As a food blogger, I’m asked blogging related questions everyday. How to start a food blog? How to make your food blog successful? What are the tips for new food bloggers? While there are many tips that can help you a great deal in this field, there are certain things I feel every aspiring blogger should know before they jump into publishing their work online. Frankly, these are a few things I have gathered along the way from my own experience, and they are extremely useful in letting you know what exactly you are getting into. So here are my top tips for all the aspiring food bloggers reading this.
1) BE PREPARED TO WORK A LOT-
If you are under the impression that blogging is a very convenient and a fun activity, you are up for some shock. While it is generally fun, blogging requires you to invest a lot of time and effort into it. A whole day will go by with you just editing, posting, updating and reviewing your own work.
Your blog will demand routine hours to it and constant maintenance of its content. Don’t worry, it is not going to be as scary as I sound, and trust me it would be worth all your time and patience. Just remember to invest in the blog as much you invest in your kitchen experiments.
2) SELECT YOUR NICHE AS A FOOD BLOGGER-
It is understandable if you are attracted to all sorts of food, but what makes a blogger stand out in a crowd of generalist food bloggers is their specialisation in one area. This is not to say that trying out everything does not work well, but it is better to be exceptionally brilliant in one field than to be just ‘good enough’ at everything else. Your initial stages of exploring different styles is okay but it should ultimately lead to you owning a definite space. Your niche will not only make you unique amongst the rest but also allow you a strategic growth. So figure what your niche is and try and stick to it.
3) FOCUSING ON THE BLOG LAYOUT –
When I started my own blog, I never knew the name ‘Bake With Shivesh’ will go a long way to create my identity amongst different food bloggers. While content matters, how you present your work is equally important and must be given a lot of thought. Your blog name, domain name, the template or theme that you opt for, all of these are included in the blog layout that you create and will be essential in earning you readers. In many ways, it will reflect your work and be what people take back with them when they leave your site.
So make sure that you do not only have interesting recipes to share but also an appealing layout and an equally catchy blog name to attract people to your site.
4) MAINTAIN A CERTAIN STANDARD OF CONTENT-
I have always insisted that you don’t need really fancy instruments to get a perfect shot for your recipe. In fact, I strongly believe that no food blogger should be restricted by the equipment they use. So whether it be your phone or a DSLR, anything that captures your work to your satisfaction is decent enough to be posted in the internet.
At the same time, while your equipment may not be sophisticated, it helps to maintain your standards in photography and make sure that your visuals have good focus, lighting or angle. Learning some basic editing tips also come in handy so that you can enhance your pictures to make them look attractive. Again, none of that are in anyway solely dependent on your paraphernalia.
5) STICK TO WORDPRESS-
I cannot stress on this enough and I wish someone was as stubborn about this with me some years ago. A user friendly site that allows you to customise your blog the way you wish is a blessing. And frankly, WordPress is easily your best bet.
I started my venture on sites like Squarespace and Blogspot and neither of them were worth the amount of effort. In fact, all bloggers would recommend you the same, to present your work on a WordPress blog. This popular site allows you a great amount of control over your content and is the most user friendly publishing platform available. They have myriad of options to customize your blog and plugins that are extremely resourceful.
6) SIGN UP FOR GOOGLE ANALYTICS-
To be a serious food blogger who cares about who reads their stuff, it helps if you have an upper hand over Google Analytics to keep an eye on how well your blog is doing. If I am posting content and pitching in a lot of effort to publish my work in social media, I would also want to be aware of the response I am getting and what is generating more traffic for me. It helps me to streamline my progress and eliminate stuff that is not helping me to earn visitors to my blog.
Google Analytics gives you the numbers; the data as per time and location of all the people viewing your posts. It gives you the exact statistics and even better, all of this is for free! You only need to sign up for their plug ins with your gmail account and fill in the details of your blog.
It might seem slightly complicated at first but there are several tutorials available online to guide your way through it. Once you get the grasp of it, it is easier from there.
7) SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZE YOUR BLOG-
Search Engine optimization is when you are making your website more visible to people who are looking for keywords associated with your brand or product. Google will display your blog at the top when anyone is searching for anything that matches with the content of what you post. This is one primary way of attracting users to your blog and is adopted by almost everyone who publishes their work online.
But SEO is not about incorporating as many keywords into your posts as possible. You need to only select a few words that can lead search engines to your site, which are also included in your blog post. This is very helpful considering how it brings in specific visitors who share a genuine interest in your domain.
You can either ask someone to help you optimize your blog for SEO or just google a few tutorials to enable it yourself.
8) HAVE AN ACTIVE SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE-
As a blogger, you don’t get readers, you earn them. One important thing that I maintain is my social presence amongst my followers and contemporary bloggers. I try and reply to every query and also appreciate good work that is posted by others. It not only builds a network of bloggers but also earns you some curious visitors to your site. This also gives them an incentive to reciprocate the same gesture to you.
At the same time, while it is vital that you have an active social presence in your online turf, you need to draw a line in being socially active and being socially desperate. It is okay to broadcast a new post or update in your site, but it gets very annoying and borderline desperate when you start advertising about your work in every comment section that does not require it. No food blogger would want such comments flooding their posts.
So now that you know the basics that you need to prepare, gear up for an exciting food venture and get started on that blog you always dreamed of. Give it your own touch and win the internet! 😀 Also, if you know anything else you personally learnt from your experiences that should join this list, pitch that in in the comment section below.
Happy Blogging to all!