Our last panel at Camp Blogaway was a presentation by Danny Jauregui of Food Bloggers Unite! fame. If you haven’t heard of Danny or Food Bloggers Unite, you’re missing out. His site has a wealth of information for food bloggers, and he spent his Sunday morning sharing some of his knowledge with us.
Everyone wants their posts to be the hit of the web, and Danny gave us tips on how to make a “viral-ready” post. I took lots of notes on his tips, but if you want the entire e-book he created based on the presentation, head over to Food Bloggers Unite and subscribe to his email newsletter, and you’ll get it for free.
Getting People Interested: Crafting Hooks
Danny stressed the importance of having a good “hook”. Just like in writing for newspapers or magazines, you don’t want to bury the lede. If you have a great idea on how to streamline dinner party planning, you don’t want to just name the post “Dinner Parties” and waste three paragraphs in the beginning of your post talking about something else. There are a lot of other food blogs out there, and we’re all jostling for position at the front of the line (or at least to not be at the back). Here are some of the things you can incorporate into your soon-to-be hit post:
The examples Danny gave were posts on microwave potato chips, chicken pot pie soup, margarita ice pops, and “brussels sprouts with heretical technique”. His own hit post, How to Make Butter in Under 5 Minutes, was the basis for this discovery. His post hit all the tips, and helped catapult it to the top.
Don’t neglect your keywords! I’m pretty bad about this, to tell the truth, but I’m working on it. It’s important to think about all aspects of your post – not just the main text or photo.
Craft a Strong Title
Titles are hard for me. I don’t always like naming the post whatever my recipe is, but because my blog isn’t a huge hit, I need that extra bump that can come from a descriptive title. Oftentimes it is easier to write the post, then the title, although that big blank line often drives me nuts and stalls the post until I can put a proper name on it.
Using Social Media Effectively
OK, not everyone enjoys social media. I was resistant to Twitter until about a year ago, but I’m glad I decided to jump in. I’ve made many great connections based solely on Twitter, and my blog has become more successful as well.
Submit to Larger Sites
Although many of us submit our post photos to Foodgawker, Tastespotting, and the like, there are other options for getting your post out there. Submitting to larger sites is the fastest way to drive traffic, even if you are just participating in a themed blog carnival. Once a big site links to you, your post will rank higher on Google, thus driving more traffic from people utilizing the search. Danny submitted his butter post to Lifehacker, a site dedicated to finding ways to make life easier.
Make sure to research the site you plan to submit to first! Not all sites link to outside content and will consider your query unnecessary spam. Check to see if the site has an established policy on post linking and be sure to follow that to the letter. If you can’t follow the rules they lay out, they won’t see why your blog is worth their time. And of course, make sure the site has relevant content!
I actually put some of these tips to use in my Iced Coffee in 60 Seconds post. While I thought it was kind of silly to write a “recipe” for something so simple, it turned into my most popular post. There’s nothing new about iced coffee, or even making it at home, but presenting it in such a way that made people really think about doing it pushed it up in hits. By also making sure to fill out the Meta Keywords and Meta Description section on the post (made incredibly easy if you have All-in-One SEO Pack or the Atahualpa theme installed on your WordPress) the post was easily found by the Google crawler and ended up as “related links” on many random coffee sites.
Thank you Danny for your great tips, and Camp Blogaway for bringing Danny to us!
Do you have any other tips to share? What has worked for you in promoting your site, and what things should we avoid?