One of the questions I’m often asked is if I have any food blogging tips for new bloggers. I know it can be very overwhelming at first! So I’ve come up with a list of my top 20 tips. I wish someone had told me some of these things when I was first starting out. I’m certainly no expert and there are many out there who have been doing this a lot longer than I have. In the grand scheme of food blogging, I’m small potatoes. So these are just tips from my experiences over the past 4 years and you can take them with a grain of salt. What has worked for me might not work for you.

Note: These are “Food Blogging 101″ tips so I don’t expect that this list will be useful to more established bloggers.  But feel free to add your own tips in the comment section!

  1. I have recipe ideas at all hours. In the car, at restaurants, while watching TV. Keep a list with you at all times so you can jot down your inspirations. I use Google Tasks with an iPhone app called GeeTasks so I can edit the same list from anywhere.
  2. Make your site very easy to view and navigate. Personally, when I visit a site I want easy access to a recipe index and recent posts. Creative layouts might be pretty but they often lead to confusion for a new visitor.
  3. Try to be a little bit creative with your content. I’m sure you have an amazing recipe for brownies but that probably won’t help you build an audience at first. Every post doesn’t need to be an innovative masterpiece but a unique recipe is more likely to entice a reader to stick around.
  4. Take notes in the kitchen! I’m constantly making minor tweaks and I would never remember them all if I didn’t jot them down.
  5. Give your posts simple titles (the name of the recipe if applicable). This will help people find your recipes in search engines. And as a reader, I want to know what a post is about just from reading the title.
  6. Be consistent with your recipe formatting. Write clear instructions and don’t use abbreviations. I learned some great tips from The Recipe Writer’s Handbook by Barbara Gibbs Ostmann and Jane Baker. Accuracy is everything and consistency will make people feel comfortable. Develop a style and stick to it.
  7. Proofread before you post! Mistakes happen to the best of us. When I posted my blueberry corn muffins, I accidentally left out a cup of buttermilk from the ingredient list. And another blogger made them and asked me why the batter was so dry! Boy did I feel guilty and luckily she had a sense of humor about it.
  8. Tag your posts (but don’t overdo it). These words will help search engines find you and some platforms, such as WordPress.com, have tag browsers so readers can search for keywords such as recipes, desserts, etc.
  9. Check and make sure your RSS feed and email subscriptions are working properly (and offer both!)  I’m embarrassed tell you how long I was running a blog without RSS and that’s one of the main ways people follow you.
  10. Create links back to other entries within your site. Link to old recipes when relevant, create “Popular Post” and “Recent Post” links on the sidebar. If possible, use a plugin such as LinkWithin, which offers suggestions for other posts readers might like.
  11. I have a hard time giving away all of the food I make. The truth is, for blogging purposes you can usually get away with making half of the recipe. No one will know and you’ll save money on ingredients. That being said, you want to make sure you have your “pretty” tart shell or cupcake. Sometimes it pays to make extra so you know you’ll be able to get that one beautiful photo.
  12. Speaking of photos, learn how to use your camera. I used to take 20 pictures on different random settings and then pick the best one. That’s boring and a waste of time. Learn about ISO, f-stops, shutter speeds, white balance and manual vs. autofocus. I highly recommend the book Plate to Pixel.  This food photography e-book is also great for beginners. Get some photo editing software for cropping, white balance, color and exposure corrections.  I use Adobe Photoshop but there are cheaper options on the market, such as Photoshop Elements. I know there is free software online but I’ve never used any of it so I can’t make a recommendation.
  13. Once you learn to take photos, be sure to submit them to sites like Foodgawker and Tastespotting.  These sites will bring you a ton of traffic but you need to be ready for a lot of rejection. They’ve turned away many of my photos and I hear a lot of frustration in the blogging community about rejected photos. Just remember- they’re offering us a free service and their high standards make us work harder to improve. To quote Foodgawker: “keep in mind that even with set quality standards, image selection will always be a subjective decision, because we are not robots.”
  14. If you want people to find your blog, you have to network. Visit other food blogs and comment on their recipes.  Quite often the blogger will return the favor and visit your site. Even if they don’t, others are also likely to see your comment so it’s a good way to network. I’m constantly finding wonderful new blogs by reading comments on other sites. Social media is also a must if you want to gain followers. Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are the most popular and also the most important. On Facebook, don’t just share your recipes. Visit other blogger pages and interact with them. Engage you fans with photos, links and commentary that’s separate from your blog.
  15. Host giveaways. At first you might need to buy items (such as a cookbook) to give away but eventually companies will come to you. Use the giveaways as a platform to get people to follow you via email, RSS, Facebook and Twitter. Have people share the contest with others.
  16. Speaking of companies, you should read this excellent article from I Am Baker: Blogging 101: The Pitch. Once you’ve been at it for awhile you’re going to start hearing from a lot of PR people who want you to promote their products. Just remember, you don’t always have to say yes. They want to benefit from your hard work and gain access to your followers. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, but pick wisely and don’t give your time and effort away for free.
  17. If you’re going to adapt a recipe, you really need to take the time to re-write the instructions. This is a common rookie mistake. It’s also a pet peeve of many recipe developers who spend a lot of time coming up with the correct wording. It doesn’t take a long time to do and you’ll be adding your personal touch.
  18. Don’t use another person’s photography on your blog without giving them credit and providing a link back to their site. Most bloggers would also prefer an email request before the photo is used at all. If you read the FAQ on a blog you’ll often find information about personal preferences.
  19. If a recipe is no good or just ok, don’t post it. Test it again. If someone tries one of your recipes and they don’t like it, chances are they’re not going to trust you the next time.
  20. Above all else, have fun and be yourself. Don’t worry about what anyone else is doing. These tips will help you move forward and improve but there’s something very dry and business-like about them. In this end, we do this because we’re passionate about food.  Love what you do, be yourself and people will enjoy your blog as much as you enjoy creating it.

Bloggers, what are some of your best tips for beginners?

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Comments

  1. Great tips there Jen ! I think one of the biggest learnings for me is that you need to really want to this, as it requires commitment. If you love it, it’s not a big commitment, but it still takes time – to photograph, to write, to read others’ blogs, to comment etc.

  2. Great tips, Jen! I agree with Carolyn – there is a time commitment involved that is an important aspect to blogging. Another tip – post consistently and don’t post on the same days as everyone else. For instance, I had a post ready for Monday and then noticed my RSS feed was full from almost every other blogger I follow, so I waited until Tuesday to share.

  3. I think these are great tips, ESPECIALLY #1! I can’t tell you how many times I *didn’t* write something down, and got frustrated trying to remember it later. However I disagree with #15. I don’t think a person should rely on giving things away in order to gain readers. Readers should be coming for the content/stories/pictures/recipes etc. Also, I don’t think the ultimate goal of a blogger should be to get KitchenAid to send her/him free stand mixers. Not to say that I would never host a giveaway, (because I have,) it’s just not something that I feel is a necessity.

    • I don’t think giveaways are a necessity. I’ve just found personally that they’re fun, people like them and I like hosting them. I like to think that people aren’t just hanging around for my giveaways and that they like my content as well. But there’s nothing wrong with using them to gain followers. My ultimate goal isn’t to give away a KitchenAid but I would certainly love to do so.

  4. Ahhh these are great! Thank you so much for sharing – I’ve only had my food blog for a few months and I’m learning something new all the time. This post has been so useful :)

  5. I really need to get better at #4; there are too many times when I’ve had to remake a recipe because I can’t remember a crucial detail…great list!

  6. Really great post!! I totally agree on taking notes in the kitchen, that is something that saves me everytime. Commitment, yes definitely. Also something very important is to make sure you don’t compare yourself to other bloggers, it’ll steal your joy of blogging from you – and it’s way too much work to get no joy from it :) Be unique & ok with it.

  7. Great tips! I have a blog about coffee but believe me it’s almost the same thing. Really useful, I am sure that all fresh bloggers will love this. I know how hard it was for me when I was learning.

  8. these are great tips.. as a ‘newbie’ I appreciate each and every one of them.. I am currently working on moving my wp blog to another host and am a little confused but learning along the way :) I really want to format my recipes ( when I have them.. my blog is growing into more of my life- stories, which is fine with me) so that they are easily saved and printable, and I’m not finding that with Wp… along with other things that I cannot do.

    I appreciate this post :)

  9. Thank you, thank you, Jen – for taking the time to give these wonderful tips! You just answered so many of my questions! It was also reassuring to see that I am doing many things the correct way! So funny, I just emailed Laura @Tutti Dolci yesterday with a question on one of the tips you listed! (She’s always so helpful!) It was like you were reading my mind! Happy Thursday!

  10. Great tips Jen!
    some of these I have only come to realize recently. It is indeed helpful to beginners and old timers alike

  11. Great tips! I’m so bad about #4 – I really need to start keeping a little notebook in the kitchen to jot things down so I’m not struggling to remember when I go to type up the recipe.

  12. Great post and helpful tips, Jen!
    I’m so glad you mentioned LinkWithin… I’ve been wondering how to include links to related posts. THANKS!
    I think it’s important for beginners to realize that food blogging takes a LOT of work, and it’s often a thankless job. I wish we could wave a magic wand and have our readers leave comments (good OR bad) so we can gauge our performance, but it just doesn’t happen as often as we’d like. If we love what we’re doing and we’re doing it for US, the lack of comments and feedback is an easier pill to swallow.

  13. I loved all these tips, Jen! Thanks so much for sharing. I especially find the tip you shared about keeping a notebook with you at all times useful. I have done that on and off again, and I can tell you when I don’t do it, I have a much harder time coming up with ideas to post about on a regular basis!

  14. Great tips! I’ve been doing this just about a year and these are still very helpful. I haven’t ventured into the giveaway realm yet, but I want to! I’ve also been trying to get into the BlogHer network with no success… I guess I’ll just have to keep at it!

  15. I love # 12! I am getting a new camera for Christmas and I’m itching to get my hot little hands on it. Thanks for sharing your tips. :)

  16. Helpful tips!

  17. Excellent tips! Since I’m still on free WP (no scripts allowed) and don’t have natural light to take photos in, I’m a little limited, but once I self-host, those limits will start to diminish..except for the natural light, but I’ll figure something out! ;)

  18. Great post, Jen!!!! And huge congrats on your strawberry cake win!!

  19. Tracey Evans says:

    This is awesome!! Thank you! I have been wanting to start a food blog for the past year or so and still have not started it. Can’t come up with a name! lol!! I have been reading “Food Blogging for Dummies” and your tips and this books have great info. Do you have any suggestions regarding a new blogger having their own site v/s using blogspot, wordpress etc….? I know you have to do your own back ups etc… if you have your own site. Thanks! :)

    • I think WordPress is a great startup site. In the end I prefer having my own site for so many reasons, but it’s a lot of word to build one if you’re not familiar with code. I’d start with wordpress.com and see how committed you are to the blog. I use feedburner for RSS. It’s had a few issues recently but for the most part it’s fine. Good luck! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      • Tracey Evans says:

        Thank you! :)

      • Tracey Evans says:

        Hey Again, I signed up with WordPress ($26.00), however I am not finding it to be very user friendly, Ugh! Have you used it before or how about blogspot? Thanks! :)

        • What cost you $26? I’m pretty sure it was free when I signed up but maybe they’ve changed things. It’s the only platform I’ve worked with so I can’t speak for blogspot. Which settings are you having difficulty with? There are a lot of little things but you’ll get the hang of it.

          • Tracey Evans says:

            It was $18.00 for the blog and $8.00 to keep my personal e-mail private. I can’t figure out how to add a contact form. In the book “Food Blogging for Dummies”, it states that it can be added via the Contact Form icon in the top portion of the Text editor. I don’t see this at all anywhere under the Dashboard. Are you familiar with this? I am playing around with it, just thought it would be easier to set up. Also can’t get my sidebar to move to the right sight of the page. Not sure if it’s because of the free theme I picked. Thanks for your help!! :)

          • There was no $18 fee when I started mine, I’ll have to keep that in mind when I recommend it from now on. I’ve never used a contact form so I’m not going to be very helpful there, unfortunately. With regards to the sidebar, every theme has different options so make sure your theme offers that customization. Good luck!

          • Tracey Evans says:

            Thanks Jen! I’ll change my theme and figure out the contact form thing! :)

          • I think my original free theme was Tarski and I really liked it. Clean, pretty. http://tarskitheme.com.

  20. Jen you are so kind to share your knowledge. Thank you! I’ve been at this for a year and a half
    I feel my biggest stumbling blocks are not being too savvy at using the WordPress site, figuring out RSS, links, etc.. Any suggestions in that regard? Take a class? It’s helpful to know others also get frustrated with the whole process…I just love to cook and write so I’m not about to give up!

  21. Thank you for sharing these tips–blogging about food is fun–but there is a lot to learn!

  22. These are great tips! I think when people start out, they don’t know what the rules are and so there are mistakes made :)

  23. Fantastic tips! I’ll be using a couple of them myself!

  24. You have some great tips. I’m a relatively new blogger and I appreciate advice. I think my biggest problem is posting consistently. I work full time and sometimes there just isn’t enough time in the day and maybe it just takes me longer than most to create a post. If you see anything on my site that could use improvement, I would love to hear it. Thanks for the post.

    • It can be very time consuming, I understand completely. Sometimes I try to get ahead by cooking a lot of stuff and once and taking multiple photos. Then I write up the actual posts at a later date when I have time.

  25. Thanks for the tips! It’s great to have a list to reference because it’s even easy to forget the basics. I’ll suggest one more tip…If you have a family tell them often that you appreciate their patience. Many a time I have left my kids and husband waiting to eat while I photographed a plateful of supper. (You gotta grab the light when you can!)

  26. Excellent tips, Jen! When I started blogging over 3 years ago I had no idea what I was doing or where it would take me. I think it’s also important to stay true to who You are. For a long time I tried to be sugary-sweet (no pun intended) and perfect…almost robotic. Now I know that it’s okay to let readers know when I mess up on something, or if traffic made me particularly snarky that day. :) With the hundreds of food blogs that are out there now, being ourselves is the best way to stand out.

    I’ve never been approached by companies to host a giveaway, and even though that’s not important, it still bruises the ego a bit. (I blame the inconsistent p & s camera). ;-)

    • I think it’s only a matter of time before you start hearing from companies, your site is wonderful. Shoot me an email, I might know a few good companies you can start with.

      Also, yes yes yes to being yourself. I’m a pretty snarky person and I’m often bitching about something on Twitter. I wouldn’t want to be all unicorns and butterflies all the time, but I think some people feel pressure to do that.

  27. I started my blog last week, so I really appreciate the timeliness of these tips! I’ve got so many questions I don’t even know where to begin, so I’ll google for tutorials. I looked through BloggingWithAmy.com before I started, which was really helpful in a general blogging way. Now I’m looking for food-blogging specific advice.

    Oh, and your D70? We loved ours. Almost as much as we loved the Sony 505. That was the best camera ever.
    Thank you so much!

  28. These are great tips! I’m not a beginner but I still find these useful :) The only thing I want to add is to show some blog love to other bloggers, by linking to their sites every now and then (not just in the blog roll) or interacting with them via social media. It’s nice to feel part of a community!

  29. I love this post! #14 is a concept that I definitely didn’t get when I was starting out…and tips #4-7 are all things that I’ve vaguely thought about but never pinned down in exactly those terms. Thanks for the post!

  30. Great list, I would agree with everything. I always say “be who you really are!” Don’t try to be what you think readers what you to be. We want the real you!

  31. claire @ the realistic nutritionist says:

    This is SUCH AN AWESOME list, Jen!! I wish I had known half of this when I began. I have to second Cassie and say “BE YOURSELF.” there’s no one else like you, so use that to your blogging advantage!

    • Thank you! I agree with both of you. As I said in an earlier comment to someone, I’m pretty snarky and am often bitching about something or another on Twitter. I used to wonder if that was holding me back but it’s just who I am!

  32. Great tips and links for newbies!

  33. Thank you for sharing these tips! Like others here, I’m just starting out. I have really been enjoying your blog – especially your consistent quality. It’s very generous of you to take time to share some advice!

  34. fabiola@notjustbaked says:

    This is a great and useful post. I agree with all of them! Especially the RSS, and the heads up you gave me. It is essential! I find that bloggers are so loving when you are visiting their sire often and commenting. That is how I connected with many bloggers. And of course, twitter. The most favorite media for bloggers, that is what I hear and read everywhere.

  35. How nice & generous of you, Jen! I have also offered this piec of advice to novice blogers. Widen your central column and use the X-Large photo option. People will only read what we write if they’re enticed by our photos. Not every photo needs to be X-Large, but it helps attract attention and draw readers in when used judiciously.

  36. These are some really great tips. Food blogging is such a great community. ^_^ Thank you!

  37. Thanks for the tips! Glad to see I’m on the right track with a few of these, and I definitely learned a thing or two as well :)

  38. Great tips!

  39. Thanks for the tips! My blog isn’t for food but some of your advice is universal :)

  40. Thanks for such a well written and accessible list of tips for new bloggers. Starting out can be hard and the learning curve is very steep – simple advice on some of the basics is like gold dust. I’ll be sharing this on the Australian website for our national food blogging conference to help share the love. :-)

  41. That’s such a good and comprehensive list. Very helpful. Thanks.

  42. Great tips and still useful for those not-so-new at blogging – I’ve had mine for almost two years. I too had no idea about the Link Within – so am very happy to have found this. One thing I did recently was to purchase some business cards very cheaply online (but they still look good) with just my blog details and email on it. I chose a template similar to my blog style and colour so there’s a link. People never remember your blog name and with all the hyphens, dots and dashes that are sometimes involved, it’s easier just to give out a little card. Having said that, I keep forgetting to give it to people!

  43. I am not a new blogger (and I am happy to say I am good at most of these things) but this was still a fantastically useful post. And I wish more successful bloggers would stand up and say they get lots of rejections from the photo sites. It really helps to hear that. :)

  44. Claire @ Claire K Creations says:

    What a brilliant list. I’ve been at if for two years next week and there were a few tips in there that I hadn’t heard.

    I was so excited to get my first photo accepted by tastespotting I’d say I’ve got about a 1 in 4 record. You start to catch on to what they will and won’t accept after a while.

  45. SO helpful Jen. Thank you for posting! I think of recipes when I’m going to bed at night and type them as a list into my phone. And I also try to network as much as possible. Best way to get your name out there!

  46. Christie - Food Done Light says:

    Great article. I’ve been up and running almost 2 months and am trying to get a feel for how I am doing. I’m not quite sure how to measure that yet. I found #3 interesting. I love to cook with new spices, flavors and cuisines. I have been trying to balance between that and something a little more traditional “American”. It seems like the more typical recipes are the most popular so far. Hoping that will change. I also noticed sweet treats are very popular. Any suggestions on figuring out if you are on the right road or is it still too early?
    I do have to say I have found my fellow bloggers AWESOME! I cannot believe how generous and supportive I have found them all to be. That has been quite an unexpected gift.

  47. What an excellent post! You’ve compiled what I have learned and more!! Thanks for sharing~

  48. Very helpful tips Jen! I enjoyed reading…;-)

  49. Great list!!

  50. these are fantastic tips! i wish i had seen this before i started blogging. =) for real, though, a lot of them i still need to get better at – thanks for the reminder! =)

  51. Thanks for taking the time to write these out! I really like the way your site is set up, and I was actually wondering how you did #10.

  52. great list, Jen! I think recipe proofreading, testing it and re-making it if you’re not sure, i.e. if it’s a fussy cookie or a fussy cake, and you’re feeling ‘iffy’ about it – retest it, yes! Some things are not forgiving and a person not trusting you again, so true, if they have a flop.

    And no abbreviations, either. Great point. T vs t. vs T. <– Is that tablespoon, teaspoon, what is that? And to intl readers, they get even more confused b/c it's T to t to metric!

  53. Fantastic tips – thanks so much for taking the time to share! One thing I’ve been learning to do is loosen up and not be such a stiff, instructional writer. I need to remember to include personal stories or references in my posts so they are more fun. There’s a fine line between writing so much you lose the reader and being so dry that readers just aren’t interested from the start.
    Again – thank you for this post.

  54. This is such a helpful list – thanks so much for being generous with this and sharing your experience. I wish I knew about some of these things before I started – but never late than never

  55. Wonderful tips and I wish I read this post when I started 1.5 year ago! It took me some time to figure that out on my own. You’re generous and I’m sure a lot of people appreciate your tips. I need to get Google task app now thanks to you! I use Note but want to see different app for a change…

  56. I think this is a great selection of tips, well done!

    http://www.tamarasblend.com/

  57. This is extremely helpful! I’ve been blogging for about a year now (not very consistently) and have not heard of some of these options, like LinkWithin – I will definitely put these tips to use!

  58. Thanks a lot for the tips! I am trying to improve on pictures a lot, and planning on investing in Photoshop. But in the mean time I use an online solution: http://www.pixlr.com. It is very easy to use, does not offer all the possibilities of Photoshop, but the bascis are there: balance, luminosity, contrast, cropping, saturation, automatic corrections…A good tool at the start! I’ll focus on this & offering more on my facebook page for a start!

  59. Such great tips, Jen! I’ve thought about writing a post like this many times. It’s so great for people just starting out to have some direction.

  60. Thanks for all the great tips! While I’m not a food blogger, I just started blogging last month and a lot of these tips applied to me too!

  61. For how to take great food photos without a fancy camera, check
    out this helpful article from blogger Brynn Cahalan at http://college.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/2012/05/how-to-photograph-food-without-a-fancy-camera.html.

  62. GREAT tips Jenn! And thank you for taking your time to share them with us and all the links too. You ROCK sista. :)

  63. These are awesome tips, and a good reminder that even “veteran” bloggers like myself need to keep things fresh!

  64. Thank you for all of the helpful tips. I have been blogging for over a year now and consider myself a beginner … there is always something to learn!

  65. Great tips for those of us getting the hang of this blog stuff! Thanks for sharing.

    ps – I love your super foods power smoothie! I’m a fan of kale but never thought I’d be drinking it in a smoothie. Healthy and delicious!

  66. Wonderful tips here, Jen! Thank you so much for sharing :)

  67. Thank you. I’ve found some interesting advices in your list :)

  68. Thanks for listing the Top 20 blogging tips. I truly can relate, and I still struggle to keep up on posting.
    Plus I tend to change my style until I find something that works. I believe I may have found the way I want to show case my posts now, and hopefully I am able to improve further. Also, I’m glad I stumble upon your blog. Do stay in touch and have a great week ahead! Cheers, Jo

  69. Thanks yiou for your tips, I thinks that i’m going to try to install Linkwithin, I just need to find a tuto in french because blogger is a little bit different in french.

    A great post

    http://beautybubblesinyourlife.blogspot.fr/

  70. Thanks so much for this post! It is super helpful for a new blogger. I am bookmarking it and will use it as a reference, lots of great information!

  71. Great tips thank you!!

  72. Hi Jennifer, thanks so much for these informative tips! I’ve been blogging for about 10 months and I love it. However I’m really struggling to feel part of the wider blogging community, I would appreciate any advice that could help me! Thanks and happy blogging, Anna

    • Hi Anna! I read that at first as you’ve been blogging for 10 minutes and got a good chuckle. Your site is really nice! I’d say the best way to get started is to visit other blogs and comment. Find those people on Twitter and connect. From there you can start branching out- see what recipes they share, etc.

  73. Great times, I definitely intend to use these tips! Thx

  74. I’m so glad my boyfriend found your site and sent me this post since I’m a new blogger! He noticed that I was already trying to do some of your tips to begin with so this is a great resource and makes me feel like I’m heading SLOWLY in the right direction. I definitely need a lot of help in the photography/food styling side which I guess most beginner bloggers don’t understand how crucial those skills really are. Blogging is definitely a big time committment. Thank you for writing such a great post. I’m following you on twitter too. =) I hope one day to learn enough so my photos can be even half as great as yours.

  75. P.S. I actually just read through some of your comments and have the same issue with WP since I started my blog a few weeks ago. Since I knew nothing about blogging other than people suggesting I use WP, I bought a bundle package that included hosting and a domain name but now have run into issues with flexibility and functionality since I’m not self-hosting it. I neve realized that it’s actually not that user friendly and you don’t have capabilities for any cool plug in features. I can’t do a recipe index, I can’t even add a Pinterst buttong…etc. =( I went from only having a few follower to over 300 in one single day because a celebrity friend tweeted and FB’d her followrs to follow my blog. Now I feel stuck!

    • Thanks for stopping by! Regarding WordPress, it’s a tough call. If you stay on .com for another year you might have the same concern with 3000 followers instead of 300. I waited 3 years to make the move and lost a ton of email subscribers. It looks like you bought your own domain? As long as your friend pointed people there it won’t matter whether you’re on self-hosted wordpress or not. You can also set up domain forwarding. If someone goes to savorysimple.wordpress.com they’re automatically forwarded to savorysimple.net. I think forwarding is around $15 a year.

      Are you or your boyfriend good at coding websites? If so, I recommend just buying a self-hosted domain now before you gain any more followers. If you’d need to hire a web designer, wait a while to see if you still enjoy blogging in 6 months. As you’ve already noticed, it’s a big time commitment!

      • Thanks for responding so quickly! I also saw your recent recipes. I’m amazed at how you successful bloggers manage posting so many recipes that look incredibly delicious with incredible photography AND working full time. WOW! I wish I was half as talented. Unfortunately I don’t or anyone I know have coding abilities so I was thinking that I may have to hire someone if it ever gets to that point. For now, it’s a fun hobby but I liked your advice for new bloggers to wait a few months to make sure that we can put the time investment to blog. Thank you again!

    • :::butting in, sorry::: after just 150+ posts, I decided to move from wordpress.com to self-hosted and i regret not doing it sooner. i have spent countless hours transferring photos that are still hosted at wordpress.com and re-formatting my posts. (OLD posts) BUT it would drive me nuts if they didn’t all look perfect.

      I recently hired web designers to re-design the graphics and layout of my site and I have no regrets (even though I feel like I spent my life savings.

      If you think you are going to get serious about blogging, I would recommend you JUST DO IT! Don’t wait.

      Anyway, it IS a time + $ commitment….. I guess you have to decide if it’s worst it for you.

      xoxoxoox

  76. Thanks for these helpful tips! I’m going to have to check into LinkWithin to improve my bounce rate. The plugin I use currently doesn’t include pictures from other related posts. I definitely think that we are all visual people, and pictures really are the bread and butter of food blogging.

  77. Thank you SO much for this post. I’ve been blogging for a while now, but I’m looking to REALLY getting to the next level. I’ve been Googling the past few days looking for tips and advice. My list of changes keeps growing! Again, thank you for posting these tips.

    -Chad D.

  78. These are really great tips.very helpful.
    Previously I did not schedule or plan my posts when I was away for a holiday.So,it was bit hard to make the blog active once I came back.
    Recently I was away for holidays,but I scheduled few posts using some of my old posts and linking them into a new post.When I came back few days ago,I was very happy to see that my blog is active with new comments,followers and also increased traffic…..Also most of my old posts got more attention.

  79. Thanks ever so much for these tips; I just started a new vegan food and nutrition blog and this information is invaluable!

  80. Christina says:

    I realize this was posted last year, but I’m going to comment anyway. I’m working on setting up my own food blog (more of an eating blog as I’m not a big cook :D) and I’ve been searching for some good tips before I go live – I think your post is the most helpful list of tips I’ve read so far! One of my biggest worries is the ‘socializing’ part, but after reading all the friendly comments here I’m feeling a little less shy.

  81. I think this is such a great list of tips–Thank you!

  82. Thanks, I think this can be helpful for all bloggers!

  83. shiv singh says:

    Great post and your tips really great thanks for this post..

  84. Some of my pet peeves of food/recipe blogs are 1) not including servings!!!!! and 2) nutritional info!

    • Wait, you don’t like it when blogs don’t include nutritional information? I can see why that’s important on health blogs but I don’t even want to know the calories on some of my desserts. The reader can take care of that :)

  85. Great & useful post! Thank you!

  86. Hey Jennifer, thanks so much for these – they are very helpful. I started my blog only a few weeks ago and up to now I’m enjoying it big time. It’s always great to get some feedback and know that people actually read what you’re writing about so passionately, so thanks especially for your advice on getting the blog noticed.

  87. Thank you for the great tips! I just started my blog Borrowed Salt this month, and your tips have been awesome for getting some eyeballs on it. I was wondering, what has been your experience with Rich Pins and coding for Google Recipe searches? Have you started coding for these yet and has it been worth the effort?
    Thanks,
    Amy

  88. Wow you are so sweet and generous! Thank you a ton to share your experience and what you must have learnt over long time with us! It is really impressive, not easy to meet such a good and genuine person!
    Very happy to have come across your blog on pinterest!
    Ciao ciao

  89. Wow! lots of information, thanks so much!

  90. Wonderful post. Loved all the information for us beginning bloggers. Thank you for sharing your expertise.

  91. Great tips! My favorite is to be yourself. I am often tempted to be like the other foodies out there, but I am a strong believer that no one can play you better than you. Thank you so much for sharing your tips with us newbies…{by the way, you’re pictures are amazing…}

  92. Thanks so much for the tips Jennifer. As a new blogger sometimes i am not so sure if i am doing things right but after reading what you said i know i’m on the right track

  93. Absolutely fantastic tips… I could’ve used hearing all of these when I was first starting out. In fact, sometimes I need a reminder on some of them, even now. :)

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