Tag Archives: Google for Creators

How making lists became this entrepreneur’s brand

The day Saya Hillman got fired from her last full-time job in 2004, she made two lists. One was of all the things she wished she could get paid to do, no matter how ridiculous. The other was a list of names, ones that gave her a “warm and fuzzy” feeling, for the company she decided she would start. And so Mac & Cheese Productions℠ was born — and lists would become a big part of its success.

Saya had always made lists as a way to connect with people. She’d been sending emails to friends for a while, “really random lists of ‘here are things that I have found interesting,’” such as articles, tech gadgets and books. The feedback was great, and Saya realized it could be a great sales tactic for her new business. “I don’t have that used-car salesman, ‘buy me buy me’ feeling,” she says. “I’m just doing what I already love to do.’”

Today Mac & Cheese Productions℠ offers a wide range of resources, events and content designed to connect people and help them live aLife of Yes℠, a concept Saya created and defines as “making life easy and more fulfilling.” Her lists — which she sends out in newsletters and posts on her website — continue to serve as a gateway to attract more “Cheese-Its,” as she calls her followers.

While some lists are humorous and lighthearted, like Saya’s boyfriend criteria, she also offers practical ones — including her popularservice provider list. Even that one abides by Saya’s community-minded credo: She only includes providers who she has worked with directly or have been recommended by someone she knows and trusts.

Saya shared some tips on how lists can help attract attention to a website, and why they’re so integral to her brand.

A handwritten list divided into two columns, one labeled “More” with items like “I tried” and “Connection”; the other labeled “Less” with items like “Stasis” and “I failed.”

One of Saya’s lists captures her “Life of Yes℠” philosophy.

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel

“I don't think any of us are coming up with anything new — it's all how you put your own personal spin on the thing,” says Saya. So while her list concepts might not be a novel idea, her whimsical approach — where lists for home office equipment recommendations and her own pet peeves are on the same page — is.

Lists also help busy people make sense of an overwhelming amount of information. “People are hungry for curators,” she points out. “That’s why lists are so popular. They’re easy to share, they’re easy to consume.”

Lists also align with her overall ethos for Mac & Cheese Productions℠. “One of my favorite things is helping people to be more efficient and create systems,” she says. “The list format lends itself to be productive and efficient and good at time management.”

Be authentic — but it’s OK to make money too

Trustworthy referrals and recommendations have been a huge part of Saya’s success. “People know you’re doing it because you actually love the product or the person,” she says, explaining she has never received money from anyone that she’s put on her service provider list or other recommendation lists. Instead, it’s a “win-win” that spreads goodwill and website traffic all around, and can eventually result in opportunities and income, if not always directly or immediately.

That said, she’s unapologetic about taking a piece of the pie through affiliate marketing and her paid marketing services, as long as the products and services meet her requirements. “You just have to share that upfront,” she says.

Use lists to expand your network and draw visitors

Saya uses lists strategically to grow her network and draw more visitors to her site. “I’m spending all this time curating and creating for free, but to get that information, you need to go to my website, instead of me just giving you the information,” she points out.

Tying lists to holidays, seasons or other events can also forge connections and drive engagement. For example, while most of her lists are evergreen, Saya also offers an annual gift guide where she tags the businesses’ or individuals’ Instagram accounts — which helps expand her reach. “I’m always thinking, how can you make what you create easy to share?” she says.

Women of color creators share their journeys to success

Women of color are doing incredible things online. They are creating educational and inspiring content, and making their marks as influencers in fashion and beauty, health and wellness, business, and more. They’re making a living building their brands and presenting their authentic selves . And they’re creating strong communities around their shared experiences.

Today, on Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, we’re launching The Conversation — a new YouTube series to share and celebrate the experiences of women of color creators. Each interview will feature a new woman of color creator talking about her background and journey, including her struggles and successes. Guests will share how they’ve built brands that resonate with others, and how they’ve turned their passions into full-time careers. They’ll also discuss how gender, race and culture have influenced their paths, the ups and downs of getting to where they are today, and what they hope to share with the world. No topic is off the table, including how to handle haters and overcome creator burnout.

Our first episode features creator Tyla-Lauren Gilmore. In 2015, after many years of straightening her hair, Tyla-Lauren decided to embrace her natural curls. She began documenting her personal transformation on Instagram and YouTube, and almost immediately, other women took notice. Today, more than 150,000 subscribers follow her beauty and lifestyle posts across her social media channels. Tyla-Lauren continues to share her personal stories in the hopes of inspiring other women to embrace their natural beauty and feel comfortable in their own skin.

Tyla-Lauren poses for the camera wearing a white button-down shirt and stylish glasses frames.

Tyla-Lauren Gilmore is the first creator featured in The Conversation.

Next month, we’ll hear from beauty and style influencer, fashion model and creative director Hannah Mussette. Hannah started creating content at the age of 12. Now, at 21, she’s a popular social media personality sharing modeling, fashion, makeup and hair care tips on YouTube and Instagram, and inviting candid discussions on topics such as self-care and social justice. She also co-founded a line of hair care products for natural Black hair called JuMu. The youngest creator interviewed in our series, Hannah shares what it’s been like to grow up online in front of an audience that supports and occasionally scrutinizes her content, which has evolved over the nine years she's been posting.

Hannah Musette walks on a sidewalk in front of a grey tiled wall. She has waist-length braids and is wearing a white shirt, baggy black pants, and a purse.

Hannah Musette is a fashion model and influencer who started creating YouTube videos in high school

The goal of The Conversation is to pull back the curtain on creators like Tyla-Lauren and Hannah so you can get to know the women behind the brands. Visit the Google for Creators YouTube channel to watch the first episode of The Conversation, and share what you thought in the comments.

This creator built an LGBTQ+-friendly site for car talk

Queer automotive educator, journalist and influencer Chaya Milchtein has carved out an unexpected niche at the intersection of the LGBTQ+ community, car repair and empowerment. Starting with blog posts that answered common questions about auto maintenance, she gradually built upher brand, Mechanic Shop Femme, into a mini-empire that spans workshops, one-on-one consultations, articles and podcasts, and more.

It wasn’t a path she ever expected. On her own at the age of 18, Chaya was “desperate” for a job. A connection landed her a position in the auto department at Sears, even though she didn’t even have a driver’s license when she interviewed for the job. But she really enjoyed working with customers and explaining what was wrong with their vehicles. “I’m what I like to call a translator — I translate complex car topics and information into language that the average consumer can understand,” she explains.

While she enjoyed the work, she felt she had reached a ceiling by 2017. Climbing the corporate ladder was a possibility, but she didn’t want to stop working directly with customers, the part of the job that gave her the most joy. Meanwhile, friends in the queer community were regularly reaching out for car advice. A career coach suggested starting a blog — and even though Chaya didn’t have a lot of confidence in her writing skills, she jumped in.

The blog section of the Mechanic Shop Femme website features thumbnails and preview text about two car-focused posts.

Chaya’s posts demystify all things automotive for an inclusive audience.

Almost immediately, Chaya started planning her next steps and trying to figure out how to turn her concept into something bigger. In addition to the blog, she started offering online classes on car topics, which led to more classes and speaking engagements. She also launched a career as a freelance writer, landing bylines in publications like Real Simple and Shondaland.

All of that came in handy when she got laid off from her job in April 2020 and decided to scale up her efforts. Mechanic Shop Femme is now her full-time gig. Chaya explains how she managed to build a following and unite a diverse range of interests under the umbrella of her website.

Show your whole self

From day one, Chaya was open about who she was, from the name of her site to posts about her wife. “It was important to me that I could show up as my full self,” she says. She also recognized that her unique point of view is an attraction. “There’s lots of places where you can learn about cars, but none quite from my perspective,” she points out. “Cars are what draws people to me. And they learned that I was queer and obviously saw that I was fat and where I come from, and they would stick around for the full meal. Because that's what was interesting.”

Showing that she’s part of the LGBTQ+ community also helps build trust among an audience that may feel intimidated by or excluded from car-centric settings. “I want to make sure that the people who come to my platform know that they’re not just there to learn about cars, that the space I created is not just something where they’re an afterthought, but that they’re welcome.”

Venture outside your niche

One piece of advice Chaya often heard was to focus on one topic. “While that might be great advice for some people, that's not necessarily good advice for everybody,” she says. On the blog, Chaya weaves in a queer or body-positivity angle on everything from fashion to travel in addition to her car content. Exploring different topics helps attract different and new readers, and it keeps her from burning out on car talk.

A tattooed woman in a swimsuit splashes in a pool. A headline below says, “I tried on 10 plus size swimsuits to help you find the perfect swimsuit for your body.”

Besides cars, Chaya regularly posts about fashion, body positivity and sex. Her plus-size swimsuit lookbook is one of the most popular posts on Mechanic Shop Femme.

Treat your site like a business

Chaya refers to her work as an octopus with different tentacles — her blog, her classes, her journalism and her consulting, with her website at the center. “If you want to book a call with me, if you want to pick a class, if you want to read my writing, my website is going to have all of those things,” she says. From the start, it was important for her to own her platform rather than focus solely on social media, where influencers have less control. “I’ve spent a lot of time on TikTok, it’s part of my overall business strategy,” she explains. “But I’m aware this platform can go away, unlike my site, where I own the content.”

How mind mapping can help creators make better content

Creativity can be a messy process. Great ideas and inspiration don’t come easily on command, or in any organized way. And even when we’re in the creative zone, our brains can sometimes get too overloaded and overwhelmed to actually get anything done. That’s why some people use mind mapping, or visual brainstorming, to stay on top of their game.

Markus Müller-Simhofer, founder of the digital mind mapping app MindNode, saw major changes when he started visualizing his creative process. He recalls the first time he realized what a powerful tool mind mapping could be. While developing an app, Markus found that although he had tons of ideas, he wasn’t making any progress. “Out of this frustration, I started to look into techniques to sort my ideas and find focus. Mind mapping best fit how my brain works,” he says.

Mind mapping worked so well for Markus that he eventually scrapped his original app idea and started developing MindNode. “This was 14 years ago and today, I am still working on it — together with a team of 10 people.”

We recently chatted with Markus about how creators can use mind mapping to make better content.

A man wearing glasses, a teal sweater and black pants stands in front of a teal background.

MindNode founder Markus Müller-Simhofer says mind mapping helped him focus his creativity when other techniques failed.

How would you describe mind mapping to someone who's never used the technique before?

Mind mapping is a simple visual brainstorming technique. Every mind map has a main idea or topic at its center. From this, other thoughts branch out, forming a tree representation of your idea. Let me give you an example: when you start thinking about starting a new photography blog, your head is spinning with ideas like “what should I write about?” or “how should I start?” A mind map is perfect in this situation. Start with “My Photography Blog" as the central topic, and start collecting all of your thoughts and ideas around it. Reorganize them as you go to create a clear picture out of that fuzzy thought in your head.

Are there any creative fields that are especially drawn to visual planning?

We have heard from many people — scriptwriters, novelists, bloggers, photographers, artists, developers, beekeepers, wedding planners, students, teachers — who have used MindNode to help them visualize their thoughts, plan their projects and brainstorm ideas. There are no limitations to what mind maps can be used for, and who can create them.

How can mind mapping help disorganized people find order?

If you’re disorganized, you might miss an important puzzle piece or connection to the bigger picture. That is simply not possible with a mind map. The process of putting your thoughts down, and forming them into a structure creates an overview and allows you to look at things from different perspectives. It helps you create a road map, prioritize what's important and let the organization happen organically.

A phone with a gray background shows a mind map of the topic “My Photography Blog,” with an outline of related and sub-topics listed in orange bullets underneath.

MindNode allows users to create mind maps on their phones, tablets and computers.

What are the advantages of mind mapping on your computer or phone rather than using pen and paper?

Digital mind maps have the added advantage of no page size restrictions. Your document — and your idea — can grow in any direction. On a digital mind map, you can also easily move your thoughts around, or use features to highlight parts of a mind map. Usually, a mind map is only the start of your idea’s journey. With an app, you can easily export it to other tools to organize your projects or write an article.

Beyond brainstorming new content, how else can mind mapping help content creators?

Mind maps can go far beyond brainstorming. You can use them to take structured notes, study a new topic, keep track of a project, or create your own personal library of information to reference in the future. They're great tools to capture a spark of inspiration, and develop it down the line.

What are some specific MindNode features that are especially helpful for bloggers or other digital content creators?

We have put a lot of thought and effort into MindNode so it’s simple to use and offers users all of the features they might need to bring their ideas to life. Outlining lets you write out your thoughts in a linear, more organized fashion. Focus Mode helps you concentrate on a single area of your mind map by fading out the rest. And with Visual Tags, you can add more context to your map and keep track of your projects by transforming them into tasks.

5 lessons from a blogger with 500,000 readers

Editor’s note: Today’s guest post is from Ryan Robinson, blogger and podcaster from ryrob.com.

Interested in growing your blog’s audience? Over the past few years, I’ve built an audience of over 500,000 readers — and today, I wanted to share some of the best strategies I’ve learned.

With some repetition and a healthy dose of creativity, putting just one of these tips into practice could help you double (or even triple!) your readership.

Lesson 1: Use video to show your human side

Video is a great way to build an instant connection with new visitors — whether it’s an introduction video on your homepage, or tutorial videos within your blog posts. This humanizes you and helps you connect more deeply with your audience. Readers can actually hear your voice, see your body language, and get to know you better.

You don’t need a lot of fancy equipment to get started. You can use your smartphone to record a quick introduction of yourself and your blog. Host it on YouTube, then embed it on your blog’s homepage or “About” page to welcome new readers.

Lesson 2: Get featured in top publications

Getting featured in a top publication is a great way to bring in readers. It also shows that you’re a credible source of information. Take a look at the “Featured on” section on my blog’s homepage.

You might not be able to go straight to the top, so start by guest posting for larger blogs in your niche. Aim for websites that are just a few steps ahead of where you are today.

For example, rather than reaching straight for your dream publications when your blog is still relatively new, focus your guest posting efforts on sites that have somewhere in the tens of thousands of monthly readers. For more guidance and steps for getting published on larger sites in time, check out my guide to guest blogging.

Lesson 3: Create valuable content

To attract an audience, you need content that is valuable to your readers. And it's important for your content to not only be educational, but engaging too.

I focus on building content that is…

  • Comprehensive: Going more in-depth than your competitors can help you win loyal readers and encourage people to share your content.
  • Easy to read: Aim for short paragraphs, subheadings and lists so your readers are more likely to stay engaged on the page.
  • Well-structured: A clear post structure carries readers along without them ever feeling lost or confused. Plus, structuring your posts first helps you create content consistently.

Lesson 4: Craft a great intro (hook)

You don’t have long to make an impression online — just seconds, at most. Sure, headlines are important, but the introduction is also crucial.

A great way to begin your post is with a question or a promise. This immediately shows the reader that you understand their problem, and you’re going to help them solve it.

Take, for example, my guide about how to name a blog. It begins with the headline, “How to Name a Blog (the Smart Way): 40 Genius Blog Name Ideas (and Examples) to Get Inspired.” Here’s where the introduction takes over:

“There’s both an art and science to learning how to name a blog that tells readers about who you are, the topics you’re blogging about and more. So, what are you going to name your blog? Let’s dive into this ultimate guide, then look at some blog name ideas and examples to inspire your decision.”

In this introduction, I start with the promise that readers will learn how to choose a blog name that explains who they are and gives their audience useful context. Then, I restate the question, before sharing how we’ll work through that challenge together.

Lesson 5: Write in-depth answers in online forums

I’ve also built a presence in online forums to grow my readership. I’ll write answers on Quora, engage in discussions on GrowthHackers, and participate in Q&As on Producthunt.

I spend time finding questions that are relevant to my niche and writing in-depth responses. If the opportunity presents itself, I’ll include a link to one of my articles in my answer. This doesn’t draw tons of traffic overnight, but it adds up over time.

Ultimately, it takes time to build your audience. You may only have 100 monthly readers right now, but you can dramatically grow your audience with these tips. In fact, by this time next year, you might be well on your way to having hundreds of thousands of readers.

4 YouTube series to watch on Google for Creators

For many creators, YouTube is a go-to learning resource. That’s why we’ve created a series of entertaining and educational videos for the Google for Creators YouTube channel. Through interviews, hosted shows, tutorials and roundups, you’ll hear from successful creators sharing useful tips, strategies and best practices for making and monetizing content.

Here’s a little about each of our video series to help you get acquainted with the Google for Creators YouTube channel.

A woman with blonde hair in striped pajamas scrolls through her phone in bed. She is leaning against a white pillow with brown buttons.

On an episode of “Creator Insights,” holistic wellness blogger Andi Eaton stresses the importance of finding work-life balance.

Creator Insights

Creator Insights taps into the expertise of successful content makers sharing their top insights and advice. Featured creators host a series of episodes, each one diving into a specific topic. Whether you’re interested in the value of evergreen content or the importance of setting boundaries to achieve work-life balance, you’ll get advice and easy-to-follow strategies to help you on your own creative journey. Recent Creator Insights contributors include lifestyle and beauty blogger Keiko Lynn, holistic wellness influencer Andi Eaton, and Black food and culture digital content makers Eden Hagos and Elle Asiedu — with many more to follow.

A split screen shows a bearded man in a black long sleeve shirt on the left, and a woman with long, curly hair in a light purple shirt on the right.

Google for Creators’ Raunak Mahesh interviews fashion blogger Tokes on an episode of "Creator Spotlight."

Creator Spotlight

Through one-on-one interviews, Creator Spotlight pulls the curtain back on interesting people creating unique online content. Learn from creators like fashion blogger Tokes of Tokes’ Take on Style about engaging your audience through live streaming; CityGirl Meets FarmBoy’s Kelly Ballard on growing an audience through Pinterest; Laughing Squid creator Scott Beale on curating viral content; and blogging expert Ryan Robinson on the ins and outs of creating online courses.

A man in a dark blue shirt stands in a room with color artwork, windows and a wraparound couch in the background. He is speaking to the camera, and a caption below reads “Ep. 38 Storytime.”

Shishir Malani hosts an episode of “Storytime” about using metrics to measure the impact of your Web Story.

Storytime

Follow along with Storytime, a weekly video series with guides for making and sharing compelling Web Stories — Google’s tappable visual stories format. Storytime gives step-by-step tutorials on Web Stories tools and features, including layout, design and monetization, to help you become a Web Stories master.

A bearded man in glasses wearing a white hooded shirt and standing in front of a blue background holds out his hands while talking to the camera. He is surrounded by two purple graphic shapes and is framed within a light, white frame.

Google for Creators’ Paul Bakaus hosts the debut episode of “The Creator Update,” a rundown of the latest trends in the creator industry.

The Creator Update

If you’re having trouble keeping up with the latest trends in the creator economy, you’re not alone. Google for Creators recently launched its weekly video series, The Creator Update, to help with just that. This hosted show shares trending topics in a bite-sized format, with a quick rundown of the latest tools, websites and people making a buzz in the creator community.

Check out all of these series by subscribing to the Google for Creators YouTube channel.

Google for Creators: Helping creators learn and grow

Whether you’re a fashion influencer, aspiring photographer or travel blogger, Google is committed to helping all content creators connect with their audiences. We believe that getting discovered on Google and having a presence on the open web is an important part of a creator’s success. So today, we’re introducing Google for Creators, a new home base for creators to learn, grow and get inspired.

Discover expert tips to grow and succeed

Google for Creators shows how the web can become part of your content mix. A quick quiz on the homepage provides personalized recommendations with topics most relevant to you. So if you’re just getting started, the quiz might recommend that you check out guides for finding a niche or creating a content strategy. Or if you’re a more seasoned creator, you might see recommendations for learning how to grow your audience and make more money.

Take the creator quiz to get personalized recommendations for content on our site.

Get inspired by a community of creators

Our new site reflects the guidance and inspiration we’ve been sharing on our blog and YouTube channel. This includes profiles of creators like Nakisha Wynn, who started a blog for moms and has become a full-time content creator, coach and speaker. And Nomadic Matt who, after starting his travel-focused website in 2008, has become a best-selling author and still engages with the community he built on his site.

Matt smiles, wearing a light blue t-shirt and looking into the distance. A lemur is perched on his head, holding a piece of fruit and, looking in the opposite direction.

Matt Kepnes started his travel blog in 2008 and has become a two-time best-selling author, and the founder of both FLYTE and TravelCon.

Maximize your reach and control

Google for Creators has a comprehensive list of products and tools relevant for all parts of your journey as a creator on the web. This includes formats like Web Stories, which brings visual and engaging web content to Google surfaces. So far, we’ve seen more than 20 million Web Stories published, giving creators full control to monetize, host and share their content.

Creators like Marie Denee, founder of The Curvy Fashionista, are using Web Stories to reach the web’s broad audience and share their content in a visual-first way. We want to help other creators do the same, and Google for Creators is a great place to get started.

As a creator, it’s important to know if your content is resonating. On our new website, you can learn about Google products that help you understand your audience and grow your presence online. For example, Search Console Insights provides helpful data and insights in a dashboard so you can easily see how your content is performing. Creators are already seeing its value — since launching earlier this year, millions of websites are using Search Console Insights.

Phone shows Search Console Insights primary dashboard. A blue line graph is at the top displaying traffic numbers, with boxes underneath for new pieces of content with their title, thumbnail image and engagement data points in each.

Search Console Insights makes it easy to understand how your content resonates with readers.

Stay connected with us

In the coming months, we’ll release much more on the site, including new guides, community programming and creator spotlights.

Sign up for our Google for Creators newsletter to hear about new content, tips and the latest Google products designed especially for creators. You can also subscribe to our YouTube channel, or follow us on Instagram or Twitter. We can’t wait to see what you build, create and publish. Email us at [email protected] or reach out to us on social to let us know what you’re working on — and what you think of Google for Creators!

Building community and bridges through Black food culture

Eden Hagos grew up in Windsor, Ontario, Canada in a family of East African food entrepreneurs. Her parents ran a restaurant, among other food businesses, and her grandmother sold injera (a sour fermented flatbread). When she moved to Toronto to attend university, Eden “wanted to fit in,” leaving her East African diet and traditions — such as using injera, instead of utensils, to scoop fragrantly spiced dishes — behind.

However, when Eden experienced racism from restaurant staff while dining out for her 26th birthday, her worldview changed forever. “Being denied respect because of my skin color made me ask myself why I had never considered celebrating special occasions at an African or Caribbean restaurant,” Eden recalls. “Why didn’t I cook my cultural foods? I knew then that I wanted to change the way I looked at food.”

Eden traveled the world, attending food festivals and interviewing chefs about Black food and culture. She discovered a gap in the food industry and set out to build a digital community around Black cuisine. In 2015, she launched theBLACK FOODIE website and social media accounts, bringing together chefs, restaurateurs, and other experts and influencers to celebrate what it means to beBlack in the kitchen.

The BLACK FOODIE community onInstagram and Facebook began to grow. As the content got cooking, Eden realized her audience was expanding as well. Two years after she started the community, the BLACK FOODIE team blossomed into a group of three with the addition of Elle Asiedu, Chief Brand Architect, and Kema Joseph, who supports the brand's PR strategy. The team developed BLACK FOODIE into a cross-channel brand with its website at the center — sharing recipes, stories, restaurant recommendations and food travel guides.

Black Foodie founder Eden Hagos smiles in a white halter top with red necklace, hoop earrings and upswept hair, as she chops green veggies at the kitchen counter.

Eden Hagos founded BLACK FOODIE to change the conversation around Black food culture.

Today, BLACK FOODIE’s web presence brings 230,000 followers to the table and the conversation. They’ve attracted business partnerships and media attention, and hosted events such as BLACK FOODIE Week in Toronto in support of Black-owned businesses.

"There are so many content opportunities for us to tell unique stories across different platforms,” says Elle. “We want to include the different voices and perspectives of the diaspora to truly help our audience and food lovers around the world understand the diversity of Black food culture."

Community is at the heart of all BLACK FOODIE is and does. Eden and Elle sat down with us to share a few tips on how they built the BLACK FOODIE digital community.

Mix up content formats

Video is a great format for recipes, Eden says, because people want to see how the dishes are made. BLACK FOODIE shares short videos on Instagram and even shorter videos on TikTok. They post longer stories and written recipes on the BLACK FOODIE website. “People can do a deeper dive on our website,” Eden says. “Our website allows us to have a broader base to include folks who aren’t on social media. If you’re going to type a search into Google, we want to have robust content on the website so you can find us. We reformat and repackage our content so nobody gets left out.”

A colorful stew of fava beans, red onions, tomatoes and jalapeno peppers, topped with yogurt, cumin and lemon.

Eden shares her recipe for Ethiopian-style ful, a popular and colorful protein-packed stew.

Stir up audience comments

It’s obvious from social media that people love to look at, post photos of, and talk about food. BLACK FOODIE has found that audiences especially engage with content related to foods from their childhood. When a Toronto-based stand-up comedian posted about craving banana bread during the pandemic, for example, BLACK FOODIE was quick to repost. Another conversation-starter was a post on the great oat milk debate, as readers chimed in on their preferences for a non-dairy alternative. “We pin fun posts where people are commenting between themselves, so it has a chat room feel,” says Eden.

Open the door to everyone

Following the global social justice protests that took place throughout summer 2020, more people are seeking out the BLACK FOODIE platform as a common meeting place. “People are more interested in finding out about the Black experience to understand what’s happening and why it’s happening,” Elle notes. “We’ve seen a spike in followers who are not part of the Black community interacting with our posts and asking and answering questions. This sense of openness underscores the opportunity for food to be a gateway for social commentary and, in a lot of ways, justice. We try to keep our content light and engaging so folks feel like they can always join in and leave having learned something new.”

A woman wearing white halter top, shorts and straw hat holds a pink fruity drink while seated on a blue-and-green striped blanket in a backyard picnic.

BLACK FOODIE blogged on how to create a beautiful backyard picnic — a simple, outdoor activity for pandemic-weary people that appealed to a wide audience.

Want more advice on how to build your web community? Watch Eden and Elle share “3 tips for building your digital community.” And check out more of their Creator Insights videos on the Google Web Creators YouTube channel.