How to Make Your Food Blog Stand Out From the Rest
Hold on--there are HOW many blogs? According to our pals at Food Bloggers Central, over 227 million. Don't get too scared by that figure. Remember that only a portion of that total number are food blogs and a smaller chunk are bloggers who write in your same language and/or niche. Still, as every blogger knows, it's a saturated market.
Having some kind of edge can mean the difference between a reader bouncing right away versus sticking around and even returning the next day to see what you have in store. So, what's a blogger got to do to get noticed around here, huh?
Since, here at Chicory, we've made a serious dent in the food blogging space (having reviewed over 10,000 food blogs in the past six months) we definitely have taken note of a few blogger tricks that have caught our eyes and made bloggers memorable in a good way. Here are a few of those ideas for making your site stand out from the crowd.
Bold Design & Style
Design is tricky, especially when you're bootstrapped budget-wise (trust me, we're a startup so we get it!). But if we had a dollar for every blog that used that same Wordpress theme or used the same cutesy food words it their title, we'd be zillionaires! Do something different.
Probably This stands out not only for their signature photos--a moody feel often with hands in the frame--and sleek Squarespace site design, but also for deliberate style and tone choices that make an impact. You won't forget the "Grilled Basic Bitch Breakfast Burrito," am I right?
Another lovely, stylish blog is the incredible Merrit Makes Vegan. When we first found her site, not only were we psyched about all of her vegan baked goods, but we also couldn't stop ogling over her moody, blue-hued photos. We'd recognize that tamale shot anywhere.
How much are you thinking about your role as a character on your blog? So many bloggers, understandably, focus on their photos and recipes. It's the bloggers that let us into their lives that we really love, though. Start by having fun with your headshot; take a photo that shows your personality and places you somewhere. I love Trish from Rhubarbarian's, for example. When I met her in person at a conference, I thought, "oh! that's the gal who waves from her kitchen window!"
If you don't want to use an image of yourself, find another way to represent and talk about yourself on your blog. (Please avoid kitschy illustrations of your "character," though--they're a dime a dozen!) Use a pen name that allows your readers to get to know you. And talk a little bit more about how you came to a recipe rather than just talking about how good it tastes.
Your Blog's Brand
A total no-brainer, but logos sure are important. So many bloggers go hyper-literal with their food blog logo, using a fork and a knife as bookends for their foodie logo. That can work, but why not use this space you differentiate yourself if you can? Think outside the box food-wise and be cognizant of the feelings you want your logo to elicit.
I remember how much I loved Lively Table's logo when I first found her site. It feels like it was drawn by hand, giving the site a welcoming touch that you rarely find on food blogs.
Your Food & Recipes
Real talk: does the world need another chicken enchilada recipe? They might, provided yours is different in some way. Is the photo unlike any you've seen before? Does the recipe have a twist that will excite cooks and inspire them in new ways?
There are certainly some recipes that will always get readers clicking, but in terms of making a lasting impression, I say aim to write recipes no one's seen before! For example, I'm a huge My Name is Yeh fan. Where else can you hawaij donuts or furikake latkes?
What are your thoughts on or tips for making the best food blogging first impression? We'd love to hear about which blogs you find memorable in the comments!