Food blogs have become increasingly popular in recent years. They’re a great way to discover new recipes and to get inspired to jump into the kitchen. Many of us are leaving our full-time jobs to make our food blog our full-time gig. Whether your own blog is just a side project or hobby, or you want to take the leap and pursue your culinary passion, check out this how-to guide on becoming a food blogger.
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1. Decide On Your Lifestyle Brand
Food bloggers don’t only write about food. Angela Liddon of Oh She Glows, for example, may create beautiful and delicious vegan recipes, but she also blogs about her life with her baby girl and her husband. And Juli Bauer of Paleomg’s food may follow Paleo guidelines, but her blog is filled with fun posts about fitness and fashion. Decide what your own lifestyle brand is going to be before you even start blogging. Or if you have an existing food blog and want to turn it into more of a full-time career rather than just something to do on the weekends, consider re-designing the site and changing your brand. Whatever food you love to cook -- vegan, gluten-free, super healthy, indulgent, Paleo, etc. -- you must have other interests. If you want to blog about your favorite TV shows or your yoga obsession, feel free. Your readers will love getting to know the real you and to learn more about you beyond the recipes you post.
2. Stick to a Schedule
Blogging may seem simple but it can be hard work. It’s not always easy to stick to a regular schedule, but you need to if you want readers to find you and rely on your site as a landing place for interesting and useful content. If you can post every morning, that’s great. If you can only post twice a week, that’s okay too. You probably don’t want to post less than twice a week to ensure that your blog always has a steady and consistent stream of content.
3. Take Some Food Photography Classes
Husband and wife food blogging team Dana and John Shultz of the blog Minimalist Baker also operate a Food Photography School. It’s all completely online, so you can sign up and learn from the comfort of your own home (or home office, of course). This is a great way to make sure that you’re taking the best photos of your recipes that you possibly can, which will only make your blog even stronger and more beautiful. And since a food blog is at the end of the day a visual medium, this is crucial to your success as a food blogger.
4. Interact with the Food Blogging Community
Community interaction is a big part of marketing yourself. If you provide links of your favorite bloggers who inspire you, this will help you find a larger audience, since those bloggers will then discover your blog too. You can also mention other bloggers on your Twitter and Instagram accounts. Make sure you leave positive comments on the recipes of other bloggers or tweet them that you loved their latest post. As long as it’s genuine, you can use social media to your advantage.
5. Don't Quit Your Day Job... Yet
It’s a good idea to keep your full-time job (and its stable and secure salary and benefits, of course) for at least a period of one year after you start your food blog. This ensures that you still have some form of income while you’re pursuing your passion. If you dream of making your blog bigger, you can do so on evenings and weekends, and then plan to make it your real job once you’ve made plans to do so.
6. Find Advertisers
Having companies or individuals advertise on your blog is really the number one way to someday make a living off your food blogging. There’s simply no other way. You can also find sponsors and can create sponsored recipes and posts based on their products. To find advertisers, make sure you have enough readers first, which is another reason why it’s a good idea to keep your regular job during the early stages of your blog. Once you have a solid audience, you can prove that you have the necessary traffic for people to advertise on your blog. Add a paragraph to your "about me" page on your website about how potential advertisers can get in touch with you. Make sure you have a solid pitch written up that you can send them if they contact you. And, of course, you can be proactive and contact people you think would be a good fit. If you approach this logically and send out tons of emails every day, the requests should come pouring in.
7. Have Fun
You’ve started a food blog because you love food and you love to write. Make sure you’re not stressing so much about how to make money off of your blog that you’ve forgotten that it’s supposed to be enjoyable. Create interesting recipes and let your personality shine through. If you’re funny, feel free to come up with humorous titles for your meals. If you’re more serious and thoughtful, you can focus on the health benefits of whatever you’re making and even add some scientific research if you want. Just make sure to be yourself and you will succeed.
8. Write a Few Guest Posts
You can also find a wider audience if you pitch yourself to food bloggers that you have a lot in common with (maybe you’re both funny and pop-culture obsessed, or committed to making vegan food fun). Ask to write a guest post and even suggest a few topics. You can return the favor and help them get some more fans, too. You don’t want to blog in a vaccum so make sure you’re always interacting with others.
No matter what stage you’re at in the blogging process -- if you’ve got big dreams but no site set up yet, or are ready to leave your job in favor of your blog -- you can follow this how-to guide on how to become a successful food blogger. Create new and exciting recipes, show readers your true personality, and don’t forget to have fun.
Do you know what will be your lifestyle brand? Are you going to be a vegan food blogger? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below