April 4, 2016

Starting Your Own Food Blog

To make a food blog successful, you must maintain an active online presence.

To make a food blog successful, you must maintain an active online presence.

If you are interested in culinary arts programs and enjoy writing, you’ve probably considered starting your own food blog. After all, these web pages are a great way to share your best recipes while engaging with an online community. However, a successful blog requires more than skills in the kitchen and a desire to communicate. Here are five tips for getting your venture off the ground:

1. Work on your recipes
Many chefs rely on improvisation, adjusting ingredients and cooking times as they go. A good food writer, however, provides clear, straightforward directions so that readers can easily understand the basics and make their own tweaks. That’s why it’s important to take careful, detailed notes throughout the cooking process.

You’ll also need to test your recipes repeatedly, taking into account how even minor variations can have surprising results for the final product. This way you can suggest interesting substitutions or warn against mistakes that may lead to disaster. The author of Sally’s Baking Addiction pointed out that one fringe benefit of preparing each dish several times is that you’ll always have plenty of extra food to share with others.

2. Establish your identity
There are so many food blogs out there that it can be easy to get lost in the shuffle. If you’re going to stand out, you need to be creative and develop a unique voice. Cookie and Kate emphasized striving for authenticity and originality. Random web traffic can turn into regular visitors if people are impressed by your skills and also find your personality compelling.

One way of inspiring that kind of loyal following is directing your efforts toward a particular culinary approach, lifestyle or set of dietary restrictions. Finding a niche makes for a more interesting blog, but it can also be a route to making money from your work. Sally Whittle of Foodies100 told the Telegraph that sponsors invest in pages that reach specific audiences. This can lead to lucrative deals in which bloggers present recipes with recommendations for particular ingredients and tools.

3. Design and formatting matter
While quality content is vital, never forget that the blog is a visual medium. Your page must be easy to navigate and pleasant to look at, or visitors may never even read the recipes. Delicious Days recommended looking at the design choices on successful pages and considering how the appearance of your blog can complement the text.

There are numerous templates available, so consider using one if you are not confident in your own skills. Aim for a look that is simple and easy on the eyes, not garishly bright or distractingly busy. Keep in mind that readers will likely view the page at a resolution of at least 800 x 600 and pick your font and other elements accordingly. Also, make sure the blogging platform you use can accommodate the media you want to include, such as videos or podcasts.

4. Incorporate attractive images
Along with a pleasant, legible web design, your blog should also have plenty of photos. Readers want to know what a dish looks like, and it helps to visualize the steps along the way. Fannetastic Food advised new bloggers to brush up on their photography and opt for high-resolution images that fill the screen.

Avoid using flash, which creates harsh lighting that is unflattering for food. Always keep the camera steady by using a tripod or you’ll risk ending up with a blurry image. Consider investing in a high-quality camera and learning to adjust settings like ISO, or light sensitivity, shutter speed and aperture.

5. Stay active and accessible
Regularly updating with new posts is essential to building and maintaining an audience. Repeat traffic only happens if a blogger reliably adds fresh content. However, the demands of self-promotion don’t end there.

A food blogger told Yahoo that she keeps in touch with readers by maintaining a highly active social media presence. She said that she has over 300,000 followers spread between Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. Thus, in addition to posting new recipes two or three times a week, she is constantly communicating with readers with multiple social media posts every day. Networking makes a difference as well: writers will often refer their readers to other sites.

Culinary talent is only the beginning for becoming a successful food blogger. However, for those who put forth the time and effort, it can be an enjoyable and even profitable endeavor.