When you first start a food blog, the last thing on your mind is blog structure. You just want to get your recipe out there and nothing else really matters. You’re not thinking about social media, you don’t even know what a content upgrade is and you’re being drowned in WordPress Plugins.
But once you start getting into your food blog you need to be looking at the structure of the recipes.
But you’re probably wondering why you need to do this?
After all, the recipe is on your blog, it is live for the internet viewers to see and you’re purpose is to produce a good recipe with a nice image, so what does other thins matter? Well they do and one of the main reasons why traffic is. A good recipe can take off from day one and go viral. In my mind a viral recipe is one that gets 1000 visitors and then continues to get this amount (or more) every month.
On previous sites I have even had it where I have had a handful of recipes that have each brought in 5000 plus visitors every month. The good thing about this is that you can monetise them, encourage the readers to join your mailing list and a whole range of other things.
But you never know which blog posts are going to be popular and which ones are going to bomb. That is why I suggest that from day one you have structure on your food blog posts and then they are ready for promotion and for a lot of visitors.
These are the key points that you’ll find on my recipes:
Main recipe image
The first thing they will see is an amazing picture with a pin it button ready for them to share it on their Pinterest account. They will also be lost in the quality of the picture and will be imagining themselves eating the dish that you have posted.
Actually if you look at mine I have two. Though this is because of my Pin it software. And if you look at it (like I have) you just have this urge for cheese on toast!
The introduction content needs to hit a few different points in order for you to get the most out of it.
Firstly, it needs to be a decent amount of length or longer than your competition. When Google decided what position that people have in the search engines they always give priority to longer content. So if everyone else is writing 150 words introduction to a recipe, then make sure you are doing 250.
Secondly, you want to give the reader some of your personality. Talk about who you cook this recipe for, why you enjoy it and any other related things. There are millions of blogs out there and it is your job to stand out from the crowd!
Finally you want to monetise it. We have Google Adsense in ours because it is very good for getting us a little income going from the start of a blog. Unlike those that have it to the right in their widget bar, Adsense in the text gets peoples attention and will often give you much better results.
You can choose different sizes for it but we have always got the best results from the size that you see in the image below:
More social media sharing
You don’t start and end your social media sharing with a pin it button. However, many people believe that this should be the case.
Get a click to tweet within the content (like we do) and this allows people to tweet your recipe very easily and you can add your own hashtags and make it easy for this to happen.
Have a set of social media buttons can will encourage sharing to other places. Make sure it includes Twitter, Facebook & Google Plus as those three can be very good for building up your social media sharing count.
Also make sure that every image that you have on the post, has the pin it button working.
Use a recipe plugin
We use Easy Recipe Plugin on Recipe This and have used it prior to this on our other recipe sites. We like it because it is very easy to use and it is very good for increasing the awareness for your blog.
If you look at the software in action on one of our recipes:
Then you’ll see that it is branded with our website address and because people can print it, when it ends up on someone’s fridge they will think of us! There is also room to add ingredients, instructions, notes, preparation time and how many it serves. You can add a lot more than this, but we find this is enough.
Specific image especially for social media
It is important that you have an image (like the one at the beginning of our recipe post) because the writing ones are hard to use for everything. For example when submitting your recipe to recipe submission sites they don’t like the writing. Plus a lot of the blog sharing features often don’t like it either.
I then have the main image with writing at the end as a final call of action for my readers to share my recipe on social media.
These bigger images also do very well if you post them to social media, for others to then re-share what you’ve added.
There is also the option to further monetise it for profit. A good option is what we do. We are running a kitchen gadgets style food blog, so we will be cooking with our chosen gadget and then at the end we will be advertising to buy ours.
In this example it is done with the Air Fryer:
The recipe is about using the Air Fryer and then you’re conveniently linking to the EXACT one that you have.
If it isn’t about a gadget you can always have a second Adsense unit or another advertising network.
Mailing list option
You don’t have any control over your social media channels or your search engine optimisation but by building up your mailing list you very much have control over one type of traffic.
Many internet marketers and bloggers always wish that they started building their list sooner and by building it by day one; you’re then giving it a head start.
Imagine if you end up with a popular blog post each month. That a particular post brings in 5000 visitors. If you have a pop up on your post that generates a 5% sign up rate, that means that one post has put 250 subscribers on your mailing list, just by putting a pop up or a banner on your recipe post.
Among food bloggers this is also known as a content upgrade where you are giving the readers something more for the sake of subscribing.
When people subscribe on our list they get offered the monthly recipes. So if it is the start of the month this technically means that if they subscribe they have access to recipes that have not yet being published. Yet on aged recipes this means that they simply get 16 great recipes on one PDF. People like PDFs and they are simple to put together.
Here is the content upgrade in action on one of our recipes:
About the author
All WordPress themes have an option to add the author. Please take your time in filling out this section. It is telling people more about you and often after reading this they will then join your mailing list, follow you on social media or even go on to read other blog posts that you have.
Once you have done this once with a recipe, you’ll find it becomes second nature to you when you’re putting future posts on. The point is to make the recipe work for you and by there for building up your income and traffic.