The internet is full of overnight success stories. You know the titles you’ve found a dozen times before, “How I Quit My Job in Just 1 Month by Blogging” or “I Make $100k from Blogging in 6 Months And You Can Too.” Yes, there are outliers in every field.
But for the rest of us, it is unlikely we will ever see those types of crazy results.
In fact, my main blog BecomeBetty.com, is a super niche food review site. However, 2019 was quite kind to me. That little review site hit just about 1.5 million page views in just one year.
And that is up 50% from the previous year.
Now, it’s not a niche where I’ll have tens of millions of people coming to my site. But I can tell you real growth is possible. And averaging over 100k page views is possible and so is growing beyond that.
Starting a Food Blogger Mastermind
Let’s rewind to the beginning of 2019. I’ve had my fair share of flat months in terms of traffic. In fact, I had an audit by a well-known SEO in the food field who wanted me to niche out into the recipe space (which I have). However, after making a number of adjustments, I grew for a bit, but then my traffic was just flat.
And I was frustrated.
My husband to this day really isn’t too sure about what the blogging thing is. So I turned to the people who understand me: my food blogger friends.
And I realized: we’re all a bit frustrated.
We were all sitting on the same hamster-wheel of publishing and grind.
Yes, blogging is super competitive and food blogging is really competitive and a lot of work.
We all had some traffic.
We all wanted more. All of us were working really hard.
I had seen a number of podcasters talk about Masterminds. I had even heard some high profile ones offering “six-figure masterminds” with prices in the five-figures. Not happening on my budget.
Trust me, if I had that type of money to throw around, I’d do it. But there are other items that are higher up on the priority list.
But the idea kept festering: They’re all talking about it, I have no idea what one looks like, let alone where to find one of these masterminds, but they all talking about getting good results from them.
Since a mastermind opportunity didn’t present itself to me (and I certainly couldn’t find one in the food space), I made my own opportunity.
I reached out to a handful (ok, like 2 people) to see if they’d want to join a group. Now, to be fair they’re located across the US, so meeting in person was also out.
So we opted for a Facebook Group.
Three bloggers intrepidly trying a bold experiment: was this concept of a mastermind all podcaster bull crap? Or was it real and some how the step up we all needed?
The answer quickly becomes the second of those questions.
Getting the Ball Rolling
Before I asked anyone to join the group I needed to know two things about them: niche and if they had traffic.
A mastermind is not for new bloggers.
When you are a new blogger, you have no clue what you don’t know. I didn’t want the group to be answering questions like, “How is BlueHost?”
There are plenty of Facebook Groups for that. When you hit some traffic but feel like you’ve hit a ceiling OR most of your time is going to help less experienced bloggers you need a different group in order for YOU to grow.
So we started with just three people. We quickly expanded to nine. All the people were friends of friends who were all in different niches and had some traffic.
The Collaboration is in the Niches.
Or it is in different niches. I’ve kept that one rule as an absolute: we all need to be different niches.
If your direct competitor is in the same group as you, it will create a reluctance to share. Second, there is a reluctance to share what is working is the start of a group breaking down.
When you aren’t competitors, suddenly figuring out how someone has mastered something you might be lagging in becomes a wide-open conversation in ways it wouldn’t have before.
Every blogger has their pain points. And unless you have quite a budget to outsource all of them, then there will always be something broken. Maybe not 404 level of broken, but things you’ve been meaning to get to that keep getting put on the back burner.
Since 2016 and prior to starting a mastermind, I was only accountable to myself and the Google Doc list of things to do. Not the best way of doing things.
When you blurt out to a group that you are hoping to achieve by the end of one month, things change. They’ve spelled it out what they want to get done to move the needle. You check-in. And you don’t want to be the one person who didn’t even start their goals.
Is a Food Blogger Mastermind for You?
Ask yourself the following questions, if the answer to these questions is yes then a Mastermind Group is for you:
- Do I feel “stuck” and not growing my blog as much or as quickly as I would like?
- Do I have some traffic to my blog?
- Do I feel I have a good foundation in blogging?
- Am I willing to be an active participant in a group?
- Am I willing to share openly what is working and what isn’t working?
- Am I willing to listen, offer support, and ask questions?
- Am I willing to give and accept constructive criticism from others with the goal of improving?
- Am I willing to devote some of my time to a group with the goal
If each of these answers is yes, then a Mastermind might be the untapped resource you’ve been looking for.
How to find a Food Blogger Mastermind
I’ve got some bad news for you. At this point, these are hard items to find. I couldn’t find one. There are more general ones for bloggers, but I knew I wanted to be around those in the food space.
I knew these people knew my concerns, problems, and items that are unique to the food space. I knew these are the people I needed to learn from.
How to Make Your Own Food Blogger Mastermind
If something doesn’t exist, then it is your job to create it. I know there is a lot of food bloggers who stop because they either A) hit a wall B) Feel like they’ve given it their all and it hasn’t amounted to what those Pinterest worthy headlines are telling them.
I know that frustration. Believe me.
But I overcame it. So can you if you are feeling that way.
I’ve taken the best takeaways over of forming a mastermind from starting out to keeping the conversation going strong a year later. And it’s that very group that I feel is the one singular thing that helped me grow my traffic 50% this year.
Best of all, we’ve been able to share in each other’s successes. Of our group of ten members, four were able to join Mediavine, one is a full-timer who has seen a significant bump in his traffic, one member doubled their traffic and another member tripled their traffic, and others are well on their way to monetizing and expanding their earning capacity.
All because we are able to bounce ideas off of one another, support each other, problem-solve collectively, and see each other’s blog as potential users and offer meaningful feedback.
If that isn’t growth, then I don’t know what it.
Best of all, we aren’t answering the 101 beginner level questions like “Hey, is it bad that I host with BlueHost?”
Helping You Set Up Your Own Mastermind
Now, I currently don’t help set up food blogger mastermind groups (although, if you are interested, then let me know via email: Brenda [at] handsandpansmedia.com).
However, when I was frustrated by the talk of Mastermind groups costing in the thousands, I was a bit put off. I’m sure you might be too.
I like affordable solutions to problems. There really weren’t many options geared towards the food blogging community.
So I’ve created the How to Run Your Own Food Blogger Mastermind ebook for those who want to set one up. You could figure things out for yourself. Best of all for the price, you’ll see solid returns.
What’s in the Book
Book is 30 pages and includes:
- Why form a Mastermind?
- How to form a Mastermind
- Establishing Rules and Norms
- Best Practices
- Adding Members
- Defining Your Goals
- Rookie Mistakes
- Discussion Ideas
- Final Check Lists
- Plus calendars and objectives to discuss.
Get the Book Now
Thanks for taking the time to check out How to Run Your Own Food Blogger Mastermind ebook.