Food blogging can be highly rewarding in several facets, but it’s a tough niche to compete in.
There are perhaps millions of blog dedicated to writing about food, dining, recipes, desserts, that it’s really tough for a new food blogger to break through the noise and be seen.
But it can be done.
1. Remain in your niche – That is, once you’ve figured out the specific subject within Food that you want to focus on, stick to it. Nothing drives away passionate readers than to see their favorite blog become watered down with loosely-related, or unrelated, material.
For example: If you’re blog is about Italian restaurants in San Diego, then don’t include an article about a really good bagel shop you visited the other day. Or, if you’re writing reviews of chocolate brands, then don’t include an article about going to your son’s graduation.
2. Use really stunning photography – You’ll have to invest in a DSLR camera or learn how to do amazing things with a cheap camera and Photoshop. Food is always visual, including restaurants. It’s a really clear, detailed photo of a Pastrami Sandwich or a Pumpkin Cheesecake that draws people in to get more information.
3. Maintain consistency – When your writing style becomes consistent and predictable, people get the sense that they are reading a real human being and can make a personal connection to you. It’s like finding a favorite author and reading all of his/her books. It’s also important to be consistent when writing reviews, you must come up with your own review format and use it neutrally.
4. Write keyword rich titles, content, and filenames – Even though there are millions of food blogs out there, a good 95-99% of them do a poor job of writing effective, keyword rich titles and content. Mention your keyword once in your title and between 5 to 10 times within the content. A keyword should also appear within the first sentence. The filename of your post (or URL) should also include the keyword.
For example: If writing a review of Giovanni’s Italian Restaurant in San Diego, then the best title would be, “Giovanni’s Italian Restaurant, San Diego, CA”. Moreover, the filename should also be “giovannis-italian-restaurant-san-diego-ca”. Use dashes not underscores. Do not use a title like, “Curly Pasta and Sweet Smiles At This Lovers Hideaway”. It might sound enticing to your existing readers, but it won’t help attract new readers doing Google searches.
5. Utlimately, your monetization goal is to sell ads directly to advertisers - When you’re new, you can start with Google AdSense ads, but my experience shows that the competition for food keywords is weak on AdWords and DoubleClick. If you can achieve about 30,000 page views per day, then cut out Google AdSense and sell ads directly to the buyer. Start relationships with certain restaurants or food brands by chatting with them on Twitter, Facebook or Google+. Meet them at local business functions like mixers, business networking, or foodie meetup groups. It’s going to take about a few months of building trust before a restaurant or food brand will take a chance at buying an ad on your site.
I started Best Beef Jerky in 2008. It’s a beef jerky review blog. It took me awhile to figure things out, but I eventually learn the five tips above the hard way. Since then, my traffic has increased significantly and so has my revenue. ✓