As a food blogger, I know that we want to learn the secret to expanding our audience and gaining more views for our blog. I hate to say it, and no one wants to hear it, but! that shouldn’t be our priority. What’s much more important, and I can’t emphasize enough just how important, is focusing on writing quality content and taking quality photos for our posts. The audience, the views, it’ll all come eventually.
When you browse a blog, any blog, not just food blogs, what catches your attention? What makes you want to stay? Which blogs make you want to subscribe to get updates?
For me, it’s the blogs that have stories to tell. The ones that engage you; the ones that make you laugh; the ones that make you smile; the ones that remind us of our childhood; the ones that make our mouths water or green with envy (travelling ones!). Those are the blogs that make me want to stay.
My goal as a food blogger shouldn’t be how to get as many views as possible. My goal is to figure out what I need to do to convince my visitors to stay. Why does my blog matter? What makes me stand out? Focus on writing quality content, and taking quality photos (upcoming post), and the views and subscribers will come.
***As a reminder, these blogging tips are based on my personal experience over the past year of blogging. By no means am I an expert. Any links marked with asterisks are affiliate links.
How to Attract Readers
What I discovered soon after I started blogging is that the first two sentences and the first photo in your post matter a lot. Those two sentences and the photo are what readers see first, especially if they’re previewing your posts through their WordPress reader, Bloglovin reader, RSS feed, email, etc. Don’t believe me? Go ahead and check =)
Knowing this, take advantage of a great opportunity. Write the best two sentences you can to catch your readers’ attention.
Since I write about food, I use those two sentences to my advantage by describing the dish and attempting to engage my readers through imagery. I try to convince my readers that this recipe is one they’ll want to try by appealing to their imaginations and senses.
Each blog is different. Find what works for you to attract your readers.
Make your posts stand out. Be creative.
Do you sometimes feel like every recipe you want to make or every post you want to write has already been done by someone else? I know I do.
Try to write an engaging post by adding personal touches.
For instance, when I wanted to make Mac and Cheese, I added pumpkin and kale to give this classic a little personal twist with a hint of autumn. Now I have Pumpkin Kale Mac and Cheese, something unique and mine.
Almost every single one of my posts contains a short story, something personal that relates to my topic but not too long that it becomes an autobiography. All of my personal posts are part of my Life of a Wallflower series. That way if you want a little peek into my life you can wander to that section. My recipe posts are about the recipes but have little stories woven into the post. And I’m not talking about your deepest darkest secret either. Nope, I’m talking about those childhood memories, that moment that inspired you to create this post.
Your readers will want to be able to connect with you as a person. They want to get to know the person behind the writing. Add personality to your writing and you’ll keep people interested.
Sometimes writing comes easily and you’ll have a post written quickly. Other times, you’ll feel like nothing you write sounds good. Don’t force it. Do something else. Or get inspired. Since I’m a food blogger, I love browsing Pinterest and staring at photos. Sometimes that’s all I need to get inspired.
My best inspiration when I feel utterly uninspired? The seasons. I don’t usually make recipes based on the holidays, but my recipes always revolve around the season. I design my recipes and my posts around seasonal ingredients and flavors.
What inspires you?
Finding Your Voice
I know some of you may be struggling to find your voice in your writing. It can definitely be difficult figuring out what sort of mood you want to set in your writing.
My advice? Write the way you talk to your family and friends.
Does that sound weird? Trust me. It totally works.
When writing my posts, I try to focus on talking, that’s my voice. What would I say to my friends? How would I convince my cousin who dislikes zucchinis to try my recipe? What are my signature words and phrases?
I have to admit that when I talk, I overuse the word “like.” Yes, I’m one of those girls. I’ll say, “And she’s like…” or “I’m like…” It’s a habit that I’m trying to break… unsuccessfully. Knowing that, when I go over my writing, I look to see if I overuse any words. Unfortunately, and I have no idea if you guys notice this, I have trouble limiting the use of “add,” “mix,” or “stir” in my recipes. Any suggestions for alternate words? Lol
Planning your Post and Getting Organized
Vary your posts so that it’s not the same subject all the time. For instance, if I wrote a post for a beverage, I try to write about something else for the next post. It doesn’t always work out like that since I write based on inspirations, but I try.
Keep track of your posts in a monthly calendar, that way you can have an overview of what your month. I created my own printable calendar so I can jot down the title of my posts on the dates they’re scheduled to be published, main categories, and giveaways. That way I can see if I need to make any adjustments.
You can download a blank PDF copy of my October – December printable below.
But here’s an image of my personal copy for October as well as an image of the blank version. Let me know what you think.
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If you’re like me, sometimes (not always) I need a place to brainstorm ideas. I make a list of all the dishes that I want to make on a sheet of paper or on a post-it, but I also need a place to write short side notes.
Here’s also a Blog Post Planning printable for you to use.
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References for Food Blogs
Since my blog is all about food and writing recipes, the extra research and reading I do are all about food.
If you want to learn more, click on the links below.
For me, writing the post is soo much easier than writing a recipe. Recipes require the perfect combination of words and detail. You have to figure out how to write step by step directions that flow well and make sense to the readers. Not everyone is a cook, or a baker. It needs to be simple and clear enough to make sense to everyone, especially to those who are beginners in the kitchen.
I’m still struggling with this.
So I looked for ways to improve my recipe writing skills and discovered these books, which have been super helpful.
If you’re looking for ways to improve your recipes writing or even blog writing, take a look at the books below.
*Will Write for Food – a book focused on writing for food blogs, cookbooks, and even food reviews.
*The Recipe Writer’s Handbook – a book filled with tips on how to write recipes that are concise, easy to follow, and flows well.
*Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing – General tips for better writing.
Until next time!