A review of Everything Food Conference 2019, the biggest takeaways from the conference and the biggest trends in food blogging for 2019 and beyond!
This past week I attended Everything Food Conference in Layton, Utah. This was my second year attending and it exceeded my expectations.
Last year I attended with an 8 week old baby so my experience was totally different.
This year while attending, I came hoping to be rejuvenated about working on my food blog but also to gain knowledge about the food blogging industry right now to help my clients who are also food bloggers! And even though the sessions were geared towards food bloggers, the advice can easily be applied towards any type of online business.
A group of 7 of us rented an AirBnb for our trip and it was an amazing way to take advantage of our time together. While the conference took care of all meals, we spent a lot of time cooking in the house. Being a big group of food bloggers, it was just so fun to get to cook together.
At conferences, there are obviously so many amazing speakers that the conference organizers choose to share their expertise.
But my absolute favorite part about conferences is getting to spend time “talking shop” with other bloggers and business owners. At our Airbnb we naturally just opened up about our struggles with our businesses, where we wanted to grow next and helping each person diagnose any problems they may have been having.
It was basically like a crash course mastermind group!
One night I sat on the floor with a roommate and helped her figure out why she was having so many issues with her website design, only to realize that her theme was completely slowing her site down because it was exploding with unnecessary coding.
Another night, another roommate helped me think through how to narrow in on a special focus for my design business and how to articulate that focus on my website.
The online world is amazing and it’s incredible how we can build these relationships with each other online. But there truly is no substitute for those conversations around the table, sitting on the floor of a rented house, or in the hallways of a conference center.
It’s also so easy to get caught up in the day to day of life as a business owner and mama that we get into a funk of doing the same thing every day. Investing in yourself, meeting new people, educating yourself on new trends and sometimes just getting a break from those mom duties can be so refreshing and wonderful!
After sitting in on many, many presentations, I noticed that there are a few huge trends that are going on in the food blogger space right now.
Food Blogging Trends for 2019
Trend #1: SEO
There were four different sessions on SEO alone. If that is not a sign of SEO being hugely important in 2019, I don’t know what else would be!
The subtopics of the different presentations were:
- Keyword Research
- Building Authority (Link Building)
- Conducting Your Own SEO Audit
- Analyzing Your Organic Traffic
The biggest takeaway I learned from the SEO sessions with Ty Kilgore was that in order to up level your blog rankings, you need to first figure out where your blog is at right now. In the past I’ve always struggled to figure out how to do keyword research so that I could figure out the specific search volume of keywords I should be trying to rank for.
Ty’s presentation helped me to understand that I needed to find the proper range of keywords that I was already ranking for and then understand what the next level of keywords would be for my site.
The presentations also helped me to understand that figuring out SEO doesn’t have to be something mysterious, but it does take figuring out what works for your specific site. There are so many SEO best practices and advice out there, but ultimately every single site, every single keyword can follow different “rules” or have different things work for them.
The best thing you can do to master SEO is to try things, document how they work and continually refine your process.
Trend #2: Strategic Email Marketing
There were a handful of presentations on email marketing, including one hosted by Convertkit (affiliate link). The biggest takeaways I took from the presentations on email marketing were:
- Email is personal. It’s as if you were inviting someone into your home to sit down and have a cup of coffee with you.
- Email marketing should be strategic.
- You should segment your email list and deliver valuable content to each segment based on what they need.
There was a fantastic presentation on high conversion email opt-ins that my roommates loved attending. One of them came back with 6 pages of notes with ideas for her email list!
Trend #3: Work SMARTER not harder
There were a few presentations on scaling your team, thinking strategically about your to do’s, and growing your business without losing your sanity.
It’s safe to say that as online business owners, we all wear a lot of hats. And often we get overwhelmed with ALL OF THE THINGS.
My favorite presentation about this topic was from Jeni B from Biz Mavens. She talked about how we wear three different hats in our businesses, ranging from the Private to the Lieutenant and to the General. Each hat has vastly different tasks associated with it and we need to stay in our lane when we are wearing one of those hats!
Trend #4: Video, video, video
There were SO many presentations on video, from how to build a YouTube channel, what some YouTube sensations would do differently if they were starting again today, how to create better food videos, and more.
While I personally do not have aspirations to start a YouTube channel right now, it was really interesting hearing presentations about how YouTubers produce their videos with the same level of professionalism as a Netflix TV show might have.
Using video was mentioned in so many presentations, from What’s Working Now On Facebook with Mari Smith (who mentioned that 70% of your Facebook shares should be video!), to Phil Pallen using an introduction video for his presentation on personal branding, to Pat Flynn who recommending using video reviews of products to boost affiliate sales, and of course the many presentations about YouTube specifically.
It’s no doubt that video content marketing is growing!
Trend #5: Go where it’s less crowded.
Phil Pallen presented on Personal Branding (which was amazing) and one thing he mentioned was to find where there aren’t as many people and BE there.
He was not the only one who talked about this. Pat Flynn also mentioned in his presentation on podcasting that there are about 500 million blogs and YouTube channels right now, but only 1 million podcasts. When you look at the comparison there, it’s pretty obvious where it’s less crowded and there is less competition!
Phil talked about building a presence on IGTV and IG Stories.
There is definitely an oversaturation in a lot of places these days so I think it’s hugely important to either stand out or find a place that’s less crowded.
Should you attend Everything Food Conference in 2020?
Yes, you absolutely should! I have no doubt that it will be even better than it was this year and that you won’t want to miss it!
If you’ve been to a business conference recently, I’d love to hear about it! Which one was it? What was the best thing you learned?