Finding followers (traffic, visitors) to visit your new food blog is not a very simple process, unfortunately! This might be the most challenging part of becoming successful as a food blogger and it’s something that you’ll struggle with constantly even when you do have traffic to your site. Once you have people coming, you want them to continue coming and you want your audience to grow even more – right?
Yep. So, this is a look at some of the ways you can bring traffic to your new food blogging business. This list is not comprehensive, but will give you a pretty good start!
Best Ways to Bring Traffic (Visitors) to Your Food Blog
1. Great Food Content Overall
The BEST WAY to keep people coming to your food blog continually today – and for years – is to create amazing, awesome, mind-blowing content about your chosen food specialty.
Creating great content is a bit of a skill, admittedly. We don’t always get it right. In fact, when we first started, we created very little good written content and probably none of it was great! Our photos too – were poor. The one thing that gave us a good start was our videos. Our videos at our YouTube channel have 3.3 million views right now, and when we first got started – these helped propel us to be one of the top Thai food blogs on the internet.
Your videos might be awesome, or not. Thing is, you need to produce as high quality video, photo, and written content as possible. You have to treat your blog as a business from the very start, and make an effort to produce the best content you possibly can.
You’re competing against THE WORLD – that’s why!
Really, do you know how many food blogs there are out there right now? Hundreds of thousands. Probably safe to say there are millions of people blogging about food in whatever their area of expertise. Most are not experts, so you have that going for you. Even if you’re not an expert yourself, you can STILL succeed with a food blog if you put your heart and soul into it. The internet is full of stories of people who just started to make some recipes they liked, blogged about it, saw some success, and then within a year, two years, they are making $10,000 per month with their blogs. We are one such success story. If you would have asked us in 2006 when we decided to start a food blog (on blogspot back then, now defunct) if we’d be making a living from it today – we’d have laughed. Nobody was making a living at this that many years ago. However, it seemed to have potential, so we stuck with it and pushed ourselves to keep creating content that was as good as we could make it. And, HERE WE ARE!!!!
Content must be clean and easy to read for desktop, tablet, and mobile website visitors. Your blog must be responsive and adjust to readers’ devices to format your content perfectly. In fact, if your blog isn’t responsive to different screen sizes, you will not get ranked as high in Google and other search engines. They have laid down the law recently. Your blog must get with the times and stay up-to-date and wihtin the recommendations of major search engines.
High Quality Written Articles with Basic and New Information
For your website to be found, you still need some high quality written information about your food niche. If you cannot write well, you might want to pay someone to produce it for you, based on your ideas. You might sketch out a draft of an article and hand it off to someone to make it awesome. Try for ‘awesome’ content, because you need to beat the competition.
Read about the topic of your article by finding the top articles in Google and reading them. What did they all cover? What did they miss? What could you emphasize?
What photos could you take better? If you can’t take better photos – buy them at Dreamstime.com or another stock photo agency for < $10 per photo.
We do it here (buy stock photos). The top blogs in the foodspace are buying photos daily. Get a subscription, or buy a block of credits to be able to keep yourself in a steady supply of great images.
1. Cover the Basics of Your Food Niche. Research what others in your niche are already doing and what the trends are. Cover all the basics! Ensure you have everything covered that all the other top blogs have covered. If not, get to work. If you’re going to compete, you can’t do it with gaps in the body of knowledge about your topic.
2. New Information. Once you have the basics covered, you need to add something new to your niche. Maybe it’s new food. Do you have any new recipes nobody else has? Do you have any ideas for swapping or adding ingredients to known dishes that nobody else has done? Time to experiment and make some of your own food creations.
There is nothing better to distinguish yourself from the rest than by creating new ideas which people can use to eat healthier and happier! Or, go fatty. Fattier. Is that a word? Do whatever you can to make your food stand out against all the fluff – all the competitors that are trying their best to become the next $10K per month food blog.
Dedicate entire days to figuring out what you could do differently. Maybe you can use different tools in the preparation of your food? Maybe you can add color to some of it? Maybe you can change it to suit your culture a bit more? Consider any changes and try them – experiment to make new food creations.
Some of the most amazing food we’ve ever tasted has been the result of fusion of two different cultural preferences – producing a never-before-tasted food that goes way beyond what was known before.
2. Professional Quality Food Photographs
There is no way to get around it – you must have some amazing photographs of food on your blog. Most of us cannot consistently take photos that make peoples mouths water – so we buy them, as mentioned above.
- Take the photos yourself – investing whatever you need to in order to produce near perfect quality food photos.
- Buy stock food photos like everyone else. We use Dreamstime.com – you can use whomever you like. They do have like 30 million plus photos to choose from, and the quality is high!
Do be careful to never use someone’s photo without permission on your blog, in your book, on your business cards, whatever. You may be found out – and when you are, heads will roll. Yours! If you did not take the photo yourself, or commission the photo to be taken (paid a photographer for the rights), then you cannot use someone’s photos. You cannot put them on your website without permission and credit them – it’s still stealing.
You might try searching Flickr.com for creative commons licensed photos you can use – but that is a big hastle and few people label their food images well enough to find what you’re going to be looking for. Then, what if they change the license later and claim they never offered it for free use and you have it on your blog? Problems. It’s always better in our opinion to take the photos yourself, or buy them at Dreamstime.
3. How-To Thai Food Cooking Videos
We honestly were only good at two things when we first started. One was recipes – this was the easy part because my aunts taught me how to make the most delicious Isaan food when I was growing up in Sisaket, Surin, and Buriram. I remembered it all easily because that’s what we ate everyday. I was so spoiled with good food when I grew up!
The other thing I was pretty good at because hubby (boyfriend then) helped me with my how-to Thai food videos. Even so, I wasn’t great to start, and still some words I don’t know the translation for because my electronic translator gets it way off sometimes. Like the time I called a special mushroom “Jew’s Ear.” That’s what my translator called it! I cannot help it! It’s things like this that are hard when I live here and I don’t know the rest of the world and how they call different things. Some people think it’s funny – well as long as we can all laugh about it! No harm meant ever! :PP
We are set to begin filming videos again, and we have learned a lot from this series of videos we did a few years ago. It’s best to shoot in 1080p video so people can watch full-screen on their good computers. The quality now is so much better than what we used to have. Innovation – you will have to constantly be updating your video content as it becomes necessary. If you shoot in 1080p video today, that should be good for at least a couple years. I mean, you won’t want to start shooting 5K video in a year! Some people will have that capability on their computer, but not enough to make it worth it to you to switch. Your video file sizes will be gigantic and unmanageable too. This is another consideration. 😛
4. Social Media
Social media is a mixed bag. If you’re not a good speaker, a great writer, or a great photographer and have the patience and perseverance of Mother Teresa, your time might be best spent somewhere else. Ask me how much I’m on social media? Very little! I have a JoysThaiFood Facebook page, but that’s really about it. I tried Pinterest. I tried Instagram. I tried Twitter. I don’t get any of them. It just isn’t my style. One of them might be “YOUR STYLE” though, so definitely go have a look. To me, it’s just noise. I can’t see spending hours on any of those sites every day. I’d be bored senseless!
Social media is usually great when the tool first opens and is growing. People who are in early can get a jump on the rest, and build up a big following quickly. I’m keeping my eye open for the next big thing! I will jump in if I like it, if not – there are other ways to make it work!
5. Paid Traffic to Your Food Blog
An easy way to get started and immediately get some people to your new food website is to pay for traffic to come. If you have a big budget, you can literally buy your way to a successful food blog. It is still not that easy, but you’ll have the traffic portion of the equation knocked right out!
The best way to get started buying food blog traffic is to take an online course on creating Facebook ads. The best course and the latest – is one given by a writer, Mark Dawson from the United Kingdom. Mark has a really good grasp of how everything works. He uses Facebook to build his email list. This is probably what you should be doing too. Mark gives away something free – usually a book – and in return, gets reader’s email address. Fair trade right? The ebook doesn’t cost you anything after you’ve created it – it’s free to give away if you want. Give them away! If you don’t have a book, think about creating some other digital reference someone could use – and that they would swap their email address for. Be creative – but get that email address.
Here is Mark’s Free “Explode Your Email List” course. He has a paid course which is $500, but, if you’re very tech savvy, you can watch his free course here and figure out most of it for yourself without paying $500. Up to you, the $500 will be well spent in the big picture.
Food Blog Traffic Summary
So, this is a good start to get you moving forward, but of course there are many details that need to be learned. If you have specific questions, ask in the comments and we’ll respond as soon as we can!