8 Things They Don’t Tell You When You Start a Food Blog

Apologies to those who came in search of recipes today.  I promise new calorie-laden foods will be available next week!

8 Things They Don't Tell You When You Start a Food Blog | JensFavoriteCookies.com

I’m not really sure who the “they” is.  After all, there’s no international board of blogging experts that you consult when you start blogging.

Unfortunately.

After a few years of blogging, and nearly two years of blogging seriously, I thought it was time I cleared the air about a few things.  Set the record straight.  Pull back the curtains of the glamorous world of food blogging.

{Sidebar: Is it glamorous?  I doubt anyone thinks it is.  I just like to pretend it is to build my fragile ego.  It’s probably why I started the blog in the first place… all the glamour.}

“Talent is cheaper than table salt.  What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.” -Stephen King

Drumroll please…

1. You can’t do it for free. Yes, I realize they said you could blog for free, and you can. But what they did not say is that you cannot blog seriously for free. You just can’t. Sorry, friends.

See, you can start yourself a free Blogger or WordPress blog (I have a free one. A few free ones. Okay, I’m an addict.) but if you want to be serious, to have a business, to make money… you can’t do it with a free blog. You need hosting. You need your own domain name. You need to look and act like a professional.  Now there are lots of options when it comes to hosting. You might even be able to score some cheap hosting for $20/year, but if you’re expecting traffic, please don’t buy the cheap hosting. You’ll regret it. {Ask me how I know that.} I’m currently paying $20/month with Media Temple. They’re not the cheapest guy on the block, but you won’t regret using them. Click here to check them out for yourself.

You’ll also need a camera, with a lens, and a tripod. Maybe some lighting. Props. Backdrops. I use an old Canon Rebel that I bought used from a friend who gave me a screaming deal at $140. I use the kit lens. Lenses are crazy expensive, and I’m going to have to save up for a lens that will make me happier. My parents gave me a tripod as a gift, and it was super lucky they did, because decent tripods ain’t cheap either. This is the tripod I use. I developed an addiction to buying food photo props. Everything in the entire world looks like a food photo to me. It’s a blessing and a curse. Not to mention, you may find that photography is harder than you thought (I did) and you may want to take some classes.

Also, ingredients are rarely, if ever, free. If you’re blogging for real, you’re going to need a budget.

2. You’re going to spend half your life on social media. Y’all, I literally have accounts at all of the following: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, StumbleUpon, Google+, Tumblr, Foursquare, Vine, and probably a couple others that I have quite literally forgotten about. On Facebook, besides my page that I run, I’m also a member of dozens of blogging groups, some of which I moderate. You can’t build a following without social media, and you can’t have effective social media without spending TIME.

It’s addictive. You can lose hours doing this. You have to show up, say something, engage. Join groups, make friends, make enemies, pin stuff, tag people, ask questions, disagree, share, and most of all, know how each social media platform works. Get good at it. Be an expert. There’s no short path, you gotta do the work.

And, P.S., that also goes for SEO.  {Search Engine Optimization}  SEO is hard to understand, a lot of work to get right, and ever changing.  I’ve been using this 21 Day SEO Challenge to learn what I’m doing, and it’s been hugely helpful.  Of course, I’ll probably never be an expert.

3. You need to become an excellent photographer. This is not optional. You don’t have to be great at all photography, just your particular style of food photography. Photographs spark the imagination. They are the hook that brings people to your food blog. They get you attention on Pinterest and other social media. They can bring you traffic courtesy of food photo submission sites. Basically nothing will kill a blog faster than really bad photography.

Disclaimer: I’m not an amazing photographer, but I have worked hard to acquire the skills I have. I literally have dozens and dozens of blog posts about food photography pinned and bookmarked. {Check out my food photography Pinterest board, if you want.} I bought e-books. (Click here to see my favorite food photography ebook.) I copied other photographers. I’ve shot the food, looked through the pics, and then screamed and yelled and started all over with a new photo shoot. I’ve remade old recipes, just so I could take new pictures and re-write old posts.

P.S., You have to get good at editing pics, too. This is it’s own kind of skill, completely separate from the photographing, and every bit as important.

4. You cannot ignore the technical stuff. When I first started blogging, I figured that if I ran into technical problems I didn’t understand, my husband, the IT administrator, would take care of that for me. The real problem was that when I needed him, his reply was, “I’m not a web guy.” You don’t have to know everything about the technical side of your blog, but problems will crop up, and if you don’t want to spend your life savings paying web guys to handle it for you, you’ll need to learn a few basics yourself.

Some basics that helped me: html: For reals. I hate html, I can’t write code to save my soul, but I can figure out enough to put my most pinned posts in my sidebar, install ads, and fix some weirdo glitches that periodically happen in my posts. Plugins: You basically can’t run a blog without them. You need at least a general idea of how they work, and know how to turn them off if they start to not play nice with one another. Settings: Understanding what my blog can do and how to do it gave me a ton more freedom.

Of course, knowing what you can’t do is valuable information as well. There are some really reputable tech guys out there who specialize in wordpress blogs. You might need the number or email address of one or two on file, just in case.
8 Things They Don't Tell You When You Start a Food Blog | JensFavoriteCookies.com

5. Food Blogging is competitive.  Estimates range all over the place, but sufficeth to say, most days it feels like a good 40% of the world’s population run food blogs.  Everyone does it.  The market is completely saturated.  If you’re going to stand out, you need to be unique, you need to WORK.  Some days it will feel like every food blog out there is better than yours, and that there is no place in the internet-world for you, but trust me.  You have a voice, and someone will like you.

And persistence beats talent every time.

6. If you build it, they may not come.  If your stuff is outrageously useful, super high quality, and downright amazing, the people will come.  They will come in droves.  But just because you wrote down some witty thoughts about your last family vacation or you found a new way to customize a cake mix, it doesn’t mean people will flock to your amazing new blog.  Just because you know that you spent 25 hours designing your new theme, and that it’s way better than your old theme, it doesn’t mean anyone else knows it.  Or cares.

Even if your stuff is of life-changing quality, you will probably still go have to find the people and tell them to come.  You will need to self-promote.  Self-promoting is uncomfortable, especially at first.  It’s hard to get a Facebook page started.  You have to ask people you know to like your page.  You have to put yourself out there and risk rejection.  You have to pin your own stuff a dozen times, hoping someone with a million followers will see it and be impressed.

Yes, build it.  Build it like your life depended on it.  Be a perfectionist and make it something you will be proud of.  And then?  GO find the the people and ask them to come.  Some of them will.

7. Food blogs are not gold mines.  I’ve spent too much of my life chasing gold mines.  Blogs are not get-rich-quick-schemes.  Building a good, reliable following takes time.  Finding advertisers that are decent and pay a fair amount takes persistence.  Growing an e-mail list, and learning to sell as an affiliate, and working with brands, these things all take practice, work, and time.  Neglect them, and they will whither like an unwatered garden.

My first experience with Google AdSense was a disaster.  My first ad network paid me far less than average.  My first private advertiser stopped talking to me after one month.  My first sponsored post was offered by a third party media group.  You can make money blogging, and there is nothing wrong with it.  I will never tell you that you shouldn’t blog for money.  I believe money is a good thing which encourages people do become something better, serve other people, and work hard.  I am saying that you won’t make a liveable wage, especially not in the beginning.  You’ll need another reason or two to keep you going.

8. Your blog friends might replace your real friends.  I feel like I have this big group of close friends who understand me… and who live all over the world and whom I’ve never met.  I am in several food blogging groups on Facebook, and one in particular has been perhaps the most valuable thing to my blog ever.  There are over 100 people in this group who freely share, give opinions, offer help and encourage.  Some of them even offered to mentor me, which is a priceless gift, in my opinion.  I could not have done it without them.

I have other blog friends I talk to very frequently, sometimes about blogging, sometimes about other things.  Sometimes we even talk about renting a house in some central location for a week, so we can all get together and have a big party.

Making blog friends I care about this much was not something I was expecting.  It might be my favorite thing about blogging.  Blogging is a very creative process.  It requires parts of you that you don’t show the whole world.  Your food blog friends will get that.  Your non-food-blog friends MAY just think you are really nerdy.

 

I should sum this up by telling you that I mostly wrote this post for myself, to remind myself where I have been and where I am going.  To tell myself what I wish I had known in the beginning.  To prepare you in some small way for the amazing journey you might go through.

You can do it, food blogging friends.  I’m in your corner.  And if you need a pep talk, e-mail me!

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106 thoughts on “8 Things They Don’t Tell You When You Start a Food Blog

  1. Jayne

    It all sounds sooooo exhausting. I’m less that 1 year old on the blogosphere andI know how hard it is to build an audience. At one point, I was near giving up because I cannot afford a good camera at the moment, my photos are ugly, noone is subscribing etc. Then I realized. I’m doing this because I love food. I want to document my recipes somewhere. If people find me interesting, that’s an added bonus. If I get to earn something, another bonus. That doesn’t mean I’m not working hard at it. But as you said, takes time too. I’ve decided to ride the waves, just keep my chin up and enjoy this crazy blog ride. That Stephen King quote is golden.

    Reply
    1. Jen Post author

      Oh, that Stephen King quote keeps me going some days! And for what it’s worth, you can still take decent photos with a phone or a point-and-shoot. Just learn to use the editing tools effectively! I usually use PicMonkey, which is totally free.

      Reply
  2. Averie @ Averie Cooks

    Jen I love this post and everything you said from social media, not ignoring the tech side, not get rich quick schemes, replacing your real friends…I am nodding in agreement to just about every sentence! Wonderfully honest and well-written!

    Reply
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  4. Rosie

    What a great, and really helpful post. It it really tough out there but posts like this encourage me to keep going at it! Thank you!

    R x

    Reply
  5. cochrancj

    All great things to keep in mind. I’ve been blogging about food & restaurants for what seems like forever and these are all areas I could stand to take a closer look at. Thanks for the reminder.

    Reply
  6. Ani

    Thank you so much for posting this! I’ve been blogging for almost two years, and now I’d really like to establish my blog as a food blog. My husband and I are starting our own food blog http://www.the-grapeleaf.com
    I think I really needed to hear all of this to just remind myself that it’s not going to all just fall in place, but that the journey is still so full of learning and fun times too. Thank you!

    Reply
  7. Nancy @ gottagetbaked

    Love this post, Jen. Everything is true. I realize these things all the time as I enter my second year of blogging. The past few months, I’ve been caught up in a whirlwind of wanting to monetize my blog, of feeling super inadequate compared to everyone else, being jealous of others, and then eventually feeling really down about my own blog. I’ve kind of taken this past month off and not spent much time on my blog or social media. I really needed the break. I’m gonna stick to my day job and continue blogging because it’s fun. That’s why I started. It’s also expensive and technical and competitive but it’s worth it, mostly because I’ve met other amazing bloggers like you. You guys are what keep my going. The comraderie and the friendships and the collegiality are my favourite part!

    Reply
  8. Meghan @ Cake 'n' Knife

    I am so glad you shared this! It is so wonderful to see someone else talk about it. Being a new blogger, this definitely helps me feel like I am on the right path. If you have any advice for new food bloggers it would mean the world to me if you would share!

    Reply
  9. Nupur

    Sooo true all this is, especially the photography part and the one which says almost everyone is on it.. I feel the same, almost all my close friends happen to be bloggers or thats how we met initially. Such a mysterious and bigggg world it is 🙂

    Glad to be your follower 😛 🙂

    Reply
  10. Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates

    Good post! And you listed most of the reasons why my blog will never really be a food blog – LOL! So instead it’s a blog about Life where I can happily share my recipes and my so-so photos when I feel like it. {But of course I don’t make much money either.} 🙂

    Reply
  11. Joan@Chocolate and More

    There are days(not many) where I need to remember #8 and today was one of them. Thank you for the reminders and thank you for being one of my bloggy friends. I’m down for the beach house any time you want to go!

    Reply
  12. Stacy

    Beach house! Beach house! And with pretty paper plates since no one wants to wash the dishes.

    Great post, Jen. I don’t know where to start because I agree with so much you’ve said here. Bottom line is that it is a lot of work and, until the money starts coming in – if ever – you’ve got to love what you are doing. I’ve spent some money on other hobbies in the past like SCUBA diving and painting and cross-stitch and quilting, so this doesn’t seem that bad. 🙂 Especially for the joy it gives me spending time creating in the kitchen and in making connections with others. And, hey, the family’s gotta eat, right?

    Reply
  13. Moira @ Hearth and Homefront

    This is fantastic! Thank you! I’m not quite at the one year mark yet on my blog, and as hard as I’m working now, I know there is so much to learn. It never occurred to me that there might be facebook groups for food bloggers for example!

    Reply
  14. Alaine Gentner

    Whew! It all sounds so exhausting! I’m not a blogger, but a lover of GOOD food, escpecially anything with sugar and chocolate. I love your article, and it’s great advice for anyone who wants to blog! Howver, I came here to tell you the Banana Bread Cookies were a smashing hit! OM Goodness! Everyone loved them! It was funny, as I was in a hurry and didn’t really follow the instructions, as they were written, almost forgot to add the baking sode, salt and baking powder…they went in AFTER I had mixed ALL the flour in, and then the milk! However, they were great! Oh, and I used a whole bag of the dark chips…1 cup just wasn’t enough for me! I apologize if I mispelled anything, for some reason, it’s in a cursive and light green and I really dan’t see it that well! Thanks again for the recipe…I will be making more of your recipes!

    Reply
  15. Liz

    My hubby keeps asking when my blog is going to start raking in the bucks so he can quit his job…LOL…I need him to read your post. So well said…

    Reply
  16. Renee

    It’s all so true, so very true. Very heartfelt post and one I’m sharing everywhere. I really don’t think people outside of food bloggers understand what all goes into the whole thing.

    Reply
  17. Hisham Assaad

    Great post. I’m new here on the food blogging community. I’ve been following lots of blogs for some time. I even have more than 3000 (yes, three thousand) unread emails from food blogs I’m subscribed to.

    I started my food blog because I want to cook/bake more, I want to write and document my thoughts, and I want to do something I love. It is hard, and even though the food blogging community isn’t very large here in Lebanon, but sometimes bloggers and people are nonchalant. But for the love of food I’ll keep writing and posting until my content reaches a stage that it’s so good that it will share itself.

    Reply
  18. Rachael

    Nail-on-the-head. Day after day I waffle between ditching the food blog insanity and persevering. Is it worth it? Is it even fun anymore?

    That sounds like a lot of sad sack talk and it is because of many of the reasons you’ve noted above. It IS hard, it DOES take a lot of work, and it’ll knock you down.

    But, it’s also a wonderful, personally rewarding experience that has taught me a ton about networking, deadlines, procrastination, etc. It’s made me a better business owner, and has reminded me that amazing people just like me do exist.

    Thanks for such a great, well-put post here. I’m glad to meet you!

    Reply
  19. sippitysup

    I have one more (possibly) controversial bullet point. Food blogging is run by women. Very possibly the very same women who ran your high school. Sure there are a few of us guys out there (and some even manage to do quite well) but we’ll never really be accepted and invited into the core. We are tokens. I hope nobody takes this wrong (or personally). I too wrote it ” to remind myself where I have been and where I am going.”. GREG

    Reply
    1. Jen Post author

      Greg, it’s true, there are far too few men in this field, but I’ve run across a few good ones that I admire. I wish you luck with your blog!

      Reply
  20. Susan

    I’m sitting here reading this, nodding my head and then going why do I do this? It’s the last part, blog friends become real friends. I love to cook, I love to share, but you can’t beat the friendships that you make out of it. So beach house huh? Let’s make it an east coast one! Although I don’t know, never been to a west coast beach and I wouldn’t mind the miles!! 🙂

    Reply
  21. Ace

    This is so true and incredibly helpful! I’ve been “blogging” for 2 years now, about as seriously as I can with a full time job. I love it though and I love learning new things (food styling, photography, writing) so I’m going to keep doing it no matter what. But there are times when I have a twinge of jealousy that I don’t have/spend more time and effort growing my blog. One day though. At least that’s what I tell myself.

    Reply
  22. deborah

    I have a blog theme question! I’ve been thinking about buying Genesis and the Modern Blogger theme was one I’ve looked at. Did you do all the customizing and color changing to your blog with this theme yourself? I wasn’t sure how customizable it was. And can you make drop-down menus?

    Reply
    1. Jen Post author

      Deborah, I actually hired a designer who did all the customizing for me, but that doesn’t mean you wouldn’t be able to do it yourself. If you know a few things about html and css, you should be able to do it. (I know nothing about css!) I’m not sure what kind of drop down menus you mean, but I would say the answer is probably yes.

      Reply
  23. Kellie @The Suburban Soapbox

    This is a great post! Thank you….I always get blog envy and feel like I should just throw in the kitchen towel. But I love it so I keep going….what started as a hobby has become so much more and is a lot more work than I ever imagined it would be. Some day it will pay off, I’m sure!

    Reply
  24. Jenne

    I really love this post! Honestly, pictures are the key thing to get people into your blog. I really wish I would have known that from the get go. I do now and enjoy decorating and buying way too many food props. Especially anything that has apples, pumpkins, or owls at the moment LOL

    Reply
  25. Ricki

    Found you through a Google+ link. What a great post! And I also agree with your points. . . especially the one about blogging friends. I really do “speak” to my blogging friends more than my “real” friends these days. (Luckily, with my husband, it’s still a different story!). 😉

    Reply
  26. Deb - Pass the Fresh

    I’ve been around the blogging block a few times, but just launched my first food blog this week. Thank you so much for sharing these great tips! I feel like so much has changed in the social media world since I’ve taken about a year off from blogging. I’m trying to figure out the best way to get our name out, but it’s so hard to “get noticed.”

    Reply
  27. Pingback: Chocolate Pudding (egg-free) | Jen's Favorite Cookies | Recipes & Photos

  28. Genell {Nel's Nook}

    I love this post! I have been blogging for about 8 months but only seriously blogging for about 3. It’s definitely a challenge learning/remembering everything that is important and your post nailed all of the fun little things “they” don’t tell you before you start!

    Reply
  29. Colleen

    Oh my gosh, you hit it right on the nail with this! What a great post. I’ve only been blogging for 6 months now and it’s amazing how overwhelming it can be. I love it but it’s truly a full-time job and it’s definitely not “free”.

    thanks for a great post!

    Reply
  30. Connie | URBAN BAKES

    Aw you’re so sweet! I’ve started my blog at the tail end of Feb this year and it has been a life changing experience thus far. I enjoy every minute of it (except shooting ice cream-LOL) but everything else has been worth it. So far, I’ve been a passive blogger and soon I’ll be taking the plunge into self-hosting with all the other crazy nonsense that comes with it.

    For the most part, I’m right there with ya on every bullet point. Since the start of my blog, I practically see every food or prop as a way to create something new. Magazines, cookbooks, TJMaxx, Michaels and more are all things/places I’ve never paid attention to but now it’s become my addiction. Coming into the blogging world in Feb not even knowing what the word “blogging” was has become my current obsession. Enjoy it way more than my day job and soon hope to take it to the next level. Thank you for your insight. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who feels this way!

    Reply
  31. Marti

    These tips are so true and I’m so glad to know I’m not the only one Who had gone through these, like remaking a food just to update the photos because the original photo was taken when I first started and desperately needed updating!!

    Thanks so much for sharing these!
    Marti

    Reply
  32. Crista

    I love this post, I’ve had this page open on my ipad for months, and I’ve read it several times. I would love to know which groups on Facebook you belong to………. xxxooo

    Reply
  33. jasira anase

    hi, thanx for sharing. ..it is very helpful post for me… because i hav been thinking about the food blog.. actually i dnt know the exact procedure… i intrested in blogging……. so, pls can you help me? i read the steps of food blog in google.. but i cannot understad what they said… anyway i will wait for yourreply

    Reply
  34. Pingback: How to Start a Food Blog | The Simple, Sweet LifeThe Simple, Sweet Life

  35. Heather

    I do need a pep talk! Starting a food blog is something I really want to do. Like.. I REALLY want to do it. You spoke in your post about how you had mentors and advice that was vital to your success. Any advice for a first-timer? Starting my food blog is not just something I want to do, I want to do it right. I feel that I have been reading so many different posts and “how-to’s” that my brain has become diluted. I would love any opinions, thoughts, advice that you may have. Your blog is great! Thank you so much for your informative post, it really helps!

    Thanks,

    Heather

    Reply
    1. Jen Post author

      Heather, I applaud you for wanting to do it right. But my advice is to just get started! You can create a blog, work on photography, writing, recipes, and design, and without promoting it will probably be seen by very few people, giving you an opportunity to work on it and make it right before really doing any marketing. It’s good to do research, but don’t let it keep you from taking action. Good luck!

      Reply
  36. Cooking Hat

    Thank you so much for this post! I started blogging almost a year ago. However, It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I started really thinking about getting serious about my food blog.

    I see that you recommend self-hosting and buying your domain.. Right now my blog is with blogger and the domain name for my blog isn’t available. What should I do?

    Reply
    1. Jen Post author

      If you are just getting serious, this might be a good time to consider a name change. If another site or blogger is using that name, there will inevitably be confusion and problems. If you are set on using the name you have, consider buying the .net domain instead. I have seen it work for others. Even if you don’t pay for hosting right now while you are small, it will probably be worth it to purchase a domain name and hang on to it until you are ready to grow. Good luck!

      Reply
  37. Lauren

    Thank you for sharing this post! My husband and I have had our food blog for a year and a half and we are still learning the ins and outs. This was a great list! Thanks again!

    Reply
  38. Pingback: How to Start a Food Blog | Blogging.org

  39. Mary

    Loved this post! I just recently decided to do this blogging thing more seriously, after dabbling in it for a few years just to share stuff with family and friends. I found myself spending more and more time reading bligs, I figured I might as well jump in and join the fun! Lets see where it goes…thanks for the tips

    Reply
  40. Sarah

    Wow. Really wonderful post. I am a 6-montho old blogger and there have been times when things have been really overwhelming. I am not complaining as this has been a really wonderful experience as well. I am just blessed that my husband is so supportive. My blog is more of team work. Myself (cook, writer, part-time photographer), my husband (photographer/editor, Tech support, promoter, my 2 sisters (one my sous chef and the second social media in charge) and my brother (also my part-time sous chef, part-time photographer, “manager”).
    I jumped on the blogging bandwagon just to help some of my working overseas besties with easy recipes that will help them in planning their daily meals. Hoping that this journey becomes more fruitful and adventurous.

    Keep up the good work.

    Reply
  41. Emily

    If you are looking for a great template for your food blog, I can recommend you a good wordpress theme. Howie Foodie WordPress theme by Medium and Message: http://crtv.mk/hwJq would be a great choice. It is a theme full of feautures for a food blog.

    Reply
  42. Alissa Odedra

    Thanks for posting this! OMG, I love this font that is coming out on the other side of my fingers… this is just too cute!! Anyhow, I am just about to start posting some content after taking some pictures of tested recipes and I must say, I’m very excited! I appreciate the words of written wisdom!! Thanks again for posting, I will more than likely email you in the near future!

    Love,
    Alissa

    Reply
  43. Stpehanie

    I really needed to read this today, thank you so much- I’ve bookmarked it for those hard blogging days- it reminds me that i’m not alone and I’m not crazy, and that it is REALLY hard work to have a successful food blog. Thank you for taking the time to put this together!

    Reply
  44. Christy @ Feasting Not Fasting

    I know this is an old post, but I just happened upon it and just had to leave a comment because it was so helpful. I started a food blog about a year ago but just started spending more time on it recently and have been struggling with everything you outlined here. Thanks for the honest info and for laying it all out there. 🙂

    Reply
  45. Chanel | Cultural Xplorer

    So I am reading your post about food blogging and noticing how similar many of your points are to travel blogging! I definitely spend a lot of time on social media, putting money into my blog, making blogging friends, and improving my photography skills. Great post 😀

    Reply
  46. Michelle

    Hi Jen,
    Thanks so much for this post! I’m in the very early planning stages (looking at frameworks, reading books about and practicing photography, etc) for a food blog. I am so encouraged to hear about the wonderful community you describe. I can’t wait to work hard and be a part of it.

    Reply
  47. Jason

    Hi all,

    This post was spot on, however, my ex-partner and I started a baking blog in March of 2013, by August of 2014 we were making about $10,000/month. By December 2014 we were making $15,000/month.

    Here are some tips to growing that fast:

    1. Focus on growing your email list. This is so important. Driving traffic to your blog at the click of a mouse is priceless.
    2. Don’t try to be everywhere at all times. You don’t have to be on all of the social platforms. I would recommend YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest for food blogs.
    3. Stop focusing on things that don’t matter. The color of your blog means nothing, your logo means even less. Focus on things that will make you successful.
    4. Get on a consistent posting schedule. Google likes to see fresh content, so three recipes per week is a nice number.
    5. Create recipe eBooks and/or digital products. There isn’t enough money in ad revenue anymore, so selling an eBook or a digital course works much better. Before my partner and I decided to go our separate ways, we had 5,000 people pre-register for our course at $397 each.
    6. Don’t be afraid to email your list. People get worried that emailing their list will annoy people, but sending emails with real value will always be welcome.
    7. The money is on the blog, not the social channels, so always, always drive traffic to your blog.
    8. Learn how to get people to take action. What you say and how you say it can change behavior.
    9. Have a plan. Posting recipes without a plan will get you nowhere. Have a reason for everything that you do.

    I hope this helps!

    Reply
    1. Sabrina

      Hello Jason!
      Thank you for that comment, it is at least helpful for me 😀

      I”m doing quite a lot of research for my new established blog and also try to find interesting food blogs to follow and learn from.
      Do you still run your food blog? I’d be quite interested in a link 🙂

      Reply
  48. Veronica @ seefoodplay.com

    I had to comment after reading this post because it is so, so true! I think it can be quite frustrating when you’re just starting out (like I am) because you feel like every other blog is better, has more views, etc but really, if we just keep at it (and treat it like we would a “real job”) then success is bound to come! Anyway, just wanted to say thanks – even though you posted this a while ago, I think it all still rings true today!

    Reply
  49. Jenna

    #3 is key for me. I spent a good 2 or 3 years blogging and taking crappy pictures. In 2014 I tried to really focus on my photography and that is when I noitced my blog started to take off.

    Reply
  50. Marla

    Thank you for this! I woke up a couple of weeks ago and decided I NEEDED to start a blog as a place to publish my original recipes. I had no idea what I was doing. Still learning and realize photography is the #1 thing I need to focus on.

    Reply
  51. Marvellina

    Hi Jen, so glad to stumble upon your blog as I was looking for facebook group for food blogger. Do you have any recommendation on which ones to join ? Thank you so much.

    Reply
  52. Heidi Gianino

    I am elated to find this post. starting a food blog has been on my “to do list” for a while.
    I am cooking and taking the pics anyway……and even with out blogging it yet,incredibley time consuming!

    I am doing the instagram thing, with out much luck “”breaking through” even though I feel my pics are just as good as the other peeps out there. ( I say this humbly)

    again so happy I found this post. I will definitely look into the web hosting site.

    Happy Eats
    Heidi

    Reply
  53. Poppy @ Wholehealedandhappy

    Thank you so much for your article, I’ve started a wholefood and GAPS blog about a month ago which I’m addicted too and get super excited about the few visitors I get! I love your advice about food blog groups in facebook I’ll have to try and find one. thanks again Poppy x

    Reply
  54. Angie

    Loved reading this! So true. Just when I think I’ve finally learned something about food blogging, then I face another technical issue, struggle trying to get traffic. Feel like forgetting it all and saying quits to food blogging? Feel like it, yes. Going to stop, no. Thanks for sharing this.

    Reply
  55. Andrea Escobar

    Thank you so much for this post.

    This really helped a lot. You were honest and I felt like I could literally see you in front of me.

    These tips were very helpful and you werent just writing this for you. I feel like this is something will all need to hear. I am starting a blog and its a lot of hard work. I never thought it would be so much of other tech stuff.

    Reply
  56. Sandra Douglas

    Wow!! So much to know, and learn! I am so glad that I saw this, and read the info, BEFORE I thought that I would be a food blogger, lol!! Now I know, that I would NEVER be successful at it, once I started reading about “codes”, and HTML, etc… I have NO idea how to do any of that, so I just think I will continue to share my homemade, old fashioned, regular old food, with my family and friends! Thank you so much for enlightening ALL of us!!! Keep on doing what you’re doing, and I will leave the blogging to the PROS!!

    Reply
  57. Yasmin

    Many thanks for such an iinformative writing. It really echoes the title hundred percent. Very very helpful. Thank you again.

    Reply
  58. Christy Brown

    I really enjoyed reading this post! I am about to dive into the food blogging ocean so this was very helpful info.
    Thanks!

    Reply
  59. Danell

    Thank you for this “real life” side of food blogging. I am excited to give it a try. Thank you for your help!

    Reply
  60. Pingback: How to Start a Food Blog - How to Start a Blog - The Blogging.org Guide to Blogging

  61. Anshita

    Your post is really honest and encouraging at the same time. I am a baking enthusiast and been thinking of starting my blog for a long time now. Still not started off yet. Hope to do it soon with some encouragement

    Reply
  62. SueD

    Thank you for your Blog about how to Blog.
    I have wanted to start a food and cake decorating blog for a few years now… but never have enough time to do what I am already committed too…. nedalone starting something new… again.
    I just did my first google to start my blogging research and found your page… thank you !

    Reply
  63. Daniela

    Hi! I love what you said about the food blog friends. This is the first time I have commented on a post in a fellow food blog (mine is all of a couple weeks old) and when I saw Averie’s avatar on her comment I felt like I recognized a friend – just because her blogs was one of the first I looked at when checking out what was out there. : ) I have found in my journey of discovery with food photography that the happier I am when I am taking pictures – the better they come out! Its amazing, a real time example of how one’s mood comes through into what you do! Anyways, happy blogging everyone!

    Reply
  64. Rose Russell

    Wow I learned so much. I want to start food blogging but don’t know the first thing about it. I’ve been reading a lot and trying to learn as much as I can . I do have a name picked out though! My husband will be getting a life changing diagnosis Tues. and I want to immerse my self in something that I hope I will be good at, have fun with, and at the very least make lots of fun food.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Reply

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