12 Tips for a Great Food Blog or Recipe Blog
Recipes on Hubpages and Food Blog SmokedRecipes.net
Food Blog How to Create a Recipe Rich Site
We all have to eat, why not share what you and your family enjoy. Are you specializing in certain dishes? Using a dehydrator, electric smoker, great at crock pot dishes or desserts? How about grilling and BBQ? This is a fun hobby blog and perfect to share on social networks. If you can capitalize on simple recipes or money saving meals, you are going to be an even bigger hit. Many families have to survive on a much smaller budget as job loss persists.
Decide on the type of food blogger you are and express that in the "About Me" section. Casual or hobbyist; student chef, professional cook or restaurant owner. Homemaker can start out casual and end up professional as "The Pioneer Woman" did.
- Pick a name for your website/blog and a name for the Food Blog. They do not have to be the same. Mine is smokedrecipes.net and the name of the blog is Smokin Sundays and Other Great Recipes.
- Wordpress.com versus Wordpress.org - What is the difference? The .com site is easier and less programming knowledge is needed, more template oriented so it does the work for you as far as design of your site and its widgets. The .org is for customizing the blog much more whether you do it yourself or hire someone. This has a much greater range of creating exactly what you want.
- Tumblr.com is a cool site filled with images, videos, recipes and the written word. I also think it is a very user friendly site that is simple to create content that is automatically in the feed (like on Hubpages or Twitter and Facebook), it also automatically places it in your formatted blog. If you are less comfortable with creating a site and more comfortable with social media, than this is an ideal blog site.
- How often to write, share, review and post a new recipe. At least 3 times a week, more when you can. Add a variety of posts to enrich the content you are sharing with your growing audience. Always add the share buttons and use them when you post anything. That helps to get the word out about your blog in the social networks. Encourage engagement with every post, video and podcast.
- Watch Videos. Learn from the people already in your field or specialty. Food stylists are a great teacher. There are some online courses, videos and books that will teach the skill of food presentation, lighting and photography. The Perfect Picture Photography School offers online courses. http://www.ppsop.com/fblo.aspx If you have more time, there is culinary school, a few years as a chef and than become a food stylist.
- Create Videos. Do at least one per week and post it on the day you have the highest number of visitors to your site. That may be Friday eve, Saturday or Sunday morning. Push it out when you have the most attention on your food blog. Check your site statistics to determine the most ideal days and times. YouTube and Vine are key to increasing your audience and subscribers. It is hard to ignore the millions of hours people view videos everyday. Look there for personal ideas and techniques weekly.
- Plan like a publishing magazine with dates and themes. This will also help with planning your shopping lists to get ingredients for the weekly new recipes. Incorporate holiday meals and special dishes or desserts.
- Gaining an audience, subscribers. For the next year to two years, work towards gaining a following of subscribers via email that will receive your weekly updates of new posts and recipes. This is more important than advertising that could chase people away from your site in the beginning. Top experts say give away as much as you can to gain followers.What that means is free recipes, free reviews, information or do a contest and give a way one of your cookbooks (if published). Create a useful eBook guide or short recipe book and offer it as a free gift when a person subscribes to the blog.
- What can you sell? Your own food products, affiliate items related to the type of food on your blog. A published cookbook, either book form or electronic format. Ideally sell them in the emails. Include one or two advertisements, along with the updates of recipes to your subscribers/followers. Allow other businesses to advertise in your space or in your newsletters.
- Affiliate or own products or own cookbook? This is where you decide based on what you have to offer or plan to offer in the near future. Why can't you depend on advertising on your blog? You can, but if you don't have any proof of the number of visitors and buyers on your site, there is no value in advertising on your blog. Think about how you feel when you can barely see the content you came for when the site is overloaded with ads and popups swarm in. Do you stay on that site or jump off as fast as possible?
- Marketing. Take advantage of your free and strongest audience reach. Pinterest, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter are great. Don't forget to share on StumbleUpon and Google+. Tumblr is my recent addition to sharing on a blog/social network. Images, short summary and tagging searchable words will gain and engage people on Tumblr. They all have the greatest reach for your food blog. People "pin" food and recipes as one of the top 3 things to pin to a board. On Pinterest I have one board called "Passion for food" and one called "a little piece of dessert heaven". Daily I can add to both of those boards easily and I follow links to see how to make what looks so darn good.
- Other writing ideas. Consider all the possibilities and then pick the ones you feel the most comfortable with. What I mean are reviews of foods, products, restaurants, wineries, caterers. Talk about your favorite cookbooks. Recognize other great food blogs. Talk about your favorite finds on Pinterest or Videos on Youtube. Create "How to video guides" on creating a dish or using a certain preparation or cooking technique.
Serve up the food. Create your dishes, documenting with full instructions,many great pictures and/or video and share it on your food blog so others will share it. Get close so all the details show up clearly. Photograph each step, all the ingredients and final product in the best possible lighting.
Food Photography by Lara Ferroni
Food Photography by Lara Ferroni, A Book Review
Food Photography - Pro Secrets for Styling, Lighting & Shooting is a worthwhile book to give direction for inexperienced photographers.
- The font size in the book is very small, but very detailed instructions.
- As you would expect, the sample images are excellent and clearly define what they are or what they do.
- I have a better grasp on lighting and the ones that tend to work best for presenting the food in recipes and videos. Backlit with natural light seems to give it a subtly and sets a mood. Low side light with flash gives a very crisp image with highlights in all the right places.
- Styling mainly involves fresh foods and adding a few embellishments for color contrast and to make a dish more enticing.
- Detailed instructions on camera settings to capture similar results are apart of the images. so you can easily duplicate them.
- Case studies share individual photographers and their techniques.
I recommend this book for hobby bloggers, homemakers and casual food bloggers. My strong point is not photography, practice does help me and so do books that guide me towards a better image.
Food Blogging Content
The content in your food blog along with the images are the driving force that will gain an audience and give you return visitors. Let's discuss some of the things you can do on a food blog. This is your most important feature to work on as often as you can.
- Add your recipes with great pictures and with lots of detailed instructions. Model after awarding winning food blogs like the ones pictured below.
- Add video guides "how to" for simple steps and full recipes explained from beginning to end.
- Meal planning. Discuss how you plan for the meals, maybe add a printable grocery list
- Give tips on using fresh ingredients from your garden and gardening tips. How To preserve herbs (dehydrator review by RealHousewife also shows how to preserve herbs from your garden) A great example of a product review too.
- Let visitors ask questions and you answer the questions (what if you can't answer?) search online and find an answer.
- Interviews with other food bloggers. Get in touch and do phone, webinar or skype interview that you can share with your audience.
- Reviews of other food blog sites. Check out others and talk it up about what you like and don't like. This is a great way to engage your visitors.
- Have your followers contribute their favorite recipes. If there is some way you can reward them for the contribution, that is even better. This is an opportunity for a contest and a prize.
- Review cookbooks you use and would recommend. Point out specific recipes and if you have made them, add your personal pictures.
- Review products. As a kitchen guru, you will know a product that never disappoints. Share that information with others so they can make a better decision about a product purchase.
- Review restaurants or specialty markets. When you have specialty food recipes, it is helpful to know more about the market you purchase from and what makes them better or fresher than others.
- If you are a chef, add your personal experiences, business experiences, lessons learned connect with other chefs teach others how to create menus for families, restaurants or special occasions. Share your accomplishments and talk up your restaurant.
I also wanted to share a few related hubs I found that will give you some additional resources:
So you want to write a food blog by R Shelton
Get your food blog rolling....
Food Blog Examples to Model After
Molly's Favorite Food Blogs
How to Make an Omelet
Review on 3 KitchenAid Stand Mixers
Recipe Writing books
Food Blog as a Hobby Blogger
Apple Chips by Brenda Green
A great hub about taking pictures of food by donnah75
- How to Take Great Photos of Food for Recipe Hubs and Blog Posts
Tips and advice on how to take quality photographs of food for recipe hubs and blogs.
Utilizing Technorati to Socialize your Food Blog
I am adding the information and photographic steps to sign up with Technorati and claim your blogs on here so they will gain a great deal more visibility. Develop some content first and establish the blog prior to setting it up on Technorati.
Follow the images below to complete the sign up steps and supply the required information. It is a perfect time to use Google keyword search words to get the best results when people search for your food blog.
You can add or claim multiple blogs, entering the information one at a time. You must have the RSS feed widget and be able to post the code or claim token they provide. That token code is what allows them to verify your site.
The last image is just an example of using keywords to search for blogs on Technorati. I used "best food blogs" to obtain a list. This is a great opportunity to further review some successful blogs.
Follow up with all the free resources Technorati offers to further improve and enhance your site. Work towards becoming one of "THE BEST" and watch your rankings increase dramatically.