to find out if that’s a good fit for you. But I’ve talked to a couple people over the last couple of weeks, actually about this. And one of my friends who’s a blogger has an email list, and she’s getting to the point where she’s going to have to pay for MailChimp, because she has that big of an audience. And I was encouraging her to just bring it over to Substack right? Because if you don’t have to pay for it, it’s really easy to monetize. And to be honest with you, I think it’s easier to use that a lot of the mail services out there.
Megan Porta 12:33
What do you think makes it easier? How so?
Laura Scherb 12:35
So I think that it’s a pro con situation. For me, it’s it’s really great that I don’t have to do a lot of designing right? There’s no like, aspects where I’m pulling in blocks or trying to format things. I type a title, I type the text, I can insert photos, if I want to, I can actually do like a whole photo essay situation, if that’s what I’m doing that week. But there’s no really specific things that you’re designing, if that makes sense. Okay,
Megan Porta 13:04
So are the are there templates? I don’t know if you’ve ever used Flow Desk, but I love Flow Desk because you can just like drag and drop elements, and it’s so easy to use. Is it kind of like that?
Laura Scherb 13:16
You know, I honestly would I would compare more to like a Google Doc, where it’s kind of just a blank page they have, you know, you can insert like a line break, you can insert a paywall, you can insert a gallery of photos or a YouTube video to embed. But other than that, it’s pretty simple.
Megan Porta 13:35
Okay, I’m kind of wrapping my head around it now. So as far as content, what do you put inside of your Substacks?
Laura Scherb 13:44
Absolutely. So I send out two newsletters a week. And on Tuesdays and Fridays. On Tuesdays, my entire email list gets the newsletter. And that’s just sort of a piece about whatever I am feeling called to write about that week. I actually have an editorial calendar. So you know, all of that is sketched out and planned ahead of time, I try to write as ahead of time as possible. But generally, those are just sort of miscellaneous. So this week, today, actually, I sent out a piece on tillable red wines. Next week, I have an interview with one of my friends here in Chicago, who’s a fabulous chef. And those go out to everyone, like I said, and then on Fridays, that’s when my recipes go out. And those are only sent to my paying subscribers.
Megan Porta 14:31
Okay? So talk about that, like subscribe, so you can have, let’s say you have 1000 subscribers, and then the paying subscribers. What percentage would you say are those of your full list?
Laura Scherb 14:45
Right now I’m hovering somewhere around like 12 to 15% which is great. And the nice thing about the way that Substack is structured is I when I hit send on a recipe post on Fridays, everyone on my mailing list gets the email or the push notification from the Substack app than a new post has been published. And everyone gets a free preview. It’s wherever I decide to put the paywall that only paid subscribers can read after. So I’ve seen people do it a couple of different ways. You know, I generally I put the title of the recipe and then my paywalls there. I have seen people who put, you know, just an intro paragraph and then the rest of the intro to the recipe as well as the whole recipe is behind a paywall. I’ve also seen people who publish the ingredients and then the method is behind the paywall.
Megan Porta 15:36
Okay, so you can kind of choose how you present it and what gets put behind that paywall.
Laura Scherb 15:42
Exactly. And the other thing I really love about Substack is that I can actually set a timer for when that paywall will expire, and everyone can have access to those recipes.
Megan Porta 15:54
Oh, okay. Interesting. And then is there a range that people typically don’t put as like a price point for the paywall?
Laura Scherb 16:03
Yeah, so you know, Substack has recommendations based on what other people are doing. But you can scale it up or down as you see fit. And they have it structured where people can pay by month, they can pay yearly, or they can be like a founding member of your newsletter, and that tends to be a little bit higher of $1 amount.
Megan Porta 16:22
Okay, and do how I’m, I’m just really curious, like, what, what is there like from $2? To like, I don’t know is what’s the typical range that you would think for someone in the food blogging space that wanted to kind of do what you’re doing? Like, what can people expect to make?
Laura Scherb 16:43
Yeah, I mean, I think that Substack recommends or sort of like auto chooses, I want to say it’s either $4.99 or $5.99 a month. And then I think it’s either $50 or $80 a year, and then the founding members are generally $100.
Megan Porta 17:00
Okay. So that can add up. I mean, if you have a really good subscriber list, that $5 isn’t nothing, right.
Laura Scherb 17:11
Oh, for sure. I mean, when you think about it in, you know, terms of the numbers of some of these email lists that I know that your listeners will have, I mean, that becomes really easy to monetize really quickly. And the nice thing about it is that, like I said, you can really incentivize with what content you put behind a paywall, but then you can also reassure your audience that you’re still there’s a resource for them by opening it up a week later or a month later. Or maybe you’re opening up all of your recipes for the holiday baking season or something. And that is a really fair way to do it. I think.
Food bloggers are you wanting to tap into additional revenue and improve your site experience for users? Chicory might be a great solution for you. Chicory is a leading monetization platform for food bloggers, enabling you to integrate highly relevant shoppable ads into your recipe content, and earn revenue from top CPG brands. Chicory’s hyper contextual ads and shoppable technology will help you improve your site experience and engagement, allowing your readers to go from inspiration to checkout in just a few clicks. Enjoy easy installation and ongoing access to the Chicory team at zero cost you. Chicory makes it easy to track your earnings, optimize your blog content using recipe insights and connect with its team. Plus with integrations with leading ad networks such as Media Vine and 60 Plus Retailers, Chicory makes it so simple to get started earning revenue today. Head to eatblogtalk.com/resources and click the Chicory link to get started. Scroll down to the Chicory logo. Click the button that says learn more about Chicory or you can go to chicory.co/foodbloggers to learn more and sign up that chicory.co/foodbloggers.
Megan Porta 19:09
Do you get feedback from your Substack subscribers? Do they love it? I’m sure they do if they’re still with you.
Laura Scherb 19:15
Yeah, I mean, so far, I’ve gotten no pushback. And to be honest with you, it’s been really interesting to see which recipes seem to resonate most to incentivize people to become a paying member. It’s kind of like the most valuable feedback that I was never getting on my blog, right. You know, like having someone leave a comment that says great recipe is wonderful, but having someone say, “Hey, I think that you know, what I’ve seen from your writing is good enough. And this recipe is tempting enough to me that I actually want to pay $50 a year to get access to more of these”, is really interesting data to have about the sorts of recipes you’re publishing.
Megan Porta 19:56
Yeah, you’re right. Like those comments that are like two words you’re like, well say, Thank you for taking the time. But how valuable is that? Yeah. And then how extensive is your writing within most of your emails? Do you, like you mentioned kind of going back to the old days when you kind of made it diary style. Do you write a lot? Do you keep it short and sweet? Does it depend on the week?
Laura Scherb 20:21
It definitely depends on the week. My longest content tends to be the interviews that I’m doing, just because those are usually like 30 to 40 minute conversations that I’m having with interesting people. And I find it really difficult to cut those down. But I think you know, it’s so nice to have the space to be able to do that without having to worry about cramming enough SEO keywords into the text. And, you know, just really being able to not feel like I’m playing into the meme that everyone loves to trash on food bloggers for which is, you know, telling your life story before a recipe.
Megan Porta 21:00
Oh, my gosh, that’s so true. And it’s yours, right? Like this list is yours. You don’t have to worry about a Google update or algorithm killing you or anything like that.
Laura Scherb 21:11
Yeah. Yeah, exactly, exactly. And, and it really is just like a lot of freedom. And a lot of it just like really allows you to have some clarity to focus on your writing. And if you’re someone that feels like that’s really resonating with you, I would really encourage you to check out Substack.
Megan Porta 21:28
I know a few food bloggers, they’re coming to mind right now who just have a really loyal following. So they have really big lists. And they are looking for other ways to monetize. So I can see this being an opportunity for them. Is there any more any other kind of category of people, you can see this being good for? So we mentioned photographers, writers, if you’re, if you’re one of those people that just loves writing, if you have a big loyal list, who else would this be great for?
Laura Scherb 21:55
You know, I think that this would also be a fantastic thing to think about, if you’re someone who’s looking to have a book published in the next, you know, let’s say five years. Substack is becoming a really important place for sort of proof of concept in terms of building an audience and expanding on ideas and seeing what content really resonates with people. And I know that, you know, having like I’ve, like I’ve said having the clarity to be able to see what’s working and what people are willing to pay for. As well as being able to plug into the audiences already on Substack, I think can be a real game changer for people looking to boost their numbers when they you know, shop around a proposal.
Megan Porta 22:35
And maybe a like, going past books, like any product, right? Like a, maybe a physical product or a digital product you’re trying to sell like really anything?
Laura Scherb 22:46
I would think salutely Yeah, yeah. And, you know, I’m sure that I use a pretty limited amount of the, you know, buttons that they have on Substack. But I know that you can always link out to things and you know, they make it really easy to do that. So if you do have a product page or a shop online that you’re looking to promote, like for sure, why not?
Megan Porta 23:06
What about affiliates? Can you put affiliates like or did the same rules apply? I guess, for email. So like, I know, an email, you can’t put direct links to Amazon affiliates, like that sort of thing. But you can do a link to your storefront. Does that same kind of strategy apply to Substack?
Laura Scherb 23:24
That’s a great question. And I’m not sure what the answer is. I myself, like I put I blog a lot about the books that I’m reading, and I will put I have a bookshop.org affiliate page and I link those I just put a disclosure at the bottom. The other thing that I think is a really cool thing that I’ve seen a couple people do recently on Substack is do like a sponsored issue of their newsletter where you know, it’s coming from a brand that they’re partnering with, or a book that’s been published by someone they know. And I think that’s really clever as well.
Megan Porta 23:55
Oh, that’s a good idea. I hadn’t thought of that.
Megan Porta 23:57
Yeah, yeah. So for example, you know, if a content partner wanted me to publish a recipe that would go out to everyone, not just my paid subscribers on, you know, because they’ve sponsored it, I think that that would be a really great way to get into people’s inboxes from the company’s perspective, and then, you know, be able to monetize something that, you know, I’m working on monetizing already for me.
Megan Porta 24:19
Yeah. Okay, well, you sold me I think this is like I don’t I mean, I don’t know who this wouldn’t be good for. Right. So
Laura Scherb 24:26
Yeah, I feel the same way.
Megan Porta 24:27
Is this going to take over email? Do you think?
Laura Scherb 24:30
I don’t know. I mean, I really have enjoyed Substack I’ve enjoyed first of all, being a reader of the publications that I read on Substack and I love their app, I find it a really great place to go that sort of it doesn’t feel like social media. To me it feels very value add instead of value detract in that way. And I’m just I’m really into it. I think that the one person who might not benefit is someone who wants to have like complete creative control. And the ability to, you know, make everything look super customized. But to be honest with you, Megan, I follow a couple people on Substack, who have hired a designer to help them make assets that they can put onto the Substack templates. And it’s just, it looks great. So I think everyone should give it a look.
Megan Porta 25:19
If somebody is hesitant, do you recommend being a consumer first? So maybe going to Substack and checking out what other people are doing?
Laura Scherb 25:27
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, just like any other thing, we all learn from examples. So see what you like, see what you hate, shoot me an email, I’m always happy to answer questions about it, too. I obviously, I’m just one person having an experience. But it’s been incredibly positive, I’ve been able to monetize the recipes that I’m posting once a week in a way that I was never able to on a website. So for me, it’s been hugely beneficial.
Megan Porta 25:51
Okay, this is so cool, I have a feeling this is going to be more of a trend coming up just with I mean, there’s so much worry, and fear in our space just surrounding you know, AI, and all of these things that are out of our control. So I can see it people kind of latching on to this as a way to be creative and share recipes without having to worry so much about all of that. Absolutely. You’re on the front end of this, Laura, thank you for being here.
Laura Scherb 26:19
So sweet. The other thing I just wanted to mention really quick. And these are not things about Substack that I really take advantage of. But there are some functions where you can curate, like a community chat, and have people you know, asking questions about specific recipes, not only to you, but to your community of followers. And that’s something that I haven’t really explored yet just a tiny bit as a consumer of other people’s Substack. But I think that that’s a really interesting space as well, and one that could be super valuable, especially in terms of thinking about the holidays that are coming up and how people are going to be curating recipes, they’re like, do your Thanksgiving hotline on Substack. And, you know, that’s a great incentive for people to pay to become a member of your community for that access to you.
Megan Porta 27:05
So if somebody doesn’t necessarily want to do what you’re doing, which is like taking the recipes, and just sharing them on Substack. So, you know, doing kind of the traditional thing where they have the recipe still on their site, they could still, you know, share, like a few exclusive recipes, or maybe compile recipes from their blog into a sub stack. So they don’t have to necessarily do the same path issue.
Laura Scherb 27:33
They could absolutely, yeah, yeah, I mean, make it your own. Ask your community what they want, right? Like, don’t just assume, you know, right, send out a survey, see if people are familiar with the platform, if it’s something that they enjoy, if it’s something that they would be willing to jump to for you. And you know, I think for a lot of people who already have an email newsletter provider, and like, it can be really seamless to make the switch, because Substack will just, you know, push people, you know, push those newsletters out via email. But then if you, you know, are serving your audience like CSL, download the Substack app to because that’s where you get access to the chats and the threads and all that sort of thing.
Megan Porta 28:13
Okay, cool. Do you find that most people read your content on the app or on desktop?
Laura Scherb 28:19
You know, that’s a great question. And I don’t know the answer, I should. But it is really interesting to look at the open rates and the read rates, they’re just way higher than I was ever getting on my email provider. And I have to think that some of that is because you do get a push notification from the app, when someone publishes a new piece. And I personally, like my inbox is crowded enough. I have substantial sort of like filter to my newsletter folder, and I love you know, pulling up the app, and it’s super easy to read. It saves my place if I need to go back to something. So I’m an app reader myself. Yeah.
Megan Porta 28:57
And then what are your open and click through rates on Substack?
Laura Scherb 29:01
Yeah, I mean, I am about 70% range. Yeah. Which is incredible. I was fighting for like, 30 to 40 Back when I was using MailChimp. Yeah. And no shame to MailChimp. Again, it’s just this is I’m finding that this works way better for me. Click through rates for me are not as important right now. Because all of my content is being hosted on Substack.
Megan Porta 29:23
Right. Oh, that’s amazing. Although 70% That number we don’t hear often.
Laura Scherb 29:28
Yeah, I mean, it’s incredible. And, again, it’s really cool to be able to plug into the network that Substack has established as well. I think that they do an absolutely phenomenal job at connecting people with content that they think that they will enjoy based on what you already read.
Megan Porta 29:46
Yeah, that makes sense. Is there anything else you feel like food bloggers should know when they’re considering this? Anything we haven’t mentioned yet?
Laura Scherb 29:55
Hmm. You know, I think that that’s about it. I mean, I don’t think by any means that this is like a panic, like, drop everything was sort of announcement I just, for me, it has really been so pleasantly surprising to be able to monetize content in a way that feels enjoyable again. I think for me, like, it was just getting to be such a bummer to be thinking about SEO. And you know, what recipes made sense for what people were googling when, and it was kind of just to be honest taking all of the joy out of what I was doing. And to be able to come back and use a platform like this, to, you know, monetize in a way that I haven’t been able to before, continue sharing the recipes that I care about, and that resonate with me. And that seemed to resonate with my audience as well. And to be able to just get in front of people in a way that I wasn’t getting in front of them before. It has been a win win win across the board. So I’m excited to see what your audience does with this information.
Megan Porta 31:02
Me too. I am too. And monetization plus joy. I think I wrote that down. Because I’m like, well, most food bloggers want monetization check. And joy. Yes. And I feel like the whole SEO thing, over time has just kind of taken our personalities out of our blogs. And for some people, that’s okay. I think some people are totally fine with that. It’s like this is a business, I’ll do what I have to do to get the traffic, whatever. But for some people that’s really important to be able to express themselves and talk about their family history with this recipe, whatever. So I think for those people, this would add that element back into their lives a little bit.
Laura Scherb 31:43
Absolutely, absolutely. Yeah, I agree. It has, for me, so.
Megan Porta 31:48
good. And then I can also see, like, what if somebody wanted to keep kind of an SEO optimized version on their blog, take the same recipe and add all of those elements that we’re talking about that add the joy and bring your personality back into it on Substack, you could do like to, you know, same recipe to different writing styles basically.
Laura Scherb 32:11
Exactly. Or even, you know, the the text that you would want to put about how this was your grandma’s recipe for chocolate chip cookies, maybe that’s what you send to your Substack audience. And then you link to your blog, so that you’re sort of getting the double bang for your buck, so to speak, where you know, you’re feeding Google, the SEO optimized recipe, and then you’re feeding the human beings who are reading your blog, the story, which is why they’re there for you in the first place.
Megan Porta 32:38
Oh my gosh, I love that. So Substack is for the humans. And then maybe your blog is more for you know, the “user” / Google or whatever. But I love that perspective, too. Just because I can think of a few food bloggers who, who it hurts them to put things on their blogs, because they can’t. They have to strip it down. They can’t exactly include their personalities the way they want to so.
Laura Scherb 33:03
Megan Porta 33:05
Yeah, this is so great. Okay, thank you so much, Laura. And can I just tell you, I love how your story has evolved over the past four years. And just, it’s so cool to talk to somebody and get to know them. And then, you know, like, not talk to them for a while and then kind of see where the journey has taken them. And your path is so cool and unique. And I’m just looking at your About page. And I’m just like, Oh, I love seeing where you’re at right now. So it’s been such a pleasure chatting with you again. It’s been a long time. And next time, let’s not let so much time pass between chats.
Laura Scherb 33:42
You are so sweet. And I totally agree. Let’s keep in touch. I just can’t wait to see where you take Eat Blog Talk and come back again soon.
Megan Porta 33:49
Yes, yes, definitely. Well, thank you for sharing all of this about Substack. I know you’re going to just motivate and encourage and inspire a lot of people. So thank you. Do you have a favorite quote or words of inspiration to leave us with Laura?
Laura Scherb 34:01
Yes, Megan. Last time I was on I think that I gave a paraphrase quote that someone had told me when I was just starting blogging, and it was to just say yes to everything and figure it out later. And I still live my life by that quote. So I am going to use that one again. Hopefully it’s not a cop out. But I just, I would really encourage people to just, you know, like, believe in yourself to a point where you’re just saying yes, and then you’re just trusting that you’re going to be okay and figure it out. I firmly believe that we can do more than we think we can.
Megan Porta 34:34
So like the jumping off the cliff and figuring out how to land is that kind of your your out on the way down how you’re actually going to land. I love that concept as well. Yeah, for sure. Yeah. And we’ll put together our show notes page for you, Laura. If anyone wants to go look at those you can go to eatblogtalk.com/pageandplate2. Tell everyone where they can find you?
Laura Scherb 34:59
Absolutely. So, I am on Instagram @pageandplatestudio, view my portfolio at pageandplate.com. And if you want to check out my Substack it’s just pageandplate.Substack.com
Megan Porta 35:13
Awesome everyone go check Laura out. Thank you so much for being here again.
Laura Scherb 35:17
And thank you for having me. This was so fun to chat
Megan Porta 35:20
It was and thank you for listening food bloggers. I will see you in the next episode.
Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Eat Blog Talk. If you enjoyed this episode, I’d be so grateful if you posted it to your social media feed and stories. I will see you next time.
💥 Join the free EBT community, where you will connect with food bloggers, and gain confidence and clarity as a food blogger so you don’t feel so overwhelmed by ALL THE THINGS!
Want to achieve your goals faster than you ever thought possible? Stop by Eat Blog Talk to get the details on our Mastermind program. This transformative 12-month experience will help you accomplish more than you would be able to in 5+ years when forging ahead alone.
Click the button below to learn what a mastermind program is, what your commitment is, and what Eat Blog Talk’s commitment to you is.
✍️ Reach out to connect with Heather Eberle, a copywriter for food bloggers. As much as you enjoy your business, maybe writing or marketing isn’t your cup of tea. Maybe you’d rather spend more time in the kitchen and less time on your laptop. Heather is here to clear your plate!