Meal Expert: How-To Handbook
First start with creating your public profile - go to your Expert page and under Public Profile hit Edit.
Fill in your details as you see fit. Feel free to pull content directly from your other social media platforms.
When setting up your profile, you have the option to give your page a custom url to make it easy to find your Meal Expert page.
PLEASE NOTE: Your Meal Expert URL cannot contain spaces, dashes ("-") or any special characters.
Next up: Recipe Collections: Here’s where you can create curated packages of recipes.
Each recipe you add to a collection can either be:
- Original custom content (i.e. a recipe you have ‘Created’ in your Meal Garden Cookbook)
- An emailed in recipe (e.g. a link/picture) sent in to recipes[at]mealgarden[dot]com, which was then added to your Cookbook.
- A recipe found directly within the existing Meal Garden search database.
To create a new Recipe Collection, click ‘Create’ under Recipe Collections (from your Expert page).
Name the collection and give it a description. Now you have 2 options.
- Checking ‘Public’ makes this collection public to anyone who has access to your Meal Expert page. Make sure to only check the ‘Public’ checkbox once you are done with making the collection and are okay with your followers accessing it.
- Checking ‘Restricted’ makes the collection inaccessible to those who are not Meal Garden users. Only Meal Garden users on their trial or paid subscription will be able to actually click into each recipe and get full details. Those who do not have Meal Garden account will be prompted to sign-up if they click into the recipe collection.
To add a recipe to a recipe collection, go to your Cookbook page, and find a recipe you’d like to
add. From there, you have two options:
- Drag and drop the recipe into the right-hand tab that will pop up at the side of your scrollbar with listed collections for you to choose from. Drag it into the appropriate collection.
- Click on the recipe, and then hit ‘More Options…’ and then ‘Add to Collection’. Finally, select the collection you’d like to add this recipe to.
Alternatively, you can simply add a recipe directly from your recipe collection, by clicking ‘Add Recipes’
The other vital element of your Meal Expert offering is, of course, your meal plan guidance.
Again, meal plans can be made utilizing your custom recipes, or simply a collection of those you have hand-picked and curated yourself. To create a meal plan, click ‘Create’ under Meal Plans (from your Expert page/tab).
Meal plans work in a similar fashion to recipe collections, whereby you’ll have 2 options:
- Checking ‘Public’ makes this meal plan public to anyone who has access to your Meal Expert page. Make sure to only check the ‘Public’ checkbox once you are done with making the meal plan and are okay with your followers accessing it.
- Checking ‘Restricted’ makes the collection inaccessible to those who are not Meal Garden users. Only Meal Garden users on their trial or paid subscription will be able to actually click into each recipe and get full details. Those who do not have Meal Garden account will be prompted to sign-up if they click into the meal plan.
- *Note that if you are creating a specific plan for a specific person and would like to share it with them directly/privately, it’s best to keep the collection un-public and unrestricted (i.e. neither boxes checked) and then share the explicit link to that collection with them (e.g. via email).
*It is important to note that as a Meal Expert, you will also have access to our Meal Garden tool as if you are a regular user, which means you can create weekly meal plans via your ‘Schedule’ tab. Remember that plans you make on your ‘Schedule’ page are NOT shareable with your followers, so please take care to check that when you are building plans that you aim to make public, you do so via your ‘Expert’ tab.*
First, you’ll name your plan and give it a description, then save. From there, go to your Expert page, click the meal plan you’ve just created, and hit ‘Edit Schedule’ to start scheduling meals - it’s as simple as that!
To schedule a meal, click on a meal in the calendar and the option to type in a search for a recipe will appear. Choose an appropriate recipe, hit ‘Schedule’ and then you’ll have the option to plan for leftovers [i.e. adding the meal to an additional day(s)] as well as planning “Servings to freeze”. Adding to “Servings to freeze” will add the adjusted additional ingredients to the grocery list attached to the plan, but not schedule the extras into the plan or add the additional servings to the health rating. This works well for things like granola bars, for example, where it might make more sense to make a huge batch and save the leftovers for a following week/the rest of the month.
How Do I Share My Profile With My Customers?
To share your Meal Expert page, click on the share (infinity) icon on the right hand side of your page - copy and paste that link to share with followers. This is what people will see upon clicking that link:
How Do I share My Recipes and Meal Plans With My Customers?
You can share specific Recipe Collections and Meal Plans in a similar way (using the share link accessible on the right hand side of the page).
How Do I Invite Users To Sign Up My Customers to Sign Up For Meal Garden?
To invite people to join you on Meal Garden, use your Affiliate Signup Link (accessible on your Expert page).
Upon opening this link, people will be prompted to sign-up and join Meal Garden via your page. This is what it looks like when people open and share this link:
When users sign up through your page, they'll have an additional tab within their Meal Garden account which leads them to your Meal Expert page.
Meal Experts also have the ability to embed their Expert Pages onto their websites. To do so, click the embed icon on the righthand pane.
From here, you can choose which aspects of your Meal Expert profile you want to embed on your web page, as well as styling attributes. Once you're ready, click "Generate" to receive your embed code.
How Can Users Find Me?
Once you've set up your Meal Expert page with a completed public profile and a sufficient amount of content (i.e. Recipe Collections and Meal Plans), you can submit a request to "go live". Essentially, you will be applying to be listed in our 'My Community' marketplace, as being featured publicly as an Expert with us. To do so, email Kiki: kiki[dot]athanas[at]mealgarden[dot]com to let her know that your Meal Expert page is ready to be "findable" by our Meal Garden users. As long as your content is approved, she will grant you access and you will be searchable for all users via Profile>My Community>Connect to An Expert.
How do I Use the Article Editor?
Adding articles to your expert page is a great compliment to your meal plans and recipe collections. They are the perfect way to share what exactly you are most passionate about as it relates to food and this will help you further define yourself as a brand.
To create an article:
1. Go to the “Articles” sections on your expert page.
2. Click “Create”.
3. Give your article a title and select when you would like it to be published for.
4. Tag your article if desired. This is helpful especially if you collaborate on one of Meal Garden’s Bundle projects because it makes it easy for people to find your content.
5. Add content: Our Article editor has similar functionality to Microsoft Word programs. It has the same icons for customizing its font (for bolding, italicizing, and underling), formatting (indenting, aligning, adding bullets and numbering), graphics (add an image, table, horizontal line) and cut and pasting functionality.
The features that might be new to you are:
Linking: Add a link to another website (perhaps your personal blog), to an anchor or an email address to your article to enrich the reader's experience. To do this, highlight the text from where the link will be generated and paste your link. When the reader clicks on the linked word, they will be taken to the linked web page, anchor or email address.
Anchoring: Anchoring is a type of linking where you can create a link that take the reader to different parts of the page when they are clicked on. They are internal links pointing the reader to a designated point in your document.
Inserting a recipe: Search for the recipe you want to add from your Cookbook and once you select it, it will be added to the article.
Inserting a meal plan: Select the meal plan you would like to be added from your account and it will then appear in the article.
Inserting a collection: Select the recipe collection you would like to be added from your Cookbook and it will then appear in the article.
6. Add a thumbnail image from your computer for your article.
7. When you are happy with your article, make it public and save your article.