These are my top
10 11 tips for new Food Bloggers. The ten things I wish I had known when I started food blogging! So, you have heard all of the buzz about food blogging and think you want to join us? Let me give you the real scoop on food blogging before you jump in!
1.) Find your voice! The thing that readers really connect with are online presences that seem genuine! Be yourself! Try to engage with your audience! They will reward you with engagement, comments and interest.
2.) Do your homework. If you want to learn about blogging, the best place to learn about blogging is by reading food blogs! I know this sounds simple but if you find blogs that interest you, you can gain inspiration from them! Gain ideas, styles and techniques.
3.) Have reasonable expectations. No matter what you have read, you will not make a bazillion dollars working from home in 2 months!
Blogging is a ton of work, especially to get started! No one will even see most of your early posts. Hopefully, your friends and family will support you in the beginning (although, don’t count on it!)!
As to the bloggers that claim they are making tons of money and only work 10-15 hours per week? Well, maybe. For the rest of us meer mortals? False! Maybe .01% (or less) of those who start, will be “struck by lightening”. Like any other business, your blog will take time to get established and make money!
4.) Similarly, like with any other business, there are start-up costs. If you are short on money, you can make it work with less, but don’t be surprised for it to take longer to get established and start earning a decent income!
5.) Immediately start your Social Media accounts in the name of your blog and post to them on a regular basis! Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter are pretty much mandatory. Other Social media sites that will get you pageviews for your blog are, Yummly, Mix, and Reddit, to name a few. Pinterest, probably being the most important in the long run, because it will drive the most traffic to your blog.
If you have great friends and family on Facebook, that may get you some page views early in your blogging journey. Ask them to share your posts on their timelines to increase your exposure!
6.) Decide on a simple, easy to remember blog name! So, Binky’s Culinary Carnival is really long to type, I was warned to change it when I started. Although, Binky’s Culinary Carnival is great for a couple reasons. It is easy to remember, but more importantly there is no competition for Google to sort out. (unless you count Carnival Cruises, which comes up in a Bing search) Do your homework before you decide to pick a domain name.
For instance, Google “Pinch of”. What comes up? Pinch of Yum. One of the largest food blogs on the planet. So, Pinch of cinnamon or garlic, or whatever you are crazy about, would not be a good choice!
If you use something with “dish” in it, you will compete with Dish network, Dishes to Go and Ebay, for Google’s attention. Choose something unique! If you come up with a name, make sure there are no huge food blogs, or other non-related companies that are pulling the search engines’ attention first.
7.) You need to have a bit of knowledge regarding basic WordPress design and features. Widgets and Plugins are tools that will help you build and design your website. WordPress Acadamy has some great information for beginning bloggers.
You can use WordPress as a “Visual” design tool or a “Text” design tool. The difference being, visual design is basically a drag and drop design platform. In other words, you will drop your photos and other content right into the editor. Text requires a bit of knowledge in website coding. I did the code academy before I started the blog and it definitely helped. I am no expert, but I do understand what basic html is saying. Code academy’s basic course is free.
8.) Think about the seasonality of your recipes. That is, if you have only recipes for grilling on your blog, that niche is seasonal, since 1/2 of the planet will be cold for 6 months out of the year! (Unless, of course, your specified niche is a grilling blog).
I really found this out after the first year of being on WordPress. The reason I found this out is that my number of users tanked in February, March, April and May! Why? Because I had nothing that people were Googling in the late winter and early spring.
So I added St. Patrick’s Day Recipes, Easter Recipes, Cinco de Mayo Recipes and lots of slow cooker comfort foods! That really helped with my user numbers.
9.) Start your mailing list early and consistently put out a newsletter. Whether you post once or twice per week, decide how often you want to update your subscribers on your lastest posts. Once per week, bimonthly, monthly? It’s up to you, but make up your mind and stick to it.
The site most small bloggers start with, for mailing lists, is MailChimp because it is free, until you get 2000 followers. I found it difficult to use at first, but just stick with it. You’ll figure it out. They also have a plugin to manage the mailing list here.
I started my mailing list and then removed it for about 6 months to increase my site speed. For this reason my mailing list was and is too small. In this same vein of thought, ask your readers to sign up for your mailing list and then make it easy for them to find the signup form. My subscribers increased by a large percentage when I added a pop-up form to the blog. I hate them with a passion, but for some reason, they do work!
10.) Post content regularly! Whether you post once per week, or twice, or more times per week, keep those blog posts on the same day of the week. People are creatures of habit. They will fall into a pattern of looking for your posts on a specific day and help you share that post!
11.) Just get started! You will not do everything right at the beginning. You know, of course, that is how we learn, by making mistakes, and you will make them, but if you don’t start, you will never get anywhere!
I hope that these top tips for new food bloogers has given you an idea of if you would like to start a food blog! Do not hesitate to contact me with questions.
Want to learn more?
10 14 things I should have known before I started my food blog! There is a seperate reference section with lots of useful links and lots more information!! Learn about food photography, search engine optimization, networking, social media and more! Gain access to this and all of my future premium posts for $3.99, with this early bird special! Price is soon to be going up!
Julie Running in a Skirt
YES! These are such good tips. Blogging is so much harder than people think but it also such a joy to have your own site. Great list!
Thank you Julie! It is a lot of work, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything!
Such a great and useful tips for new bloggers like me. I am happy to know I am right track though I am still struggling to sort out mailing list, I am sure slowly I will get there.
That is great, Geetha! The mailing list is a tough one, but important, so stick with it!
Amazing tips for old and new bloggers alike! Thanks!!
Thank you Tristin!
Such great tips here for starting a blog! There is so much to learn about food blogging that it can be so overwhelming at first. #11 rings true for me! Sometimes I hear Dory’s voice…just keep swimming (from Nemo). Because, the world of blogging is always evolving.
Haha! Just keep swimming is a good one! Love it! It is a ton of work, but we love it, don’t we? Thanks, Michelle!
All of this!!! Such great advice for anyone thinking about this wonderful world of food blogging!
Thank you Nikole! I appreciate that!
These tips are perfect for new bloggers! I wish I had them when I started!
I know, me too! Thanks Jessica!
Thank you for sharing those great tips here. I’d like to add one thing in the context of Social media. My advice would be to register with the most important few as you’ve said but then to post on only 1-2 on a very regular basis. Do this until you get a grasp of the channel and achieve a good chunk of traffic before adding other channels.
That is good advice. I have heard others say that. I think that it is important to have the accounts and post to them with every new post. It really doesn’t take much time to share with the 4 big ones. I will suggest that concentrating on the one or two most popular for you, is important! Thank you Gabi!
Great tips for any bloggers getting started! Thanks for sharing!
Thank you Traci! I wish I had this information when I started!
Some great tips here! Many of which I would have liked to know when I started too!
I know, that is the greatest reason why I wrote it! I searched and really couldn’t find anything specific when I started! Thanks Jacqueline!
Awesome tips! I totally agree on number 2. Research will make your content great.
Yes, that is totally true! Thanks so much Sharon!