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Episode 255: Add an Additional Revenue Stream to Your Food Blogging Business with Annie Singer

In episode 255, we talk with Annie Singer, founder of Reciple, the first ad-free recipe platform that’s equitable for small creators to leran about another form of monetization for food bloggers that benefits your audience.

We cover information about how this platform recognizes that food bloggers’ stories are just as important as the recipe itself, 78% of bloggers feel they are underpaid for the amount of quality of work they produce and how Reciple solves a handful of blogger pain points, such as user frustration, growing social media accounts and getting people to their blogs.

Listen on the player below or on iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast player. Or scroll down to read a full transcript.


Guest Details

Connect with Reciple
Website | Facebook | Instagram

Bio
ANNIE is the founder of Reciple, the first ad-free recipe platform that’s equitable for small creators. We are a platform like Netflix or Spotify that recipe creators contribute content to, and are paid for the viewership to their recipes. We are launching a website-based version of our subscription service in November 2021.

Takeaways

  • Reciple was born out of needs that were seen when other platforms failed.
  • Reciple is taking a different attitude that includes food bloggers as an important part of the picture.
  • Food is a cultural and a historical thing and it’s a familial thing. When food bloggers want to share those stories, Reciple knows its important to respect and honor that.
  • Reciple will be formatting the recipe pages so that the ingredients and the instructions are at the top of the page with just a simple photo of the final recipe results.
  • Additional content, including tips and tricks to get the recipe, how this recipe came about, the development process will be below that.
  • Reciple will listen to feedback from creators, to feedback from their actual users and how they can optimize it so that people still have those important parts of the recipe.
  • Reciple is expecting that to be able to pay significantly more per recipe view than ad networks, or if you do a sponsored post, that fee compared to how many views you get to the recipe. So per recipe view, Reciple expects to be able to pay 20 to 30 cents per recipe view which is like 200 to 300 RPM or RPV.
  • Reciple will be able to pay out a premium rate through paid memberships. A user is going to pay either $5 per month for unlimited access to recipes or $50 per year for unlimited access to the recipes on the platform. Reciple will redistribute that.
  • Your audience will benefit from this because it’s ad-free and usability focus are the biggest things offered.

Transcript

Click for full text.

255 Annie Singer

Annie: Hi, this is Annie Singer from Reciple and you’re listening to the Eat Blog Talk podcast. 

Megan: Food bloggers, welcome to Eat Blog Talk, the podcast for food bloggers looking for the value and competence that will move the needle forward in their businesses. I am your host, Megan Porta and you’re listening to episode number 255 with Annie Singer. Annie is going to teach us today how to add an additional revenue stream to our food blogging business. Annie is the founder of Reciple, the first ad free recipe platform that’s equitable for small creators. They are a platform like Netflix or Spotify that recipe creators contribute content to and are paid for the viewership of the recipes. They are launching a website based version of their subscription service in November, 2021. 

Hey Annie, thank you so much for joining me today, inside this episode. So happy to have you here. Before we get started though, we want to hear your fun fact. 

Annie: So I actually fought Muay Thai competitively for about five years when I was a young adult.

Megan: Whoa. How did you get into that? 

Annie: It was just something I woke up one day. I was familiar with what it was, Muay Thai, which is like Thai kickboxing. I was familiar with it because my brother had taken a Muay Thai class years before and I was in a new place in my life. I went to one class. I was basically hooked from there. 

Megan: Oh, isn’t that funny? I love it. When that happens, when you don’t really expect to get hooked on something and you go, you show up and then you realize that you need to keep doing it. That is great. I love it. It’s like your soul pulling you in or something. That’s so cool. Love it. I don’t think I’ve had anyone share that fun fact before. So that is a unique one. So let’s talk today about adding an additional revenue stream to our businesses. I think everyone’s yes, please. Hands are raised. There are so many ways to make money blogging, and I always say this, but we do get trapped in that thinking that display ads are the only way. So a lot of people get really hyper-focused on that. Also I think bloggers are really hesitant to work with ad free recipe platforms. So do you want to just start talking about that? Why do you think that is and how can we overcome that?

Annie: From what I’ve seen, and the conversations that I’ve had, there’s always a hesitancy, there’s a skepticism. I think the reason why that is, is because people have tried to take advantage of food bloggers and creators in general, bloggers in general, in the past. Actually this business idea for Reciple was born out of seeing another similar platform fail because they failed to address the issues that food bloggers have. It’s a two-sided relationship where consumers want ad free recipes. So people have, found creative ways to serve up ad free recipes, like using scraping software, where you input a URL for a food blog, it scrapes the content and the user gets the instructions and the ingredients without having to deal with ads or big finger quotes here, the life story that food blogs have. So I’m taking a different attitude because I think that food bloggers are an important part of the picture. I think that’s going to be integral to the success and I think we can all be really successful together. I’m not taking the approach of recipes without the life story, because the story is important. Food is a cultural thing and it’s a historical thing and it’s a familial thing. So when food bloggers want to share those stories, I think it’s important to respect and honor that.

I think food bloggers have been treated poorly in the past. So that’s why they’re so hesitant to build relationships with platforms that are trying to serve content in like an app freeway. 

Megan: So Reciple, how do they incorporate the stories? How do you incorporate the stories from food bloggers’ posts into your platform?

Annie: So it’s going to be a lot of adjusting based on the actual data that we get to start out. We’re formatting the recipe pages so that the ingredients and the instructions are at the top of the page with just a simple photo of the final recipe results. Then below that we’re going to have any additional content, which might be tips and tricks to get the recipe. Which might be, how this recipe came about, the development process. So right now at this point, just starting out because my development budget is limited, I don’t actually know usability wise, what will be successful for work. So we’re just restructuring to start by putting those stories below the actual content that people need to execute the recipe. Then, we’ll see how people are using it. We’ll look at the data. We’ll listen to feedback from creators, we’ll listen to feedback from our actual users and how can we optimize this so that people still have those important parts of the recipe, but if you’re in the kitchen and you have doughy fingers, your fingers are sticky, you can still access the information that you need right at that moment. 

Megan: Okay. How is it structured? Can you talk through the structure of Reciple? 

Annie: Yeah. So it’s going to be similar in terms of the recipe card that bloggers have as the recipe content. Typically bloggers will have a story that proceeds the ingredients and the directions. There are several reasons for that. Part of it is because it’s information that sets the reader up to succeed. It shares tips and tricks of, look out for this when you’re cooking the recipe, this is what you want to avoid, or these are the adjustments you can make, or also that historical cultural storytelling that happens. Then below that they tend to have the recipe card itself, which is, the time to cook, it’s going to be the list of ingredients. It’s going to be the list of directions. Sometimes it’s a list of cooking equipment. So we’re just flipping the page upside down and putting the actual part of the recipe that you’re cooking from. You’re doing the action items from, and then structuring the story below that and then a full gallery of images below that. 

Megan: Okay. I like how you said that you’re flipping it upside down and the way you described it, that’s exactly the visual I was getting. So you said earlier it should be a two-sided relationship, which I think everyone listening completely agrees with because it has not always been that way in the past with similar platforms. So what is in it for food bloggers? What do they get from being a part of your platform? 

Annie: So initially, it is going to be slow to scale. We’re expecting that we’ll be able to pay significantly more per recipe view than ad networks, or if you do a sponsored post, that fee compared to how many views you get to the recipe. So per recipe view, I expect to be able to pay 20 to 30 cents per recipe view which is like 200 to 300 RPM or RPV. I’ve heard different terms, among food bloggers, which is per thousand recipe views. From the food bloggers I’ve talked to, the sweet spot is 20 to 30 RPV, which is per thousand views. So each thousand people that come to your website, you earn $20 to $30. Obviously there are people who have a lot of experience and they have well-structured blogs. They have audiences who love them and they do earn on that higher end, above 30 RPV. But from the general people I’ve talked about that sort of where that revenue is at. So we’re hoping, again, to be able to about 10 X that and so the ways that we generate the revenue to pay food bloggers. That premium rate is going to be through paid memberships. So a user is going to pay either $5 per month for unlimited access to recipes or $50 per year for unlimited access to the recipes on the platform. Then we’re gonna redistribute that. Right now we’re starting out with 75% going to creators 25% going to things like processing fees, technology fees. Currently, I am a one person show and I am paying money to run this company. So you never have to worry about me pocketing all of the money. So it’s just, 75% is gonna go straight to creators. Then that 25% is going to go to support business costs. So using that paid membership model, we’re expecting to be able to significantly beat what you would earn on ad sense, what you might even earn on Mediavine or other premium networks.

Megan: How do you recommend we get our audiences there? What are the benefits and perks for them? 

Annie: So ad-free and usability focus are the biggest things. From what I’ve had conversations with consumers is that they dislike the user experience that food bloggers are cornered into, because if you want to earn a livable revenue, a reasonable revenue, you need to have ads on your page. You need to structure the content so that people view multiple ads. That’s another reason. Sometimes bloggers have that story before they have the ingredients and the directions. Again, it’s not the only reason, but that means that users have to scroll past three or four ads before they get to the part where they’re actually making the recipe.

There are pop-up, intrusive ads, auto-play videos, and even just pop ups on the webpage that capture email addresses. Which again, there’s a reason they’re there and that’s because that helps support bloggers and that’s an important thing. So we’re creating an alternate solution where we get the chance to focus on user experience without needing ads, without needing affiliate links, without needing sponsored content. So we’re really hoping to just optimize for user experience so that the people who want free recipes will go to your blog no matter what, because they don’t want to pay for our subscription. But some people are actually willing to compromise and pay $5 a month or $50 a year to get access to add free recipes while still supporting creators.

Megan: I love having other alternatives for earning money because I feel like so many bloggers get to a point where they’re like, wow, I am doing a lot of work and I’m getting very little in return. I know that you included in your notes, you have data that kind of backs us up. Do you want to talk about that a little bit? Because I think this will all resonate with us. 

Annie: Yeah, absolutely. So I’ve run a few sort of small skills surveys. I have a background in marketing research. I have my master’s degree in marketing research. So I have spent a lot of time surveying and learning about research methods. With the creators that I’ve had conversations with, obviously this isn’t representative necessarily of every single creator. But I’ve talked to dozens of creators, typically on the newer end. So maybe they’ve been running their blog for one or two years. I’ve talked to fewer who have been in the industry for five, 10 years making their full-time wage, their full-time earning. So take this data with a grain of salt. But from the surveying I’ve done 78% of the creators that I’ve talked to don’t think that they earn a fair wage for the amount of time that they put into their food blog. Because creators, 10, 15 hours into a single post or, even more than that because you have to develop the recipe. Then you have to make it a few times, you’re spending money on ingredients and then you have to photograph it and you have to do your videos. You have to do post-production and then after that, you still have to market that post. You have to build graphics for it, share it on social media, share it to your email list. So there’s a ton of work that goes into each and every recipe and each and every post that food bloggers create. So additionally, what we found is, I hope I’m doing my math right. 22% who do think they’re earning a fair wage for the amount of time they put into their food blog, those people were significantly more likely to report that they use the combination of ad earnings, affiliate links and sponsored posts. So they have many, multiple different revenue streams. So that’s how they support a wage that they feel is fair to them. However, those three things, when you’re combining so many different revenue sources together can negatively impact the user experience where you have advertisements, you have affiliate links, which may have trust concerns for your users, sponsored posts again. People don’t want to think they’re being advertised to. Obviously a lot of users don’t have a problem with that and it’s not to say that anyone is bad for seeking multiple revenue streams. But those tend to be negatively correlated with user experience. So the more different revenue channels you build within one blog post, there are going to be concerns for user experience. I wanted to solve the problem of, we can pay bloggers more generously than they would earn from combining sponsorship, affiliate links and ads. But focus also on that user experience so that users don’t have to worry about pop ups if they have sticky fingers and they have to wake their phone screen up again, they don’t have to scroll back through the story and past ads to find the specific piece of information they’re looking for. So it’s just an alternative way that bloggers can earn a fair amount of money for the work they put in. One of my big goals was to make this platform as low investment as possible. Where if you have a Patreon for your users, you’re expected to create additional premium content which food bloggers already have too much to do. They’re already running an entire business, running their entire marketing plan themselves and producing the content.

We’re only promising access to user optimized content. We’re not promising exclusive content. So the work that you’ve already done can easily be translated to our platform without additional work. You can just earn more money in a different way from that same content you’ve already created.

Megan: That is all great. I love that. It sounds like, through Reciple, solving some of those pain points for food bloggers. You’re taking away that user frustration. That’s one point that I think we all feel when we get into doing brand work and then we add a bunch of affiliate information and then the ads are slightly intrusive sometimes. So adding all of those together, it can really interfere. But what are some of the other big pain points that we face constantly that you are solving through your platform. 

Annie: So through other questions that I’ve asked users, we found that the biggest pain point is growing social media audiences. The second biggest pain point is just generally driving more traffic to their website. Then the third pain point is making money from ads. That’s likely because you’re earning fractions of pennies per visitor that sees the ads that you’re displaying. Reciple, we’re not an Instagram growth platform. We can’t grow your social media audience, we’re doing our own marketing. We’re on social media ourselves. We’re going to have a PR strategy and we’re going to have a social media strategy, a growth strategy. We’re building it as a discovery platform. At the beginning, obviously we’re going to encourage our creators to share our platform with their audience. We’re going to have an affiliate for our own platform, to our creators, but ultimately the goal is to grow a sustainable community of subscribers, where you don’t ever have to worry about sending traffic to Reciple. We’re actually sending our own users to your recipes through our dashboard. Version one it’s what the tech world calls minimum viable product or MVP, which is just the starting out version of it. We’re going to have our homepage, which will be a discovery dashboard. We’ll have a few creators highlighted on the homepage. A user hits our page. They found us through an advertisement that we paid for. They’re discovering your content. So you don’t have to worry about sending traffic to Reciple. So I’m hoping that it will in itself, again, just be a simple extra you can add on where you’re still running your business the same. Reciple doesn’t impact your blog. We’re not touching the traffic that you send from your social media. It’s just an extra bonus that we’re also driving traffic to your content. 

Okay. I have a few questions about that, but first before I forget this, who do you think this is for? So is it for a newer blogger, someone who’s been at it for a few years or experienced blogger or all of the above? 

My goal is to appeal to all of the above. Obviously, if you’re already earning say $1,000 a month or $5,000 a month from your blog, I can say, we expect to be able to hit 30 cents per recipe view. But if it’s only five users, that’s still not going to be significant enough to warrant your time and attention. So I have been focusing largely on smaller bloggers who either are newer to earning revenue, or they may not have monetized yet because they don’t meet page view requirements, or with programs like Amazon affiliate, you have to refer three sales within your first few months. Largely targeting new audiences, but I’m also working right now on something that will benefit any blogger. It may appeal to other creators who may have more experience. What I’m trying to do, and again this is still in the process. I can’t make any guarantees or promises, but I’m in the process of speaking with the attorneys about setting up some sort of equity options that will be available to creators. So what that is, startups have their stock shares basically. They’ll create what’s called an equity options pool for employees. That means that their first, however many, 10 or 15 or 50 employees will have the option to have equity or partial ownership in the business. That’s really so that they take personal ownership. They take personal ownership of their work. They’re more motivated because they have skin in the game when it comes to the success of the company. 

Megan: This is such great stuff, Annie. I’m going to interrupt you for just a little bit here. We’re going to take a quick break and we will be back in a minute. 

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Hey, it’s me again. I am just hopping on here now to talk a little bit about the awesomeness of the Eat Blog Talk mastermind program. Some of you are in it and loving it and getting so much value from it. For those of you who are not yet in it, I wanted to give you just a really quick testimonial from one of our members, Barbara Curry from Butter and Baggage. She had such nice things to say about the mastermind program, so I wanted to be sure to share this with you. This is Barbara’s quote. Since joining the EBT mastermind program, I have developed confidence in myself and what I can accomplish. We have all learned from each other new skills, shortcuts, ways to be more efficient and encouraged to try new things. It’s a place where we can brainstorm ideas and get honest feedback. The group gave me confidence to try something outside of my comfort zone, which turned out to be a huge success. I learned that something I was reluctant to try, ended up being something I love. Without their support and encouragement, I’m not sure I would have tried it. It’s a non-competitive place where I learn something new and helpful every week. It is the best investment I could have made. End quote. Barbara says it all there. Just wanted to share that with you guys. If you’re interested in joining the wait list for the mastermind program, go to eatblogtalk.com to do it.

Megan: We are back from the break. Thank you for listening. Annie, why don’t you continue what you were saying earlier? 

Annie: I am in the process of trying to figure out what equity options for creators would be beneficial. The tagline is Reciple is the first ad-free recipe platform that’s equitable creators. Can I make that literal where I’m giving equity to creators so that I’m not the only one who benefits from this platform if in 10 years we’re as big as Patreon and we sell or we go public or whatever it is. I want creators to have an actual voice and stake in the company. So that’s something again, I don’t have the paperwork ready, but I am in the process of talking to attorneys to see if I can set something up where creators are literally having equity options, where they have partial ownership in this business. Which I hope you know, and again, I’m bringing up all my surveys and I might sound a little bit silly, but the creators that I’ve talked to when comparing things like affiliate deals, an affiliate deal I’m considering is giving 100% of the first month of the subscription. So if someone signs up for a $5 a month monthly subscription, the creator who refers them will get 100% of that first month. So I’ve been asking people, comparing, what would be more motivating for you to want this company to succeed and for you to take action to help us grow in those first beginning months. People have expressed more interest in having equity. Because the long-term success of the organization at that point is their own long-term success.

Megan: I love that you’ve been surveying and asking other food bloggers opinions, because I think that is vital to your success. I think that’s where a lot of platforms similar to this one go wrong. They just dig in and they’re like, we know what’s going on. They’re in it for themselves. But you really are taking every perspective into account, it seems like.

Annie: That’s my goal. Obviously I can’t make generalizations and speak. Food bloggers are not one group. It’s not one mindset or one person. There’s such a diverse number of opinions and feelings towards their blog. I want to be sensitive and respect that and respect creators on an individual basis. So I’ve spent, since May basically, building relationships with creators. Talking to them and seeing what their viewpoint is and how they are as an individual, how they struggle. The surveying has been both quantitative in, as in you rate this on a number scale, but for the most part it’s been qualitative, which means I’m having conversations and I’m exploring what people are experiencing.

Megan: I think that is awesome. You touched on this a little bit, a little while ago, but I want to ask you about some logistical stuff. So what exactly is being copied? I shouldn’t say, copied, but what information is being taken from our sites and put on Reciple. How does that work? Is everything no-indexed? Because, I think people will worry about the duplicate information issue. So talk about that. 

Annie: So personally, I have a background in SEO search engine optimization. I’ve been working in SEO since 2013. So for a while now. I’m very aware of SEO implications, of duplicate content. Or even, if you go on our platform, will your content on our website compete with your own content on your blog. The way it works is with explicit permission, so someone else can’t submit your content to our platform. It’s only you who can decide, this is right for me. This is something I want to explore. We have you sign a licensing agreement, which is non-exclusive. So the exact same content can also appear on your blog or can appear on your Patreon or wherever you’re posting it. So only with your explicit permission, we upload your recipes to our platform and they’re reformatted in a way that is specifically designed for user experience and user friendliness. So like I was saying, we flip the page upside down so that the instructions, the ingredients are right at the top. Then below that it’s going to be the storytelling or, the tips and tricks to get the recipe right. Whatever supporting content you have, which varies from person to person. Then below that, it’s going to be a full photo gallery of the photos. That again, with your permission, we’re using so that users can visually explore the steps of the recipe or what it’ll look like as a final result. So everything except for a brief preview is gated by paywall. So the preview is just going to be like a main image. It’s like a meta box. When you search in Google, chicken recipes, it comes up with a little preview image, the title, and a little description. So that’s going to be the information that we’re presenting users for free is, one sample image, and then a brief description of the recipe so that they can then decide that they want that full content. Then the full recipe is going to be dated by a paywall. So you never have to worry about users accessing that recipe and using the information that you put so much time and effort into without contributing to your revenue. Then we’re also not indexing the full recipe pages, so that A, there’s never an issue with duplicate content where Google’s 40% of your blog content is a copy of Reciple. There’s no concern for that because we’re no-indexing everything and putting it behind that page. So you never have to worry about duplicate content issues with SEO because it’s no index, it’s behind a paywall. But then you also never have to worry about your recipe on Reciple, competing with your own blog and showing our result above you because our full recipe results aren’t even going to be indexed in Google.

Megan: That is great information. I love that you have an SEO background that kind of gives me a little bit of reassurance because I don’t know the background of a lot of other people. So you’re like, I don’t know. Did they think through this issue? 

Annie: Yeah. And SEO was top of mind with me just because I’ve been working in SEO for eight years or whatever it is. I’ve had roles that are like director of marketing, that type of thing. But SEO has always been an important and interesting channel to me. It’s something that’s really exciting because they’re billions of searches each and every day, and just the thought process of how content comes to the top? How do you get to the top? That’s always been of interest. 

Megan: It is fascinating once you dig into it a little bit, and it’s so important. So I love that you’ve thought through all of that. What if somebody is listening and they have ads on their blog, but this sounds intriguing. Do you recommend doing it simultaneously while running ads? Or do you recommend this for people who don’t have ads or how to work through that? Any insights?

Annie: Yeah. So if you’re a food blogger who creates content, we want to work with you is basically the bottom line. We absolutely want to work with new bloggers who are just starting out. Maybe they don’t even have a blog yet, but they’ve been developing recipes and shooting photographs and all that kind of stuff. We want you on our platform and we’re trying to create zero barriers to help you start earning for your content. I know when you’re a new blogger things like purchasing your own domain, or, if you’re starting a Patreon, there’s a fee for Patreon. All of these types of things can get really expensive if you’re earning $0 from your content already. So we want to reduce that barrier. We do want new creators who don’t already have existing audiences. But we also work really well with bloggers who have an existing audience. You already have a blog or maybe your blogs are already successful. We want to work as an additional channel. We’re not replacing your blog. You’re not creating exclusive content for us while still running your own blog and your own business and marketing your own blog. We just want to be an added channel to help you build as an extra revenue source. So maybe you’re doing affiliate sales and you’re doing advertisements. We can be that third channel that’s just one more way that you can monetize your content. Again, in the long run, it’s our goal to build our own user base so that we are internally driving traffic to your recipes and were as low maintenance as possible for you. So a question that I’ve had from a lot of people is, is this going to detract from my blog or is this going to detract from my blog income? Because people are now using your platform to access my content instead of my platform. So to that, A, if we’re paying five to 10 times as much as you would earn from your blog, sending more traffic is a good thing because the more traffic we have you’re earning proportionately much more than you would on your own blog.

However, that doesn’t mean we want to replace your blog. Blogs are a place where you can be more creative and B, you can build your own brand, you build your own reputation, you build your own visual style that really contributes to your personal brand or your blog brand. So what I love about the recipe space is that it’s vast, it’s endless. If we’re able to acquire a million paying subscribers, that’s a million people that we can refer to your recipes, but there’s still going to be hundreds of millions of more people searching for free recipes online, and they don’t want to pay for our service. So they’re going to access your content through your own blog. Maybe where you’re running ads or you have affiliate deals, or you have some sort of product you’re selling. There are still going to be a hundred times more people that want your blog content for free on your blog, then who want to pay for a membership.

So we’re finding a solution for the people who want content without ads, but obviously who still have some concern for creators. Because that’s why, platforms like Patreon exist because we want to support creators and we see the work that’s going into creating this type of content. But for every one person who wants to do that, there are 10 more that would just rather visit your blog. 

I think in the long run, we’re not really going to be competing with food bloggers. We’re not going to make a dent. There will be no noticeable difference in your traffic or your income from your blog, just because it is such an endless, enormous space.

Megan: That’s a great point too. You’re reaching people with different needs. So it’s not like you’re necessarily taking away from your audience that exists. You’re just actually addressing a new issue with a new audience and saying, oh, here. For those of you that don’t like ads, you can come over here. So I love that approach because I tend to think, wait, why would we take people who are coming to my blog and move them there? But maybe those aren’t the people that would go there anyway, if that makes sense. 

Annie: Yeah. So it’s really just about both users and creators, having more options, having more choices and having something that fits for you.

Megan: Yep. That made sense to me. I really liked when you were talking through that. I want to point this out. I love what you said in your notes. I want you to say this because this really stood out to me as well. You’re not addressing the issue that, like, quote food blogs are bad because a lot of people have that perception, but you’re addressing another issue, which I think is really important to state. So would you mind just talking through that? 

Annie: Yeah. So from what I’ve seen from other companies and the examples where they go viral in a negative way on Twitter, their attitude and the foundation of whatever they’re building is that food blogs are bad. Food blogs aren’t bad. I don’t want anyone to think that is my opinion towards food blogs, because I use food blogs all the time. I love the wide variety of stuff where people who may not have access to the publishing industry can still distribute their content, where they wouldn’t conventionally be successful as a published cookbook author. Now there’s more opportunity for diversity in the food access to recipes online. So the problem I’m solving isn’t that food blogs are bad. That is sometimes the perception. Obviously it’s the perception of the tech bros building the products. But there’s a lot of the negativity of food blogs, but without the life story or food blogs without ads. But the problem that I’m solving for is the lack of technology. I’m not solving food blogs, because again, most users want to access food blogs and want to access content for free. They’re willing to compromise by seeing ads or having a pop-up on the page. That works for them. We’re solving a usability problem for people who don’t want things like advertisements or affiliate links. That’s a type of user that we’ve noticed who often approach things in the context food blogs are bad, or they have a bad experience. So we’re just creating a technology platform that facilitates user optimized experience, which is UX that’s like a field in software, online usability.

So we’re creating a platform that not only helps, again, finger quotes, user experience issues, but that simultaneously pays creators fairly. So I have never, personally, I have not seen a platform that does both of those things. It’s either we fixed the blog experience. Creators, we don’t care about you. Or, we’re a creator forward platform. We’re an advertising platform, a premium ad network that pays creators more, at the expense of some people being irritated with more ads or pop-up ads or whatever it is. So we’re really, we’re trying to facilitate both the user optimized experience as well as fair paid payment and fair treatment for creators.

Megan: Oh, I love that. What a great value that you’ve said. I think that will land on ears that are ready to hear that because we often feel like people don’t support us because there are all those ridiculous memes that travel around the internet and it’s okay, clearly you like our recipes, but you are complaining about the stories. It’s not for everyone. Food blogs are not for everyone, but everyone loves the recipes. 

Annie: I think that stems from both racism and misogyny or patriarchy in that, we want you to shut up and make a sandwich for us. We don’t want the life story. It’s an exchange of value. People feel entitled to only the part that they want without concern in this case for the creator. So we’re trying to find the balance between that if we’re not taking away the story. We want to honor that, but we’re giving users the option of the way that they receive it and instead of, pain in their time, scrolling through and seeing ads, they’re paying literal money so that creators can make that money. 

Megan: That’s so interesting. It’s funny because I see people post things about food blogs who I really respect and admire. Women, friends are posting stuff about us and I’m like, wait a second. How is this possible? People just don’t get the full scope of it. That’s okay. We can’t expect everyone to understand, but it is surprising when you see someone that you think, you’re like, oh, Interesting. 

Annie: That’s why I explicitly avoid ever saying recipes, but without the life story. Some people will come to our platform for that reason, because it’s easier to avoid the, again, finger quotes, life story, if it’s below the usable recipe part. That’s a compromise that this platform makes is that some users are choosing not to see that. A lot of that has value in the storytelling and, in the tips and tricks, people don’t realize that the creators are sharing all of the things that went wrong in the first five times they tried the recipe. So that content is there to help you do it right. But some people want to pay a premium just to be able to avoid that and that sort of thing in this case, that’s their choice. They can pay. They can get to the recipe. Execute the recipe and walk away. But again, we’re not eliminating that content because we think that is part of the integrity of the work that creators are doing. Is that storytelling, the cultural background, the historical background. So we could have the messaging of food blog content without the life story or only the recipe. I’ve seen platforms saying things like just the recipe. Which appeals to that certain type of person who sees only their own benefit, which is I want this for utility purposes. I’m entitled to just the recipe because that’s what I want. So again, it’s striking the balance between we do want to give users what they want, and we want to appeal to people who want a simplified user experience for recipes. But we also don’t want to disrespect the integrity behind this.

Megan: I love this, Annie. This is so great. So how can food bloggers get onto your platform? You said it’s available in November, right? So is there like a wait list or something? 

Annie: So right now we have both a consumer and a creator waitlist on our website. Reciple.com and that’s spelled R E C I P L E. So just the word recipe, but with an extra L in there. So we have a button on there that says I’m a creator. So you go to the creator page and there is a signup process to join our wait list. We’re actually in the process of onboarding our first batch of creators. So if you’re one of this initial group to sign up before we actually go live next month, there’s going to be some benefits like VIP onboarding. Where again, we’re going to do all of the work of transferring your content to our platform. You’re not going to have to log in and submit content manually. Then again, like I was saying, we’re working on equity options for creators. This is probably not something we’re going to be able to do from day one from the second we launch, but I’m hoping within a few months we’ll be able to get actual ownership options for that first batch of creators. It’s going to be a slow process of building our own audience and that kind of stuff. So for those people willing to stick with us from the start, we really want to reward that. 

Megan: That’s great. So everyone go check that out. Before we start saying goodbye, Annie, is there anything you want to say about Reciple before we say goodbye.

Annie: I’m just really excited to start more conversations and build more relationships with creators. I am always learning in this process and I am open to learning. So I really hope that people will have authentic conversations with me. Tell me the hard stuff. I may not want it. But also share in the success of this project.

Megan: So exciting. I am excited for you, just to watch your platform and your business grow. I hope that this is really beneficial for food bloggers and then it takes off for both sides. So thank you for being here, Annie. It was a pleasure to talk to you today. 

Annie: Thank you so much.

Megan: Before you go. Do you have either a favorite quote or words of inspiration to share with food bloggers?

Annie: Yeah. I have this quote, it’s a Swedish proverb that I think really applies to every area of your life. Personally, for me, it applies a lot to business. That is, “Shared joy is a double joy. Shared sorrow is half sorrow.” That to me is when someone tells you no in your business or in this case, your blog, or you get negative feedback, sharing that sorrow or sharing the things that are bothering you and upsetting, you help take such a load off. Where you’ve expressed that and now you have more space to process it. On the flip side, shared joy is a double joy. When you hit that first affiliate commission, or you hit that thousand dollar a month milestone, shout it from the rooftops. Because people want to share that joy with you and it’ll just amplify it. 

Megan: Oh, such an important message. I absolutely love that. I feel like we get to the point where we’re like, I have to keep this quiet. For whatever reason, we feel like we can’t share those celebrations, those successes with people, but we should be right. 

Annie: People want to celebrate with us. In this business, it took me months to talk about it with friends and family, because of the shame of what if I fail and what if I have to tell people that I failed. The people who support you in your circle or your digital fanbase, they want your success. So when you share a sorrow, they’re going to be like, man, that sucks. But then when you share a joy, they’re just waiting for that to celebrate with you. Even when you share your sorrow, they’re waiting for that next joy portion.

Megan: It’s also an inspiration, I feel like for a lot of people. Like us sharing our successes is, she…

Annie: She can really do it. 

Megan: Yeah, like she got it done. So that means I can do it. That really gives people confidence. Such a great way to end. Thank you so much, Annie. We’re going to put together a show notes page for you. So if anyone wants to go look at that and get all the information that we talked about today, you can go to eatblogtalk.com/recilpe. And again, that’s R E C I P L E. Annie, I think you’ve already done this, but why don’t you just reiterate where everyone can find you online. 

Annie: You can find us online at our website. It’s R E C I P L E.com. It’s like the word recipe, but with an L thrown in there.

Megan: Great. Thanks again for being here and thank you for listening today, food bloggers. I will see you next time. 

OUTRO: 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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Megan
Megan

Megan started her food blog Pip and Ebby in 2010 and food blogging has been her full-time career since 2013. Her passion for blogging has grown into an intense desire to help fellow food bloggers find the information, insight, and community they need in order to find success.

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