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After seven and a half years of blogging, I think I have a few things to say on the subject, so today I’m sharing ten of my favorite food blogging tips! These are things that I really feel you MUST be doing as a food blogger these days. Of course every blog and business are different, so only you know what’s best for you and your audience.
However, I honestly believe that these food blogging tips apply to every food blogger and beyond and will help set you up for success in whatever detailed strategy you put into place. I’ve included links to resources so you can dive deeper into implementing these tips when appropriate.
If you have any other tips that you think I might have missed let us all know in the comments! And, as always, I’m happy to answer any questions you might have around this subject. Let’s dive in!
10 Food Blogging Tips
1. Get on WordPress.org
There are lots of sites that make it easy for you to set up a website or blog in an afternoon, but the easiest way isn’t always best. It’s almost just as easy to get set up on wordpress.org and it will offer you so many more options when it comes to themes, plugins (those things that help you accomplish website tasks without knowing code), running ads, and being search engine optimization (SEO) ready. Plus you’ll have your own url!
2. Make sure you have https (SSL certificate)
When you type in a website address it either starts with http or https. If it reads https, that means there is an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate in place. Basically this means there is an encrypted link between your web server and the people visiting your site, which is good for protecting your readers.
If you don’t have https, readers may be shown a warning that your site isn’t secure. Would you visit a site that sounded like it wasn’t a safe place to visit? Me neither.
A good host will take care of this for you, or you can read this post on how to set up SSL on your website.
3. Make sure your theme is mobile friendly
Over 70% of my traffic last month came from mobile devices. This number has grown sharply in the last five years and isn’t likely to go down. As bloggers who mostly work and view our site on a computer, it can be easy to forget about mobile.
Be sure to visit your site on a mobile device to make sure it is easy to navigate. If you are choosing a new theme, make sure it has mobile in mind first and foremost, will be easy to navigate, and loads quickly.
4. Use a recipe card
Recipe cards allow Google to recognize that your post has a recipe and serve it up to people searching for what you’ve made. Recipe cards are only available on WordPress, so if you’re on SquareSpace or something similar you’ll have to figure out how to code your recipes properly.
I use (affiliate link) WordPress Recipe Maker (WPRM) as my recipe card and have been very happy with it. It is updated frequently to meet the ever changing industry needs and keep your site safe and looking good.
A free option would be Create by Mediavine. I would definitely consider switching to this plugin (and very likely will in the future) if it was a little smoother to transition from WPRM and if they offered a “Jump to Recipe” button.
I don’t personally love using a jump to recipe option, but I’ve seen data that shows me that you, the reader, do. Ultimately I’m here to serve you, so if you have an opinion one way or the other on that I’d love to know!
5. Offer an email freebie
Your email list is the only thing aside from your blog that you truly own. Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest could go away at any moment, but your email list will always be filled with people who trust you and want to hear from you.
One great way to attract the right people to your email list is to offer them something when they sign up. It’s no longer enough to just let them know you’ll be telling them about new blog posts. Think of something valuable you could offer related to your niche such as a meal plan, ebook of your top recipes, or printable.
I currently offer a list of 100 Vegetarian Dinner Ideas to new email subscribers, and have plans for more freebies in the works.
6. Implement an email welcome sequence
While we’re on the topic of email, I’m here to tell you how powerful welcome sequences can be. What is a welcome sequence? When someone signs up for your email list they automatically receive a set of emails that you’ve previously written and assigned to roll out at certain increments of time.
I have a welcome sequence of four emails that roll out one every day when someone signs up for my list. They welcome people to my list, tell them a little about myself, share a few of my favorite posts, and let them know how we can connect on social media.
This is a great way to get people to stick around rather than unsubscribing right after getting their freebie. I’ve also received so much more communication from my readers than I ever did before. I give a call to action in the emails for them to hit reply and tell me a little about themselves as well as let them know what they’ll be receiving in the next email.
7. Learn proper keyword research
The last year has seen a surge in bloggers focusing on SEO. This is because traffic from Google builds and builds, making it possible for your traffic to skyrocket if you’re creating the right posts consistently over time.
I was able to finally move my traffic up after being in a plateau for years once I finally learned how to do proper keyword research. If you don’t know where to start on this there are lots of resources including Mediavine’s SEO recommendations, Theory of Content Podcast, or you could pay for an SEO audit from Media Wyse or join a course like Everything Digital Marketing.
8. Practice consistent pinning
Pinterest can be a huge traffic driver. It is constantly changing and fluctuating, so it’s not great to put all your eggs in the Pinterest basket, but it is important to be at least somewhat present on the platform.
I recommend Tailwind for staying present on Pinterest without needing to be constantly on the platform. Tailwind allows you to schedule pins to go out throughout the day (I schedule 25-35 a day) as well as join Tribes where you can share your pins with other bloggers in hopes they will share them with their audience. Tribes also make it easy for you to find content in your niche to pin without searching all over the internet.
Click this link to receive one free month of Tailwind and give it a try for yourself.
I currently post about 80% my own content and 20% other people’s content. The image sizes, text, captions, and hashtags used are constantly changing and are best discussed in another post.
9. Use vertical images
Vertical images take up more real estate on Pinterest, and are therefore more eye-catching. I also think the composition looks better. You don’t have to make all the images in your posts vertical, but make sure you have at least 1-2 irresistible vertical shots.
10. Optimize your images
Images generally have huge file sizes. This can slow down your site making readers click away and lower your Google rankings.
Optimize your images by resizing them to the specific size needed for your them, then make sure you’re using an image compression plugin (I use ShortPixel), lazy loading images, and implementing caching either through a plugin or on the host level.
BONUS #11. Create at least a couple videos
I couldn’t resist adding one more tip because I’m just so passionate about it!
I know video production isn’t for everyone, but video viewing just might be! Especially if you’re running ads through a high quality network, you’ll want at least a few videos on your site to make the most of your ad opportunities.
I recommend creating videos for your top 2-10 posts, and more as you see fit. These can be slideshow style, stop motion, fast paced overhead, or hosted like a cooking show.
If you really don’t want to invest in the time and equipment necessary, there are a number of businesses offering recipe video creation. If your blog gets enough traffic for a big ad network, your top posts will likely recoup the cost of hiring out video creation within a couple months.
I hope this list helps set you up for success in food blogging! If you have any other tips please share in the comments!