In episode 345, Megan talks to Jenna about which trends to look out for in Q4, 2022. They explore topics like maximizing Web Stories for explosive traffic, gaining extra revenue from Pinterest and building rewarding communities with Facebook Groups.
We cover information about the strategy of what to share in web stories, learn how to repurpose your content, consistency plays a part in success when sharing across a platform and finding that viral content.
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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Connect with The Urben Life
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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!
- Web stories are showing up in search now, not just in Discover.
- Round ups and informational posts will do well on Web stories because they will have supporting information on strong key words that Google is sharing with people during the busy holiday season.
- Trending keywords are important to share in Web stories in Q4 to see that explosive traffic.
- If you don’t have a lot of time to spend on Web stories, share your strong content that’s evergreen all year. Then add some seasonal content.
- Consistency is what’s key in publishing Web stories, not the frequency.
- Pinterest TV is rolling out.
- Pinterest TV offers content creators the ability to go live, use shoppable links and engage directly with their audience.
- Jump on Pinterest Idea Pins and the Creator Rewards program. It can be lucrative with little effort, especially compared to other platforms.
- Facebook’s new feed is something to embrace and allows you to switch between your feed and your business feed smoothly.
- Facebook groups work well to build community for your blog and grow traffic. Starting your own facebook group is even more advantageous.
Click for full script.
Episode 345 – Jenna Urben
Jenna Urben: Hi, this is Jenna Urben from The Urben Life, and you’re listening to the Eat Blog Talk podcast.
Sponsor: Hey, awesome food bloggers. Before we dig into this episode, I have a really quick favor to ask you. Go to your favorite podcast player. Go to Eat Blog Talk. Scroll down to the bottom where you see the ratings and review section. Leave Eat Blog Talk a five star rating if you love this podcast and leave a great review, this will only benefit this podcast. It adds value. `I so very much appreciate your efforts with this. Thank you so much for doing this. Okay, now on the episode
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 their businesses. This episode is sponsored by RankIQ. I am your host, Megan Porta, and you are listening to episode number 345. I have Jenna Urben with me today. She’s so awesome. She’s gonna talk to us about trends to pay attention to in Q4 here in 2022. Jenna is the content creator behind the Urben Life, a food and lifestyle blog where she shares allergy friendly recipes and travel guides.
Jenna 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 she went on to create Blogger Bytes, to provide bloggers and influencers with resources and tools they can use to thrive.
Hello, Jenna, thank you so much for joining me today. It’s such a pleasure to have you back on Eat Blog Talk.
Jenna Urben: Hi Megan. I’m so excited to be here.
Megan Porta: So excited. I always love our chats and today we’re gonna talk about Q4 and what to pay attention to, what not to pay attention to, what’s important, et cetera. But first, do you have another fun fact for us?
Jenna Urben: I do. So today I wanna share that I am an Enneagram two. And I feel like that’s not very surprising. The Enneagram too is known as the Helper, or basically someone who’s friendly and empathetic and can also be people pleasing. I loved learning about my Enneagram and I feel like it just made me understand why I operate the way I do. Highly recommend looking into that. Do you know yours?
Megan Porta: Yes. So I am a, oh gosh, now I’m gonna forget. I’ll look it up while I’m responding to you. You being a two does not surprise me at all. When we were talking about this on Clubhouse, I was like, I know Jenna is a two.
Jenna Urben: Oh my gosh.
Megan Porta: I have a question for you about that. Do you find that being a helper actually can hurt you in some ways? Like you’re helping people too much?
Jenna Urben: Yes. Okay. I’m actually glad you brought that up because when I started digging into this and just thinking more about it, I had to put up boundaries for myself so that I can help myself, not only other people. So yeah, that was really eye opening actually.
Megan Porta: Yeah, for sure. If you’re a two and you don’t have boundaries, I can see where you could totally get taken advantage of.
Jenna Urben: Yeah. It’s like I want to help and so it’s actually super hard for me to put up those boundaries not to help. Yeah, it’s actually interesting how it all plays out.
Megan Porta: So I am a three with a two wing. So I am an achiever and a very close second for me was a type two. So like you.
Jenna Urben: That makes complete sense, Megan.
Megan Porta: Yeah. Achieving, always. Like more and more, more, trying to be better, better all the time. But then it’s also super important to me that I am giving and almost to a fault where I too have to create boundaries. Because without even knowing it, I’m like, Oh my gosh, I just gave my soul to all of these people and I have to cut back or I’m gonna die.
Jenna Urben: Oh my gosh, Megan, that’s 100%. Yes, I know what you’re talking about.
Megan Porta: Oh, yeah. Yeah, we can lean on each other for that and maybe be accountable for those boundaries that we both need.
Jenna Urben: Okay. Yes. Sold. Deal.
Megan Porta: All right. I love knowing that about you. We should chat about this more on Clubhouse. I feel like it is so worthwhile to dig into your Enneagram and just understand who you are, at your core.
All right, let’s talk about Q4. Q4 is, at the time this is being published, it’s tomorrow, or maybe two days away or something like that. It’s really close to q4. So we are here, Q4 is here. It’s upon us. You are the trend guru. I call you the trend spotter of the foodie space. So we wanna learn from you and you always keep your eyes on things, which I love. I can always say Jenna, what’s going on with web stories or Pinterest and you always have an opinion and you always have new things that are coming up too, that you just have your eye on. So maybe we’ll just run through a few things here. So we’ll talk about maybe web stories, Pinterest, Facebook, and maybe just a quick touch on TikTok, but do you wanna start with web stories? What do you see going on for Q4 with web stories?
Jenna Urben: Perfect. Yeah, so I think it’s the same that we’ve touched on probably on all of our previous episodes. So 100% still recommend investing time into creating these, but I think especially as we go into Q4, really being strategic about what you’re posting. So for example, back in July, right around 4th of July, I started seeing people making Ranch Water, which if you’re unfamiliar with ranch water, it’s tequila, lime juice and Topo Chico. Super easy cocktail. I’ve been having that. I’m in Texas, so I feel like, yes, this is my cocktail. So I’ve been making it for years and it’s catching on now. So I was seeing people making it on YouTube shorts and all the different Reels and TikTok and whatnot, and I was like, Hey, wait a second. I have a blog post for that. I should make a web story for it. I couldn’t believe I didn’t already have one.
So it wasn’t even that I was looking at Google Trends or even Pinterest trends, I just saw just by being a user myself okay, more than a handful of people are making this cocktail. Maybe I should make a web story for it. It ended up, I actually, I looked, I had to go into my analytics so I could fact check myself. It ended up getting the web story, it got 24,000 views and it drove 9,000 views to that blog post alone on one day. That’s insane. That’s insane.
Megan Porta: That is insane. That’s awesome.
Jenna Urben: Yeah, I was, I was glued to my phone that afternoon. I was like, what’s going on? But I say that because I think that that’s the power in trending web stories. I mean it’s obviously fantastic, but then it completely died after I don’t know, two or three days. So you can see those awesome explosive [00:07:00] stories. But I think it’s also important that we have seasonally relevant Web stories, so depending on what season we’re in, so if we’re in like the back to school season or Halloween, Thanksgiving, holidays the stories that people are actually searching for, so like Halloween cocktails or Thanksgiving sides, holiday cookies, something along those lines that people are actually searching for. They’re still trending, but they aren’t so short lived. So you have that consistent baseline. So that is what I will be focusing on. I think that’s the two best types of stories, especially for Q4. But I would love to hear what you’ve been doing. You actually always pop up on my Discover.
Megan Porta: Oh, good.
Jenna Urben: So I’m like, Oh, hello.
Megan Porta: That’s awesome to hear. So I will be completely candid and tell you that my VA creates my web stories 100% and I’ve just given her guidelines and here’s what we should do, and I think she does five a week for me. I just pulled them up just to see. So I’m gonna look and see what’s been going well, but I’ve been doing them consistently. We’ve been doing them consistently since probably November of last year, 2021. It’s kind of level, even if you look at my analytics with peaks and valleys here and there, but consistently, my web stories get a thousand page views a day minimum.
Jenna Urben: Nice.
Megan Porta: Then up to thousands, every once in a while I’ll get something like what you were talking about with your Ranch Water, where it’s oh that’s awesome. But that’s good. Having that baseline of, even if it’s 200 page views a day, having that baseline of extra page views for your web stories is awesome, right?
Jenna Urben: Yes. I think what you said, consistency. I think there really is something to that with stories. Because when I do let it fall to the side and I don’t post stories for, I don’t know, a couple weeks or up to a month, it takes a while for that new story to start circulating. It’s super interesting. Once it does start circulating, other old ones will randomly start popping up again. So I mean there’s definitely something to the consistency aspect. I love that you’re also seeing that nice consistent baseline. I mean it doesn’t even have to be in the thousands, like you said, as long as it’s just more than zero.
Megan Porta: Right? Five. If it’s more than zero then you’re doing well.
Jenna Urben: Yes. Then the only other thing with web stories that I have noticed is, so I think we’ve been seeing, was it last Holidayish season where stories started showing up in search? Was that like last Q4?
Megan Porta: I think it was. I think it was Q4.
Jenna Urben: Okay. So it used to be that there were a few thumbs scrolls down, but it seems like more popular searches. I was trying to remember what it was, but I was searching for a recipe for myself just to make for dinner one night and I typed it in and stories or I think they show visual stories or something. Yeah, they were right there at the top before anything else on mobile. So I think that’s just, I don’t know, really encouraging too. They’re not only on Discover, they’re also in search. For those higher, maybe more popular, more common terms, I’m not sure, they’re higher up. So more general users are likely to click on those rather than if you just type something in, you’ll see, maybe four recipes and then maybe some YouTube videos and then the stories sometimes, they’re right up top. So I think that’s encouraging too.
Megan Porta: That’s very encouraging. I love that. I feel like they’re still experimenting. They’re moving things around and nothing is said ever, but it’s a constant evolution. Oh, here’s what they’re doing now.
Jenna Urben: Yes. Yes. I’m curious especially, I feel like there’s just so many different holiday seasonal recipes that are very popular, so it’ll be really interesting to see as we get into November and December, what that whole mobile search looks like for stories.
Megan Porta: Do you recommend for web stories, people doing something a little out of the norm? So instead of maybe stuffing to serve at Thanksgiving, maybe cauliflower stuffing or something a little bit more unusual so that they can grab those more, I don’t know, a little bit different keywords?
Jenna Urben: I think that’s interesting and I’m not, I don’t wanna say like for certain anything, but I think you can see success with both. I’m trying to remember, I had something similar to what you’re saying, where it was a tweak, but it still had that keyword. So let’s say the trending keyword was, you said stuffing so let’s say stuffing recipe and I added, whatever it was in front. I don’t remember what mine exactly was, but let’s say if it was stuffing and mine was a meatless stuffing recipe, I think you can still see really good results with that. I think it’s focusing on the keywords that Google’s telling you are trending. But also I think the reason why I’ve had pretty good success with Roundups and similar to your recent blog posts where it’s supporting articles, you’re still including those keywords somewhere in the story. Whether that’s in a paragraph or if you have some sort of header at the top for a roundup. So I think, even if it’s not the title, it can still be beneficial and get you on that Discover and maybe even in search as well.
Megan Porta: Oh, that’s a good recommendation. So I think bottom line, you need to be doing web stories, right?
Jenna Urben: Yeah, for sure. I think if you’re short on time, honestly, I think the consistent ones that people are always searching for – spaghetti sauce, pancakes, waffles, what others? Chocolate chip cookies. Whatever the ones that are always your trending keywords, those will get you that more normal over time, you’re always seeing some sort of traffic. So if you have no time to spend but you wanna do web stories, I think those are a good way to get into it. But then when you actually wanna start seeing that explosive traffic, that is mind blowing, that’s when you have to dig into what’s currently viral or what do you think will be going viral, I don’t know. Halloween weekend, right? Or Thanksgiving sides. That’s where you can, if you’re lucky and everything aligns perfectly, then you can see that explosive traffic. Then after that, if you still wanna keep creating, then I think that’s when you go into those more unique recipes or ones that maybe are just on your blog, not necessarily super seasonally relevant, but people are still searching. That’s like the tiers that I have.
Megan Porta: No, that’s great to think through that. Instead of just throwing things at the wall, you think through what’s going to be evergreen, what’s going to stick around, and then what is seasonal and maybe great traction now. Maybe just like creating a consistent schedule around that. I’m going to put up X number of evergreen web stories this week and X number of seasons and just see what happens. Because I do think that you should do both just to create, like you’re saying, those explosive ones and then the more consistent ones over time.
Jenna Urben: Exactly.
Megan Porta: Thinking through it a little bit, but I tell everyone, so people who come into my Mastermind, if they’re struggling with traffic in general, which a lot of people are, that’s one of the first things I say. You gotta be creating web stories. We don’t know how long this is gonna last. It’s still going strong. Get in now. Do not hesitate. It does not take that long to create a Web story. Even if you do two or three a week, that’s 45 minutes of your time once you’ve got it streamlined. Total. Like 15 minutes each, so just do it over time. If you’re consistent with it, you will see traffic, you’ll see a boost from it.
Jenna Urben: Yeah, absolutely. You saw after our retreat last year, everybody’s results. I can’t contribute 100% to my web stories to me being able to qualify for Mediavine, but it was a huge boost, like 100%. If you need traffic, make web stories. You’re totally right. Once you have a template down, and once You get in a rhythm and then once you have your first one hit Discover and then another one hits you understand and you get in the groove of it. You’re right, it takes maybe 15 minutes to knock one out maybe. Depending on what it is. Yeah. So I think you’re 100% correct. It’s just saying, Okay, I’m gonna post two or three stories a week. I love what you were saying about one can be evergreen, one can be seasonal, then maybe make one, what do you think’s gonna be viral or what are you seeing on TikTok that’s viral right now? Because it’s probably gonna carry over onto Google pretty soon.
Megan Porta: Yeah, and you could even incorporate, one will be a Roundup or one will be informational like you were talking about, or a supportive piece of content or something like that. But whatever strategy you come up with, just do it over and over and over and you will see more traffic.
Jenna Urben: Yes, absolutely.
Megan Porta: Okay. Anything else about Web stories before we move on to the wonderful Pinterest?
Jenna Urben: Let’s move on.
Megan Porta: Okay. So within Pinterest, I know there’s Pinterest TV. What is this, Jenna?
Jenna Urben: Yes. Okay. So I believe it was our very first podcast episode.
Megan Porta: Oh, we talked about this before? Oh wow. It has escaped my mind.
Jenna Urben: No, me too. Cause I was like, I feel like, did we talk about this? So when we talked about it last time, which could have been last year, it was just rolling out Pinterest TV or PIN TV and we were speculating on what this is going to be? Who’s gonna be able to use it? What does this mean? So it’s had a pretty long rollout and it’s still getting rolled out. But if you go to your Pinterest app on your phone, in the upper left hand corner, do you see a little TV icon? If you wanna look right now. Because some people do and some people don’t.
Megan Porta: So pulling up Pinterest now. Okay. So I do see a little TV icon.
Jenna Urben: Perfect. So yeah. So some people have it and some don’t. I think it’s becoming more and more common that you will have this. So I’m not sure if we’re going by Pinterest TV or Pin TV. I believe it’s going to lean more towards Pin TV. So if you click on that upper left hand corner TV logo, if you click on it, you can see upcoming episodes and replays from previous live sessions. That’s what it is. They’re live sessions. So just like you could go live on really any of the platforms now, right? Now you’ll be able to do that on Pinterest. I’m actually gonna be hosting a two part series on it.
Megan Porta: What? Okay, so going live on Pinterest. Can anyone do it or do you have to be invited?
Jenna Urben: You have to be invited right now. But I think we’re getting closer to, you know how maybe closer to a year ago it was like, who knows what this is? Now it’s like people are going live, like I’ve been watching people go live. They go live at different times throughout the day. So you can click a button, remind me or RSVP, and 10 minutes before somebody goes live, you’ll get a notification and then when they go live, you’ll get another one. Episodes can range from like 30 to 60 minutes.If you miss it, it’s okay because there’s a replay of it. So I’m super excited to see how this all plays out and rolls out.
Megan Porta: So you got invited to do a live episode. Just talk us through what you’re gonna be doing.
Jenna Urben: Yeah, so this just happened so basically. I’m going live on the app and so I’m going to be walking through a couple recipes and I’m gonna keep them extremely simple. Let’s keep it basic. So it seems to me like the two main focuses and what affects this might have on Pinterest as a whole, is the focus that seems to be on shopping links. So you can include affiliate or non-affiliate links and also connect in real time with your audience. That seems to really stress me out. They really want you to feel like you are connecting with your users, especially those who are Live with you right now. Pretty awesome.
Megan Porta: Yeah. That’s very awesome.
Jenna Urben: I’ve been watching a few of the Lives and it’s pretty cool how they’ve integrated you being live with a nice kind of transparent chat box. That is similar to Instagram live, you can see the person, you can also see the chat going. Then also though, in addition to the chat, think of the chat as being maybe half of the screen, and then if you split it in half the other way, so it’s really a quarter of the screen. Then the other lower quarter is like a shopping carousel that you can link any product that you’re showing. So for food bloggers, for me especially like thinking okay, what can I link during these? I’m thinking about my mixing bowl, my prep bowls, my spatula, stuff like that. Hopefully I will also be able to link to our blog posts there as well. So if you’re making, let’s just say a Ranch Water Cocktail, then you can say, Look, it’s not a hard recipe, but if you wanna see a printable version, or if you wanna save it for later, click here and here’s the full blog post.
Megan Porta: Oh, that’s so cool. Okay, so there’s a lot of potential here.
Jenna Urben: I think so. I really hope for a full role. This is just like me being hopeful. I have no knowledge, but I really hope that it’s available to everybody by the end of the year. Because how cool would that be for the holiday season? Everyone baking, like baking together? Potential. That’s just me, just speaking, hopefully. I have no insider knowledge at all. But how fun would that be?
Megan Porta: Oh my gosh, that sounds so fun. I love that, especially this is great for food bloggers, I think. So much potential. Did they just reach out to you via email or how did you get the live session?
Jenna Urben: So I was watching Pin TV Live. I have to shout out Amy Katz at Veggies Save the Day. She sent it to me and was like, Are you watching this? It was two of the, I don’t know, Pinterest creators, I think it was on the Pinterest creator account perhaps. They were talking about PIN TV and they said, We’re looking for creators. If you’re interested, go to this link. So I put in my profile, my name, my email address, and maybe they had me fill out what type of content I create? It was just like, what do you wanna do? What do you wanna talk about? Then they got back to me and they’re like, Okay, cool. Do these days work? I was like, Yes, 100%.
Megan Porta: Oh cool. So it’s not a super hard thing to get into currently.
Jenna Urben: I don’t think so. I think they really want creators to be successful. That was something that they were definitely stressing on that live that I was tuning into. They really want to be there for creators. I think that they’ve seen how other platforms have treated creators. They’re at least saying that we wanna be here for you. We wanna make it easy for you. We want you to be successful. So I’m leaning into that one.
Megan Porta: That’s so reassuring because I feel like for a long time a lot of creators were like, Wait a second, Pinterest. What just happened? Because we are the bread and butter of their platform. Then they were like, taking traffic away it seemed so I love hearing that they’re really putting a focus back on the creator.
Jenna Urben: Yeah. I think we’ve seen that being hinted at with Creator rewards and the creator hub and all of that. I think they’re taking the right steps. It might be a little bit slower, but I would rather it be slower and actually work for our benefit. Then some, several changes happening in a week that makes your head spin and nothing even works at the end of the day.
Megan Porta: Yeah. So let’s talk about creator rewards, unless you had something more on Pinterest TV. Do you have encouragement there?
Jenna Urben: No. I will keep you updated because I think this is just so cool and I don’t know. I’m pretty shocked that I filled out a form that said Yeah, I wanna do it. They were like, Okay. Yeah. So I will definitely keep you updated and by the time this podcast airs, it would’ve already happened. So we might have to do a Clubhouse recap. Okay, this is what happened. Here’s the tea. Here’s what happened. Yeah, I will keep you updated for sure. But yeah, let’s
Megan Porta: talk about the creator rewards. Yeah. Okay. So a lot of creators, foody creators are being invited now. Not everybody I know there are still some people who are like, Wait, I want part of this program, and they’re not quite yet. But it has been rolled out to quite a few foody creators.
Jenna Urben: Yeah. Did we join it around the same time?
Megan Porta: June or July. June 1st.
Jenna Urben: I think we joined around the same time then. Because that sounds about when I joined, it’s been two months. So June 1st.
Megan Porta: Okay. Yeah. How are you liking it? It’s so great. Honestly, my VA does most of it. This month in August, I’m going to take on more of the submitting, because we were both keeping an eye and I was like, Did you submit this? She’s Wait, I already did that. Just to help the communication a little bit better with us, I’m going to submit it this month. It’s been going well. In June, we put very little extra effort in and made a nice chunk of money and then in July made triple that and I mean I don’t think she went above and beyond. She was just doing idea pins for me, like usual. But a few of them really took off quickly and so this was July. So summer, one of them was Feta Cheese Dip was insane. It went bonkers really fast. Then Bloody Mary’s did okay. Snickers fudge did well. So that must be a summer favorite. But the one that did the best was my Raspberry Peach Tart.
Jenna Urben: Oh, yummy.
Megan Porta: Did really well. Really fast too. You can tell right away if it’s going to take off.
Jenna Urben: Because you’ll see the numbers shoot up immediately.
Megan Porta: If they go more slowly, then it is a slow build throughout the entire thing. Unless it’s an anomaly. But do you find that too? If it’s gonna be big, it gets big fast.
Jenna Urben: I agree. Yeah. That kind of reminds me of old days of Pinterest when I would pin a standard pin and I refreshed and it was a thousand impressions already and I’m like, Oh heck yeah. We’re doing this . Yes. I am curious. So for your idea pins, especially the ones that you just mentioned, how many pages on average? Are they a mix of photos and videos?
Megan Porta: So I’m not doing hardly any video, just a little bit here and there but mostly photos and I would say an average of like 10 slides.
Jenna Urben: Ooh, 10 slides. Okay. That’s really good to know. I feel like when I’ve heard about best practices, they definitely lean into the longer that kind of helps encourage, saves. , because who’s gonna remember what’s on every single page? But if it’s one or two slides, eh, okay. But if it’s longer, it totally makes sense as well. I’m also super encouraged by you actually to hear that you’re primarily using images.
Megan Porta: Yes. Yep. I know a lot of people have heard we need to use videos. They had said that somewhere, right? Pinterest said that.
Jenna Urben: Yes. Okay. We didn’t make that up. We didn’t all imagine that. No. I think it was on maybe that first month where we joined one of them, one of the rewards required you to have a video. At least one slide needed a video or something similar to that. So I think that’s where the idea of oh, they want video. We need to be doing video. But that hasn’t been a requirement since then. Thank goodness.
Megan Porta: Yeah. Are you incorporating videos into most of yours?
Jenna Urben: I have been doing just like a true mix, and to be honest, I have been really only choosing one or two of the rewards to focus on. So it just depends on what content I have to either repurpose or that I want to slice and dice to make work. So for me, what I’ve been doing is I’ll either do all images and so I’ll include maybe like an ingredient shot and then I don’t know, a couple other images, or what I’ve really been enjoying doing is if I have a Reel, I will slice it into, I don’t know, let’s say four different clips. Then each clip is a different page. Then I might end and begin with an image as well. So I’m doing a mix. Okay. I don’t get a ton of saves on my Idea pins. If I get over a hundred, that is very good for me. So I’ve been focusing on, I think they call it the publish weekly, get Rewarded one, and that’s literally you publish once a week. That one is maybe that’s $250 to do that. Okay. So I’ve been doing that one. Oh my goodness, the one I’m very excited about for this month of August is the, I think it’s called Pay per Save.It’s like $25 for each pin and then $2 per save, up to $700.
Megan Porta: $700. Yeah.
Jenna Urben: Exactly. So that’s the one I was gonna focus on, but if one of those Idea pins happens to get a hundred plus saves, then instead of focusing on the pay per save, I’ll just stick it into the, If you get a hundred saves, you get this reward. So yeah, there’s a few different ways to go about it. But I like what you said earlier about it’s not that much extra work to get really great rewards. These incentives are pretty awesome, I think.
Megan Porta: They are.
Jenna Urben: You don’t have to like stress about them. If it works into your schedule, that’s great. For me because I know okay, I wanna be doing the published weekly, so that’s four idea pins that will only go towards that. Then if that’s all I do, then I’m happy with that, honestly. Yeah, that’s an extra $250 I wouldn’t have. Then if I want to, or I can, if I have other content, which I can, that I can repurpose, then those will go for the other rewards. But yeah, I’m definitely planning ahead this month. Right now it’s August 2nd, and so my goal is either tomorrow or Thursday to really plan out okay, what are the Idea pins going to be for this month? That way I don’t have to focus on it every single week. I will already know.
Megan Porta: That’s smart to plan ahead and map it out a little bit. One thing about the published weekly pins, now what Melissa, my VA has been doing is she keeps an eye on which ones are slow growers and uses those for the published weekly. Are you doing something similar because you wanna save those that might get a hundred plus or even 200 plus for the other available options. So picking out those slow growers and putting those up for those published weekly ones.
Jenna Urben: Yeah, that’s a really good thing to point out. I think I really only had one of those last month that I did immediately see Oh, okay, this one’s doing something. So I waited to see, are you gonna get up there? I don’t remember how many impressions it got. For me it was a lot of impressions, but it still only got maybe 50 saves or something. So I was like, that’s good but it’s not gonna get me to 200 or whatever it was, and it was getting towards the end of that week, and I didn’t have another one without having to scramble. So I was like, eh, we’ll tuck it into that one.
Megan Porta: Yeah. It is kinda like a puzzle, like a game a little bit like, Ooh, if I could squeeze these in here and then use that. So it’s fun to watch the month unfold as your idea pins generate saves and impressions and just see how it all fits together. Then earning like you said, even $250, oh my gosh, that’s a lot of coffee. Or that’s something to tuck away into savings for your next vacation. That is not nothing.
Jenna Urben: That’s a lot of margaritas.
Megan Porta: Oh my gosh, lots of yummy margaritas.
Jenna Urben: I guess the only other thing I would add is something that I don’t know if I would call it an experiment because I didn’t run a secondary experiment, but something that I did and watched with eagerness was, so my cowboy caviar, I posted that one and now I’m gonna mess it up and get confused. But basically I posted cowboy caviar with just images, and then I posted it again as Texas caviar with a video sliced up. Or maybe it was the opposite with different names. Whatever it was, It’s the same exact recipe. I just didn’t double dip because for one, I used photos only, and the other, I used video only, and one of them did just so average. Nothing. Nothing great. But then the other one, it did incredibly well. That’s the one where it got incredibly well for the impressions and more saves than usual. So for me, that’s great.
Megan Porta: I think it’s worthwhile to do experiments like that and just see whether it’s comparing video and photos or something else, just to see what is being favored on the platform and then yeah, tweaking.
Jenna Urben: So it’s actually funny. Even though we just finished talking about video versus photo, it was actually the video that performed better. Who the heck knows what’s going on.
Megan Porta: Yeah. That’s the thing about experimenting too, is that you don’t really always know what factor is working, right? Because there’s so many different factors at play, it’s hard.
Jenna Urben: Yes. That’s the one thing about experimenting and especially when things aren’t new necessarily, but they’re still relatively new. There’s still things definitely going on and still stuff getting added. It seems like there’s a ton of updates still, and yeah, there’s so many factors to consider. Definitely.
Megan Porta: Do you know, or do you have any instinct about how long this is gonna take to roll out? I’m just wondering about those few strugglers who are like, I wanna be part of the rewards program. Have you heard anything about when they’re gonna be done rolling it out?
Jenna Urben: I haven’t. I know you have to be 18 years or older, US based. There’s some sort of follower requirement.
Megan Porta: I don’t remember what that is either.
Jenna Urben: Yeah. But I think the other thing too was it was like you have to have posted three idea pins in the last month. Maybe they had to have a certain save count altogether. So that’s definitely, it’s on the Pinterest support page or whatever because I’ve seen it. I’ve definitely seen it. So I think making sure that you’re hitting all of those requirements and then, I don’t know, crossing your fingers.
Megan Porta: But if you continue to go onto your, so it is on your phone in the app, and then you will see this little Earn button pop up in the creator hub. If you click on that, you do need to go through a few steps, I remember. It asks you a few questions and you have to accept terms or something. Then it allows you to put your payment information, your bank account information in so that you can receive payment. But once you do, it’s pretty easy. Once you do that, you’re good to go. Then you get all of them, what do you call them? Rewards, challenges or whatever they are.
Jenna Urben: Yeah. Yeah. It really is a pretty seamless effortless sign up. Payouts have been effortless and No, no worries there. I think it’s so great that Pinterest is offering these, because I know TikTok has their creator fund and Instagram and Facebook have the Reels bonus play. So now we just have another platform that I think this one is, this is probably my favorite. It’s probably the most lucrative for sure, especially when you factor in the time it takes to complete them. It would be hard to say that about the other platforms if you were starting from scratch there.
Megan Porta: Totally agree. I’ve heard so many other people say that too. Everyone says, Oh my gosh, I spend very little time doing this. I’m reaping in money, actual significant money. So it is definitely worth it. If you have the opportunity, do not dismiss it. Jump on it because it’s easy. It’s fairly easy money. Anything else about that, Jenna? I feel like Pinterest is redeeming itself this year in 2022.
Jenna Urben: I agree. From the very first recording we did, we were like, don’t give up on Pinterest.
Megan Porta: Yes. Oh my gosh. You’re right.
Jenna Urben: I’m so glad. We knew.
Megan Porta: We were in tune with that. I remember you saying Megan, I’m so glad to hear you say that. Because I feel the same way. I was like, refreshing. Because most people at that time were like, Boo Pinterest, I’m leaving you
Jenna Urben: People still are saying that. It makes me so sad because, I don’t know, like we’ve always said it and or you said, I think a couple episodes before, it’s planting seeds and especially with the standard pins, it can take a while, but with these idea pans, you’re seeing success within seconds and you’re getting paid from them.
Megan Porta: Yes. Yep. Absolutely.
Jenna Urben: I think that there’s a lot to come with it as a whole, and I’m very excited to see how it all plays out.
Megan Porta: I know. Isn’t it fun watching this whole creator, foodie creator world unfold? You never know what’s coming, but you have your instincts about certain things. At least I do. Okay, I can’t let this one go. I’ve always felt that about Pinterest.
Jenna Urben: Oh yeah. If I look at my analytics, I’m like, I should be dedicating way more time to Pinterest. I get significant traffic from there, and to be completely honest, I don’t have a great strategy. I don’t hire it out. I don’t use Tailwind anymore, but it’s still driving significant traffic and so I’m like, yeah, I should probably dive in even deeper here because it’s a big player for my blog at least. Especially compared to, let’s say Twitter for example. No, I’m getting nothing.
Megan Porta: Yeah. So just encouraging you to look in your analytics if you’re listening, and maybe that will give you a little burst of motivation to dig into it a little more because it is worthwhile. The fact that it’s such a visual platform is never going to change. It is visual and food is visual. People love pictures of food. That is never going to change. So just digging into it and giving idea pins a little bit of your attention too. Do you wanna move on to Facebook? Your favorite, Jenna?
Jenna Urben: You know I do.
Megan Porta: Let’s do it. Where do we start with Facebook? I know that there’s this new page experience that is still rolling out, right? That people are like, Wait, what is this? Maybe we could start there. Just talk through what that is.
Jenna Urben: Yeah, so the new page experience, I think I switched over to it about this time last year. Maybe not quite. We’re in August still, so maybe not quite. But in the fall or winter I switched over, and ever since then it’s had a very slow rollout. But recently it seems multiple pages are now getting this option or prompt. Sometimes it pops up on the desktop. I’ve had it pop up on a couple other pages I used to manage, but still have rights to pop up just on the Facebook app. Basically it’ll just say, new page experiences here, switch over now. In short, the new page experience just lets you switch between your private individual profile and your public business page and so it just makes everything a little less clunky. For me, it enables me to be able to really separate, do I wanna look at my friends and family? Or am I here to post about my new lemon pasta. I love it. Big fan. Highly recommend it. I don’t know why you wouldn’t do it.
Megan Porta: I think because it’s a change, because I know some people in my mastermind were like, What is this? They didn’t know that’s what was happening. So just the fact that everything changed was confusing. Which I totally understand because when things change on a platform, it’s really alarming. Wait a second, I knew that and now it’s this. So just understanding what it is, like Jenna said. You can easily switch between the two. So one of the things that came up in my group was that people were confused because they were like, wait, now that this new experience is here, I can’t access the same groups. But it’s because they signed up to those groups under either their business or their personal, do you know what I mean? So they had to figure out which side they signed up under and then they could still access the group.
Jenna Urben: Yeah, you’ll still be in all of the groups you were in. It just depends if you joined as, did I join as Jenna or did I join as the Urben life? So I do understand that like change, it can be scary, especially for Facebook. Your page has been your page for years.Whenever you created it, that’s all you know. But I think the switch, I’m very hopeful about the new direction of it. I’ve been super pleased with it. I know that there’s some confusion around the creator studio versus Meta business suite and those are pretty interchangeable. My biggest advice is, and this is just what I do as a user myself when I’m figuring something new out, is truly just to click around and just try to figure out where things are.
If I can’t figure it out and I need to figure it out right now, I’ll try searching the Facebook support pages. Not all of them are fabulous, so some of them are like, this doesn’t roll out to everybody, and it’s Okay, it’s rolled out to me, so what do I do here? I really suggest leaning into it and trying to figure it out because I have a feeling that they’re really gonna be pushing this one hard and so you can easily switch back always. If you switch over to the new page experience and you give it a try for a week and you’re like, absolutely not. I hate this so much. You can always revert back and it’s just like you’ve always known it.
Megan Porta: That’s good to know. I didn’t know that you could go back.
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Megan Porta: I think try to stick with it and click around like Jenna is suggesting.
Jenna Urben: I feel like it’s an even more curated feed. That actually rolls right into the other thing I wanted to talk about with Facebook’s feeds. So basically they did an update I think like earlier this week or maybe it was last week. You can choose which feed you want to go to if you wanna see all, which will be your friends and family that you’re connected with, your groups, your pages. You can favorite all of those I just mentioned. So you can just click favorites and then see all of that. So I think that’s why I feel like it just seems like we’re moving, like we’re being funneled into this direction of really making a more curated feed. I don’t know, I think especially with all of the Instagram stuff with the suggested accounts to follow and that’ll probably still, flow over a bit, how you see people you may know. But I think this is it really, it’s a really good positive change for Facebook. Speaking of pages, I can’t talk about Facebook and not talk about FB Reels.
Megan Porta: Of course not. Go for it. You’re the queen of Facebook Reels.
Jenna Urben: They are becoming even more prominent on desktop and mobile especially with these new feed layouts, regardless which feed you’re in. The other major pro to the new page experience is it’s so much easier to create a Facebook Reel, I found, when I’m on my The Urben Life blogs Facebook page.
Megan Porta: Yeah. I’m just curious about why the reals are so much easier. What makes them easier?
Jenna Urben: Yeah, so I was very lucky that my new page experience switch kicked in right before I really started to dive into Reels. So I never had to experience posting a Reel from toggling back and forth between my personal and the n navigating to the page and then saying, No, I don’t wanna post it to Jenna Urben’s private profile. Why would I wanna do that? So it just takes the confusion out of it all. If you switch over to your public business page, you know that’s what you’re interacting as. There’s no question about it. So you don’t have to worry about me commenting on my private profile that I don’t necessarily want everybody in the world to know about. I certainly don’t want people to be friends if I don’t actually know who you are. So I think from a privacy aspect, that’s also why I just feel so strongly about yes, make the switch. I’m sure that there are some downsides that I’m not aware of. There’s always something, but I have not run into any.
Megan Porta: Yeah, and you dig into it more than most people I know. So if you can’t find any downsides, I would be willing to guess that it’s probably hard to find them.
Jenna Urben: I think the biggest, if I had to say this is the downside, it’ll be the confusion around this is something that I have done forever on Facebook. This has been my process forever, and now it looks a little different. But the process, from what I have found, is still the same. It’s just how you’re getting there. You’re taking like a little detour but you’re still going to the same place basically.
Megan Porta: I think once people realize what’s going on, it’s fine. They’re just like, as with anything, when there’s a change, it’s alarming because like you said, this is something we’ve built up over years and years, and we just worry right away. Where’s everything going? Where is it? Where do I find this? Where do I find that? But once people are realizing that it’s actually an improvement and kinda what’s going on, I think it’s fine. At least from what I’ve seen in my circles. Then, do you have anything else about Reels, specifically? How are those going for you? I know for a while they were generating a lot of traction and traffic and all the good things. Are they still doing that for you?
Jenna Urben: So I have slowed down a ton posting Facebook Reels. Last Q4, they were incredible for growing my page. They were incredible, not only for growing my page, but engagement on those Reels as well as normal posts and driving traffic to my blog. That was my Facebook heyday, was Q4 2021. It was incredible. I’ve slowed down quite a bit posting Facebook Reels because it’s pretty time consuming. I told myself, I said Q4 last year, I’m going to post three Facebook Reels a week. That’s what I’m doing. I was doing other stuff too, but last Q4 was pretty crazy. So that’s what I told myself I was gonna do, and I did it and I saw awesome growth and engagement. Then in Q1 of this year, 2022, I said, Okay, I wanna post a minimum of two times a week because I was still seeing really awesome growth. I didn’t just want to completely abandon Reels because hello. It was great, but I wanted to stay consistent. So I told myself, Okay, two times a week.QSo I did that for a majority of q1. Then I was like, I need to take a second. So I do not post as frequently anymore. Like I was saying with web stories, I think that there really is something to that consistency factor. You’re posting consistently, whatever that means. Maybe it could even be once a week, I don’t know. But just something that gives signals to not only your audience but also the platform. There is something to that. So now when I post, I don’t see explosive growth or crazy high engagement. I still get comments and I still get likes. Some of them you can see so and so follow you from this Reel, so that’s nice to see. But definitely if you are trying to grow your Facebook page or reach a new audience to hopefully drive traffic to your blog or a group or whatever your goal is, I definitely think posting consistently and three times a week was the sweet spot for me. Then just to go a step further, because now I’ve had time to sit back and look at okay, I definitely think the consistency played a huge role and just the sheer volume of what I was pushing out.
But I think the ones that really drew a crowd, if you will, and had that great engagement that translated to new followers, were either super shareable or they sparked something that would make somebody want to comment. I did the vegan buffalo cauliflower wings. Yeah, they are very great. Thank you, Megan. People were like, why would you make cauliflower wings? Just eat chicken. Or you can’t call those wings. So you have those.
Megan Porta: Like I can call them what I wanna call them.
Jenna Urben: I was like, keyword research told me, actually this is what I should call them. So you have those people commenting. So that’s driving the engagement. But then you also have the people who know what a cauliflower wing is. They’re like, Ooh, heck yeah, I’m gonna share this. So they’re sharing it, other people are commenting. So I think that’s the perfect kind of formula, if you will. Consistency.
Megan Porta: Controversial, the controversial.
Jenna Urben: Yes. That’s like what I used to say. I was like, try to make it a little controversial. Yeah. Nothing crazy, but like calling it a baked wing. It’s a cauliflower wing.
Megan Porta: You’re not gonna offend too many people with regards to food. Food drama is okay. It’s not like you’re putting your political opinions out there or anything. It’s food. So how mad can people get, and people actually do get mad, but whatever. I’m always like, It’s food. If they get mad, it’s fine. Yes.
Jenna Urben: I agree. I agree.
Megan Porta: There’s always the way to spin that too. No matter what you’re talking about, you could find some sort of controversy to put up about pretty much any recipe, right? You’re all creative people. You can find some creative angles to be controversial with your food.
Jenna Urben: Yeah. I think so. Get the people talking. When I look back at the ones that were hitting millions, which was, for me, that was just insane. Yeah, they were the ones that were veganized or so vegan bloggers listening, or I used a product called Just Egg. And it’s a plant based egg scramble, but it’s called Just Egg. So when I say what I’m using, add the Just egg here. If you don’t know what Just Egg is, it sounds like I’m saying like, just put [00:56:00] the egg in. So that one, Whew.
Megan Porta: Oh gosh. Oh, I bet you got flamed for that.
Jenna Urben: Oh my gosh. People were like, Wait, now you eat eggs. I was like, Oh my gosh. It actually took me a second to realize, because I was like, I very clearly said Just Egg. Then finally I was like, Oh no.
Megan Porta: Oh gosh. But yeah, like good drama, right? Something that’s going to draw out engagement from people, for sure.
Jenna Urben: Then you think about okay, now I can make a follow up video. Then you can say, Hey, this last video I posted, blah, blah, blah. Then people are more likely to not only watch that video, but go back and watch a previous one as well.
Megan Porta: Oh so see where people are getting hung up or what’s stirring up comments. And then you can go further. Dig deeper.
Jenna Urben: Yeah. Yeah. Look at what the comments are telling you to gauge moving forward.
Megan Porta: You could even go to your blog and see which posts are highly commented and like what people are saying. I can think of a few on my blog that have stirred up a lot of comments over the years. I was just looking at this the other day because it’s so funny. But my crockpot mac and cheese recipe. So the original recipe that I had put up, I just threw in the pasta without pre-cooking it at all. You just have to watch it really closely. So people were doing this, throwing it in their crockpot, not watching it, and then at the end just having this gooey mess. I’m like, yeah, clearly the recipe states like go in. You have to stir it. If you don’t stir it and you don’t watch when it’s done you’re going to come up with a mess. But people were up in arms like, I can’t believe you call this recipe. There are hundreds and hundreds of comments on this post about just how I suck and I am, whatever. My husband used to be, he used to tell me, [00:58:00] Just keep it up because it’s a good, healthy drama. Like we were just saying, we’re talking about food. How mad can you get? But that is still one of my top posts on my blog. Then I eventually did change the recipe so that you precook, and then I gave the alternate, here’s the original version where I don’t precook, but then you have to give disclaimers. It’s so funny. I think one of my replies to somebody’s comment was like, This is hilarious, This is pasta, people. You guys are getting so mad about pasta. Oh gosh.
Jenna Urben: Oh my gosh. That is 100% like, yes, you’re completely on to something here. Because then you can make a Reel and say, this blog post of mine got over 50 comments saying this. And then not only do you get to talk about the recipe and maybe share the recipe, but then someone on Facebook is like, Oh, this girl has a blog? A website? Some people are still genuinely surprised when creators have an actual URL, right? Sometimes even when I hear that from TikTok creators, I follow, they say, This has been on the blog for seven years and I recently gave it a refresh.I’m like, Oh, I didn’t know you’ve had a blog for seven years. Then I go to it immediately. So yeah, that’s just another way that you can make Reels work for you.
Megan Porta: No, yeah. That’s great. You can think around so many ways or just take out the point that is causing the commotion. Just talk about that in a Reel and see what happens. Here’s what I did for my, oh my gosh, my forsaken mac and cheese that had uncooked pasta or whatever. Just see how people react. But I was just looking at that post and I think over 800 comments and that’s a lot for a blog post.
Jenna Urben: Yeah. That’s a lot. I was saying 50 plus, No, you’re gonna say it has nearly a thousand comments. That’ll get people like, Wait, what? That’s a hook.
Megan Porta: People were so mad at a crockpot full of pasta. The audacity of me. I considered taking it down for a while, but my husband was like, Absolutely not. You’ve gotta keep that up. This is great.
Jenna Urben: I’m glad. I’m glad he was like no. You’re not offending anybody with exactly your dirty crock pot.
Megan Porta: So I know. Yeah, exactly. Again, it’s food. So create the drama, the food drama is good. Reels, Facebook Reels are a great place to do that. Do you have any insights about Facebook groups? Are they evolving? Are they the same as always? What do you think about those?
Jenna Urben: So I will try my hardest to keep this relatively high level because I love Facebook groups. I’ve always loved Facebook groups as a user. Then as I started my blog, for me it was a no brainer. Of course I need to create not just a Facebook page, but a group. But I realize a majority of people do not operate the way that I operate with Facebook groups. Most people are like, Ugh, why would I wanna join a bunch of groups to fill up my feed? But for me it’s no. These are all the different interests I have and all the different communities I’ve joined over the years. So that is just my favorite backstory on Facebook groups. This is gonna sound funny, but in the Facebook groups I’m in, I’ve heard a lot of chatter about Facebook groups as well. That just makes me so excited that people are finally listening to what I feel like I’ve been yelling into the void. Create a group!
Okay. I guess there’s two distinctions. So one, Facebook groups are an incredible way to drive traffic to your blog, which we can talk about in a second. So if you wanna drive traffic, there’s those types of groups. Or, and I might say more importantly, if you wanna turn your audience into a true community, you can create a Facebook group and still drive traffic. But really the goal with that one, is really fostering a community of people who, people know and trust you from your public profile, but how cool is it to actually be able to talk to your favorite blogger or ask questions, not necessarily through a public forum or any public commenting, but it is actually me and my group. If you have a question, you’re making something right now, I will probably see it or boundaries. Yeah, I’ll see it in boundaries.
Megan Porta: Yes, Jenna, boundaries.
Jenna Urben: But yeah, so just adding an additional touchpoint. One, it’s very personal and I think that is a super important aspect of food blogging that I think some have given a try and had a lot of success with, especially we talk a lot about, we don’t own our Instagram platform. Our account, our profile. We don’t own our TikTok, but we own our email lists. So there’s a lot of emphasis on growing your email list, which is fabulous. That’s currently a goal of mine. I am literally working on that and an hour is nice. But in addition to that, my Facebook group is my private community, which, no, I don’t own my Facebook group community, but it’s more so than a page. So I think that’s a really great way to build a community. So I mentioned Facebook and a new update, there’s different feeds. It’s funny, on one of the accounts I manage, literally at the top where it says what do you wanna post or whatever the prompt is to share something on your home feed, it says community. If you click on community, it pops up all of your Facebook groups. So even Facebook is signaling communities are important.
I’m curious to hear from you, Megan, your experience with this, but I know as a user when I’m scrolling on my Facebook, and so I’m curious because it might just be because I’m in so many Facebook groups, but I’ve heard from a few people similar things that a majority of, let’s just say you’re scrolling your home feed, like we do. A majority of those posts, it’s not like my mom or my best friend. It’s these different posts that are in groups that I’m in. Have you noticed that? Do you see group posts?
Megan Porta: Yes, I do. I would say like in recent times I do more. That was more the old school, just seeing grandma and Aunt Sharon and all of the family, over and over. But yeah, I do think there’s a change there for sure.
Jenna Urben: Yay. I’m smiling. Yeah. Because I’m like, Yes, okay. I’m onto something here. So I think that community aspect is really getting the focus it deserves. So just to touch on the two, we’re talking about Facebook groups, so let’s say just really quickly, the share groups, that seems to be your introduction to Facebook groups as a food blogger is, Okay, I wanna share my recipes. So how do you share them? So quick tips, just like fire round, is I would recommend joining as your personal profile. I would join this Jenna Urban, not The Urben Life. That just gives a more natural feeling. It’s not like I’m trying to sell you anything. Not that I sell anything anyway, but a general user, a page is a business, right? Because we are business, but let’s take the more natural approach.
Megan Porta: I’m a human, not a business.
Jenna Urben: Yes. A human, exactly. A more human approach. So yeah, join these facebook groups as your human self. I personally recommend joining groups that are private and more geared towards that community aspect. Just how you can identify them is they won’t have a ton of other bloggers in them. I like to make sure I find the most bang for my buck, I guess. When I share, are the special diet type groups because I do have a focused dairy free and egg free recipes and when I’m sharing delicious dairy free recipes, that does a lot better. I get a lot better engagement than if I just shared a recipe.
Megan Porta: Like yummy delicious dinners or something.
Jenna Urben: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. So these Facebook groups are more geared towards support and community, but they do allow sharing. So they are sometimes hard to identify which ones will allow sharing and not call it spam, but again, like I said, clicking around Facebook is how I figure out the majority of what I’m doing. So trying to join groups that have, I don’t know, at least a couple thousand members. They don’t have to have a million members because then your post is just gonna get lost in the sea of other people sharing. But I think if you try to find a niche specific, so it doesn’t have to be a special diet, but instant pot or crock pot, low carb, whatever, it doesn’t even necessarily have to be your entire blog. If you just happen to have a lot of air fryer recipes, join an air fryer Facebook group and share your posts. I would, rather than having a formal, like these air fryer, cauliflower wings are yeah tender and blah, blah, blah, say, We’ve been loving these with happy hour and then maybe attach a photo instead of just the link. Have a photo and maybe if you can, try to use one that’s not super styled.
Megan Porta: Yes, I was going to say that.
Jenna Urben: That looks like, I actually just took this on my kitchen counter.
Megan Porta: Yep. So not super polished. So my VA occasionally will find those groups if we want a boost in traffic for certain URLs. She’s found that if she just makes the recipe or if I do, and just snap a picture with our phones, putting that up is way more well received, I think, then the polished photos.
Jenna Urben: I love that you’re seeing success with that too. Yeah, I think there’s something to that because it’s Oh, this is attainable.
Megan Porta: It’s real.
Jenna Urben: That looks like something I can make. Oh, I’m so glad you said that.
Megan Porta: I like that you said that the groups don’t have to be filled with people like a million plus people, it can be hundreds of people.
Jenna Urben: Yeah. I mean there’s one group I share that actually isn’t even a thousand, but every time I post, not everybody in the group, but there’s like a good amount of comments that come in. Oh yeah, I tried your last, whatever you posted last week, it was great. Can’t wait to try this one. Like they start to know who you are. So it’s still the human aspect, but it’s okay, they know that I’m a blogger and this is me, but it’s okay. Because you get that sort of community, even though it’s not necessarily your community. So it’s super interesting and I feel like there should be some sort of disclaimer, like all of these groups are so different.
Some I’m in, like we were saying, if you just share the more candid shot that works really well. Because the members of that Facebook group, that’s the kind of stuff that they are sharing, that’s what they share as well. So there’s that, but then there’s also some that maybe do have more bloggers in them, and so you can see there’s very different image designs and graphics that I feel like become popular throughout every year takes on like a new design.
Megan Porta: Yep, I know what you mean.
Jenna Urben: Yes. You know what I’m talking about. So people will get used to, Okay, if they see these three food bloggers have this design, then you can throw in that kind of design. Or something I do, because I’m not I’m not a graphic designer and I don’t want to be. I will just use my Pinterest pin, the pin that I created. I will use that instead. So it has a very big block text, whatever it is, and then it has the photo. That works just as well. So like feeling out what type of content gets posted in that group and not just what gets posted, but what do you see getting the comments or reactions and then going from there.
Megan Porta: Oh, that’s a great tip. I love that. Just recycling some stuff that you’ve already made. Might as well.
Jenna Urben: Oh yeah. I’m like the repurposing queen over here.
Megan Porta: Oh my gosh. Yes. That’s awesome. So anything else on those groups to drive traffic?
Jenna Urben: So I think that was not high level at all. We really got into it there. So I think that’s good. Especially a good start if you’re wanting to get into those shared groups for sure. Incorporating all those aspects. So now once you’re comfortable with Facebook groups and you can see how great it is to have a community and also be driving traffic to your blog or sign up for your subscriber list, I encourage food creators to create a Facebook group that is their own. That you own yourself, you’re the moderator of, and you can decide what you want it to be.
So for me, I started mine basically when I started my blog. I think maybe I started it technically it was a year after because it took me about a year to actually decide yeah, I’m a food blogger now. So whenever I started creating all my social accounts, that’s when I created my Facebook group. From the very beginning I had a very clear vision that this is gonna be a support group where we share recipes. My audience can submit recipe requests. If they have product recommendations, they can go to this group. We’re talking about the latest dairy free and egg free products on the market and easy recipes that we can make to fit our diets. That was very clear this is what it will be. I will not have other bloggers in there to share their recipes. Sorry. It’s meant to be like a very supportive, friendly, approachable, support group where people really feel comfortable sharing. So that’s just my take on it. But I know other people like to keep theirs public even, and let any and all people share their favorite vegan or meatless recipe. So really establishing what you want it to be is first and then, I would say like top tips to make your name extremely searchable. So mine is literally dairy free and egg free recipes
Megan Porta: Great easy tip.
Jenna Urben: Yeah, there’s no mistaking what is in there, right? Then the second tip is to make the group private and ask questions. What is your number one recipe request? What is the one recipe that you need made dairy free or egg free? It’s usually cakes or waffles or something like that. So I make sure that whenever I have a bunch of new members join, I’m bumping up that post of, if it was a birthday cake, then it’s Oh, here it is, right here, front and center. But something else I started doing maybe it was last year or two years ago. So you can add in the question box and so I just said optional. Leave your email address to join my subscriber list and get your free dairy free and egg free beginners guide. I would say like a majority of people that join my group are leaving their email right there. Then I can immediately add them into my email list. It’s been extremely, extremely effective for growing my email list.
Megan Porta: Yes, I would imagine, because that group is pretty big, right?
Jenna Urben: Yeah. I think it’s seven or 8,000 people now.
Megan Porta: That’s awesome. What a great strategy to kill two birds with one stone. If you wanna grow that community, like you said, and add subscribers to your email list. Oh my gosh.
Jenna Urben: Yeah, it’s pretty cool. The other thing that’s really awesome is once you get your group grown, it doesn’t even have to be a super huge number. Like I said, just as long as you have a couple members, like you really wanna foster any size community you have, just start asking questions. Start sprinkling different blog post links or just asking What are you making for dinner? Here’s what I’m having. Something I’ve also been considering since I’m making my first ever email welcome series, is I should 100% have this content in my group as well. So if I was starting a group from scratch, and if you already have an email welcome series, consider figuring out how to rework it there. What a great way to introduce yourself and what the group will be about. Sharing your best content right there. The big thing there too, the big takeaway is, if you see a common question or recipe request coming up time after time, whether it’s in the when you wanna join, filling out the question form, whether it’s there or getting posted to the Facebook page, if you see it coming up time and time again, consider writing a blog post over it and sending it out everywhere. Because that means, like I said, a birthday cake, that’s dairy free and egg free. Everybody wants to know how to make a birthday cake for my granddaughter. She can’t have X, Y, Z. Know that the content that you might not think is valuable, it’s gonna be valuable to somebody. They will write out what it is. They will tell you.
Megan Porta: It goes both ways, like we were saying earlier. Listen to what people are telling you on your blog and put that on social media, Facebook or wherever, and then the other way around. So what are people asking you on social media? Translate that to your blog so you can go back and forth and play off of each other really well too.
Jenna Urben: Yeah, absolutely. 100%.
Megan Porta: Then I have a question about turning those Facebook groups into just thriving communities. If somebody listening has not done this, but they want to, how easy is it? How slow growing is it, would you say?
Jenna Urben: So I just looked it up. So yeah, so I’m just under 8,000 members of this Facebook group I’ve had since 2016. But I will say, so one, I am very happy with that number because the other thing is not to get cut up in the number of views a post gets in there or how many people you have. It’s really about the comments and the engagement. So I will say for the first, Few years. I didn’t know what the heck I was doing. I wasn’t engaging in super awesome content. It was just Hey guys, what’s up ? So you’re cooking dairy free. Me too. What are you having for the Super Bowl?Here’s what I’m having. So there was like just zero strategy whatsoever. So it’s hard for me to gauge. I will say now I try to keep it pretty engaging. But the beautiful thing about growing a group is eventually it gets to a point where you can really take a step back and your community members do the work themselves. If I see a post come in and I make sure that post approvals are turned on, if I see something come in for, let’s just say a birthday cake. I need a birthday cake made dairy free and egg free. I can just click approved and I know that there’s gonna be at least three people who link back to mine. Then some people who are gonna link to, oh, use Pamela’s gluten-free mix with Duncan Hines, vegan vanilla. People will just naturally want to join that conversation. I just let that run its course. Then sometimes people don’t have my back and they’re not dropping my link for me. So sometimes when I do see that, I will say I hope you found your answer. This is helpful. If you’re still looking for a recipe, here’s this, it has, over whatever like the rating is, or keep it way more personal and just be like, this is the one that I make every year for myself. Everybody loves it. I hope you try it too. I think that’s just, it’s a really great way to grow. I like how you said, I’m glad that you read my mind, human. I think this is the key. If you have a really clear, this is a community and support. This is what we share here, very clear and direct. I think you can still have good growth. But really focusing on the comments and even when you have five people in that group, I like to think okay, what if I was having lunch with five people? That’s a lot of people to talk to. When you grow it to a hundred people, some people you know, you might still think Oh, I only have a hundred members. If I had a hundred people in my house, that’s a lot of people.
Megan Porta: Yeah. It’s like the party analogy. If you were at a party, that would be a lot. Managing five people would be taxing.
Jenna Urben: Oh my gosh, that’s, Oh wait, I love that. I love that. Yes. Yeah. Thinking about if you’re the party host. There are so many different analogies I could go into right now for managing a Facebook group with that mindset. We might have to dig into that maybe later, if this is of interest to anybody listening, because I really do think it’s a pretty important aspect, and it’s one that can easily be overlooked just because it’s not one of your Pinterest, like everybody knows what Pinterest is. Everybody knows how to use it, or at least you have a way of using it. Then it’s even the same for Facebook pages, but Facebook groups, that’s not discussed as much. I don’t even talk to that many people that have their own Facebook community groups, and that’s purely because not many people have them.
Megan Porta: You can set your own rules, basically; it’s your group, do what you want, establish the rules, communicate the rules, and then go from there.
Jenna Urben: There’s so many, just do you wanna grow your email list with. Or drive traffic or do you truly just want a place where people feel comfortable coming to you? Also identifying what do you want out of it?
Megan Porta: Yeah, lots of stuff to think through, but it can, it definitely benefits your business if you’re willing to put in a little time. Because it is more time upfront, right? Once you have the members in there and are really happy and communicating with each other and engaging, you do less work, but upfront. You’re gonna have to do a little bit more work.
Jenna Urben: I wish I had a better memory to remember when I was able to be more hands off. But honestly I feel like it was maybe in 2018 or 2019. Once you establish what the norm is and you can also schedule posts too. So there’s just so many options for how often you wanna be in there. I would encourage everyone to at least consider what your group could look like and what your community could look like and what that could mean for your blog.
Megan Porta: I like that. Oh my gosh. We have talked through so much to think about on the spectrum of Google Web stories, Pinterest, Facebook, and everything that falls within all of those. I was gonna touch on TikTok, but maybe we can do that another time because I really don’t have much to say. I’m a little frustrated with it. I was going strong and seeing decent ish numbers and then nothing.
Jenna Urben: So I feel like we should also say that at least one time we talked, I believe on a podcast episode, you said that you are never gonna try TikTok. So I think it’s, I think it’s an important reminder that we’re allowed to change our mind about any of these things. We can decide. I wanna give this a try, and then we can give it a try. Then we can say, not saying that you’re saying this to TikTok, but you could always say, Okay, I gave it a try and nevermind.
Megan Porta: That is the perfect way to end because it’s so true. We hear all these things, then we feel like we have to dig into all of them. Then maybe we do a couple, and then we almost get to the point where we’re like I committed, so I have to continue. But you don’t. You don’t have to do anything. This is your business. If you wanna start web stories and then stop, you can do that. You can do whatever you want to do. So yes, that is the message. These are all great options and we’ll provide value to your business and your audience if you dig into them, maybe. But if you decide you don’t wanna pursue them anymore, you have the right to set it down. So that is Yes, absolutely. Great way to end.
Jenna Urben: I love that, Megan.
Megan Porta: So another time we’ll dig, maybe in Clubhouse we can talk about TikTok. I wanna get some other opinions on that because I don’t know. Another day, another time in place.
Jenna Urben: I wanna hear these thoughts and frustration. So yeah, maybe Clubhouse.
Megan Porta: Yeah, that sounds good. Oh my gosh, Jenna, as always, you’re just such a wealth of knowledge and thank you for sharing your insights with all of us. We appreciate you. I appreciate you so much. You are the best ever.
Jenna Urben: Megan, you’re the best. I love doing this and I love just chatting with you. In general it’s always a good time.
Megan Porta: I agree with that. So we will put together a show notes page for you, Jenna. If anyone wants to go peek at those, eatblogtalk.com/theurbenLife3. Urben is spelled with an E N. Do you have another little bit of inspiration to leave us with today other than all of the amazing stuff you’ve already shared?
Jenna Urben: I do have something that I actually wrote down. I heard it a few different ways, but basically the way that I wrote it down, the kind of quote that I wrote down was, if you don’t start, you have absolutely no chance of success.
Megan Porta: Ah, oh my gosh. So perfect. 0% chance.
Jenna Urben: Zero. Zero. So if you want to give something a try, give it a try. You have nothing to lose, in theory, and I really love what we were just saying and it just reminded me of my Facebook Reels kind of journey. I went so hard on them. I had great success with them, but I had to put it on the back burner. But what if I just would’ve been too scared to start, then I never would’ve grown my Facebook page. I never would’ve had that explosive growth and click throughs, and so it’s just something that I’ve been thinking through. I feel like there’s been a lot of new trends in platforms emerging over the last year. What if I just never started on any of them?
Megan Porta: Yeah. That’s a great thing to think about. Where would I be in a bad way? So it is good to think through that. I think of web stories when I think of that. Like where would my traffic be? Because my traffic is so great this year, and web stories have definitely contributed to that. So get started if you feel it, get started and just check it out for a little bit. All right, Jenna, thank you so much. Why don’t you just tell everyone again where they can find you. I know you made the offer for people to reach out if they had Facebook questions, so where can they contact you and find your blog and your social media accounts?
Jenna Urben: My blog is The Urben Life, u r b e n. It’s just theurbenlife.com, and that is my handle across all platforms. Feel free to reach out. I love chatting in the DMs.
Megan Porta: Thank you, Jenna. You’re the best. Thank you so much for being here, and thank you for listening today, food bloggers. I will see you in the next episode.
Outro: Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Eat Blog Talk. Please share this episode with a friend who would benefit from tuning in. I will see you next time.
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