3 Ways to Help Increase Traffic to Your Food Blog9:43 AM
I f you have been blogging for very long, you know it takes lots of hard work and dedication to create great content that will engage you...
As a food blogger, you have to not only create great content but also present your culinary masterpieces through skillful food styling and photography. Once you have mastered these skills (which is quite an accomplishment, I would still consider myself a work in progress), you are ready to share your content with the world. Since you have already put so much time and effort into your amazing content, wouldn’t it be nice to get lots of traffic thus increasing your income from 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 Traffic1. Create Great Content: Write content that your readers will not want to miss. Relate to your readers. Include back stories that share how your recipes were inspired. Write your recipes in 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 then the instructions. If the instructions included more than one or two tasks, I broke the directions down into separate steps and numbered them, thus making the recipe easy to follow. I still write my recipes this way to make them as user friendly as possible. Sometimes I include step-by-step photos, but most of the time I don’t. It depends on the recipe and its level of difficulty.
2. Take Fabulous Photos: I blogged for years with bad to mediocre photos, without realizing that I could do so much more with 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 long way. I have been updating old photos on my blog when I make recipes from old posts. Yes, I really do use my blog as my own personal cookbook. I made Milk Chocolate Oatmeal Raisin Cookies last week so I took the opportunity to take some new photos. Here is the old photo compared with a new one.
Much better, right? I think so. I took the second photo outside in the daytime to take advantage of natural light, which is great for food photography. I also put my camera on a natural light setting for still photography. When editing, I upped the exposure a bit to let even more light 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 was from 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 studied photos on Foodgawker and Tastespotting then I got really brave and started 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 and Tastespotting. I was so proud. I am pretty sure I shared the news all over social media.
I am a busy Mom of three very active boys so my photos are shot quickly. I don’t have a lot of time for food styling and big decisions about props, but I try to implement some of the techniques I have learned. My photos have improved immensely and this has helped boost traffic 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 by these 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 keep learning.
3. Getting the Word Out: So after you have mastered creating great content and taking fabulous photos, then what? How do you get your amazing recipes in front of a food loving audience? You probably already post your culinary accomplishments all over social media 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 and editing photos, but it is necessary to devote some time to social media. If I want my content to be read, I must share it. I recommend checking your referral stats to see which social media outlets send the most traffic to your blog. Once you figure that out, you know where to focus your time. I tend to get more referrals from pinterest than any other social media, which makes sense considering that my posts are usually 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 food posts. I found some blogs with linkys for DIY/recipe posts and started including my posts. This has been a great source of increased blog comments and some traffic too. Again, I check my stats and if I am not seeing referral traffic from the blogs I am linking on, I instead focus on the blogs that are sending traffic. Of all the blogs I link on, I receive 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 it is not as consistent as I would like since they are so picky. This month my tastespotting stats have been good because two new photos were accepted, however, I didn’t get much referral love last month. I keep submitting to these food photo sites because I am trying to hone my craft and I enjoy the challenge and the feeling of accomplishment when my work is accepted. However, it is a lot of work for the referral traffic.
I tried several food photo linking sites with more relaxed standards like Chef this Up and Just a Pinch, but didn’t see much traffic for the time investment. Then I discovered Yummly. I noticed the increased traffic within a few days of posting. I published several older posts to yummly and noticed that these long forgotten posts had suddenly become very popular. Some are more popular than others, but they are all getting noticed. I now post every new food post to yummly and am blown away with the referral traffic I am receiving.
So what is yummly anyway?
“Yummly puts every recipe in the world in your pocket. The most powerful recipe search, the recipe sites you love, your digital recipe box, 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 more Yums, they get exposed more often throughout all of our platforms and features.”
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 get from 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 my readers 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 each recipe when others yum them too. It’s always nice to feel appreciated for your work and the increased traffic is an added bonus.
So if you are trying to increase traffic to your food blog, keep creating great content, improving your photography skills, and sharing your posts with others. And make sure to create a yummly publisher page and yum your recipes.