Lessons Learned from Food Bloggers

starting a food blog
Image credit: Blogher.com
For some, blogging about food isn’t just a way to share great recipes; it’s also about generating income from corporate advertisers and even local food businesses. A great food blog has the potential to turn a passion for food into a serious business venture.

Before rolling out your blog, it can be helpful to consider the positive attributes of other successful food blogs and to learn how you, too, can produce a blog that generates traffic and earns income.

Explain Your Niche

Even food blogs that tackle it all – recipes, cooking gear, restaurant reviews, ingredients – state their purpose for blogging somewhere – typically in an “about” section. It’s important to fill readers in on the big picture of your work – not just the cheeseburger soufflé post that they haphazardly stumble upon.

Think of the “about” section as your mission statement – what do you plan to do with this blog? The Foodista blog, a popular New York food blog, explains that she plans to review restaurants and deliver food updates – particularly ethnic food – for the Astoria area. Smitten Kitchen, on the other hand, has less of a local focus, but explains that it showcases recipes for accessible foods. Stating your focus, even a very general focus, is essential for a professional food blog.

Less (Text) Is More

An anecdote here and there can be endearing, but forcing your readership to dig through a lot of verbiage to get to the meat and potatoes of your current post is not going to make your blog very popular in all likelihood. Instead, stick to the subject of your post and be as clear and concise as possible. You don’t have to be afraid of text, but you should avoid being wordy or including unnecessary details.

Personal stories may have their place, but be sure you’re staying on track and adhering closely to your post’s purpose. Also, avoid adding an overabundance of personal information or photographs; while this is fine if your blog is for pleasure, it may not be ideal for a blog that is your business.

Enticing Photography

Great photographs that are relative to posts are essential for a successful food blog. If your niche is cake, you want photos of cake that are worthy of a dessert tray at the Ritz – not the bakery counter at your local grocery store. Photographs of food or ingredients should look appetizing – even sexy! Lure readers to rescue that cinnamon roll drowning in icing. Present food in an inviting manner in order to keep your readers engaged in it.

It can also be helpful to provide photographs that detail a complicated process like preparing sushi or carving turducken. Great photographs allow readers to “buy in” to your food experience.

Clean, Uncluttered Format

A great food blog presents information in a clear format that is easy for readers to follow. Cluttered pages can be off-putting and confusing. Straightforward posts with ingredients lists and streamlined information are hallmark traits of popular food blogs. Blogs like Englishmum.com, Masala Herbe, and 101 Cookbooks are some excellent examples of blogs that showcase food and text in a well-balanced and visually appealing format.

To that end, the page header and colors can also complement the blog, but be sure they enhance the page and do not detract from the posted content.

Love Those Links

Readers love when they can click on a link and land exactly where you bought those espresso beans or land on the menu of that great Italian restaurant you just reviewed. Providing information about affiliates or providing links is a great way to keep your blog informative and useful to its readers.

You can also provide helpful links that might be necessary for a given post. For instance, one of your posts might include a direction that calls for a deboned chicken; it could be helpful to include a link to a video that shows readers how this is done.


Food is big business in this day and age and food blogs that generate big traffic can earn considerable income. Top food bloggers say that blogging often is also essential to keeping their blogs on top. Research some top food blogs to gain more ideas that may help you create your own successful blog.

About the Author: Blog post contributed for Compendium.com, by Tammy Harper. Tammy is a freelance writer and predominantly focuses on businesss blogging and social media strategies for small businesses.