It took me some time to figure out how often is too often and how often is not enough. There is a fine line between being dormant and bombarding your readers with blog posts and making them run the other way. I’ve been sticking to three posts per week for the last six months and that seems to do the trick as far as getting regular and consistent amounts of traffic to the blog and engagement on social media. I firmly believe that if you want your blog to grow, at least one post per week is a must. There are thousands of blogs out there for your readers to choose from. If you don’t provide fresh material it won’t take them long to cheat on you and get cosy with some other blogger.
6. Plan your content
I used to wing it all the way and write about whatever and whenever. This is fine and I know this is how most bloggers operate. But having worked out that three posts per week is my sweet spot, to maintain that I can’t wing it anymore. I now plan my blog content at least two weeks ahead based on my social calendar. This is specially important when I have lots of dining plans or events to cover. I don’t like to do too many back to back restaurant reviews or posts of the same category. Variety is the spice of life, right? Not only do I think my readers will lose interest if I hit them with posts of similar nature back to back, I think I would get bored writing them. So I plan ahead and mix things up.
This may be my neurotic personality speaking but over time I’ve got into this habit of editing and re-editing each and every blog post half a dozen times before I hit publish. Why on earth do I do this? I’d like to think I have good reasons. For example, when it comes to writing restaurant reviews I used to write long yarns about what happened from the minute I walked in to a restaurant to the minute I left. If these details are extremely interesting or juicy then that’s fine. But most of the time they are not. There’s nothing worse than having a reader click through to your blog and leave after twenty seconds because your long-winded story bored them so much. So I write a post and edit it and edit it till I’m only left with what is absolutely necessary. I still haven’t mastered the art of concise blogging but it’s a work in progress and I’ve gotten better over time.
8. Go to a blogging conference or a workshop
There’s nothing better than a room full of passionate bloggers to inspire you and amp up your blogging mojo! I’ve only ever attended one blogging conference so far (Eat.Drink.Blog 2013) and that was an amazing experience. I learnt so much, met so many awesome bloggers and came away from that weekend with a head full of inspiration. If you’ve never attended a blogging conference and think it’s just for hard-core bloggers then think again. I was really intimidated about going to EDB13 because even though I got selected to attend, I felt like I was way out of my depth as I was such a newbie to the world of food blogging. But one thing I learnt was that no one was there to judge and food bloggers in general are a genuinely awesome bunch of people!
9. Read and comment on other blogs regularly
Reading in general makes you a better blogger but reading other blogs really helps you to get a good understanding of what kind of food writing works and what really doesn’t. This doesn’t mean read and copy someone else’s writing style, just learn and develop your own style. Once you come across a blog that you connect with leave a comment or two. Then click through to a blog of someone else who’s commented on the same post and do the same. The amazing blogs I’ve come across and the connections I’ve made as a result of doing this are hard to put into words.
10. Be yourself
Its all well and good to aspire to be like a successful or well established blogger but don’t play the competitive game of copying their writing, photography or Instagram styles. I can’t stress enough the importance of being yourself and writing your own opinions in your own style. Regardless how long it may take you to develop a strong readership when it does happen, you want to be proud of the fact that you got there by being yourself and at the end of the day it’s not the quantity but the quality of engagement you have with your readers that matter.