In the early days of blogging, it was easy to get traffic, but with millions of blogs out there now, and more being created every day, getting readers is more of a challenge. The food niche is popular and ever growing. While there are millions of people interested in food topics, getting them to visit your site takes a bit of work, but with consistent efforts, it’s easier than you think. Let’s look at ten creative ways to grow your food blog traffic.
Learn to Take Great Photos
Today’s technology makes it easy to take great food photos. Some of the tastiest photos out there are taken with phone cameras, if you can believe it.
Of course, you can invest in a good digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera, such as the Canon Rebel XS to improve your skills further.
But if you like to keep things simple, we recommend our non-techy guide to food photography that will show you to use your available technology and simple tools for taking amazing food photos.
Write Eye-Catching Post Titles
Don’t risk readers clicking away because of boring post titles. Draw readers in by writing a catchy title. Ask a question, include specific numbers in your post, pique interest and use descriptive language that makes people wanat to try your recipes and read your posts.
Focus on Your Readers
If you want more traffic, remember to write for your audience, rather than your own satisfaction. Share your knowledge with your audience. Give them cooking tips, hints on where to get the best deal on an ingredient, or demonstrate a cooking technique that might be challenging. Share stories about yourself, but make sure they will entertain or educate your audience. Make it meaningful for them and something they can relate to.
Engage your audience to find out what they’re interested in. Pay attention to their comments and questions. Track the links they click, so you know what catches their attention.
Incorporate SEO Strategies
Make sure your search engine opimization (SEO) is sound to increase traffic. If you’re using WordPress, a plugin such as WordPress SEO by Yoast (included in all Loves Food accounts) or All-In-One SEO Pack will make this task more convenient.
Do your keyword research with your plugin and create content that people readily search for. Recipes are some of the biggest Internet searches, but there is a lot of competition, so get specific. People also search frequently for product and book reviews, so learn to write good reviews.
Avoid using a generic name for your photos, such as “image 2513.” Change the name to something descriptive, such as “strawberry shortcake on baking powder biscuit.” Doing this helps with your search engine optimization, and also allows low-vision readers, who use screen readers, to recognize what’s on a page. It also makes it easier for people pinning content to Pinterest to find your images when they do a search engine search.
Show Related Posts
Show related posts at the bottom of each post to entice readers to keep reading and to help draw the search engines to more of your pages. Showing related posts is easy to do with Shareaholic (included in all Loves Food accounts), LinkWithin, etc. It’s a built-in feature for a lot of themes.
Add Attention-Getters to Your Posts
Readers’ attention spans are much short, so don’t use text only in your posts. Provide a variety of content by adding some related, interesting quotes, graphics, charts, or videos.
Highlighting snippets of your content can easily be achieved in your Loves Food blog by enabling the Content Garnish plugin. If you don’t have a Loves Food blog, you can get Content Garnish as a WordPress plugin too.
Try Guest Blogging
One of the best ways to grow blog traffic is by writing guest posts. If you don’t know any other food bloggers yet, try submitting a guest post to one of the big sites like FoodGawker or PhotoGrazing. And better yet, join us at the Foodaplenty Blog Network Facebook Group to get to know other food bloggers.
Use Social Media – Free and Paid
When you write a post that you’re especially proud of, tweet it on Twitter, pin it on Pinterest, and stumble it on StumbleUpon. Make a post about it on your Facebook page to share with others.
With a monetization plan, you can also purchase ads on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to boost your newsletter opt-ins and sell your products to grow your audience. If you have a business Pinterest account (you can convert a personal account to a business one), you can get on the wait list for their Promoted Pins program.
Host a Giveaway
Whether a company offers to supply a prize, you ask a company to supply a gift, or you provide a prize, hosting a giveaway is a creative and fun way to grow traffic to your food blog. A lot of this traffic is just drive by traffic coming for a potential prize, but offer them a chance to sign up for a free cookbook or something to get them onto your list, so you can keep in touch with them.
If you haven’t done all of these things on your blog, pick one or two that you can do today. Then, add others as you go along. It will take some patience, but once you start using a combination of these tips, you’ll find that your blog traffic will grow. Don’t wait for blog traffic to come to you, do what you need to get it.