Surprising Ways to Boost Your Food Blog and Twitter Page

In the food industry, it is very popular to have a blog and/or a twitter account. It is so popular in fact that it has nearly made it a necessity. With food being a competitive market and a lot of possibilities for people, it is essential to lock in your audience and keep them entertained. Thankfully, here are several ways to do that through your blog:

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  1. Pictures! Take lots and lots of high quality pictures for your blog. Who enjoys looking at a cookbook with no pictures? Exactly – Nobody. To engage your audience you have to captivate them and draw them in with beautiful photos to showoff what they have the potential to not only make and eat, but post on Instagram to show off their skills.
  2. Consistency. People like to know when to expect something from someone they are following. If you start making posts once a week and then once a month to once a year, you will lose your followers. Remain consistent with the timeliness of your posts to keep them coming back for more.
  3. Widgets are Key. Adding simple widgets to your food blog will be a super quick and easy way to get people to interact with your site. Adding simple things like a recipe widget to allow for easy printing along nutritional guide for those counting calories. Having your followers vote on the recipe to mark if it was good or not will also help you improve your recipes and get to know what your followers enjoy (read below to see just how important your followers are!).
  4. Organize your blog to make it easy for people to search for recipes they’re looking for, share over social media sites, and respond to comments. The easier the process is for them, the more likely they are to do it. Having a clean site also helps this!
  5. Be real. People will not only want to fall in love with your food, but they want to fall in love with you, too! Show them pictures of your family, your food failures, and your life. They want to learn more about what makes you, you! Don’t be afraid to show them.

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Aside from making your blog as awesome as possible, you need to promote it through social media. My site of choice would have to be Twitter. For those who have not read The Tao of Twitter by Mark Schaefer, I highly recommend that you do. What makes this book such a great resource to any Twitter user is Schaefer’s ability to teach and give practical advice. The best part, it’s a pretty small easy to read book, making it a perfect Sunday afternoon read! Before reading this book, I honestly had never really used Twitter and didn’t see much of the purpose. Now, I truly believe that Twitter is a great resource for anyone looking to gain followers to their blog, brand, or anything in between.

Several of schaefers highlights in the book include his focus on spending at least 20 minutes a day on Twitter. As a new blogger, while working full time and attending school full time, spending 20 minutes a day is actually pretty reasonable, especially when social media can seem like such a large task to take on (in my post here, I talk more about this). Schaefer also emphasizes the need to focus on followers whether that is by gaining them and by building relationships. This is such a crucial part to your online presence, because ultimately those people are your fans and you want to make sure that they are left satisfied and wanting more.

Lastly, if you’re looking for a more in-depth look at social media technologies that also include Facebook, YouTube, and more blog information, Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff is another great read. This book will help you differentiate social sites and strategies and formulate a 4 step future strategy process. It’s a bit of a longer read, but I would still highly recommend it!

Let me know in the comments below which practices you have used to develop your Twitter or food blog!

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How to Take Your Brand Social in the Food Industry

Food is one of the most social activities. Whether you are going out to eat with friends, throwing a dinner party, or doing anything with a group of people, food is always involved. That is why it is essential for the food industry to use social media marketing. By taking the brand social, there are some clear challenges that you will have to face, however it is important to focus on the positives, too.

Cons:

Confusing: Managing several different websites can be very confusing if you are just starting out. There are different terms, requirements, photo restrictions, and prime hours for every social media site. Learning these takes time. If you are just starting out, take a look at my past post here. Learn about the top social media sites to use for the food industry and start there. Eventually you can work your way up to being a top contributor on several sites.

Time Consuming: In order to have effective social media pages, it takes time to establish and maintain relationships with your followers. You will need to respond to their comments, post engaging content, answer messages, and interact. This is the top reason why many businesses aren’t on social media. Social media has proven to be effective in the increase in sales, which is why I believe it is worth the time and investment.

Negativity: Social media allows everyone and any one to be social and voice their opinions. This means someone could potentially write something poorly about your organization. While this is often seen as a negative, use it as a possibility to show how you make things right and work with the customer. Don’t be afraid of feedback, getting poor scores back on a recipe is okay, that just means that you can now improve it. People will often leave their suggestions in the comments, listen to them and engage with your audience. However, I know that’s not always possible, so make sure to have a plan in place just in case social media backfires.

Slow: Don’t expect to gain 1,000 in a night. It will take time to grow your following online. Using engaging campaigns, sponsoring posts, and focusing on relationship builders will help you gain the followers you need.

Pros:

Build Relationships: Being social online means that you now have access to everyone else online. This can be your opportunity to broadcast to them and learn from them. See what else your patrons are following and like, see who they are interacting with and why. Take this opportunity to build your brand better and create better relationships than you ever thought possible.

Sharing is Caring: Your followers will share your information with their friends and then they’ll share with their friends and then they’ll share with their friends, and well, you get the idea. Word of mouth is the most priceless and valuable form of marketing. Being online can help you gain that invaluable marketing through your top fans with the simple click of a button.

Low Cost: While just starting out, funds are always a little tight. Using social media sites are free, all you have to pay for is the cost of having someone grow them. Options to cost and sponsor posts are available if your finances allow, but until that happens, ride the free train and make it work to your advantage!

Visibility: As I mentioned in the beginning of the post, food is social in nature and so is media. Making food social on media while inspire others to either make your recipes, eat at your restaurant, throw a dinner party, or even buy certain ingredients. How can people be inspired by your awesomeness if you’re hidden from them? Exactly, they can’t! Show yourself off to the world!

Branding: Being online allows you to also establish a brand for your organization. This can help establish a perception of your organization and show off its personality. Showcase your awesome customer service skills, humor, sense of style, etc. Just make sure that if multiple people are contributing to the organizations social media sites that they keep in regular communication and have a clear plan.

 

Did you already take your brand social? Let us know in the comments how you did it and if it helped!

 

Have a food blog and want more people to read it? Take a look at my past post here to learn how!

 

This Free App May Change How We Cook Forever

Fork It by Kitchenbowl, a Seattle startup company, aims to make cooking fun again. Kitchenbowl has already won over the market with their original app appropriately called Kitchenbowl, as they won Best New App in 2014 in the App store. Kitchenbowl is known for reinventing standard recipes into fun, interactive, and social format as they include step by step pictures and GIFs. Recipes on Forkit are from well-known sites such as Kitchenbowl, Allrecipes, Epicurious and more.

Fork It is the first gamified social media cooking platform to reach the market launching in just May 2016. Fork It offers several different ways for users to interact with other including a check-in feature to show others what you are cooking. Users decide on a weekly cooking goal, that is diet friendly, and sets goals, achievements, and more. Users can compete against each other to unlock badges, compare scores on the leaderboard, and earn points through streaks. Though the app is still new and ramping up users, it has already been featured in several publications through Digital Trends, CNET, Geek Wire, and more.

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Once your meal has been prepared, step back and take tons of pics to share with friends via the app. The app is integrated with data system that also allows it to track what foods you are cooking regularly. If it notices you make pasta salad every Saturday, you just may find some pasta coupon links next time you go on the app.

Fork its data suggests that their app can double the amount of dishes people are making at home each week. Eating at home can save you nearly 200 calories every day and save money. I know what you are thinking “this is great and all, but I don’t have time to cook.” I always thought that, too! I always managed to find some excuse as to why I didn’t have to eat or workout, until I realized that I wasn’t taking the time to find the time. Once I starting planning out my days, I was able to see when I had free time and how I could fit a quick meal in.

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Checkout some of my quick one pot recipes, many of them take 10 minutes or less of your time to make. Cooking can actually be easy. This app just helps make it more fun, social, and enjoyable. Who doesn’t love showing off to their friends?! The app currently has a 4.5 star rating out of 5. Kitchenbowl measures their success through customer reviews. This is how they know if a bug is occurring and on which platforms.

So what are you waiting for?! It’s free, fun, and available on the App store! Download Fork it and start saving calories, saving money, showing off your skills to friends, and enjoy some delicious food! Don’t forget to add me on the app when you do! @choppingspree

How to Actually Get People to Read Your Food Blog

Since food being a necessity in our everyday lives, it only makes sense that food would be all over social media. It is nearly impossible to scroll through your feed without seeing some sort of food posting. It can be hard to create awareness about your food blog. Not because of bad recipes or poor photography pictures, but because no one knows your blog exists. Most food blogs struggle to have 500 visitors a month, so don’t worry, you are not alone

How are you going to up your food blog, you ask? Well we have the answers. By utilizing social media and tools that you already have available to you, you can increase your readers and become a fierce competitor.

  1. Use the Right Sites

The food industry is currently thriving off of popularity it has shown throughout social media networks. The key is to focusing on the right social media sites. Facebook, Pinterest, Youtube, and Instagram are particularly food heavy. Instagram is perfect for showcasing crave worthy food photographs. In 2016, the hashtag “Foodporn” had over 104 million tags. Facebook is also a great social media website to post recipe videos which has led to the creation of many popular pages including Tasty, Cooking Panda, Incredible Recipes, and more. YouTube also shows recipe videos, but include a main focus on the maker of the video and showcase more personality in them, often with a voiceover rather than subtitles like Facebook recipe videos. Pinterest is also a perfect website to showcase your photography skills and capture people with pictures of your delicious creations. I truly don’t think I know a single person without a Pinterest recipe board, do you? Out of Pinterest’s 73 million users, 72% are women with the most pinned category being “food and Drink.”

  1. Find Followers

By using social media, pay attention to what your followers like and who else they follower. It can help you get a better idea of what your followers are interested in. It can also help you promote your blog. For instance, if you make vegan recipes and a majority of your followers like a “How to Vegan” page on Facebook, post your recipes on there. It’s free advertising for you and allows new vegans to discover delicious recipes.

  1. Be Public

Make sure you blog is public so that anyone can read it. This will help increase results on search engines. Making sure your content is easily shareable as well will help. People are willing to share information, so long as it is nearly effortless on their part. Having direct sharing links to Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram will help your readers do some of the work for you and increase blog traffic.

  1. Engage

Engage with potential followers and competitors. Yes, I do mean competitors. Learn from your competitors. They have already become successful, find out how they did it. This can lead to you making friends in the food community and that can have a priceless effect on your success. You can network, meet others with similar interests, and even open the door to collaborations. Working with others acts as a win-win situation for both parties involved because it allows you to introduce someone to potential followers. Engaging with followers will also help create a special relationship and create an even stronger bond.

  1. Up Your Recipe Game

So long are the days of just posting a simple recipe online. Users want to be able to print their recipes and also rank them. Recipes with higher ratings will gain more clicks through search sites as well as make people more inclined to try them. Allowing your followers to communicate back to you, give their feedback, and interact will create two-way communication that can help your blog succeed. Sites like WordPress offer plugins with this capability to increase user interaction.

  1. Social Media Tools

Checkout this post I wrote last week to see which tools can help your social media posts gain more interaction and engagement from followers.  From Canva to Mail Chimp to Hootsuite and more, your blog will surpass 500 users in no time.

6 Social Media Tools to Improve Your Food Blog

Starting a food blog can be a scary task for anyone. Luckily, there are several social media tools that make it easier. Below is a list of tried and true social media tools that I have used. The best part is, 5 of the 6 tools below are completely FREE!

  1. Pexels

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As a blogger, one of the worst things that can happen is accidentally stealing someone’s picture. Thankfully, Pexels is a website that gives users access to over 40,000 free high-quality stock photos. All photos are licensed under CC0, so there is no need ever worry! I used Pexels to find the picture for this post. I highly recommend this tool!

  1. Canva

Canva

I don’t know where I would be without this website. Canva is free to use and allows users to design creative images and documents. Templates on the site help you simply drag and drop to create anything from flyers, awards, charts, and more. There is an option to upgrade to a paid service with access to more images and content, too!

  1. Mail Chimp

Mail Chimp

Mail Chimp is one of the easiest ways to create a loyal fan-base, send members-only information, and updates on new blog creations. Their easy email layouts helps users create marketing campaigns and designs with ease. Send welcome emails to new subscribers, automated emails, sign-up forms, data spreadsheets, and more! Mail Chimp already sends out over a billion emails a day. They do offer upgrade plans if you would like to have unlimited sending and demographic information, but for small blog users, the free version is perfect!

  1. HootSuite

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If you’re anything like me, you probably forget to post on social media at the optimum times. Thankfully, Hootsuite is here to save us all! Hootsuite allows users to schedule posts and manage accounts on a plethora of social media sites. There are delegation features to ensure more than 1 person doesn’t respond to the same comment or mention as well as free graphic chart reports to keep track of your social media marketing success. Unfortunately, HootSuite is not free, but it’s such a useful tool that it is worth every penny.

  1. Piktochart

Piktochart

Looking for a fast easy way to gain someone’s attention? Then Piktochart is what you need! Piktochart is an infographic design app that allows you to create eye-catching infographics in no time. Simply drag and drop to choose your layout, images, content, and more. These infographics are great to post onto social media sites like Pinterest or an interesting addition to your blog content.

  1. Meme Generator

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What’s better than just typing words to say how you feel, adding a meme of course! Memes are not only an eye-catching way to grab a reader’s attention, but they also help people relate to what you’re saying and maybe even get them to let out a little chuckle. Meme Generator allows you to select from meme’s that others have made or easily create your own. You can upload your own graphics or choose from standard meme images we have also come to love. The best part about this social media tool? It’s free!

Leave a comment below with your favorite social media tool!