Love food? Love cooking? Want to share your passion with the world?
Why not start a food blog?
There are thousands of UK food and drink blogs in the Foodies100 but the great thing about food and drink is there is ALWAYS something new to talk about.
Setting up a blog is quick and easy, and you don’t need technical expertise to get started using blogging software such as WordPress or Blogger.
But there are some ways to ensure your food blog fun to write – and read. Here are some of our favourites:
Write about what you love. Building a loyal audience for your blog takes time, and you need to be passionate about your subject if you aren’t going to lose heart and give up during the quiet times when nobody is reading or commenting.
Get involved. Joining communities like Foodies100 or UKFBA, getting involved in blogging events, going to exhibitions, restaurant openings, launches – they’re all great ways of building a network that will help you promote your blog, and find other blogs to read.
Promote your blog. There are lots of great ways to promote your blog and build an audience but some of the most obvious are: comment on other blogs, join in with regular Linkies and Memes (for a list of food blog challenges visit The Food Blog Diary); write guest posts and don’t forget to share posts on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Use pictures. More than almost any other sort of blog, a food blog fails or succeeds by its pictures. It’s not enough to say food is delicious – you need to SHOW it looking delicious. You don’t need to invest in a fancy DSLR camera and professional lighting rig (although it’s great if you have them) but do make an effort to photograph food against an attractive backdrop, in good (ideally natural) light, and with a steady camera.
Post regularly. You don’t need to blog every day, but leaving a blog for weeks on end without new content makes it a lot harder to build up a regular audience. We’d recommend posting twice a week on average, but don’t panic if life gets crazy and you don’t have time to post – you can always take a break, or why not use round-up posts, photo posts or ask your readers a question if you’re short on inspiration?
Pay attention to the words. Pictures are crucial, but words are what will keep readers coming back. No matter what you write, using a spell-check, breaking content into easy-on-the-eye paragraphs and paying attention to grammar means people don’t have to work hard to follow your content. Proof read posts before you hit publish.
Think about design. In the same way your words should be easy to read, a blog that’s easy on the eye will be more popular. There are thousands of blog templates around but the most popular tend to be those with plain, white backgrounds, dark text, and simple navigation (this means clear buttons that are where you expect them to be). A customised header image at the top of your blog is a great way to add personality and tell readers about who you are – Picmonkey is a fab, free site that lets you add text onto images, to make your own headers.
Encourage conversation: When you set up your blog, there will be lots of options around how people comment on your site. You can add in comment moderation, use fancy widgets that ask people to type a word to prove they’re human, or even require commenters to log in to comment using Google or WordPress. We suggest in the early days, at least, avoid this. Make it VERY easy for people to comment on your posts, with as little hassle as possible. You might have to delete a few spam comments in the short term but it’s a small price to pay.
Mind your manners. In blogging more than mainstream media, people will follow your blog because they are interested in YOU. A little bit of niceness goes a long way online – readers will really appreciate when you thank them for commenting and reply to their questions, or return the favour and comment on their blog. From time to time you’ll come across people who aren’t pleasant – ignore, ignore, ignore! Fighting online never made anyone look good.
Keep being inspired. Any blog gets stale without a regular infusion of new ideas. So how do you get inspired? It’s a very personal question, of course, but some of the best techniques include reading other blogs, checking out food sections in newspapers and magazines, attending conferences and exhibitions, eating out, trying new foods and travelling to new destinations. Sign up for press releases to keep up with new products and ingredients, or relevant research.
What other tips do you have when starting a new food blog?