Episode 288

Becoming a Top Food Blogger and Author with Joy the Baker

February 8, 2022

What does it look like to run a profitable blog? In this episode, Emily of Being Boss chats with Joy the Baker, a successful food blogger, author, and teacher. Joy shares her process of becoming a self-taught baker, monetizing her blog, and publishing several cookbooks. They discuss how to make a business out of doing what you love, and ways for online businesses to stand out in the real world.

Learn More about the Topics Discussed in this Episode
This Episode Brought to You By:
"There are always times, even with things that you love, where you just don’t feel like doing it. But you have to do it anyway."
- Joy Wilson

Discussed in this Episode

  • How Joy became a self-taught baker
  • The creative mindset required for a baking business
  • How project management looks for a food blogger and author
  • Blog monetization and creating multiple streams of revenue
  • Choosing the problems you want to have in your business
  • Joy’s experience starting an in-person baking school
  • How online brands can find ways to thrive in the real world

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[00:00:00] Corey Winter: Hey there bosses! Corey from the Being Boss team here. I'm popping into let you know about a new way for you to stay up to date in the world as a creative entrepreneur, Brewed. Brewed is a weekly email curated by the Being Boss team just for you. We share articles, podcasts, and resources from around the internet on the topics of mindset, money and productivity to help

[00:00:21] you show up and do the work in your business. Learn more and sign up for free at beingboss.club/brewed. That's beingboss.club/B R E W E D.

[00:00:37] Emily Thompson: Welcome to Being Boss, a podcast for creatives, business owners and entrepreneurs who want to take control of their work and live life on their own terms. I'm your host, Emily Thompson. And in this episode, we're diving into a conversation with Joy The Baker on her journey of becoming a self-made baker and food blogger and diving into fraudy feelings and revenue streams.

[00:00:58] You can find all the tools, books, and links we referenced on the show notes at www.beingboss.club. And if you like this episode, be sure to subscribe to this show and share us with a friend.

[00:01:11] Before we dive in bosses. I have a podcast for you to add to your queue. The Remarkable People Podcast hosted by Guy Kawasaki. Remarkable people helps you better understand the changing world with interviews from thought leaders, legends, and iconic class, like Julia Cameron author of the Artist's Way, which I recently listened to as I continued to do my own artists way practice and it added a whole new layer of appreciation for the process after listening to Julia's interview.

[00:01:39] So when you're done with this episode, head on over and listened to the Remarkable People Podcast, wherever you get your podcasts.

[00:01:51] Joy Wilson is a well known for her daily dapples and butter and sugar as her blogging alter-ego, Joy The baker. Since 2008, Joy has shared her indulgent and comforting yet approachable recipes through her popular blog, joythebaker.com inspiring home cooks of all ages, every step of the way. Joy is also a three-time cookbook author, editor in chief of Joy The Baker Magazine and Baking Instructor.

[00:02:16] Six years ago, Joy moved from Los Angeles to New Orleans or where she transformed her home into a kitchen studio called The Bake House where she tests recipes and holds a weekly in-person and virtual baking workshops for students from around the country. Joy has been featured on Food 52 and My Mag Better Homes and Gardens and Country Living to name a few.

[00:02:36] And she just launched her second magazine with Bauer Media Group and has her own baking and breakfast mixes product line with a William Sonoma.

[00:02:46] Joy welcome to Being Boss. I am so excited to finally meet you and have a nice business chat with you.

[00:02:53] Joy Wilson: I am so excited. I'm such a huge fan of you and the show, so thank you so much for having me.

[00:02:58] Emily Thompson: My pleasure. Good. I would love to start bosses out with an introduction to you. So, if you don't mind sort of take us through what your, what your journey has looked like and where you started and how you got to where you are today.

[00:03:16] Joy Wilson: Sure. Well, I am a self-taught baker. That means, I best around my parents' kitchen from the time I was very young in search of brownies and cookies and sweets, and just have taken that little skill that I learned all those years ago and fully run with it.

[00:03:33] And I think my entrepreneurial spirit, I was thinking back to it. And I remember being a preteen. I don't know if you felt this way, but I remember being a preteen and like super frustrated that once that my parents were giving me for the chores that I did was like, simply not enough money. I just like needed more money.

[00:03:53] So I remember. I mean, I didn't actually need more money. I was a child and fully taken care of, but I just felt like I wanted more. So I remember, offering and washing my mom's car several times a week, for $5, and I would take that money and, go to the grocery store or the ice cream. And buy candy. And at home, I would take that candy and meld it into like mega candies.

[00:04:21] I would take like suckers and jolly ranchers and Starbursts and kind of melt them all together into giant suckers that I would take to school and sell for $5. So I like have always had this like kind of weirdo, cooking entrepreneurial spirit. And when in 2008, like old internet days, early, early blog days, I started a blog called Joy The Baker.

[00:04:49] I, at the time I was working at two different bakeries, a bakery and a restaurant actually. And my blog was a way to a, Sure. The recipes that I was baking and B, I was like maybe tiptoeing into being a wholesale baker for coffee shops. Like I wasn't sure what I wanted my business to look like, but I knew I wanted something for myself.

[00:05:18] So the wholesale baking business didn't really work out. The margins were trash. I kept on with my blog, even through working, working at different bakeries and restaurants, I would either shoot a recipe or experiment with the recipe in the morning. And write about it at night when I got home from, from my restaurant job, I just was like trying to get the wheels going.

[00:05:45] Granted, I'm sure as you know, in 2008, there was no like monetization. There was no way to make money really on the internet in that way. And so I didn't know what it was going to be, but I started monetizing my blog a couple of years later. And. And. What happened next? So long ago, right.

[00:06:15] Emily Thompson: Okay. I do want to stop you really quickly though.

[00:06:17] Cause they do have a couple of questions and then we'll get into what happens next. So one is you just want to make a point that I love that you were like melting down KD as a kid. Like what, like a mad scientist child you were. I feel

[00:06:29] Joy Wilson: like we're a little mania. Where was an adult? What are you

[00:06:35] Emily Thompson: doing?

[00:06:35] Yeah, but I also think there's something so magical there. Like you were like, I don't know if you felt this way, and money maybe not so much though. Like, I always wanted, like, I cooked a lot as a child too, and I always wanted really great ingredients. Like I do remember that being a thing then, and like still now I love specialty grocery stores and give me truffle honey all day.

[00:06:56] And like those sorts of things. Right. I remember selling painted rocks as a kid. And I mentioned before we got on that, I have a retail store. I sell crystals. Like I have a rock shop. So even like, as a kid, I was painting and selling rocks to neighbors. I don't actually know if I was selling them. I was trying to sell rocks to neighbors.

[00:07:17] Right. And, so doing announced, I love that you were melting down candy and like sort of having your own like crazy kid. Manifestation of that thing that you were going to end up doing one day. But I do have a question about, or actually I do, reflect again, this like nebulousness of those early days of your, you know, creative career where you just sort of jump in and see what sticks.

[00:07:43] Right. Like, yeah, you're trying all of the things you're seeing, what's working in terms of like where the market is, but also where your energy is and what it is that you want to be doing. And those sorts of things, I think there's such magic and those years were, I mean, it feels like mush.

[00:08:02] Joy Wilson: It does feel like mush. It's very much.

[00:08:04] I was like what happen next?

[00:08:06] Emily Thompson: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:08:09] Joy Wilson: It does feel like mission. It's like you think, you know, the path that you like, the MTV shows that you have no idea, like you just don't, you have to follow, like you said, where your energy, where your energy goes, you have to follow, like what feels smart, what makes sense, what you can do with the time that you have, because you know, you have to pay the rent and probably have another job.

[00:08:33] And, and yeah, those early internet days were very much about. If you were a person on the internet back then you had to be doing it because you want it to be doing it. There wasn't like a real way to game the system and make money from it. You had to be there because you want it to be there. And, yeah.

[00:08:51] And that's where it started for me.

[00:08:52] Oh yeah. Oh, I love, I love that reflection cause you're right. You know? I mean, there was like a lot of people making money on the internet then, but it was like a lot of like early sort of internet, like.com, things that were making money just as creators. We were there because we wanted to be not because we thought it was going to make our mortgage payment by any means.

[00:09:14] Not a reason that we were showing up in this space at all more or less. I mean, I think we all had hoped that one day it would, or we saw that some people were, which sort of leads me to my next question. You mentioned monetizing. Do you remember what some of those first monetization sort of avenues were for you?

[00:09:32] Yeah. I remember, I remember

[00:09:34] really agonizing over whether or not I should put ads and I didn't for a long time. I think peers of mine had done it a couple, like two years before I had, and I was like, oh, I respect my audience, which I do very much still, but it's become norm now. But back then, it was like, It was a, it was a big decision.[00:10:00]

[00:10:00] And I remember I did it because I got, I was down to one restaurant job and I lost that job, the position I was a cheesemonger and the position that I had, the restaurant was taking away. And so I lost my job and I remember, I remember being at my house thinking, okay, I can either print out resumes and go find another job, or

[00:10:26] the crazy thing is I can change my whole life and put some ads on my website and move out of my apartment and go get roommates and like pair everything down and see if this blog thing will work. And I chose, I chose door number two and have hustled it ever since.

[00:10:45] Emily Thompson: But like hustled it. And it sounds like

[00:10:49] gotten some dream jobs, right. Or like some dream projects along the way. So I love that you made that leap and did it, and then it was ads on your website. Like also same, same. I've had that conversation so many times. That is, that is an agonizing decision to make, if you are initially against it, for sure.

[00:11:09] Joy Wilson: Yeah. Yeah. And like 2011 that's 11 years ago. That was, I mean, yeah, that was a big decision at the time because, you know, readers of the internet weren't used to being inundated with ads and being marketed to all the time. Now it's the norm. Now we're almost in the metaverse like, I can't even deal. But yeah, before 11 years ago we were like,

[00:11:38] Emily Thompson: Yeah.

[00:11:38] Oh, okay. I love this. Okay. So you started getting ads on your site or started putting ads on your site. You've made the leap into full-time food blogger. What happens then?

[00:11:51] Joy Wilson: My goal, my goal in becoming a food tech full-time food blogger was to write a book. I wanted to write a cookbook and, and I knew that if I wasn't going to go find another restaurant job and it was going to try to work for myself, I had to like pair down all of my expenses.

[00:12:09] So I, I moved in with a bunch of roommates and it was for a person who really likes to live on her own. I didn't enjoy it. But it was very motivating because I, I thought if I can sell a book proposal and I can, I can get a good little chunk of money like that, because honestly the ad revenue was not going to like really get me that next step, where I needed to be.

[00:12:33] So I, I felt like if I could sell a book proposal, good, move out, get my own apartment and start working on working on it. And just kind of really push the cart. And so I spent six months, I think with roommates and I just really buckled down and wrote that proposal and sold it and I sold it and I moved out on my own, started working on it.

[00:12:58] And that, that was I think, 2011. And it was, it was a bigger, bigger sum of money than I had ever seen before at granted it's work on the book. So you sort of need it, but that really, that was the big step for me to success as, as Joy The Baker.

[00:13:23] Emily Thompson: Oh, I love a good cookbook.

[00:13:26] And the act of writing, like creating a cookbook though is a huge thing.

[00:13:32] So how were you then juggling? Like what did it look like for you to juggle sort of trying to build this business on the side and now having this project that you're doing that I would imagine. You know, takes up 150% of your attention more or less, what was it like to juggle that and then sort of what happened afterwards?

[00:13:53] Joy Wilson: Yeah, it's still, I mean, I still find it difficult to work on parallel projects because you know, one will be one will be short-term blog posts, you know, recipe development for Valentine's day for Easter, for spring that's happening now. And at the same time, I'm working on either a book that is literally two years out or a, a magazine that's like six months out.

[00:14:19] And so that parallel path is, is always a brain scrambler for me. I, I still haven't quite worked, worked it out, but yeah, it's just, you just have to commit to creating all the time. Yeah.

[00:14:38] But that's so hard.

[00:14:40] Emily Thompson: Basically. Okay. So, and a couple of years ago, you moved to New Orleans and you feel free to correct me as I like shortened this, but you I'm guessing buy a house and also start teaching classes in your kitchen.

[00:14:55] Tell me about this evolution from then being, you know, basically. Air [00:15:00] quotes all online though, like is creating books all online? No, they ended up being a physical project, but they're very much so like in your own little world, like situation into moving into this, like online, offline hybrid model where you are not just an online entrepreneur or just a food blogger anymore, but you really diversify in an interesting way.

[00:15:22] Tell me about making the decision to do all of that.

[00:15:26] Yeah. I, I feel like my current career path and maybe its trajectory has, I mean, it's, it's all based on. What feeds me and what feels good to me. And in 2000 I bought the, this house. It's a double shotgun in the Bywater neighborhood of new Orleans. I bought it in 2016 and I walked into the space.

[00:15:50] One side of the shotgun is just completely open and you walk in the front door, there's a giant cypress dining room table that leads into a big open kitchen. And as soon as I walked into the space, I was like, I need to invite everyone I know. And everyone, I don't know over here, and we should all cook together.

[00:16:13] Like it just was like a flash of what was possible. And so I started it. I named this house, it's my home studio. I named it, The Bakehouse. I hired a very, very lean, okay. Two people team to help me build a website for it, help me brainstorm and put up in-person classes. And so we started doing twice a month.

[00:16:42] 12 person baking classes around by my big marble island. And it was, it was, it's just the most fun thing. I I've loved like welcoming strangers into this house and it, it was be it fed and feeds a part of me. That like doesn't get fed by me typing a blog post by myself or me responding to Instagram comments and questions.

[00:17:09] It like feeds that, that connection that I crave. And, and so selfishly. It's been wonderful. And I, and I think that people, people enjoy it too. Like we all crave that connection. And so I just built it in my house.

[00:17:25] Yeah, love it. Of course you did. Of course you, okay. I want to get into this online, offline blend in a few questions because I definitely want to go there.

[00:17:33] I think that what you're doing there is something that. So many of us, like, especially long-term online people. And I think anyone who's like, who ends up hitting that ten-ish year mark, right? Yeah. Plus ends up finding a place where like, I just miss people's faces. Right. I miss like that in-person energy because you're right.

[00:17:50] It's not the same thing as, you know, being on Instagrammer or whatever. So I want to get to that, but first I want to back up a little. Because this is all incredibly fascinating. I love a good windy creative story so much, and you're doing it in so many ways that like I, here on the podcast is that especially my, my previous cohost, she was always talking about like, wanting to like, you know, become a makeup artist or like we all sort of fantasize about these other things that we want to do.

[00:18:17] Food blogging. Has always been one of mine. I could totally see myself. It would be great. It would be, I would be so good at it, but a little busy at the moment, but you are a self-taught baker. Like you, you have no professional training in baking, correct?

[00:18:34] Joy Wilson: Correct.

[00:18:36] Emily Thompson: So I have to like dive into sort of some mindset things around this, because you showed up or like you had restaurant jobs, you started a food blog and then you've, you know, bought a house and created this like amazing community space for teaching classes.

[00:18:54] You're writing books, you have a magazine you're creating products with Williams-Sonoma like you're doing. You're doing it as a self-taught baker. I'm wondering how, or what has it looked like for you if at all, to deal with sort of imposter syndrome, we call them fraudy feelings around here along the way, considering you're a self-taught baker.

[00:19:18] And I say that because most creatives are not trained in what it is that they're doing. And many of them find those feelings debilitating. Whereas you have done everything regardless. What does that look like for you?

[00:19:34] Joy Wilson: Wow, that's a good question. Fraudy feeling. I had my most fraudy feelings when I was applying for and working in restaurant and working in restaurants.

[00:19:47] Those were my most fraudy feelings because I, I mean, I don't know if you've ever worked in food service, but there's definitely like a rhythm and a language in a kitchen that if you aren't familiar with it, it's like a steep learning curve. And so I remember my most fraudy feelings were like getting, getting a baker job and only cooking in my home oven.

[00:20:11] Like pretending, like having to pretend like I know what to do with a professional or the professional oven, know how to turn it on. Like, things like that. I w were terrifying too. However many, 14, 15 years ago. And I remember getting up my, my, I had to be at work at like four o'clock in the morning. I remember getting to work at three o'clock in the morning so that I could spend an hour figuring things out and like messing up a giant batch of scones.

[00:20:42] If I was going to mess it up like it. So people would come to work at four o'clock and be like, oh, you're here. I'm like, yeah, just here, early, just doing new things. Or if I had messed something up, I'd be like, oh yeah, I just got here. Like, don't worry about it because I had like messed up a batch of something and thrown it away.

[00:21:01] I got, I got in so much trouble once for messing up a batch of chocolate mousse. I wasted so much expensive chocolate that I almost lost my job. Oh my goodness. But, but she survived. So I, when I think when I think about Friday feeling. That's what comes up for me as like in-person scary being yelled at in the kitchen feelings.

[00:21:28] And I'm like really having to catch up. And I've found that the internet, my, my own little piece of the internet that I created in 2008 was like a safe place, because I could say like, Hey, I'm self-taught, this is a recipe I tried. This is what it looked like when. And here's the recipe. If you want it, you know, I could, I could be myself more.

[00:21:54] I could relax more. And, and so I never, in those early days, I didn't claim to be a great baker with all the answers because I wasn't, I just was trying and the invitation was for people to try with me. And so, as I, as I continued. In and with Joy The Baker, I got to be a much better baker and I like built up my own confidence.

[00:22:24] So that like real, truly so that I could help other people build their confidence in the kitchen. So like, I, I think of everything I do in all my blog posts still today, as I pep talks because I needed them. I sort of built them for myself and all of us. And so those fraudy feelings. I really just like.

[00:22:48] Brush them off my shoulder because I've worked, I've worked so hard to get to this place. And I know I'm a good baker. I have confidence in it. Also I am a trash has Gemini. And so I can just like a feelings, like so easily. Perfect. Like it's all, it's a little scary. So if I have a Friday feeling come up as a gem and I am like,

[00:23:17] but really like that's a joke. The real, the real thing is that I've put in some good work. And if you, and you have to, you know, like we have all put in the good work and the Friday feelings are not welcome or refill.

[00:23:34] Emily Thompson: For sure, for sure. And I, I, there's a couple of things that I want to highlight here once I do.

[00:23:39] I'm just like throwing yourself into the industry and not like the online version of the industry, but like really people are looking at you and what you just did, industry. Yes. Like, right. What a way to kick off those training wheels and just like put you into. Right and make you face all of the things.

[00:23:57] So I think there's something really, really important in doing that. I feel like a lot of creatives tend, especially in the world of online, can hide behind the computer. Right. And there is something to be said about just getting out there in the space and doing the thing with the people and learning and learning by messing up and all of those things.

[00:24:12] So I think that's a really important thing to highlight. And then also do that. You went into this career that you're building for yourself with such authenticity. But there was no, there was no frostiness right. Like you didn't come in here going, I'm a baker. You went, I'm like, I am actively becoming a baker.

[00:24:32] I am practicing, baking, come do it with me. That puts you in a place where. Like you could probably listen to this Friday feelings and be like, okay, you are wrong because I didn't tell anyone that I was going to be great at this now working on being great at it. And then thirdly, there is this element of like the longer you do something, the more you commit to your craft, whatever it may be, you will become great at it.

[00:24:59] [00:25:00] And that's what you've done. Yeah.

[00:25:02] Joy Wilson: Yeah. Yeah. You just commit to it. I mean, you have to, you have to love it and be into it for the commitment to feel good. But when it, when those things align. You know, the fraud, doesn't the Friday feelings don't have a

[00:25:16] Emily Thompson: place. Right. Oh, I love that. Okay. So then I want to know just generally what your life looks like.

[00:25:26] Tell me, I would love to have like a peak inside of a day in the life of Joy The Baker with an in-home sort of baking studio magic. Products books, like all of these things. What are you doing all day? And in particular, how much are you actually baking?

[00:25:45] Joy Wilson: Yeah, no, that's a good question. How much am I baking?

[00:25:48] I, I actually still bake a lot. I still bake a lot. I still test all my own recipes. I have a secondary recipe test or also, but. I still bake a lot after this podcast. I have, I have a few recipes to test. So it, my days are all different as with most creative entrepreneurs. And my days are usually dictated by large project deadlines, small project deadlines.

[00:26:20] So small project deadlines are the blog. And the content that I have scheduled to go out for that and sort of managing, I have, I write all my blog posts and test all of those recipes, but I have a team of two other people who helped me photograph that content, edit it and like help keep that ball rolling.

[00:26:41] So like that's on one side and I am every day, I'm like doing some sort of maintenance or writing for the. For the blog and then a large part of my day is, is dedicated to the large projects that I have working on right now. My large project is a magazine. So I'm in my third issue of Joy The Baker magazine, which is it's a, it's amazing and humbling.

[00:27:09] It's the nationally distributed magazine that I get to write. I just, yesterday. The photography for the entire magazine and the cover. And just have a couple more little things I need to write, but it's such a huge undertaking that it takes up a lot of space in a day. Luckily, I love it so much. So on any given day, say like I wake up, have some coffee, look at the emails, make a list, usually test a recipe or two.

[00:27:44] Say hello to people on Instagram, email my editor and tell her, I'm sorry that I'm over deadline on the magazine. Try to work on the magazine. And then I like later in the day, probably too, too much into [00:28:00] dinner time, I will work on a blog post that needs to go up for the week. Maybe go for a run or like do a quick yoga thing at the gym.

[00:28:08] Come back, eat dinner, do it all again.

[00:28:13] Emily Thompson: Perfect. Do you ever get tired of baking?

[00:28:18] Joy Wilson: Sometimes I don't feel like it

[00:28:26] sometimes. I don't want to, but you know, like there's always, there's always times, even in things that you love, that you just don't. Sure.

[00:28:38] Emily Thompson: Absolutely. Well, good to know that that even happens with cookies, right?

[00:28:42] Joy Wilson: Yes, it does. It really does. It really does. Yeah. I've been working on no churn ice cream recipes, like a maniac for summer and the.

[00:28:54] On Sunday night, all I wanted to do was sit down on the couch and watch reruns of survivor. It's truly all I wanted, but I instead, I forced myself to make four batches of ice cream because I had to, like, we were going to shoot it the next morning I had to do it. So,

[00:29:12] Emily Thompson: you know, you do perfect. Okay. It was good to, again, good to know that that happens even with okay.

[00:29:18] Ice cream. Although I feel like if you were to tell my partner that he'd be like impossible, not possible. So it's sort of another sort of like little in there. Question you talked about, small projects and large projects. Is that how you sort of divide things up in your, like, what does project management look like for you?

[00:29:41] The small projects and large projects. I mean, books, magazines, those sorts of things. Huge. And then you're still blogging. Is it, what is your frequency with, submitting a blog post these days? I do two to three

[00:29:55] Joy Wilson: blog posts

[00:29:56] Emily Thompson: a week. Okay. So a lot.

[00:29:58] Joy Wilson: Yeah. It's feels like a lot. It feels like a lot and you know, I'm a human being, so.

[00:30:05] Sometimes like this week has been very busy with my large magazine project and we are going to be at two blog posts, not three this week. So it fluctuates. It has to, yeah, it just has to, because I want everything to feel good and be high quality. And if I don't have the energy. To give it the high-quality expectation that I have of it.

[00:30:33] Then it's going to wait a couple days and I'll come out next week and it'll, everyone will enjoy it. And I will do.

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[00:32:34] Then I want to dive into lightly or as lightly as you'd like, so monetization. Because, again, you were talking in the early days of what you were doing. You weren't really monetizing me. Some people were, but you know, it's something we, I think of it a lot, like podcasting where only in the past year or two, has it really become possible to monetize this kind of content.

[00:32:57] Like I've had to go through the cycle entirely again, of having, having an industry mature to a place where people see and understand the value. And then there are ways for people to get paid to create the content. Yeah. And that happened in blogging, in the like early two thousands. Yeah, about between like, 05 to 15 ish is when, or I guess like 10 to 15 or so that really became, became a thing.

[00:33:23] And you have gone from having a food blog on, on the side that was just a passion project and made no money, to now it sounds like multiple streams of revenue. From what it is that you do. Can you give us like a little breakdown of like maybe what the bigger, like streams of revenue that you have built for yourself and what that looks like?

[00:33:46] Joy Wilson: Yeah. Yeah, so the site is monetized and so we have ads run on the site and that is one very good stream of income for Joy The Baker. Also the sites cost money to run too. So like, so, so the ads on the site pay for the site to run, pay for the maintenance. And then, and then, you know, our income as well for me and the, and the team that I work with.

[00:34:22] There's also, I haven't written a cookbook in a few years, you know, we've transitioned to magazines, but that publishing is an income stream. And sponsored content is also an income stream for the brand. And then the bake house, the CLA the classes, virtual classes, and in-person classes are another stream of income for Joy The Baker.

[00:34:47] Nice.

[00:34:48] Emily Thompson: So probably so a good, like a good diverse set of income streams that have you, has you feeling some of it's pretty, Let's like evergreen, what's the word they're recurring, recurring. Right? The ads being something that's just sort of like there in the background and some things are a little more active.

[00:35:06] It looks like there's a good mix of mix of revenue streams for you there.

[00:35:10] Joy Wilson: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:35:11] And it feels pretty essential to have a diversity in income on the internet as a person of the internet. You never know, you know, things fluctuate all the time, different quarters, different seasons. Like the things are always influx.

[00:35:27] And so you need to have different, different pieces of fruit you can pull from off the tree that that can sustain the business and your life.

[00:35:36] Emily Thompson: Yeah, absolutely. Well, I would always say, especially for including food blogging, right? Like you have to have those and, and you're right. I think that is a necessity for online businesses these days, even, you know, product businesses.

[00:35:50] Think about how you can monetize your website or maybe do sponsored content or, or think about how it is that you can create multiple revenue streams for yourself, because it is, it is imperative things fluctuate here. Well like with the drama. Things will change and the online world.

[00:36:08] Joy Wilson: It can be. I mean, it's scary, but it's also, I don't think of the fear side of it, I think is a possibility.

[00:36:15] And that's what excites me and gives me energy. But also, you know, I have, I'm very thankful that. I have a very, a good base of income streams, but I'm always thinking of other ones and I'm thinking of other ones and like kind of hard on myself for not, you know, like not fully diving into other things. I listened to your episode a couple of weeks ago, it's Spencer about online courses.

[00:36:40] And I was like, oh, I'm so behind. I should have an online course. So like I always have little spots in like holes. I sometimes feel like there are holes in my business of like, you know, maybe opportunities that I'm missing. But then I, I try to remember that maybe I haven't done it yet because I don't know the energy for it, or like, I'm not excited about it.

[00:37:09] And if I'm not excited about it, The right fit for me right now. So, yeah. So I just, if people are, they're like feeling stressed about, or like left behind, I have those feelings too. And I just try to honor where my energy is and what excites me.

[00:37:28] Emily Thompson: Right. You have to put a damper on that FOMO. A hundred percent, right.

[00:37:32] Or it will eat you alive. It will eat you alive. I also think whenever, you know, creating revenue streams, and this is maybe like a half or a glass half empty way of seeing it. But I always think like, what problems do I want to. Right. Like, because it's easy to think. Like I want the money that comes from this revenue stream.

[00:37:51] It's easy to think about that. And to let that sort of be some rose tinted glasses over what it's actually going to require to create the thing. So like, you know, an online course, for example, it's easy to think like, okay. Some really great like passive income, you know, it could be set out to be recurring.

[00:38:08] It's going to create at once and then you just sell it forever or. Air quotes around all of that, by the way.

[00:38:15] Joy Wilson: Right, right, right.

[00:38:15] Emily Thompson: But then, and so it's easy to think. Okay. That's a great idea. But I always like to look at the other side of it of be like, okay, but what problems am I going to have with this of like, I'm going to have to keep that updated.

[00:38:26] I'm going to have to communicate. I'm going to have to deal with everyone who has lost their password, which is going to be everyone or whatever it may be. I always think like, are those the problems that I want to have. And that for me is what will easily put some FOMO to bed of like, no you're right. Online course or whatever it may be that I'm, you know, thinking in that moment, is it for me because those are not the problems that I want to deal with today or any day.

[00:38:50] So that's how I look at it.

[00:38:54] Joy Wilson: I appreciate that perspective. So, so much, so much. I do, I guess I, I sort of think about it similarly in that I'm like, I. I can think of the problems too. And I'm like, I. Had the bandwidth to deal with those problems. And I would deal with the problems poorly. I would communicate poorly, like piss people off.

[00:39:14] And I don't want to, I don't want to do that. I make ice cream and cookies for a living. I won't be able to be happy about that. I don't want to piss them off because they lost their password and I don't care.

[00:39:22] Emily Thompson: Yeah, for sure. For sure. It's a whole thing. So, so when it comes to filling in holes, in your revenue stream and feeling some FOMO for you and anyone just, you know, what is working for you, what problems do you not mind?

[00:39:34] Dealing with day in and day out. Let, let your problem, like your potential problems guide you.

[00:39:41] Joy Wilson: Yes,

[00:39:43] Emily Thompson: I think it works. I think it works perfect. I appreciate that, that little look behind the scenes. The last place I think I kind of want to take this conversation is the thing that I mentioned previously with this idea that you,

[00:39:56] like so many other, you know, creators, you start online, you like find the space that is really beneficial. It's giving you energy in all kinds of forms, right? You're able to bake what you love. You're able to connect with an audience, which you enjoy. You're able to, to make money doing all of it while, you know, baking at home in your PJ's, if you want to be or whatever it may be.

[00:40:19] But then, you walk into this house and you just like have this other vision that has you baking in what we call hard pants, right in front of other people you add back on this offline. Element to your business. Where, you know, 10 years ago we were talking about how much better online business was because of the scalability, because you can work anywhere anytime, you know, from any place, which is the same thing as anywhere, you can do it in your PJ's right.

[00:40:56] And so many of us, because me included have, you know, sort of step back and be like, yes, this is great. But I miss people. Like I miss that connection. I miss, for me, there's this like tangibleness and you giving me money and me giving you a thing, like a physical, real thing that I find so much more satisfaction in than sending you an e-course that you're probably not going to watch anyway or whatever it may be.

[00:41:24] Right. There's like, there's something there. I'm wondering, I'd like to dive into that part of your sort of transition over the last couple of years. Maybe even like, what were the problems you were excited to solve when you decided to add that, add that piece to your, to your business model and what has it been like for you to diversify back into the offline space?

[00:41:50] Joy Wilson: Yeah, it's diversified back into hard pants.

[00:41:53] Emily Thompson: What was that like? Especially as a baker.

[00:42:00] Joy Wilson: Soft pants. I will say, I do think a key to my personal, in my personal, like work life is that I, I have to get dressed every day. Like that actually helps. So while I am not wearing hard pants today, I do feel like in my, I feel like in my head, in my heart I'm dressed, so I'm working. Yeah, that helps. But when I decided to transition into doing in-person classes at the bake house, it was 20.

[00:42:31] I started, I like dip my toe in 2016. Really started it as like a little business as in 2017. And. The problem that I wanted to solve was my problem of human connection. I needed more of it. And then I wa I really wanted to like genuinely get my hands in people's dough and show them what it was to bake something well and correctly, and have some confidence about it.[00:43:00]

[00:43:00] And, and yeah, and, and I thought that I could do that with small group classes and. Just bring together, bring people together in the kitchen. Like that was, those were the small problems that I wanted to solve. And like you said, like you said earlier, building an online business is great. You could do it in your pajamas.

[00:43:24] You can build it to the evergreen. You can build it to be passive income. Those are things that are super true and super smart. And building an in-person baking school is less financially smart. If I'm going to be honest, it just is, it just doesn't make as much sense financially. Where it does make sense in my business is for like my energy and how it feeds me, which is very free fruitful, but, but true for me.

[00:43:53] And so I don't, you know, I don't offer the classes every weekend. I don't offer a ton of them. I keep them, in a manageable space for, for me and what I have time for and what I have energy for. And they're just like little bright spots in my month, but they. They aren't the foundation financial foundation of my business whatsoever.

[00:44:17] So, so yeah, like that's, that's the honest truth of it. I do it because I love it. And I love connecting with people in person and it it's like, it's like a, a luxury. Having other successful parts of my business. And yeah, so that's what the Bake House is, but it, it reminds me it hearkens back to the 2008, 2010 for me, when I was working on my blog for $0 and 0 cents.

[00:44:51] It just do it because I love it. And it's a luxury that I have the time and space to do it, and it feeds me. And so like, that's why it happens not financially the brightest. Brightest decision.

[00:45:04] Emily Thompson: Oh, that's a better answer.

[00:45:11] I'm going to, I'm going to say. It's a better answer, because I think there is so much importance in building a business that makes you happy. And I feel like so much of like the entrepreneurial rhetoric out there is like, you know, do it even if it hurts. Like if it's, you know, Bottom line is the most important metric, like all of those things.

[00:45:35] And like, in some cases that is true, but I definitely like to take a significantly more holistic approach to the business that is me, right. That I'm having to show up and give so much of my energy to every day. And you know, for all creatives, You know, with my, or in my product business, my, my business partner is my life partner and we are consistently having conversations about doing things and I will shut down an idea so fast because I just don't want to like, even make sense and all of the ways, like, it just doesn't feel right to me.

[00:46:10] And, and he's always like, but I'll do it. Like, I don't care do it. I don't really, if you want to, that's fine. But for me, like there is that feeling part that's so important because, it gives you energy in the other places that do make more money. So there is, I do believe there is this follow through, right?

[00:46:29] That happens. So it may not be sort of, you know, fiscally responsible within the context of the single thing, but it really may make it possible for you to have the energy to do the magazine, right. Or to write the next book or whatever it may be. So, that is a great answer. I love it. Good for you. Do what makes you happy?

[00:46:51] Joy Wilson: I do. I do. I'm so bad at doing things that I don't want to do. I'm pretty terrible at them. So just let that guide me in my business and yeah, we have like a humble boat, mighty little, my old brand going from it.

[00:47:09] Emily Thompson: Perfect. I do wonder though. But do you see any other benefits? Like, does it give you more clout for negotiating deals?

[00:47:18] Does it give you the opportunity? Do you know maybe test recipe? Like, are there other benefits though, more than just making you happy?

[00:47:26] Joy Wilson: Are there other benefits more than just making me happy? I, I, I think that anytime you can build a multifaceted. Business and brand, it gives you more clout. So, yeah. So I do think that it helps in, in like, you know, like brand negotiations, if I'm doing a sponsored deal, like I have, I have a lot of different ways that a brand, for example, can plug into my audience and work with me.

[00:47:59] And so, yeah. So I do. Multifaceted. I'm like gesturing with my hands a lot is, is the kind of business that I want to build from, from my personal happiness. But also it serves, it serves the business as a whole.

[00:48:17] Emily Thompson: Yeah.

[00:48:18] Perfect. I would imagine so. And, and I truly believe that as we move into the next couple of years of business, that it is the bolstering.

[00:48:31] That happens whenever you do straddle the fence of online and offline, that will make the, these brands. And I say these because I do the same thing in Almanac and Being Boss has been one of those things that for literally I did websites back in the day. So in 20, in 2000 10, 11, 12, up to like 16, 17, I was building websites.

[00:48:55] And one of my. Missions. Like I did a lot of like online, only websites, like online only company websites, small creators and things. But I also really drove, into like local businesses. This idea of you also have to get online, like you have this really great storefront, but do this thing, you know, 20, 20 hit.

[00:49:19] And everybody was like, oh, Maybe we should also get online. I was like, guys, 10 years ago, 10, 15 years ago, I was telling you to do the thing. And I think we still haven't even seen that actually come to fruition yet. Like I think a lot of, I think more brands than ever over the past two years have learned to straddle that fence and are seeing the benefits of it.

[00:49:42] And I think those of us who either went into it naturally. We saw the signs decades ago or whatever it may be. I think we're on the forefront and I think over the next couple of years, you'll see brands like ours, really sort of like. I don't know, being at the top of what we do, because we've bolstered what we do by growing both an online presence and empire or whatever it may be, but then also having a solid foot in the offline world in whatever way that manifests for how it is that we work.

[00:50:17] And so I love that you went into that naturally because. Everyone listening. Listen to me right now,

[00:50:24] Joy Wilson: now,

[00:50:25] Emily Thompson: right. This is how we do it is definitely getting out for behind our computers and finding the ways in which our brands live in the real world. That's going to give us the leg up on what future entrepreneurship looks like.

[00:50:39] So even if you know, now the benefits are like mostly, it just makes me happy. I'd love to sort of check back in on this conversation in two or three years and say, because. I would not be surprised if you ended up coming up on some really big, exciting benefits that have, that has come from you building this [00:51:00] brand in both places.

[00:51:01] Joy Wilson: Yeah. I, I mean, I, I have ideas. I have things that I feel like percolating. I don't think I'll live in. This house studio forever and make it, you know, like, and then what can it be like, will I build a second location? What would that look like? So, yeah, I think about this, this like base of a little home studio that makes me happy.

[00:51:24] There, there it's a C two. Yeah, my next big thing. And I don't know exactly what that looks like yet. But, but it's, it's sprouting. It's something. Yeah.

[00:51:37] Emily Thompson: Oh, I love hearing that. I just, I sort of had a vision, as you were saying that I liked it. It was very like light and airy and you were just cooking in a big, open, empty space and it was great,

[00:51:48] just so you know, it was real cute.

[00:51:52] Real good vibe. And a real good vibe, right? For sure. Perfect joy. This has been an absolute treat to have this conversation and just want to peek behind the scenes of what it looks like for you to have built what is Joy The Baker, and all associated projects and things like that.

[00:52:14] Joy Wilson: It's been, it's been a delight.

[00:52:16] I'm so thankful to you for this conversation. It really it's felt inspiring.

[00:52:21] Emily Thompson: Good. Good. Same, same. Then I have to ask, how can people find you? Where are you on the internet? Where can they find your blog names of books? Like all the things, where can people go check you out?

[00:52:34] Joy Wilson: I'm Joy The Baker everywhere. joythebaker.com.

[00:52:37] joythebaker on Instagram, Facebook. And my, I have three cookbooks. The first is The Joy The Baker Cookbook. I also have homemade decadence and a brunch book called Over-Easy. And this summer in mid may, you'll be able to find Joy The Baker Magazine on grocery store shelves. So look for it. Look for it.

[00:52:58] I'm there. [00:53:00]

[00:53:00] Emily Thompson: Perfect. Good. Good. Is it already everywhere? Cause I feel like I've seen

[00:53:06] Joy Wilson: it. Yeah. So my holiday magazine is out now. We were chatting mid, late January and it's going to go off shelves at the end of January. And so the spring summer issue will come out in mid may and that's when everyone can pick it up in stores and online.

[00:53:26] Yeah, it's nice to see, pick up a magazine in the store.

[00:53:29] Emily Thompson: For sure. For sure. I'm going to have to go back to my grocery store and see if they still have it. Cause I remember seeing it and thinking, oh yeah, I think that's even what sparked it for me. It was like, okay. It's time to, it's time to haveJoy on the show. Perfect.

[00:53:42] Joy Wilson: I'll send you one. Just let me know.

[00:53:44] Emily Thompson: Awesome. Thank you very much. Perfect. Then last question for you Joy is always my favorite. What's making you feel most boss?

[00:53:52] Joy Wilson: What's making me feel most boss. You know, what makes me feel most boss is finishing a cup of coffee while it's still hot.[00:54:00]

[00:54:01] That last sip, if it's still hot, if you like focused on your cup of coffee and have to drink a lot of that makes no that's one of my answers, but my real answer is that yesterday I did, I shot the cover of the spring center magazine and I had team of eight people in New Orleans. We drove out to like rural Louisiana to distribute the cover of the magazine.

[00:54:25] And these eight people are our friends and creatives that I've built in this city that I love. And the fact that we got to create something together from my vision and from theirs. And that we could all like, you know, like get paid and earn money from it. That makes me feel most boss. Like collaborating creatively for the money that we are worried is such an incredible feeling.

[00:54:57] And one that I'm very thankful for.

[00:54:59] Emily Thompson: Ah, [00:55:00] beautiful answer. Thank you so much. This has been a pleasure.

[00:55:03] Joy Wilson: So wonderful. I hope we get to chat again soon.

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