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Episode 266: Three Q1 Trends To Pay Attention To with Jenna Urben

In episode 266, we chat with Jenna Urben, a food and lifestyle blogger, about how being an early adopter within the blogging space, who shares what to pay attention to in the coming year.

We cover information about web stories and what to expect, discuss Instagram reels and Facebook reels and what Pinterest is up to and more!

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

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Guest Details

Connect with The Urben Life
Website | Instagram | Facebook

Bio Jenna is the content creator of The Urben Life, a food and lifestyle blog where she shares allergy-friendly recipes and travel guides. Jenna started blogging about 5 years ago and was immediately drawn to the community aspect. Over the years, she realized there was a need for more transparency in the creator space. So Jenna went on to create Bloggerbytes to provide bloggers and influencers with resources and tools they can use to thrive!

Takeaways

  • Web stories can be evergreen, they can get picked up whenever and bring a continuous, additional traffic source.
  • Web stories are great for getting your content in front of a new audience, for repurposing that content in a new format, to drive additional traffic and implementing ads on them with AdSense.
  • Always be experimenting and seeing does this work for you with new platforms and programs that come out.
  • Web stories don’t only show up on Discover. They now appear in search and they’ve shown up in Google images for a while.
  • Create web stories based on things that are searched daily, things that get popular every single morning by using Google trends.
  • Being an early adopter allows you to get in at the ground level because there’s not that many people willing to try yet and so you get more traffic to begin with.
  • Be careful to consider the user experience in creating web stories. Avoid overwhelming them with too many recipes that they cannot click to in this format.
  • Facebook is releasing reels, much like Instagram did. You can post through Instagram but Jenna recommends repurposing the content but uploading it through the Facebook app itself otherwise you won’t receive analytics because you shared it through another platform.
  • Use Reels on either platform to share real and raw content, different from your curated content you post.
  • Pinterest is making changes they haven’t fully explained such as Rewards and more so keep an eye out.
  • Pinterest TV is currently rolling out which will allow creators to share Live content now and share some affiliate links.

Transcript

Click for full text.

Jenna Urben: Hi, this is Jenna Urben from The Urben Life, and you’re listening to the Eat Blog Talk podcast. 

Megan Porta: Hey food bloggers. Welcome to Eat Blog Talk, the podcast for food bloggers, looking for the value and confidence that will move the needle forward in your business. I’m your host, Megan Porta, and you are listening to episode 266. Today I get to chat with Jenna Urben from The Urben Life about three Q1 trends to pay attention to. Jena is the content creator of The Urben Life, a food and lifestyle blog, where she shares allergy friendly recipes and travel guides. Jena started blogging about five years ago and was immediately drawn to the community aspect. Over the years, she realized there was a need for more transparency in the creator space, so Jenna went on to create Blogger Bites to provide bloggers and influencers with resources and tools they can use to thrive. So excited to have you here today, Jenna. We have lots to talk about, but first we want to know what your fun fact is.

Jenna Urben: I’m super excited to chat today. My fun fact is that I’ve been married to my high school sweetheart. He actually proposed to me at our high school right in front. So it’s just a super sweet memory. 

Megan Porta: Okay. I think I remember you saying you were married to your high school sweetheart, but I didn’t know he proposed to you at the high school. Oh my God. How old are you 

Jenna Urben: We had finished college, so I think it was like a year after finishing college. So I don’t know, I’m bad wiht that to be honest with you. It was years after we graduated high school then a year after college. We actually went to the same college That was unplanned. That’s a story for another time.

Megan Porta: That’s your next fun fact. We’ll hear that then.

Jenna Urben: Yeah, no, seriously. 

Megan Porta: As I alluded to, we have a lot to talk about because I learned recently that you, Jenna, are an early adopter and your type early adopter types are, I think pretty rare, especially in our niche because we get so focused on just getting our stuff done and getting our content out, that it’s almost a nuisance to have to pay attention to all of the things that emerge, how things change so quickly. But you are one of these people that actually enjoys, like you thrive on knowing what’s new and what’s changing and what’s working. So I think your information that you’re going to share is going to be one of the most valuable pieces as we lead into Q1. So thank you first of all, just for being willing to share everything. We all thank you so much. 

Jenna Urben: Oh gosh. Absolutely. I love digging into it, kind of forecasting what the next big thing could be and just being curious in nature and then sharing that to whoever will listen. I’m excited. 

Megan Porta: We are wanting to listen and I think that this should be an ongoing, maybe quarterly thing if you’re up for it but this is so valuable. So let’s start off with some trends. What’s working with Google web stories. I know that’s been a hot thing recently. So what is going on with web stories? What are you seeing going forward into Q1 with those? 

Jenna Urben: Yes. So Google web stories have been around and pretty prominent, I’d say, especially in our space for I think about a year now. That’s when I got involved with them and seeing how they could work for me. Just really how they can work for me and my blog. So for me, one of my goals is to drive traffic back to my blog. So when I figured out these can be evergreen, they can get picked up whenever and bring a continuous, additional traffic source, that was super exciting. So I think blog stories, they’re great for getting your content in front of a new audience, for repurposing that content in a new format, to drive additional traffic and I’ve actually been experimenting with implementing ads on them. I’m going to be honest, I’m not sure what exactly happened, but starting in October, the last month, and this month, the ad revenue has totally spiked for me. I was actually considering taking it off and it’s an extra couple of hundred dollars a month, but they’re just on web stories. So to me, that’s good. 

Megan Porta: Yeah. For anyone that’s great. That’s amazing. Who are you doing those through, those ads? 

Jenna Urben: So that is actually through AdSense. My current ad network doesn’t have the ability to use web story ads. So I’m just using the standard AdSense. Basically up until October, it was like pennies, like nothing. Then in October, I can only chalk it up to back in October, after our retreat, I was inspired and motivated and had these new tactics. So my web story traffic in general spiked, it went up. Definitely increased across the board. But I think maybe it’s just, I don’t know. The quality or the overlapping of content with ads. I really have no idea because I didn’t change too much. You don’t have any really control over the ads. So I was ready to turn it off in October and then I started to see oh, wait a second. Why am I seeing money now? 

Megan Porta: I’m super sad to hear this actually, because I turned it off in October. I am so mad that I did that now because I was chatting with another blogger and we were both looking and made like literally $7 the previous month, or even two months. It was like, why are we bothering people with these ads if I’m making seven dollars. So I turned it off it now I’m in my settings and I don’t know how to turn it back on. Anyway, that’s a challenge for later. But okay. So the moral of the story is test with it or at least experiment with it and see how it goes. 

Jenna Urben: I think that’s the trend to take away from everything, is to just like always be experimenting and seeing does this work for you and your business? Because I definitely know some bloggers. They’re like, no, I don’t want ads on there. It doesn’t work for me. I don’t want to deal with that, the user experience. I totally hear that, which is why I was going to take them off. But then, when I saw the extra hundred and I was like, oh it’s just from web stories. Okay, I’m going to keep this on. See like maybe I can try to dive in and find out why that’s happening. I currently don’t know, but I’m not complaining.

Megan Porta: Well, it is happening and you’ve seen that. So it’s good to know because now I will look into that and figure out how to explore getting them back on. Okay. So what else with web stories? What do you see going forward into Q1? Should we still be paying attention to this and putting them up consistently? 

Jenna Urben: Yes. I definitely think that if you want to drive additional traffic to your blog, this is a great way So now we all know that stories, they don’t only show off on discover. They now show up in search and they’ve shown up in Google images for a while. You can tell because there’s a certain little logo that you can see that I guess that’s like the Google web story logo. But them showing up in search has been pretty significant for me. Before I was never really notating anything in my Google analytics and I’m kicking myself because it’s so great now. The past two months really, when I started doing these little notes, it’s so great to be able to see wow, that’s what caused this increase in traffic or whatever it was. I only have a handful cause I don’t want to make a new note every day, but I specifically have one for the day I got back from our retreat and I was all inspired and motivated to write and get back on web stories. I can literally see the increase. I’m like, holy crap. I can point back to that and see that’s why. Then I also have one for the day that I noticed, or I was told that Google web stories now show up in search. There is a rise in both Google web story views as well as click-throughs to my actual blog, which is my goal. My primary goal for doing Google web stories. So I definitely encourage everyone to do that. Maybe everyone already does that and it was just me not doing that. It’s really great to look back on them. I’m not going to remember these things in a month or a year. So yeah, I would definitely think that it’s important to make this part of your content strategy. Something else that I’ve been doing. So I think it’s great when we can identify what season we’re in or what holidays are coming up or anything like that. But something that has really worked well for me is to create stories based on things that are searched daily, like things that get popular every single morning. For example, fluffy pancakes. That has been something I think makes it more sustainable so that I just always have a healthy flow of views and click-throughs. Then of course, I’ll see those spikes whenever a seasonal recipe gets picked up to. So I think that’s pretty important. Have you experimented with that? 

Megan Porta: I have. Yes, quite a bit. So I’m seeing the same as you. So I have a few just evergreen pieces of content that are doing really well over a longer period of time. But now we’re talking here on Thanksgiving week. So I also posted some Thanksgiving related content and that is, oh my gosh, Jenna, yesterday I saw the biggest numbers on my web story traffic. I thought it was a mistake. So I went back and I was like, is this real? There were like 80 people looking at one web story at one time. So it was crazy. That was for sweet potato casserole. Because of that, I got a ton of traffic to my sweet potato casserole post, which honestly, I’ve never gotten traffic to that because it’s such a popular thing that people search for. So mine is way down on the list on Google. But because of that web story, I was getting a ton of traffic to that post. So it really can have an effect on everything. 

Jenna Urben: I’m so glad that you mentioned that because it’s funny, not funny, but it’s interesting to track, like what is getting picked up and driving traffic. I have this recipe for corn fritters that I published in 2017 and it does not, it gets hardly any traffic at all,.But I made a web story for it. This was a month or so ago. Now that’s seen traffic and it’s 100% from the web story. There’s no other reason. I love that you said that the sweet potato casserole, normally you would be ranked maybe not in one of the top positions, but because of your story, that enables you to get those views. That is what, back a year ago when I was first hearing about this, that is what made me feel excited for stories, because I would never rank for guacamole recipe, I haven’t checked like lately, but whenever this first started rolling out in search, my guacamole recipe story was in one of the featured stories, basically, whenever you Googled that. I was like, this is mind blowing. I would never just rank for literally the keyword guacamole recipe. It’s just not going to happen for me. But with stories, it’s enabled me to drive that traffic. I dunno. I hope I’ve sold you guys enough. 

Megan Porta: Yeah. It lends for search opportunity. It really can’t hurt. I was going to ask you one thing though, within the past two days. So today is what, November 23rd. So as of today, I can say this. In my Instagram story yesterday saying, Hey, are you guys utilizing web stories this week for Thanksgiving content I had a bunch of people reply and say that would be great and all, but they haven’t been indexing my web stories for weeks. It wasn’t just one or two or three people. It was like 10 people were saying this. Do you know anything about that? 

Jenna Urben: I don’t. I will say, I feel like when I used to click publish, it would be, not on all of them, but I would oftentimes start to see that uptick later that afternoon or definitely the next day. I do think I’ve noticed an additional lag time from clicking published. Also a tip that I received that I would just do as part of my to-do list. Whenever I publish a web story, I take the link and I just drop the link into Google search console and then just click to have it index right there. So that’s just part of publish and do this. So that’s the only thing that I could really recommend. 

Megan Porta: Yeah. I know these people were doing that too, so I feel are they cracking down already? That kind of worries me. So I guess time will tell maybe by the time this is published, we’ll have some more insights on that, but just wanted to mention it. If other people are experiencing that you’re not alone. Hopefully we get to the bottom of it so we can get that magic back. 

Jenna Urben: For real and something else I often think about, especially with these newer, I guess emerging platforms or tools or whatever, is one of the reasons I love being an early adopter and getting in at the ground level is because there’s not that many people also doing that. But now I think it’s pretty widely known that these stories can be really powerful. Especially during the holidays. I think maybe that maybe there’s just more of us too, creating stories. 

Megan Porta: Maybe that will lighten up as the new year comes. So what do you think about putting web story content together for the new year? What do you recommend, as a focus? Should we focus on healthy salads, low carb low cal, those sorts of things? 

Jenna Urben: I think it’s super smart to always be looking at upcoming trends like forecasting, but also looking back on what historically does well in Q1 or specifically January. I feel like oftentimes mocktails do pretty well because everyone’s doing a dry January. Some people are giving meatless Mondays a try or going vegan in Q1 for I’m going to pronounce it wrong, but veganuary. Just better for you type foods. So yeah, I definitely think smoothies, smoothie bowls. My acai bowls always pops up in Q1.

Megan Porta: So maybe even but going back to maybe last year or this January of 2021, and just seeing what was popular then. Or maybe even going into Google trends and seeing what was popular.

Jenna Urben: Yes, Google trends has completely changed the way I create stories in general. So definitely utilizing that, it’s free. I say, I think it’s pretty user-friendly and you can really go as broad or niche as you want. So I think that’s a great tool. I was also using Pinterest trends, but I think, we’re using Google web stories. It makes sense to use Google trends. You can do it for the past four hours, which was a great tip given to me, that’s what I’ve been doing a lot. When I’m sitting at my computer ready to create a story, try to strike while the iron’s hot type thing. But also looking at the past year or ahead to see.There’s also a few holidays, Valentine’s day, that you can also start planning for. I was a huge fan of doing Roundup type web stories. Just literally last month I was doing a ton of roundups and they were doing really well for me. I was seeing the click through rate, but something that I’ve been testing and I guess focusing on more is doing a specific one, just so I’m linking just to one. So I’m not overwhelmed the user with click here. That’s just another random tip I’m throwing in there. I don’t know. I’m still testing it. `But I personally love putting together roundups because I think that they’re easy to put together. 

Megan Porta: And valuable. They would be so somebody looking for Thanksgiving side dishes. You can provide six to seven to eight recipes for someone in one little story. 

Jenna Urben: So I completely agree, I think as bloggers, because, we put together our standard Roundup blog posts, and I think it’s so valuable. But as a user, whenever I’m going through web stories, oh, this one looks really good. Let me click on this. Then I’ll maybe I’ll click through and then actually, read the post and save it and all of that stuff. But am I going back then, and then doing the same thing eight more times. I’m personally not doing that, even though I’m like, oh, this would be super valuable. But then I don’t actually do it on stories because it’s a different format then a blog post where I can just open up all the tabs. So something I’m testing. I’ll definitely keep you updated. Yeah, there’s just so many different ways you can utilize stories by driving traffic to your blog post or a Roundup post. Instead of doing an individual post, you could go to a blog post round up. 

Megan Porta: Oh, okay. That is a fantastic idea because I have a ton of Roundup posts on my blog that I’ve been doing. Oh my gosh. I’m writing that one down. That is my golden nugget for the day. Thank you. 

Jenna Urben: That makes me so happy. I’ll just kind of thought of that because I was like, I know Megan has all of those what to serve with and stuff like that. Because I love that idea for stories. But just making it easy for the user to actually save it and go back to it. I think that could be good. 

Megan Porta: Oh, that’s good stuff. Okay. Wow. We talked a lot about web stories. No, I know it’s so easy to just get into it because it is so intriguing. And like you said, really powerful. So it’s good to give that some attention. But I also want to hear about Facebook reels because this is something that I did not know existed until you told me. I literally never heard anyone since you told me it. Talk about this. So tell us about Facebook reels. 

Jenna Urben: Okay. They very recently launched, rolling out. I don’t even think that they’re fully rolled out to all countries yet. Maybe by the time this airs, there’ll be more wide spread. So Facebook reels, literally, it’s just Instagram reels, except for it’s on Facebook. I think a lot of creators might have noticed now when they go to post an Instagram reel, you get a prompt that says do you want to share on Facebook as well? So that’s one way that you can be posting these Facebook reels. I don’t want to call it like a problem, but for lack of a better word problem I have with that, is then it just it goes out to Facebook universe and you don’t have much control over who’s commenting or liking, engaging or anything. You can see the insights, like views. It will break it down in your Instagram insights how many views on Instagram versus Facebook, but it doesn’t show up on your profile, your Facebook business page. They don’t show up there if you just share it from Instagram. So what I recommend is to post Facebook reels using the Facebook app. Like in app, and you can 100% repurpose the short format videos that you already have. So you don’t have to do like the whole thing again. However you repurpose your content, you could definitely just upload it there on Facebook. Then what’s great. Is it shows up on your Facebook business page and you’re able to track, who’s engaging, how many views it has, how many shares it has. Who’s sharing it, where. You can get pretty specific, like where they’re sharing it to, what comments are they adding when they share. So I think that the way to go with those. But I completely understand if you don’t have time to add yet another platform and all you can do is click yes, share to Facebook from Instagram. Sure. Why not? This is also a very visual thing. So I’m going to try to explain it as well as I can. So when you post directly a Facebook real, directly on Facebook, using the Facebook app, it will show up in timelines or there’s actually a little button that says Reels, whenever you go to your hamburger menu on the bottom. So they’ll show up there and then if someone clicks your profile, your head or your name, it’ll take them to your page and then they can follow you there. So the reason that I was saying the other way, sharing from Instagram might be a problem or an issue, it depends like what your goal is, really. If your goal is to grow on Instagram, then this might be the way to go. Because when you click on it, it’ll take you from the Facebook app into the Instagram app rather than your Facebook page. So it’s just are you trying to grow your Facebook page or your Instagram account or maybe both. So you test out doing both ways. I’ve personally been doing both ways. I’ve seen the most success posting the Facebook reels on the Facebook app. Not necessarily the sharing aspect from Instagram.

Megan Porta: What would be a good reason for someone to do this. Is this just for someone who maybe wants to grow their Facebook account or grow maybe a group inside of Facebook or what would be a goal for actually diving into this?

Jenna Urben: Yeah. So the way I think about it, Facebook reels are great to reach a new audience. So for me, I want to drive blog traffic. So I post new and existing content on my Facebook page quite often I’ve actually ramped it up because cause I really want that additional traffic into my blog. That’s helpful, more eyes on your content. In theory, if they liked my content on reels, they’re clicking through to my page or giving me a follow or at least clicking through to oh, she posted this reel, but she also posted a corresponding blog post. Let’s check out the full blog post, and then they’re on my blog. You know how much I love Facebook groups as well. I definitely have my page and group linked. I don’t know if I’ve seen an increase necessarily in member requests there. I’m definitely seen an increase overall since I’ve been using it and an increase in Facebook traffic to my blog. Then also, I just want to share this cause I think it’s encouraging. I had to take a screenshot of it. In the last 28 days I’ve gained over 10,000 new followers on Facebook. 

That is insane, Jenna. I don’t say it to toot toot, but I’m pretty niche. Dairy-free and egg-free. I didn’t really think I would ever be at the point where I could consider applying for Mediavine or, getting 10K anywhere on social media. I truly like 100%, the only reason why I’ve grown on Facebook, is because of these reels, because they’re getting distributed out, as it rolls out, it showing up in different newsfeeds, on Facebook watch and all these different places. That’s what exciting about being an early adopter is your content is the one that’s getting pushed out. because there’s not much content there for them. 

Megan Porta: Yeah, it’s super exciting. I love that you’re exploring this and paving the way for us and sharing what’s working and what’s not, and all of these observations are really insightful. So thank you for all of that. Every time I talk to you, I’m tempted to oh, I should go over to the Facebook. Because the extra traffic, we all want extra traffic. I think that’s the goal for all of us. But then you do have to weigh how much time and energy is this taking and is it worth it? I guess. So I love that we’re talking about all of this, but I also want to say to everyone, just because we’re talking about it doesn’t mean that you need to drop what you’re doing today and go do it unless it aligns with the bigger picture goal. So I just want to say that because I don’t want it to be like Megan or Jenna told me to go do this. I want you to preserve your energy and do what is working for you and your life and your business. If that means exploring Facebook reels, then definitely go try it. But don’t want you to be overwhelmed either.

Jenna Urben: 100%. I will say too, so I’m definitely repurposing the content across YouTube shorts and TikTok and Instagram reels. I’m definitely repurposing. So I think if it is something that you want to do, 100% re-purposing content is the way to go. But something else that’s really helped me is being less of a perfectionist and trying to capture content that’s more raw, not raw, but like I’m not using my pretty marble backdrops. I’m in my normal kitchen, which is still pretty. It’s fine. But I’ve gotten so used to this curated type content where it’s my pretty marble backdrop and the perfectly staged props and all of this stuff, but that’s not really sustainable for me moving forward creating all this content. Like you said, 100% my biggest goal for this quarter, we’re currently in Q4, was getting my pending content that I’ve just been sitting on up on my blog. So, as much as I want to dive into all these different things and give attention to all of the things, I have to be really choosy with what I’m actually doing. Since I see a return on my time and energy on Facebook reels, that’s why I’m giving it this much dedication. But to do that, I have to be smart with the content I’m creating. I think people actually like to see my real kitchen and what I actually look like.

Megan Porta: Instead of the fake. There’s nothing wrong with having a set up scene, that’s really nice looking. I’m not saying there is, but yeah, I totally get what you’re saying too with being a little bit more raw and real. That takes pressure off of us. 

Jenna Urben: Oh my God, yeah. 

Megan Porta: It’s a way just oh, add relief to our lives instantly. We don’t have to have everything perfectly cleaned and you can if you want to, but that can take a load off. 

Jenna Urben: 100%. 

Megan Porta: Okay. This is awesome. Again, I want to go dig into this. We’ll see. I’ll add it to my consider list for this week or next week, but I really appreciate you sharing about all of that. Thank you again, just for testing it out and sharing so that other people can consider it. I want to talk to you about Pinterest because I know there’s so much. I feel like Pinterest is like shedding its previous skin and turning into an entirely different beast. But first I want to ask you really quick about one thing that has happened on Instagram lately. So that is the links that are now accessible for anyone in stories. That was, I think three weeks ago or so. I know it feels like forever. But here’s what happened to my account and tell me what you think of this. I may have chatted in our little forum about this. I can’t remember, but the day that happened, so it was a Thursday. I was looking at my Google analytics and I was like, holy crap. I have a ton of traffic from Instagram, which never happens to me. So I dug into it more and I let it play out for a few days, over the course of week or two. So literally, prior to, I think it was October 27th. I had two page views from Instagram. Hardly anything. But then on October 27th on, I have thousands and I don’t know where it’s coming from. Unless people, other people are linking to my content in their stories and not tagging me. What do you think of that? 

I think that you’re onto something with that. I think people are linking to you and not necessarily tagging you. So first of all, that’s awesome. That’s really cool. I’m not mad at it. I do remember you mentioned that and I was like, Ooh, I need to look into my analytics and see if I notice. I haven’t done that yet. I need to do that. That’s really cool. I honestly, I feel like you have an abundance of recipes that people would just be making all throughout the day. Now that anybody, as far as I know, anybody can, you don’t even have to have a creator or a business page. I could be wrong for sure. But I’ve seen I’ve seen like my friends who are not creator or business accounts, they’re linking things. So I feel like, if someone is making your, any sort of like a sandwich or anything, they can now say I just made this great sandwich, here’s the link. It doesn’t have to be you promoting your content or another blogger sharing, just out of the goodness of their heart, it could be anybody. So I feel like that’s working for you.

Megan Porta: I’m definitely not complaining. I will take it. It was just at first a little bit confusing because we’re not used to seeing a lot of Instagram traffic, I think for a lot of us. But I just pulled up my analytics and here’s what it says. So October 27th was the day that those links were released. So from October 22nd through November 22nd, I received 4,500 users and on the previous period, so that would be September 30th through October 26th, nine users. 

Jenna Urben: Oh, whoa. That’s significant. 

Megan Porta: A 48000% increase.

Jenna Urben: Okay. That’s really interesting. 

Megan Porta: That’s really interesting. I keep asking people in different circles and everyone’s that hasn’t really happened to me. So I don’t know if I just have a few standard recipes. Because I know my chili recipe is really popular and people share it a lot. So I’m wondering if people are just sharing that. Oh, I made this chili and it was really good, because I don’t get any tags at all. So that has to be what’s happening. 

Jenna Urben: That’s what I’m thinking. So you’re able to see the traffic is from Instagram. Can you are they going to your chili recipe or is all over?

Megan Porta: Hold on. Let me see if I can see that. Let’s see what that says. Oh, it does tell me. Okay, cool. Oh my gosh. It’s chili. Almost all chili. So 3,900 of those are for my chili recipe. Let me see what the others are for. That’s crazy. 

Jenna Urben: Yeah, that’s it that’s a lot. 

Megan Porta: That is a lot. Who is doing this? I want to thank these people. 

I know you should ask.

Jenna Urben: You should put out, like if you did this, please come forward. 

Megan Porta: That’s interesting. I would be curious if anyone listening is seeing the same thing, reach out to me because I think this is so fascinating that literally the day those links went live on stories. Yeah, it’s not a ton of traffic, but I’ll take that.

Jenna Urben: The way I see it is it all works together in the end. So for me, like Pinterest is still, Pinterest is still definitely like a heavy hitter for me. For blog referral traffic. But if I can get extra traffic from Facebook and web stories and then I’m not seeing any from Instagram, but we’re just gonna put it out there and maybe it’ll happen. It all comes together at the end. It’s cool too, that it seems like for the most part, like it’s not you necessarily promoting on stories. It’s like other people sharing this recipe or other recipes. So that’s really cool. 

Megan Porta: I have not shared my chili recipe on stories. So I tested with a few. I did some Thanksgiving related ones, just here and there, tops I’ve done like four to five links from my Instagram stories, leading to my blog. Chili may have been in there, but it was like one day. So I haven’t been heavily promoting it, which makes it even more interesting. 

Jenna Urben: I wish it did tell you like who, which account. Where and what exactly. I want to follow up on that. If you continue to see that trend or maybe in January, if one of those seasonal or better for you type recipes you have, if that also see the same thing happen? I have never really seen significant traffic from Instagram. I was certainly excited when I got the linking sticker capability. Because I think I am at like 8,000 right now. I’m like, oh my gosh, 10K, I can see it, I’m almost there. Then they rolled it out and I was like, oh my, are you kidding me. I’m happy for it, but I’m also like, all right. I’m glad I never put too much pressure on myself to like, when I get to 10 K I’ve made it. Because I’ve never thought that way. I know a lot of creators think I had to get to 10 K to pitch brains and partner with brilliance. That is just not true. Certainly some brands want the bigger audiences. So I never was fixated on hitting it. I wanted to hit it just to be like, yeah. All right. I can link stuff. But now that I can link some, I’ve tried. I actually have not been putting a lot of effort into Instagram because t’s just never driven a ton of traffic and it’s funny. I got the link sticker, like when everyone did and honestly, maybe that was when I was like, all right this is great. It’s still not creating traffic. This is just not it. I’ve experimented linking stuff. Affiliate links and blog posts and other stuff and maybe a handful. 

Megan Porta: I was just going to say that. So trickle in, if you’re promoting your own content, it sounds like what’s typical is that you’ll get little trickles of traffic, but the key is to get other people loving your content apparently. So I did just figure out how to find those other posts. So it looks like most of them are from the chili. Then there’s a hundred leading to my Instant Pot Chili. Then 400 of those page views are for my Pickle Roll-ups, which is like so funny because it’s like the simplest recipe. It’s not even a recipe. You just roll up pickles and cream cheese and ham, but yeah. So that’s cool. 

Jenna Urben: I’m glad that you can identify which posts they are going to. Chili season. That’s great. I love that for you. 

Megan Porta: Okay. That’s interesting to explore. Let’s talk about Pinterest because like I said, oh my gosh. I feel like it’s something that we just need to completely relearn. So what are you seeing on Pinterest lately? 

Jenna Urben: I was telling you this before. I feel like every day it’s a new thing to click on, explore or check out. So I don’t know exactly when their creator festival was, I feel like a month ago. I don’t know a handful of weeks ago. But they announced quite a few new features that will be rolling out and some already have rolled out to some accounts, one being the Creator Hub. So I see creator hub, but it doesn’t really have anything for me except for analytics. It’s just like my analytics. But as far as I know, eventually there will be some sort of rewards type tool. I don’t have too much information on what exactly that could look like. I think just from like things I’ve heard snfother people talking about it, it seemed maybe I don’t know if it’s every day or every week, they’ll say we’re focusing on, let’s just say blueberry recipes. So then if you have blueberry muffins, if you’re interested in doing this, go create an idea pin based off of blueberry muffins. Then in theory, that should take off and get featured or whatever. I don’t really know.

Megan Porta: More kind of focusing on what their focus is like they put, focuses out and then we pick up on that? Is that it? 

Jenna Urben: That’s what I took from it, 100%. Maybe that’s just my point of view. But that was like 100% what I picked up on. Honestly, maybe I also had that point of view too before. Because whenever I go on the Pinterest app, I will go over to the explore or discover or whatever that one page is and they’re definitely pushing certain creators and content and it changes throughout the day. Plant-based recipes and how see what this creator is making. Or different fashion trends or home decor. They’re definitely giving us signals and I’ve tried to play around with oh, okay. They want plant-based recipes. So I’ll create a couple idea pins, maybe some roundup or maybe some specific ones, like I was saying. I can’t say if I’ve seen any wow, that really took off. It hasn’t been anything like that. But that could change. Who knows? 

Megan Porta: So where are you finding these? Where’s the creator hub. I don’t even know where that is. 

Jenna Urben: So basically if you open up your Pinterest app, go to your profile and there’s going to be a red button that says Creator Hub.

Megan Porta: Now do I need to be on my phone? 

Jenna Urben: Yes, you do have to be using the Pinterest app. 

Megan Porta: Okay. So that is why, I don’t know, because I had to remove Pinterest from my phone years ago because I got addicted to it, as I did email. So my phone is pretty stripped bare, so I need to get Pinterest back on my phone is the bottom line.

Jenna Urben: So you do have to use the app. For some reason I thought maybe I had seen it on desktop, but now that I’m navigating to it, I’m not seeing anything like that with my business hub on there. But that is different. It is different, but it’s literally the same. It’s just your analytics as of right now. So I think that’s definitely something to watch. I don’t remember exactly what it was called, but I feel like a week or two ago they rolled out Pinterest TV. Which I know some people aren’t using the app, they don’t have that either. So that’s something that’s definitely still rolling out, but I had it. So of course I had to tune in for a while. It was really interesting. You can schedule a live. So for food bloggers, let’s say, I don’t know, January’s coming up. So I’m going to show you how to make an acai bowl at home. Like a cooking class, if you will. I can schedule it out and I can say, these are the ingredients you need. Let’s do it together and then go live out a certain time. You can engage with, even comment, ask questions, especially cause it’s live. So if you can multitask, you can answer questions that people might have, like on the spot. Oh, what’s the best tip for making it not melt or whatever. Then you can save it alive so that people can then go back and reference. But what’s also really cool about that is you can link products. So if you’re using a special blender or something, you can link that blender. If you have an affiliate link for it, you can use that. Then that’s a potential other revenue stream. So I don’t know, I I think that Pinterest TV, that whole segment, as well as Pinterest idea pins, because you can also link affiliate links on idea pins. I think that’s where we’re heading with Pinterest. Just having those capabilities. Which is interesting. I would love if we could link to blog posts on idea pins. That would be great guys. 

Megan Porta: Yeah. Seriously. But you can now put links within the description, correct? I think this is new. I think our friend Susie shared this. So she was testing with putting a link directly in the description of the idea pin and that is clickable, I believe.

Jenna Urben: I honestly haven’t experimented with that one. Yeah. She did mention that, and I don’t know if it’s clickable or not.

Megan Porta: Maybe it’s not clickable, but it is copyable. 

Jenna Urben: Yes. You can copy and paste it. 

Megan Porta: I feel much better about saying that. Cause I was like, oh no, am I right about that. So you can put it there and then if people really want it, they can copy it and then paste it into a new tab.

Jenna Urben: Yes. But it won’t like launch or whatever. Like how pretty much most things will. I’ve experimented with putting in like an egg replacer. Like here’s the one I use. It’s like the Bob Red Mill affiliate link. I haven’t seen any increase on those. Absolutely not. It’s not like that for me, at least. I think, not that anybody asked, but I’m more intrigued and excited about the potential for Pinterest TV, just because it seems more engaging and you could actually have your community over there. It seems more community building aspect rather than idea pins, which I don’t know, to me, those you can’t you can link out to blog post. If you’re doing the workaround, you can include the product links, but I don’t know how intentional, if someone’s like casually perusing, Pinterest, are they going to see my Dutch oven and be like, oh my gosh, I have to have this pot and purchase it immediately. Rather than if I was showing here’s this pretty Dutch oven pie that I’m going to cook chili with. Here’s why I love it. It’s super, sturdy and blah, blah, blah. I think it’s way more likely someone would purchase that from there rather than just like a product link with it there. But I don’t know, I don’t know. But I also think it’s interesting. You could create like a gift guide on Pinterest idea pins which might be helpful for like the holidays. Whenever a holiday rolls around or like a birthday gift. Oh my gosh. Yes. Mother’s day, father’s day. Stuff like that. That’s something that I haven’t tried yet, but I think that it could be interesting. 

Megan Porta: There’s potential there.

Jenna Urben: Because then you’re very straight forward with it- it’s a gift guide. So someone who maybe has more of that shopper intent, they’re more likely.

Megan Porta: Absolutely. Yep. I see what you’re saying. So instead of not tricking, but like adding things to a recipe related idea pin, oh maybe they would buy this really pretty Dutch oven that I’m using, being more intentional in saying, oh, this is meant for someone who is looking for Dutch ovens, fill in the blank. I like that. So you see potential with Pinterest TV. Now did you say everyone has access to this or are they still rolling that out? 

Jenna Urben: A couple of chats I’m in, I don’t know many people who have it cause I’m like freaking out, you you have to log on and watch this. I think one other person had it. I was like, okay, cool. So I definitely think it’s still rolling out. I thought at the Creator festival, they said all of these things were rolling out in Q4 of 2021. I don’t know, guys were cutting it to the wire here, so yeah.

Megan Porta: By the time this publishes, maybe everyone will have it and we’ll all be able to hop on and explore. Did they talk in the Creators Festival about education for all of this? Because I feel like we’re just floundering, like flailing. What do we do with all of this? Are they going to actually tell us what to do as creators? 

Jenna Urben: I missed that part. If that was stated, I didn’t hear that. But I will say, I feel like they do have, I don’t know what they’re called, but they have some sort of guides, I don’t know. I haven’t seen any great resources which is why I feel like I don’t really even know what does this create or have even gonna do? Because right now it’s just analytics. What are these rewards? Is it going to be, am I going to be rewarded with higher impressions or is there going to be revenue attached to it? 

Megan Porta: It’ll be interesting to see how that plays out. And I see this too, as an opportunity for food bloggers or other influencers who really love Pinterest and want to stay on top of it, like you do Jenna, but dig into it in a really deep way and then teach the rest of us. This is an opportunity. 

Jenna Urben: Yes. Yes. I’m waiting for this Creator Hub and rewards and all of that to fully roll out so that we can actually see okay what does the new Pinterest look like? Because I know for me, like when Pinterest came out, I was on it just as a personal user. So whenever I started my blog, I was like of course I’m going to create pins to drive traffic. In my mind, it was just like, that’s a no brainer. Then over the years, I use Tailwind for awhile, but then as video pins and then Idea pins rolled out for me that wasn’t working. So I’ve I’ve lost my Pinterest strategy that was working for so long.I feel like I might not be alone with that. I’m now just in this limbo where I’m still seeing like significant traffic from Pinterest. I don’t necessarily have a strategy in place. Since I know so many new things are on the horizon, I’m not necessarily concerned with establishing a new posting schedule or whatnot. Just because I truly have no idea, what exactly all these new features, how it’s going to work for me. So we’re definitely, I think gonna have to do it again at the end of the next quarter. Because I think we might have a little bit more clarity. I hope that they really support creators. I think I’ve seen a shift for big tech really embracing this creator economy and wanting to show like we support creators and all of that. So I hope Pinterest follows through and really establishes some guidelines and best practices.

Megan Porta: Yeah. I totally agree. I, that has been my hope all along too, just watching all the changes ripple through and oh, here’s this feature. My underlying hope is that they do decide to just support creators because we really built their platform. If it weren’t for content creators, it wouldn’t be as awesome as it is. They’ve given me so much traffic, so I’m not saying they’ve never given me anything. I’m not going to be one of those people. It has been a disappointment.

Jenna Urben: A lot of it’s trial and error though. You have to figure out like, for me, at least I would assume it’s the same for everyone. But there’s a handful of people who know what they’re doing on Pinterest. So you can see what they’re doing, what’s working and try that way. I think that’s fantastic, but I don’t think Pinterest has ever said. I guess they’d given us the dimensions of what size our pins should be, but besides that, I think we’re all trying to still just figure out like what attracts the click-throughs and stuff.

Megan Porta: That is so true. 

Jenna Urben: They never said. For me, I went from using like a pretty cursive font to then I was like people can’t read this very well. Huh. Let’s do more block text. That helped me significantly, but they didn’t tell me to do that. 

Megan Porta: Like with Google, at least we get guidelines and we get very specific, here is exactly what you need to do. But yeah, we’re just guessing on Pinterest and it would be nice to have some sort of. I don’t know, I’ve been to those creators festivals before. It’s like inspiring oh, that was cool, but I still don’t really know what I’m supposed to be doing. Do you know what I mean? 

Jenna Urben: 100%. That’s why it’s I think that this is one of the trends that we should pay attention to, but there’s still so much unknown about what these different new things are, what they’ll actually look like. Yeah, I think we just for this one, I definitely have my eye on it and I’m waiting patiently for it to come out, but we’ll see. I also just wanted to add going back to Google. They have I think it’s creators.google, and it’s this new hub that they’re really trying to lay it all out there. This is how you can be successful. You mentioned how we get a little bit more over there than on some platforms. So they rolled it out. I guess they launched it like a month ago, maybe not even. I feel like honestly, everything’s like a month ago, but it could have been a couple of weeks ago. I know they launched creators.google. It’s not super detailed, it’s like very like high level. But I’m excited that there’s the hub. Like a new hub that hopefully will become more robust. As of right now, I think it’s like inspiration, motivation, high level. What’s a Google web story. How to just very high level best practices. But my hope is that it will become like a more robust hub over there. So maybe everything will work together with that. 

Megan Porta: For some of this, actually, for a lot of it, I think we just have to see how it plays out. With Pinterest, that’s been my gut feeling is that we just need to sit on this for a little bit and see what rolls out and how the holidays shakedown and how the new year rolls in. So there’s not much we can necessarily by and maybe that will change by the time this airs, but to be continued because I would really like to have you back Jenna, to be our resident early adopter expert. That’s so awesome. Thank you so much for all of this. Wow. This is super valuable. We just appreciate your time today. 

Jenna Urben: Oh my gosh. 100%. Honestly, I could talk about all of these topics and then the extensions of all of them for ever. So yeah, I’m excited for the to be continued, let’s keep talking about what’s working and I don’t know…

Megan Porta: What’s not working. 

Jenna Urben: Yeah. What’s not working could be interesting too. Because there are certainly some things you find that doesn’t work for me and here’s why and then it opens the conversation to is that just me? Is there something I can tweak or this just isn’t part of my strategy.It doesn’t align with my goals. I don’t need to do this. So I’m excited to hear to, the general consensus of I know Facebook reels are really new, so are people adopting them or is it Nope, I’m just going to share from Instagram and let them do their own thing on Facebook and just swim around on there. Because I’m curious, I really am, what it will look like since they are so new.

Megan Porta: I’m sure you’ve inspired people to at least go check it out and try because you definitely made a case for it. So we’ll see. We’ll see what happens. I have to plug here real quick. So Jenna is one of my favorite people to talk to inside of Clubhouse. We have, now they’re Thursday chats. So if you guys ever want to join us, we have such fun conversations in those rooms. So please come join us on Thursdays at I believe it’s 1:00 PM Eastern time. If you ever need an invite, let me know and I can send you one, but yeah, just wanted to say that quick, but thanks for being here, Jenna. Let’s see. Do you have either a favorite quote or words of inspiration to share with us. 

Jenna Urben: Yeah. So I have a gratitude journal. It’s called the five minute gratitude journal. In there’s different quotes and just exactly what you said, just different words of motivation or encouragement so that I do my gratitude practice and then I’d get a nice little quote for the day. There’s several, sometimes I see them and it doesn’t have a true quote or who it’s by, because there’s just several variations on it. But something that just has really been great for me, as I said, I’m trying to get this pending content up on my blog. So something that’s really resonated with me, that’s along the lines of, perfect is the enemy of good. To me, when I read that, every creator, I feel like that I’ve talked to in the past couple months, has just been preaching published is better than perfect. I have just so needed to hear that. Especially now I have realized the power of keyword research and doing your due diligence there. It is so easy, at least for myself to really just do a deep dive and just spend so much time doing that because it is really important, but also at the end of the day, I need to get that content up. So let’s make it as good as it can be and get it out. It doesn’t have to be perfect. One of the highest ranking blog posts I have is one of the very first. It is not even near good. So to me that just solidified, get it up there. We can always go back and edit so very long-winded, but there’s my motivation. 

Megan Porta: Yeah. That’s important. That’s an important message. Especially for people who are creating and putting things out into the world constantly, we need to hear that you don’t need to get it perfect. In fact, we should probably not get it perfect because…

Jenna Urben: …we need to keep learning. 

Megan Porta: Yes. So such a great way to end. Thank you again for everything. We’ll put together a show notes page for you, Jenna. If anyone wants to go peek at Jenna’s show notes, you can go to eatblogtalk.com/theurbenlife. Urben is spelled U R B E N. Jenna, tell everyone where they can find you online. 

Jenna Urben: So the urbanlife.com is my blog. My main hub and on just about every other social media, it’s at The Urben Life and just like Megan said is U R B E N, because that is my last name. It auto-corrects often. But I’d love to connect with you guys there. I’m always happy just to talk and share and connect. I’m excited to continue this conversation and just dive into other trends we should be paying attention to.

Megan Porta: Yes. So to be continued on everything we talked about, hopefully we have even more updates about Pinterest and web stories and all of that next time we chat. But until next time, thank you so much for listening and we will talk to you later. 

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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