If you have been blogging for very long, you know it takes lots ofhard work and dedication to create great content that will engage yourreaders and keep them coming back for more.
As a food blogger, you have to not only create great content but also present your culinary masterpieces through skillful food styling andphotography. Once you have mastered these skills (which is quite anaccomplishment, I would still consider myself a work in progress), youare ready to share your content with the world. Since youhave already put so much time and effort into your amazing content,wouldn’t it be nice to get lots of traffic thus increasing your incomefrom affiliate sales, sponsored posts, and advertising revenue?
I love creating content for my blog, but I don’t want to work for free. I am guessing you don’t either.
Steps to Increase Your Food Blog’s Traffic
1. Create Great Content: Write content that yourreaders will not want to miss. Relate to your readers. Include backstories that share how your recipes were inspired. Write your recipesin a manner that is easy to follow and check your work.
As a Family and Consumer Science teacher I wrote recipes all the time for my foods classes. I made sure to list the ingredients first thenthe instructions. If the instructions included more than one or twotasks, I broke the directions down into separate steps and numberedthem, thus making the recipe easy to follow. I still write my recipes this way to make them as user friendly as possible. Sometimes Iinclude step-by-step photos, but most of the time I don’t. It dependson the recipe and its level of difficulty.
2. Take Fabulous Photos: I blogged for years withbad to mediocre photos, without realizing that I could do so much morewith my simple camera. I just had to learn a few things about lighting, editing, camera settings, and food styling, which improved my photos by leaps and bounds. I still have a lot to learn, but I have come a longway. I have been updating old photos on my blog when I make recipesfrom old posts. Yes, I really do use my blog as my own personalcookbook. I made Milk Chocolate Oatmeal Raisin Cookies last week so Itook the opportunity to take some new photos. Here is the old photocompared with a new one.
Much better, right? I think so. I took the second photo outside inthe daytime to take advantage of natural light, which is great for foodphotography. I also put my camera on a natural light setting for stillphotography. When editing, I upped the exposure a bit to let even morelight into the picture. These are all things I knew nothing about when I first published this recipe.
My first exposure to learning about improving food photography wasfrom Pinch of Yum, a highly successful food blog. I bought the ebook Tasty Food Photography and devoured it quickly learning all kinds of practical things that I could do to improve my photos.
I read articles online about improving food photography. I studiedphotos on Foodgawker and Tastespotting then I got really brave andstarted submitting photos to these highly selective food photo sites. I got rejected a lot, but I then one of my photos got selected!
This was my first photo to get selected on both Foodgawker andTastespotting. I was so proud. I am pretty sure I shared the news allover social media.
I am a busy Mom of three very active boys so my photos are shotquickly. I don’t have a lot of time for food styling and big decisionsabout props, but I try to implement some of the techniques I havelearned. My photos have improved immensely and this has helped boosttraffic to my blog. I use a simple camera that costs around $200(actually we got it on clearance for about $65) and many of my photos(not all, seriously don’t be afraid of rejection) have been selected bythese big food photography sites. If this is an area in which you could use some improvement, I highly recommend Tasty Food Photography. There are probably many other great resources available too, just keeplearning.
3. Getting the Word Out: So after you have masteredcreating great content and taking fabulous photos, then what? How doyou get your amazing recipes in front of a food loving audience? Youprobably already post your culinary accomplishments all over socialmedia with varying results. Is it just me or can social networking be a little overwhelming at times? There are so many choices and it can feel like you have to get caught up in all of them.
I like to spend most of my “working time” creating content andediting photos, but it is necessary to devote some time to socialmedia. If I want my content to be read, I must share it. I recommendchecking your referral stats to see which social media outlets send themost traffic to your blog. Once you figure that out, you know where tofocus your time. I tend to get more referrals from pinterest than anyother social media, which makes sense considering that my posts areusually visual in nature. Each blog is different, so check your stats. Knowing this, I started reading up on improving images for pinterest to get more pins and likes, thus driving more traffic.
Eventually, I started looking for additional places to share my foodposts. I found some blogs with linkys for DIY/recipe posts and startedincluding my posts. This has been a great source of increased blogcomments and some traffic too. Again, I check my stats and if I am notseeing referral traffic from the blogs I am linking on, I instead focuson the blogs that are sending traffic. Of all the blogs I link on, Ireceive the most traffic every month from Create with Joy. She has a Sunday and a Friday linky. I have also noticed good referral traffic from Do Tell Tuesday and The Mommy Club. I would try several blogs and see what works for you.
As I mentioned earlier, I started posting to food photography sites. I noticed good traffic from both foodgawker and tastespotting, but itis not as consistent as I would like since they are so picky. Thismonth my tastespotting stats have been good because two new photos wereaccepted, however, I didn’t get much referral love last month. I keepsubmitting to these food photo sites because I am trying to hone mycraft and I enjoy the challenge and the feeling of accomplishment whenmy work is accepted. However, it is a lot of work for the referraltraffic.
I tried several food photo linking sites with more relaxed standardslike Chef this Up and Just a Pinch, but didn’t see much traffic for thetime investment. Then I discovered Yummly. I noticed the increasedtraffic within a few days of posting. I published several older poststo yummly and noticed that these long forgotten posts had suddenlybecome very popular. Some are more popular than others, but they areall getting noticed. I now post every new food post to yummly and amblown away with the referral traffic I am receiving.
So what is yummly anyway?
“Yummly puts every recipe in the world in your pocket. The mostpowerful recipe search, the recipe sites you love, your digital recipebox, recipe recommendations just for you, and a smart shopping list –all with you wherever you go. Yummly has the #1 iPhone, iPad and Android apps in addition to millions of website visitors. As recipes get moreYums, they get exposed more often throughout all of our platforms andfeatures.”
You might ask, isn’t it just like Pinterest? There are similarities, but I am consistently getting 10 X the traffic from yummly as I getfrom Pinterest.
I created a publisher page on yummly and added a yum button to my blog. It is so easy to yum a recipe using the yum button. I add the yum button to each post too so all myreaders have to do is click on the button to yum my recipes.
It is easy to create an account and if you are a food blogger, set up a publisher page. It is fun to see the yum number increase for eachrecipe when others yum them too. It’s always nice to feel appreciatedfor your work and the increased traffic is an added bonus.
So if you are trying to increase traffic to your food blog, keepcreating great content, improving your photography skills, and sharingyour posts with others. And make sure to create a yummly publisher page and yum your recipes.
What are some ways you generate traffic to your food blogs?
Share in comments