If you’re just setting up your blog, please visit the How to Start a Food Blog page for helpful information to get you started. If you’ve reserved your domain, hosted your blog, selected your theme, and started writing, then this page of blogging tips is for you!
1. Learn everything you can about SEO before you write your first post. This is the single most important thing you can do, in my opinion. There are several books out there and plenty of websites that will help you, one of which (and the one I use the most) is SEMRush. I use the free version occasionally. My primary source for SEO is the Google Chrome extension Keywords Everywhere – Keyword Tool. It’s free and gives you search numbers when you type keywords into Google. This will help you with naming your posts and determining the best key words to drive traffic to your site. This is more complicated than I can explain here. I read these e-books to help: The Complete SEO Guide for Food Bloggers and SEO for Food Bloggers.
3. Set up an email subscription box. Your email list is gold so start it early and protect it. Have an email subscription box on your home page and on your sidebar and encourage your readers to subscribe. I use the paid version of Mailchimp, which is $10 per month, but if you’re just starting out you could use the free version.
4. Offer your readers something free if they subscribe. A lot of bloggers create an ebook of recipes or other content and offer it free to new subscribers as incentive.
5. Set up social media accounts for your blog on every platform: Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, SnapChat. Seriously. Yes, that sounds like a lot. It is. Sometimes I feel like social media takes over my life. But you will get the hang of it and learn to use scheduling software that’s out there. I use Co-schedule and Tailwind to send everything out to my social media sites and being able to schedule helps tremendously. But you still have to monitor and participate in the conversations.
6. Photography, Photography, Photography! Photos are what bring people back again and again. I see such a difference on my later posts that have better photography. This is a huge learning curve for me so don’t let lack of photography knowledge keep you from getting started–just try to learn and improve your photography daily and you will see a boost for your blog. I have a large Photography section here that’s filled with links to help with improving photography.
7. Participate in the blogging community. Join Facebook groups and go to conferences if you can. Bloggers love to share knowledge and encourage and boost each other.
8. Respect your readers. I don’t take for granted that people read my posts and cook my recipes. I appreciate my readers so much and I respond to every email. I like to participate in the comments as well and try to always respond if someone is asking a question about a recipe. And sometimes I get a negative comment about a recipe and my policy is to respond nicely even if the comment is a little snide—however, I draw the line at ugliness and if someone is downright rude then that comment will be deleted.
9. Pay attention to detail. Edit, edit, edit. This is one of my pet peeves because I was a professional writer before I was a food blogger. And yes, I know you can find some typos and errors throughout this site. But I try really hard to minimize those. For example, I recently downloaded a new plugin to cleanup old revisions of posts and there were over 5,000 revisions for about 350 posts! That’s because I edit each post multiple times before I publish and then again after I publish if I spot a mistake.
10. Put your best foot forward. Cliche, I know. And this goes with the previous statement of paying attention to detail. Here I’m talking more about your best as far as whatever it is you’re putting out there, whether it’s a recipe, an e-book, a printable, a DIY post. Test your recipe. Make sure it works and you haven’t left out any steps. Sometimes I get in a hurry and leave out a step and trust me, readers will call you out on this and deservedly so!
Here are some of my favorite resources for more blogging tips:
I can honestly say that when I stumbled across Pinch of Yum and Lindsey and Bjork, my whole outlook on blogging changed. I realized that it is possible to derive a decent income from a food blog. They’ve set up a membership site full of blogging tips and I’ve been a member for several years now. It’s the best investment I’ve made in my blog. I learn so much, not just from Lindsey and Bjork, but also from the community forum. I can post questions and someone will answer almost right away. We have multiple topics going and it’s a vast source of information. I highly recommend it even if you’re not a food blogger. The videos, tutorials, blog posts, blogging tips, and community are all helpful to any type of blogger. Click the graphic below to join now and I promise it will be the best investment you will make in your blog.
Food Bloggers Central
Food Bloggers Central is a website started by Nagi from Recipe Tin Eats. It’s a completely free resource and is full of helpful information. There is also an active Facebook group for FBC along with a couple of Facebook recipe sharing groups as well. This site has been invaluable to me and Nagi is amazingly forthcoming with suggestions and information and lots of blogging tips!
The number one blogging tip for a food blogger is to improve your photography. Photography is one of the most important aspects of a food blog. In a Southern Kitchen is definitely a work in progress on this one! There are many resources out there to aid you in selecting a camera and taking great photographs. One of my favorites is the Tasty Food Photography ebook by Lindsey at Pinch of Yum. This is an ebook filled with tutorials and information about photography basics, lighting, Photoshop, and it is combined in a beautiful layout. I love this book and it has helped me tremendously.
If you’re using WordPress software, then you’ll need to add plugins to your blog. Most plugins are free and very user-friendly. Here are a few of my favorites:
Akismet – the best way to protect your blog from spam. I use this plugin on this site and our business site, which requires a paid subscription of $5.00 per month. This will save you from a lot of headache and hassle from spammers.
Yoast SEO – a great tool for improving your site’s SEO. I use the Premium version.
Pinterest Pin It Button Pro – a great pinit button for Pinterest, which can be your biggest traffic source.
WP Recipe Maker – for setting up your recipes
Social Warfare Pro – make it easy for readers to share your work!
Simple Social Icons – so readers can connect with you on social media
There are thousands of plugins and you will find your favorites as you go. Google is your friend—I frequently utilize Google to find the best plugin for something.
I hope you’ve enjoyed these blogging tips and found them useful. Check the links below for more blog resources:
Some of the product links on this page are affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission if you purchase through them. This helps keep Southern Food & Fun up and running and I appreciate the support!