I am just about at my one year anniversary of starting my [intlink id="2696" type="post"]food blog[/intlink], Italian Mama Chef, and I have learned some invaluable lessons in that time. Many thanks go out to Tia of BizChickBlogs for all the help she gave me which has allowed me to feel as successful as I do.
On to my list!
1. Be honest with yourself and your readers about your limitations.
I learned a long time ago that to be open and transparent is the best way to gain trust from others and in the blogging world, it’s no different.
I am honest about the fact I am not a good photographer but I do try. Therefore my pictures might not have the proper lighting or set up. I do try to at least provide a picture for recipes as that helps me as much as the next person.
2. Find your niche and stick with it.
It’s easy to get distracted and begin writing about all sorts of things that are off topic but there are ways to handle that. Start another blog, or set your posts that are ramblings to private that way you have an “out” for your feelings but your readers are not subjected to all of it.
3. Research and more research.
Never go by one source for anything when trying to stay in your niche.
You need to become the expert in your field for your readers.
Don’t fake a recipe or ingredient, be accurate in your review of how it tastes and looks.
4. Learn as much as possible about [intlink id="3168" type="post"]SEO[/intlink] and keywords.
I will admit I am still working on this one. It seems that the more I try to find out about this information, the more confused I get. So I back off and go back another day to learn more. Foodies are forever searching out new recipes so I want them to find my blog first.
5. Engage your readers whenever possible.
Ask for their opinions or in my case,
I ask for them to share a favorite story from their childhood or a favorite recipe.
I also respond to almost every [intlink id="2601" type="post"]comment[/intlink]. I feel when blog owner does that then they are [intlink id="3161" type="post"]connecting to their readers[/intlink].
6. Network among other bloggers including bloggers who’s subject is different from yours.
We can learn so much from each other. Don’t be a Scrooge and hoard your information, share it with the rest of us and help each other out. There is plenty of room for all of us out there.
7. Be willing to try new recipes.
Our palate can change over time so be willing to try something new. Readers will enjoy fresh and unusual recipes. Let’s face it, almost everyone can make chocolate chip cookies or a hamburger. Challenge yourself first and your readers second.
8. Learn how to use social media such at Twitter and Facebook for maximum exposure.
I can’t tell you how much I have grown by using these two services. I have connected and met many great bloggers this way. Find out how to use links for posting to these and other media services like StumbleUpon and Digg.
9. Always give proper credit whether it’s for a recipe, a photo, or another blog.
Stealing content is a big no-no in the blogging community. It’s also a problem so don’t join in on the action. Always provide a link to where you found something you are sharing with your readers if it’s not your own or better yet, ask permission to use the information first.
10. Protect your own content by using a feed tracking or sharing service.
This is especially important for original recipes. I use Fair Share Feed Tracking and it alerts me whenever my content is being copied elsewhere. Thankfully I don’t have a problem with my content being stolen.
Thanks again to Tia for allowing me to share with all of you what I have learned about blogging in 2010. This gave me a chance to see where I need to improve and what I am doing right. I hope to continue blogging for a long time to come and grow as much as possible.
10 of My Favorite Italian Mama Chef Posts from 2010
About the 10 Things I Learned Series
From Tia: This is a guest blogging series on BizChickBlogs on 10 Things Learned in 2010. I’ve invited a handful of people to submit guest posts on this topic, and I would love to have more! If you have something you can write about, whether it be about what you learned about social media, having a blog network, taking time off, investing in premium plugins, starting another blog, closing a blog, whatever – contact me and let me know or read the guest blogging guidelines and send your guest post that way. Everyone is invited. Thanks!
Image Credit: Shutterstock