Food Blogging Strategies: Quality Content

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Homemade Whipped Cream

Updated in 2019 🙂

There are millions of food blogs on the internet. In order to stand out, you need to consistently deliver quality content. Today I’m sharing all my advice on publishing quality content. Let’s get right to the point…

Get To The Point

When you write a blog post, ask yourself these 2 questions:

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  1. What are my selling points on this recipe?
  2. How can I describe this to someone who has never tasted it?

Most internet users skim articles, so keeping your content clear and concise is important. On the flip side, it’s helpful to connect with your readers by writing with a personal touch. When I launched Sally’s Baking Addiction in 2011, I posted 1 small picture of the recipe with 1 or 2 sentences describing it. As I got more comfortable, I began typing long drawn out posts that make me yawn when I go back and read them. Ha! Finding a happy medium between personal and factual has worked best for my blog.

Solve a Problem

Does your way of roasting chicken cut the time in half or improve its flavor? Does your chocolate chip cookie recipe only dirty 1 bowl? Does your chicken alfredo taste just as rich, but has half the calories? Try to find common problems in the kitchen and SOLVE THEM for your readers! That makes an interesting and engaging blog post.

Be Real

I enjoy reading blog posts and articles that feel like a friendly conversation. You want your readers to feel comfortable and empowered, so try to make your content relatable and enjoyable. Many food bloggers stick to the recipes, but also have a series of posts for more personal “life” posts. Mine are all in my Life section. People are curious about other people by nature and it’s always nice to find a connection online! Share however much you are comfortable with.

Finding Inspiration

When you’re feeling uninspired, take a break. Get out, experience new places, new adventures, new things. Buy some new cookbooks, cooking magazines, or watch a new cooking show. Go to new restaurants and gather inspiration from the menu. There are so many resources available in today’s world and when an idea catches your attention, write it down. I have a running list of recipe ideas in my phone!

Or if you’re having trouble coming up with a new recipe or a new blog post idea, think of some things that you know that others don’t know. For example, do you know how to boil a perfect soft-boiled egg every time? I certainly don’t. Do you know how to make a killer homemade tomato sauce? Share your secrets. Just think of all the things you know how to do and share it!

Or what about going back into your archives and remaking a recipe, but better? There may be a few recipes in your archives that may not be as perfect as you’d like. Why not try them again and make some changes? Perfect the recipe and publish it again! Explain to your readers the changes you made and why. I explained why removing the extra egg yolk and chocolate chips in these cookies was so important the second time around. I received a lot of positive feedback from curious bakers and it’s still one of the most popular posts on my blog.

Cake Batter Cookies

Overcoming Writer’s Block

The internet is full of beautiful blogs with beautiful writing and beautiful photos! And sometimes I have NO idea what to say in order to catch your attention. Sometimes the ideas pour out of my head and my fingers get sore from typing so quickly. Other days… not so much.

One of the best things you can do for writing is to… ignore your writing.

When you have trouble expressing your thoughts into words, walk away. Go for a run, make a snack, sit with a book, do some laundry, or drink some tea. When you come back to your desk, your mind might be clearer. It’s nothing new or revolutionary, but taking a break to reset your mind really helps. Wouldn’t you rather publish engaging content that took you a few days to write vs a rushed and crappy blog post?

My Favorite Two Words to Use in Each Blog Post

Here’s something I learned after reading this enlightening article and I try to implement the practice into each blog post.

“You are going to love this cookie recipe because it is easy and quick, which saves you time for holiday shopping and wrapping presents.”

Both effective words appear in the sentence above:

  1. You
  2. Because

Now, what if I simply said “I love this cookie recipe.” Not engaging or convincing at all, right? I’m marketing my recipes to my readers, so I try to focus on their wants and their needs.

“When it comes to writing engaging content, ‘you’ is the most powerful word in the English language, because people are ultimately interested in fulfilling their own needs. It may sound harsh, but the fact is your readers won’t start to actually care about you at all until you’ve repeatedly offered them exceptional value with your blog.”  – Brian Clark

As you sit down and type, constantly ask yourself “why” after each sentence. As a food blog author, it’s your job to specifically describe the processes, ingredients, and methods as precisely as possible. Why did you brown the butter? Why did you use frozen raspberries instead of fresh?  Why did you use that oven temperature?  How are the cookies so soft?

“Start with a very high oven temperature for the muffins, then lower it down after 5 minutes. You are doing this because the initial hot oven temperature will lift the muffin up quickly, creating a tall muffin domed top.”

Put your reader in the situation– make them imagine they are cooking the recipe and explain WHY they’re doing what they’re doing. We are all inquisitive souls!

My Least Favorite Word to Use

This sentence has appeared on my website before: “These cookies are so yummy!”

First of all, what does “yummy” actually tell you? Is the cookie soft? Is it chewy? Are the rolls doughy? Are they spiced with cinnamon flavor? Try to be very descriptive so readers know exactly what to expect.

How to Write a Recipe

If you’re a food blogger, chances are that your blog is about recipes. Writing recipes in a clear, professional format is crucial. I refer to this very useful post when I’m hung up on writing a recipe in the correct format.

A few key things to remember:

  • Write the ingredients in the order of which they are used
  • Specify the size of egg (large? medium) – this makes a difference
  • Use “and” to break up fractional measurements.  1 1/2 cups may be hard to understand for the average person. It may be easier to type 1 and 1/2 cups.
  • Include serving sizes.
  • Include storing and/or freezing instructions. This is helpful for most people!

Remember: It’s Quality, not Quantity.

While it’s important to show up regularly so readers know when to expect you, it’s not the quantity of content you produce. You could publish a new blog post every single day, but if it’s not quality content, who’s going to read it?

The higher quality your content– food photography, writing, videos, originality– the more you’ll stand out. Start small and let yourself grow. Food blogging is not an end point, it’s a journey.

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140 Comments

  1. Hi Sally! I absolutely love your blog, and you’re a huge inspiration to me. You are actually one of the food bloggers that inspired me to start my own blog, julietssweets.wordpress.com. Anyway, I was wondering what you use or how you make the cute boxes that contain your recipes that allow readers to print them or save them without printing the whole page. I’m figuring out the whole blogging world as I go along, just like you! Thanks for everything!

    1. Hi Juliet! My designer, Purr Design, created a unique recipe box for my recipes. It’s coded into the site – sorry I’m not much help. Congrats on your new blog!

  2. Sally, thank you for sharing all these strategies! I’m just starting out with my healthy eating blog and all the advice has been beyond helpful getting me started, or rather have an idea of the steps I need to take to get there! Thanks so much!

  3. Hi Sally,

    I am all the way from South Africa and I totally love your blog. Thanks so much for this series. I’ve been struggling with this bit so it is really helpful. 🙂

    Thank you 😀

  4. hello. thanks for the info!! Starting my own food blog. Write now making my content so that when I launch I will a few tried and tested recipes and food props. Am I doing to much or is this normal to test out the recipes before pushing them out to readers?? I have tested some recipes 3 times to make sure its something that I am 100% comfortable with putting out to readers…. Is this normal as a food blogger to test your recipes more than once to get them just right??? Thanks for your time!

  5. Hi Sally, I’m learning a lot from you so thank you so much for all the details you put in here!!!

    I just want to ask you why did you remove the DMCA badge? Is there a reason? You no longer use that service? I’m just asking before using it too.

    Thanks and have a good day!

  6. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful insight! I am revamping my site and image and I know the struggle! All of your tips are so helpful since I too find myself wondering how to find balance for each post! Thank you again!

  7. Hi Sally,
    Thank you so much for this post. I’ve just re-drafted a post I’m about to publish using your suggestions and can’t believe how much more engaging the content is even for me! Thanks again. Love your recipes by the way.

  8. Your tips are so helpful and realistic and make so much sense. In the past month or so I’ve really been researching and focusing on how to improve my own blog; there is so much information out there to learn. It’s exciting, but a lot to take in at the same time. I enjoy reading and applying information like this. Thank you! 

  9. Sally, your blog was the first blog I started following religiously when I got serious about baking, and it let me into the blogosphere and into the world of baking confidently. You have such a knack for connecting with readers. 🙂

    A few years later, I have my own blog and continue to be passionate about baking. Thank you, Sally!

  10. Hi Sally,
    I’m a 14-year-old girl looking into starting a blog. Reading this post and the others in the series have been so inspirational and helpful because I honestly had no idea where to start. Thanks for the wonderful recipes/photos and advice! 

  11. Hi Sally,

    Iam really addicted the way you write and bake. Its my midnight 12:24 PM and iam still ON reading your pages, at the end of night iam  inspired.

    Happy Baking ☺

  12. Hi Sally! I´ve discovered recently your blog and I don´t know how can I live without it!
    I love the way you write about baking and blogging, you make it so funny! Thank you so much! Now I´m addicted to your baking addiction! ;D

  13. Sally,

    Your blog is amazing. Your posts are always great, and I really enjoy your site. I started my blog last month, and I have read all your blog tips and info, including this page that I have found to be very helpful. Thanks for all you do.

  14. Hey thank you for writing this post, this is just what i needed to calm my nerves when thinking about starting my own blog!

  15. Hi Sally I really want to start my own blog this year but I dont have a computer. What laptop do you use and think is best for me to start my blog?

  16. Hi Sally. Thank you for all the great tips. I’ve definitely learned a lot. I’m new to blogging, and I believe that these tips are going to help me a lot in my blogging adventure.

  17. Sally,

    To be honest, I think every blogger, including I, get writer’s block. It’s ok. Truth is, it should inspire you to write better and stay on the path. Love your food blog.Keep doing what you’re doing because you just don’t know how many people you’re inspiring! (smile) 🙂

  18. Hello Sally,
    I am playing hooky from my blog today and have been immersing myself in your blogging advice posts. I can’t tree enough how much I appreciate your open advice on so many aspects of blogging. Thank poi

  19. Hi. I have been wanting to start a baking blog for awhile now but am a little nervous. I am not a professional baker….just a mom who likes to bake. You have inspired me to move ahead and pursue the blogging world. My question is…Do you make every recipe right before you blog about it? I am trying to figure out how often I would have to bake.

    1. Hi Cindy! How exciting! I have “baking days” once or twice a week. I test a recipe a few times before I publish it. 🙂

  20. Hello Sally!

    Fan of you blog for four years, you have been my inspiration for many recipes, and now you are my inspiration to write my own blog.

    I had translated (for myself because I am originally a translator -remember me? 😉 ) your articles about blogging, to maybe use them, one day.

    Blogging is clearly not easy, as you said, and I am grateful to you because even after 6 years (for your posts) they are still really useful, and I have come to read them another time (untranslated!) to give me strength.

    Thank you for sharing Sally!

  21. Hi Sally,

    I am new to food blogging (Just two month) and reading this post has opened a new window of knowledge for me. I love creating the recipes and taking the pictures, but when it comes to the writing part I wasn’t clear on how to communicate with my readers. This post clarity things for me and now I have a new approach to my writing 🙂 Thanks!

  22. Love your Blog, your recipes and your style. So very glad I found you 🙂 Thank you for your sincerity, caring and genuine interest in delivering the best you possibly can. Will definitely stay in close touch, CONGRATULATIONS. you should be very proud of your work and online image… AWESOME

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