Blogging Tips for Beginners is a resource that will provide you with 12 blogging tips to keep you motivated and focused while blogging.
In the summer of 2016, I decided that I wanted to start this journey as a food blogger. Although I work full-time and am always busy, I felt the need to take on another challenge and challenging it was. Now, with some experience under my belt, I thought I would compile a list of Blogging Tips for Beginners to help you get through some of the daunting tasks of blogging. After reading through the list, I hope you find one or more tips that will be useful in your blogging experience.
I love to cook and am always looking for ways to make more creative dishes and not just the same old burgers, tacos, and spaghetti and meatballs just because these dishes are quick and easy. Cooking is more fun when you think outside the box and show your creative side. My goal is to have a healthy dish on the table for my family in under 45 minutes although there are exceptions. I thought a food blog would be a great way to share my recipes with others especially those who might struggle with coming up with easy healthy recipes or quick dinner ideas for their family.
I started researching food blogs and came across some amazing resources. So, to make a long story short ‘Cooking with Bliss’ was born. If you’re serious about starting a food blog there are a ton of resources on ‘How to Start a Blog’ which I may also post in the future. However, this particular post is for those who already have a food blog and are overcome with frustration and low traffic results. As a disclaimer, my blog isn’t even close to reaching its potential, but I’m confident that it will. Over the last few weeks, my traffic has more than doubled which is a good thing, but I feel as though I have more work to do in terms of reaching a larger target audience. I thought I would write this post on Blogging Tips for Beginners as I too have experienced frustration beyond belief. So, what keeps me going? I love sharing my recipes, practicing food photography, learning through research and other fellow food bloggers, not to mention how rewarding it feels when someone likes my recipes, comments on my recipes or photos, let alone visit my site.
12 Blogging Tips For Beginners
As you surf the net, you will find a ton of Blogging Tips for Beginners; however, these are my top 12 blogging tips that keeps me focused
1) Writing your posts: Have you struggled with rider’s-block? Should you write about the recipe? Should you incorporate personal or family experiences into your recipe post? When I first started writing recipe posts, I found myself incorporating my personal and family experiences into the post as that’s what I found other food bloggers doing. The more I began to write posts, I soon realized that wasn’t the style of writing I wanted to adopt. I had to remind myself that my goal is to provide useful information to my readers. Do they really want to read about my family or personal everyday experiences, or do they want me to cut to the chase and get to the recipe and useful tips. I personally prefer the latter when I’m reading posts, so that’s the style of writing I started developing and felt the most comfortable with.
2) Staying true to yourself: Don’t try to be someone you’re not. Write in your own voice. You’ll realize that it’ll make writing posts a lot easier. Along those same lines, stay true to your passion and your style of cooking. Your readers are visiting your blog because they connect with you on some level whether it’s your recipe, photography, a tip, your uniqueness, or overall style. Your goal is to stay connected to your readers through your words and your food photography and not pretend to write like your favorite food blogger.
3) Staying consistent: This can be challenging especially having a full-time job. Some weeks are busier than others and as a result it’s sometime difficult to get two posts out. I’ve noticed that when I post twice a week I tend to get more traffic than posting once a week. Lately, I’ve only posted once a week due to my schedule, and luckily I still see traffic coming. I would recommend posting at least once a week but make sure it’s a quality post. Do not just upload a post just to get one out there make sure it has substance and is valuable. Remember, quality matters when you’re trying to develop a following. It’s better to post 2 quality posts in a month opposed to four low-quality posts in a month. Your readers are depending on you to help them solve a problem or make their life easier for them in some eay. Therefore, it has to show through your writing.
4) Get involved in a good food blogging community: As we continue with our Blogging Tips for Beginners, I can’t stress enough about the importance of joining a food blogging community especially if you’re new to the blogging world. Communities like these are such a wonderful support system. You’ll be surprised how many other new food bloggers are experiencing the same challenges as you. It’s important to realize that you’re not alone. Fellow bloggers have so many awesome Blogging Tips for Beginners and how-tos. Some that you can implement at that very moment and receive immediate results. I belong to a great food blogging community. It’s a paid membership, and it’s been worth every cent. I’ve learned a ton and am still learning.
5) Balance blogging and family: Blogging is a lot of work and can take up a HUGE amount of your time. After writing several recipe posts and I mean several, I realized that I had to come up with a strategy that would allow me to post a recipe from beginning to end in a reasonable amount of time. The amount of hours I was spending just to complete a recipe post was crazy. When I first started, I would spend nearly 4 hours if not more editing so many photos and sometime doing a re-shoot because I wasn’t satisfied with all the shots from the first shoot and that didn’t include writing the post. Crazy, yes I know.
I didn’t have a plan of action, but I knew I needed to get it done. I’m somewhat of a perfectionist, so I wouldn’t stop until I felt satisfied with the photos. I wanted to entice readers through my food photography, so it was my goal to get “the perfect shot”. I work with an iphone which made it easier for me because I didn’t have to learn all the technical stuff with a DSLR camera. On the other hand, I couldn’t always get that perfect angle. Well, that was a sacrifice that I had to make. Anyhow, this became a long drawn out process that eventually took away from my family time. As much as I wanted to take on this new adventure, family time was way more important than trying to capture ten extra shots of spring rolls. In doing so, I had to come up with a strategic plan, so I could have the best of both worlds. So, I decided to do the following on a sheet of plain white paper:
- Create a manageable list of important intermediate shots I would need for that particular recipe
- Create a sketch of those intermediate shots
- Sketch out the final editorial shots (at the most 3) with props and angles
- Using ‘auto’ editing in Lightroom then making my own adjustments thereafter
- Brainstorm on a sheet of paper how I would approach the recipe instead of creating a new post in WordPress without any clear direction
These Blogging Tips for Beginners helped me reduce the amount of time in developing a new post. This in turn allowed me to spend more quality time with my family since starting my blog. Moreover, I felt so relieved that I wasn’t stuck spending hours and hours on one post. Obviously, writing a quality post takes a lot of time and effort, but my goal is to make my process manageable.
I do not have a set time for when I begin working on my blog. I basically work on it when I can fit it into my and my family’s schedule which is:
- During the evening, when my family is busy with there evening routine
- Late at night when everyone has gone to bed
- Saturday or Sunday mornings as well as some evenings
I think it’s worth noting that the times in which I work on my blog may varying. Sometime, I may spend 30 minutes fixing a few things here and there and other times I may spend 3 or 4 hours writing a post and selecting photos. It really depends on the time of day and my goals for that day.
6) When feeling overwhelmed: Step away from the computer and do not work on your blog. Sometime you can become so absorbed in trying to tackle all the aspects that comes with running a blog that you lose track of time and when you take a breather you realize that you’ve been going at it for several hours. There are times in which you need to literally step away for a day, a week or longer to re-coupe and re-evaluate things. During this time, you become refreshed and you may come up with different tips, tricks and how-tos that will take your blog to the next level. Again, when you’re feeling burned out, overwhelmed or a little stressed, just step away or seek help from other fellow bloggers. They can be very inspirational and sometimes that’s what we need in order to re-energize ourselves.
7) Create a to-do list: Stay organized and get a notebook or grab a sheet of paper and clip board and write out a to-do list – yes paper. I find that it works better than having it in my head or on my iphone. When you write it on paper, you can easily check the item off as done once completed.
8) Listen to others: Listen to others and ask questions. Many fellow food bloggers are friendly and welcome questions. They provide such great advice. Stay humble and willing to learn from others. You’ll go far.
9) Food sharing sites: Food sharing sites are a great resource for getting your recipes or photos in front of others which as a result brings traffic to your site. There are quite a few food sharing sites out there, but I only submit to Foodgawker, FoodYub, Healthy Aperature and Friggs. All of these are great.
10) Pinterest scheduler: Okay, so I have to admit that I’m not a fan of social media and have not put a lot of time and effort into social media. This is something that I’m working on particularly – Pinterest. From what I understand, Pinterest is a great way to drive potential traffic to your site. It will not happen overnight but if you have a long term strategic plan it can be golden. I’ve recently invested in Tailwind, and it’s great for scheduling pins. I’ve gotten so many repins in the last couple of weeks whereas prior to purchasing this tool and was barely getting any repins. Then again, I was overwhelmed by Pinterest and tended to shy away from anything Pinterest. Tailwind has made it so much better and more fun pinning other’s pins as well as my own.
11) Developing recipes: When cooking to add recipes to your blog, try to make one recipe into two or three recipes. For example, I recently posted Pizza with Pesto Sauce. For this recipe, I had a strategy, and my strategy was to make three recipes from this one recipe. Are you asking yourself how? Well, I figured that I could break the Pizza with Pesto Sauce recipe into components by creating a recipe of the Best Homemade Pizza Dough and another for Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Recipe. So, now I have two recipes and the third recipe is putting it together to make Pizza with Pesto Sauce. I was focused and knew exactly what I would be shooting that day and how and best of all, I was able to shoot three cohesive recipes in one day.
12) Don’t compare: Of all the Blogging Tips for Beginners, this is the most important. Do not compare yourself to other food bloggers. It will drive you INSANE, and you’ll get very discouraged and feel like what you’re doing just isn’t good enough. I’m speaking from experience. This type of mindset will hold you back and prevent you from opening up and telling your story. I started to look at it this way… we all have a story and although we may have the same niche my story will be different from yours. You are the director of your show, so you will tell your story through your eyes and your eyes only and that’s what your readers want. They want your story to be told by you. They don’t want to read a fake story. Keep in mind that it may take you time to develop your story but with dedication, hard work, determination, and inspiration, your story will eventually evolve into something great, meaningful and for a lot of other people to see. In other words, your blog is your story. Allow your blog to flourish into a valuable platform with a wealth of information for other’s to learn.
Other Blogging Tips for Beginners
The blogging tips I described above are tips that I still use. Other tips are perfecting your food photography skills, managing your time, getting an editorial calendar, and focusing on one or two social media outlets starting out.
I hope you find this list of Blogging Tips for Beginners helpful. What are some of your blogging tips? I’d love to hear them in the comment section below.