Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links for Food Blogger Pro which help support this blog, but add no additional cost to you, should you choose to sign up for FBP. Thanks!
Friends, like the traffic and income reports I write, I'm taking a brief step away from the recipes today, for a very special purpose. I want to tell you about an important and useful bloggers group I'm part of, called Food Blogger Pro.
First, what is Food Blogger Pro? It's a website and community that let's you connect and work with other bloggers. It has several facets - tutorials, well-managed forums, live Q&A sessions, etc. It's run by Bjork and Lindsay Ostram, the couple behind the very successful blog, Pinch of Yum. They're like my personal heroes of the food blog world - successful, savvy, creative and Midwest nice.
Why am I telling you about this? Because Food Blogger Pro has short seasons of open enrollment, and one is happening right now. Enrollment is open till June 2, 2016.
I joined Food Blogger Pro a month before I started my blog (November 2015); I thought, I'll pay for this for a month and watch the tutorials then leave because I don't want to keep paying the subscription fee. I haven't left FBP because it's awesome, and here are seven reasons why, month after month, I keep sticking with it:
1. The community is the best. I've met some seriously supportive people in the forums of FBP. They are gracious, willing to share their knowledge and very supportive. Through them I've learned about helpful Facebook groups, joined group boards on Pinterest, learned how and why to use Yummly, gotten support on submissions for FoodGawker and Tastespotting. Basically any topic related to food blogging has been covered, and if it's not, you can ask a question in one of the forums.
2. There are many helpful tutorials. There are many, many videos (I think over 300) that Bjork, Lindsay, and their team have done about every topic from setting up a blog to photo editing. Some of my favorites have included the Instagram tips and those about working with ad networks. I have learned more than I could possibly have imagined about blogging!
3. There's great expert advice. There are several people that FBP brought in to participate in the forum discussions - there's an SEO expert and a Pinterest expert that I've found especially knowledgable (like freaky levels of expertise in those areas).
4. My traffic has increased. I've learned some really helpful ways to grow traffic - through the videos and forum discussions, but also through other FBP members sharing my site with their followers and on social media. It's truly a group that believes in a piece of the pie for everyone - there is no scarcity mentality with this group and I love that!
5. My photography has improved. This has been one of the scariest areas for me - I'm really nervous about my photography skills and the feedback in forums (you can post a photo and members will critique) and the videos on lighting and editing have been majorly helpful.
6. I've learned about monetizing my blog. From affiliate links to advertising to sponsored posts - the options are endless for bloggers. As someone who dreams about making this my main gig, it's so helpful to see other people actually making money and telling you how to do it! I'm making baby steps in this area, but I've got big dreams.
7. Ability to participate in roundups and collaborations. I've left this one for last because it's my new favorite part of FBP. Several members are doing roundups on Buzzfeed and their own blogs, not to mention several other sites, and including FBP members. These have grown my community and my traffic. There are so many offers to collaborate as well - from affiliate links for e-cookbooks to participating in digital magazines. FBP members are including others in their success and it's awesome.
There are several other areas, which I've not gotten to in my blog growth, that are covered in Food Blogger Pro - one of the most exciting being the step-by-step tutorials and advice on creating an eBook. Lindsay from PoY has created an all-star eBook in the food blogger community called Tasty Food Photography, which I purchased and have been using.
There are also two free, eBooks you can download from Food Blogger Pro, both of which I've found very helpful. They are:
10 Mistakes That Bloggers Make - a quick and easy read about 10 common mistakes new (and even sometimes veteran) bloggers make and how to fix them.
The #1 Thing - a compilation of the #1 thing a who's who list of food bloggers will be focusing on this year.
If you're a blogger (or want to start a blog), and looking for a great community and support, I cannot recommend Food Blogger Pro enough. Hope to see you there!