We cover information about how Luay grew his blog sessions quickly over the last 2 years, including his unique approach to SEO, building a strong social media presence and his emphasis on E-A-T. 

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

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

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Guest Details

Connect with Urban Farm & Kitchen
Website | Instagram | Facebook

Luay is a published author, social media content creator, blogger, photographer and gardening educator. Like many other bloggers, Luay wear multiple hats. Based in Toronto Canada, Luay’s gardening/cookbook, Seed to Table, was released July 2023. He also teaches a garden-to-table Master Class.


  • Create for your reader while following Google’s guidelines: Focus on building a loyal following through consistent content creation aimed to serve your audience instead of creating for Google.
  • Streamline recipes for readability and internal linking: Write recipes concisely without unnecessary photos or fluff and link related recipes to boost older posts and improve user experience.
  • Consider seasonality and content clusters when planning topics: Focus content by season or topic area to provide more value to readers.  
  • Invest in tools and services to help your blog business grow: If you treat your blog as a business, you would  invest in audits, keyword research and other paid services to help it grow.
  • Diversify revenue streams and platforms to weather industry changes: Do not rely solely on one platform or monetization method.
  • Create unique, shareable content for social media growth: Novel, interesting content is more likely to drive engagement and new followers on social media – what unique twist can you put on your content?
  • Leverage redirect tools like ManyChat for social traffic: Use automation tools to easily share blog content in response to social media comments.
  • Continually increase your E-A-T: Promote your qualifications and achievements on your About Page and keep it up to date.

Resources Mentioned

Many Chat – Chat marketing on social media


Click for full script.

EBT548 – Luay Ghafari

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  00:37

As you may have noticed, and there is a lot of noise going on in our space right now about how to best gain traction for our food blogs, or just our food blogging businesses in general, which is why this conversation with Luay Ghafari, from Urban Farming Kitchen is so refreshing. I love his approach to food blogging. It’s a perspective that I don’t hear a lot and I think you’re going to really benefit from hearing this conversation. Luay has grown his blog sessions pretty quickly just in the past two and a half years or so. And he talks through all of the ways he has done this, including thoughts on SEO, how to leverage social media, focusing on E-A-T and my favorite thing of all is just his overarching perspective on his business. Listen through to the end you will not be disappointed. I hope you love this episode as much as I did. It is number 548 sponsored by RankIQ. 

Sponsor  01:35

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. Katarina 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 Katarina. Go to eat blog talk.com forward slash resources to get more information about Katarina services again, go to eat blog talk.com forward slash resources and click on her link. Now let’s get back to the episode. 

Megan Porta  02:32

Luay is a published author, social media content creator, blogger, photographer and gardening educator. Like many other bloggers, he wears multiple hats. Luay is based in Toronto Canada and his gardening/cookbook, Seed to Table, was released July 2023. He also teaches a garden-to-table Master Class. 

Megan Porta  02:51

Hello, Luay, how are you today? So good to have you on the podcast? 

Luay Ghafari  02:56

I’m doing well. Thank you so much for having me. 

Megan Porta  02:58

Super excited to chat today about you growing your blog sessions really quickly and getting all the details on that. Do you have a fun fact to share about yourself first? 

Luay Ghafari  03:08

Hmm. Fun fact. So you know, my blogging journey sort of started in a weird roundabout way I started through my gardening. Passion. You know, I love gardening. I love growing food. And my blogging journey kind of started or became an offshoot of off of that. So I think, you know, my foray into blogging and to sharing recipes started in a in an unusual way. I hope that’s fun enough for you.

Megan Porta  03:36

I think it’s really fun. Because I don’t know, I’m one of those people who always has this desire to have a garden, but I never actually pull it off. I never even try it. So I always look at people who have a passion for gardening and actually do it like, Oh, I wish I could be more like you. So I think it’s super interesting. And then did you have a gardening blog or just an interest in gardening. 

Luay Ghafari  03:57

So that my my blog right now, yes, it’s sort of a food blog slash gardening blog in a way when it comes to sort of niching or niching down, I don’t pay too much attention to the advice around that I really kind of write what I love and what my readers and what my audience loves to read about and to hear about. So I cover gardening topics, I cover how to grow certain crops and herbs. And I tie that into the recipes and into you know, the different category pages that I have on my blog. So I do have a gardening category page and I break that down into growing herbs and growing vegetables. And you know, other kind of tips and tricks for gardeners but also for people that want to grow their own food and then, you know, bring that into the house into your kitchen and make something beautiful with it. So I’m really kind of my goal is to really cover sort of a garden to table approach. And that’s what my blog is sort of centered around garden to table seasonal eating and some of my background as well. 

Megan Porta  04:53

That’s a good niche and so remind me. I don’t know if you’ve said this already. When did you start your blog? 

Luay Ghafari  04:58

So technically If I, you know, look at the day that I went onto the domain and bought my domain was about five years ago. But I really didn’t do much with it for the first three and a half years, I started very focused on social media, that’s really where I would say, I spent most of my effort creating content and connecting with people, it’s always been on social media. And over the last sort of couple of years, things shifted for me, and I started learning about blogging, and, you know, realizing that this is this is a business, like you could really, you know, do something out of this for yourself, be an independent person, you know, work towards something that you love. So I started learning more about blogging over the last couple of years. And that’s really where I started pouring a lot more of my effort into so sharing some of the recipes, sharing garden content, and you know, anything around that, that I felt was valuable to my readers, and that I wanted to share. But it was sort of like a, like I said, in terms of becoming a blogger, or, you know, doing more blogging, it came about, in a roundabout way, right. I started with gardening and social media. And then I started focusing on my website and growing that over the last about year and a half. 

Megan Porta  06:15

So do you do this full time? 

Luay Ghafari  06:17

I do not. I do have a full time career right now, who knows? I mean, I think the the goal for a lot of us, right is to, is to do this full time. It does feel like I have two full time jobs right now. But I love it so much that for me, it’s not it doesn’t feel like work. It feels, you know, a passion project. And I just love connecting with people, whether that’s, you know, through social media, or through my newsletter. It’s just, that’s really kind of the fun part for me, and really having people discover some of the recipes that that I’ve been sharing. And I’ve gotten so many emails back from people saying that, you know, that they really appreciate getting exposed to new things. So all of that really just reinforces that. The fact that I feel like I’m on the right path. So I definitely, you know, hopefully one day can make this a full time a full time thing. But for now, I’m juggling two. Yeah, two full time careers, like I’m sure many other bloggers who are listening right now are doing as well. 

Megan Porta  07:12

Yeah, it’s a challenge, I’m sure doing two things that are both very important, right? So in the last two ish years, you’ve really, you know, focused in on growing your blog and your traffic and all of that. And it sounds like you’ve grown your blog sessions fairly quickly, correct? 

Luay Ghafari  07:28

Yeah, I was looking at my Google Analytics before our call here. And I just wanted to get some numbers, you know, to kind of put something quantitative to the qualitative discussion. When I look at, let’s say, two months ago, I could see a 61% growth in terms of number of sessions over the last two months, and 292% growth over the last six months. So it is significant, but I’m also I also realized that it’s not sustainable, right, I think, you know, you have to take that and say, like, Okay, well, how, how can we make this, you know, something sustainable. So a lot of the growth in the recent months has been, you know, a lot of content that I’ve putting been putting into into the blog, sharing quite a few new recipes, and new roundups and new posts around gardening as well. I think a lot of it as seasonality as well, I think that, you know, historically in my blog has really been centered around sort of the harvest months, you know, summer and fall. But last year, it took more of a concerted effort to try to round things up a little bit round things out, I should say, to have more content that is evergreen, and covers the various seasons. So it’s really hard. I mean, if we have this conversation again, in a year’s time, I think we’ll have a better view of things. 

Megan Porta  08:54

And I will say from my perspective, that it seems like your connection with your people with your audience, maybe is also a reason that your blog is doing well. 

Luay Ghafari  09:04

I think so I think that having focused my efforts on social media all those years ago, I built like a really solid foundation of loyal followers and readers who, you know, I’m really thankful for I think that foundational audiences is what keeps coming back, right? They’re always looking, they’re always going on my website, looking for new recipes, looking for new content. And I think that’s great, you know, building that relationship is key. But at the same time, you have to also find new people, right, you need to connect with new people. And these days, it’s I feel like it’s harder than ever on social media to connect with new people things. A lot of people are struggling to grow their follower lists. A lot of people are struggling to, you know, navigate the social media algorithm changes and whatnot. So it’s not as easy to make these connections in 2024 hours, and maybe it was, you know, 10 years ago.

Megan Porta  10:00 

Yeah, and it’s definitely a different situation these days. So talk about some of the things that you believe have really helped you to grow quickly.

Luay Ghafari  10:09

I think I want to touch on SEO a little bit. And I think that SEO, you know, can be viewed in two lenses, right, like, and one on one side, you know, it could be writing for Google, you know, trying to game the system, trying to find that top position, by any means possible using AI, whatever. There’s a lot of sites out there these days that are doing just that. And I think, based on the recent Google updates, we’ve seen a lot of people being penalized for that. Right? Because they’re not necessarily writing for their audience. They’re writing for Google, just trying to get to the top. I see SEO is a little bit different. I see it as writing with Google in mind, rather than writing for Google, right? So yes, following their recommendations, but really focusing on my reader, my, my reader persona, my follower persona, and also focusing in on honing in on my expertise. So that’s really how I view SEO. So really thinking about Google keeping it top of mind, but not writing for Google, right writing for the people that are going to be reading our blog is should always be the top of mind. And I think that breaks down into different into different sort of categories. When I like to write my recipes, I really like to make sure that they’re concise there to the point, they cover all the all the different questions that might come up, of course, we won’t be able to cover all the questions that come up. But you know, being able to cover as many as we can, and really no fluff, no unnecessary photos, etc, I try to keep things really streamlined. I think internal linking is another area that has really helped me, especially linking to recipes that may not have been my greatest writing endeavors. And when I first started, write linking back to some of those in order to create some internal navigation for people, and really focusing on complementary recipes, recipes that can be made together, or, you know, in the same sort of category, that has really helped. And I could see that because people are spending more time on the website. And there’s, you know, more and more views, more pageviews per person, as I look at the analytics, so that has really helped. 

Luay Ghafari  12:18

But I yeah, the growth has been really great. And again, it has allowed me to connect with so many new people, which, which has been a wonderful sort of byproduct of this work. And I will say from my perspective, that it seems like your connection with your people with your audience, maybe is also a reason that your blog is doing well. I think so I think that having focused my efforts on social media all those years ago, I built like a really solid foundation of loyal followers and readers who, you know, I’m really thankful for I think that foundational audiences is what keeps coming back, right? They’re always looking, they’re always going on my website, looking for new recipes, looking for new content. And I think that’s great, you know, building that relationship is key. But at the same time, you have to also find new people, right, you need to connect with new people. And these days, it’s I feel like it’s harder than ever on social media to connect with new people things. A lot of people are struggling to grow their follower lists. A lot of people are struggling to, you know, navigate the social media algorithm changes and whatnot. So it’s not as easy to make these connections in 2024 hours, and maybe it was, you know, 10 years ago, 

Luay Ghafari  12:25

I think another area is sort of around content clusters. I like to focus on a few clusters at a time and really pump out content around those. So if I’m right now, let’s say for example, this summer harvest season is coming up. You know, in the next few months, I’m really focused on growing my fermentation and preservation content cluster. So really trying to work on creating as many recipes as I can, that people will be searching for during that time. Same thing with content clusters around, let’s say, the gardening space, right, so we’re heading into the garden season for most people in the northern hemisphere. So I’m really focused on that right now, in order to generate, you know, content that people will be able to click from one article to the next. So I find that that has really helped been helpful as well. One thing that has helped me personally try to streamline my work is following a prescriptive blog formula, you know, it seems to work and resonate with my readers, but I’m not necessarily 100% stuck to that formula, always want to make changes, depending on the recipe, and depending on the situation, basically, you know, if I’m reading this blog, post myself, what would I find useful? Like, I would say, there might be for one recipe, you might want to include substitutions or a serve with for another recipe, it might not make sense to do that. So I think, yes, having a prescriptive formula makes sense, as you’re trying to work and, and go through the process of writing recipes, but you should be flexible enough to make changes that are required, you know, recipe by recipe. 

Megan Porta  14:00

Yeah. For some, it might be worthwhile to put like equipment, for example. And others, maybe not. Yeah. So to have kind of a template, but to also be adaptable, and go with the flow. I was going to ask you about content clusters. Do you recommend thinking seasonally with that? Or how do you recommend people start with thinking about where to what clusters to focus on? 

Luay Ghafari  14:21

I think it depends on on your niche and what you’re writing around? You know, my, for me personally, seasonality matters a lot, because it is, you know, part of what I do and it kind of dictates the kind of content that I can create and share on social media. And I’ll talk about that a little bit more later. I guess it’s, you know, the social media aspect is another reason why I feel like my growth has been so positive for me to be able to go into the garden and harvest some basil and make a recipe video out of that and share a blog post on it. You know, I can’t do that in December, right. I have to do that in the summer months. So for me seasonality really matters. It might not necessarily matter for someone else who’s writing let’s say a baking blog, for example. But I think clusters help also give authority to a blogger, in the sense that, you know, if you only have one recipe on, you know, a singular muffin recipe, for example, and someone is looking, looking you up, falls onto that muffin recipe and they want to explore more muffin recipes, and you have nothing else to offer them. I think that person might not necessarily equate you with an authority, quote unquote, on on muffins. Right. I think clusters help round out your categories that they help provide readers with more content to look at. So I think it’s it really depends on on on your niche and what you’re writing on. 

Megan Porta  15:41

Yeah, that’s such a great way to look at it. So not necessarily seasonally, but looking at it almost from the perspective of your user, and how it can be more helpful for them. Yeah, yeah, that’s great. And then, how do you feel about like, I know, you’ve put a focus on SEO? How do you feel about, like audits, you know, like paying for those services that some bloggers pay for? 

Luay Ghafari  16:05

Yeah. So you know, I think, and this might be different for different people, right? At the end of the day, are you looking at your blogging as a business as a career? Or are you looking at looking at it as a hobby, right, and if you are looking at it as a business, I think it’s important to recognize that successful businesses of all types, invest in tools and services and expertise in research. So I am definitely a proponent of seeking out and paying for services and tools that can help you grow your business. I think that sometimes in order to make money, you have to spend money, you just have to be smart about where you spend it. Right. So I do think that services like audits can help, you know, full disclosure, I did an audit SEO audit on my blog. And it was helpful, right? I think it’s helpful in many ways, like they can uncover issues, they can help kind of help you formulate a path forward. So I would definitely recommend it if it’s within your budget to, to consider that. And there’s a few services out there that offer audits, website audits, SEO audits, or whatever you want to call them. But definitely I again, it you have to look at look at it, your blog is, is it a business? Or is it a hobby? And if it’s a business, I think, you know, that answers itself? Yeah, right.

Megan Porta  17:25

And then keyword research for you. I know, it seems like you focus on what your user really needs, which is great. But how do you do keyword research to kind of marry in with all of that? 

Luay Ghafari  17:37

Yeah, I do use keyword research, because I think it’s important to kind of understand what you’re writing on. So I do use Key Search. I think a lot of bloggers, you know, use it because it is it’s affordable, right? And, but I’ll be quite honest, in the last few weeks, I’ve been questioning the data that’s coming out of it. So I’m using it less and less for, you know, to help with volume, or to help with understanding whether a key word is is easy or or, you know, medium difficulty. It just sort of it’s one of the many tools I use when I’m deciding on what to write. Because again, I’m not necessarily looking for that to be, you know, one of the top three for search, sometimes I’m writing content, because I know it’s going to do well with my social media audience. And I will get those page hits if I’ve promoted on social media, right. So it really kind of depends. I’m trying to diversify as much as I can. And I think we all should be doing that. Because if we don’t want to put all of our eggs in one basket, right, we don’t want to put all our eggs in the social basket or the Google Search basket right diversifying across the different platforms, whether that’s, you know, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, you know, email lists, Google, I think is the best path forward for all of us with these during these rocky uncertain times. Just put it that way. Yeah.

Megan Porta  19:00

Yeah, totally. I think diversify is one of the key words of the year. 

Sponsor  19:06

Hello there food bloggers. Let’s take a quick break from the episode to talk about my favorite keyword research tool RankIQ. It’s been my favorite tool for a couple of years now because it has increased my traffic year over year. And it continues to do so even despite the changes going on in our industry. Without Rank IQ. My blog traffic would be probably in trouble right now. I was doing some perusing through my analytics recently and I noticed that a ton of my roundup posts are currently in the spotlight. Roundup posts are something I started focusing on when I began to use Rank IQ a few years ago. At the time, I wasn’t sure how they would perform long term. today. I’m really glad that I pursued them and gave them a chance. They have produced a lot of blog traffic for my blog over the years, go to rankiq.com and type “what to serve with” in the search section of the keyword library. Sort from lowest to highest competition and browse through the keywords that populate pulling out the ones that align with your niche and content. Compile and write at least one roundup per month for the remainder of the year. And watch these posts rise to the top of your analytics. Users are always searching for ideas about what to serve alongside certain dishes and certain foods, this will not go away, head to rankiq.com to get started with your own powerful list of roundup post today. Now back to the episode. 

Megan Porta  20:32

Also, I think what you do really well it sounds like is just being able to take a step back and see the whole business, you know, from like a broad perspective, instead of like, I need to focus on SEO in the way that like, I need to get top three, you’re not doing that you’re taking just this, like overarching view of your business and seeing how everything plays together and how that’s all gonna serve your avatar. 

Luay Ghafari  20:56

Yeah, and that’s, that’s exactly it. And I sometimes I’ll, you know, if there’ll be a keyword that I know, I won’t rank for, you know, not, and I won’t even rank for in the top 20. But I might want to do it anyway, because I want to round out a category and I want to round out, you know, or create content around something that I know will resonate with folks on social media. So I don’t necessarily look at that, like you said, I do take a step back and see how it can fit in to the whole picture at the end of the day. And I think that brings us into the whole social media discussion, because I think it’s, that’s that’s sort of an area that a lot of bloggers that I know, and I’ve spoken to have maybe ignored over the last few years, because they were getting such amazing clicks from Google. Right? And now everyone is like, wait a minute, you know, we need to maybe go back and look at social a little bit more.

Megan Porta  21:49

Yeah. So how do you handle social media tell us if you have a strategy or something there that works.

Luay Ghafari 21:54

So I mean, I’ll take a step back. I like I told you, I initially started really focusing on creating content for social media, because I loved the the connection that social media gives you with people who are interested in the same things that you’re interested in. So I’ve been very lucky. I amassed a lot of followers, you know, over the years, I think Instagram is probably my primary platform. I’m going on TikTok as well. But really, Instagram is where I have quite a bit of followers of 330,000 followers right now. You know, over the years, because I was focused on on social media, I was able I had opportunities that I would not have otherwise been able to get, for example, I was able to get a book deal. Because of my social media presence and expertise. I published a book last year, a garden to table book. In fact, it’s sort of like a hybrid. 

Megan Porta  22:46

Oh, nice. 

Luay Ghafari  22:48

Yeah, it’s a hard hybrid gardening recipe book. So there’s about 50 or so recipes. And, you know, I cover things like how to preserve the harvest when you’re gardening and you’re harvesting, you know, tons of basil, what do you do with it? Right? What do you do with all these tomatoes? What do you do with all these eggplants, so really focused sort of on a garden to table book, but it was really that discussion. And that work around that book that really triggered me to say, hey, you know what, it’s great that I’m doing this for the book, but I want to, I want to grow my blog now. I want to be able to create more recipes and share more content, social media was able to really give me those opportunities. It just resonates the content resonates with my followers, and it’s it’s growing. So I’m very happy about that. I think what’s been key for me lately is sort of zeroing in on shareable, unsavable content. So content that people will just want to share their story or share with their friends and family, or content that they’re going to save. And that just tells the algorithm that hey, this is valuable content. And it’s just sort of like this domino effect, once the algorithm thinks that your content is is valuable, you know, it gets shown to more people. And you know, it’s hard to know what happens under the hood of, you know, the Instagram algorithm. But I feel like, if you’re true to yourself, and you’re true to your audience, and you’re sharing content that, you know, is valuable to you, it’ll be valuable to them. And if it’s shareable unsavable, that’s even better. Right.

Megan Porta  24:10

So what makes a social media post shareable? Would you say?

Luay Ghafari 24:14

I think there’s probably two ways to look at it, it has to be super controversial, like it has to be a hot take, like first and hot takes are, you know, they can be anything they can it can be a political post, it can be something that is goes against the grain, right. But the other thing that could make it shareable or saleable if it’s something that people have never really seen before, right, something in a brand new recipe, or a technique that people haven’t seen, or something that is really kind of mind boggling. It’s very hard to find that kind of content, right? Because even otherwise, you know, you can’t be reinventing the wheel every time. But if you’re able to share content that is that piques people’s interest. Me, you don’t have to do that every time you post, you know, you do that as much as you can. But because people are interested in what you have to say, when you do go and share a recipe that maybe is, you know, a special grandma’s recipe, people will still look at it. And because because they recognize that you have valuable content to share.

Luay Ghafari  24:17

And you’re like, you can do a similar recipe as other people, but still have your take on it and have it be novel, right? I mean, it doesn’t have to be like, the recipe that nobody’s ever made. It’s like this brand new thing. It can be just the same as other people’s content, but your cheese pull is way cooler than other people’s.

Luay Ghafari  25:35

Yeah. And I think sometimes you have to just accept the fact that with social media, it’s it is like, it’s like gambling, you don’t know if you’re gonna get rewarded. And you don’t know if you’re not right, like the social media algorithm does what it wants to do. But I found for me personally, as long as I think about what my followers are interested in, and I always keep that in mind that it tends to do well for me. And another thing that’s really been doing well for me on social media, is using redirect tools. So tools like Many Chat, for example, that I’m sure a lot of people have seen this where, you know, a blogger or a content creator will say comments guide, and I’ll send you my guide on so and so or comment recipe and I’ll send you my recipe. I’ve been using this tool for a couple of months now. And it has really been a game changer for me, because it has, it has allowed me to show my blog content to my social media followers, right. And for social media followers, you know, they don’t like to leave the platform, they just want to scroll right. So by by using tools like Many Chat, it has been a, it has enabled me to kind of show some of these followers that, hey, I’ve got presence outside this platform too. I’ve got this great blog that you can come and take a look at and get recipes. And it has helped me get a significant amount of new email subscribers as well. So it’s these tools are free to start, you know, obviously, it’s you got to pay to play at some point, but they are free to start. Definitely something worth experimenting with. 

Megan Porta  27:11

Can you tell us a little bit about Many Chat just how it works for people who don’t know?

Luay Ghafari  27:15

So it’s essentially like a bot automation tool that allows you to create workflows. And these workflows can be triggered either from an Instagram story or an Instagram reel or even Facebook, I haven’t yet experimented with the Facebook side of the tool. But what I essentially do is, let’s say I’ll share a recipe as a reel and then I’ll have a call to action to comment recipe or comment flatbread or comment, you know, whatever the recipe may be, to trigger people to make that comment. And once they make that comment, it triggers the automation and the automation can then be, you know, many different things. But the most basic automation is someone that bot or that tool will send them a link to the recipe directly in their DMs. So then all they have to do is go into their DMs and click the link and it just brings up your recipe post on your blog. So that is essentially you know, there you go, you’ve got a website Visit that’s come through from social. And you know, it’s not you’re not going to go viral on everyone. But if you do have reels that go viral, it can really be just drive a lot of traffic, I had one reel that went so viral, I think I got 10,000 website clicks meaning from it. Yeah, and you know, the goal there is to keep the automation in place without taking, if you leave it on someone who sees that reel, you know, six months down the road and clicks recipe, they’re gonna get the recipe, right? So it’s like, sort of, you’re priming yourself for the future and, and having all that content out there that can be automated. It has been really a game changer for me personally from the social media side of things. 

Megan Porta  28:57

Oh, that’s amazing. I have heard people talk about Many Chat, and that saves us so many steps because I used to do that where it was like dm or leave a comment with this word, and then I would have to monitor it. And it was like consuming, all consuming. It was hours of my day and it was like this is ridiculous. So that just takes all of that out of the equation. 

Luay Ghafari  29:20

I will warn folks though I’ve been put on Instagram jail twice now for you for using it and on to viral reels. The issue there is that ends the Instagram spam filters start you know getting triggered when they see multiple replies from you as the content creator on on on each comment and especially if the comments are the same. Like sent you the recipe sent you the recipe sent you the recipe that it triggers their spam sort of filtering. So that’s something to keep in mind. You can turn off the auto reply to the comments you could put a delay in so that things get delayed and it feels like it’s more natural right other than instant sharing, yes. But there’s there’s ways around it. But yeah, Instagram jail is no fun. You know, even even as a verified account, I, you know, I was still put still put into into jail, but it doesn’t last very long. And all it does is it prevents you from making comments on your own posts and other posts. Okay, it’s well worth the 10,000 website clicks, I’ll tell you that. 

Megan Porta  30:22

Yeah, absolutely. That’s a lot of clicks, holy cow, is there anything else you would talk about relating to social media and just how that has played into your growth.

Luay Ghafari  30:33

In terms of my growth as a business, it has been great, because it’s has been able to help me diversify my income, and not necessarily rely on, you know, website ad income alone. So I think focusing on social media helps, again, with a diversification that we talked about, it just helps, I think, also provide Google with a little bit more, you know, E-A-T authority on you, as a content creator, I think it’s, it’s one of those things that we that can’t be discounted. So you know, there was a while when you would Google my name, you would get sort of the notification, like, I guess, a Featured Snippet, or whatever about me, and it would say, you know, internet personality. And I don’t know if this is helpful, or not, but I’m going to assume that if Google recognizes that, that it should help boost my blog, right, and boost the the E-A-T that we all talk about, right? So I think focusing on social media these days is going to be key. For other reasons, too. You know, we’re in the age of AI, and people can create content and videos, you know, with a prompt, so what makes you unique, compared to the hundreds and 1000s of other bloggers and content creators out there, it’s you, it’s your personality, it’s your face. It’s, it’s what you have to offer to the world. And I think that in the age of AI, and in the age of, you know, scraping sites and all this other stuff that we have to deal with, the only thing we truly own is ourselves, it’s our face, it’s our personality, it’s our persona. It’s the expertise that we have to share. So I think for a lot of bloggers, you know, now’s the time to start thinking seriously about your your presence on social media and what you want to get out of it. I think it’s important to share your personality, and try to build a rapport with people on social media, not just on your, on your blog, through your email list and whatnot.

Megan Porta  32:29

Wow, that was so beautifully said I love your perspective on that. And again, it’s just that broader view of your business. It’s not just one piece, you have to look at all of it. And you mentioned E-A-T, have you focused on that, outside of what you talked about?

Luay Ghafari  32:44

Yeah, I think I had a pretty sad looking about page on my blog for many years. And it was through one of those audits that we talked about earlier that was recommended that I really beef it up, right. And I did, and really honed in on talking about my expertise and talking about the areas that you know, I’m focusing on also included links in my about page to where I’ve been quoted, or where I’ve been featured. So I think it’s important for people who are looking at who you are want to know a little bit more about you to see, you know, where you’ve been picked up in terms of other media presence, whether it’s, and it doesn’t have to be, you know, you don’t have to have a huge exhaustive list of that, you know, just a few things. If you’ve been featured on Yahoo put that on, why not like let people know that you’ve been quoted somewhere or that someone has shared your recipe on a big, recognizable blog, or big recognizable website, right. I was recently featured by Martha Stewart the second. The second that I saw the notification in H refs, I went and updated my logo banner for my website to include MarthaStewart.com. Like that was the first thing I did, right. And I took a screenshot of the article, make sure that, that I have that on file in case you know, I need to create an online portfolio at some point of where I’ve been quoted or where I’ve been, you know, featured. I think it’s important again, that kind of goes back to the business aspect of things. I think this helps you as a business. As you position yourself, let’s say to brands, if you want to do brand deals, if you want to do sponsored content on social media, they want to know where you’ve been featured. So all of that is important to keep track of and to share and I don’t consider it gloating or showing off I consider it you know, it’s like your resume. It’s like your CV just put it out there. You know, let people know where you’ve been featured. 

Megan Porta  34:41

Absolutely. I think a lot of bloggers are so hesitant to round out their about page for that reason. They don’t want to be seen as like a glitter. I don’t want to brag about myself. But listen like that is your place to shine and tell people and to tell Google what you’re all about all of your credentials. I always say like boast away on that, because there’s no other place, you’re probably going to do that. And it’s really so important. It’s one of those underrated things right that like, it’s so easy to update your about page. But people resist it. They don’t want to do that. 

Luay Ghafari  35:13

Yeah. And I resisted it for a long time. Because I said to myself, like, why? You know, it’s not important, no one’s looking at it. Like, you know, that’s what I used to convince myself. But the truth is, people do look at it, especially if if you are positioning yourself to diversify your income and you want to do brand deals, you want to work with brands, they’re gonna look at your about page, they’re gonna see you know, where you’ve been featured who you’ve worked with, you know, I have even have a call out to get, you know, request media kit, that is in my footer, that’s there, for anyone that’s looking into wants to get that information, whether it’s, you know, a media partner, or a brand or an agency, I think we have to be able to put ourselves out there, put ourselves out there, you know, put our faces out there on social media, show our perspectives, show our points of view, and not be afraid to, you know, brag about it a little bit when it is when something good happens. I shared my Martha Stewart feature on social media, I put it as a story. I think more of us need to be doing that. Because you know, one thing that I that struck me when I first started getting involved in blogging seriously, and I joined the Facebook groups and whatnot, is that there’s this resistance among some bloggers to consider this a business or to consider this something that, you know, we should be proud of. I think we should be proud of what we do, I think we should be very proud of the work we put out there. We should be very proud of ourselves. And we shouldn’t be afraid to tell people that we are proud of ourselves for doing the work that we do. Because we’re going to be competing against robots soon. So put yourself out there. And make sure that people know who you are and what your point of view is.

Megan Porta  36:52

So many great messages you brought to the table Luay I love all of this, just taking a broader perspective of your business. putting yourself out there leveraging social media, a lot of people resist that as well. Is there anything that we haven’t touched on that you want to discuss before we say goodbye? 

Luay Ghafari  37:08

I think we’ve touched on everything we’ve given people a lot to think about.

Megan Porta  37:12

For sure. Yes, this is a lot. And I’m so happy for you that you’ve grown so quickly. And I just again, like thoroughly appreciate your refreshing perspective. Yeah, it’s just nice. And this time when it’s really tumultuous out there, things are all over the place. And you just seem like the steady like yeah, just keeping an eye from 30,000 feet doing well.

Luay Ghafari  37:35

Yeah, you’re right. It is unsteady, right now, there’s a lot of a lot of concern. And there’s a lot of, you know, worry, I think within the community, and I think that’s okay, I think if you don’t have that worry piece of the equation, you won’t be able to find the solution that suits you, right. Like, I think like any other business, you can’t just coast you have to be able to adapt, you have to be able to pivot, you have to diversify. And look at it as a business. Look at it as your baby, right? Like, this is your baby, right? You want it to thrive, you want it to survive and treat it as such.

Megan Porta  38:10

Love that. Thank you so much. This was so great. What an awesome conversation. We appreciate you and your value today.

Luay Ghafari  38:17

Thank you so much for having me. 

Megan Porta  38:19

Yeah, I do have either a favorite quote or words of inspiration to leave us with.

Luay Ghafari  38:23

So I think we’ve probably covered this but maybe as a summary. I think whenever you’re thinking about sharing a piece of content, this is what I you know, I asked myself every time I want to share a piece of content, whether that’s on social, whether that’s on the blog, or if it’s an email that I want to send out, you know, how does this piece of content serve my audience? How does it serve my business? And and what I buy or read or consume it myself? Right. And I think if you can answer these three questions, you’re on the right track. 

Megan Porta  38:53

So great to end on that. We’ll put together a show notes page for you, Luay. If you go to eatblogtalk.com/ urbanfarmandkitchen you can check those out. Tell everyone where they can find you.

Luay Ghafari  39:05

Yeah, you can find me at Urban Farm and Kitchen on all the platforms. That’s Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and my blog is urbanfarmandkitchen.com 

Megan Porta  39:14

Awesome everyone go check it out. And thank you again so much for being here and thank you for listening food bloggers. I will see you next time. 

Outro  39:24

Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Eat Blog Talk. If you enjoyed this episode, I’d be so grateful if you posted it to your social media feed and stories. I will see you next time.

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