One of the biggest challenge faced by a food blogger is the constant struggle to increase traffic on your food blog. Here are eight amazing tips that helped me grow traffic on my site as I aimed for mediavine.
Dont underestimate this at all if you want to run a successful food blog. After attending several courses on Food Blogger Pro, I could finally learn the importance of SEO and even though I have so much more to learn, I am glad I have started paying major attention to the SEO score of my blog posts and finally getting some organic traffic to my site. The top most important SEO tips:
- keyword: make sure you are using the right keywords and the most essential and related keywords squeezed in your post wherever possible. (do not over optimise)
- optimise your images: using the correct words to name them, alt text and inserting image with the correct size.
- add multiple links within your blog post to direct users to different posts on you site.
- generate a very well optimised recipe card for your recipes and try to add as much information as you can. Here is a screenshot of a recipe card on my site for a recipe for salted caramel popcorn. What also helps, is to add nutritional value - something I am aiming for and hopefully should be able to add too.
2. Set up small goals for yourself
(The Twin Cooking Project is working as a publisher with Mediavine since March 2020. Click here to read about my experience, income report and application review with Mediavine)
Ever since I set MEDIAVINE as my goal, I made a list of things I really needed to work on. I had no discipline on consistency and posted content only whenever I felt like. The concept of content calendar was alien to me until I finally made a list of things I need to achieve to be able to qualify for an ad network (in my case: mediavine) The most essential requirement was to have 25,000+ sessions on a monthly basis, which I broke down into roughly 850 sessions a day. Similarly I broke down my goals into smaller goals and made a list for myself. This is what my list looked like.
To read in detail about my mediavine application, income and experience, click here.
3. Content is king
I am sure you have read this on almost every food blog that gives you tips on increasing organic traffic and the reason you keep reading this everywhere is because content IS actually king. We all go through through writer's block (read about my blogger burnout here) and yes at times you just can not think of recipes you want to publish. My sub-tips:
- Go through your pantry. always works for me. I see this as a mystery box challenge and try to develop a recipe with whatever things I have in mind.
- Go out to eat - yes, do that! So many of my recipes are inspired from things I eat in a restaurant. This sagar ratna copy cat red (tomato) chutney or BBQ nation crispy fried corn are great examples of how I actually think of recipes on my site.
- Grocery shopping - Step out of your house and stroll through the supermarket.
If you love food they way I do, this will be your best way to have ideas running in your mind. I have lost count of recipes that come to my mind when I see an ingredient lying at the rack in the store.
- Research. Go through your Pinterest, talk to people who love to eat, or read cook books or probably just look around you what kind of food people are actually cooking and eating? I made a major shift from 40% non vegetarian recipes on my blog to just generating 5% non vegetarian content, after I saw that my audience is more in favour of vegetarian recipes. Know your audience and create content in accordance with it. Develop useful recipes and take high quality pictures. Click here or on the image below to read my photography tips.
It is not a co-incidence that my traffic increased at a good rate since January 2020, where I set a goal to publish 12 posts a month. I am not saying that 12 posts a month is an ideal number. To each its own: many bloggers do 6 recipes a month, or 8 or some even do 20 posts a month. But if we see this, it would actually make sense to produce more content if you want to earn more. The basic formula:
more blog posts = more reasons to visit your blog = more page views
5. Create a content calendar
Generate a content calendar right away and thank me later for this. In December 2019, when I had a major writer's block (more on this here) In December itself, I created a calendar for 2020 with all my recipes listed down until February 2020. Planning ahead has always worked for me and honestly, it gives me so much peace and comfort knowing that I have content planned and lined up (shot and edited) for the blog at least for the coming 1 1/2 month.
6. Time management and dedication
Blogging looks fine and easy but it really is challenging, especially if you are a part time blogger like me - with a full time job over the week. I try to plan my blogging days as much as I can. Here is a post of how a day-in-the-life-of-a-part-time-blogger looks like.
Find time whenever and wherever you can. Things that helped me the most:
- ordering groceries online to save time
- listening to food blogging podcasts on commute to work
- making the most of weekends for content creation
- writing blog posts on long commutes whenever traveling to work with cab
... just try to find time for your blog whenever you can.
7. Invest in your blog
As you can gather from my food blog income report, I pay a major chunk of my income to softwares, plugins and courses every month. See it as a wonderful investment.
- If you feel over worked, outsource a few tasks. Hire a virtual assistant or social media manager or pay someone to help you with videos and photography. Outsourcing your work for your own blog can be very difficult and I understand that, but you sometimes you really can not do everything on your own.
- Invest in a good software. Food photography is very essential for food blogging, which is why I also shared my best tips for taking the best pictures for your food blog. My 2 best investments for photography include a professional camera and adobe Lightroom software which are absolutely worth the investment.
- educate your self. Never stop learning. There are 1000s of tutorials online and google is your best friend when it comes to blogging. If you're very dedicated, then do get enrolled in a good blogging course and FOOD BLOGGER PRO is hands down the best course for an aspiring food blogger. Probably my best investment in blogging so far. Click here to join.
8. Social Media & Email List
Don't just rely on organic search for your food blog. Grow your social media audience and your email list.
- Create an option to allow people to subscribe to your blog and stay consistent with emails.
- Create a page for your site/ blog on Facebook.
- If your following is good, you can also create a Facebook group for your readers.
- Invest in Pinterest, install and learn TAILWIND - grow together with fellow bloggers through tribes.
- Grow your organic following on Instagram by posting raw and user friendly recipe tutorials resulting in better user engagement.
I hope you found this blog post useful and may this help you in increasing traffic on your food blog. Related blog posts that you might wanna read:
- food blog income report (March 2020) & mediavine application process
- food photography tips for beginners
- a day in the life of a part time blogger
- beyond recipes @ TTCP (Jan 2020)
- beyond recipes @ TTCP (Feb 2020)