In episode 310, Megan chats with Christine Pittman, founder of Cook The Story, who has built 2 successful blogs and 2 podcasts and shares tangible tactics for foodies to be successful adding audio to their business strategy.
We cover information about why a blogger should consider creating a podcast in addition to a blog, the costs involved and what outsourcing is available and how to choose the topic for your podcast as well as knowing who your audience will be.
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Bio Christine is the founder of COOKtheSTORY where her passion is to create recipes that take less time in the kitchen, giving you more time at the table. She founded COOKtheSTORY in 2010 and her other contributor-based site, TheCookful, in 2015. Christine has used her SEO strategies and cooking knowledge to get these sites in front of over 2 million readers per month. More recently, she has embraced her love of audio and is the host of two podcasts, one of which, Recipe of the Day, has been named one of the top ten cooking podcasts out there by Popsugar!
- Your audience can passively enjoy a podcast without stopping other activities they’re doing.
- Podcasts add value to your time.
- Time is this commodity that we can never make more of but you can add things to your time that sort of maximize it.
- Batching is key to podcasting, just like blogging.
- Your podcast can be an extension of your blog or something that supports it but is completely different.
- Podcasting offers the personalization of your voice but you don’t have to be dressed up, facing the camera.
- When you become a podcast host, you become a much better active listener.
- If you’re unsure of what topic to have for your podcast, think about your audience and who you want to talk to.
Audacity – to record podcasts
Auphonic – audio post production service
Adobe Audition – free to Adobe Creative Cloud users (comparable to Audacity)
Wild Home podcasting – Caroline (producer) – packages for launching a podcast and for sharing them once they’re recorded.
More Cook The Story?
Episode 198 – Christine came on the podcast to share about starting a second blog.
Click for the full script.
Christine Pittman: Hey, this is Christine Pittman from Cook The Story and you’re listening to the Eat Blog Talk podcast.
Sponsor: Food bloggers, I want to take a really quick second here to talk to you about something new that we’re starting this summer. I’m super excited about it. I am loving this new movement of food bloggers who are digging into podcasting as a way to add an awesome, unique, new layer to their business. I feel so passionately about this topic. Audio is so powerful and food bloggers digging into audio in the form of podcasting is going to be a huge successful movement. It will be a way to expand your brand into new areas that you cannot even imagine. There is an entire episode dedicated to this. So go listen to episode number 306, if you haven’t already. I promise you’re going to be inspired to dig into audio yourself. As a way to support this movement, I am creating a group coaching experience starting in June of 2022. If you are interested in joining us, there are a limited number of spots available just because I want to give you all my dedicated attention. Send me an email at [email protected] if you’re interested. I am including an introductory rate. It’s a monthly rate. If you want in, you will be locked in at that rate. Send me an email. Tell me you’re interested in group coaching for podcasters. I can’t wait to see you inside and I can’t wait to see how this just totally explodes your business.
Megan Porta: Food bloggers. Hello. Welcome to Eat Blog Talk. This is 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 310. Today I have Christine Pittman with me and she is going to talk all about strategies for starting a successful cooking podcast. I love this topic so much. Christina’s the founder of Cook The Story where her passion is to create recipes that take less time in the kitchen, giving you more time at the table. She founded Cook The Story in 2010 and her other contributor based site, The Cookful in 2015. Christine has used her SEO strategies and cooking knowledge to get these sites in front of over 2 million readers per month. More recently, she has embraced her love of audio and is the host of two podcasts, one of which, Recipe of the Day, has been named one of the top 10 cooking podcasts out there by PopSugar.
Hi, Christine. Thank you so much for joining me again today on Eat Blog Talk.
Christine Pittman: It’s so great to be here, Megan.
Megan Porta: Yes, our second chat. Today we’re talking about a topic that is so near and dear to my heart. I love talking about this. Especially recently, as I talked about audio and food bloggers digging into audio at Tastemaker conference. Because you so generously allowed me to share your story with podcasting and being a food blogger. So thank you for that. I’m just excited to talk about this so that food bloggers have it on their radar. If it sounds intriguing to make a case for getting into it. I know you have that same passion that I do. So this is going to be a great conversation.
Christine Pittman: Yeah. I love podcasting so much. It’s just become my biggest passion actually in the last year and a half.
Megan Porta: Yeah, same. It’s so much fun and there’s so much power in audio and we’ll get into this. But I guess just to start, why do you feel like a food blogger who’s listening, might want to consider podcasting as a new venture?
Christine Pittman: If it is a food blogger, who’s listening, then they already are probably somebody who listens to podcasts. That means they understand the value in them. To me, the passive learning aspect of it, that you can be out for your daily walk or running errands, doing laundry, cooking, that you could be doing any of those things while listening and could be learning something, which is what people do when they listen to your podcast. Or, and this is actually, I’m taking this from Roger Anderson, from the Kitchen Counter podcast, because he put it so well. It adds value to your time. Time is this commodity that we can never make more of, no matter how much money you have, no matter anything, you cannot have more time.
But you can add things to your time that sort of maximize it. So if you are, like I said, doing those chores, doing anything, driving, and then you can have some entertainment or something fun going on in your audio space while your eyes are busy, your hands are busy, then you’re actually adding extra wonderfulness to that time that we can’t get more of. So anybody who is listening already knows that. So then they know that there are other people like them out there who also really value all of these benefits and we want to reach those people and give them more food or whatever their topic is, content that they can get in this sort of more passive way.
Megan Porta: I always say if you’re reading a blog, you can’t multitask. You can’t drive your car and read a blog. You can’t watch YouTube videos and drive your car or clean. But with audio you can do absolutely anything, literally anything and continue listening and be entertained and be inspired and all of the things that podcasts do. So I think it’s such a unique medium, just for that reason. It doesn’t detract from anything. It allows you to just live your life and also be educated. So it’s so amazing in that way.
Christine Pittman: Yeah. No, I agree completely. I listen to podcasts. I don’t even know how many, there’s so many that I listened to and it’s continuous. I have to actually sometimes tell myself, maybe you need some quiet time in your head. Just relax in the shower today, without headphones. I have a speaker in my shower, but just relax in the shower today.
Megan Porta: I am the same. I do that same thing. I listen to podcasts constantly. So I’m like, maybe I should pause on the podcasts once in a while. Give myself some quiet. But there’s so much out there to listen to and learn from. So I always feel like, if I can, I want to be learning and growing and continue to be inspired. So it is so enjoyable for me. I know, I love that you said, if you’re listening now, you probably already know the power of podcasts because you’re listening to a podcast. Yeah, that was a really good point. I know one of the huge barriers of entry can be the cost of it or the tech side, or the equipment. So talk to us about that, because that can seem daunting. Just break that down for us. What is the cost? What are the requirements for knowing tech and having equipment and all of that?
Christine Pittman: Yeah. So I will just be honest with you and say that I originally set up my first podcast. I had a good friend who is an audio producer who likes radio and stuff. He set up a mixer and a compressor for me. I take pictures of it to make sure that if my cats come in and move any dials that I could put it back to where it was. That’s my level of knowledge there. But I have helped several people with this since I couldn’t tell you what I have. You can put in your show notes, but I don’t know how to do that part. But I do know that nowadays, like you can get, it’d be a $70 microphone with a little filter thing over it. Like I record using Audacity, which is a free audio program. I actually have two podcasts, one I have professionally edited and produced. The other one I do myself. So when I’m doing the one myself, I use Audacity, which is free. Then I use a program called AUPHONIC, which is very inexpensive. It charges you per minute of use. I think you get nine hours free every month or something. Then if you need more than that, you pay. I uploaded the file there. It takes just a short time and it kind of filters it. Its sound is equalized. It removes any kind of continuous noise. Just does a whole bunch of stuff. So like a lot of the production recording stuff is very free. Really just need a reasonable microphone. I think that’s it.
Megan Porta: Yeah. Really, you do just need a microphone. You mentioned having a mixer. I don’t have a mixer and my setup works just fine. So if that is something that is a stumbling block, then you can take that away because I literally have this amazing microphone that costs less than a hundred dollars. I plug it into the USB thing which is the USB portion of my computer. As you mentioned, audio editing is either free or affordable. If you have Creative Cloud, if you’re on Adobe Creative Cloud, you will probably already have access to Adobe Audition, which is, I think , very similar to Audacity. It’s great. If you are a food blogger, you’ve probably dabbled in video editing. If you’ve done that, audio editing is a piece of cake. You will be like, oh my gosh, this is so easy. So you mentioned having one of your shows produced. Would you mind sharing the cost of that and what is entailed? Because I’ve always done well, I did outsource a little bit. But it was just like one gal who was doing it. But for the most part, I’ve always edited my own audio. So can you talk through how easy or difficult that is?
Christine Pittman: I will say the experience has been wonderful. So the recommendation came from my publicist, Brittany Lynn, who is wonderful. Whatever she recommends to me, it works out beautifully. So the producer is Caroline from Wild Home podcasting. She charges…okay. It’s gone up and I’ve been grandfathered in, but it’s under $500 a month. You get one episode a week for that. So it’s one of those things that not every month doesn’t have the same number of weeks. If there’s five weeks in the month, you get five. If there’s four weeks of the month, you get four. So it’s the same cost. It’s $470, I think. She also has a separate package that is for launching and she helps you get everything set up, which I think is one of the stumbling blocks I first faced because I wasn’t with her originally. Figuring out which platform to use for my podcast RSS feed and uploading the episodes and then how to get them onto Apple and Spotify and everything from there. She does all of that for a very reasonable cost separately. So you can just have that and she helps you with the idea and the making sure you have your square logo. She also, so I pay $440 a month because I have the other costs, but that includes an audio gram to go with each episode. So she takes my logo and we put a headshot of the guests in there. Then she tells us a little movement and she grabs a really good clip of them speaking so that we could share that. So that is part of it as well. But yeah, it’s been seamless. She comes to base camp, which is where I do all of my work and grabs the episode every week. The turnaround is super quick, like a day, two days maybe. Then I listen and there’s never any problems, but if there are, she just does it and it’s been really seamless and lovely. So the other podcast, Recipe of the Day, I edit myself and that’s because it’s every day. The idea of trying to coordinate that file back and forth and everything, it was just too daunting for me to think about. So I just do it. So just knowing what is involved and how much time it takes me to do those ones, the cost $500 for the whole month seems very reasonable to me.
Megan Porta: Yeah. Oh my gosh. That sounds like a dream. I do my editing so fast and I always justify it like I can get it done so quickly and I do it right away after. But it’s one of those things where if I don’t have time to do it, then they build up and I publish two episodes a week, so they can build up really quickly. So yeah, that is something on my list that I need to start outsourcing and I’m just dragging my feet, but you’ve just encouraged me. There are people out there that can help and it’s not going to kill me financially. It’s going to take a lot off my plate, I think.
Christine Pittman: If you want, we can talk about the editing process too. When you do it yourself, is that if you want to go there soon? Because I feel like I suddenly have a lot to say about that too.
Megan Porta: Yeah, go for it.
Christine Pittman: Actually, I want to ask you, because I’m curious. In terms of doing the editing yourself, I have these short ones; they’re like five minute a day podcasts. I of course batch them. I don’t record every morning at 5:00 AM or anything like that. I do put up like 20 at a time, kind of thing, but. Then when I’m actually looking at the file and editing, I always know it’s pretty good. The sound quality is good because my microphone’s good. I can almost just leave it alone, but I go in and I remove longer pauses or if I have weird things like nose breathing noises, something in there, I take those out. I always am like, you know what? You don’t have to be doing this. Really? This is pretty okay. Which means that even the time that I am spending to do that myself and I’m guessing that you are on that side of that, I probably don’t need to be, so there’s probably way less of that even involved when you’re doing it yourself.
Megan Porta: Yeah. When I first started podcasting, I think probably my first 50 episodes or so I did that same thing. I went in and this is embarrassing, Christine, but I would actually edit out the breaths. Then when you listen back, it’s so unnatural. I’m like, what was I thinking? I don’t want people to know I’m breathing or? So I stopped doing that. Then for a while too, I was going in and editing out my ums and my likes. Because I have all of those things that I say. Then I was doing it for my guests and then it was just way too time consuming because my episodes are anywhere from 35 to 60 minutes. That’s crazy. It was taking me hours and hours of time to edit. So I stopped. So now what I do is I just, I let it flow totally naturally. I don’t edit unless I really mess up my words. Or if my guests say, oh, can I restart? Then I’ll say, absolutely. I’ll make a note on Audition. So there’s one key I can press that kind of notes as we’re recording, where that mess up is. So then, in an ideal world, at the end of the day, I’ll just go back and I’ll just find those posts, those places where I need to edit. I’ll edit them out quickly. Then it’s such a piece of cake because we just had the conversation. So I know how it went. I know if the sound was off or if there are long pauses. So that’s my idea, doing it with a fresh mind so that I don’t need to listen. So let’s say our conversation today is 35 minutes. I don’t need to go back and listen to all 35 minutes because we just had the conversation. I know how it went. I can just go to those few spots. So it really takes me between 10 and 20 minutes, depending on the conversation, to edit an entire episode, which I feel is so slick. That’s why I’m having a hard time outsourcing because I’m like, it’s going so well. I’m doing it really quickly. So why? But then, it’s that whole thing.
Christine Pittman: You know what though, Megan? So here’s the thing. I send the file to Caroline and then she sends it back. I listened to it. So if you’re at a place where you don’t need to even listen, you’re spending less time than I am. Because if my episodes are 30 minutes long and she sends it back to me and then I listen to the 30 minutes. I do, obviously in that passive listening way, I’m usually doing it at the end of the day, while I’m making dinner or something, but you might actually have a more efficient system.
Megan Porta: Yeah. See, that’s what I figured because when I was sending my editing out for a short period, that’s exactly what happened. I was sending it to this gal and I would have to upload my notes and upload the audio and then explain what I wanted changed. Then she’d send it back. I’d listen, I’d make some changes maybe or not, but yeah, it was taking an hour to listen and then make the changes and send it. It was like, oh my gosh, I can just do this all myself. That’s exactly why I’ve held on to it. Maybe it’s fine.
Christine Pittman: Yeah. I think maybe the difference, like I have different segments in my show with music in between and stuff like that. I feel like that’s the thing that takes me time and stress. So I have three separate files for the introduction and then the interview and then the meal plan that I do at the end and then the music files. So I just wrap that all up and I bet you use a template or something for that.
Megan Porta: Yeah. It’s pretty slick. I do so many episodes that it really does go so fast considering. And people are always like, how do you squeeze it all in? Honestly, I batch like crazy. I try to do all my interviews on Tuesdays and just load them up. Then I do my editing that same day and I create social media and then schedule, I usually do on a separate day. Then I’m done for a month. So it’s really not a huge time investment for me. I guess that’s another piece of it too, because that can seem daunting. I don’t have time to do a podcast. It’s really not that time consuming if you think through it. You mentioned batching, I love that you batch and I actually predicted this. Somebody at Tastemaker was asking me about your format and like the five minute format. I love that you do five minute bits. I think I don’t know this for sure. I haven’t talked to her, but I’m pretty sure she probably batches. So can you talk about that?
Christine Pittman: Yeah. Yeah. So it’s still pretty chimed into me and I will say to anybody getting into this, we’re going to Canada to see my family in like a month and we’re gone for three weeks. So I am trying now to get a month ahead, plus three weeks ahead, plus a week ahead so that I can go. So there’s always that to consider. But it’s not that bad. What I do is Recipe of the Day. So I choose a recipe to go with each day based on the day of the week. If there’s any holidays or special things going on, so that whatever I’m talking about is very timely. So I sit down with a calendar, a quarterly calendar. So three months. I get all the food holidays, all the national holidays, all of the stuff and I just start filling in what I’m doing. I of course do repurpose episodes because I have 200 or something at this point. So I can grab something from the early days and just tweak it a little bit. So I’m fitting those in, but I’m doing this content calendar, right? So a three month content calendar. Then I just, usually on the weekend, when my kids aren’t here, that’s like a very productive, creative time for me and chill. I make my coffee in the morning and I go and I just record until I’m tired of recording. Then I edit a bunch of them and then move on to recording some more. I get through, on a weekend like that, probably 20 or 30 of them. So I guess that means like 15 in a day. So that’s how it goes.
Megan Porta: That’s the only efficiency I feel like, because if you spread that out throughout the week, you would have to break that flow and you’d have to get in and out of it. Just doing things in a chunk is so smart and so efficient. I’m glad that I predicted right. That you did that. I was like, I bet you a million dollars she batches her content.
Christine Pittman: Yeah. I feel this like twinge sometimes where I think probably to listeners, it seems like I am getting up every morning. Because I like to say that kind of thing, but I’m like, nobody cares. Everybody knows. They’re happy that I’m welcoming them to their Friday. Nobody’s worrying about this and thinking about it, except for me.
Megan Porta: Oh, goodness. No, they’re probably happy that you’re being efficient and yeah, you have time for your family and other things. I wanted to hear more about your podcast and how you chose the topic. You mentioned the format, your five minute little bits that support your food blog content, but can you talk through how you came up with the topic and all of that?
Christine Pittman: Oh, so Recipe of the Day. So there’s this podcast. I can’t remember what it’s even called, but I was listening for a while and I liked it. It’s about markets and like, what’s going on with stocks and stuff. I just liked their energy every day. I stopped listening to it for some reason. So I feel a little silly right now, but whatever I was listening to back when I had the idea for this. And I liked that it was part of my morning routine. That I woke up and I listened to the NPR news hour thing. It’s like a five minute thing every hour they have. I listen to that. I will listen to them and it just makes me up. It made me happy. They were so cheerful. I was like, oh, I wonder if there’s anything for food. Like a recipe of the day thing. I looked, and there was a podcast called Recipe For The Day, from five years ago that had 10 episodes. I was like, yeah, it was probably pretty hard to do it every day. They stopped after 10.
Megan Porta: Tend days. They were done.
Christine Pittman: Then I took a step back. I was like, could I do this? What’s involved? So I recorded, I think I recorded like 10 of them and edited them myself. Like I just thought, okay, if I’m going to do this, what’s involved. How do I do it? Realized really quickly that not only is it doable, but it’s so fun. Because I’m talking like we are right now. I have a smile on my face when I’m recording and it adds all this happy adrenaline. Also I get to, not all bloggers do this, but my blog posts tend to have a lot of tips and tricks. Why is this the best way to do this? Like that kind of thing. Then I guess a lot of people have that. So I read through the blog. Sometimes I’m quite pleased with myself, right? I said, 10 years ago. Wow. But read through and then pick out the important things and I get to say them. I think that it’s clearer and there’s more passion involved and I can explain it in a very natural way that just resonates with me more. So the idea came and then I tried a few and realized that it was such a great way to explain why I cook the way I cook. Why do I do the things I do? So it became like a conduit, not just for the recipe, but for teaching cooking while doing it. Then I was hooked after I did those few tests. I was like, Hey, we’re doing this. We’re launching. Let’s go.
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Megan Porta: So it’s like double passion. You get to revisit your content that you created and were passionate about, and then you get to deliver it in the form of audio, which you’re also passionate about, which is so cool. I love to use the words happy adrenaline. I think that perfectly explains it. You can tell just over audio. You don’t even have to see anyone’s face. You can tell when they’re so excited about something through their voice, right? You can tell if they’re smiling or excited, as opposed to yeah, I’m talking about my beef patties. That is not exciting. But if you’re really excited about your beef patties, you can hear it in someone’s voice, which I love.
Christine Pittman: That’s the interesting thing too. So now I have the other podcasts that I’ve been doing for oh gosh, a very long time now. Oh, I guess a year and a half, almost two years. I’ve also just learned that it’s taught me how to express myself better. So there’s things like what you’re saying, but I didn’t realize that I could hear smiles or what my smiles sounds like. Like now I relistened to myself. I would do this thing where I introduced myself. Hey, I’m Christine, this is, and I’m like, wait a minute, you need to stop that. You’re bored of your name. But it’s taught me, like when I have to walk up to someone important or like whatever, or if I’m trying to get somebody to agree to do an interview on my show or something, I just know how to speak so much better. I think I become a better listener too, because for the interviews, you’re like…
Megan Porta: Oh, that’s so true.
Christine Pittman: Yeah. You can’t be thinking about what I can say about myself back? So you have to be like, what is the question that my listeners are going to want me to ask? What is interesting here for other people, not just me? Yeah.
Megan Porta: That’s such a great point. It’s such a cool by-product of doing interview style podcasts because I started noticing that too. When I started my podcast, I wasn’t as good of a listener and I’m not just talking in my interviews, but to my family and friends and people who I meet. Now I feel like I’m so much sharper when I’m listening to somebody and I can reply. I listen to every detail that people say now. I realize now that before, like pre podcasting, I wasn’t doing that. I was a crappy listener. So that is a really cool by-product. It will help you, not just with your interviewing skills, but it helps you be a better human. Just more in tune, and like you said, just a better listener and a better friend and a better mom and wife or husband or whatever. It just helps you to tune in a little bit, I guess. That’s something I haven’t talked about before. I’m so glad you brought that up.
Christine Pittman: Oh, yeah. Yeah, no, I love it. Between that happy adrenaline that I said and my listening skills, it’s been such a huge positive to my life that not necessarily to my business because we are not monetizing yet, but linked to my life, it’s been really amazing.
Megan Porta: Oh, I love that. Okay. Let’s talk about other topics. I absolutely love yours and I know that a hang up for food bloggers can be well, what would I talk about? I have this blog full of recipe use for easy dinners. How would I translate that to an audio podcast? So what are your thoughts on helping people think through that?
Christine Pittman: I think the first thing and I’m actually working with some friends who want to do this sort of thing too. So I’ve been thinking about this a lot. The first thing is to figure out who you want to have listening to your show. Are you talking to other bloggers? Are you talking to home cooks? Are you talking to chefs? Are you talking to new cooks? Are you talking to vegans? Are you talking, who is it that you’re talking to, is the first step? Who do you want to be talking to? I mean your show, obviously this one is for other bloggers, then my show is for cooks. So figuring that out first and really tuning into that and then figuring out what you’re passionate about within that space. What do you want to be saying to those people? What do you think is of value to them? Can you solve a problem for them? Do you want to entertain them? Yeah, figuring out who and then what solution or emotion you’re hoping to tap into with them. That’s probably the first step. After that, then the content, right? Am I interviewing people? Am I talking about things from my site? Am I doing something completely different? Going out into markets and trying new ingredients? There’s all these different things that can be done. But I think you need to know who and why first.
Megan Porta: Yeah. I know some food bloggers do this. There are not many, but there are a handful, less than six that I can come up with. Some really do point back to their blogs and their food content. Some don’t. For some it’s completely separate. So you can choose, like you said, who are you talking to? Are you talking to the same people? Are you talking to an entirely new audience? What is your purpose and what do you want to say to them? What’s your message? Then you can start piecing things together, right?
Christine Pittman: Yeah. Yeah. For me, both of my shows have a large pointing back to my website component. The time management insider has the Meal plan at the end of each show, which links to only my recipes from both of my sites. But just my recipes. Then of course, Recipe of the Day. So I’m just using recipes from my sites too. That was for me, I’m hoping and who knows, but I’m hoping that as these grow, that just becomes another traffic source. But also and I would love your thoughts on this. I am assuming that the search engines are paying attention to the links in different places. So the show notes on Spotify, the show notes on Apple. Those are all linked to my recipes. I feel like that’s got to do something. So that was important to me because I’m one of those few food bloggers who only makes revenue through advertising. The ads from AdThrive on my site. I don’t have affiliate links. I don’t do sponsored stuff. I’m looking into doing it, but I just haven’t. So figuring out new ways to get traffic and then new revenue streams is really important to me. But I think bloggers who already have a lot of sponsorship, affiliate links, stuff that they’re really knowledgeable about and good at doing can choose a completely different topic from their site. As they get an audience, they have that network, those contacts, that stuff in place that they can start working into it, if they’re trying to monetize it, which I’m assuming they are. So I think that there are those different angles to consider too. So it’s not just, what did I say? Who and why? Then part of that why is what is your why? What are you trying to get from it? If it’s monetization on some level, what does that look like?
Megan Porta: Yeah. I’m glad you mentioned the links because that can only help you, I feel. I don’t know how much power it has coming from the platforms, like apple podcasts, but it’s gotta be good. I just feel like there are only good things that can come from that. You can link directly too. You can link to show notes from Apple podcasts, or you can link to your blog. You can put a blog link in there. So that’s great too. Then I said this in my presentation, but if you’re searching for a topic like, maybe you want to try this avenue, but you don’t really know what, go to your podcast player and just type in food or recipe and just see what comes up. There’s a lot of things that will come up. They’re not necessarily food bloggers, but they’re foodie. There are so many foodie podcasts. So scroll through them and just read the description. Maybe listen to a few and just see what inspires you. I promise you something is going to jump out at you and you’re going to be like, oh, I love that style. Or I love that topic or that avenue to explore. So that was my suggestion for people who are like, I have no idea what I want to do.
Christine Pittman: I think also, probably a first step and as I said at the beginning, people are already listening to your podcast, they’re probably listening to other podcasts too. But I feel like it was easy for me to figure out format wise what I wanted to do, because I listen to so many podcasts. I’m like, oh yeah, they typically are like this. Or I love the ones that do this sort of thing. Then I’m always listening and I’m like, oh my God, someone just put way too much preamble at the beginning of this show, it made me crazy. But then another one I’ll listen to their preamble goes on for a long time, but it doesn’t bother me. There’s something about personality mesh. Oh, I really like this person. She’s talking about the way she makes money is if you buy a coffee for her on this site, and I’m like, oh, this is nice. Where someone else is doing it and I don’t like as much. So figuring out the personality that fits with you and which styles you like and think would work I think it comes from listening to other people’s podcasts.
Megan Porta: Yeah. There’s so many elements, right? How much advertising do you put in? Where do you put it? How much personality do you put in? How much do you let your life shine through? There’s so many things that you can pick apart. So I believe that listening to just multiple podcasts will help you put all that together, like you said. Then what do you think about the hesitation piece? Because I know that you sat on your idea for a while before starting. Do you regret that? Talk to us about that?
Christine Pittman: I regret it so much. So I was a hardcore talk radio listener since I was in college. I had a 40 minute drive to and from college when I was 20. I would listen to these political talk radio shows that were the exact opposite of my beliefs, but because I just loved the format and that was what was on my radio. I wasn’t getting angry at them. I just enjoyed the voices and the talking was just fantastic. And then when I moved from Canada to Orlando, Florida, I used to listen to the equivalent of NPR, I guess CBC radio, continuously at my house. I moved to Florida and Orlando did not have a continuous public radio talk station. It was just the morning talk show and then I would switch to classical music. So this is like 2009. I missed it so much that I then found podcasting. I found these podcasts. Literally when I started my blog in 2010, and I immediately found some friends who were interested in podcasting too. We were going to start a show together, like the four of us. We had meetings and we made notes and all this stuff. Then we would just get stuck at this, how do we record it? What do we do? It just got shelved. Then years went by and I would be listening to all these podcasts at that point. I’d be like, I really want to do this and I’d look it up again. I feel like, oh, it’s too hard. I don’t know and stop again. Now it was not hard. There is actually a lot more information and it’s a lot of tools that I don’t think were necessarily there then. So I give myself a little bit of a break on that. But if I started this eight years ago it probably would really have been successful and had a chance to do something. Not that I don’t think it could now, but I have that little bit of regret. Why did you wait so long? This is so much fun. You love it so much. It’s your passion. It’s not that hard.
Megan Porta: What is that saying? When is the best time to plant a tree? Obviously 70 years ago, but if you didn’t do it 70 years ago, you just need to do it now because just imagine a year from now, if you’re still sitting on it, you’re going to be so regretful. So I feel like podcasting has absolutely exploded since COVID started and it’s only going to get more and more. People are realizing the power of its power. Brands and sponsors are really digging into giving money out for podcasters, and podcasts. So it’s only going to get more popular. So I feel like now is your time. If this is something that you are considering, do it now, right Christine?
Christine Pittman: Oh yeah. I actually think this is the 2010 of food blogging. So that’s when I started and I I kicked myself then I was like, why didn’t you start this sooner? Because there were people who were having a little bit more success who had started like a year or two before me. Now fast forward to 2022 and my site’s doing amazing. So there’s still that time. So it’s almost like in 2010, the tools were there. People knew what a blog was. It wasn’t obscure and you could start. There wasn’t a lot of monetization. I think it was more just because it was a hobby and then that wave started to happen. I think that’s where we are. I think we’re just around 2010, 2011. So if you are somebody who started blogging in 2015 and always wish that you’d started in 2010. You can do it with podcasting.
Megan Porta: Okay. It’s super crazy that you just use the word wave because I use that same word in my presentation. I was like, you guys, if you are doing this now, you are at the top of the wave and you are going to be so far ahead of other people because everyone’s going to be jumping on this train in a year or two or three years. So do yours now. Exactly what you said, Christine, you’re going to be like that first wave of food bloggers who now are crushing it big time and who everyone is envious of. Oh my gosh. There’s no better time than now.
Christine Pittman: Yeah. I think like what you were saying with the monetization and the brands and the stuff, there’s also a lot of really great evidence that podcasters convert sales better than I think almost anything because you’re like right inside somebody’s ear. You’re right in their brain right there. They know and trust you. I think this kind of loops back to what we’re saying about the editing and the breaths and all that. Your sound doesn’t need to be good quality, but nothing needs to be perfect because the whole point is that it’s you, it’s your authentic self. All of this stuff that we are told all the time about everything, is if you want to convert affiliate sales or whatever, being yourself and having those videos and doing all that stuff, you’re just cultivating this wonderful audience who likes you and is choosing to listen to you. You’re speaking directly to them all the time about your passion and everything. So then when you recommend something, they are more likely to get it.
Megan Porta: Build like and trust.
Christine Pittman: The brands know it or are starting to know it. There’s still this convincing part going on at this point. But they’re starting to know it and it’s really exciting.
Megan Porta: There’s no other platform in the entire world that allows you to speak into somebody’s ear, directly into their ear for, I don’t know, 30 to 60 minutes and they don’t put you down. They listen to every word you say. That does not happen on a blog. You look at a blog for maybe a couple minutes, if you’re lucky, you get two minutes. Even YouTube. People don’t watch. They won’t sit down and watch you for an entire hour, but audio is different. They will listen to every word you say, which means that they will know and trust you way more quickly. Which means they will buy your products because they love you and they’ll keep showing up. Yeah that right there is the most powerful thing. You are in someone’s ear. Every single word you say is heard by many people.
Christine Pittman: I think it actually meshes. I was just reading something the other day about how long form content is becoming big again, or is about to have a resurgence. So we have the shorts and the stories and TikTok and all of these short things, which I’m not gonna say anything and need all those things, but there does seem to be this surge of desire for longer things. So podcasts also fit into that. That is also easier to talk about products, monetize, within a longer form thing, because you’re giving value in that length. Then there’s just the other bit of talking, but you can actually talk about the things more. I don’t know if that’s making sense.
Megan Porta: Yeah, no, that makes sense.
Christine Pittman: If the show is 30 minutes, you can talk about a product for a minute, 30 seconds, two times or something and that isn’t obnoxious. Whereas if you have a one minute video.
Megan Porta: Exactly. It’s the time ratio. The more time you have, the more time you have. Then don’t you feel like food bloggers are ridiculously smart and re just resourceful and they figure crap out like no other humans, I swear. They’re just like the smartest people. If you feel daunted by this podcast idea and getting into audio, you’ve got this, because you’re a food blogger. You can figure this out so easily. Do you agree with that, Christine?
Christine Pittman: Like I say this about food bloggers all the time. I’m not going to stereotype exactly. So many of us started out as stay-at-home moms or busy working moms or whatever. So many, it’s a lot more women than men. I don’t mean anything really by that, but these were people who wanted a hobby, passion, something, and just went and figured it out. So it’s not like it was their job already or their career or this thing that they had to do. It was something that they wanted to do and that kind of person, who’s I want to do this fun thing about my hobby and goes and figures it out and launches a beautiful website and all this stuff, that person can take over the world.
Megan Porta: Oh my gosh. I just got goosebumps. I agree with that. I am so in awe of food bloggers and their passion and their drive and their ability to do absolutely freaking anything in the world that they want to do. So if you want to create an audio podcast, you can do it. You’ve got the skills, you’ve got the drive, you’ve got it. So I just wanted to make sure to encourage you all in that way. Christine and I have your back and we know you can do it. Then do you feel like this is for everyone? I feel like not every single food blogger listening is going to be like, yeah, this is for me. Talk about that a little bit.
Christine Pittman: Yeah. I think we talked about this last time I was on your show, actually, Megan, this is like a huge passion for me and in our particular career space. That is that we can’t all do everything, but we feel like we should. We need to all be doing Instagram stories and TikTok and YouTube videos. Facebook lives and also the blog posts and the blog posts have to have this and this and that, but we feel like we have to do everything. It sometimes follows the leader thing too. Somebody that we admire who is maybe more successful than us is doing something. So we feel we have to, and it’s just not possible. You cannot possibly be good at all of these things. Instead, you have to pick the things that speak to you that you’re passionate about, that you have the bandwidth for, that you can do. Then do those and not worry about the other ones. There’s real proof in there somewhere, I feel when you go to blogging conferences, the different people who are speaking at the different sessions, you’ll have this person who’s talking about YouTube. I think I haven’t been to a blogging conference in a while, but that’s what they are talking about. That’s their main thing. They’re good at some of the other stuff, but that’s their thing. Even those top, most successful people have a couple of things that they love and are all about. So if you are someone who is just totally loving TikTok and you want to be making these quick videos and that’s what you’re doing and it’s so great and podcast listening is just something you do for fun or hobby, you might not want to do it. But if you’re like me, I’m in that category of I don’t want to make these videos. I like my kitchen time to be for me. Like at the end of the day, all of it makes me really stressed out. If you’re there and you don’t want to be doing some of those things, this is another option for a different kind of revenue stream or different way to serve your audience and be there for them and help them. It’s just one of the many options for things that you can do.
Megan Porta: Yeah, I love that you said that it’s not your favorite to do video. I think a lot of food bloggers can relate to that because I hear it often in our space, just I don’t want to get up and get my hair done and get all dressed up and set up the cameras and get the audio right. That is stressful for some people. For some, they really thrive on that and that’s amazing. I envy and respect you for doing that. But if that’s not, then audio, you can do that in your jammies. I’m sitting here in my pajamas. I just woke up. So it’s a low barrier and also a way to get people to get to know you through your voice, but you don’t have to go into the whole video thing.
Christine Pittman: Yeah. For me, it’s much easier. I’ve been trying really hard to be protective of my cooking and kitchen time lately. If I’m testing a recipe, I’m testing a recipe. I’m not taking pictures and videos if I’m doing that. If I’m cooking for me or for my family, that is my joy time in the kitchen. So neither of those times is when I want to be with my camera, having to do a whole layer of other stuff. I’m not doing that. The podcast fits into my own work ethic, my work schedule. I do it during the day, in my work hours, in my office. So that fits into that nice box for me. So if you’re someone like that, that might work well for you. If you’re somebody who loves having all those gadgets in the kitchen and has your tripod and everything then that’s just a different personality. I think that’s what’s beautiful about all of this.
Megan Porta: Yes. I agree with that. Do you have any final takeaways from people or encouragement? If someone is like, Ooh, this sounds intriguing. I might like to do this. Just any final bits of encouragement.
Christine Pittman: People who are intrigued should just start listening to different food podcasts out there and see what’s there. Because I think that there are a lot, but there’s a lot that aren’t yet going. There’s just so many gaps in the space and. You could ask. Some people have a really active audience they could ask about. Do you listen to podcasts? How many of you listen to podcasts and just see, is it something that your audience would be interested in? So those would be the two things. I think that listening to a bunch really does help. See if you love it. If you love listening to them, you might love doing them. Then maybe tap into your own.
Megan Porta: Oh, I love that. Christine, I love chatting with you. Thank you again for inspiring, not just me, but inspiring food bloggers. Oh, I do want to ask you one thing about, you were recognized. I mentioned this in your bio, but PopSugar recognized your podcast. So tell us about that quickly.
Christine Pittman: So it’s really crazy. It’s an article called the Top 10 Food Podcasts For Chefs of Every Level, which is a strange title, because I wouldn’t say that my podcast is for chef., but I think people use the word chef in weird ways. It’s not ranked, like it’s just 10 food podcasts. Mine was the first one and then third is Bobby Flay with his daughter and I’m just like, wow!
Megan Porta: Oh my gosh, that is like a pinch me moment.
Christine Pittman: It was really surreal. So I’ve been trying to promote that article, obviously. Good strategy, right? I’m going to promote that article as much as I can, because if it starts showing up in people’s search results when they Google for food podcasts, then we’ll get more listeners. The podcast is so new. I launched it in November of 2021. It’s been listened to 40,000 times already.
Megan Porta: Holy crap. That is so many. That is amazing.
Christine Pittman: That’s the power of the daily podcast, right? It’s in every single person’s feed every single day. So there’s more episodes to listen to also. Because it’s short, the retention rates are good. So you can go into the stats and see most of the listeners have listened to at least three episodes, which doesn’t happen with longer ones. You retain. Some smaller percentage of people who listen to more than one episode. So that’s been really interesting to watch the stats. It’s funny because my other podcast has been around for, like I said, like a year and a half and it just hit its 10,000 listen mark.
Megan Porta: Yeah. Those numbers are, if you are not familiar with what download numbers should be, that is super impressive. Yeah, crazy. So awesome.
Christine Pittman: I think consistency like with anything. If you’re just there, when people expect you to be there, that really helps. Then content and audio quality and that’s it, really.
Megan Porta: I hope together we’ve inspired a few people to get on this wave because I really do feel like it’s going to benefit you in so many ways. Success wise, but also just all of the things we talked about. It’s going to make you a better listener and it’s going to just round out your business. It’s going to add these amazing layers to your business that are so cool and will bring things that you are just unexpected little surprises. So, I’m excited. Reach out to me and let me know if you’re interested in just digging into audio. If you have little questions. I’m sure Christina would be willing to answer any little questions too, if you have any. But yeah, I’m so excited. I love this topic. Thank you again, Christine, for being here.
Christine Pittman: Thanks for having me.
Megan Porta: Yes, thank you for joining me. Food bloggers, we’re going to put together a show notes page for you, Christine. You can go to eatblogtalk.com/recipeoftheday. Tell everyone where they can find you online and on their podcast player and on social media, Christine.
Christine Pittman: Yeah. So the podcasts are Recipe of the Day and also Time Management Insider. They’ll just show up when you search for them. Then I am Cook The Story on social media, pretty much everywhere. My sites are cookthe story.com and thecookful.com. I do have some of The Cookful on social media, but I don’t do that as much. Yeah that’s pretty much where I am.
Megan Porta: All right. Thanks again, Christine. Thank you for listening today, food bloggers. I will see you in the next episode.
Christine Pittman: We’re glad you could join us on this episode of Eat Blog Talk. For more resources based on today’s discussion, as well as show notes and an opportunity to be on a future episode of the show, be sure to head to eatblogtalk.com. If you feel that hunger for information, we’ll be here to feed you on Eat Blog Talk.
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