Writing a site like this one, inevitably one of the things that I get asked most often is “what tips do you have for food bloggers?” It seems that, when we start, we are full of passion and energy for our subject, but are totally overwhelmed at how to go about coordinating everything a successful blogger has to do. In fact – that’s why I started this site: so that new and growing bloggers could find all the resources they need in one place.
So I’ve put together this huge list of tips to help set you off on your way. I initially aimed for 20 tips but then found the ideas poured out of me. So here, instead, are my 50 Top Tips for Food Bloggers. Let me make your job easier.
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When you start
1. Choose your niche and name carefully; they’ll dictate your life for a while to come!
2. Make sure you buy your own domain name and get a matching email address (for free) – it’s so much more professional.
3. Get self-hosted from the start so that you have more control over your content.
4. Write ONLY about what you love; it’ll keep you going and you’ll sound more authentic, too.
5. Do a Google keyword search to come up with the best title you can. You want to use keywords and think about what your audience is actually searching for.
6. Check your analytics to see what kind of content is most popular on your site right now. Then do more of the same.
7. Make sure your recipe is easy for your readers to understand. If you’re not sure how, then take a look at Why Nobody is Cooking Your Recipes.
8. Try to maintain consistency when you write; the art of writing a great recipe is one that needs to be developed.
9. Know who you are writing for – your target audience.
10. Use a good SEO plugin like Yoast so that you come up top of the search results. Learn How to Use Yoast for recipes here.
11. Write EVERYTHING down as you go – even the mistakes – as you never know when you’ll need to go over it all again.
12. Think about ways that you can adapt your recipes to suit your audience – more flavours? Dietary alternatives?
13. Keep some ingredients aside for garnishes and props.
14. Test, test and test again until it is fool-proof. Better yet, get a friend to cook your recipe and tell you what works.
15. NEVER steal a recipe (or photograph) from someone else. If it’s not your recipe, then say so!
16. Keep an arsenal of interesting props at your disposal for creating the perfect setting every time. You can find old and unique pieces on eBay, Etsy and in charity shops.
17. Think about what kind of story you want to tell with the dish.
18. Don’t forget about your background and baseboard too.
19. Add some movement to your food with a drip of syrup, melted chocolate or a dusting of icing sugar.
20. Food photography is HARD. Practise, practise, practise!
21. Step away from the food and give your audience the bigger picture.
22. Shoot tethered so you can check as you go.
23. Find the light!
24. Challenge yourself to take 200 extra photographs a month.
25. Learn how to use your DSLR and what “ISO”, “aperture” and “shutter speed” means.
26. Learn to edit your photographs, at least minimally. You can do a lot with white balance and brightness.
27. Find the best angle to suit your dish: from above, 45 degrees or straight on.
Connecting with your audience
28. Start an email list ASAP. Why do I need an email list?
29. Make it easy for your visitors to comment on your posts.
30. Make it easy for your visitors to share your posts.
31. Set up an RSS feed so that visitors can get all your latest posts.
32. Be available on social media to chat with others.
34. Design other custom graphics to share on Facebook and Instagram
35. Take part in recipe-sharing promotions in Facebook groups.
36. Upload it to Foodgawker and other aggregate sites. How do I get on Foodgawker?
37. Promote your own recipes within your recipes! Link within your site and keep readers on YOUR pages for longer.
38. Comment on food blogs that you admire – they’ll probably click through to see who you are! In fact, there are lots of FREE ways to (nicely) steal someone else’s audience…
39. Add adverts to your site if appropriate.
40. Reach out to brands you love and offer to write sponsored posts for them.
41. Sign up for some affiliate networks and start recommending products you love and use.
42. Write an e-book or email course to go with your recipes.
43. Sometimes you need to spend money to make money; don’t be afraid to invest in a particular course or product if it’s going to help you grow.
44. Keep trying new things and learning – ask questions until you understand. Bloggers are always so friendly and helpful.
45. Try to post consistently (even if it’s only once a fortnight) so that your readers know what to expect of you.
46. Read lots of other blogs and work out what it is you like – and don’t like – about them.
47. Don’t be afraid to say “no” if something is not a fit.
48. Be yourself – warts and all. If something goes wrong in the kitchen, then share that too!
49. Subscribe to a great website like Food Blogging Collective for all the information you need to start, nurture and grow your food blog.
50. Don’t give up! It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
What’s your best tip for a new food blogger?