#BlogHerFood16 Agenda

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Day 1: Friday, October 7, 2016
Time Event
8:00am - 9:00am Breakfast Brought To You by Martin’s Famous Potato Rolls and Bread
9:00am - 11:00am Welcome and Lightning Lessons

Download the #BlogHerFood16 Lightning Lessons presentation now.


We started off the conference with a series of Lightning Lessons, beginning with a sneak preview of the SheKnows Community site launching in November. Executive Editorial Director Julie Ross Godar walked us through what to expect (and gain) from being an active member of our site, along with some very useful techniques for sharing your food content on a multi-topic platform.

Next was a mind-stretching presentation from Irvin Lin of Eat the Love on how to find your inspiration for your food content from decidedly non-food-related sources.

SheKnows Senior Vice President of Influencer Marketing Susan Getgood updated everyone on the latest rulings from the FTC that affect all bloggers and social media users who interact with brands.

Finally, BlogHer Co-Founder and SheKnows Chief Community Officer Elisa Camahort Page led a level-setting lesson on Owning Your Expertise. Understanding your specific, unique expertise (and being bold enough to own it) is a necessary step to deriving the most value from it!

11:00am - 11:30am Break with Sponsors
11:30am - 1:00pm Lunch Keynote | Opportunities to Grow Beyond Your Blog


We all share the same questions: "How can I build a blog and a business for long-term success and fulfillment? How do I keep it fresh and stay motivated? How can I grow beyond my blog, especially as new tools, platforms, and opportunities show up every year?"

Every year at #BlogHerFood, we talk to role models about their stories—and their stamina. This year, we focused on that last question. Even as you love your blog and consider it your home base, you can grow your reach, your influence, your revenue, and your satisfaction by building your brand beyond it—and the four content creators who joined us for this keynote conversation have done just that.

Elise Strachan is a YouTube superstar, originally from Australia, with nearly three million subscribers to her My Cupcake Addiction channel, which builds on her blog of the same name. Her videos have received nearly 400 million views. As we continue to evangelize just how important video has become, Elise’s story is all about building those skills and building a following on YouTube. Unsurprisingly, a book deal has followed her success, and her first book is coming out just in time for the conference.

Jill Nystul’s simple premise—to share one good thing with her readers each day—helped grow her blog, One Good Thing by Jillee, to five million page views a month. Along the way, she built a massive following on Pinterest. Both on her blog and in her book One Good Life, Jillee has shared her life story, including her recovery from alcohol addiction. Her openness and her optimism (and perhaps partly her background as an Emmy award-winning TV talk show producer) have led her to regular appearances in national print and broadcast media.

Jocelyn Delk Adams is the author of the award-winning and Amazon best-selling cookbook Grandbaby Cakes. Both the book and her blog of the same name put her modern spin on her family’s cherished generational recipes, while preserving the most important ingredient: tradition. The heartwarming focus of her blog helped Jocelyn deliver the book, then quickly branch out into a variety of appearances and gigs, all within four years. For example, Jocelyn is a cast member on season 7 of the Cooking Channel show "Unique Sweets," and she has worked with top brands such as Coca-Cola, McCormick, and KitchenAid.

Sean Timberlake is a longtime food writer and blogger who started his personal blog, Hedonia, in 2006. He launched Punk Domestics, a site for the DIY and food preserving community, in 2010. He is also the Food Preservation Expert for About.com. Sean has also branched out from online, bringing his food expertise to live audiences by with food tours and experiences—both with local tours in San Francisco, and by taking groups overseas for hands-on experiences.

1:00pm - 1:30pm Break with Sponsors
1:30pm - 2:45pm Session #1
Social Media Bootcamp | Instagram Photo Styling

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The most follow-worthy Instagram accounts have great photography and great photo editing. You have the potential to reach Instagram's over 300 million active users with beautiful food photos you can take, edit, and post right from your phone. In this informative workshop, Jane Ko went over composition, styling, and maximizing natural light, including:

  • How to take better photos using the features and apps on your mobile phone
  • How to creatively style your photos
  • How to use apps made just for mobile to edit your photos


Jane Ko, travel/restaurant expert and blogger from A Taste of Koko

The Art & Science of Food Blogging | Cookbook Publishing, With or Without Huge Numbers

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The publishing industry has changed radically in the digital era, and conventional wisdom says you have to have a large platform to score a book contract. The numbers bear this out: Only 2 percent of cookbook proposals receive an offer. Even so, there is hope. In this session, our diverse panelists covered other techniques to find a great agent and convince an editor that you're the person they want to work with. They also went through options for credible publishing that didn’t really exist a decade ago. In this session, you'll learn:

  • The most important components of a truly compelling book proposal
  • How a proposal can show off your marketing savvy as well as your writing skills
  • How to manage your time and create a timeline to write your proposal and pitch your book
  • Using your network to find an agent and publisher
  • Alternate publishing approaches, and how to know if they’re right for you

Sally Ekus, literary agent for culinary professionals at LisaEkus.com
Corrin Foster, Director, Marketing & Branding for Greenleaf Book Group and lifestyle blogger at Oh Hey What's Up
Dervla Kelly, senior editor, Rodale Books
Emily Paster, cookbook author, Food Swap founder, and home preservation expert from West of the Loop
Kathy Strahs, publisher, cookbook author, and blogger at Burnt Cheese Press.
Danielle Walker, author, blogger, and grain-free cook at AgainstAllGrain.com

The Art & Science of Food Blogging | Food in the Center of Cultural Conversations, Not Just the Table


Food is a basic human requirement, but it’s easy to become disconnected from the food we eat. We can eat a different international cuisine every night without understanding the cultures from which they came. We can focus on buying the freshest, most local organic produce without understanding the life of the people who are growing it. In addition to helping us feed ourselves every night, food bloggers are serving as social and cultural ambassadors—and bearing those concepts in mind can strengthen our food writing. In this session, our panelists explored:

  • Understanding how food can serve as a social and cultural bridge
  • Improving your food writing by acknowledging food’s deeper significance
  • Being an ambassador, not an appropriator


Rashda Khan, journalist, food columnist, and adventurous eater found at Hot Curries and Cold Beer
Thien-Kim Lam, founder, I'm Not The Nanny and food and culture writer
Toni Tipton-Martin, culinary journalist, community activist and author of "The Jemima Code: Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks"

In The Kitchen | The Latest on Healthy Eating, Cooking, and Recipe Development


People of all shapes and sizes can have issues around fear, diets, and eating. Whether we struggle to manage our weight or get caught up in "eating our feelings," food isn't always positive for everyone. In this session, the panelists will simplify better health and nutrition and share ways to adapt recipes so you're cooking and eating better. You'll learn about:

  • New ideas for promoting healthy eating
  • How to identify key nutrients and other components in food that have proven health benefits
  • Recipe tips and healthy hacks to make your food work for you

Natalie Cruz, health and wellness coach from Coolinary Kitchen
Clay Nichols, SVP of brand, SmartyPants Vitamins
Ashley Koff, RD, nutrition advocate, author and Dietitian

AV Food Club | Creating an Awesome Food Podcast


You already create a lot of great content on your blog, and now you're ready to reach an even larger audience. Why not give podcasting a try? Many food bloggers are already stellar storytellers, and their posts will translate well into a podcast. In this session, we went over the tools you need to create a great podcast, including:

  • How to decide which topic and format (solo, co-host, roundtable) to focus your podcast on
  • What type of equipment you need to get started podcasting right away, and what to get when you are ready to upgrade
  • How to increase your listenership with smart marketing and promotion

Lucrecer Braxton, SheKnows Events programming Manager, host of Hello Friend podcast
Brendan McNamara, actor, writer and podcaster at Pass the Salt!
Aarti Sequeira, Food Network host, cookbook author, and blogger/YouTuber at Aarti Paarti

3:00pm - 4:15pm Session #2
AV Food Club | How to Create Great Videos When You're A One-Woman Show

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Daunted by the resources and skills that seem to be required to make great video? Rachel Farnsworth and Ashlee Marie Prisbrey know how produce a high-value cooking show all by yourself. This session went through the development, filming, and editing process, so you can master the art of online video with limited resources and budget…and with only an hour of editing time! Techniques included:

  • How to use storyboarding as a tool for filming and editing efficiency
  • Quick filming tips for a single-camera shoot
  • How to keep your editing short and sweet

Rachel Farnsworth, video producer, YouTuber, cookbook author and blogger behind The Stay At Home Chef
Ashlee Marie Prisbrey, cake decorator, blogger, and YouTuber at ashleemarie.com

In The Kitchen | A Sample Cooking Class

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No matter your niche, your audience values your expertise and uses your blog to learn. Why not share all your knowledge through cooking classes? Our speakers will walk you through an actual class, showing you how teaching this way cultivates community, creates revenue, and builds your audience. Prepare to learn more about:

  • Finding the best venue for your class, both online and offline
  • How to plan a great cooking class from start to finish, including recipe and topic selection, class flow, and pricing your tickets
  • Tips and strategies for promoting your classes and increasing ticket sales using social media, paid advertising, local press, and more

Mary Helen Leonard, author, crafter, and whole foods cook at MaryMakesGood.com
Shefaly Ravula, globally inspired culinary educator and food coach at Shef's Kitchen.

The Art & Science of Food Blogging | Super-Efficient Photo Shoots

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Food photo shoots look like a lot of fun… until you have to do them on the regular. Great food photos can make or break your post, and planning and organizing your shoot ahead of time will go far to help you highlight the best parts of your recipes. This session went over:

  • What to include in your shot list
  • How to set up and organize your workspace
  • Equipment that will speed up your workflow and efficiently back up your images
  • Bulk photo shoot workflows and strategies (produce up to an entire months content in a weekend)


Dani Meyer, food photographer and managing editor of The Adventure Bite

Social Media Bootcamp | Building Traffic on Facebook: How to Boost & What to Post

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Five years ago, you could post something on Facebook and traffic would just flow to your blog. Today, when you post? Zilch. How do you deliver performance on sponsored posts? In his day job, Nathan Engels spends tens of thousands of dollars on Facebook every week, and on his blog, he’s learned how to boost to the right people in the right way. He led a session full of real strategies to find traffic for your blog.

In this panel, you’ll learn:

  • How and why to create custom audiences for boosted content
  • How different kinds of content will perform

Speaker: Nathan Engels, brand engagement strategiest and data-driven food blogger at WannaBite.com

4:15pm - 5:00pm Break with Sponsors
5:00pm - 6:00pm Evening Keynote: Food and Dish with the Stars of "Smollett Eats"


For the Friday evening keynote, we got an inside peek at the new Food Network show, Smollett Eats. The show is a fun look at the charming Smollett family's food traditions—some passed down for generations, and some created brand-new by the next generation.

Three of the Smollett siblings—lead chef Jake and party planner extraordinaire Jazz, along with youngest brother Jocqui—joined us for an interactive keynote. They cooked for us (Jake's smothered chicken with garlic mashed potatoes), and they dish for us, and generally recreated the convivial chemistry that's so notable in their show.

How did one family become so infused with the love of food and entertaining? How does food bind their family together? And how did the Smolletts pitch, land, and then plan a Food Network show that is basically about the fun things they're doing together? (Dream job, right?)

6:00pm - 7:30pm Welcome Reception
Day 2: Saturday, October 8, 2016
Time Event
8:30am - 9:30am Breakfast
9:30am - 10:30am Morning Keynote | The Pitch: Food Edition at #BlogHerFood16


The Pitch: Food Edition returned to #BlogHerFood16 with four amazing women founders of food-focused companies, who presented their Pitch on the main stage before an esteemed panel of judges.

Prior to the event, the SheKnows Media team helped each participant hone their consumer value proposition to be presented via video and as a live pitch on stage. After hearing each Pitch, the judging panel asked critical questions and offer live critiques. And afterwards the #BlogHerFood16 audience voted for their favorites, and the judges ranked them.

The winning Pitch participant, as determined by a combination of judges ranking and conference attendee popular vote, received a prize package that includes marketing, media and mentorship support from SheKnows Media!

These four women entrepreneurs gave their Pitch:

The Pitch: Food Edition took place Saturday, October 8 and was emceed by our own Jennifer Denton, the vice president of corporate programs for SheKnows, including our Pitch initiative. These three judges joined Jennifer on stage:

10:30am - 11:00am Break with Sponsors
11:00am - 12:15pm Session #3
Social Media Bootcamp | Snapchat for Foodies

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Snapchat is the ideal platform for food bloggers to share behind-the-scenes food photos, personal stories, and candid snapshots of their lives. In this session, our panelists shared how to use Snapchat to connect and resonate with your followers and peers, including:

  • How to incorporate Snapchat into your blogging by sharing behind-the-scenes videos of your creations
  • How to include and engage your followers by asking questions and encouraging dialogue
  • How to create a cult following on your channel that extends to your site

Ashleigh Evans, "Healthified" food blogger, Snapchatter, and cocktail recipe enthusiast from Dash of Evans
Dawn Harris, blogger, home cook, and Snapchatter from Mama Harris' Kitchen

AV Food Club | Learn How To Make Your Own GIFs

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GIFs are like the perfect love child of photography and video. They’re showing up on blogs, but also as a great tool to spice up your social media sharing. Jenn de la Vega shared a down and dirty workshop on GIF-making. She went over how to make your own GIFs with Photoshop, phone apps, or web tools. She also shared techniques for time lapse, slow motion, and basic hardware, as well as these skills:

  • The right GIF-building tools for your needs
  • The technical requirements for sharing your GIF on each social platform
  • How to maximize the usefulness and effectiveness of GIFs

Speaker: Jenn de la Vega, chef, author, and GIF enthusiast found at Randwiches

The Art & Science of Food Blogging | Working with Brands

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There are a ton of different models for brand-influencer collaboration in the food world—everything from highly paid branded content to the exchange of goods for services. No matter the type of activation, the FTC expects full disclosure. Only you can determine what kind of compensation and collaboration works for you, your blog, and your personal brand. And every brand or agency has its own objectives, calendars, budgets, and expectations. This session was a candid, informative conversation about how brands, agencies, and influencers can put their best feet forward when working together. Topics included:

  • The reasonable (and professional) questions to ask brands while assessing whether a campaign/compensation offer is a good match
  • How to create a pitch or proposal that makes the most of your assets attaches quantifiable value to your services, and makes the case for an authentic connection between your content and their audience
  • A rundown of what kind of branded content generally works best on each of the major social platforms

Stacie Billis, cookbook author, family-friendly cook and managing editor of Cool Mom Eats
Rachel Kehrig, Director, communications & market promotions, Canadian Lentils
Karyn Martin, Executive Vice President of PR, 451 Marketing
Tiffany Romero, President of influencer management, Sway Group and founder, Bloggy Boot Camp and the SITS Girls

The Art & Science of Food Blogging | Mining Your Data to Segment Your Audience and Target Appropriately

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Your web analytics and email newsletter stats are a gold mine of information about your readers. Depending on what you'd like your readers to do (from clicking to purchasing), how do you better understand your web and newsletter audience and message various segments accordingly? In this session, our speakers shared what you need to create a blog-to-newsletter process, as well as why targeting the right messaging to the right people is vitally important. Topics included:

  • How to turn regular readers into raving fans
  • What creates the most clickable headlines and content
  • What audience segmenting and targeting really is, and how can you use it to convert readers into engaged users
  • Why you want an email newsletter, and how to build it most quickly

Silvia Dumitrescu, SVP, communications and marketing at IFIC Foundation
Laura Fuentes, cookbook author, entrepreneur and CEO of MOMables.com
Kirsten Oliphant, platform expert, author and podcaster at Create If Writing
Jennifer Pierce, certified holistic health coach, wellness advocate, and food and travel blogger

12:15pm - 2:30pm Food Excursion
2:45pm - 4:00pm Session #4
Social Media Bootcamp | The Perfect Pin: New Pinterest Techniques That Work

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Pinterest has made a lot of changes that have frustrated the content creation community—but the good news is that you can actually use these changes to your advantage. In this session, our panelists shared the approaches they're using to grow their communities, including:

  • How to boost engagement and get your community to share your pins
  • The anatomy of a perfect pin
  • How and where to share your pins for maximum impact and engagement

Alexandra Evjen, Pinterest influencer, fashion stylist, and lifestyle blogger of AVE Style
Jennifer Gaonach, Sr. Vice President of Marketing, SheKnows Media

In The Kitchen | Live Broadcasting: Dynamic New Ways to Create a Cooking Show


Food bloggers are at the forefront of the new growth in live broadcasting and livestreaming, using it to create and market their own shows. Platforms now abound, including Facebook Live, Periscope, YouTube, and more. In this session, Ayinde Howell shared strategies to help you use live broadcasting to reach and expand your audience. You'll learn:

  • Which platform is best for you
  • The tools you need to start live broadcasting right now
  • How to play up to your strengths to deliver engaging content, LIVE!

Speaker: Ayinde Howell, chef, author, and healthy eater from ieatgrass.com

The Art & Science of Food Blogging | Productivity and Efficiency: Get More of the Important Stuff Done

The very productive speakers created a collaborative Google doc for you to look at.


Whether your food blog is your passionate avocation or your growing business, it’s probably a big job. And you have a busy life—so finding workflow efficiencies and consistently planning ahead are both essential. It can be a challenge to create great content and maintain your authentic voice while staying efficient. In this session, our panelists shared specific tips and tools to facilitate both short- and long-term planning, as well as how to integrate your cooking, recipe development, and photography into an effective master plan. Topics included:

  • How to integrate sponsors into your long-term plans
  • How and why to republish existing content as part of your overall editorial calendar
  • The best tools, websites, and tricks to use for planning and scheduling your content
  • Which tasks are better outsourced altogether, and where to get started

Tricia Callahan, food planning advocate, and Netflix binge-watcher, and founder of Once a Month Meals
Kathy Hester, cookbook author, PR specialist and vegan recipe developer at HealthySlowCooking.com
Christine Pittman, editor, food photographer and founder of COOKtheSTORY.com

The Art & Science of Food Blogging | Grad School for Bloggers: Next-Level Goals


Have you been blogging for a few years and think you have SEO down to a science? Do you have Pinterest on lockdown? Can you navigate the world of Instagram in your sleep? Then you're ready for the next level. In this panel, our speakers dove right into the ins and outs of turning your food blog into a full-fledged business, including product development, cookbooks, TV appearances and series, and spokesperson work. These entrepreneurs all started with successful online blogs and have since expanded into a variety of profitable businesses. Topics included:

  • How to know when you're ready to take your blog from hobby to business
  • How to connect with the right people and pitch your ideas for TV and spokesperson work
  • How to get your site ready to show off and help you move into the next phase of your career
  • How to explore product development so you’re biting off exactly what you can chew

Heather Christo, chef, author, and allergy-free blogger from Heathermade
Gaby Dalkin, chef, cookbook author, and California girl fromWhat's Gaby Cooking
Catherine McCord, foodie, television host, and founder of Weelicious
Aarti Sequeira, Food Network host, cookbook author, and blogger/YouTuber at Aarti Paarti

4:00pm - 4:45pm Break with Sponsors
5:00pm - 6:00pm Closing Keynote: What It Takes to Be a Celebrity-Chef


Celebrity chefs are not a new phenomenon—we've been lionizing the masters of the kitchen since Julia Child's time—but with the explosion of niche cable TV channels and then social media, we've seen the nature of that celebrity intensify. The opportunity and the pressure to "perform" has certainly increased for chefs who want to move from the kitchen to the stage. And we've also seen social media influencers becoming food stars, and stars from other media joining the world of food celebrity.

From social media platforms to cookbooks, from TV cooking competitions to the growing number of personality-driven cooking shows, there has never been a better time to turn a personal passion and special talent for food into a new type of career.

Carla Hall (restaurateur, cookbook author, and "The Chew" co-host) led a lively closing keynote conversation with Freddie Prinze Jr. (actor and author of the new cookbook "Back to the Kitchen") and Lisa Lillien from Hungry Girl to discuss how to handle establishing credibility, growing a fan base, and staying focused on what they love best—the food—as they navigate the new continuum between chef and celebrity chef.

7:00pm - 10:00pm Closing Party: Maggie Mae's

Join us at at Maggie Mae's, an iconic institution right in the heart of Austin. We'll hang out in the Gibson Lounge, which has a vintage vibe with its classic Gibson guitars, check out expansive views of Austin's skyline from Sixth Street's largest rooftop, and be served cool craft cocktails. Don’t forget your dancing shoes!

Closing party location: Maggie Mae's, 323 E 6th St, Austin, TX
Date: Saturday, October 8, 2016
Time: 7-10 PM