It takes more than a unique passion for food to run a successful food blog. The key is to know how to start a food blog and write blog posts that will get you noticed. We asked top food blogging and marketing experts to share their top tips on how to start, market, and grow a successful food blog.
Here are 25 easy to follow food blogging tips from the pros.
1. Focus on a Food Niche
Jane Ko, Blogger, A Taste of Koko
You’ll want to start with a focus. In recipe blogging, there’s vegetarian, vegan, paleo, keto, and gluten-free. In restaurant blogging, you can focus on local mom-and-pop restaurants, fine dining, casual, or specific diet. Health and nutrition are popular right now so, if you’re a nutritionist, share your knowledge. Become an expert in that food niche so you can build an audience that will begin to trust and depend on your recommendations.
2. Get Up Close & Personal With Your Food
Vi Trang, Digital Marketing Specialist, Savings.com.au
With the absence of smell and taste, visual elements remain the only tool to trigger interest. Great photos of food entice readers and make them want to try it themselves. As a result, make sure your website is equipped with the best gallery widget. Don’t use a lightbox with white borders and loads of buttons but do allow users to zoom in to get up close with your stunning photos. Also, make sure the photos are compressed properly for the web so that they don’t slow down your site. Along the same line, don’t overlook optimization for speed. User experience should be at the forefront of what you do: blogging.
3. Build Relationships With Other Food Bloggers
Rich Staats, Founder, Secret Stache
Make a list of the top 25 bloggers, comment on their blogs a bit, and then send them a personalized email introducing yourself and letting you know how much of an influence they are to you. Eventually, you will be able to do a bit of work together, and you can share their audience. You should also find the top blog Facebook groups and start participating and answering questions.
4. Use Long-tail Terms for Your Posts
John Shieldsmith, Digital Marketing Consultant, the Thrifty Dad
If you’re reviewing a local barbecue joint, for example, do some keyword research and find some longtail terms you can rank for in that particular food review. You can still review Joe’s Rib Rack but, instead, rank by targeting terms like ‘best ribs in central Texas’ or ‘best brisket near Austin.’ You’ll have a far better time ranking because of your localized, long-tail terms, and people will get to enjoy the review you worked so hard on.
Marc Prosser, Chairman & Chief Revenue Officer, FitSmallBusiness
As a food blogger, you will want to make sure that you can reach as much of your target audience as possible. Make your blog more visible by getting some marketing help from the pros at Hibu. It is one of a select few officially badged Facebook Marketing Partners in the United States that also specialize in supporting small businesses. Hibu offers social campaign creation, management, and monitoring, and it’ll even run social advertising campaigns for you. As a full-service digital solutions provider, it also offers website design, search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO), display advertising, digital listings management, and other services that will boost your online presence should be at the forefront of what you do: blogging.
6. Use Recipes to Build Your Email List
Maddie Sciullo, Digital Marketing Manager, RedShift
Create an aesthetically pleasing email template to blast out your new recipes. Having a template will make it easy to send each recipe out in a timely manner while keeping the look and feel of your brand consistent. Make sure you include buttons to share your recipe within the email, so your subscribers can share with their friends on social media. You should also set up an automated email series for brand-new subscribers that will welcome them to your content, send them links to some of your most popular past recipes, and let them know what to expect from you in the future.
7. Be Active on Pinterest
Elizabeth Bradshaw, Owner, Canvas Art Boutique
Since so much of food blogging has to do with the visual appeal of food, Pinterest is the perfect platform to post your content. Compared to other platforms like Instagram, the content that you post on Pinterest can stay evergreen and continue to drive traffic months and even years after you’ve pinned it. The biggest tip I can give food bloggers is to use the auto-complete search function of Pinterest’s search bar to get ideas on the food, recipes, and products to create content around. By aligning your content with what people are searching for, you’ll to be found faster and gain more followers.
8. Show Off Your Food on Instagram
Meliss Jakubovic, Online Marketing Strategist, Meliss Marketing
My best tip for getting your content out there is to post twice a day on Instagram. Food pictures have a great potential for grabbing attention so spend the extra money to have professional photos done and stage your food. Use bright and contrasting colors. When it comes time to adding hashtags, choose keywords that are less common so that you remain at the top of the feed for longer, but be mindful of your posts as well. The biggest mistake I see food bloggers make is posting with no plan and using hashtags that everyone in their industry or location uses, resulting in getting lost in the newsfeed.
9. Find Your Audience’s Social Media Platform of Choice
Tatiana Morand, Creator, Toronto Brunch Club
My biggest piece of advice would be to figure out a niche and stick to that. Once you’ve established what kind of content you’re posting, such as gluten-free recipes, you can figure out where your audience is most likely to be so that you can focus on the platforms or content that matter most to them. That way, you can start seeing greater engagement on your content and build your following in the ways that matter most.
Maggie Alland, Marketing & Review Editor, FitSmallBusiness
One of the first things a reader will notice about a blogger is his or her website’s domain name. Owning your domain name adds to your credibility as a professional food blogger. This means finding the right web host that’s reliable and will keep your blog always online. Not only does this ensure that your blog is easy to remember, but it also helps build you a more recognizable brand. We recommended Bluehost, which offers domain registration, website hosting, and even a business email address for just $2.95 per month. Click here to check out its hosting plans.
11. Make Sure Your Food Posts Are Covered Legally
Sam Vander Wielen, Owner, Sam Vander Wielen LLC
12. Hold the Stock Images
Stacy Caprio, Founder, her.ceo
My best tip for food bloggers is to use only your own images when possible and, when not possible, make sure they are explicitly free for commercial use. This is because all images are copyrighted automatically unless otherwise specified, meaning the owner can sue for up to $10,000 in damages per image. Using your own images also makes your content more engaging for the reader. Make sure to use a clean background and play around with angles and lighting until you get the best images possible.
13. Skip the Fat & Don’t Forget Reader Intent
Tom Blake, Owner, This Online World
SEO, strong keyword density, and writing to generate organic traffic is fine. However, if your introduction rambles on with keyword-stuffed sentences, you will lose the interest of your audience. Readers don’t care about lengthy stories or the decision making factors that lead you to bake some peppermint mocha brownies; we want detailed steps, ingredient lists, and valuable information that will allow us to craft a spectacular recipe.
14. Add Another Layer To Existing Articles
Emmanuel Frost, CEO & Co-founder, Brand Alignment
The “Skyscraper Technique” is based on Brian Dean of backlink.io who recommends the following method. First, find the top ranking article in your food niche. Then, make it much better. So, if the top article is a Top 10 type article, then make it a Top 50 article or if it’s a 2015-era article, create a 2018 and 2019-era article. Finally, use an SEO tool like SEMRush or Ahrefs to identify which websites gave a backlink to the original article and contact them to inform them you have a similar but improved article.
15. Provide an Extra Helping of Valuable Content
Oksana Chyketa, The Marketer, Albacross
Researching your target audience ― who they are, what they are interested in, what their pain points are, and what social media platform they spend most of their time on. Then, provide value. For example, if you are targeting an audience that is interested in food and nutrition, you could offer a free e-book full of vegetarian recipes for example, or you can post recipes that have not been posted on your blog, participate in discussions and, of course, your pictures should be striking to gain the attention of the prospects.
16. Stir Up Your Blog & Social Media Calendars
Stuart Ridge, Chief Marketing Officer, VitaMedica
Most businesses will share their newest blog content on their social channels when it first goes live, but they fail to utilize this content on an ongoing basis. Schedule a series of tweets or posts with different quotes from the same post spread out for a month or more or create a few unique graphics to accompany the post each time it is shared.
17. Mix Facebook Lead Ads Into Your Marketing Strategy
Brian Winum, Digital Marketing Director, MAXPlaces Marketing, LLC
The beauty of Facebook Lead Ads is that they can be hyper-targeted to your ideal audience and allow you to capture lead information like names and email addresses directly. Your potential website visitor doesn’t have to click out of Facebook to enter their info which helps to boost conversion percentages. A budget of $5 per day aimed at the audiences of other larger foodie blogs and brands can generate numerous leads when promoting a free keto recipe book giveaway or some other similar title.
18. Serve Your Website Content Faster than the Competition
Rob Powell, CEO & Founder, Rob Powell Biz Blog
Food bloggers use a lot of images, and their load times can suffer as a result. Use a content delivery network (CDN) to speed up the load time of your web pages. You’ll see a boost in your organic search traffic as Google gives you preference over slower websites in your niche.
19. Treat Search Intent as Your Recipe for Success
Amy Baker, Digital Marketing Manager, Content Career
Start by researching the most popular search terms in your niche (for example “gluten-free chocolate cake recipe”). Then, develop your blog posts to help the people who are searching for that specific phrase. If those people are looking for a recipe, then provide them with a recipe. If they are looking for comparisons, then provide them with a comparison. If they need a review, then give them a review. It sounds simple enough, but it is all too easy to focus on the search engine algorithms and forget that you are writing for people.
20. Blend Your Social Media Handles
Paul O’Meara, Partner, Jupiter Compass
When starting a new food blog, create a handle on social media that matches your domain name. This is very important for brand consistency and establishes authority now and farther down the line. Make sure the handle follows the vanity name guidelines for social media platforms. For example, although Facebook and Instagram allow more characters, Twitter only permits a handle to be 15 characters or less.
21. Remember a Pinch of Optimization Outperforms Viral Content
Shawn Lim, Founder, Traffic Bees
My best advice to new food bloggers is to not blindly go for social shares and neglect the SEO aspects of your blog posts. The problem with viral blog posts is that they typically get a spike in traffic for a short period but drop and plateau eventually. Thereafter, a vast amount of time and effort will be spent to produce the next round of content in hopes of going viral again. The good news is that with proper SEO implementation to your website, just one quality SEO-optimized article beats producing 10 viral articles without SEO.
Evergreen content is timeless content that will always be relevant to your readers. For food blogs, this can mean anything depending on your niche. Recipes, tutorials, and simple how-tos are great topics that can be promoted again and again throughout the year.
Find more established websites and blogs that offer guest posting. Use it as a platform to introduce your ideas and show your writing skills to the website’s loyal followers. Make sure you include a link to a relevant blog post on your website so once you have impressed their readers with your content, they can follow you back to your own blog to read more of your ideas.
Nowadays, if your website is difficult to view on mobile, you’re surely missing out on a huge opportunity. More people are accessing information on the internet through their mobile device, so it’s imperative that bloggers adapt to this trend to keep up with their readers.
Aside from the usual performance tracking plug-ins, your website will benefit from having additional tools to help you with your blog posting. Food bloggers have a unique requirement when it comes to creating the perfect blog post. Tools like Pin It Buttons on Pinterest and EasyRecipe help in making food blogging tasks easier.
Over to You
Whatever your reason for creating your own food blog, your ultimate goal will always be to reach as many individuals as possible. Support your passion for food by learning how to become a food blogger with our list of tips from the pros.
Did we miss out on your favorite food blogging tips? Share them with us in the comments.