Robyn Lindars had a burning question years before she became GrillGirl — Why aren’t more women grilling?
The Grill Girl lifestyle was all sparked by Robyn Medlin Lindars' newfound fire regarding outdoor cooking and living in general.
“It’s really fun, it's a great way to cook outside and it’s a fun thing to do with your family,” Robyn reflected on her hobby turned passion project on this episode of the Digital Hospitality podcast.
“That's how it morphed into GrillGirl.”
Grill Girl – Robyn’s multimedia and multiplatform brand that touches websites, television appearances, social platforms and much more – has evolved over the years, much like the mom and entrepreneur herself.
That's because the GrillGirl brand is Robyn. She's just like an outdoorsy Martha Stewart except Grill Girl Robyn hasn't cooked with Snoop Dogg — yet.
“I started the site back in 2008,” Robyn reflects during her conversation with Digital Hospitality podcast host Shawn Walchef. “Believe it or not, it was really just a place for me to document my cooking adventures.”
The first adventure? Well, it lands more in the comedy section than cooking.
“I ended up singeing my eyebrows off on my future husband's grills,” laughs Robyn Lindars (then known by her maiden name Robyn Medlin).
That's some live-fire love, right there.
Loved for her leadership in the female food space and candid cooking adventures, Grill Girl Robyn has shared laughs, stories and great BBQ and grilling content over the course of her Grill Girl journey as an author, online influencer, podcast guest, recipe rock star, and all-around dynamic digital personality.
Robyn Lindars is a influential leader who is good at building community around live-fire and outdoor living — especially when it comes to inviting everyone into the world of barbecue and grilling: woman and man, young and old.
Just the same, she’s had a strong brand focus since the beginning.
“My goal has always been to demystify grilling,” Robyn told Digital Hospitality podcast host Shawn Walchef on the Cali BBQ Media show in June 2020.
Over the previous 12 years, Robyn’s created an amazing amount of media that’s helped accomplish just that — and much more.
Creating the Grill Girl Lifestyle —
Through her GrillGirl website and later her @grillgirlrobyn social handles, Robyn Lindars has relished in all the internet and digital marketing has had to offer as it has evolved.
“My motto with myself is to always try new things,” Robyn states. “It’s to really push the envelope on stuff you could do on grills.”
Pushing the envelope meant one of her many TV appearances.
Within her first five years as Grill Girl, Robyn was handpicked by network scouts to star on a cooking reality show.
“I was way out of my league on Chopped,” Robyn reflects on a daunting opportunity inspired by her motto. “I was in my early 30s and only had the blog for a couple years. But it was so cool!”
Relatively new to the grill with an outside chance on being a reality TV star, how did Chopped happen for Robyn?
“Everyone was like, ‘How did you get the opportunity?’” Robyn looks back. “They reached out to me because they found my blog.”
The proof, as they say, is in the pudding.
Putting in the hardwork on her Grill Girl Blog consistently and strategically, Robyn Lindars was able to attract eyes far and wide while making mouths water with her content.
Making digital content clearly works to help build your business.
Websites Demand Change for Modern Era —
While the Grill Girl recipe website and blog is still a major focus for Robyn Medlin Lindars, the content game has changed tremendously over the past 12 years.
“Things are different now than they were when I first started,” Robyn reflects. “Everything needs to be optimized for mobile and be Pinterest friendly.”
Grilling content once created for a laptop now lives most noticeably on a cell phone. Advancements in technology have made creating mobile-friendly content easier than ever, more important than ever and also with more reach than ever before.
Still, the GrillGirl herself doesn’t get caught up with the smoke surrounding each platform. She’s keen on her content, her audience and her traffic.
“Pinterest is really the network that a lot of people don't talk about that actually contributes to traffic,” Robyn shares. “Everyone thinks Instagram is the end all be all, but it doesn't actually help your traffic that much. It's really more of a branding mechanism. Facebook and Pinterest are the ones that still actually drive more traffic.”
Active on all of the above, it all funnels back to the Grill Girl website.
Since singeing her eyebrows and going online, the Grill Girl online destination has expanded to not just Robyn and her grill but all the components around both.
“Now, it's really more of a food and grilling destination site,” Robyn says about the GrillGirl website. “But my goal is to make it an outdoor lifestyle content destination site with anything related to the outdoor lifestyle. Not just grilling and smoking, but everything that goes with it.”
Lifestyle blogging has been compelling since the early days of WordPress and youth of YouTube. With the rise of social media, content creators in a variety of spaces have started incorporating human elements of their lives in their daily content as a way to expand and better connect to their audience.
Still, how does one draw the line between curated and candid?
“For a long time, I had an inner battle about being curated and being real,” reflects Robyn. “I finally got to a point where I'm like, ‘You know, I'm not going to have a separate Robyn account for Instagram. This is me.’”
For Robyn, that decision has been a big win for her personally. It’s also opened up opportunities beyond being a BBQueen.
“I'm a person and there's stuff that goes on with me that's outside of barbecue,” says Robyn.
The next chapter for Robyn delivers just that.
Grill Girl Lifestyle —
“(Grill Girl Lifestyle is) my place to share stuff that I'm into outside of grilling,” Robyn told Shawn on the Digital Hospitality podcast episode. “It's a little bit of anything and everything.”
A content creator for years, GrillGirl Robyn is very aware of how much who she is as a person plays into the strength of the entire Grill Girl umbrella.
“Humanizing your brand — especially in today's — is really important,” Robyn notes. “People want to connect, and they also want to support causes that they feel good about.”
Over the years, Robyn has learned loads about humanizing her brand. While Instagram may not drive traffic, it does build Grill Girl in a major way.
When it comes to IG, doing more doesn’t always get your more as Robyn learned.
“For a while I was just posting pretty pictures on Instagram,” Robyn looks back. “Because I have a shitload of content, I can share all day long. But nobody was really responding, and I wasn't responding on theirs either. I was expecting if you put it out there, people will care. And they don't really!”
From flooding the feed because she could, a revelation arose. On IG, Robyn learned it’s less about curation and more about community.
“It's about building that community,” states Robyn. “That's really where I've seen a lot of the value. Once I really started putting more into it, it was about the friendships I was making — true friendships.”
Such is true of Instagram; however, it proves powerful across all channels.
“The thing you have to remember on all these platforms is that the goal is not necessarily to sell stuff,” says Robyn. “It's about building community. It's not about you. It's about them.”
As Robyn has learned, the community that consumes your content builds the relationships that make your content worth consuming.
In the past year, Robyn has also learned how that same community can help when things go a rye. Having had her Instagram account hacked, Robyn was at risk of losing years of love and labor.
With help from her friends, she can now let you know what to do if your Instagram account is ever hacked.
GrillGirl Robyn Lindars was kind enough to share her tips for how to get your Instagram account back after its hacked. Read the full how-to social media guide on the Cali BBQ Media blog.
Building a Strong Content Team —
As with any hardship or adversity, it’s always easier with the love and support of your friends.
“I'm so thankful to the barbecue community,” says Robyn about getting her @GrillGirlRobyn Instagram account back after it had been hacked. “Because everyone really rallied behind me. It just reiterated how awesome this community is and that they really pulled together to help me.”
Over the years, Robyn has found strength in the community that consumes her content and the community she calls her peers.
But what about the community that creates her content?
“As you try to grow your business — and this was a problem I had for a long time — you can't do everything yourself and nor will you always be the best person to do it,” Robyn shares. “Figure out how to surround yourself with really smart people who do what they do well.”
Over the years, Robyn has expanded her team to include many smart people who understand business and content with their own powerful perspectives.
That team includes one of our own: Stover BBQ. The media maker, who co-created the Best Barbecue Show podcast and has been a reoccurring guest on The BBQ Central Show, among other BBQ and media related achievements, plays a major role in content creation and curation for Cali BBQ Media. The digital content producer has also worked with Grill Girl Robyn to help her transform her brand into a media company.
“I'm still a small business, but I have someone like Stover who can help me produce more content and put it out in more thoughtful ways,” Robyn says about the Cali BBQ Media team and others who help each other out behind-the-scenes with creating strategic content for the Internet.
“From Stover, I have learned things in the past couple of years that have been really valuable in my digital journey.”
It’s important to hire your own team members to help when building your brand in the ever-important and ever-evolving content space.
“There's so many opportunities,” Robyn Lindars says about getting help with making online content for marketing your business. “You can't do it all, nor should you, nor would you have the time to do it or want to. Find the people that can help you take it to the next level.”
Those people may be in your own backyard. They may be in your own comment section. They may be on LinkedIn.
“You have to be willing to outsource things in order to do everything to get the job done,” notes Robyn. “Don't be afraid to bring in good talent.”
“I can't be 20 different people, but I can bring in the best people at what they do and elevate my site with their great content.”
As the Grill Girl team grows, so does the content. Some stand-out recipes that come because of teamwork include the Mighty Mezcal Mint Cocktail, Perfect Reverse Sear Steak, and the July 4 holiday favorite the Red, White and Blue Cobbler recipe.
Robyn may not be 20 people all in one, but she’s still the one and only Grill Girl who’s inspired countless others over her journey.
After more than a decade as a Grill Girl, Robyn Lindars is still getting new people behind the grill, raising eyebrows of interest, building communities, and blazing a trail online and outside.
— Article by Cali BBQ Media content producer Ian Stonebrook. Connect with Ian on social media @ianstonebrook.
Cali BBQ Media —
Do you want help building your online presence with strategy and engaging content?
Get in touch with Shawn Walchef and his team of Digital Content Specialists at Cali BBQ Media by emailing email@example.com.
Let us know how Cali BBQ Media can help you on your digital journey. https://calibbq.media
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