How to Start a Food Blog: Blogging Content and Promotion (Part 3)

Blogging content and promotion for your food blog


What are you writing about and how often should you post?

Blogging content and promotion are the meat and potatoes of your blog. Content is the single most important aspect of your blog. What you’re writing about should have substance and readers will continue to return if every time they’re reading your posts they’re walking away with something new. I think this ties directly into how often you post. If you can’t write a solid piece, putting a bunch of fluff up can be distracting as you’re not representing your best self. Imagine that’s the first time someone is reading your blog, this is their first impression of you! Keep that in mind with your posts and try to make them meaningful.  Posting often is important, however. It builds readership and keeps people coming back. I recommend posting regularly, twice a week if possible, is a great place to start. Be consistent. If you can get up to posting three, four or even daily, then you’re likely to build readership much more quickly.

What you’re writing about should have substance and readers will continue to return if every time they’re reading your posts they’re walking away with something new.

 Create a Blogging Schedule or Calendar.
Setting up and planning your posts will help you map out your writing and plan for promotion of your content. I love creating lists and marking calendars to keep organized– it’s a great way to visualize your plan and what you’ve accomplished. Write down and keep a calendar of your blogging content and promotion schedule.

 Get ahead of yourself.
If I think I’m going to have a busy week, I might spend a Sunday afternoon writing. I can write a post or two and save it. I might save it and publish it later, or schedule it so it posts automatically.  Sometimes I might quickly type up a rough draft and save it to go back to when I have more time to tweak it, giving me less work all in one sitting. (You can do this with your social media posts too!) Great resources for this are Asana, Trello and HootSuite; all three have paid and free options.

 Look for alternative content or guest bloggers.
Break up those big, juicy content-filled posts with something a little easier to digest, and even easier to write. Photos are a great way to do this, a photo-heavy post can be quick to put together when you let the images tell the story. You could also talk about your favorite blogs or social media accounts or list some links to blogs that you read or inspire you. You could interview a fellow blogger or expert in the field that you blog about. Or have someone guest blog for you– write an article for your blog and get them to link to you and help promote that post and your site. A great way to do this is to do a trade, you write for them and they write for you. It’s a great way to foster an online relationship with fellow bloggers and build your ‘tribe’.  Look for companies that you could host a giveaway with– use this to build followers; get people to sign up for a newsletter or follow you using the giveaway as an incentive and get the company you are working with to help promote you.  Just remember, make sure what your talking about it on-topic with your blog and audience.

Make sure your information is SHAREABLE.
Relevant, thoughtful information is great.. but it’s nothing without pictures. Great photos will carry you farther through the internet that you can imagine. People pin, share and post now in a way that’s more visual than ever before.  Don’t have a fancy camera? That’s fine– plenty of people get by with pictures taken with their phones.  Don’t have graphic design software or skills? Get familiar with sites like Picmonkey and learn the basics. Keep this in mind as a good place to start: clean, clutter-free photos with good light.  When in doubt, create a graphic with text (Canva is another great resource if you’re not a designer). That way when people share your article, there is an image attached to it, just be sure it’s branded to match your site. And make sure you have SHARE BUTTONS! This makes your posts really, really easy to share (because people are really, really lazy) and you won’t be making people go out of their way to share them. While you’re at it, make sure your social media information is sprinkled all over — in your header, footer, side bar, etc. Get some cute little icons that match your branding and link directly to your social media accounts so its’ really easy for people to follow you and stay updated.

Promotion: Building an Audience

The goal of good blogging content and promotion is creating a following through social media.

As you build your site, you’ll want to create corresponding social media accounts as a place for you to promote your self and allow people to follow you. You may not use some of these outlets in your personal time, but millions of other people are. Personally, I don’t care for Twitter for anything other than business, but I know what a powerful tool it is. Think of everyone scrolling through their newsfeeds while they eat lunch or wait for the bus. Same thing with Facebook, Pinterest, Bloglovin’, etc.

Create a minimum of THREE accounts to start.
There are hundreds of social media platforms to choose from and they are changing in popularity all the time. To avoid getting overwhelmed, pick three to start with. Start with the ones that you’re most familiar with and get friends and family to support you by following and promoting you. You might feel silly about it, but they’re going to be your biggest fans for a while. After all, you have to start somewhere. Use these accounts to let your new fans know about posts that you’ve created

Make your blog easy to follow.
Use social media icons on your blog in a couple spots, most commonly their found in your side bar and footer. I mentioned this above, but it’s really important. There are thousands of icons to choose from if you don’t have them built into your theme. Just make sure they match and that they work! Do you know how frustrating broken links are?! Don’t be that blogger.

Make your blog posts easy to share.
Consider using a plug-in to add share options at the top or bottom of your posts (a Google search will yield a thousand options for these whether you use Blogger or WordPress). Or add the pin-it button to your images. 

Take great pictures.
Another thing I can’t stress enough.. People share beautiful pictures. Pinterest is one of the main causes of this– it’s a visual sharing platform based on pictures. Instagram is another great example. Facebook even populates a photo from the post or your blog to accompany the link. Think about how this visual element will entice someone to click, pin, share or post your link. Getting these people to follow you means getting your links in front of their eyes and enticing them to click through to your site.

The number one thing people share? Beautiful pictures! Great photos will carry you farther through the internet that you can imagine.

Promote OTHER blogs, too. 
The key to successful internetting? Don’t just talk about yourself all the time! Post links to great articles and other blogs that are in line with your topics. People can get sick of your shameless self promotion, so give them a break with quality links to other articles you think they might be interested in. People are likely to return the favor with your posts as well.

Look for other ways to build an audience.
This can be a slow an tedious process. Good blogging content and promotion are time consuming, but be consistent. Have patience but make sure you’re investing some effort. A great way to get out there is by following, commenting on other blogs and accounts. Follow others who are talking about the same things as you and interact with them. It’s a great way to get attention from fellow bloggers and get readers to notice you online. Just one or two a day is a great way to get some momentum.

Join a Facebook Group. 
Facebook is the king of social media, and there’s a million reasons why. Their audience is huge and people flock to Facebook groups. When I got started I joined a handful of blogging groups and they have helped me immensely. They’re easy to join and easy to find and there are millions of groups dedicated to millions of topics. Finding the right blogging groups can give you a boost in all the right ways. It’s a great place to meet people and talk shop, ask questions and get experienced answers and promote your blog and get feed back. I am part of several groups, some dedicated to bloggers of all walks and some specific to food-blogging, which I find particularly helpful.
Click here to join The Food Group blogging group! 

Join a Group Pinterest Board. 
Group boards are a great place to post on Pinterest. They consist of a group of people that pin to the same board under a theme and share a growing audience. It’s a great way to get your new posts out in front of new eyes and get some shares from people looking for just what you’re posting.
Click here to join The Food Group Pinterest board!


Other Resources:

Blogging Tips Board | Pinterest by City Supper Club (Resources for blogging: articles, tips and tricks)
TWELVESKIP: 12+ Places to promote your content after you hit publish
The Blog Stylist: List of Social Networks for Bloggers (ranked)
By Regina: 33 Things to do when you get Serious about Blogging



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