On this week’s episode, we’re joined by Shay Bocks of Feast Design Company. Shay started hustlin’ in 2008 to connect her creative gifts and ravenous curiosity with the ambition of creative entrepreneurs. Nowadays, that dream has manifested into a full-time operation serving other dreamers just like herself.
Within the Genesis community, Shay is best known for her Foodie Pro theme, one that has continually been the #1 selling theme on StudioPress. She followed that up with a theme called Brunch Pro, and just recently released another one called Cook’d Pro.
In this 31-minute episode Brian Gardner, Lauren Mancke, and Shay Bocks discuss:
- How Shay’s first 7 jobs shaped what she does today
- Challenges she faces as a small business owner
- The popularity of the Foodie Pro Theme
- What makes a successful food blogging brand
- A recipe solution: the Cookbook Plugin
Listen to StudioPress FM below ...
The Show Notes
- Follow Feast Design Co. on Twitter
- Foodie Pro Theme
- Brunch Pro Theme
- Cookbook Plugin
The Business of Food Blogging: Is it Lucrative?
Jerod Morris: Hey, Jerod Morris here. If you know anything about Rainmaker Digital and Copyblogger, you may know that we produce incredible live events. Well, some would say that we produce incredible live events as an excuse to throw great parties, but that’s another story. We’ve got another one coming up this October in Denver. It’s called Digital Commerce Summit, and it is entirely focused on giving you the smartest ways to create and sell digital products and services. You can find out more at Rainmaker.FM/Summit.
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Voiceover: StudioPress FM is designed to help creative entrepreneurs build the foundation of a powerful digital business. Tune in weekly as StudioPress founder Brian Gardner and VP of StudioPress Lauren Mancke share their expertise on web design, strategy, and building an online platform.
Lauren Mancke: On this week’s episode, Brian and I will discuss the business of food blogging with Shay Bocks of Feast Design Company.
Brian Gardner: Hey, everyone. Welcome back to StudioPress FM. I am your host, Brian Gardner, and I’m joined, as usual, with the vice president of StudioPress, Lauren Mancke. We’re excited to talk to Shay today because we’re continuing our series here where we’re talking to members and experts, mind you, of the Genesis community. We’re going to just jump right into it.
Today, we’re joined by Shay Bocks of Feast Design Company. Shay started hustling in 2008 to connect her creative gifts and ravenous curiosity with the ambition of creative entrepreneurs. Nowadays, that dream has manifested into a full-time operation of serving other dreamers just like herself.
Now, within the Genesis community, Shay is best known for her Foodie Pro Theme, one that has continually been the number one selling theme on StudioPress. She followed that up with a theme called Brunch Pro and just recently released a new third food-blogging theme called Cook’d Pro. Shay, it’s a huge pleasure for Lauren and I to have you on the show today. Welcome.
Shay Bocks: Thank you. I’m super honored to be here with the likes of you guys. Y’all are my heroes, so this is awesome.
Brian Gardner: Ah, the y’all has already started.
Shay Bocks: Oh yeah, absolutely.
Brian Gardner: I love talking to you because you have such a great accent. It’s awesome. I love it. It makes me smile.
Lauren Mancke: I didn’t even notice. That’s how we talk around here.
Shay Bocks: Exactly. Lauren knows what I mean.
Brian Gardner: So I’m the outsider is what you’re saying?
Shay Bocks: Yeah.
Shay Bocks: Before we start talking to Shay, the Shay of 2016, I thought it would be fun to head back in time a little bit. Last week on Twitter, there was this hashtag going around called the #FirstSevenJobs. Everybody would Tweet the first seven jobs that they had, and then they used the hashtag. Anyone you were following, you can kind of see what they were up to in years past. Some people flipped hamburgers, and other people were DJs and stuff like that.
Let’s talk about when you were younger — you’re still young — but younger than you are now. Before you became this Internet powerhouse, what did you do before this?
How Shay’s First 7 Jobs Shaped What She Does Today
Shay Bocks: I’m super excited you asked this. A lot of times, those hashtags go around, and it’s kind of silly what people do. But when I actually sat down and wrote out my first seven jobs, it was a realization as to how all of those previous, kind of insignificant jobs, that you start out with really informed what I’m doing now. It’s kind of cool to see how that turned out.
The first job I had was actually when I was 15. I became a youth facilitator for a major nonviolence organization. I got to travel around the world with McGruff the Crime Dog, if you remember him. I also got to work with a lot of teens and teach adults how to work with teens, and we lobbied politicians.
The biggest thing that I got out of that was that, when I got this insight into using creative solutions to solve problems because we worked with these teens to create media campaigns and we sat in think tanks with refugees from Uganda and different things like that, that had to be the best job that I could have ever hoped for, especially when I was only 15 years old.
Brian Gardner: Sure.
Shay Bocks: From there, I did something way more boring. I worked as a service coordinator for an HVAC company. I had to switch gears from that and do something a little bit more exciting. I went to New York to live as a live-in nanny. I worked for a single mom, who was really this big-shot corporate creative in New York — really got to see how she leveraged her skills for what she was doing at the time. I’m sure she’s still doing amazing things.
After that job was over with, I came back to Chesapeake, Virginia, and worked as an office manager at a radiator repair shop. It was owned by friends of ours. I would say that one taught me how to work with difficult people and how to get invoices paid, but in a very nice way, to make sure the people were happy at the end of the day.
Once I was done with that job, I actually left there to move to Texas with my husband at the time, and because we were in an area full of other Army wives, it was so difficult to find a job. I ended up working as a makeup artist at Glamour Shots. I would say that this job was least in-line with my own personality and my values. But now looking back, I can say that’s definitively where I learned how to use Photoshop and how to make a sale.
Once my husband deployed and I had our baby — Steve deployed when our baby was two months old — I didn’t want to leave the baby, so I decided to become certified in Army childcare. I ran a 24-hour care for infants out of my home. At any given time, I would have four infants at my house, like all the time. That was my first lucrative business venture. Even though what I was doing was very different from what I’m doing now, I learned so much about business by doing that.
I have to tell a short little story and say that the way I got most of my clients, or families that I worked with, was actually by turning a Myspace page into a website. I didn’t know much about web design at the time, but I knew how to manipulate the HTML in Myspace. When someone would come to my Myspace page, it looked like a website. It didn’t look anything like a Myspace page. That seemed to impress families for some reason.
Brian Gardner: Lauren, did she just say Myspace?
Shay Bocks: I did.
Brian Gardner: Let’s talk GeoCities and Myspace on StudioPress FM. That’s awesome. Go on.
Shay Bocks: That’s how I learned how to code, just being straight up with you.
Brian Gardner: Hey, that’s what we want to hear.
Shay Bocks: After doing that, I decided to start designing for other Army wives, and thinking back on it now, it was really kind of desperate and ridiculous. But I created graphics for Army wives so that, while their soldiers were gone … it was like these little blinky graphics with pictures of them and their soldiers, and “Oh I love you,” “I miss you,” and all of that kind of stuff.
Then, from there I realized that, “Well, these same Army wives are starting to build their own businesses, and they need websites.” There were a lot of bloggers, so I figured out how to create blog designs for these Army wives, which then went down a whole path that led me to where I am now.
Brian Gardner: Yeah. I had two jobs, basically, before this web thing. The first was a manager at a convenient store, and that gave me the experience of customer service and how important that is. That is something that, for very obvious reasons, has come through when I started StudioPress and having to deal with people and why giving them the benefit of the doubt and being as helpful and generous as I can.
Then, the second job after that was project manager at an architectural firm. That experience put me in front of a computer all day, which basically gave me access to teach myself everything I know now, which was, back in that day, all Microsoft Windows, Excel, Word, Outlook, and all that stuff.
When I was kind of getting bored with what I was doing, I went online and started teaching myself things. So, yes, to your point, when you look back at the jobs that you had, in some fashion you could probably pull some nugget of how that helped you establish your Internet entrepreneurship that we all have. You know what I mean?
Shay Bocks: Absolutely. I completely agree with you on that.
Lauren Mancke: Shay, you’re clearly a talented designer, and you’re quite savvy from a business side of things. How did you decide to become an Internet entrepreneur?
Why Shay Decided to Become an Internet Entrepreneur
Shay Bocks: That’s a loaded question. I think the best Internet entrepreneurs get to call themselves that because they followed some kind of magnetic pull from the universe, I guess. That might be kind of a woo-woo way of explaining it. I know that, in my case, all I did was allowed myself to be curious and to dig in when I really didn’t know what I was doing — then to recognize opportunities that intersected with the path that I was already on.
I was open to success and so it has found me — and it’s still finding me. I think I am just at the beginning of this journey, but that’s not to discredit the intense amount of work I’ve put into my business or how I’ve leveraged my skillset to do it. I guess that’s just my attempt at a balanced answer for you.
Lauren Mancke: I know having kids and being a single mom is probably difficult. What other challenges do you face with running your business?
Challenges Shay Faces As a Small Business Owner
Shay Bocks: I think I have a very unique perspective that’s valuable to the audience I serve. My current challenge is being able to scale that and to build a team that serves even more bloggers seamlessly, just as I would. For me, I want to do so many things. My list is big.
But you’re right — I’m a mom, and a single mom at that, without a lot of support on the home front. Being able to balance this ambition with the recognition of what I can actually get done in a day is really hard. That’s where my team is coming in, and I can’t even begin to describe what a difference that’s made for me and the people that we’re serving.
Speaking of my team. Last month, I got to promote my creative assistant to full-time designer, and I’m super excited because he’s coming with me to Circles next month. You’ll get to meet him while we’re there.
Brian Gardner: That’s awesome. I know last year that was the first time you and I got a chance to meet face to face.
Lauren Mancke: Yeah and us too.
Brian Gardner: Yeah. Lauren, unfortunately, can’t join us this year because of family reasons.
Shay Bocks: Oh pooh.
Lauren Mancke: I’m in the family way.
Brian Gardner: Yeah. You’ve got a couple buns in the oven, now that we’re going with this food and baking concept. We will definitely miss you, Lauren, there at Circles conference, but Shay, I cannot wait to see you again.
Shay Bocks: Same here.
Brian Gardner: We’ll get to, Shay, how you and I kind of met online here in a minute. As an outsider looking in, I’m always fascinated, and we just talked to Rebecca at Web Savvy Marketing about this, there are things about people that I see from my perspective that really make me happy and proud to call people as friends and fellow entrepreneurs.
Watching your journey from when we first met as struggling single mom trying to make money and kind of figure this out, to where you’re at now, having developed a team, multiple products. You just announced some stuff, which we’ll also get to, and knowing the road ahead for you is probably way longer than it is behind you, it’s just so fun.
As a cheerleader, kind of sit on the sidelines of your life and your journey and just watch that stuff go down. See how things play out and pictures that you post. Having people to your place to do pictures and staging, all of that stuff. I’m so happy and proud of where you’ve gone, and I cannot wait to see where you go — quick aside there.
Let’s go back because I want to talk about Foodie. I mean that’s the elephant in the room. At some point, we’re all going to look back and say that just changed and revolutionized food blogging as it is now. Foodie Pro was a theme that you designed. It’s really where our paths crossed on the Internet.
I think you were on my radar, and I saw a link to something. Someone Tweeted something. I went there, and I instantly said, “That is a theme we have to have on StudioPress.” I don’t remember the exact chain of events, but I’m sure I probably just emailed you and said, “Hey. I’m Brian, founder of StudioPress. Want to sell your theme? See a lot of opportunity. Are you interested?” From that, it’s probably a pretty obvious question to answer here, but what is the effect that Foodie itself has had on your business as it is right now?
The Popularity of the Foodie Pro Theme
Shay Bocks: Yeah, absolutely. That moment that you just talked about, where you reached out to me and said, “Hey, I want to sell this on StudioPress,” that was a pivotal moment in my journey. I was already on the path towards working more with food bloggers. I think I saw where things were headed with this industry, and I wanted to be a part of that. But it was really getting Foodie on StudioPress and opening that up to such a bigger audience and such a wider breadth of online contributors that really kind of set all of this into motion.
I think just being able to have something like Foodie online in a mass setting for all of these newbie food bloggers who are just starting out, who don’t even know yet if they have something to contribute to the online world, but being able to say, “Hey, this is a theme that was built for me, and this is how I can get started.” I think that has been tremendous, at least for the food bloggers I’ve talked to. They have at least a starting point.
Once they have that WordPress installed, the Genesis Framework installed, and the Foodie child theme installed, they know that now they can just write something, press publish, and worry about the rest later, figure it out later. Foodie is giving them that start, which I think is incredible.
Brian Gardner: So quick aside here — Lauren and I, every month we get a report of sales on StudioPress, and every month we think to ourselves, “Is this the month?” Lauren, correct me if I’m wrong. I think there was one month at one point.
Lauren Mancke: Yeah, there was one month.
Brian Gardner: Every month we wait to get the report. We’re like, “Ah, she did it again. Foodie’s the number one selling theme on StudioPress,” which, of course, is not us being selfish. It’s just more of a fun game than anything.
So food blogging — that’s obviously something that we want to talk about today. It’s quite the rage, and has been probably for at least two or three years. Now, I don’t necessarily think it’s in a saturated state, but it’s sort of getting close. But it’s so popular, and people are still doing it.
People are still starting it. It seems like every day people are starting up a new food blog. A lot of popular sites out there, such as Pinch of Yum, Minimalist Baker, run by John and Dana. John’s a good friend of mine. Cookie and Kate is another one. What’s the deal? The whole food-blogging theme, just talk to us about what it is and why it’s such a rage.
Why a Personal Brand Is Essential to Building a Successful Food Blog
Shay Bocks: Yeah. I think food blogging may be big, and you’re right — some people may even say it’s an industry that’s getting over-saturated. I actually hope to hear more voices getting into this food conversation. There are so many food blogs out there, but you know why? It’s because of the mom that’s sitting down every Sunday afternoon wondering what the hell she’s going to get into her kids bellies this week, or the millions of people who are suffering with chronic conditions and are looking at their diets to help them tackle the challenges that they’re facing.
There’s so much room in this space because eating is a need that humans will always have. Discovering ways to use food to make life easier, happier, sexier, and even divinely inspired, that’s where food bloggers come in. I don’t think people realize how incredibly influential this industry is.
These bloggers are the ones behind the recipes and magazines that you read, the cookbooks you rely on, on the cooking shows you’re watching, and especially in the recipes that you seek out on Pinterest. Brands notice, too. That’s why so many food bloggers are doing so well online.
Lauren Mancke: My husband, he actually went to culinary school, just for fun, so he’s a classically trained chef. People are always telling us that we should start a food blog because I can take the pictures, he can cook the food. And is it really all that simple? I think about how much time and effort that would take, and I think it’s a common misconception about building a successful food blog is that it’s that easy. What do you think about that?
Shay Bocks: Yeah. I definitely have to agree with you. It’s not some fly-by-night operation. I would say that I think you should start a food blog because I would certainly read it. I would enjoy it. I think it would be valuable to a lot of people, but I would not say it’s all that easy to do. It’s easy to do as a hobby. If you’re looking to really make an impact with your blog, it’s not a hobby.
In order to really build an influential food blog, you have to have a personal brand. A lot of work goes into building a personal brand. That’s just my take on it. Getting started is easy, but actually making an impact with your blog, that’s not easy. The people who are doing it, they need to be recognized for the work they’re putting into their blogs.
Brian Gardner: One of my favorite decisions you’ve made, and you and I had many conversations during the success of Foodie when it started out — “What’s next for Shay? What’s phase two? What’s the next thing?” We have kind of joked — at some point, that ship will sail, right?
Shay Bocks: Right.
Brian Gardner: We talked about just different ideas of themes that you could do next, so one of the things you did that made me super proud, and I was just so excited, was when you decided to go with the second theme, also food blogging. At that point, I think you kind of said, “This is where I’m going to plant my flag. I’m not going to try to just go all over and be everything. I’m going to become the food blog person.”
As I mentioned earlier on the show, we’ve got a third theme that just came out called Cook’d. It’s been fun to watch you stick with that and ride that horse further past Foodie by introducing a couple of other well-designed themes. Then, of course, you renamed your business Feast Design Company, obviously to go along with the food-blogging theme, which I thought was another brilliant move.
Lauren Mancke: I love that.
Brian Gardner: Yeah.
Shay Bocks: Thank you.
Brian Gardner: Kudos to you.
Lauren Mancke: I saw that, and I was like, “Oh yes, I love that.”
Shay Bocks: That means a lot to me that you say that. We went through a lot of hemming and hawing over that, about what we should call ourselves. It’s hard to name anything. I just kept saying to myself, “Feast your eyes on this.” The word ‘feast’ just kept coming up, and because it’s such food-related and reminds people of jubilant Thanksgivings or a time when people are coming together, that’s what we went with.
Brian Gardner: Okay. Walk us through some of the typical, and sometimes very lucrative, monetization strategies. I mentioned, Pinch of Yum, they have a course. John and Dana at Minimalist Baker, they have things that they’re doing. There are a lot of opportunities for people outside of just the advertisement or things like that. How can people make money with the food blog?
How to Make Money with a Food Blog
Shay Bocks: Yeah. We get new food bloggers in, and they’re like, “Oh, I want to monetize. Let me put some Google Ads on my website,” and I have to kind of sit down and educate them and say, “You’re not really going to make money that way.” Ads are valuable for blogs that have a ton of traffic, but we’re starting to see food bloggers branch out into other avenues of monetizing, which is really exciting.
You see sites like I Am Baker, where she has a huge partnership with a big brand, McCormick Seasonings, and she’s putting out content left and right. That’s supported by that brand that supports her online business, but it’s also extremely valuable to the people that she’s writing for. Then we have, you mentioned Pinch of Yum and Minimalist Baker. They do make a lot of money on ad revenue because they have the traffic to support it, but they’re also diversified revenue.
They have products of their own. They’re using affiliate links. They’re just tapping into every lucrative avenue they can get their hands on, and it’s working for them, which is wonderful.
Then you have other big hitters like Pioneer Woman. She started as a blogger, and she leveraged her personal brand to put out a cookbook. I think she has her own Food Network show. There are endless possibilities. What I’m looking forward to seeing is even more creative solutions, stuff we haven’t even seen before.
Brian Gardner: If you’re looking for those types of ideas — I know John and Dana do this at Minimalist Baker, I’m not sure how often — but a lot of these popular food blogs are doing the transparency thing with their monthly reports, right? Where they go top to bottom and actually show you how diversified their income stream is. There’s things that even I see on there where I’m like, “Wow, I would have never thought of trying to monetize that way.”
A lot of them are even supported by web-hosting companies for people who are searching for how to start a food blog, right? They go through and walk you through, and they recommend themes, such as the ones that you have with us on StudioPress and hosting, so there’s that and the obvious courses. Food Photography School, I think, is a course. I can’t remember if that’s Pinch of Yum?
Shay Bocks: Both Pinch of Yum and Minimalist Baker have photography courses, which is awesome.
Brian Gardner: Yeah. Education and training — if you have thousands of followers that are trying to basically replicate your success, that’s a great opportunity to basically teach them how you did what you did, which gives them value and you revenue. Lots of opportunities to make money in food blogs.
Shay Bocks: Absolutely.
Lauren Mancke: Say I was going to start a food blog, or have some sort of food-blogging aspect to a website, what do you think some of the obstacles I would face would be in order to make it big?
Obstacles to Growing a Big, Successful Food Blog
Shay Bocks: I think the first thing that I see most new food bloggers doing is that they’re trying too much to be just like the people who are successful at food blogging. Brian, you mentioned a second ago that Pinch of Yum and Minimalist Baker have some education and training aspects to their products. I think those kinds of things are incredibly valuable, but the problem comes in when a new food blogger tries to copy exactly what they’re doing.
New food bloggers coming into the realm need to take that information, learn from it, but then also figure out what’s making them unique. There may be a 100,000 paleo blogs out there, but your unique perspective is what’s going to make your blog different, what’s going to make it stand out, or what’s going to make people want to link to it. What people are going to want to consume and eat up.
Brian Gardner: No pun intended, right?
Shay Bocks: Yeah, exactly.
Lauren Mancke: Pun intended.
Brian Gardner: She walked right into that one.
Shay Bocks: Yeah. I think it’s really important to set yourself apart, but doing it in a way that’s not competitive. This blue ocean strategy — if anyone knows about me — it’s being able to have a unique perspective, something valuable to present to the world, but in a way that’s really collaborative with others in the space.
Brian Gardner: Yeah. Food blogging isn’t the only space. We even see that within the Genesis ecosystem and people who are selling themes. The unique voice, I’m so glad that you alluded to that. That is so important because so many people just try to replicate success without there being any kind of unique positioning.
Back in the day, I don’t know if you know who this is, but Jeremy Shoemaker, a guy named ShoeMoney back in the day, made a ton of money doing stuff with the ringtones. So everybody wanted to be the next ShoeMoney and do the exact same thing. So all of a sudden, you had a bunch of cloned sites.
Even back when Darren Rowse was starting out with ProBlogger and all of that, everyone, kind of like a flock of sheep, just tried to basically do the same thing on a different domain name. So I think, now, in this even not so saturated market with food blogging, there’s still so many opportunities.
You even mentioned it earlier, just the different types of sort of layers within that where you can create — whether it’s paleo, whether it’s this or that, or how it applies to wellness, like Katie is doing at Wellness Mama, just kind of how that allows you the opportunity to serve a very specific audience. Maybe it’s gluten-free. Maybe it’s something else. Maybe it’s desserts. Food blogging is a big, big ocean.
We would encourage anyone who was looking to start a food blog to just find a unique element. Maybe it applies to you as a person and your personality. Maybe there’s some flamboyance involved, so you’re like RedHotChef.com or something like that, where you bring a certain kind of flavor to it.
Okay. Give our listeners who are interested in food blogging some trade secrets. In other words, what are some things that they should focus on when they are trying to start their successful food-blogging brand?
Where to Focus Your Food-Blogging Brand: A Unique Perspective and a Specific Audience
Shay Bocks: I’d say the number one point is, what I said before, building your personal brand and focusing on what makes your prospective unique. Second, I would say speaking to a specific reader or target audience. When I do strategy sessions with potential clients or some of the people we work with on themes, we get really specific about who the target audience is.
I don’t mean 35- to 45-year-old women with a college education. I mean like what are this person’s deep desires, fears? What are her mantras? What does she get up in the morning for? What makes her frustrated, sad, or discouraged? Then speaking to that one particular person in everything that you write or any image you put up online or anything. Have that person in your mind when you’re putting anything up online.
Then, I would say the last point is just following your intuition about what opportunities make the most sense in building your own online empire. Not all solutions are going to be right for you, so you have to have kind of a gut check with anything you do.
A Recipe Solution: The Cookbook Plugin
Brian Gardner: Okay. Here’s where I’m going to jump in and ask the bonus question: The Cookbook Plugin. Yesterday, you made a big announcement online with the folks at WP Site Care about a plugin I knew about for some time. In fact, you and I had separate conversations about something we were going to consider doing, but never did. For our listeners, I’m going to read this straight from your sales page, just so they know what we are talking about.
Here’s what Shay and friends have to say. “Start and grow your blog with a recipe plugin that actually works. All the existing WordPress recipe plugins are busted, poorly supported, hard to use, or just plan ugly. We’ve built a feature-rich recipe solution that is crafted with care, well-built, it looks beautiful, and works the way that food bloggers do. You can get excited about publishing new recipes again.” Care to go more into this, Shay?
Shay Bocks: Well, it’s interesting, when you say it, that sounds a little harsh. I will say that there are a lot of well-meaning developers out there who are trying to solve the issue of recipe plugins for food bloggers. Anyone familiar with this space knows the past few months have been really volatile when it comes to recipe plugins. Some plugins are being dropped completely. Some are just not being well-supported. The ones that are being well-supported are just kind of really overly bloated, ugly, or not easy to use.
Those are harsh judgments, but these are the things we’re hearing from our customers on a daily basis. They want to know, “Which recipe plugin do you recommend?” I have to honestly say I can’t in good faith recommend any of them. I’ll tell them what their options are. I’ll tell them what I think the pros and cons are, but I don’t feel comfortable about any of them.
It was in this moment of frustration, really — actually, a few years of frustration — talking with some colleagues over at WP Site Care, figuring out that what people need is a supported plugin that’s going to stick around, be well-developed, and be beautiful.
So we decided to build it. We decided we’re tired of waiting for other people to do it. It’s time for us to do something about this. I think bloggers are tired of every week trying to figure out, “Should I switch plugins? What’s the right software to install this week?” Bloggers need something consistent and something that’s really dedicated to working the way they do.
That’s why we started on this path. We’ve got a solid plugin that is in its final stages of just wrapping it up, getting it tested, and getting it ready for everyone to use. We decided to go ahead and announce it yesterday and let everyone know that it’s coming. We’re excited about what this going to mean for recipe publishers.
Brian Gardner: To me, it makes a lot of sense. We do the same thing at Copyblogger … or excuse me, Rainmaker Digital is our new name. If we get frustrated with a solution that’s out there or we need something for our own internal use, we just go ahead and build it. Then if it makes sense, we release that to the public.
For you, so many people who are using the food-blogging themes that you’re designing, even from your prospective, it probably makes it easier to have the control over what does this plugin or the functionality for what most food bloggers are going to need.
It’s easy to work with that because you built it rather than having to be frustrated with the reliance on somebody else’s development, and sometimes changing code, markup, or whatever. It’s kind of like in-housing the solution. Obvious reasons include you guys get to make money on it yourself, and things like that. Then, it just makes it much more of a pitch to say, “Hey, I recommend this because it works well with the stuff that we’ve built.” Kudos to you guys for ceasing that opportunity and running with it.
Shay Bocks: Thank you. I want to say #truth. All of that is wonderful. I completely agree with you.
Lauren Mancke: I’ve really enjoyed all your thoughts, Shay. Do you have anything else to add?
Shay Bocks: Just that I’m honored to be able to connect food bloggers with the amazing tools over at StudioPress. Of the major contributions in this space, you guys are such a big hitter, and I so appreciate how you’ve embraced me and my people.
Brian Gardner: Yeah. Well, that’s going to continue to go even further. I have some ideas that, Shay, you and I will talk about offline, just about how to leverage the stuff that you’ve built, the stuff that we’ve built, our audience, and how to put that together and really present a unified front when it comes to food blogging and people building their personal brands for that.
Speaking of personal brands, I have a question for those who are listening in. Are you looking to build a better brand for your blog? Well, Shay has created an actionable five-part challenge, and with that, you’ll have just the right tactics you need to build a digital design and brand. This will help lead you to a profitable website — and best of all, it’s free. Sign up, and get your first challenge delivered immediately.
For more information, you can check it out over at FeastDesignCo.com/5-days. We’ll also include a link to that on the show page.
If you like what you heard on today’s show, you can find more episodes of StudioPress FM at, you guessed it, StudioPress.FM. You can also help Lauren and I hit the main stage by subscribing to the show on iTunes. It’s a great way to never, ever miss an episode. Thank you so much for listening, and we’ll see you next week.