The digital marketing industry is changing every day. No one has done this before. We’re slowly learning how to be smart and strategic, without becoming burned out in the process. We need to get back to a place where we feel okay that things may change on a dime, learning how to adapt and actually embrace the changes instead of dreading them.

In this episode, Kate sits down with Liz from The Clean Eating Couple to talk about all the latest changes creators are facing on Pinterest, and how she is finding ways to make them work for her business. Today she is bringing Kate up to speed on where she’s at now, what her growth journey has looked like, how she’s started embracing the changes on Pinterest, and how she is planning out the next 5 to 10 years in her business.

Pay attention to the Pinterest business tips in this post because they are the key to being able to embrace the changes you’ll see in the digital marketing industry.

A black and white polka dot notebook sits on a counter.

Navigating Change As a bUSINESS

Starting a Blog + Navigating Change

Kate: You began blogging back in 2013. Tell me about your experience getting started with your blog. What led to that decision? What was it like to purchase your domain and really go for it?

Liz: I started my vlog as a hobby. I had personally just started eating a little bit better and was becoming more conscious of the things that I was consuming. And I thought, “Why don’t I just start sharing what I’m eating and cooking on a blog?” At the time of starting my blog I was in school. I quickly realized that people were making a lot of money on these blogs and people were doing it full time. So I pretty quickly went from “This is a fun hobby” to “What if I made this a side hustle?” And from there it has grown into a full time business for me.

Kate: There is this major Google shift happening. It’s a big deal for most creators. With 11 years under your belt, how do you view these things that are happening with Google?

Liz: If you had asked me this question probably three years ago, I would have said, Google is so important. We have to be doing everything for Google SEO. If I get a little bit of traffic from Facebook and Pinterest, that’s cool, but that’s not my big concern. Now I’m realizing while that wasn’t a bad approach – Google has brought millions of people to my site, which is amazing – I’ve learned that it’s not the end all be all. Even though I see it as an extremely valuable tool, I see all these other platforms, Pinterest included, as equally valuable. Plus, I have data now to back that up. They definitely deserve my time, my energy, and a strategy. So with Google continuing to change, it’s only reaffirming that thought process.

Kate: Back in the early days of blogging it seemed like a lot of people used Facebook to promote their stuff, and then along came Instagram and that was another place people focused their attention. So what made you think to use Pinterest as a marketing tool?

Liz: Right around the time when I made that shift of thinking I can make money blogging, I became a VA for other food bloggers. One of the things that a lot of them were asking me for was about Pinterest, so I had chance to really learn the platform. I was able to take the knowledge I gained doing that and apply it to my own blog. So I started using Pinterest pretty early on, and every year I gradually built on my knowledge of the platform.

Related: The Pinterest Algorithm

Instagram for Business

Kate: A lot of people wrestle with Instagram. It’s so different from Google and Pinterest. It’s not a heavy traffic driver, but we find that a lot of people really get drawn to using it. Tell me how adding in Instagram to your business strategy has been for you.

Liz: Yeah, I did go in on Instagram. I grew a following there. I will say that it is very labor intensive. It consumes a lot of time for the ROI. Where I struggle with Instagram and I don’t struggle as much with Pinterest, Facebook, or Google is that I struggle to tie an ROI to Instagram.

Whenever I’m doing something, I want it to be data driven. I know that there is value in Instagram, but for me the value is not in driving traffic to my site. However, Instagram is a really good tool for my affiliate partners. It’s good brand building for me. I feel like this is where I meet people and where I talk to people; they get to know me as a person. There’s more of a personal connection with it. I also use it as a way to drive people to my newsletter – I’m always talking about my opt ins, and how important it is to be on my newsletter to get our new recipes.

Kate: It is so true that Instagram is a connecter, but it is not a traffic driver.

Liz: I always have found it interesting that I rarely see people completely write off Instagram, but they’ll write off other platforms, Pinterest being one of them. If they looked at their analytics, I think that a lot of people would be shocked at how little traffic they’re actually getting from Instagram.

Kate: So many people jumped ship on Pinterest in 2020 and 2021. Fast forward, we’ve been having conversations with these same people who are realizing they are still getting traffic from Pinterest. It seems like you’ve done a really good job of keeping Google and Pinterest both consistent in your strategy, and then adding in smaller layers of platforms like Instagram that serve a different purpose.

Focus on Your Audience

Kate: We’ve been talking about how much business has changed in the last 10 years. Digital marketing has always felt like the wild west. No one has really done it before; we are learning it together. Currently there is this huge rise in the use of AI. We have a lot of people worried that original content is going to be replaced by AI written content. What helps keep you grounded when it feels like we are having this massive shift within the creator community? How do you see yourself navigating the next five or ten years?

Liz: The thing that really keeps me grounded is focusing on our people and creating with them in mind. That’s something I believe is going to get me further on Google, on Pinterest, on Instagram, on whatever platform that’s to come. Creating content with my people in mind is what I think think is going to help carry me through the next ten years.

It’s very easy as creators to get lost in the “right now”. But at the end of the day, those are tactics. And in my opinion, going after creating content with your people in mind is a strategy and it’s a strategy that no matter what happens is going to win. So right now, above anything, that’s where I’m putting my energy.

Kate: Is there somebody you think of or an avatar that you have that pulls you back when you feel like you’re getting sucked into the algorithm?

Liz: Yeah, I actually create with one of my friends in mind. When I am thinking about a recipe, I think, “would so-and-so make this?” If the answer is no, then I won’t make a post for it. My friend, and my readers, want easy and healthy recipes. They don’t want to waste their time in the kitchen, or spending money on expensive ingredients. So if something doesn’t check off those boxes, it’s not for my site.

Kate: I’m hearing you say that it’s okay if some things are just for you. You don’t have to convert every recipe into a piece of your business.

Liz: That is totally right. You just articulated exactly how I’m feeling about the second website I started. That’s the perfect example because I love dessert, but obviously dessert doesn’t really have a place on a healthy website. I admit that I like a real chocolate chip cookie with butter and sugar and flour. I’m sorry, but there’s no healthy chocolate chip cookie recipe out there that can compare to it. For years I have wanted to share my favorite family dessert recipes so I started an entire second site for it. And while it has brought me so much joy to see my family’s recipes being made by people around the world, I’ve realized I didn’t need to do that. I could have just kept it as this fun thing to do for myself.

Related: How To Leverage AI for SEO

Lessons Learned

Kate: What would you tell 2013 Liz about running a food blogger business?

Liz: Watch out for shiny object syndrome. There’s a lot of enticing things in the world of content creation and blogging that seem really fun. You don’t have to do everything, you don’t have to jump on every trend, and you don’t have to do all the things a certain way.

But more importantly I would say, just keep going every single day. Blogging and content creation is a marathon. It is in no way a sprint. Sure, there are periods in your business where you’re going to have to sprint. But for the most part, the thing that has gotten me to where I am, is just consistently working at my site. I’m trying to make it a great resource every day. Whether that was working on keyword research or creating new pins or sharing posts in Facebook groups or making a reel on Instagram. All those little things every single day, add up.

Kate: That’s so encouraging. Don’t get caught up in the shiny object. Just keep leaning in and learning as you go.

Liz: I didn’t mention this earlier when we were talking about how I got started with Pinterest. And Kate, you’re not telling me to say this, but I have listened to every single episode of the Simple Pin Podcast. And aside from your podcast, I listen to other podcasts outside of the food blogging and content creation realm. I’m constantly learning. I’m constantly reading. I try not to overload myself with information, but I am always curious and I’m always willing to learn. That is something that I would also tell anyone. If you don’t currently have the budget to buy a course, there is an abundance of free resources out there. Soak in any information you can and never feel like you are above learning.

Kate: Yes, I 100% agree with you on that. If we put ourselves in the position of student, we really are learning all the time. That adds such value to our business.

I’m excited for you, and excited to see where you go. I think you’re going to weather the changes that are inevitable in this industry just fine. You have an amazing perspective and you have a vision for your business.

Liz: Thank you. I’m excited too. I think that there’s a lot of negativity right now about impending changes, but I think dwelling on it and being negative certainly isn’t going to get us anywhere. So, you can have your pity party for a few minutes, but then you gotta dust yourself back off and get back to it. I think this is also the time where we have the greatest opportunity. It can only get better from here.

Kate: Thank you so much for sharing your story, Liz. It’s so valuable and I know a lot of people are going to have some good takeaways from this episode.

If you are new to Pinterest for business or you’re seasoned but tired, Liz would love to chat more with you! You can connect with Liz at The Clean Eating Couple or follow her on instagram and send her a DM. She is always happy to chat with her audience.

More Simple Pin Resources:

Watch: How Pinterest and YouTube Can Work Together

Pinterest Marketing Blueprint

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Similar Posts