The only program I’ll recommend for writers + bloggers

It’s Friday, and it’s summer, and probably the last thing on your mind is next week’s to-dos. Pepper is definitely checked out already:

literary agent book blog

(Job update: our local post office is hiring, and we’re helping Pepper work on her resume and cover letter so she can apply. Progress is slow. Hope is dwindling.)

Anyway, if you give me your ear for just 2 minutes on this pretty summer Friday, I want to tell you about one of my favorite things ever: Food Blogger Pro, which is closing for enrollment this coming Tuesday, the 27th.

If you don’t know Lindsay and Bjork of Pinch of Yum, they’re behind FBP, and they run one of the best blogs out there. Let’s pause on that thought: they run one of the best blogs out there. Not best food blogs, but best blogs, period. (And yes, FBP is great for all kinds of bloggers!)

I’ve worked with hundreds of bloggers, all who were already at the peak of their games, since by the time they get to me, we’re talking about publishing a book. I’ve read and scouted and sorted through thousands of blogs over the years, and there are only (and forgive me for saying it, but literally) 5 blogs I follow regularly, religiously, excitedly. Pinch of Yum is one of them.

And you know why? It’s not about the food. (But you should definitely eat this, because WEEKEND.

It’s because Lindsay and Bjork have what every blogger and writer wants:

an authentic voice + a big-time platform + integrity.

Lindsay and Bjork can teach you how to grow a blog and make a fantastic income from your writing, without having to be one of those shout-y, pushy marketing types who make the internet just plain annoying.

As you all know, I almost never recommend courses in this space. (Because the truth is: most “experts” out there aren’t experts. They’re just trying to brand themselves as experts. And part of my job is weeding out the true experts from the hyped-up, big-talkers.)

But I have the utmost respect for Food Blogger Pro because I’ve seen it produce dozens of top-tier bloggers who went on to get big book deals. Everybody who comes out of FBP, whether they’re a food blogger or blog about anything else under the sun, has that special mix of voice + platform + integrity. And I won’t name names, but probably some of your favorite authors have gone through FBP in the many years it’s been running.

And because I could shout about FBP from the rooftops all day, but I promised I’d only take up a few minutes of your precious Friday, here are just 2 more things I especially love about it:

  • Learn From The Best: Every writer and blogger I know dreams of making a full-time income from their words, but they don’t know how to get traffic or monetize their creative work. Every month, Pinch of Yum makes between $40,000 to $60,000 in income and receives over 4,000,000 page views. Why learn from someone else when you can learn from the best?
  • It’s a Surprisingly Great Deal: You get 300+ videos, access to a forum where you can ask more experienced bloggers anything (!), and discounts to tools you really need, like ConvertKit, Tailwind, SwankyPrints, and others. Also, because they’re overachievers, this year Lindsay and Bjork are also including their Edit Academy course (which teaches you how to make food videos and usually sells for $129) and Nutrifox (which is their nutrition labeling tool and costs $89/year) in FBP membership. Which by the way, costs only $29 per month. Which by the way, is less than I spend on treats for Pepper each month. Which by the way, results in no return whatsoever in my investment.

But enough from me–if you’re interested in learning more, you can read all about Food Blogger Pro here. If you decide it’s for you, you can use my link to get 10% off membership. I get a tiny percentage if you use my link; you get a great discount off the retail price; Pepper gets an allowance to buy treats. That’s a win-win-woof. (I couldn’t stop myself! Please forgive me.)

What I’m Reading This Week:

Food & Wine Magazine Will Leave New York for Alabama (Stephanie Strom for the New York Times): Friday afternoon news alert! I couldn’t believe this when Jarrett told me, but it does make a lot of sense, since Time has many of its magazines in Birmingham. But aside from that, many forms of media (including books) have notoriously thin profit margins, and with changes in marketplace competition (both the segmentation caused by millions of self-publishers and the consolidation of power by Amazon) and the need to build competitive digital properties, it doesn’t make sense to pay rent of around $80 rent per square foot in midtown Manhattan. I’m excited/intrigued to see how this plays out.

10 Books about Books and Reading (Modern Mrs. Darcy): Books about books! It’s like reading about eating, while you’re eating. You can’t go wrong.

The Difference Between a Press Release and a Pitch (You Need Both) (Claire McKinney on Press releases and pitches are very different, and it’s important to know how to deploy each if you’re working with media. Here’s a book publicist on how to write both.

5 Ways Writing Can Increase Intimacy Between You and Your Spouse (Chad R. Allen): This is such a great piece because it shines a light on the way writing can improve relationships–after all, writing is just communication, and communication sets the tone of a relationship. I know Jarrett and I have enjoyed that his new think tank job involves much more writing, and we both love nerding out over things like William Zinsser and new words we find in our reading. (In fact, just last night he was reading me this E.B. White essay, and we harangued each other about the pronunciation of “erysipelas” until we decided we were separately and uniquely wrong, and also that we didn’t care anymore. Ah, marital bliss.

What We’re Eating This Week:

Summertiiiime, and the cooking’s easy. Here’s what we’re up to:

Monday: We had to run off to The Reading Connection at 7, so we called in a pre-prepped White Chicken Chili from the freezer. During our last freezer party, we tossed the ingredients for white chicken chili in a gallon storage bag, and then I just thawed and dumped it all in a dutch oven to simmer. (Normal people would use a slow cooker, but we all know I’m not normal.) I’m totally obsessed with freezer parties, prep-and-drop freezer meals, and all things make-ahead these days, and if you are too, pick up From Freezer to Table by my authors, Polly and Rachel! It’s a lifesaver. I’ve been blown away by everything you can make and freeze and how I was so dumb for going so long without doing big-batches of freezer cooking. Be smarter than me, and get on their freezer cooking plan!

Tuesday: We went to a “Meet the Distiller” event hosted by the Distilled Spirits Council in DC, and lordy, were there some nice things to drink. Then in typical DC fashion, we ate giant steaks at Charlie Palmer and tried to guess who was famous (spoiler: everybody but us).

Wednesday: I’m cracking down on freeloaders around here (still looking at you, Pepper), so Jarrett was tasked with choosing and cooking Wednesday’s dinner. He picked the Asian Cabbage Salad from the beautiful Love and Lemons, one of my favorite books by a Stonesong author, and we added grilled shrimp because we are hungry, hungry hippos.

Thursday: Again, freezer cooking for the win. We defrosted a jar of bolognese from our last freezer party, tossed it on spaghetti, and served it with a simple green salad. Then we took Pepper to her training school, where she ate 3 hot dogs and 4 packages of string cheese. Why is that not an acceptable dinner for humans?

Friday: We’re going to Carrabba’s for dinner, and I don’t even want to talk about it. Except that I waitressed there in high school, so the nostalgia factor is high. And maybe we can call it high-low eating. Or maybe it’s okay because Bon Appetit says chain restaurants can be cool again. All I know is that when you do too many back-to-back editor lunches at some pretty hip places in NYC, sometimes you want to come home and eat gobs of bread dipped in herb oil, gloriously bad-for-you pasta bowls, this very naughty cake, and act like you can digest it all like you did at 16. I cannot wait.


3 thoughts on “The only program I’ll recommend for writers + bloggers

  1. Come for the mention of FBP, stay for the photos of Pepper! Could there be a better way to end my Friday than searching the internet for more Pepper photos? 🐶 I think not! Seriously though, thanks for the kind words about FBP and POY, Maria. Means so much. Truly!

    1. Pepper says “Aw, shucks,” but she’s hamming it up and taking even more selfies as we speak. She’s a little out of control.

      But thanks so much for stopping by, and thank YOU guys for all the great work you do! You keep us fed around here.

      Enjoy the weekend!

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