This is part of my Makin' Bacon podcast, you can check out all the episodes or subscribe on your favorite podcast player.
I recently podcast interview with Elizabeth Falcigno on the Makin' Bacon Podcast and I wanted to highlight this part of the discussion because I think it's extra valuable.
In this part of the interview, Elizabeth and I talk about why diversifying your income is so important and how you can find brands to work with on sponsored posts.
Below is the snippet from the interview, as well as a transcription of the feature.
Elizabeth Falcigno: I definitely think it's a very important thing, you have to have more than one stream of income in I think food blogging. The great thing about blogging is it's not difficult to have more than one stream of income.
There's a lot of different opportunities for you as a food blogger. My main sources of income are through my ad revenue, my affiliate partnerships, my eBooks that I sell on my site, and consulting or freelance work. I do blog coaching and consulting. I don't do it as much, but I do freelance work for brands and businesses, whether it's product shots or recipe development for their sites and social channels.
So, that's kind of my main bucket. And honestly, I just found these things organically. Oh, and sponsored content, hello, well that's a huge one too!
But all of those have come to be through just blogging. I would write a blog post when I first started, and I would talk about how much I love Bob's Red Mill.
And then I was like, you know what? People are reading this. And people are seeing that I'm using Bob's Red Mill, I'm going to reach out to them. And you know, I've been working with Bob's Red Mill for 3 or 4 years now, at this point they're one of my biggest sponsors and one of my greatest partners.
Same thing with an affiliate relationship. I use Butcher Box personally, I bought it myself. I thought, this is really awesome. I was recommending it to friends and family and family members. And then I realized, Oh, wait a second. affiliate marketing, Hello! I can make money for referring them, so I think that the best way to go about finding those income streams is organic.
If you love a brand and you think that they are probably going to maybe need some photos on their site, where you look at their social media and think, my God, that looks terrible. Take 10 minutes, take their product out, take 5 photos, send it to them and say, Hey, we love your brand, we've been using it forever. I was just, taking some practice photos and this is what I took. I would love to help you if you're ever looking for social media or content creator.
Maybe they have $0 to do that right now. But you better believe the second they have money to get images, they're going to be like, Oh, remember that person who sent us those images? They were great, and we want to work with them because clearly, they like our brand.
So just do things organically and reach out to whether it be brands or affiliate partners or your content. Be organic and be true to yourself, and I think that the money will just follow and fall into your lap. But that I think it's the best way to find the different sources.
Jason Logsdon: It's much, much easier in my opinion, to take something that you really like and then share that with your audience rather than find something that has a high affiliate payout, then try to talk yourself into why you would want to recommend it.
Elizabeth: Yeah. It's so tough. And I feel like people can sniff that out from a mile away. If I were to turn around, and I mean no disrespect towards these brands, but if I were to turn around tomorrow and partner with one of the meal kit companies, people would be What the heck are you doing?
Because I talk about -shopping on a budget. I talk about how easy it is to cook with whatever you have on hand. I talk about meal planning and only going to the grocery store once and using things in my fridge and pantry. If I started talking about one of those meal delivery services where some of them are $15 to $20 a meal, my audience would think - this is so fake! There's no way that Liz was paying to use this. It would just come off as really inauthentic.
For some bloggers, that's a great partnership and they might make a lot of sense for them. For me, it doesn't. Even though the affiliate payout might be huge, if you're not really using it at the end, and don't authentically believe in it, they're going to know.
Jason: Yeah. I think it's so important to find things that you personally like and care about and think it would be good for your audience. The mental thing I do is I always picture that I'm writing an email to my mother-in-law about the product and how would I explain to her whether or not she should use it. And I have to stare at her across the table at Thanksgiving, so I'm not going to do something that I don't believe in. And that's how I try to share with my fans as well.
Elizabeth: You know it's funny because my friends and my family will joke Well, do you really use that? Yeah, I really do. I would not ever talk about things I don't use. I get, and I'm sure you do too, countless emails from random products and random things that they want me to try. And I'm just like, No thank you. I'm sure it's great, but I really just have no interest in that. Because, I don't want to talk about a thing unless I absolutely love it.
Jason: And that helps if you focus on a few things that you really like, as opposed to recommend a ton of products. You're not overwhelming your fans. You're saying, here's the 10 things that I use a lot on a daily basis, in my daily life and it stands out a lot more to them.
Elizabeth: Yeah. And I think that in order to really be successful with an affiliate product, you have to constantly be talking about it. But not in a shoving it down their throats marketing kind of way, but just an organic way. For example, Butcher Box is one of my largest affiliate partners and. When I'm cooking dinner, I just say Oh, this is a Butcher Box chicken we got it in our box. I'll put a link in my stories. Or if someone asks me for something, I just recommend them organically. It's linked in all of my blog posts, because it's just what I use.
So, it's a lot easier to kind of build that, frequency with your audience. If you're constantly talking about something and if you have 40 different affiliate partners, there's no way that you could talk about them all the time.
Jason: If someone has a few different things that they like, they found some affiliate programs for them, what are some ways you found that are really good to kind of promote these programs to your audience?
Elizabeth: A big part of it is frequency and constantly talking about it to your audience. So, whether it's showing how to use the product in your daily life. This does not have to be some high-quality production. It can literally just be in your Instagram stories. Like, Oh, I'm cooking with this, it's so good, or it's my favorite, whatever.
I think that's the best thing to do if you don't have the SwipeUp on Instagram. I think the SwipeUp is way over glorified, but if you have it you could put out a poll. Do you want me to send you the coupon code, have people vote and manually send them the link and your code?
I think back to email, email is huge. It's very easy for me to incorporate my affiliates into my emails. Linking them frequently in your blog posts is great. Writing a great keyword, rich blog post about them. If you Google Butcher Box my blog post for them comes up, because I have nothing more to say about Butcher Box.
If someone asks me, like my mom actually asked me about it earlier today. And I was like, Click here and read this post. Every single question that you could possibly think of I've answered. I have taken the time as people have asked me questions. Like, how does it compare to Costco? Or how does it compare to this? How does it arrive? All of those questions are answered in there.
So, I think that if you really love something, write a really great keyword rich SEO blog post. That can be a great source of traffic for your affiliate partner.
If you want to read some more about this, here are a few helpful links.