So late last night you decided you love cooking, and sharing your recipes with family and friends so much, you want to become one of us, the new upcoming and famous Recipe Blogger. After all everyone tells you, you’re a fabulous cook. Let me share with you some common Food Blogging mistakes and how not to become that blogger.
You likely have no formal kitchen training, or have never worked in the restaurant industry, but heck who needs formal training when you’re already known as a fabulous cook these days in your own circle. Now you feel that all you need is the honest, pertinent information about recipe blogging; so you can be on your way to your own Recipe Blogging Stardom and be able to make a living working from the comfort of your own home.
Your wish is my command…
Blogging can be a real trial and tribulation/survival of the fittest all rolled into one big lump sum of disappointment for new bloggers; if you’re going to aim for becoming the new “cookie cutter blogger”… Don’t become that blogger.
What does “Cookie Cutter” mean in layman terms?
- Having the same configuration or look as many others of a given kind; identical:
rows of cookie-cutter houses.
- Lacking individuality; stereotyped or formulaic: a novel filled with cookie-cutter characters.
Don’t expect to make money anytime soon blogging
Don’t become the blogger who immediately expects to make money in the first few months of blogging. It takes blood, sweat, and tears to make money in the recipe blogging world. Your first 2 years are what I like to call “Blogging Boot Camp” You have a crap-ton to learn Grasshopper and trust me when I saw we all learn the hard way.
Still want to be a blogger? Of course, you do!
Be unique with the name you choose for your blog, find a suitable name with a little spunk that will grow with your needs and catch your target audience’s attention. You want it to be a catchy, unique, easy to remember, easy to spell and by golly and relate to you in a special way that will jump out at your readers.
Why is this unique name so important? You will need to separate yourself from all the other sites, you can do this by branding yourself and your new blog, there are a gazillion recipe sites out on the worldwide web that are fighting for the same attention of what I like to call important eyes.
Who are these important eyes?
- Potential readers/ fans
How do I pick a personalized blog name?
Take a few quiet moments to yourself and make a list of the following items below:
- What is my blog about?
- What are some creative words I can use for this topic?
- Try picking nouns that will relate to your blog content, as well as your brand.
- Try using some of these words together, don’t worry about it being perfect.
- Try using verb tenses or even variations of words from the last list.
- Hell, invent some words by combining words from your list above.
- Keep playing around with your name until you love it till death do you part kind of love.
Pick a well designed unique theme
Don’t be the blogger with the non-customized free theme that everyone has. If you like a free theme layout, spend a few extra bucks to make it more unique to your brand. It’s your job to stand out from the other new bloggers from the get-go with a more personalized theme even if it’s a free theme.
Take the time to add a few key additions such as:
- An “About The Author section” – personalized short bio
- Media kit
If you are unsure about how to go about this task there are a ton of How-to’s with information located right on the worldwide web; Google is your friend use it.
Write a unique tagline Don’t be the blogger with “just another ordinary site”. Take the time to explain what your blog is about and why it is unique in “Tagline” The tagline is very important as it will always appear beside your title in a Google online search and in the browser title bar.
Invest in a quality camera that fits your budget. In all honesty you do not need to start out with a DLSR camera, you can find a quality digital camera for about 300+ at the beginning, that will take fabulous photos and not cause you to be house-poor. Don’t be the blogger that uses a smartphone to take pictures, and expect to compete with more seasoned bloggers.
Learn how to take quality photos
- Invest your free time in looking at photos on FOODGAWKER, Fridgg, and other online food magazines to see different styles and proper photo composition. Be creative with this task and show your own personality in your food styling.
- Use a style unique to you, don’t be the blogger who copies everyone’s style. What may work for me or others, may not work for you.
- Find the right natural lighting and learn how to use it to your benefit.
- Practice, practice, practice…then practice even more. Tired of practicing, too bad practice a lot more. Take a picture at every angle you can, hell stand on the table if necessary to get the right image.
- Learn how not to abuse your Photoshop rights…Don’t be the blogger who over embellishes their photos.
- Learn how to brand photos with a tasteful watermark of your blog.
- Take the time to name your images for proper SEO
Be a passionate or at least knowledgeable writer that inspires us to laugh at our kitchen mistakes, cook delicious recipes, and try new things.Stand out any way you can to your potential readers.
Blog only recipes you love when you are blogging, it’s important for your readers to see that love flow from their PC, tablets, or smartphones. Don’t be afraid to share family recipes you love, or your food recipes that are kick-ass. There is a story behind that beloved family or kick-ass recipes. Share it with us, make us want to know more about you, your brand, and cooking techniques.
Be a Social Media ROCK ☆
Social media can be your best friend or worst enemy if you let it. Take the time to join social media sites and be sure to add the social media buttons to your blog in a well-viewed area that can easily be accessed by readers. Don’t waste your time with each one of them chose the popular ones…
Which popular Social Media buttons should I use?
- Google +
- Learn to promote your blog on social media platforms by sharing on social media platforms you belong to. Join a few SEO groups to learn how to maximize your social media and start absorbing like a sponge most importantly.
- Learn and follow the rules of social media sharing and engagement, don’t be that annoying blogger who runs off their potential audience before they even have an audience by over sharing, and overuse of hashtags, etc.
- Be unique when sharing on social media by making us laugh, cry, or relate to you in some way, shape, or form. So again set yourself apart from the Cookie Cutter Bloggers, we want to know you in a more personalized and unique way if we can. Talk to us like you would your best friend, or sister we will eat it up all day long.
- Focus on only 1-2 social media platforms a day versus all of them, you will only become the blogger who hates all forms of social media in just a few short months if you don’t. Trust me there are 7 days in a week, you can spread it out a little in those 7 days.
- Be the trendsetter in the blogging crowd, don’t follow the other bloggers trends, it will only backfire in the long run of your blogging career. When blogging you are going to have to be an innovative leader and not just a mediocre follower, it will be the life or death of your blog.
To be continued …
© Heidy L. McCallum and The McCallum’s Shamrock Patch, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material or photos without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Heidy L. McCallum and The McCallum’s Shamrock Patch with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. You may not copy and paste recipes to share on Social Platforms.