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Beth Lee of OMG! Yummy on the Evolution of Traditional Media and Publishing Her First Cookbook

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Beth Lee of OMG! Yummy on the Evolution of Traditional Media and Publishing Her First Cookbook

Traditional media continues to evolve rapidly, with more and more things going digital. However, traditional print cookbooks continue to spike in sales and interest. Beth Lee of OMG! Yummy shares her thoughts on the evolution of traditional media as well as her own experiences marketing and publishing a print cookbook last year. Keep reading for her take on what’s missing in the creator marketplace and running a successful blog.

About Beth Lee

In 2010, Beth left her Silicon Valley tech and marketing career behind to pursue her passion for food. As she puts it on her blog, “she realized she preferred pita chips over computer chips.” 

She launched her food blog, OMG! Yummy, posting a variety of diverse recipes. At this time, social media was in its infancy stage, and she began attending a variety of blog conferences to learn and stay current with new emerging trends and platforms. 

At one time, she thought she would use her marketing background to become a food business marketer. 

“I started to realize that the passion was really me doing the foodstuff, not just helping out other people. I wanted to create recipes. I wanted to keep writing. I wanted to do photography and work with brands in a different way and help them through the world that I can do.”

Over the years, she continued building her blog, Instagram, and social media platforms

Last year, she released her first cookbook, The Essential Jewish Baking Cookbook. Her cookbook was featured in the Los Angeles Times, San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle, and New York Times. 

I definitely used my social media and blog and everything to help promote it [her cookbook.]… People still love hard copy cookbooks, so I spent really all of last year focused on the cookbook. I hired a PR consultant. We worked together. I did a ton of podcasts.”

Beth Lee of OMG! Yummy on the Evolution of Traditional Media and Publishing Her First Cookbook

The OMG! Yummy Food Blog

Beth shares her inspiration for the name OMG! Yummy came from her family, talking about how people would say OMG! Yummy when eating her food, which led to the blog name choice. 

“That’s my passion for making delicious food, eating delicious food, sharing it with people, and having them get excited about it.”

Beth Lee of OMG! Yummy on the Evolution of Traditional Media and Publishing Her First Cookbook

Her blog focuses on multicultural recipes reflecting her and her family’s diverse backgrounds. She shares that she has an Eastern European background, and her husband has a Hawaiian and Korean background. 

With her background in marketing, Beth approached her blog with a keen eye, focusing on its messaging early on. 

“You always want to be thinking about the messaging, and who your audience is, what you [are] trying to always offer people, what are they’re looking for and really listening to the feedback that I get… Figuring out how that [my passion] resonates with people and how I can always be offering people something, like offering them a solution.”

She shares that her overarching strategy is always to be the connection between the problem and what she herself is good at. She also keeps SEO in mind when writing but avoids letting it overtake her writing. 

“It can be really easy to get mechanical [with SEO], to lose your voice… I think what works for me is people connect to me kind of being a storyteller and making me I think make them feel like I’m in the kitchen with them, so I’m constantly trying to stay focused on those fundamentals of marketing.” 

Beth shares that focusing on your strengths alongside helping others solve a problem is a key part of growth. Focusing on her strengths made her realize that she also loves being in front of the camera and writing. 

Beth Lee of OMG! Yummy on the Evolution of Traditional Media and Publishing Her First Cookbook

The Evolution of Traditional Media

Throughout her career online, Beth has seen the massive evolution of traditional media and watched traditional platforms struggle with going digital. 

In many ways today, digital media is king. However, physical cookbooks have continued to endure and excel. 

“I’m fascinated by how physical cookbooks have continued to be such a huge market, and that’s the one thing that may not be the case all the way across print books, but cookbooks are still a really thriving, growing arena.”

She notes that it’s fascinating to see which age groups and demographics are purchasing her cookbooks. Currently, her cookbook sales lean towards a younger demographic. 

“I do buy print cookbooks, and I love them, but I don’t read hardcover books, like a novel, anymore. Everything I have is electronic because it’s really convenient.”

Beth explains that she’s constantly evaluating what is going on with different social media platforms to stay on top of new trends and technologies. 

For example, “Instagram is trying to really push Reels because they’re trying to compete with TikTok.”

She adds that looking at constantly changing trends and technology as a positive thing has helped. The constant changes also force creators to evolve and continue being creative. 

“I think we have to just keep evolving and be amazed at how things have changed and never think that it’s not going to change.” 

Beth Lee of OMG! Yummy on the Evolution of Traditional Media and Publishing Her First Cookbook

The Creator Marketplace

When asked about what she feels is missing in the creator marketplace, Beth shares that she would like to see less emphasis on big numbers and follower counts. 

“I’d like us in the creator marketplace to have some metrics that are beyond just “oh, you have a hundred thousand followers.” and people who are evaluating effectiveness, looking beyond those numbers, and really trying to figure out what’s going on and how we can measure interaction and effectiveness.”

She also hopes that the opportunity to connect with people online will continue to grow because of the many amazing opportunities and people she’s met during her career. 

Beth Lee of OMG! Yummy on the Evolution of Traditional Media and Publishing Her First Cookbook

Future Plans

Beth shares that she is already preparing for some exciting holiday content for the Jewish New Year that comes at the end of September and early October. 

“I’m going to be putting a lot of exciting content coming up on the blog, and you’ll see that on my other social platforms. I can’t say that I know what my next book is yet, but I’m definitely planning on writing more books.”

She adds that she is always growing her newsletter list and has exciting brand work coming out. 

One brand project involves 18 Doors, an organization empowering Jewish interfaith couples. For this project, she recently created a Smoked Salmon Bowls with Everything Bagel Seasoning Recipe reminiscent of a poke bowl. 

Beth is also already preparing for Thanksgiving and has a variety of exciting new recipes coming out for the fall season all the way through Hanukkah. 

Lastly, she shares that she is excited to continue seeing the evergreen growth and traction her cookbook has garnered. 

“I’ve been still getting a lot of traction with that [her cookbook] and encourage people you don’t have to be Jewish to cook from it. Great recipes in it for anybody.”

Amy DeYoung is a freelance blog post writer covering influencer marketing and business topics. As the daughter of two business owners, she's been fascinated by all things business from a young age, which led her to graduate from college with a bachelor's degree in business. When she's not typing away, she spends her time reading nonfiction books and mystery novels, baking scrumptious desserts, and playing with her dog.

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