Top Ten Tips for Food Bloggers

food-blog-tips

One year ago, on a quiet weekend in April, this gal started a blog. My husband graciously created a WordPress account, blog logo, and bought a domain. Sunday morning I sat down, took a deep breath, and wrote my first ever blog post, “A Defining Moment”. I clicked the little red publish button, and suddenly the whole world could read my thoughts. Slightly scary, yet incredibly empowering.

Over the next few weeks I wrote more posts, photographed recipes using my trusty iPhone, and shared stories about my quest for simplicity and natural living. My passion for sharing life via this wonderful world of “blogging” was ignited. Friends started to read my posts, and share with their friends. Slowly over time ten readers turned into twenty, and soon hundreds.

food blog tips first year

Three months into blogging I discovered the wonderful “c” word, community. I joined a blogging network and connected with fellow like-minded natural bloggers. Together, we shared posts, along with tips and practical advice. As I connected with bloggers and improved my writing and photography, I watched my blog flourish and reach thousands of people. The network I loved so much crumbled, but my blogging friendships and connections continue to grow.

One year later I’m still passionately blogging. Blogging is now a full-time job. I spend a lot of time (40 hours plus) developing recipes, eating (huge perk), writing, and interacting with readers and bloggers. I also make money as a blogger.

food blog tips first year

I regularly receive questions from new bloggers, just starting out on this great journey of blogging, wondering how exactly this thing called “food blogging” works. In celebration of my first year of blogging, today, I’m sharing my top ten tips for food bloggers.

Top Ten Tips for Food Bloggers:

1. Blog about your passion. You may have many passions in life, but pick one (or two, if related). This passion should be your blog’s focus. Without passion, blogging will quickly turn into another “job” (one that pays nothing in the beginning).

2. Focus on your content, not numbers.  In the beginning very few people will read your blog. Your focus should be on writing and photographing great content. Without great content your blog simply won’t grow. So, write, write, write. And don’t forget to include great photos.

3. Always look for areas to improve. Blogging isn’t about perfection. At first your pictures and writing may be awful. It’s okay, blogging is about starting where you are and improving, daily. Read books on writing, recipe development, and photography. I share my favorite blogging books and resources below.

4. Be consistent. If your blog is meant to be a family resource, writing once a month is great, but if your goal is reaching others and building readership, consistency is key. Decide on a blogging schedule (I want to post two times a week, on Tuesday and Thursday) and stick with it.

5. Learn how to use your camera.  Photos make a blog worth reading. When I started blogging I used my iPhone for photos. After studying my favorite blogs, I realized good photos are essential. I picked up a good camera (this one), nice lens (this one), and Pinch of Yum’s food photography book. I also invested in food props (dishes, backdrops, and utensils), and a good editing software (Photoshop).  My numbers and reach improved with the presence of high-quality photos.

6. Connect with bloggers. Connecting with bloggers allows you to work together, share posts, troubleshoot, and develop friendships. How does one go about connecting with bloggers? Comment on blogs, join a blogging network, attend conferences, and begin interacting with bloggers on social media.

Note: Please genuinely connect with bloggers. Don’t stop by a blogger’s FB wall, “Hey, I wrote this awesome post, will you share it?” Instead, stop by and genuinely introduce yourself.

7. Don’t compete. There are a lot of bloggers online. Don’t let the numbers or success of other blogs frustrate you, just do your thing. Write about your passion, share your experience, connect with your readers. Blogging is not about competing,  it’s about connecting and sharing life.

8. Follow other blogs. Blogging can be draining. While I love what I do, there are times my inspiration is zapped. Regularly reading inspiring blogs keeps me from feeling drained.  Some of these blogs are real food and health related, some are lifestyle.

9. Don’t focus on money. Do not start a blog with the purpose of making money. If your goal is money, there are far easier ways to make a buck. Start a blog because you have a passion, and a desire to share life with others. As your content and readership grow you can think about monetizing, but money should never be the driving force behind your blog.

I’m a firm believer in full-time bloggers having the opportunity to make money. Blogging takes time and can be expensive. My monthly expenses include: email service to reach my readers, hosting, food costs for recipes, food props, an assistant to help with social media, books, traveling, and more.

Here’s how I make money: ads (I’m very picky about the kind of ads placed on my site), working with companies I genuinely love and believe in, and affiliates (such as Amazon- for products I use in real life and highly recommend).

10. Take a break. Unlike an 8-5 office job, the online world never sleeps.  I can blog, reply to comments and emails, and check social media, 24/7.

I have a set schedule for blogging. I work on my computer Monday-Friday 9-12, and in the evenings when my kids go to bed. On the weekends, I spend one day cooking and photographing.  Stick to a schedule and know when it’s time to take a break.

food blog tips first year

My Favorite Blogging Resources:

Writing:

Photography:

Other Resources:

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35 Comments

  • Great post, Kristin! I didn’t realize you’ve grown your blog so quickly! Amazing. I agree, never start a blog just to make money. Blogging about your passion is so important. And, your photos are amazing! All these tips are good ones! I completely agree! Many blessings for your next year!

    • Thank you, Becky. It’s a blessing to work alongside so many wonderful bloggers too. I’m so grateful for the past year and look forward to the future, growing together!

  • First, congratulations!!! It’s been so much fun to watch you and your blog grow.

    Second, this is a great post. I’m a blogger and know many of these tips to be very true (…and I really need to re-implement some of them).

    Keep up the great work. I’ll be following along in your journey. <3

    Jess

  • You have a great blog and I enjoy visiting it! Thanks for this great post! Came in handy…I’m writing a book on gluten free lifestyle and it will include many yummy recipes so this post along with the links was extremely useful! Have a great week 🙂

  • I loved this post. First off, happy blog anniversary! One year ago, wow, you’re amazing!! I love these tips and I will definitely be applying them more to my own blogging. I love what you do and keep up the amazing “work” you do. (Recipes, home tips, health tips and all done so beautifully too!).

  • Thank you for sharing this. I love your blog, LOVE it! Congrats on this blogging anniversary for you. I appreciate your tips and need to re-look at some of these for me. I am not able to blog full time at this point in my life, but who knows if that will change in the future. I love your office area, thank you for sharing those beautiful photos with us. p.s. I have made several of your recipes and they never disappoint. My family especially loves your brownies.

  • Great post! So encouraging! I sometimes fall into the trap of worrying about what to write in ordre to attract a lot of readers. But I need to appreciate that it still might be early doors for me and my main focus should be writing about what I love and want to share with others. Again, thanks for this great post!

  • Fantastic tips, especially about being consistent! Just curious – what are those blogging sheets you filled out daily? I’ve been looking for a blogging organization document.

    • Hey Lauren, Thank you :). I bought a blog planner off Etsy. It’s been such a blessing- keeping me organized and focused. It was sold as a PDF and included 10 printable pages (I ended up printing about 0 pages because I wanted multiples of some of the pages).

  • Super super post! I have been writing for other blogs for 2 years and just started my own (kinda backwards I know but long story!) – anyway I’m trying to do the schedule thing because I find myself at the computer way way way more than I should be 😉

  • Congratulations and praise God that He prompted you and you jumped in with faith. Your blog is such an inspiration and I am so thrilled that the Lord has crossed our paths! I couldn’t agree more with each one of your tips (wise advice) above. And I smiled when I saw that you use a journal to record and develop your recipes – I do the same thing. There’s just something about writing recipes down with pencil and paper, crossing out, erasing and scribbling notes as you go. Thank you so much for sharing your life, passion and knowledge with us. You are a true blessing! xo

  • Thank you for these great tips! I just started a blog on simple living and I can’t believe I haven’t found your blog until now! I found your Almond Flour Banana Bread recipe via Pinterest and just had to try it, in the process I’ve been browsing through your content and am so inspired by you and your way of life! Keep up the fantastic work!

    • Hey Ashley, Congrats on starting the blog!!! I just checked it out (your garden pictures have me green with gardener’s envy). I look forward to following along. Enjoy the banana bread!!!

  • Thank you so much for being one of the sources of my “I CAN do this too!” inspiration. I have been building my site, thanks to the tips and how-to’s you have generously provided, and will be launching very soon. I have a question about Facebook. I created my personal blog page and then seen you have to pay for every time you want to post something? Is that indeed the case? Do you have advice about that? God bless you!

    • Thank you, Angeline! I’m so glad the post was helpful.

      If you have a business page (mine is labeled as a “personal blog”) then you don’t need to pay to share something on FB. Sharing is completely free. If you’d like to boost something (I believe FB calls this “promote” these days), then you’ll need to pay. I personally don’t recommend paying to boost posts on FB.

      When you have your blog up and running, I’d love to check it out!

      • Yep! I did create a ‘personal blog’ labeled business page. If I want to post something, it only gives me the option to boost or publish. I don’t want to pay for either! ( : I just need to figure out how I can post a new blog posting or recipe from my web site to my FB page without paying. Maybe there is a plugin. I will definitely let you know when my blog is up and running. Thank you for your support! And for your response!

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