HomeAffiliate MarketingHow This 45-Yr-Outdated’s Meals Weblog & Portfolio Earn $100k+ Per Yr From...

How This 45-Yr-Outdated’s Meals Weblog & Portfolio Earn $100k+ Per Yr From search engine optimization and Pinterest


Shaunda Necole took an uncommon path in direction of success with regards to area of interest websites.

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She began out with a small however focused weblog the place she provided private purchasing companies for a distinct segment purchasing occasion. Though that was profitable, she needed to go greater.

A love and fervour for soul meals cooking led her to create her second weblog, The Soul Meals Pot, in 2020. Later she launched a podcast to go together with it referred to as The Soul Meals Pod.

Since then, she has gone on to create a journey weblog and he or she additionally has a pet web site within the works. Right this moment, Shaunda’s incomes over $100k a yr.

Maintain studying to seek out out:

  • The place her ardour for soul meals comes from
  • What her first purchasing web site was all about
  • Why she created her second weblog
  • What distinctive spin she placed on her content material
  • The place her earnings comes from
  • How a lot visitors she’s getting and the place it comes from
  • Her predominant advertising and marketing methods
  • Her ideas on search engine optimization and niching down
  • Her strategy to key phrase analysis and hyperlink constructing
  • How she creates content material
  • Her favourite sources and instruments
  • Her largest problem
  • Her best accomplishment
  • Her predominant mistake
  • Her recommendation for different entrepreneurs

Meet Shaunda Necole

I am Shaunda, your go-to recipe creator for contemporary soul meals delicacies; the founding father of The Soul Meals Pot, the #1 Southern soul meals web site on Google; and the host of The Soul Meals Pod, Apple’s first present devoted to the historical past and tradition round iconic African American dishes. 

I imagine in making life simpler and extra soulful, one recipe at a time!

What makes me an skilled on genuine soul meals?

Impressed by my upbringing in coastal Virginia, I’ve shared over 250 recipes throughout my meals weblog, 4 cookbooks, and two seasoning guides, together with codifying “Black People Candy Potato Pie,” an tailored household recipe that went viral in 2021. 

My heritage dates again to my great-grandmother Florence, a extremely esteemed North Carolinian one-woman catering queen. In honor of my Grandma Florence’s legacy, I run the world’s number-one soul meals web site immediately!

My podcast, The Soul Meals Pod, is the first-ever podcast devoted to the historical past and tradition round soul meals dishes. My experience on the origins of purple velvet cake is even shared on the dessert’s Wikipedia web page!

Why She Created Her Weblog and Podcast

Issues are inclined to unfold and occur organically for me, from a necessity or alternative. 

That is how I obtained right here—the place I personal and function a publishing firm constructed on the innovation of shared media. 

My enterprise mannequin unites influencer advertising and marketing with shoppers, advertisers, and types by means of the ability of unique content material creation.

In different phrases, I’ve created my very own on-line community (suppose NBC’s Peacock, ABC’s Hulu, or Netflix) by means of my web sites/blogs. 

Advertisers pay for advert placement on my “channels” (my three web sites) to achieve the various viewers, guests, and subscribers that tune into my content material.

And the enjoyable half about creating this? It was really natural. Virtually unintended!

Beginning my first weblog channel was an up-level of a easy web site my daughter, a young person on the time, made for me to keep up a correspondence with mates and fellow fans of a singular model of dishes and kitchenware I acquire. Fanatics grew to become shoppers that I might store for yearly.

It was a singular enterprise the place I offered high-end private purchasing companies for a distinct segment purchasing occasion that occurred solely every year. I acquired my clients by making mates on Instagram with fellow collectors who used area of interest hashtags. 

Little did I do know that was my entry into the world of search engine optimization!

My weblog and an e-commerce web site had been created as a technique to keep up a correspondence with my shoppers for over a yr till the subsequent massive annual purchasing occasion.

I want I might say that once I began that weblog, I noticed the top at first. 

As a substitute, it was a bumpy journey of essential pivots to progress and change into worthwhile. As a result of primarily, I might created a distinct segment enterprise that was solely worthwhile every year! 

I used to be solely making a living when that annual sale occurred. For the remainder of the yr, there have been no commas and no paychecks from this enterprise mannequin.

Quick ahead to 2020 and the unfolding of my second weblog, The Soul Meals Pot. 

I used to be introduced with a brand new set of challenges, as was the world. The primary concern was that every one in-person occasions had been canceled, so how might I personally store for any shoppers? 

Nonetheless, I stored creating new content material constantly, with out realizing what was coming subsequent. 

Fortunately, consistency is my superpower. So, I began my second weblog out of my love for Southern soul meals cooking. I started creating content material by reimagining my household’s beloved soul meals recipes with Prompt Pot and trendy kitchen home equipment to shorten the cooking occasions. That is how The Soul Meals Pot was born!

A few years later, The Soul Meals Pod was created to marry The Soul Meals Pot and amplify the weblog’s recipes with podcast conversations about Southern soul meals and recipes for fulfillment within the kitchen.

How A lot She’s Incomes

“Mediavine Professional” is an invitation-only program constructed particularly for the company’s high-performing, full-time skilled publishers incomes a minimal of $100,000 in annual advert income. 

The Soul Meals Pot entered Mediavine’s Professional Writer program in its first yr!

Further income streams for my meals web site embrace product affiliate fee, cookbooks, and culinary guides, which comprise about 5% of the enterprise’s annual income. That is primarily from my Shopify retailer and LTK affiliate product suggestions. 

I additionally provide search engine optimization programs, like my masterclass search engine optimization Made Straightforward, and personal teaching hours. 

Nevertheless, I do not promote or market these merchandise as a result of they require an excessive amount of time from me to be value it. Because of this, they do not even contribute a full % to my complete earnings.

The Soul Meals Pot reaches near 1,000,000 pageviews month-to-month throughout peak occasions, with a gradual third of that visitors (about 300k month-to-month) throughout its low season.

As for a way a lot time I work, I spend 6-8 hours every day on my web sites and a minimum of 4-6 hours through the weekend, as a result of I really like what I do!

I am an early riser (5 am membership, anybody?), which is the one technique to handle 3 web sites and delegate tasks and duties to my unbelievable assist group. 

Her High Advertising Technique

All of it sounds sophisticated, however in reality, my advertising and marketing technique is comparatively easy and comes from my understanding of search engine optimization and the Southern soul meals group. My technique is to leverage natural visitors by way of search engine optimization to achieve new markets within the Southern meals house. 

This technique features a every day concentrate on updating and optimizing printed articles and creating new keyword-researched articles based mostly on the efficiency of earlier content material, together with a devoted search engine optimization strategist targeted on implementing these key factors.

As well as, I leverage Pinterest advertising and marketing and still have a devoted Pinterest supervisor. The Soul Meals Pot’s natural visitors from Pinterest brings in about 50k pageviews month-to-month. I clarify and illustrate my signature “Pinterest Pyramid” search engine optimization technique in nice element in my course Pinterest Magic Advertising .

The Significance of search engine optimization

My success within the meals house has been described as: “The blogger who constructed a soul meals empire with only one pot!”

On The Soul Meals Pot, I reimagine iconic African-American recipes by way of trendy kitchen home equipment just like the Prompt Pot, usually shortening the time to organize these culturally beloved conventional dishes. 

I really like making an attempt new cooking home equipment to see how Southern recipes might be tailored for extra effectivity for busy house cooks.

Many marvel how my web site gained Google’s prime rating in simply 2 years. And this is the factor. I’ve wholeheartedly embraced my search engine optimization rule number one: It’s a must to go small to get massive. 

Sure, this sounds counterintuitive. Like many entrepreneurs, once I was beginning out, I wasted a whole lot of time making an attempt to cater my content material to everybody and everyone. However let me clarify. 

Individuals usually suppose Google is “out to get them” or the algorithm hates them as a result of what they share on-line by no means appears to floor for anybody to see.  

My query is: How far down have you ever niched?

As of late, it’s not sufficient to market your self as the very best bakery or cupcake maker, even when it is particular to your zip code or metropolis. It’s a must to area of interest down a lot that Google (and the algorithm) will perceive precisely who your particular area of interest buyer is. 

And imagine it or not, that tiny “area of interest” is probably going lots of and even hundreds of people who find themselves looking for precisely what you do or share. You’ve made your self small, however you at the moment are massive in your area of interest’s eyes!

Key phrase Analysis

I’ve discovered my most profitable writing voice by prioritizing what my viewers is looking for and de-prioritizing what I consider to share. 

It is my search engine optimization rule quantity 2: It doesn’t matter how YOU say it. It issues how THEY say it.

When folks need to discover you, they do not go to the Yellow Pages like our grandparents as soon as did. And so they do not Google your identify. Not but, initially, as a result of they do not know you.

So, it is vital to verify in and ensure your content material is what your viewers is looking for. 

This may occasionally sound like a no brainer, however it’s very straightforward to by chance create content material that nobody will ever discover or see. Do not take into consideration what you need to say. Take into consideration what your viewers is typing into the search bar. 

That is what you may write about.

Hyperlink Constructing

This yr, I’ve additionally added a publicist to my group to extend model attain, visibility, and consciousness, particularly by garnering backlinks from article options in high-authority media retailers. 

My publicist pitches me to the media for visibility alternatives for my recipe creations or my model story, together with TV, podcasts, and journal publications.

I additionally use Hyperlink Whisper to rapidly hyperlink to inside key phrases and textual content between posts.

Her Content material Creation Course of

My content material creation technique may be very old-school search engine optimization easy. 

It begins with in-depth key phrase analysis to uncover “how THEY say it” to make sure I am writing about one thing folks truly seek for. 

Then, the article is written and optimized to talk to Google with questions and key phrase phrases, the identical approach folks use Google’s search bar.

Her E-mail Checklist

E-mail lists are primarily nuggets of gold and one of the crucial precious property to a enterprise! I have interaction readers who land on my web site by providing them a direct free and tangible profit once they subscribe, like a collection of recipes or culinary guides to assist them with the core cause why they’re visiting my web site: to create scrumptious consolation meals utilizing probably the most environment friendly time-saving kitchen home equipment and instruments!

Though a bit costly, I take advantage of ConvertKit for my subscribers. It is one of the crucial elevated e mail subscription instruments for publishers like myself, with a number of websites, numerous e mail kinds, and quite a few e mail sequences. 

I additionally make use of Mediavine’s Develop and Highlight Subscribe widgets, which I’ve discovered to be the very best instruments for changing readers to subscribers! These instruments additionally seamlessly combine with ConvertKit. So, as readers subscribe, the automated e mail nurturing magically begins to move!

Shaunda’s High Sources

My household enterprise is steeped in actual property investments. So, I take a look at my web sites with the identical core actual property rules of location, buying, sustaining, and reinvesting. 

I view every of my web sites as actual property I personal. So, I usually borrow brilliance from the property investor group when making selections for my on-line property, together with investing in studying sources. 

Continued schooling is required to maintain my license lively as an actual property agent. I consider this the identical for my on-line enterprise, so I at all times join programs, webinars, and video tutorials to maintain abreast of adjustments within the on-line creator business.  

I make it my enterprise to hunt and buy these sources as a result of there may be somebody on-line within the creator group who is aware of what I have to study and has created the content material or course to assist me perceive it.

A couple of modern thinkers’ podcasts I get pleasure from and sometimes advocate are The Secret To Success with Eric Thomas, Success with Soul by Kate Kordsmeier, and the podcast Greater Pockets.

Her Go-To Instruments

The instruments I take advantage of constantly in my enterprise are:

Grammarly – As a author and writer, Grammarly is my go-to editor instrument for correct checks of grammar, punctuation, and general message tone and readability. I might hate to put in writing with out it!

Market Muse – A really dynamic and sturdy search engine optimization and key phrase analysis question instrument. As a self-professed search engine optimization geek, Market Muse is my favourite for dialed-in topical analysis. I hardly ever publish with out it!

Fiverr – I imagine Fiverr is without doubt one of the most unbelievable locations for locating inexpensive, skillful creators to rapidly execute one-off tasks, from minor to main. As a result of keep in mind: “Innovation is rewarded, however execution is worshiped.” It’s not what you concentrate on doing or creating; it’s seeing the method by means of and really doing the factor.

Her Greatest Problem

Initially, funding a group to assist my enterprise appeared like an enormous, costly endeavor that was years out of attain. 

Quite the opposite, every time I confronted my concern and did it anyway – introduced on a brand new group member. 

The time they freed up created house for me to pay attention totally on new thought developments and creating extra content material. In the end, this elevated my enterprise backside line!

I began with my graphic designer and Pinterest advertising and marketing supervisor. 

Right this moment, The Soul Meals Pot’s group consists of my graphic designer and Pinterest supervisor, author, search engine optimization strategist, photographer, social media supervisor, podcast producer, Fb group supervisor, model supervisor and agent, media coach, and publicist. 

And we’re nonetheless rising!

Her Best Accomplishment

I’ve constructed a 6-figure enterprise inclusive of freedom, flexibility, and, most significantly, doing what I really like. 

What I nonetheless discover magical about that (nonetheless pinching myself!) is that every one I’ve to do is carry my concepts to life in writing (with a little bit of search engine optimization technique), and types are prepared to position advertisements on something I write about – and pay me!

With the assistance of this unbelievable creator enterprise mannequin, in 2022, my husband and I bought our dream house in our dream neighborhood in our dream metropolis – Viva Las Vegas! 

I even began a 3rd weblog channel about issues to do in my fabulous house metropolis, Vegas Proper Now.

Right this moment, I break up my time between my properties in coastal Virginia Seaside and the saucy desert of Las Vegas. 

Once I’m not creating content material, you may discover me strolling the fabulous Las Vegas Strip or on the seaside, dipping my toes within the sand alongside my husband, our “kidults” (grownup youngsters), or our grandkids. 

Or, you may doubtless catch me within the airport, able to take flight with my laptop computer and two fur infants in tow!

What She Needs She Knew When She Began

I want I might understood the significance of search engine optimization once I began my first weblog. Beginning with my now search engine optimization rule number one: It’s a must to go small to get massive.

My first weblog, Shaunda Necole, is a way of life web site that covers all kinds of content material genres, from magnificence to wellness and residential decor.

But when I might identified again then that by niching down, Google would perceive that it is a very explicit and area of interest viewers I aimed to achieve, I might have discovered these just-right, on-target clients and readers years earlier!  

Shaunda’s Fundamental Mistake

My largest mistake is a typical one: creating content material that nobody will ever discover or see. 

True story: Earlier than I might transfer ahead and create new weblog channels, with lots of of posts already on my first web site, I spent days unpublishing and correcting content material that wasn’t useful as a result of it wasn’t created to be searchable.

So, I set to work. I corrected my previous errors. I invested money and time into understanding the ins and outs of search engine optimization content material creation. 

Right this moment, I personal and function a masterclass web site, an e-commerce web site, a podcast, and three on-line channels within the meals, journey, and way of life verticals (with a web site devoted to pets on the horizon). 

I do not publish something except key phrase analysis has confirmed its search intent and is quantifiably search-relevant.

Her Recommendation for Different Entrepreneurs

I’ve discovered nice success in working my enterprise deliberately, working a minimum of 6 months forward. Then, the required instruments are already in place every time it is time to get inventive or pivot.

One in all my favourite quotes is, “Begin earlier than you are prepared,” as a result of I’ve discovered that proactive and preemptive work is without doubt one of the best items you may give your self. 

It is a kind of “Thank me later” items, this time to your future self, out of your present-day self. 





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