FOOD BLOGGING 101 FOR BEGINNERS
Pro Tips on Becoming a Food Blogger
Food blogging has now become a trend, thanks to our unstoppable inherent desire for salivating sweets and dishes! However, this might also be credited from various top-ranking cooking shows and viral food videos and photos (always) roaming around online. Despite the inconsistencies regarding the nature of the said uprising of food blogging bandwagon, what is consistent and sure is that food blogging is a great choice for a blogging career niche.
Besides from being able to turn your enjoyment and passion for food into another, if not an only yet stable, stream of income, you are also opening yourself towards further and bigger food-related opportunities- whether it is hitting a thousand more follower on your social media or being given the chance to write on a magazine and be featured on a TV show, food blogging is indeed a lucrative and beneficial industry for people who are really into food and are willing to be tenacious enough to always be a step ahead compared to a sea of other food bloggers!
On the other hand, one should seriously take the warning of the “sea of other food bloggers enough”. Because since food is a passion that’s a string away from being of everyone’s, it is not impossible that you’ll be facing a lot of competitors as a blogger in this technology-driven world. That is why, for your content and your page to be successful, you must learn how to deal with both the soft and technical skills needed to succeed! Worry not, though. That is why here we have compiled a total of 12 things you need to become a successful, if not the top food blogger in any country you are in.
- BUILD YOUR PERSONAL BRAND AS A FOOD BLOGGER
Truth is, although there are some common characteristics that you can find among countless admirable food bloggers, there exists no general formula on how you should be one. That implies that you are required to create your ‘personal brand’. This personal brand deals with that one thing- could be a tagline or a motto, or that symbolism- could be a simple logo, that when people would see, would let them know that it is “you”. This personality should be unique and more importantly, appealing enough to catch your page’s new visitors’ attention and sustain the loyalty of your followers.
In order to identify what would best suit your blogger personality, you should look at nothing else but yourself— because the best way to gain lasting followers is authenticity. Also, there is no way you could function better other than showing and being the real you! Whether it’s being “nice” or tactfully honest, as long as you can be responsible for every word that comes out of your mouth, you are all good to go.
- STICK YOUR INTERESTS TO AND WITH FOOD
One common truth about being a blogger is that, whatever field you find yourself belonging with, you can never fake it. We have already talked about authenticity when it comes to building your personal brand in food blogging, but other essential and effective ways of strengthening the genuine you are through being genuinely interested in not only eating but more so, with food per se.
To be keenly interested in food means that you are not only eager to develop your affection for the already known food to you, but also being open to further explorations to a different type of food, as well as be aware with the reflected place and culture that they have come from. Also, for food to be your interest means that it should be manifested to where your attention is in. Hence, if you are always looking for content about food and food blogging and you cannot stay still when there is a new hit on the food or food blogging industry, then it would then be safe to assume that you are one of the few that could go far in terms of success on this field of blogging.
- FIND YOUR FOOD NICHE
Moving away from the general affairs where the two previous tips are about, let us now focus on a unique and distinctive characteristic that you should develop as a food blogger— that is in finding your food niche.
First, it is necessary for you to find your niche because although it is tempting to talk about almost everything that one can find interesting about food and eating food, this will most likely leave you behind in this specialization-craving era. To focus on not having something to focus on will leave you behind not only on being successful in terms of followers and popularity but more importantly, on your growth as a food blogger.
Secondly, to identify what is the best way for you to find your own niche. You can achieve it simply through the following steps:
- List the top fields of food blogging that interest you as an individual.
- Select the top three to five among the following using these definitive technical characteristics: (1) Popularity and stability using the results of various search engines; (2) Potential market through a simple survey or finding statistical data; and (3) Existing number of competitors.
- After rounding it down into three to five niches, you can now finally decide to focus on one to three topics that, again, you know you will be most passionate about.
- CONNECT WITH YOUR READERS
As a food blogger acknowledging that there is an indisputable need for you to connect with your readers while knowing that you are separated by both distance and the reality behind the virtual world, you must know how to deal with this crucial necessity for engagement with your present and potential followers properly and with full enthusiasm.
To engage your and with your audience means that there must be an active exchange of opinion, views, ideas, and even constructive criticisms between both parties. As much as there is a need for you to be able to express yourself clearly and creatively, you must also have a skill in listening to the pulse of your audience- what they need and want so that you would be able to keep up with their fast-paced world alongside letting them keep in touch with yours.
How can you do it then? Researching combined with experimentation is the key! Look upon how your ideal and favorite food bloggers are capable of creating a lasting connection with you and their other followers, style it up based on your own personal brand, and test it out! Always be open to changes and remember to always be adaptive.
- SHARE BITS OF YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE, TOO
To create a further and an indisputable connection with your readers means that you should not only share what is expected by the world for you to but to go a step ahead by also making them realize that you are someone they can relate with.
Whether it’s a funny or shameful experience of your food-related journey or simply one of the mundane and usual things that you do daily, as long as you can use it to tell your future loyal followers that, “We share something together”, then it might be a great help to connect you in a deeper way. This will not only give you a bigger chance to influence their lives, more so will allow you to have the chance to live a food blogger life that is not separated into your reality.
- USE IMAGES TO SUBSTANTIATE YOUR FOODIE CLAIMS
This tip might be a bit confusing since it is impossible to deliver the same first-hand experience you had with every one of your viewers, but it is not implausible for you to stay close to that by tapping into the world of imagery! Even social media testifies to how images boost up people’s interest in whatever story or nonsense one might want to share with them.
To achieve this implies not only delivering HD photos, more so making sure that you are able to catch that sense of decadence of that food— to not miss the opportunity to give your readers the same exact expressed desire for experiencing the indulgence you have shared through your words.
If your niche is under the sweets or snacks category, this would be an easy task. Nonetheless, if you have the right content to sell to your preferred market and some creative shots to support all your claims, then you are sure to succeed whatever your niche may actually be.
- STRIVE TO BE ON THE LEAD
All previously discussed tips in this content are preparing you up for this next and most crucial goal— that is being on the lead in the food blogging industry. To be on the lead could mean a lot of different things but this context simply means staying a step ahead from anyone else and serving as one of the active creators of change and progress in this career field.
Achieving these sub-goals means that you must put yourself into food blogging more than how anyone else’s does. You need to be more persistent, smart, and creative. This might sound intimidating but all that you really need is to stick with these perspectives and do the best that you can at present, for sure- someday if not soon, you will stand alongside the most popular blogger that yours— and of the future generation have ever known.
Now we are down to the dirty work, the technical stuff!
- BUY YOUR OWN DOMAIN NAME AND WEB HOSTING
Starting a blog can be laid down in different ways but if you have long-term plans and are taking this thing seriously, it is highly suggested for you to stay away from using free sources of blogs such as Blogger or Weebly and work on the one you purchased.
Nonetheless, there are a lot of cheap domain names and web hosting that you can take advantage of. Although in buying a web hosting as this service oftentimes already includes a domain name, you still have the choice to purchase it differently. Of course, there are advantages and disadvantages to that, but that is all ready for you to decide on.
To make things less difficult for you, choose a host that has a manageable WordPress Install. WordPress is a content management platform that amongst all, is the easiest to deal with.
- INSTALL AND CUSTOMIZE YOUR WORDPRESS ACCOUNT
The specific instructions regarding the technicalities of installing WordPress depend on your host providers, so there is no general guide for that that we can give other than advising you to simply follow their given steps.
After installing, here comes customization. In choosing which theme you should use, rely not only on aesthetic purposes but more so, the consideration for easy navigation concerning your website visitors.
There are free food themes that you can select from but if you have any extra money you can spare for the betterment of your website, you can have a lot of technical factors of your website upgraded through buying a more customization-friendly one.
- DON’T FORGET THE PLUGINS TO MAXIMIZE YOUR WEBSITE
To make sure that your website will not end up dismissed and forgotten by the world (that sounds too dramatic to be real, but it is) and protected from any harms, you should install basic plugins against spam comments, Google Analytics, with social media tools to allow your viewers easily spread to the world their good word about your website alongside.
- DEDICATE CONTENT FOR RECIPES
Before officially releasing your website to the world, you should add several recipes that you are proud of and you know would make an appeal to your interested readers, enough to make them subscribe to connect with you either through a subscription or following you on social media.
These recipes will also give your readers content they could spend time on while getting to know who you are or might be as a food blogger. In creating this kind of content, make sure to create it in a comprehensible and easy to follow a list of steps, and do not forget to boost its appeal by using images!
Recipes are better the more personalized they are! Hence, do not hesitate what your mother or grandmother had taught you— share it with the world because you’ll never know, it might be the stepping stone towards an awaited success!
- CREATE AN EMAIL LIST TO PERMANENTLY CONNECT WITH YOUR SITE VISITORS
Setting up an email list is beneficial to both you and your readers. As they are willing to get updates from you, you are given the chance to have more income, as you can create direct links back to your website on every email you send to them. Hence, generating more and a consistent stream of traffic.
You can use different tactics on encouraging your readers to give them to you your emails. Whatever way you choose, strive to remain true to it and actually deliver what you said you will!
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Cookie and Kate. (2019). How to Start a Food Blog: Step by Step – Cookie and Kate. [online] Available at: https://cookieandkate.com/how-to-start-a-food-blog/ [Accessed 16 Nov. 2019].
Cookie and Kate. (2019). Top 20 Tips for Food Bloggers – Cookie and Kate. [online] Available at: https://cookieandkate.com/top-20-tips-for-food-blogging/ [Accessed 16 Nov. 2019].