Tag Archives: bloggers

Influencer Marketing Update: Non-Celebrity Influencers 10 Times More Likely to Drive In-Store Purchases

Results of a Nationwide Survey Reveal Millennials Prefer “Peer” Endorsements to those of Celebrities

BENTONVILLE, Ark., March 29, 2016 Collective Bias, a leader in shopper-focused influencer marketing, today published results of a large-scale national survey investigating how U.S. consumers’ online behaviors impact in-store purchase decisions. The survey, fielded to nearly 14,000 adults in early March, found that 30 percent of consumers are more likely to purchase a product endorsed by a non-celebrity blogger than a celebrity. Of that number, 70 percent of 18 to 34 year-olds had the highest preference for “peer” endorsement.

Only three percent of consumers would consider buying a product in-store if it was endorsed by a celebrity, but celebrity testimonials were just one of the traditional advertising vehicles to rank low among respondents. Those surveyed cited TV (7.4 percent), print (4.7 percent) and digital (4.5 percent) advertisements as the least influential forms of communication when shopping for products in-store. The results point to a growing ineffectiveness of traditional advertising and the need for brands to embrace alternative forms of marketing to drive sales.Only 3% of consumers would consider buying a product in-store if it was endorsed by a celebrity. Click To Tweet

The recent Collective Bias survey also investigated other trends in digital and social behaviors and in-store shopping. Highlights include:

     •  Consumers are consulting blogs and social media on their mobile devices prior to shopping. Nearly 60 percent of survey respondents have taken a blog review or social media post viewed on a smartphone or tablet into consideration while shopping in-store.  

     •  Men are 2x more influenced by blog reviews than women. One in five men (18.3 percent) have had blog reviews influence in-store purchases, compared to only one in 10 women (9.2 percent) who have done the same. 

     •  Men and women differ in which product categories they research online. U.S. male consumers (34.4 percent) have purchased consumer electronics in-store about twice as often as women (15.4 percent) as a result of reading a blog review or social media post.

     •  Twitter is not used first or most often by consumers researching products online. Only two percent of respondents checked Twitter first when researching products, and less than 2 percent said Twitter had the most influence on their decision to complete an in-store purchase.

     •  But, Facebook and YouTube are the most persuasive channels. About 19 percent of consumers Find Facebook to influence their purchasing decision most, with YouTube coming in second at nearly 18 percent. YouTube is especially popular with men (22.8 percent) compared to women (13.9 percent).

60% of respondents have taken blog or social media posts into consideration while shopping. Click To Tweet“With little data available on the current state of influencer marketing, the findings of this report strongly indicate that consumers are less engaged with advertisements and seemingly disingenuous celebrity endorsements,” said Bill Sussman, CEO of Collective Bias. “As ad blocking continues to grow, it only further threatens the effectiveness of traditional ad techniques to deliver ROI, meaning brand marketers will need to turn to more effective alternatives such as influencer content.”

For more information about Collective Bias, visit www.collectivebias.com.

About Collective Bias

Collective Bias’ innovative Shopper Social Media™ platform connects authentic, real-life influencer content with key audiences to impact results at a particular retailer. At the forefront of influencer marketing and measurement, Collective Bias’ proprietary data and technology enables influencer selection and management, resulting in campaigns that drive true engagement and impact sales for leading brands across multiple verticals. Collective Bias was named one of Forbes’ “Most Promising Companies” three years in a row and listed in the “Inc. 5000.” Founded in 2009, the company and has offices in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Cincinnati, Minneapolis and Bentonville.

Social Fabric® is Collective Bias’ hand-selected community of over 5,000 shopping-focused influencers with an aggregate multi-channel reach in excess of 120 million. For more information, please visit Collectivebias.com or find us on Facebook and Twitter.

# # #

Media Contacts:

Mailena Urso

Collective Bias

marketers@collectivebias.com

479-414-5819

Sydney Fiorentino

SHIFT Communications

CB@shiftcomm.com

617-779-1863

 

The Truth Behind Why Bloggers Blog

Written by Jo of Jomygosh.com

Money. Swag. Book deals. TV shows. It’s undeniable that some bloggers have made it big. Really big. Take The Pioneer Woman, who has an empire including cookbooks and a television show, Tucker Max of I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell fame, or Lisa Stone, the founder of BlogHer.

It’s really an enticing dream: you build something, you get discovered, you get paid. It’s the American Dream for the 21st Century.

It’s no wonder that many people assume that bloggers are in it for the cash. (Or, at the very least, that we’re all handsomely paid!)

But the reality is much, much different. I’d posit that most bloggers—probably the vast majority of them—begin blogging for reasons that have nothing to do with money… or fame… or fortune. In fact, I posed this question to a group of more than 600 bloggers and not a single one mentioned financial gain or success as a motivating factor.

To Share

There are the bloggers who started writing because they wanted to share what they make with the wider world. I’m in that category! I began blogging after my fiancé deployed to Afghanistan. I was alone, sad, and addicted to making silly and elaborate care packages. I didn’t realize that anyone else would want to see them… but I wanted to share them anyway, especially since the care packages were fleeting. They would take hours to shop for and make, and then, once I handed it over the counter to the mailperson, it was gone. Taking photos and posting them online gave me a wonderful sense of accomplishment and gallery to look back on.

To Teach

There’s something that all of us can teach someone else… and some bloggers have gone online to teach. Alicia from Two Kids and a Blog (twokidsandablog.com) loves to quilt and shares that passion with the world: “I wanted to teach a younger generation to quilt using amazing fabrics and having a blog has given me access to the best fabric and biggest fabric companies!”

To Write

Many bloggers start their blogs to have a platform dedicated to their writing craft. Pam from The Coastie Couple (thecoastiecouple.com) began her blog exactly for that reason. “I’ve always loved writing and blogging gave me a chance to do that daily.” Jodi (jodisgoing180.com) “started blogging as a creative outlet” because she wants to publish a novel. Her blog keeps her true to the daily discipline of writing daily. Kristen from If the Saddle Fits (ifthesaddlefits.com) uses her blog as a place to write… in a different way. “I originally started blogging because I felt like all the academic writing I was doing for college was changing the way I wrote in general and I didn’t like it. (I started out pre-Law),” she says. “I wanted a place I could write with personality (and attempt to be funny) without so much guidance, but could still share for feedback.”

To Document

Heather (sugarnspice-life.com) began her blog to document the stages of her home’s building process. Amber (airingmydirtylaundry.com) blogs because “my memory is awful and I knew I’d eventually forget everything. Having posts from a few years back is amazing—I can read and be like, ‘Oh right! I remember that!”  Others begin blogging to keep in touch with family and friends, to keep a log of a life-changing event (like a move to a different country), or to keep a journal of the cute (and not-so-cute) the kids are doing or saying.

Obviously there are many, many more reasons to start a blog than just these. What were yours?

About the Author: Jo is the creator of Jo, My Gosh! (jomygosh.com), a popular military spouse and significant other lifestyle blog. Her work can be found in military spouse digital and print publications. She is currently collaborating on an ebook for Millennial military spouses and significant others. Find her on Facebook (facebook.com/jomygosh), Twitter (twitter.com/jomygosh), Instagram (instagram.com/jomygosh1, and Pinterest (pinterest.com/jomygosh1) and say hi!

 

Why Influencer Content Matters

Written by Julie Sancken

Brands that want to connect with their consumers on a more personal basis need to rely more on influencer content. It is becoming the hub of the authenticity that brands want to represent. Previously, brands were coming up with marketing that didn’t feel relatable, and lost consumers within the message they were wanting to portray. Now they have the option of letting their consumers develop content for them at a lower cost.

Within this spectrum of user-generated content, brands should be working with individuals that share their vision for their products and services. This is where they will find the most success. Typically the brand’s message is lost when they use influencer content that is not authentic or genuine. When influencers advocate for a brand, they do it with a genuity and flair that is showcasing how their lives are better because of a certain product.

According to ByReputation.com, there were 360 billion pieces of user-generated content shared on Facebook in 2010. The benefit here is that Facebook is a free platform, so the content generated there is cost effective. However, it may not always be in the light that the brand would want, therefore taking the focus off of what the brand is doing successfully. It’s a gamble for companies but when done correctly, can have a huge impact.

The Colorado Tourism Office had a hashtag that they encouraged people to use when taking photos of themselves being active and enjoying all that Colorado has to offer. From that hashtag, #ColoradoMovesMeTo, users were showcasing all about the state of Colorado while also being entered to win prizes from companies like SmartWool. The Colorado Tourism Office then had access to lots of photos just because of that hashtag and were able to foster that community due to the user generated content.

Overall, brands that have users generate content for them can be a positive thing when done the right way. It’s a marketing tool that isn’t going to fade away anytime soon.

About the Author: Julie attended Illinois State University and graduated with a degree in Family and Consumer Sciences. She is a wife to her high school sweetheart, and stay-at-home mom to Brayden (6) and Kenley (3). In her spare time, she blogs over at Just Julie Ann and has her own photography business. She enjoys life in Central Illinois helping with her husband’s farm and at her parents’ aerial application business.

 

Correcting the Disconnect Between Brands and Influencers

Written by Ashleigh Evans

Brands and bloggers can collaborate to create a great relationship together, but sometimes there can be a disconnect. While bloggers demand respect for their hard work, brands expect influencers to make a big impact with their work. Here’s five tips for brands working with bloggers.

Communication is key. Before reaching out to an influencer, be sure you know exactly what you’re looking for in your campaign. Having a set plan will keep most confusion at bay. Communicate what you want and what your budget and deadlines are. Staying organized from the beginning proves to influencers that you are a brand worthy of working with. If any changes occur, be sure to inform all parties involved.

Contracts protect both sides. After efficient communication is in place, signed contracts will protect both parties. Be sure to include due dates, where to report links and any pertinent information. If any issues occur, these can hold people accountable.

Remember bloggers don’t work for FREE. Blogging is a profession and the influence can reach millions. Do not expect a blogger to work for free. Create a budget to fit your needs and don’t forget to appreciate your influencers’ hard work. This will help create relationships that can last years. Remember: if you treat your influencers badly, the word will spread!

Social media numbers aren’t everything. The first question many brands ask is about your social media numbers or reach. Heads up: high reach does not mean quality work. Working with bloggers with every social media range is a great idea—many smaller bloggers have a tight community of readers.

Do your research. Check out the websites of influencers you want to work with. Is their writing style what you are looking for? Do they create quality content? When reaching out, make it personal to show that you’ve actually read the blogger’s’ work. Don’t be afraid to request other writing samples as well.

In the future, I believe many more companies will be working with influencers and creating fantastic relationships can benefit both sides.

About the Author: Ashleigh Evans writes about food, family and shares budget tips on her blog Dash of Evans. She lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan with her husband, three girls and two crazy rescue dogs. You can follow along with her crazy life on Instagram and Facebook.

What Marketers Need to Realize About Consumer Electronics Shoppers

Written by Jamie Smith 

How many of us remember buying our first electronics? I sure do. Although at 14, I have to admit that my choice of boom box (yes it was called that) was more about price and how cool I thought it looked. As I matured, I knew to ask the sales clerk questions about the products I was buying and to purchase the device that best fit my specific needs and budget.

Since that time, I can’t tell you how many electronics I’ve purchased from alarm clocks to laptops, tablets and cameras. Instead of going with cool factor or only asking the store employees for help, I do my own research. I look online to see what’s available first, then go to the store that has the most options I’m interested in. I usually ask an employee who specializes in the product I’m searching for and if I have time, will do more research online before making a purchase. I do tend to be the type to purchase from the store if I have actually gone into the store.

The ways that consumers research and then purchase products such as electronics has changed and shopper marketers need to make sure they are accommodate that rapidly growing trend.

As it turns out, my personal path to purchase when it comes to electronics is fairly similar to a large portion of the population.

Fellow blogger and consumer Kori Tomelden, for example, says she does her research upfront, especially to compare products side-by-side. However, Kori said she tends to be more the type to search in-store but then make the actual purchase online.  

That’s just two real-life examples. Let’s take a look at what national marketing research indicates.

Electronics shopper behavior by the numbers

The Consumer Electronics Association is a technology trade association representing the $211 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry. According to a press release, the CEA released its report Enhancing the In-Store CE Retail Experience Using Mobile Devices in December 2014. That report outlines how social media, mobile device and shopping in-store go hand-in-hand.  

“Mobile shoppers most often use their mobile devices for assistance when shopping for electronics (60 percent) than any other product type,” the report reads. “… While shopping specifically for electronics, mobile shoppers use their devices to compare prices (63 percent), read customer ratings or reviews (52 percent) and search the Internet for more information (51 percent).”

“Mobile devices have significantly shifted consumers’ shopping behavior,” said Steve Koenig, director of industry analysis, CEA in the release. “Retailers are increasingly focusing on delivering a complete consumer shopping experience and mobile devices are now a vital piece of that puzzle.”

The Interactive Advertising Bureau released a report, Showrooming: Empowering Consumer Electronics, in 2013 with similar research results that indicate the prevalence of social media and mobile device use. “The most significant finding in the mobile component of the research was that while 42 percent of in-store mobile device using shoppers ultimately made their purchase online, a full 30 percent made their purchase in the store,” according to the report. “Interestingly, those who used their mobile phones while shopping were also more likely to make an unplanned purchase (32 percent in-store vs. 22 percent online).

A few more findings from the IAB report that we need to consider:

  • 42 percent of those who used a mobile device spent more than $1,000 while in the store
  • Among mobile device owners who didn’t use their device in-store, only 21 percent spent more than $1,000
  • 65 percent of shoppers who use their mobile device while in the store indicated that using their mobile device while in-store made them more likely to buy the product

Takeaways for shopper marketers

What these stories and anecdotal evidence show us is that brands must be savvy in multiple information channels including social media, website information, and yes, still in-store. It’s no longer appropriate or effective to broadcast a message and expect people to fall in line. We as consumers want information and we want it in the moment we need it. 

So what does this mean? Marketers need to work with their brand clients to make the entire path to purchase environment approachable, accessible and attractive. Marketing is not about using a bullhorn to spread a message anymore. It involves preparing the client to meet the hurt points (needs) of the consumer.

This means making sure the website provides access to product reviews, product specifications, and the ability to compare products. The website must also be mobile friendly. This concept also means ensuring that the in-store experience is positive including well-educated employees and having adequate if not ample Internet access in-store for the mobile users. I know I’ve personally walked away from a decision because I couldn’t get information online while shopping in a store.

Finally, it means using multiple methods to make sure customers realize these information sources are available including in-store signage, social media engagement, and utilizing brand ambassadors to share the brand story.

About the Author: Jamie Smith is an avid content creator both for her personal blog Jamie’s Thots and for her writing business Jamie’s Notebook. A newspaper journalist by training, Jamie has loved the written word since elementary school. She started her personal blog in 2005, but had never considered that platform as a means of making a living until joining Social Fabric in 2013. She still writes some magazine and newspaper articles, but the majority of her work is now in sponsored blogging, corporate blogging and website writing. Happily married to husband John, Jamie works in a home office and loves sharing about her four-legged “children.” Tweet her at @JamiesThots.

Bricks and Clicks: Future of Grocery

Written by Kayla Domeyer

Nielsen recently released a 2015 report titled “The Future of Grocery”. In the report, Nielsen reveals data collected across the globe that details grocery shopper’s current habits, future desires and how stores might make the best consumer experience they can.

The report focuses heavily on e-commerce and brick-and-mortar interests. Data reveals that a large part of the globe is willing to do more digital and tech-savvy shopping, while many already rely on such things. Neilson introduced the article saying, “The most successful retailers and manufacturers will be at the intersection of the physical and virtual worlds […]”.

How? The study touches on a few possible ways, but the future is left largely as a blank canvas. No doubt more and more consumer experiences will be enhanced by mobile and online coupons, e-commerce apps, mobile shopping lists or online delivery services in the years to come; but there are likely countless other improvements on the horizon as well.

One key point made in the report brings opportunity for retailers and bloggers to build lasting partnerships. The first strategy for e-commerce success discussed by Neilson is, “Establish credibility and exceed expectations”. Meeting expectations is a burden that falls only on the retailer, but establishing credibility is often easiest and most successful when the conversation is organic, and not directly from the retailer.

Bloggers are in a key position to help retailers to gain credibility. Who better to introduce something new than a trusted source? From sharing personal experience with a new app, to offering coupons or free trials to readers, bloggers have the ability to share the message without broadcasting it. Blogs then become a platform for discussion, sharing and (hopefully positive) feedback.

As brick-and-mortar begins to mesh more and more with virtual shopping, traditional media and messaging should also meld with online conversation. In this way bloggers can help retailers as they move toward a more blended shopping experience.

About the Author: Kayla is a professional graphic designer who loves to spend her time creating unique and affordable printables and DIY projects.  She’s married to her high school sweetheart and has 3 adorable cats.  She’s the face of Sweet Anne Designs [saynotsweetanne.com] and can be found tinkering in the kitchen, the garage, or crafting on the living room floor.

Halloween Candy: Not Just For Eating

Consumers spent an estimated $2.2 billion on Halloween candy in 2014 and almost $2 billion on decorations for the October holiday. That makes for some happy kids and festive doorsteps! Check out these 5 creative uses for Halloween candy sure to spark some 2015 Halloween décor inspiration.

Candy Covered Pumpkin (from Brie Brie Blooms)

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Pumpkin Craft (from Play. Party. Pin.)

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Boo Sign (from The TipToe Fairy)

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Fairy Costume (from As The Bunny Hops)

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Tablescape (from Simmworks Family)

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From candy covered pumpkins to candy-corn-inspired tablescapes, winning this year’s award for the most creative house on the block should be a breeze with these ideas! Inspired? Go create!

How To Use Promoted Pins

Written by Ericka Chatman 

You should know by now that Pinterest is an excellent source of traffic for bloggers especially if the images are pin worthy. I’m sure you’ve read numerous articles stating how to use Pinterest, how to create “pin-worthy” images, and how to organize your boards. Today I’ll teach you how to use Promoted Pins, and share with you my experience.

What exactly are promoted pins?

A promoted pin is a pin on Pinterest that is a promoted ad. Just like Facebook ads or Google Adwords, promoted pins run on a CPC (cost per click) basis. You can set the campaign up with daily budget, or designate a particular timeframe in which you want the ad to run. A good thing about promoted pins is you only pay when someone clicks through to your website from the ad.

What are the rules?

When promoting pins remember to be strategic. Pinterest wants you to be authentic when promoting your pins. That means you need to choose pins that are worth pinning. If you’ve gotten a few repins on your post try promoting it. There are a few rules which include, no price listing, no promotional information, no calls to action, no service claims, and make sure your content is not deceptive in any form. For example, posting a picture and the content doesn’t support what is being stated once the person clicks through to the website.

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How to Promote Your Pins?

Start by selecting one of your recent or popular pins to promote. I’d suggest using a post that you think goes well for the season, for example, summer is getting close so promote one of your summer themed ideas, or a good post that you want to get more exposure on.  Pinterest gives you a list of your popular pins to choose from, but you can promote any pin that you’d like. Searching your Pinterest analytics can also give you pin ideas to choose from.

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After choosing the pin to promote, the next step is adding your details. As you search a keyword or phrase Pinterest propagates results and phrases that people might search. You can add as many terms as you’d like to help your ad show up in search results.  As you choose your search terms and keywords, Pinterest shows in the upper right hand corner the estimated weekly impressions you should get.

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Next, choose your audience.  You can choose who you want to see your promoted pin based on gender, location, device, and language. I set my language as English, and the location as the United States.

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Choose your CPC (cost per click) bid, your start and finish dates (your finish date is optional), and daily budget. I did an experiment promoting a few of my pins to see if using  “Promoted Pins” was worth the time or money.  I set the CPC to $0.05 per day (Pinterest recommended), my daily budget at $5.00, and ran each campaign for 4 days.

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After you click “Promote Pin” you have to agree to the terms of service, and set up your billing options. Your pin also has to be approved by Pinterest. The approval process takes anywhere from a few hours to 48 hours.

How do you know if it’s working?

After the first day I noticed that one of my pins was getting a lot of traffic. I woke up to 600+ views on that particular post and it continued to grow throughout the day. One of the pins had very little traffic so I went back to the promoted pin dashboard edited the keywords, and I saw a boost in traffic the next day. Also, make sure to do some testing. Creating different images for the same post, and changing the description of the target keywords may help.

How to Track Promoted Pins?

On the promoted pins dashboard you’re able to see the number of impressions, repins, total amount spent (so far), clicks and visits, activity, and the click through rate.

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Is “Promoted Pins” Worth It?

I don’t have a huge Pinterest following so in my opinion it’s worth a try. On one post I got 16.72k impressions, 105 repins, 833 clicks, my CTR was 5.07%, my average CPC ended up being $0.01 per click and I only ended up spending $10 of my budgeted $20 for the four days. My promoted pins continue to get exposure, repins, and traffic after the campaign ended.

Pinterest promoted pins can be a great resource to gain exposure to your website and hard work. Remember to do things strategically, and plan your pins so you’ll have good experiences with the service. Keep in mind that it’s a new platform so there still may be kinks. Some of my pins for the experiment performed really well, and some duped.  I say proceed with caution, don’t set your budget too high when starting, and have fun learning something new.

About the Author: Ericka Chatman resides in Kansas City, MO and writes at Ericka Saves, a money saving lifestyle blog committed to helping people “Live a Fulfilled Life On Less.” She has a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from University of Missouri-Kansas City. She enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, writing, and learning new social media platforms.

 

Ideas to Make July 4th Sparkle

As July 4th approaches, we have some amazing content from our Social Fabric community members. From desserts and drink creations to dinner on the grill, we have everything you need to make the perfect treats for your family or to take to a holiday party. Enjoy your 4th and make your event truly sparkle with these delicious ideas below:

Tips on Throwing an Amazing July 4th Party (Rachel Rockwell)

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Vanilla-Chai Tea Inspired Cupcakes (Samantha Schultz)

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Red, White & Blue Rice Krispie Treats (Censie Sawyer)

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Holiday Easy Twix Dip (Randi Dukes)

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Red, White & Blue Marvel Cupcakes (Susan Santoro)

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Easy Corn Dog Bites (Sarah Bouvier)

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Pizza on the Grill (Stephanie Pass)

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Celebrate Father’s Day the SoFab Way!

Father’s Day will be here before we know it. This year it falls on Sunday, June 21st! Are you ready to pamper the Dad in your lives? Our Social Fabric community of bloggers has found many great ways to celebrate the fathers in their lives. Check out some of these wonderful posts that show great gift ideas and ways to cook for that special man in your life. Let us know in the comments below what is inspiring your gift-giving this year.

Great Gift Ideas:

ourminifamilyDIY Men’s Gift “Man-Sket” from Our Mini Family 

fitnessfashionista

Affordable Phone & Service Plan from Fitness Fashionista

mommy mania

Father’s Day Spy Kit from Mommy-Mania

Cook Dad that perfect meal (especially on the grill): 

Little Mama Jama

Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin from Little Mama Jama

the peanuts gang

Spatchcocking Grilled Teriyaki Chicken from The Peanuts Gang

living a sunshine life

Pepperjack Jucy Lucy from Living A Sunshine Life 

simmworks family

How to Grill Pizza, Caesar Salad and Pound Cake from Simmworks Family

abcs and garden peas

Grilled Peach & Onion Chutney from ABCs and Garden Peas