In this episode, you’ll learn more about creating valuable content that attracts organic traffic and affiliate income, through programs like the Amazon Associates Program or while working with brands.

Listen on the player in this post or on Apple PodcastsSpotifyYouTube or your favorite podcast player. Or scroll down to read a full transcript.

Write Blog Posts that Rank on Google’s 1st Page

RankIQ is an AI-powered SEO tool built just for bloggers. It tells you what to put inside your post and title, so you can write perfectly optimized content in half the time. RankIQ contains a hand-picked library with the lowest competition, high traffic keywords for every niche.

Guest Details

Connect with Tonya Lawson
Website | YouTube | Instagram

Dr. Tonya Lawson is a musician, blogger, passive income and SEO specialist whose mission is to empower creatives to build out passive income streams so they have the financial freedom to live the life they want to live.

She is a multi-passionate entrepreneur who runs 3 blogs, a coaching business, a private music studio, and teaches at Middle Tennessee State University.

Takeaways

  • Passive Income Through Affiliate Marketing and Niche Websites: Make it easier to rank on Google by having a well-defined niche and using new SEO strategies.
  • Amazon Associates Program and the AAWP Plugin: Amazon remains a popular option for affiliate marketing and the AAWP plugin for WordPress can streamline the process of adding affiliate links to your blog.
  • Maximize Affiliate Income: Share your blog content with affiliate links as widely as possible – email list, social media etc. 
  • Affiliate Links with Sponsored Work: Ask for affiliate links when working with brands to maximize long-term income potential. 
  • Think Big, Earn More: Think beyond immediate work and set bigger goals for yourself over time to expand your reach and income.
  • Blog Posts Need to Be Real and Helpful: Google prioritizes helpful content, such as original images and real-life experiences, over highly curated images.
  • SEO Optimization and Understanding Google Updates: Google seems to follow trends on social media platforms like Instagram, so focusing on real people and helpful information in blog posts can give an edge in SEO.

Resources Mentioned

5 day challenge just for Eat Talk Blog listeners!

AAWP Plugin for Amazon Affiliates

Transcript

Click for full script.

EBT533 – Tonya Lawson

Intro 00:00

Food bloggers. Hi, how are you today? Thank you so much for tuning in to the Eat Blog Talk podcast. This is the place for food bloggers to get information and inspiration to accelerate your blog’s growth, and ultimately help you to achieve your freedom. Whether that’s financial, personal, or professional. I’m Megan Porta. I have been a food blogger for 13 years, so I understand how isolating food blogging can be. I’m on a mission to motivate, inspire, and most importantly, let each and every food blogger, including you, know that you are heard and supported.

Megan Porta  00:38

The term passive income is music to a lot of our ears. That’s really the ultimate goal with blogging to get to a point where your blog is just a well oiled machine producing tons of passive income. And that is what Tonya brings to this episode. Tonya Lawson from TonyaLawson.com talks about how to regularly earn passive income through affiliate marketing, and SEO. In the episode, Tonya talks through ways to get the most out of affiliate marketing, whether that’s through the Amazon Associates Program, the Amazon influencer program, or another affiliate program. Something I was not aware of before we had this chat was a plugin that you can put on the back end of WordPress. That helps you highlight your affiliate links in a really cool way. Tonya also talks about the Helpful Content Update and how that has affected affiliate marketing and things that you should keep in mind to adhere to Google’s new guidelines and expectations of our content. We have not published an affiliate marketing themed podcast in a really long time. So I think you’ll get a lot of great information from this one. It is episode number 533 sponsored by RankIQ. 

Sponsor  01:52

Hello food bloggers. Are you looking to spice up your social media account with unique and exciting content? If you want that secret edge that makes you stand out in your niche, I might have the answer for you. Catharina can help you streamline your podcasting and social media content with audio editing, video editing or social media strategies. She specializes in working with food bloggers, tailoring her content creation packages to their needs. Whether you want to create something new like a gripping podcast, or if you want to refresh your social media strategies by creating scroll stopping video content for platforms like Instagram, Tik Tok and YouTube, she has got you covered. If this sounds intriguing, get in touch with Catharina, go to eat blogtalk.com forward slash resources to get more information about Catharina services again, go to eat blogtalk.com forward slash resources and click on her link. Now let’s get back to the episode.

Megan Porta  02:49

Dr. Tonya Lawson is a musician, blogger passive income and SEO specialist whose mission is to empower creatives to build out passive income streams so they have the financial freedom to live the life they want to live. She is a multi passionate entrepreneur who runs three blogs, a coaching business, a private music studio, and teaches at Middle Tennessee State University. Hello, Tonya, welcome to the podcast. How are you today?

Tonya Lawson  03:16

I’m doing well. And I’m so excited to be here. Thank you for having me.

Megan Porta  03:21

Thanks for joining us on the podcast. And I love this topic. Passive income is Yes, please. Right. We all want passive income. So I’m excited to learn from you today. Before we get into it, though, do you have a fun fact to share about yourself?

Tonya Lawson  03:36

I do. I literally yesterday just got back from a business retreat in New Orleans. And I haven’t actually been to New Orleans since I ran the New Orleans marathon. So it was really fun to get back to it.

Megan Porta  03:50

Oh fun. I love Oh my gosh, I haven’t been there and so many years. I think it was maybe college like early 20s. But yeah, it’s such a unique town, isn’t it?

Tonya Lawson  04:00

It very much is everyone is their own individual and I’m totally here for it. 

Megan Porta  04:05

Yes. Love it. And then are you a marathoner?

Tonya Lawson  04:07

I don’t run as much anymore. But I have done about 30 half marathons, three full marathons. And then if anybody knows what it is, I ran the Ragnar Relay three times.

Megan Porta  04:18

Oh, I have not heard of that. Where’s that? 

Tonya Lawson  04:22

Well, they’re all over the place. The one I did was in Tennessee, and they don’t have it anymore. But it’s a 200 mile relay race that you complete in just over 24 hours.

Megan Porta  04:33

Okay, I have heard of those. And every time I hear of it, I think what who does that? That’s so inspiring. Honestly, I wish I was that person. So good for you. It’s amazing. All right, well, let’s dig into passive income, I think to frame our talk. It would be great just to hear a little bit about your business like what do you do? When did you start, what prompted you anything you feel like would be relevant for our conversation. 

Tonya Lawson  05:00

Oh, absolutely. Well, first of all, I’m a musician. I’m not a food blogger. But I graduated in 2005 with my doctorate in clarinet. And there were probably 50 positions open in the United States, I applied for them all. And I made the finals in two of those positions made, the top two went out for interviews. And in both situations, they hired someone with more experience, which I totally understood. The next year, they there were only five positions open. And I got interviewed for one, once again, they went with a more experienced candidate. So in the meantime, I built a private music studio, which I still run to this day, I have a huge private music studio. But the area I live in, you’re allowed to go into the schools and teach. And one year the schools decided, maybe we’re not going to do this anymore. And I panicked, because it was my major income source. And if I lost it, I was in so much trouble. And I was like, Okay, I’ve got to stop keeping my eggs in one basket, I need to branch out. And I knew that I had a website, and I should be able to make money from it. Because other people did. I just didn’t know how. So I got out there and started looking around. And I took a course on SEO. And what they taught me was I would never make money with my website, that I needed a niche website. So that’s what I did. I started my coffee website. And slowly but surely it started ranking, it started bringing in affiliate income. And I got to thinking, you know, there’s no reason I can’t apply this to my own website, which is more of a music business or creative business website. So I started tweaking what I have learned about niche websites, and started to apply it to my own website, which was a little more multi-passionate. And soon, it was also bringing in some income. So when COVID hit, I was already tech savvy, and I transitioned all of my music students online. And I’m one of the few musicians out there who actually got more work during COVID instead of less. But I still had extra time because I wasn’t driving to all these schools. So of course, I started a third website, which is my gardening website. And it’s still you know, in its infancy, but it is starting to pick up pageviews and making just a little bit in ad revenue and affiliate income. 

Megan Porta  07:33

All right. Okay. I love that you have a coffee. So do you still keep your coffee website running?

Tonya Lawson  07:38

I do. I still have it running. And I’ve put a little bit on it. But I’ll be totally honest, I got hit pretty hard with the helpful content update. 

Megan Porta  07:46

Oh, bummer. 

Tonya Lawson  07:48

Because it’s based on old SEO practices. So right now it’s on pause, it’s still sitting out there. And I am putting the most time into my garden website, and then my business website. But I have full intentions this summer, when things slow down for me in May in June, going back to that coffee website, and updating a lot of old posts and see if I can get it ranking again. And I’m going to use it as kind of a case study for what to do post helpful content update.

Megan Porta  08:16

Oh, that’s a great idea. You can help a lot of people probably once you, you know, dig in and learn about how to pivot because there are a lot of food websites who are hit really hard. And a lot of people are running because it’s just so hard out there right now. So yeah, that can be highly valuable. And I love just your focus on passive income because a website really can be passive income, right? 

Tonya Lawson  08:41

Absolutely. For example, like one of my favorite through affiliate marketing. I have an article on my music music business website that I solely wrote for my students. And it was the best clarinet mouthpieces. And I wrote that about three years ago, and it makes me money almost every single day on Amazon.

Megan Porta  09:02

Oh my gosh, that’s amazing. No, when you put that out, did you have any idea how profitable it would be?

Tonya Lawson  09:09

I do not. I mean, I knew if I was going to write it, I was going to optimize it for SEO because it seemed like a waste of time not to. But I mostly like I said wrote it because I got tired of my students parents asking me all these questions. So I just wrote it all out in one big article, every question a parent had ever asked me about getting a new mouthpiece. And now I just send the link to the parent and then bonus points when they make a purchase. 

Megan Porta  09:36

Yeah, that’s what’s so great about something you’ve already created, that you can just kind of send out to people as needed. And it earns you money. There is nothing better than earning money in your sleep. Right?

Tonya Lawson  09:49

Absolutely. And I don’t even have to send it out. It’s also ranking on Google. In the top three, it kind of floats back and forth between one two and three depending on the day. So it’s it It’s bringing in income that way from complete strangers.

Megan Porta  10:02

Yes, that’s amazing. And I know that you have a background in affiliate marketing as well, correct? 

Tonya Lawson  10:08

Yes, I do that through my websites. Okay.

Megan Porta  10:10

So talk about that a little bit. Okay.

Tonya Lawson  10:13

So affiliate marketing is one of my favorite ways to earn passive income, because you write your blog article one time. That’s it, you write it, and it’s up there. And if you put affiliate links within there, any affiliate sales you get from those links for years to come, just like that clarinet mouthpiece article are yours, and you don’t have to do any extra work for it. It’s coming in. And that’s the great thing about affiliate marketing and passive income is once it’s out there, it’s passive, you have to do the work up front. But beyond that, you’re good to go. And affiliate income, Amazon’s probably the most famous and the most popular because everybody shops on Amazon. But there are tons of affiliate marketing options out there. ShareASale is a great one, lots of niche things. So for me, I use Sheet Music Plus a lot on my music business website. But anything that you’re talking about on your blog at the moment, chances are there is an affiliate program out there for it. You just need to hop on Google and find it and sign up for it.

Megan Porta  11:24

Is there a certain percent of commission that you look for when you’re looking to partner with an affiliate?

Tonya Lawson  11:29

You know, there’s really not because take Amazon, for example, it is probably the lowest paying commission that exists. But like I said, everybody shops on Amazon, so you almost have to be part of it. 

Megan Porta  11:44

Yeah, for sure.

Tonya Lawson  11:46

 Obviously, the higher paying Commission, the better. But to be honest, you know, if it’s a product that they can get on and that your readers can get on Amazon, they may or may not click through your link, and then they may or may not hop over to Amazon and see if they can find it cheaper.

Megan Porta  12:01

Yeah, that’s one good thing about the food blogging world is that there’s so many products and services that relate to our businesses, if you think about food there, it’s like the, the options are endless, really, there’s foods and there’s appliances, and there’s you name it. So this is a really good opportunity, just something that a lot of people don’t want to invest the time in. But it is worthwhile to do so.

Tonya Lawson  12:24

Oh, it’s totally worthwhile to do so. And it it doesn’t take that much time depending on how you do it. You can use a plugin for Amazon affiliates. Now all of those plugins they do cost a little money to use but they save you tons of time I personally use AA WP so when I need to put a link in I literally just click that button do the search right there within WordPress and it automatically puts up this beautiful box with as much or as little information as I tell it to and it really does help you get that click it is worth the money if you can afford it in the beginning I couldn’t afford it so I relied on in text links and I would just go over to Amazon site stripe. Find the link and just plug it in. 

Megan Porta  13:14

So AA WP that’s a plugin in WordPress Can you elaborate on that? What is a What does that stand for?

Tonya Lawson  13:21

You know to be honest, I’m really not sure. 

Megan Porta  13:24

That’s okay. What does it do like what I’m assuming it makes it pretty like uh? 

Tonya Lawson  13:29

It makes it pretty but it also makes it easy. So within WordPress when you go to Add a block if you have an AA WP subscription, that is an option and you click on it and then you can either put in a very specific AISN like the number associated with the product on Amazon and it will put that in the box or you can search directly for the product within WordPress right there through AA WP and save yourself some time it’ll do a product description box and I have no affiliate with AA WP although maybe I should get well but it’ll do a product description box. It can do product comparison boxes, it can do the Amazon Best Sellers. It pulls all of the information for you and saves you so much time. I’m a huge fan.

Megan Porta  14:25

And what is the investment for AA WP?

Tonya Lawson  14:28

I want to say it was less than $100 To be honest, I’m not sure off the top of my head. I ended up going with AA WP when Amazon decided to pull the image option from their site stripe and they required everyone pay the API key in the first place. So I was like you know I’ve been putting off getting a WP I kind of knew I needed it but I wasn’t really I didn’t want to spend any extra money on it. And finally I did and I have seen In a slight increase in my affiliate sales since I added it onto my website.

Megan Porta  15:04

Oh, okay, well, that’s positive. That’s really good. Okay, I had not heard of that. So I think this will be really valuable to spread the word I know there are probably other plugins like that right. So

Tonya Lawson  15:15

there are I am a WP is the one that everyone I know is singing praises for. So it’s just the one I went with. I didn’t do a ton of research. And I’ve been really pleased with it. Awesome.

Megan Porta  15:26

So once you have something like that, where you can talk about or post about your affiliate links. How do you recommend people do this? Are you recommending writing like review blog posts, or putting these in emails or anything else?

Tonya Lawson  15:42

Review blog blog posts are great if you’ve actually used the product. So if we rewind to 2022, myself and a lot of other bloggers, were making a lot of money, recommending products that we’ve gone online and researched but had never used before. Then Google inter helpful content update, enter 2023, when Google put out more updates than they have ever before, in one year, there were some months that you would have three updates in one month. And they change their EAT factor expertise, authoritativeness and trust to E E A T. And they added experience in there. They want to make sure that bloggers know what they’re talking about. And this was really reaction to AI. There were a lot of bloggers that were using AI just to write their articles, without any editing whatsoever, no background research. And frankly, putting a lot of wrong information out there. You know, you don’t want to trust a food blogger who’s never actually made that recipe before. It’s just AI generated. And a lot of times if you really look at AI generated content, some of it has mistakes that need to be edited out. And as a result of this review posts started tanking unless they had original images, and were written in a certain manner.

Sponsor  17:13

Food bloggers hey, taking a really quick break here to talk about Rank IQ with all of the changes our industry is facing right now. We are hearing a lot of advice from different people. And some of it feels really confusing and conflicting. One of the things I’ve been hearing lately is that it no longer works to write posts based on low competition keywords. I do not personally agree with this. I want to tell you why. Because my analytics are telling me that it definitely still works to write posts with a low competition keyword focus. The posts I’ve published in the past few years that I have found on Rank IQ, and that I have run through the optimizer and Rank IQ are performing really well for my blog. I have used a strategy recently that has helped to keep my traffic afloat during this very tumultuous time. I find older blog posts to redo and republish. I use the pro bloggers guide to updating old blog posts published by Rank IQ search for that on Google, put them through the Rank IQ optimizer. These republished posts are quickly rising in the rankings as well. Focusing on low competition keywords is still a good strategy for getting traffic. So I wanted to encourage you all with this. Head to rankiq.com To browse through tons of food niche categories, and grab some of those low competition High search volume keywords to focus on, go to rankiq.com to get started today. Now back to the episode.

Tonya Lawson  18:43

So review posts are great, like I said, if you’ve used the product before, but for food bloggers, specifically, like you said, there are so many things associated with a food blog. There’s obviously the food, the spices, the equipment, blenders, et cetera. So one way to do it would be for example, if you were telling your audience to blend the soup, then you can provide what blender they might use, put that in there as an affiliate link because a Vitamix is going to bring in a lot of money in commission. You could also put an alternate opportunity like a hand blender that might work a stick blender, that’s not going to bring in as much of a commission but you might sell 100 stick blenders versus one Vitamix. So offering your readers multiple choices out there and just inserting those affiliate links naturally within the text is a really great way to get those clicks. 

Megan Porta  19:48

Okay, I like that and then email to I know you have to be careful with Amazon links in emails but you can provide other affiliate links in your emails, correct? 

Tonya Lawson  19:58

You can you really need to do Run a search on the affiliate program and see their terms and conditions. So Amazon is one, you cannot put an affiliate link in an email. However, there is a workaround, you could send an email to your list, sharing your most recent recipe with a link to that blog post that blog post then can have the affiliate links. So you can still earn affiliate commission through your email list. You just don’t put the links directly in the email. 

Megan Porta  20:29

Okay, are there any other ways to share about affiliate opportunities, maybe social media or something like that? 

Tonya Lawson  20:35

Yes. And once again, it goes back to those affiliate terms and conditions. So I know Amazon does have their influencer program. And you can share links to your own Amazon storefront directly in social media, if you’re a part of that program. I am not a part of that program. I have about 2000 Instagram subscribers, and I don’t have enough to be a part of that program. So most of the people I know who have Amazon storefront have around 10,000 Instagram followers, and I’m not there yet. I may add it. I’m also not as big of a fan of the Amazon influencer program. Because as part of that program, yes, you can share links directly in your social media, but you only make a commission off of the product you’re selling. So let’s rewind back to that Vitamix. Okay, so you sold the Vitamix through your Amazon storefront. Awesome, you’re gonna get a commission off of that. First is someone clicked through that link in your blog and bought a Vitamix, you’re gonna get a commission off of that as well. But you’re also going to get get a commission off of any thing else they purchase. Maybe they realize that they need some new dish towels, and they need to buy a birthday present for their nephew who’s turning three. And their son’s birthday is coming up. And he’s really been wanting this video game. So they’re gonna get it to just one big shipment through the affiliate in your blog posts, the Amazon Associates Program, you get a commission off of all of those products versus in the Amazon influencer program, you only get a commission off of the product you’re recommending. 

Megan Porta  22:18

Okay, I don’t think I knew that. That it was just the product through the influencer program. Interesting. 

Tonya Lawson  22:24

That’s something that changed. Maybe six months ago, email was sent out about that. 

Megan Porta  22:30

Yeah. Okay. Cool. That’s good to know. So influencer program you can share about that. And then just I like your point about just being aware of what the terms are. So you know, what, what, and where and all of that you can share about the affiliate link, anything else about just like, where to share? Or maybe how to find affiliate programs to sign up for?

Tonya Lawson  22:53

Okay, so honestly, Google searches are the best way to do it. So, for example, like I said, I’m a musician. So I want to find an affiliate link for selling guitars. Obviously, they have some guitars on Amazon. But then I can type in popular music stores that I know about, and see if they have affiliate links. Say you’re a food blogger, and you’re talking about simplifying meals and you want to do something with HelloFresh, maybe, then you can look for their affiliate links, I would just Google what you’re trying to get an affiliate link for and see if they have an affiliate program. And if it’s a smaller business, and they don’t have one, just reach out to customer service, because a lot of times they haven’t even thought about it. And they’re more than willing to incorporate an affiliate program into their business plan.

Megan Porta  23:46

Oh, that’s a good idea. Just prompting them to do that. Because there’s obviously need if you are inquiring about it, then others probably are too. 

Tonya Lawson  23:56

Absolutely. And the worst thing that they can say is no. Yeah. Right. You’ve got nothing to lose.

Megan Porta  24:01

Oh my gosh, I love that. Okay, anything else about affiliates. I do want to ask you about like sponsored work and brand work, because I know there’s opportunity there too, but I want to make sure we cover that before we move on. 

Tonya Lawson  24:13

Yeah, with affiliate. Honestly, my technique, my plan for affiliate marketing is just through my blog post, and to drive as many people to those blog post as possible. So I’m going to use my email list for that. I’m going to use Instagram for that, I’m going to use TikTok from that I use my YouTube channel for that as many drivers as you can get to that blog post, the better. Because yes, you want organic traffic, but organic traffic takes time and especially if you’re a newer blogger, you’re not going to have it immediately. So whether you’re using Pinterest or YouTube or Instagram or Facebook or a variety of those as many drivers you can have as possible is going to get you more traffic, more eyes on your blog a better chance of making affiliate Commission’s it’s also going to help Google notice you if lots of people are looking at your content, Google’s want to kind of want to look at it too. And it’s going to be able to boost your ability to earn ad revenue. 

Megan Porta  25:12

Yeah, that is so smart. I love all of that. And I also like that you mentioned that it takes time that it’s not something that’s going to happen overnight. It’s something you have to put in motion. And keep doing it and kind of let it percolate in the background.

Tonya Lawson  25:26

Yeah, I associate organic traffic with compound interest. It starts small. But over time, it really adds up.

Megan Porta  25:36

Yeah, love that. So a lot of food bloggers do brand work sponsored work. And I know that when you do sponsored work, you can also tap into their affiliate program, right? 

Tonya Lawson  25:49

Absolutely. 

Megan Porta  25:49

Okay. So talk about that. 

Tonya Lawson  25:51

So anytime that a brand approaches you and or you approach a brand to do sponsored work, make sure you ask for an affiliate link. Once again, the worst thing they can do is say no. But if they say yes, then not only do you get paid for that sponsored content, you also may or may not get free product for that sponsored content. But if you have an affiliate link, then any time anyone purchases from you that product, you continue to earn commission, whereas that sponsored post is going to bring you in income for a very small amount of time. The affiliate link can bring you an income for years to come. 

Megan Porta  26:37

Yep, it’s really good to think beyond just doing the work that you’re doing for the brand, right? And to think of affiliates there as well. For sure.

Tonya Lawson  26:47

Anytime I do anything in my business, I asked myself, what is this going to do for me now? What is this going to do for me in three years? And what is this going to do for me in 10 years? 

Megan Porta  26:58

Oof, yeah, that’s good. It’s really hard to think that far out 10 years and five years even is like, I don’t know. But I think we should be thinking more along those lines, so that we think more passively. 

Tonya Lawson  27:11

Absolutely. And thinking, thinking along those lines is gonna set you up for the future. If you think about what you can do, right now, it’s a very limited amount. But if you look at what you can do over 10 years, it’s a lot bigger, and you’re gonna start setting bigger goals for yourself. And as you start setting bigger goals for yourself, your brain is going to start thinking differently, you know, I want to get 100 page views on this blog post, versus I want to get 100,000 page views on this blog post, it’s going to put your brain in a different position and make you think about things completely different. And you may not get 100,000 page views on that blog post, but you’re gonna get a whole lot more than if you only set your brain and trying to get 100 page views.

Megan Porta  27:56

Yeah, thinking bigger. So you mentioned the helpful content update, and how that can really affect affiliate income, if you’re not writing about something that is pertaining to your niche, and that you really know a lot about, do you have any other tips about that just, you know, kind of appeasing Google and making sure that you’re falling in line with what they’re wanting? 

Tonya Lawson  28:16

Oh, absolutely. So for the helpful content update. And really, the helpful content update was a series of updates, that didn’t even really highlight helpful content. Instead, it struck down unhelpful content. So really, the title itself is a bit of a misnomer. But Google has placed a huge emphasis on experience. So you want to show Google that you have the experience. So if you’re a recipe blogger, make sure there are original images of your own recipes that you took the pictures of food you took, and here’s the thing, they don’t have to be picture perfect. You may be out there thinking, I can’t afford a fancy camera and all the lighting. Well, that’s okay. Take your iPhone, use some angles, and you can get good pictures. Do they look as good as stock photos? No, but it’s the only image like it on Google. And Google knows that. And it’s gonna give you the edge up because of the experience. Just like social media has really trended away from those curated flatlays and special images. And instead, they’re highlighting real people in their real lives. Google is following that as well. I always like to say Google is about a step behind Instagram. So whatever is trending on Instagram, Google is going to take notice of and then they’re going to start pushing that forward as well. So as far as helpful content update, make sure you’re doing that. Make sure that your blog posts are written for your readers. Google no longer puts an emphasis on really long posts like it used to, you don’t need to focus on word count anymore. You need to focus on having really helpful information. I was teaching an SEO masterclass. And one student said, I look at these recipe blogs, and all I think is I don’t really care about your great grandfather three times removed, I just want to know how to make the food. So add that jump to recipe button in there. It’s gonna keep people on your page longer. And it’s going to get you more link clicks that way. 

Megan Porta  30:32

Yeah, I love what you said about Instagram and just Google being like one step behind Instagram and other social media and taking cues from Instagram, because they really are going in the direction of like, more real life raw. What are you doing? You know, your kitchen doesn’t have to look curated, imperfect anymore. It can be messy, and just real, real. And that is refreshing. So knowing that Google is following suit a little bit, it’s really helpful to determine like, what, yeah, what we want to put on our blogs.

Tonya Lawson  31:08

Absolutely. I know me personally, when I see if I’m watching a YouTube video, and it’s a recipe video, and they’re in this perfect kitchen, without a spill anywhere, and nothing on the countertops, my brain instantly goes, they don’t cook in that kitchen. My kitchen countertops are covered with appliances. So there’s something about that realness. Now, Google’s not going to tell you that they’re following Instagram. But really, if you look at anything they’ve done historically, it really does follow that trend.

Megan Porta  31:40

Yeah, that is relieving. Anything else about helpful content update that you want to mention?

Tonya Lawson  31:47

Mostly, if you are writing content that people want to read, Google is going to notice and you’re going to do well, that’s pretty much it. It’s as easy as that, right? I mean, you still need to do your on page SEO. But as far as the content itself, it needs to be content that either provides a solution to a problem gives your reader the answers they’re searching for. Because you need to be writing content around things people are searching on Google for.

Megan Porta  32:20

Yeah. Oh, this is so great. I know that everyone listening wants more passive income and to think more passively, too. And this just stirs up so many ideas. Is there anything that you feel like we’ve missed before we start saying goodbye, Tonya? 

Tonya Lawson  32:34

The only thing that we’ve missed is just the importance of search engine optimization in your blog post as well. Because you can have the the most helpful content out there, but you still need to do a few things to make sure it ranks on Google, you need to do little things like make sure that your meta description contains your keyword that your keywords in your title and your URL slug that it doesn’t appear in your content too many times so that it doesn’t look like keyword stuffing. And you want to make sure all your images are optimized as well. They need to have an alt text in them. 

Megan Porta  33:10

Yes. Oh my gosh. Yeah. All of that is important. And probably a different conversation. Right? But… 

Tonya Lawson  33:15

Totally, totally.

Tonya Lawson  33:16

Make sure you’ve got your bases covered is the just. Oh, this is so great. Thank you for all of this. We really appreciate all the value you shared. And just I know I’m personally feeling inspired on the affiliate marketing trend topics. So thank you so much, Tonya.

Tonya Lawson  33:33

thank you so much. I’ve enjoyed talking with you. Yeah, this was fun. 

Megan Porta  33:37

Do you have either a favorite quote or words of inspiration to leave us with today?

Tonya Lawson  33:41

I don’t have I’m not a big quote person. But I do have some words of inspiration. And I guess it is a quote it goes back to Nike Just do it. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Just get out there and publish content. You can go back and edit it later. But if you sit around waiting on it to be perfect to release it, it’s never gonna happen. 

Megan Porta  34:02

Simple but so powerful. Right? Absolutely. We’ll put together a show notes page for you, Tonya, if anyone wants to go look at those head to eatblogtalk.com/tonyalawson. Tell everyone where they can find you, Tonya. 

Tonya Lawson  34:16

Well, I am on Instagram at dr.tonyalawson. Dr. Tonya Lawson. I’m on Tik Tok as the same thing, and I’m on YouTube as the same handle. I like to keep it across the board. And all of those I offer tons of SEO and blogging tips. My website is tonyalawson.com. It’s T O N Y A L A W S O N and I’m offering just to your audience access to my five days to ranking challenge for free and I will give a link to that for you to put in the show notes as well.

Megan Porta  34:50

Oh, that’d be awesome. Thank you so much for that. Everyone go check out Tonya and all of the places she mentioned. Thanks again for being here Tonya and thank you You so much for listening food bloggers I will see you next time. 

Outro 35:05

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