As easy as it sounds, starting a food blog and keeping it up and running are two different ball games altogether. Right from the art of perfecting your recipe to mastering the art of making your food photogenic and clicking it like a pro is just the foundation of food blogging. And with all these efforts from your end and such drool worthy recipes, you still find that you are lagging behind and the traffic that is been driven to your blog is trifling. Disheartening, isn’t it?
So, what makes the star food bloggers, The Star Bloggers? It is not innovativeness in their recipes or their pro level photography skills. It is the way they market their blogs that drive people to their blogs. The number of clicks on your blogs is directly proportional to the focus you have put in marketing it.
Here are some ways you can attract people to your blogs:-
SEO is a marketing function for sure, but it needs to be baked into a product, not slapped on like icing after the cake is baked.
SEO is the visibility of your website on a particular web search engine. In order to increase the number of visitors your food website, it should be on the top 3 or at least on the first page of the web search engine. Google constantly changes its algorithms in order to provide more accurate results for different keywords. Hence, it becomes a tricky and never ending task to ace the game.
These are the few practical steps to start with:-
Update your Meta-tags - This is a sentence which in lay man’s language a description of the blog when it comes up in the search engine. By default, it will be the first few words of your home page. Not Happening!
Optimize your URL structure – By default, the URL starts with your blog URL and number or series of letters & numbers. Google picks these URL along with Meta tags to decode the content of your blog. Change your URLs to the most likely searched key words related to your blogs. This will give you a better ranking.
Naming the photos - You put your blood and sweat in clicking the right picture for your food. Naming it “photo1234.jpg” or “xyz.jpg” doesn’t help people who are searching for a recipe which is similar to yours. It helps your target audience if the pictures in your blogs are named properly and ultimately it leading to your blog. Means more traffic through pictures, YAY!
#2 Social Media
“If they spend their leisure time on your work, make it worth every second”
As clichéd as it may sound but when on social media think like a publisher and not a marketer. In spite of being the worn-out buzz word, you may be surprised to see the amount of traffic is generated through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. Add a little social media symbols to blogs so that readers can easily share it on these sites (Because sharing is caring: P). Being a little self-promotional won’t harm.
Pinterest - Did you know that 72% of Interest’s 73 million followers are women and the most pinned category is “food and drink”. Create a Pinterest account and put some delicious pictures related to your blogs. Tada, easiest recipe to get the traffic to your blog.
Right content for the right platform - One content may or may not work for all your Social Media platforms. Investing time and energy in creating or packaging same content in different forms.
Encourage people to share - By sharing your content and not just liking your viewers can be greatest disruptors to the usual flow of traffic to your blog. It directly reaches out to your viewers’ contacts and further.
#3 Blogging Community
“Beauty is important especially when it comes to food. It should appease your eyes along with your tongue”
The power of blogging communities like FoodGawker, TasteStopping, Food Grazing and other “food porn” sites is enormous. As difficult it is to get accepted by these sites, once you figure out what they are looking for in the picture the flow of traffic from these sites is pretty steady.
Invest in a good camera - These sites get thousands of entries in a day. It can be frustrating when your photo is merely rejected because of “Low Lighting”, “under exposed”.
Unique content - There can be 1000s of pictures of for example Manchurian in these communities. The uniqueness of your picture and content will drive more traffic towards your blogs.
Try and Try until you succeed - If your submissions are declined you can sit and sulk about it or submit it to TasteStopping. These people accept all the entries and post them with witty titles.
#4 Recipe Video Marketing
“Know what your viewers want most and what you do the best. Focus on where those two meet”
When more senses are involved for grasping the content the impact is incredible. With video marketing, it involves ears and eyes both against traditional blogging.
YouTube is one of the most underrated Social Media Marketing tools. Most of the Indian food bloggers like Manjula Jain, Siddhi Panchal use YouTube primarily to increase the visibility among their viewers. The most obvious benefit of this form of marketing is that it helps to reach the masses via WhatsApp and other such platforms. Videos are the most widely shared content on such messaging applications.
Face of the food - It is more visually stimulating to see a video of cooking than just reading as it generates more credibility and confidence on the blogger.
Express sharing - Such sites promote sharing on various platforms, hence plug and play for all other sites for the blogger.
Fixed Fan base - Once someone subscribes you, you can reach out to them on regular intervals that too without any extra efforts.
Finally, it is all about creativity. Be as creative with marketing as you are with your food in order to people to see your work because it is no fun to perform the art of cooking in isolation.