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Episode 075: Entering A Spouse’s Blogging Business With Todd Bulloch

In episode 075 we talk with Todd Bulloch, the other half of Hey Grill, Hey and Patio Provisions. He and his wife Susie merged their working careers after Hey Grill, Hey took off and their other entrepreneurial avenues also ramped up.

We cover ways a spouse can find his/her “space” and tips about ways you can get started, along with how to support one another with encouragement.

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


Guest Details

Connect with Todd Bulloch
Website | Instagram | Facebook

Bio
Todd Bulloch is a Food Blogger Husband, married to Susie Bulloch, who is the founder and owner of Hey Grill, Hey. Todd has a background in accounting, receiving a Master’s Degree in Accountancy and eventually got his CPA License. 10 years into his career (which he discovered he didn’t love very much after all), he found Susie was out-earning him with huge income growth potential with the Hey Grill, Hey Food Blog. In December of 2017, he stepped away from the corporate accounting world to team up with Susie to help build the Hey Grill, Hey empire.

Takeaways

  • Find ways to get involved long before you step away from your full time job outside of the blog.

  • Embrace an entrepreurial spirit – be willing to learn new skills.

  • Join Facebook groups that apply (Food blogger dudes!)

  • Take something and learn how to do it. Then master it. Just know that as you go and grow, eventually you will be able to pay someone else to do it

  • Start with your “undo list”. Write out a list of jobs that your food blogger spouse needs help with and can share with your spouse. 
  • Even if you don’t want to be involved with blogging, always show your support, 100% of the time. 

  • Always be a constant flow of positive support to your significant other/spouse. Be willing to try to look outside of your narrow view of having to keep that corporate job. There’s so much room at the table and there’s so much money to be earned. Hustle! It can work for you.

  • Authenticity – write for your audience. Don’t write for a machine, Google, or a competitor.

Resources Mentioned

Patio Provisions on Instagram

25% coupon for Patio Provisions for all EBT’ers! Use EATBLOGTALK to receive that generous discount!

Food blogger dudes – Check out their group on facebook

Shiny Head Productions – Royalty Free Music

Want another episode about the entrepreneurial spirit?

The Road Less Traveled in episode 68 talks about Hina’s patience and faith in her journey to becoming a food blogger.


Transcript

Click for full text.

Intro (00:01):

Welcome to Eat Blog Talk, where food bloggers come to get their fill of the latest tips, tricks, and insights into the world of food blogging. If you feel that hunger for information, we’ll provide you with the tools you need to add value to your blog. And we’ll also ensure you’re taking care of yourself, because food blogging is a demanding job. Now, please welcome your host, Megan Porta.

Megan Porta (00:25):

Food bloggers. Don’t forget to check out the food blogging forum style community that we started over at forum.eatblogtalk.com. Finally, there is one place that we can all convene and talk and that isn’t scattered all over Facebook. Here are the things that I am loving about it. It is free. It also allows for categorized discussions on all food blogging topics, and there’s a category for sharing successes, AKA self promotion. So no more holding back about discussing your big wins and things that you’re promoting. Also, everything is in one single spot. So no hopping around from group to group, and there’s an amazing opportunity to network and really get to know your fellow food bloggers in a single place. So come join the discussions that are going on over at forum.eatblogtalk.com. And I hope you enjoy this as much as I do. Don’t forget. Forum.Eatblogtalk.Com.

(01:31):

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(02:21):

Hello, food bloggers. Welcome to Eat Blog Talk, the podcast made for you. Food bloggers seeking value for your businesses and your lives. Today, I will be having a discussion with Todd Bulloch from Patio Provisions and also Hey Grill, Hey. And we will talk about entering a spouse’s blogging business. Todd Bulloch is a food blogger husband, married to the awesome Susie Bulloch, who is the founder and owner of Hey Grill, Hey. Todd has a background in accounting receiving a master’s degree in accountancy and eventually got a CPA license. 10 years into his career, which he discovered he didn’t love very much after all, he found Susie was out earning him with huge income growth potential with the Hey Grill, Hey food blog. In December of 2017, he stepped away from the corporate accounting world to team up with Susie to help build the Hey Grill, Hey empire. Todd, I am super excited to chat with you today, but first would you mind giving us a fun fact about yourself?

Todd Bulloch(03:21):

Hey guys, thanks Megan. I’m excited to be here. A fun fact. Let’s see. I’ve been very involved in music my whole life. I found at a young age that I had a bit of a musical talent in my blood. So I taught myself how to play the guitar. And I was a band geek in high school, playing the trumpet. I’ve been in multiple bands and learned how to write my own songs. Yeah, it eventually transpired into me and one of my friends from high school actually started a company called Shiny Heads Productions where we sell royalty-free music to bloggers. So a little plug there if you’re looking for music, but yeah. So if you go to shinyheadsroductions.com, you can kind of see what we’ve been up to in the type of music we’ve been writing. So that’s fun. I like music, that’s my fun fact.

Megan (04:06):

That’s so cool. Isn’t that funny? How things that show up early in our lives show up in places where we never see them coming. That’s really cool. I didn’t know that about you and also how unusual that you are accounting minded, and then also music minded.

Todd (04:24):

We can get more into that and I’m not really an accounting brain.

Megan (04:26):

Oh, okay. Well, that’s interesting. So I reached out to you after doing an interview with your lovely wife, Susie, because I loved her story about how you joined her in business. You stuck with it through the times when you were figuring out how you fit into it and how you both have persevered and you’ve found success and you guys are just awesome and you’re successful in so many different aspects of food blogging. And you just have inspired the rest of us in your journey. So I’d love to start by hearing from your perspective, how you came to join Susie in business.

Todd (05:00):

Oh my goodness. When she first started, she was showing to me, I think it was, I can’t remember the bloggers name, but it’s Bjorn, like any way they were releasing their income reports as food bloggers. She’d been working for a pellet smoking grill company and had all these recipe ideas in her head. And she’s like, I’m going to start my own site, like look at this earning potential. And I was like, I mean, it was upwards of $20, $30,000 a month. And I’m like, ah, I mean, that would be awesome, you know, but I’d been working in accounting for the last seven or eight years at that point. And I just, in my brain, I’m like, I’m a CPA and I make, I’m making 90 grand a month, 90 grand a year, sorry, as a salaried employee, like how can, how can anyone make $20 to $30,000 a month?

(05:50):

Like, it just didn’t seem fathomable in my head. So anyway, she just kept ticking away and just kept putting recipes up. And she gained some partnerships here and there where she made some income for sponsored blog posts. And then she eventually got her views up high enough where she could start with an ad company. Mediavine, I think is who we started with. Well, first we had of course Google Ad Sense on there. And so eventually, so as we started getting these Mediavine payments, they were pretty minimal at the time. So she started it back in March of 2015 and in January of 2017, she told me, this is the year you’re going to quit your job and come and work with me because I’m sorry, I’m saying his name wrong. It’s Bjorn. Right?

Megan (06:36):

Are you talking about Pinch Of Yum? 

Todd (06:38):

Yeah. She’s like, they’re working as a team and they’re doing it. And if I bring you on, we can do this. And I just looked at her like, okay. I think her January revenue payment for Mediavine was maybe like $250 or $300 that month, which is incredible for building your own business from scratch, right? So I was like, awesome. I’m all in. And at this point I’d already started to work with her. I had learned how to edit videos. So we had started doing the hands and pans videos and we’d recorded. She did a few on her own with just her iPhone. And then we started using our DSLR camera to do overhead type stuff. And I watched a bunch of videos on YouTube on how to use Premiere Pro. I had some friends that work at Adobe here in Salt Lake locally who got me like a super cheap employee code on the Premiere Pro or whatever the Adobe Creative Cloud I think is what it’s called.

(07:34):

So yeah, I just taught myself slowly how to edit these videos and we just started cranking them out. And she had a few that went crazy viral back in early 2017. And then that pushed a ton of traffic to the website. And then I think in summer of 2017, we started getting these bigger payments and it was, they were significantly larger than my paychecks I was getting at work. And she paid the mortgage one month and I just started getting really excited. So we sat down, I think it was one Sunday evening in June and just wrote down all these projected income numbers. What we, because the way the ad payments work is, it’s a month or two behind. So, you know, what’s coming in the next couple months. So we wrote all those out, wrote out some pretty super conservative projections of what we could do by the end of the year with this type of growth we were seeing and also adding new sponsorship revenue, just like really conservative, like baseline numbers, nothing like pie in the sky type stuff.

(08:39):

And it was very apparent to me that this was something, this was something. I could literally, I could quit this job that I was drowning in. Like I hated it. There was no room for growth in the company I was in. I was just sitting in an office. So an accounting job, you’re literally doing the same thing month after month with reports, expense reports, bankruptcy, reconciliations. And like, it just gets, I’ve found that I’m more of, I don’t know the left/right, which is right. But I’m more of a creative musical type. And just that day-to-day, put your head down, do the same thing. It was creating some issues in my brain, chemically, my depression and anxiety was popping up and , it was just really difficult some days. So just to be able to have her give me that lifeline out of there.

Megan (09:34):

I love that.

Todd (09:36):

Yeah. It was awesome. So literally the next day I was out to lunch with my boss, the CFO, and a couple other guys. And I was just telling him, because he kind of knew what Susie was doing and he kind of had it in the back of his head that eventually he didn’t know if we’d open a food truck or a restaurant or something, but he kind of knew that we were gonna end up doing something. So he just looked at me. He’s like, just do it. Just tell me right now, give me six months so we can hire someone and train them. You’re a valuable asset to our company. Give me a couple of months to hire someone. You can train them. Give me six months. He called it burning the ships. He talked about some explorer that came to America and he took his ships and lit them on fire and set them back out to see, there’s no going back. We are here and we’re going to figure it out. So he said just burn the ships, just do it. And I’m like, okay.

Megan (10:26):

Oh nice. He kind of gave you permission to do that.

Todd (10:31):

Later that afternoon, I went into his office and I said, let’s do it. I’m in. December. I’ll give you December. It’s June right now. I’m gone in December, two weeks before Christmas, I’m out. He said, okay, I’m excited for you. We’re super bummed, but this is cool. So yeah, I ended up hiring someone and I trained him one-on-one for two months. And then mid December, like Susie said, this year, you’re quitting your job. She put it out there to the universe, the universe listened. And it happened. It was awesome. I’ll probably be emotional talking about it because it was just, it was so, it was, it was strange, but it was so relieving, those two weeks and that Christmas break, she’s I’m not going to work very much. We’re just going to kind of enjoy it. And the blog was doing really well and bringing in, you know, that December beautiful Christmas traffic and we just kind of, you know, relished in that. And it was just, it was incredible. So that’s the, that’s the long story of how I ended up making the decision and jumping in.

Megan (11:26):

I love that. And what a magic time, right? Because Susie put this vision out into the world, out into the universe and we talked about this in our chat too. How, when you do that, there’s such power in it. And I think that people overlook that so often, well, that could never happen to me. You know, you tend to get in that train of thought where you just think the world couldn’t be in my favor, but I love it.

Todd (11:50):

Stop it! Don’t do that! Put it out there, say it!

Megan (11:50):

Yeah. No, stop that. Exactly. I totally agree. And I love that Susie did that and that you were like, you know, you didn’t shut her down. You said, Oh, well that’s cool. Thanks for putting that out there. And then look at what happened. Things just grew for you guys in such a crazy way. And you were able to do that. And I love that your boss was so supportive because a lot of corporate jobs I can see where it would be no, you’re not leaving, stay here.

(12:17):

But putting that visual of burning the ship, I love that so much. Burn your ship, set it free. So you had obviously Susie’s support and you had the support of a boss who was saying, dude, go live your passion, that’s awesome. Go do it. So much cool stuff there. So I want to talk a little bit about the fact that you worked in a really traditional corporate setting prior to joining Susie. And those mindsets tend to be very different as far as frequency and consistency of paychecks and also the amount of work that’s put in because entrepreneurs put in so much work, as you know. Was there a time before you made the switch that you just never thought you would be an entrepreneur? Or when Susie put those words out there, was that kind of the time when you were okay, well maybe this could happen.

Todd (13:10):

Yeah. I don’t even think the word entrepreneur hit my brain. That’s what we were doing. That’s how, that’s how entrenched and ingrained that was in my brain. That it’s, you go to college, you get a degree and you get a career. You know, that’s what my dad planted in my head, neither of my parents were entrepreneurial in any sense of the word. My dad worked for the phone company for 40 years and my mom’s worked for a dentist office for 25 years, you know?

Megan (13:38):

It’s kinda what you know, right? I mean, I too grew up with parents who worked just like, they did that. That was their job. They did their job. And there’s no question when you’re done with high school, you go to college and you send out the resumes and you get a job and then that’s what you do forever. So I totally hear where you’re coming from. It’s such a shift. And I think it takes someone actually doing it in front of you to change your mind or to bring you into that world. Because I did not know anything about being an entrepreneur either, but I love that Susie, because she grew up in an entrepreneurial family. Correct?

Todd (14:18):

Yeah. Her father.

Megan (14:19):

So you guys had like two completely different work perspectives coming together. So how did you get into accounting to begin with?

Todd (14:27):

Oh my gosh, it was, I look back and I don’t even, I don’t even know why I made that choice. So I was actually, I had actually signed up to be a marketing major because I was creative. I was left-brained or I don’t know, the right-side. I think it’s left-brained is the more creative side, but I had a really awesome professor. I was required to take two accounting classes and the lower level classes. And I got an A minus and an A in both of them. And so she pulled me aside and talked to me a couple of times about switching my major to accounting. And I didn’t even know what that meant. She just, basically everyone just told me like, oh, you’ll be able to get a better job. You’ll be in a higher management position or whatever.

(15:09):

And I’m like, okay. I just didn’t know. And then I also, at the time, I was installing satellite dishes as a side job during college. And I ended up installing at another accounting professor’s home there in the town that I lived in. I was going to college and he convinced me to switch to accounting too. And I thought, okay, well maybe there’s, there’s something in it. You know? So about a year and a half in, I’m talking to people who are graduating above me and they’re talking about, yeah, you go to accounting firms and you’re either on the audit side or the tax side and all this. And I thought, okay, and they said the auditers are cool ones because that’s where you get to travel and meet with the clients and you learn a lot about accounting and everything. And I thought okay.

(15:50):

Yeah, I’ll probably do that. You know? Because the taxes didn’t intrigue me at all. So yeah. I mean, that’s, I just ended up switching my major from marketing, which I probably shouldn’t have and then did this whole accounting track and I look back and I don’t regret it at all because it was so difficult. The classes were so difficult. Landing a job at a prestigious accounting firm is super difficult. All the interviewing you have to go through and then sitting for and taking the CPA exams, probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life. Especially for someone like me, my brain doesn’t work like that. To be able to sit down and study and pass those exams, that was such a huge accomplishment for me. So, looking back, I don’t regret it one bit because

Megan (16:37):

There were lessons in the madness.

Todd (16:41):

Absolutely.

Megan (16:41):

So I want to talk a little bit, you mentioned using video as kind of a way to enter the business. And were you doing that part-time before you launched full-time?

Todd (16:51):

Yes. Yep. So I quit in December of 2017, I would say probably at least a year before that I was learning how to edit video. And then there were nights where, so throughout 2017, when I was still working full time, we have pictures of us I put up on Instagram, it’s like one or 2:00 AM and we’re both still up working and I have to get up and go, we have to get up, get the kids in school. And then I have to go to my nine to five job after three or four hours of sleep. So we hustled, we hustled so hard. I just got cold chills thinking about it. We put in the work and it paid off. It was incredible.

Megan (17:26):

I think so often food bloggers who are starting out think that more successful food bloggers are just lucky, you know, Oh, they’re so lucky they get all that traffic, but it’s so important to remind everyone that everybody puts in the work and there are those seasons for all of us where we hustle our butts off. I mean, it’s a necessary part of the job, you have to have seasons like that or you will not find success, in my opinion. But I love that you saw video as kind of an opportunity to grow the blog and it worked. You guys use video to grow in a huge way. And I feel like that was kind of a sweet spot in the time for video that you were entering that world because now it’s so much more saturated and more difficult.

Todd (18:13):

Totally. Yeah. I want to speak to that a little bit because, when people say luck in a sense, it was luck that at the time when we started throwing these videos out there, Facebook was very generous with showing our stuff to people. So yes, we were lucky and hitting that wave and maybe in knowing the right people and kind of an inside track of what, you know, a couple of the other bigger bloggers that were growing a lot were doing, but that was two, two and a half years after Susie started the blog. Two years, maybe a year and a half to two years. Right. So there’s, she had this whole foundation of hundreds of recipes on the site. It’s not like we just decided to do a video one night and it went viral and then we were successful. There was so much work and time and effort and working for free before that happened. Right.

Megan (19:04):

Totally. Yeah. So much that went into it before that transpired. So yeah, I think it’s important to point that out. So I would love for you to give advice, I keep saying husbands because I think that’s kind of standard in our situation, but any spouse that is looking to join their spouse in business, might not have an obvious skill because I think a lot of men bring, say IT into it, right? They’re IT professionals or like doing it on the side and then it’s just obvious, like of course I’m going to enter a business and I’ll take care of the technical. But some men don’t have that as a skill set. So if they don’t have something that’s obvious, but do want to join their wives in business, where do you recommend they start?

Todd (19:55):

Oh man, that’s a really tough question. I think the key to it is you have to have an open mind, a little bit, and it kind of goes along with this entrepreneurial, I can never say that word right. Entrepreneurial spirit. I never said the word growing up, so I don’t know how to say it correctly. You have to kind of have that spirit of, I have to take this on and learn how to do it. So fast forward a little bit to what we’re doing now. I have to deal with HR stuff. I had to figure out how to link up our employees HSA accounts with our payroll company to get them the HSA money, which sounds simple, but it took multiple phone calls and emails to really figure it out. I don’t have an HR manager to figure that out for me, right.

Todd (20:38):

So like looking back at the very beginning, when I left, basically what we had was an undo list. Susie wrote an undo list. These are the things that are taking up a lot of my time and taking away from my creative work. SEO going back updating old posts, you know, I was editing video at the time. Obviously she wasn’t super involved in keeping the book side of it. So I was doing that. So you just have to look at ways that you can probably even a long time before you step away from your full-time job, find ways to learn how to get involved, right? If your wife or your spouse or your partner comes to you and says, Hey, can you help me figure out how to manage my books? Neither of us have an accounting background. I don’t want to hire anyone to do this. I know it’s pretty simple, right? Like reach out to Todd; Hey Girl, Hey’s husband. He knows how to do accounting. And then I will help you get started. And that’s a simple, cheap QuickBooks account and just keeping track and how to put money in certain buckets and things, or there’s a food bloggers dude’s group that everyone should look at.

Megan (21:44):

I was going to ask you about that. Yeah. What is it called?

Todd (21:47):

I think it’s food blogger dudes. I mean, I think that’s what it’s called. Look us up and join the group. There’s a, I think it’s a bi-weekly call. So every two weeks there  we have a big mastermind call, every two weeks and talk about different topics from insurance to, to SEO to backend IT stuff. And I’m just not well-versed in any of that. So I just kind of sit there and offer opinions where I can. So find something that, just one thing that you can help with. So first off, show interest and support and a belief in the person, in your spouse, partner, girlfriend, boyfriend, whatever, that they can do it, right. That this is going to happen. Show that belief in them, give them the support and then find ways to just figure out how to help them. Right?

(22:38):

Because they figured it out. Susie figured out, my wife figured out how to run a whole website basically. I still don’t know how to do that. So if they can figure it out, you can figure it out. If I can figure it out, if Todd Bulloch can figure it out, trust me, you can figure it out, just take something and learn how to do it. And then master that and then take something else, learn how to do that. And master that. And just know that as you go and as you grow, you’re going to be able to take that same list and probably pay someone to do it for you. So you don’t have to do it anymore. I’m no longer editing video. I don’t do our taxes. There’s a lot of stuff that we pay people to do now because we want to spend our time doing the more creative and building the community type stuff.

Megan (23:21):

Having that freedom to do the things that you want to be doing. I love your idea of the undo list. I’ve never heard it put like that, but what a great idea. Instead of like writing out your list of crap jobs, call it an undo list. And that way it’s more, it gives it more of a productive feel, like these are the things that I eventually want to take off my plate.

Todd (23:44):

And it’s awesome. The way that Susie presented it, it’s stuff that’s taking away from me being able to be creative and build a business. It’s not that it’s a crap job and I’m just hiring you to be my personal assistant. I need this help. I need help so that we can continue to build this together. When I started, she made it feel like a team project all the time. She just, it was awesome. I wasn’t just a, you know, I’m just a dumb food blogger husband. So this is kind of advice to the blogger themselves, it makes them feel a part of the team and that they’re providing value and that they need you in that support. You know?

Megan (24:21):

And I have to say, I talked to Susie about this too, but those jobs that you don’t necessarily want to do, they are, I am taking back my words. I said`crap job. I don’t mean it like, it’s a crap job for everybody, because you know, someone else is probably way better at doing, for example, video editing. Oh my gosh, I’m horrible at it. But for me, that’s like crap because I suck at it. So giving that to someone who finds passion inside of that is amazing. I think, yes, do your magic, take it away from me. So I like that you framed it like that. Thank you for calling me out.

Todd (25:01):

I didn’t enjoy or wasn’t particularly good at video editing either. But I was just so excited to figure it out and do that so that we could make it work. You know, it was just exciting. And six months into it, I was hating it. It was just so tedious and I didn’t like it. And so we were able to, you know, we found a local college kid at a decent rate to come help us with production. And he edited it all for us. He edits now for us. You can eventually get out of it, but take it on as a project because there’s nothing wrong with taking on a project and learning how to do something new. It’s always good for your brain, a hundred percent of the time.

Megan (25:39):

But you don’t have to do it forever. And every single part of your business, there’s somebody out there who is going to love doing that part. So, find that person and match it up so that everybody’s happy. right? So what have been your biggest challenges? I remember a story that Susie told about, like she went on a work trip and she came home and you were like, I’m looking for jobs because it can’t always be easy, especially I would imagine to start when you’re first digging in and not really knowing your place and how do I navigate this? So what are some other challenges you encountered to start?

Todd (26:14):

Yeah, so that was funny cause she, I didn’t know about the January, February dip in traffic that would happen. So that scared me a little bit because all of a sudden our income wasn’t more than I was making, you know. Luckily we had six months in savings. That was one of my things before I said I’d quit, as we had to have six months in savings, which luckily we did because we needed it. And when those January and February payments came through, we needed to dip in a little bit. But anyway, that was difficult, that was a slap in the face. Other difficulties were when she traveled, like all of a sudden I was in charge of the household. That was very difficult for me. I think I’ve taken it on quite well now. Like I do all the dishes and the laundry and sweeping and the mopping and vacuuming and we hire someone to clean our toilets now, which is great.

(27:04):

But yeah, I think making that switch to, you know, basically co full-time parenting, almost like I was parenting more than she was because I wanted her to focus on all that. So I was going on field trips and I was taking kids to the dentist and the doctor and hanging out with grandma at the museums and stuff. It was really, it was an instant switch. And then when she traveled, she’d be so busy at these conferences that she wouldn’t check in with me and I’d be, are we fighting? I get all sensitive. I need you to tell me I’m doing a good job. Okay. You need to check in and say, thank you for being an awesome dad. It was so funny. Yes. So I had a weird emotional thing happen and anyway, it’s all balanced out now, but that, yeah, that was, that was funny.

Megan (27:53):

It’s a big change. I mean, that’s a drastic change from what you were going to an office every day. And like you said, doing those accounting duties that were like the same thing day after day, year after year. So to go from that, to being the main parent at home and doing the field trips. And I can imagine that your brain has to change during that time. Right. I mean, that’s a massive life change.

Todd (28:20):

There was one other thing that was difficult. If she, not she, we, I want to make sure that was a we not she, we wrote out this list of responsibilities that I would be taking on, on top of what I was already doing with the video editing and keeping our books up and things like that. It was some SEO work and, you know, I did continue to help on production days behind the camera and help with some writing and, you know, making sure the scenes flowed well and everything, but there was just this list of stuff that I was going to take on. And three to six months later, I wasn’t really even doing half of that. Like I didn’t like it and I didn’t want to do it. And it was interesting for that to happen because I thought it would be the same as video editing. I’m going to be excited to take on this, you know, updating old posts and learning SEO and digging in and figuring all that out. But I couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t do it. So that was difficult. Having stuff that I couldn’t do and wasn’t good at, you know, that I couldn’t help in that way.

Megan (29:20):

So how did you sort through that? Did you make a new plan or how did you go about that?

Todd (29:25):

So we eventually found, I’m sure we’ll get into this, but like she wanted to start making products. She wanted to start bottling some of her barbecue sauces and barbecue seasonings. And I started doing the numbers and it just doesn’t make sense. You’re basically spending 30 grand to make maybe $5,000, on the run of rubs and sauces, is that really worth the effort? You know? And then we have to deal with trying to get it in retail and selling it online and figuring all this stuff out. And it just seemed like such a headache to me, but she just kept pushing. And so we eventually launched this product company and then I started to shine. That’s where I had fun. I had fun and found which bottles to use. And I was visiting here in the salt Lake area, I was going to packaging companies and finding boxes and bottles and caps and finding people to make the sauce and rubs and meeting with them and helping them, you know, with that whole process, that got me excited, cause I’m creating something, you know?

Megan (30:23):

So you found a place to shine in a really unusual place that you never probably would have thought of as you dove in?

Todd (30:31):

Yep, exactly. So it just kinda, it just kinda has to evolve and you have to, maybe you have to sit down and have a hard talk with yourself and your partner, like what do I like to do and how can I introduce that into what you’re doing? You know?

Megan (30:45):

Yeah. I was just talking to someone else on this topic and he recommended doing, if someone is having a hard time entering the business and not knowing what their place is, writing up a plan, like a business plan and just looking for the gaps and saying like, okay, I need help here and here and here and then kind of aligning that. And I liked that visual of having something on a piece of paper where you could sit down together and say, okay, this is where I need help. This is where you would shine. But I also like your story where it just kind of evolved. You had no idea you would be visiting facilities that made containers, you know, you just had no idea, but you really liked it. And I think that’s one of the great things about food blogging is that there are so many different moving parts that the opportunities really are endless. Right? I mean, physical products, digital products, you mentioned having to deal with HR. Some people are really good at that. My husband would be really good at that. So there are so many different pieces of the puzzle in food blogging. So I think there is something for everyone. So a spouse is coming in, there’s something for you. You just need to find it.

Todd (31:54):

Exactly. You reminded me, I use Adobe InDesign and developed a couple eBooks. Yeah, I designed a couple eBooks for her and put those all together and yeah, it was awesome.

Megan (32:06):

That’s so cool. So are you mainly working on Patio Provisions right now? Or do you switch over, does Susie work on Patio Provisions? How does that work? How do you divide up the duties?

Todd (32:17):

We just actually, Patio Provisions can’t quite afford it yet, but we hired a full-time employee to be kind of our operations manager with Patio Provisions. So I’m working with him and that’s my full time gig right now. I’m crossing over into Hey Grill, Hey helping there, whether it’s on production days or whatever, I’m out firing up grills all the time for her and keeping grills at temperature. And so I’m always still like stepping in and helping wherever she needs me, but I’m kind of a presence there. People see, Hey Grill, Hey now and people in our community are placing me in there with Susie. So that’s interesting, like it’s Susie and Todd now because I’m showing up in videos, tasting the food and there’s even a video going out tomorrow, or Thursday where I’m hosting a grilling bratwurst video.

(33:18):

So she’s throwing me in on the creative process on a bunch of different stuff. So I’m still super involved there, but yeah, Patio Provisions is kind of my number one baby right now. And she’ll step in an advisory role a lot of the time because I need to lean on her a lot. A lot of it has to do with her branding and her type of, a lot of it has her recipes and her ideas and, and when it comes down to it, when we go to advertise for Patio Provisions products, like, Hey Grill, Hey’s going to be our main advertising hub. So she’s still super involved in an overall arching like role, you know?

Megan (33:55):

Yeah. That’s great. I think one of my strong opinions is that if you do not have a supportive spouse or significant other, whether you’re in business together or not, it can make or break your business. Do you agree with that? Because I feel like I have a really supportive husband. He is not in business with me yet, but he’s so supportive. And I just can’t imagine doing this job because it’s so hard anyway, without that support. So I feel like if he wouldn’t have been so supportive over the years, I would have given up. So I think it’s so amazing that you’re so supportive of Susie and her work and you let her do her thing and create her stuff because she’s really good at it. But that you play a role too. I think that it’s such a great balance that you guys have found.

Todd (34:45):

Well, thank you. I appreciate that. I also want to add, if let’s say you’re single or you don’t have a supportive spouse or partner and you can still do it, just take that chip on your shoulder and run with it and figure it out and do it because it’s totally possible. But yeah, having that support is huge. And I think if I would’ve been a little passive aggressive or bitter over the years, I don’t know, Susie is incredible so she’s probably one of those that would fly past it and still succeed ,kind of in spite of me, you know, but no, I think it’s huge. So please, like if you’re a spouse right now that’s listening with your food blogger partner, even if you don’t want to get involved, just show 100% support all the time. It’s so huge.

Megan (35:31):

I agree. And I didn’t mean to say that single people couldn’t do it because, Oh my gosh. I know a lot of people that do, I was more talking about, if you have a spouse that’s going against you and not supporting you, that’s like a black cloud in your life. So I totally agree with that. But yeah, support is huge. And I think yeah, you guys have just done such an amazing job, so we need to wrap up. But is there anything that you think we’ve missed discussing or any parting words of wisdom for a spouse or a food blogger in this situation that you think would be beneficial?

Todd (36:07):

I’ve been thinking of it. And there’s two main things that pop out: one of them is the one we just talked about is just always being a constant flow of positive support and being willing to just try to look outside of your narrow view that you have to keep that corporate job because I promise you, you don’t. There’s so much room at the table out there. There’s so much money to be earned in these advertising dollars, in different places that you can start, you know, really figuring out how to develop different revenue streams for this food blog business that just at least take a look at it and try to help and figure it out because it’s just such an amazing life. We have zero, that’s a lie, I’ve been stressing about finances lately. But they’re huge numbers that we have to pay for marketing and, you know, website design and things like that.

(36:57):

But you know, we have the money to do that kind of stuff. It’s so much fun. But as far as personal finances go, zero stress, zero debt. We have all the time in the world to do whatever we want. We’re going on incredible vacations. We’re taking our kids to incredible places, it’s so worth it to just try, just try to see a way in and try to find a way to do it and be supportive. Jump in and help, like hustle stay up till 3:00 AM if you have to, to make it happen. Cause we did it and it can work for you. I promise. So that’s my first push. My second one is authenticity. Like just please, write for your audience. Please write for your audience. Don’t write for a machine. Don’t write for Google. Don’t write against a competitor. You know, I said that with air quotes, we’re not competitors, we’re all in this together. You’re writing a beautiful recipe for someone to make a meal for their family. Right? I’m assuming we’re talking to all food bloggers now. Write that for that person, create an avatar in your head of Susan or Karen or Joanne or whoever you’re writing for and write for that person. Don’t write for Google, don’t compete on keywords and just don’t get into those trenches. That’s just nasty. Just be creative, have fun, write for your audience and be authentic. That’s my last push.

Megan (38:17):

Wow. You and Susie, both just, I think she ended our chat with just the most amazing words of inspiration as well. So thank you for all of that. That was incredible. And thank you for taking the time. I know you guys are busy, but I really appreciate this chat today. So thanks Todd.

Todd (38:34):

You bet. Enjoyed minute of it.Thank you.

Megan (38:36):

Yeah. And I want to mention before we go that you have offered a coupon code for Patio Provisions. So I will put that up on your show notes. I believe it’s 25% off. Is that right?

Todd (38:48):

Yep. 25% off with eat blog talk.

Megan (38:51):

Yup. Perfect. And I will put that in Todd’s show notes, which can be found at eatblogtalk.com/ToddBulloch. And I think we all know where to find you Todd, but just in case, tell my listeners the best place they can find you online.

Todd (39:05):

Well, if you’re not following Susie at, Hey Grill, Hey, you must do that immediately. Instagram, Facebook, it’s just, HeyGrillHey, one word. I’m also, I have a public profile. You can follow me if you want at Todd Bulloch, T O D D B U L O C H. I’m not great at posting. And I just kind of had that in case she took off and people were trying to follow my private account. I’d give someone like a public account to follow just in case. Cause she’s got Food Network stuff coming down the road. So who knows, but yeah, Patio Provisions; patio_provisions on Instagram. You can follow along what we’re doing there. We’re developing new products. We’re trying to build a whole ecommerce direct to consumer site. We’re engineering new things. It’s so crazy. We have an engineer coming over today to bring over a prototype on a thing we’re working on. So, it’s just super fun. But yeah, we’ll have some affiliate stuff coming up down the road if you want to work with us. So yeah, I’d go to patio-provisions.com and that’s where our store is. And eat blog talk code. You can get 25% off and try all the products we have on there now.

Megan (40:13):

Oh, well thank you for offering that. That was very generous of you and everybody go check out all of those websites and accounts that Todd mentioned. Thank you again, Todd, for being here and thank you for listening today, food bloggers. I will see you next time.

Intro (40:29):

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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