A Little About First Site Guide
FirstSiteGuide.com is all about growing blogs. We help you turn small blogs into big blogs, and big blogs into money-making ventures. Much like cooking, it’s a little bit art, and it’s a little bit science, but it’s a lot of hard work. And much like cooks, we’ve got a recipe for success, starting with a guide to get you started right as a new blogger.
Ivelina asked us over to give an you a professional view of what it takes to whip a truly gourmet food blog. So thanks, Ivelina, we’re thrilled to be here!
So What’s Special About Food Blogs?
You might be wondering why anyone would need a specialized guide to writing a food blog. A blog’s a blog, right? Okay, that’s a fair question.
Think of it like this: you need most of the same ingredients to make cookies as you do to make a cake . . . but you sure don’t use the same recipe! Different types of blog require a slightly different balance to succeed.
How to Cook Up the Perfect Food Blog
Now, normally, we’d start out by telling you to pick your niche, but you’ve already done that, right? You’re a food blogger!
We’re not going to get into the technical aspects here. Not because they aren’t extremely important, but because we already cover all of that in our How to Start a Food Blog guide, a collaborative effort between several expert bloggers.
Instead, we’re going to focus on some of the special little things that make or break food blogs.
No one has bothered to invent a way to send scent through a computer screen, so you need to make your readers hungry by including delicious food photographs.
In this, you will likely want to take a leaf out of Pablo Picasso’s book, as in, “Good artists copy, great artists steal.” And, just to be clear do not steal anyone’s photos. That’s rude. And illegal. It’s the style you want to steal.
Go find some really great photos of food, and really break down what makes them great. Try to replicate them, so you really understand how to make food photos pop. Presentation is the difference between four stars and five in the world of gourmet restaurants and it’s the same in the blogosphere. Look at the angles, the colors, the arrangement, and ask yourself, “Why does this photo make my mouth water?”
Organizing the Chaos
Most bloggers can just develop their organizational system as they go along. Food bloggers need to get it right from the start. Fortunately, WordPress has innate category and tagging options which make this easy . . . with a little forethought.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- How do I want my readers to find what they’re looking for?
- Do I want them to be able to search by ingredients?
- Do I want them to be able to search by types such as “Gluten Free” or “Vegan”?
And so on. It’s a simple matter to set these up ahead of time, and a bit of an undertaking if you decide you want to do it fifty posts in. So take a minute to think about what sorts of food you’re planning to feature, and what will make it easiest for readers to navigate through your recipes or guides.
A good way to get started is to break out a pen and paper and just sketch it all out. Figure out what your broad categories are going to be, then divide them up. The key is to work out an organizational system that will work for you and your readers, and then stick with it. Posts can, by the way, be easily added to multiple categories and sub-categories.
For smaller differences, you might use the tagging feature for the ingredient lists (or non-ingredients) so that your users can easily search for something with “eggs” or “no eggs”.
The Personal Touch
Everyone knows you can follow your grandmother’s recipe for the perfect chocolate chip cookies, but they’ll never be the same. It’s all in the “dash” of this and the “pinch” of that. In other words, the personal touch. A recipe can only take you so far, and after that, it’s down to you. Be brave! Be inspired! Take a risk now and then, and make your blog your own!