Blogging Strategies: Being Present and Personable.

Food Blogging Strategies - Tips and Tricks on sallysbakingaddiction.com

(White Chocolate Cranberry Pistachio Cookies)

Being Present & Personable on Your Blog

Before I pressed publish for the first time on Sally’s Baking Addiction in December 2011, I followed several recipe blogs. Drawing inspiration and baking ideas from them, admiring their photography, their writing, and their courage to put themselves out there. I was the silent lurker, bouncing from blog to blog. Reading recipe blogs for baking inspiration is how I would unwind at the end of the day.

I remember vividly one afternoon last year, spotting a recipe I adored and emailing the blogger with a few recipe questions, while also commending their recipe and photography. This blogger was my idol! I hoped to make the cake on their blog for a work party that weekend.  Days went by… then weeks went by. Nothing. Figuring that my email may have gotten lost, I emailed the blogger again. Nothing. I felt ignored and disheartened. Is there really a person behind that blog? A robot? As a reader, am I too inferior for my questions to be answered?

When I made the decision to start Sally’s Baking Addiction, my number one priority… the most important thing that I would do… is to be present and personable with my readers. That’s pretty major. I’m not a robot.

I’m a painfully relatable person, who makes mistakes, and has a real life. I forget about cookies in the oven, I hate ironing my shirts, my singing voice hurts ears, and I love sprinkles.

My readers are the reason for my blog and they attribute to its growth, so it is important to me that they feel invited and comfortable visiting my website. It is my readers who make it all possible, and as the blog’s author, I feel it is my duty to be available. Responding to emails, comments, tweets, and messages is a priority for me.

Trust me, I still get just as excited when I see a new comment pop up as I did back when I had 10 blog subscribers and the only comments I got were from my mom – through a text message.

And what’s more? When I hear that you had success with one of my recipes, I feel my own success.

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It is my “blogging philosophy” to connect with my readers and here are a few ways how I do it:

(As always, these are things that have worked for me and may not fit your blogging style.)

  1. Be yourself! I inject my real personality on my blog. I write exactly how I talk. It took some time to get completely comfortable with it, but I try to write as if I were talking to a friend in real life. What are your lovable traits and individual quirks? Show them on your blog and make your readers feel as if they really know you. Of course, it is not in everyone’s blogging style to get personal and there are some things I am extra cautious about when mentioning my home, my family, and my friends.
  2. People are curious by nature and by allowing my readers to get a glimpse of the author behind the blog, I feel as though we can all really connect. Keeping in mind that I publish a food blog, the main content on my blog is focused on food and not my personal life.
  3. Tell your readers that you love them… regularly. Honest to goodness, I love you.
  4. Be dependable and consistent. You want your readers to count on you. Being on a regimented blogging schedule is important for my time management and for loyal readership. I typically post 4-5 times per week, with an occasional personal post, recipe-round up post, or giveaway.
  5. I believe that consistency is more important than frequency. My readers can depend on a certain number of posts per week and that is what matters most.
  6. It’s ok to embarrass yourself! On my website, over the past year, I’ve published typos, misspelled words, and shared my burnt muffin stories. I make mistakes too.
  7. Mingle! If you have the time, comment on other blogs and put yourself out there. Comments are a wonderful way to stir discussions. Once I began to introduce myself to other bloggers, I noticed they visited my blog in return and conversations began. Get to know one another!  Don’t hide behind your blog in hopes that one day you will be noticed. If time allows, leave valuable and heartwarming comments. Share a story relating to the material you read. But don’t overdo it – I feel that generic commenting “just to comment”  is pointless. And it’s noticed.
  8. Answer comments. Of course, this will not work for everyone’s schedules, full time jobs, and family lives, but if a reader has a question, I try to respond before I write my next blog post. Feeling ignored stinks. I’ve been ignored on the other side of a blog, and it is not fun.
  9. Look at your blog through someone else’s eyes. Ask yourself, “am I being a good resource?  Will this make sense in someone else’s mind?”  I admit, sometimes I begin to write a post and then take a step back.  Will this make sense to my readers?  I know for me, I try to share recipes and methods that are approachable, because not everyone knows what spelt flour is or has time to make a 6 tier cake.
  10. Social Media! Instagram, facebook, and twitter are all extensions of your personality – use them to both market your blog AND share your real life with readers.  Of course, you don’t want to appear “salesy” or bombard your readers with updates every 5 seconds.

 

 

With so many new food blogs popping up every day, it’s important to create your own blogging identity and stick to it. What are your goals? Dreams? What do you love the most? Be available to your readers – even if it’s a simple “thank you for reading.” Knowing a real person is on the other side of the computer screen helps them feel connected.

Being genuine goes a long way. Stand out from other bloggers by being yourself.  Share unique things about you that make you different from the rest (I am seasonally challenged and take a lot of pictures of dogs).

Sally & Jude

I will never forget an email I received about a month ago from a reader who said that she never comments on blogs or contacts bloggers.   She had a question about a recipe and ended the email thanking me for my approachable recipes and relatable personality.  She said, It just feels like I know you.”  My goal with each and every post.

Be sure to check out my other blogging pages.

 

   

179 Responses to “Blogging Strategies: Being Present and Personable.”

  1. #
    81
    JiaWoeiposted June 26, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    Just started a blog to fill my time during the holidays but I get these really great feelings when typing out my experiences and my passion.
    Have been ignored quite often when even trying to make a conversation with somebody I admired, so this is very very relatable =)
    I’m not a baker nor an enthusiast in making pastries. But I will be coming here often. A really pleasant read, it really feels like we’re talking. =)
    Thanks a bunch =)
    Jwoei.

    Reply

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    Milaposted July 12, 2014 at 12:20 am

    Sally… I have read this over and over 3 times now. I so love this series 🙂 and am so uber impressed by your growth! What you have accomplished is pretty insane…and I commend you. I feel your pain 🙂 I too commented and emailed and hell I even featured her recipe on my blog…and she never wrote back or even commented… But then there are other bloggers like you for instance who always comment back. You deserve all your success and I just hope I can have a taste of what you have 🙂

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on July 13th, 2014 at 7:36 pm

      Thank you for all the kind words Mila! I truly appreciate it, so much. Just keep working hard! Hard work pays off.

      Reply

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    Sofíaposted July 31, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    Hi Sally! I’m just starting my blog and I’m reading all the tips I can possibly read, I have followed your blog since the beginning of my “baking”days and I truly appreciate you for taking your time to write and help the new bloggers like me 🙂

    Reply

  4. #
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    Steveposted August 11, 2014 at 9:35 am

    Thanks for sharing this Sally it’s fantastic to find someone so open and willing to share their experiences to others!

    Reply

  5. #
    85

    Thank you for taking the time to write this post, Sally. I’ve just started blogging (3 months old :)and it’s reassuring when I find quality content on this subject matter because it helps me assess where I am. I love food blogging because I feel it is just a part of who I am (took me some time to discover my passion). It seems I have a never-ending list of things to blog about but sometimes I do see it as a challenge to write for an audience that is still in its infancy. I’m learning how to write engaging content and am working to increase the quality of my photos to generate more traffic and am thankfully getting about 100 views per month. I’m curious about how your “voice” developed as your audience was growing. Thanks in advance for your thoughtfulness. <3

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on August 12th, 2014 at 9:50 am

      Keep working hard and don’t lose that passion! Congrats on 100 views per month 🙂

      Reply

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    Sophieposted September 7, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    Thank you so much for these posts Sally! I discovered your blog from Pinterest and have been hooked ever since. Although my blog is beauty based all of your tips are so useful and have really helped me, thank you 🙂

    Oh and your engagement ring is absolutely stunning! Congratulations!

    Sophie x

    Reply

  7. #
    87
    Emmaposted October 1, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    Thanks for these posts Sally, so helpful and so encouraging. You rock!

    Reply

  8. #
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    Nikiposted November 16, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    Hi Sally! What a great post! I am just starting with my blog and your notes are more than inspiring! It is definitely scary to start a blog … and for sure your main question is : “is there anybody going to read my blog?” …. or “why me? there are tones of beautiful blogs out there!” …. anyway your post made me feel more relaxed and made me believe that if you have strategy and good, honest intentions and a lot of love for what you do things will go well!

    Thank you again … Looking forward to see you in my blog and here your much wanted critic … (once it is published I will email you… if you could pass by it would mean a lot!)

    Take care!

    all the best

    Niki

    Reply

  9. #
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    Lynposted November 23, 2014 at 9:30 am

    Hi Sally,

    Thanks so much for this post! I am just starting my blog and I’m encouraged when I read success stories such as yours. It makes what I’m doing seems feasible and hopefully one day I’ll be like you! You are definitely an inspiration to me. One question I have is : What’s your favourite mode of publicity? Is it through facebook or twitter, or by submitting your photos to websites?

    I’m still learning how to express myself, take yummy looking pictures, describing how will the end product taste like! If you are free, can you come take a look at my website and give me some pointers? Thank you so so much for your time and sharing!

    Lyn

    Reply

  10. #
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    Senikaposted December 11, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    Wow, this is EXACTLY what I needed to read right now! I have been a food blog lurker (hence my brand new blog name, Foodie Blog Stalker) for a lonnnng time & I’ve just branched out to start my own blog. Like you, I was not a commenter or emailer. I finally got the guts to reach out to my “idol” and spill my guts. Annnnnnd… no reply =( Sad face! I was losing my faith in bloggers so I retreated back into my shell and haven’t commented yet on anything. I somehow stumbled upon this older post of yours and just had to say thank you. Thank you for being real. It moved me enough to comment! Yay for restoration in food blogger humanity! =)

    Reply

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    Staceyposted April 6, 2015 at 11:09 am

    Sally, I’ve learned so much from reading your how to blogging posts. Thank you so much for the invaluable information. I just started my blog and it feels pretty overwhelming but i’m loving every minute of it. You’ve inspired me to think about my food styling and photography in a different way and I can’t wait to improve. Thank you so much!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on April 6th, 2015 at 11:29 am

      Good luck with your new blog, Stacey!

      Reply

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    TheFoodasaurusposted June 8, 2015 at 11:20 pm

    I’m going to follow your advice and come out of the murky shadows I have been lurking around in. This is my first comment ever on a food blog. I started my own food blog and I’m trying to figure out what works and how did others do it to get inspiration. And your blog did it. The way you spoke about was much better than some of the other “tutorial-like” content about how to start off with a new food blog. Your personality shows and I hope I can emulate that. I’ll be sure to follow your blog.

    Reply

    • TheFoodasaurusreplied on June 8th, 2015 at 11:22 pm

      P.S.

      Following you on social media now!

      Reply

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    Jaydeepposted January 28, 2016 at 10:38 am

    Hi Sally ,

    As a new blogger I was doing some research on the internet and stumbled upon this page. I want to thank you for explaining in detail how you started your journey. I know it is an old post but still it is as fresh as dew.

    Thank you.

    Reply

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    Deniseposted January 30, 2016 at 7:57 am

    Hey Sally,

    Yes, it’s the first time I have ever commented on a blog, but have been following you for sometime.  Want to give a big “shout out” for the “human touch” you add to your blog.  I am soaking all your tips in for my own blog that I hope to have up and running in the next couple of weeks!  Thanks again!

    Reply

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