Real Life Food Blogging – Week 3

week 3

Welcome to the third week of my food blogging. When I look over what I did in week 1, what was achieved last week in week 2, I realise that I have done a lot and still have high expectations for this week.

People often build food blogs slowly and this is the kind of work they probably did in the first four months, so I am doing it on a crazy level, but I don’t want to wait two years before I make an income.

I am blessed when it comes to food blogging. Dominic my husband worked for many years as a trained chef, so is always on hand for great food advice. I have worked in internet marketing for just over a decade and between the two of us we are probably as close to perfect for starting a food blog than anyone else.

Oh and did we mention we LOVE blogging and we love food. Actually I should rephrase I LOVE FOOD. My life just wouldn’t be the same without lots of it and lots of it all the time!

Here is more about what we achieved in week 3 of food blogging:

Our blog posts are now all up to date

No more backdated posts we are now ready to rock and roll and work on new content. When I look at us today (17th) it is amazing to say that all blog posts are up to date and that we already have 20 of them on the site, plus blog pages. We also have the recipes all scheduled for November.

We now have to be looking at blog posts for December. We only have a few date sensitive ones still to do for November and then after that we have to seriously consider the next month. When you’re blogging everyday you need to get ahead and consider the future content that you want on the site.

Reddit

For Reddit we have started the campaign. The first thing you have to do with Reddit is to connect with the other members and in many ways it is like a huge forum. You contribute to a community and in return you can add your link from time to time.

After spending three days during week 3 on it I have 15 new visitors to Recipe This. I know this doesn’t sound like a lot but for something that I have spent less than an hour on over the week it is not a bad starting point.

Also while I am building up my authority on there I went for some of the Subreddits that are medium on the popularity list. Some Subreddits that I am really looking forward to connecting on have members of over 100,000 but for now I am starting around the 50,000 mark.

It was also nice to see one of the two recipes that I posted being upvoted and I was really pleased about that.

The Design

For the design we are all sorted. We now have the logo up on our site rather than just writing and apart from one extra sign up box (that we have yet to add) it is just how we want it. Of course at a later date we plan to add a few more affiliate banners and our own ebooks as we create them, but between now and then this is how the site looks:

screenshot of design

Plus if you want to recreate something similar then we suggest you check out the Daily Dish Pro theme that we personally use.

Social media

From a social media point of view (which is very important for a food blog) we have started the party. It isn’t a quick fix for all kind of system but we have started. We have been really pleased to have our first retweets on Twitter, Facebook shares and also Pinterest pins.

We use Hootsuite to manage our Twitter, Facebook & Google Plus and it is brilliant because you can just view everything at once and not have to worry about logging into different social media channels.

Here is our Twitter for Recipe This in action:

hootsuite screenshot

I also completed my first link post. This is where I link out to other food bloggers in the hope that they will share my content on social media and help boost the site. For them they like to do it because I am promoting their recipes and for me it is link juice which is perfect for a brand new site.

The post that we kicked this off with was The Ultimate Guide To Butternut Squash and I featured 10 food bloggers at the bottom of the post and out of those 10 I ended up with 6 of them sharing my stuff on social media.

I thought it was going to be really hard contacting loads of food bloggers and getting their permission, but thanks to my amazing virtual assistant it was all done really quickly. Out of 40 bloggers contacted 12 got back to me and I ran with 10 of the recipes so it all went really well.

The Sales Funnel

On another note we have been working on our sales funnel. I wanted one up as soon as possible so that I can start building a mailing list. I plan to build two. One for food bloggers and for food recipes and tips. The food blogging is not quite done yet but hopefully it will be live by the end of next week.

The main sales funnel for recipes is live though and for our sign up product we are using our recipes published to the blog for November. You can see it in action here:

http://recipethis.com/novemberrecipes/

I don’t want to focus too much on it yet because I will run through a food sales funnel later on, but you should be focusing on a free product that you can offer to your list in exchange for their email address.

For many of you, your food blog will have been live for a while, so you can simply share old recipes, but for newbies you just put together the recipes you have so far.

For us we are focusing on a new sign up each month based on current recipes. And from December onwards we will make sure that we stick to one kitchen gadget so that it will be easier for selling ebooks later.

Also with the sales funnel we have an exit splash running on the site. This means that when someone leaves without filling in their email address, or without buying the special offer, or downloading their free ebook, that they are presented with an offer to buy a recipe package.

We also have the first few Aweber messages set up for new subscribers so that they will receive their product and the freebie when they sign up.

Sales funnels are hard work to set up, but once you have them in place, they are easy to maintain!

Bing Ads

As I write this bit (on Sunday afternoon of day 21) I have just finished setting up my first Bing Ads. I like Bing Ads because they are a lot cheaper than Google Adwords and they are easy to set up and don’t have loads of restrictions over the kind of adverts that you have.

I want my food blog to go off with a bang and don’t want to still be waiting for traffic a year from now. Therefore Bing ads is a great way to a) build my list b) drive traffic to my recipes and c) help improve my brand and get my name out there. From a money point of view you can get good traffic at $5 per 100 visitors so you can have a very low budget for your traffic. And even if you just promoted one recipe a month, that is still $5 a month and anyone can afford that for their food blog.

Getting monetised

Just because you have a brand new site doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be monetised. Start with income streams that are easy to create and that you can start with little or no traffic.

For example we now have:

Adsense – You’re allowed three Adsense units on your site at any one time. So we have two in our right widget area and one in the content of our blog posts. We already have Adsense approval from our other sites, but if you don’t they will usually approve you on 10 decent blog posts, so after 10 days you should be ready for it!

Plus at the time of writing this we have already had our first Adsense click so it shows that you don’t have to have a huge amount of traffic for it to happen.

Affiliate marketing – we are already working on the affiliate marketing side of things and it is on lots of different levels. We have Clickbank products that we are promoting via our mailing list and the sales funnel. We have Amazon products we are promoting with reviews on our blog.

We also have affiliate products that we are promoting for fellow food bloggers via our how to start a food blog page and resources for food bloggers.

Just remember it is all a starting point and that you have to think about your monetising from the moment you start bringing traffic to your site.

Traffic so far

We are also really pleased to have got our first 1000 page loads already and have quite a few unique visitors. I put this partly down to all the Pinterest Groups that we are members of and also the traffic from people promoting our linked out post.

Our Alexa rank is now in the top 500,000 which is not bad considering we only went live last weekend. We were actually hoping for the top million for today so to say we got double what we expected is amazing. I think the next target will be the top 250,000. Once it hits 150,000 will be the time when I go out looking for private advertisers so it is nice to see it coming together.

What we next have to do

Now that we have hit the end of week 3 it is all about going back to the start again. We are now on day 21 and with one week left of November we have to jump straight in and work on our content for December. We also have other blogs too that also require our attention. So next week will be a crazy week of content writing and keeping up with what we have done so far.

We have another linked post due out on the blog on Wednesday and we hope we can have a good traffic day from that.

We also have our designer working on a few different infographics for us that we can use on Pinterest and the Pinterest boards that we’re members of.

So as I used to say to my internet marketing coaching clients “rinse and repeat”.

Meet The Milners

Samantha and Dominic
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Dominic & Samantha Milner are the founders of RecipeThis.com. They love cooking, blogging and being full time parents to their three food obsessed kids. They cook with their kitchen gadgets everyday and love sharing their homemade recipes. Their favourite foods include chocolate, air fryer burgers and macaroni cheese. You can learn more about them here or you can sign up for their free newsletter here.

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