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How To Start a Food Blog
Want to learn how to start a food blog? If you have a passion for food – whether it’s making recipes, cooking, baking, or just eating food – creating your own food blog can be fun and easy.
Food blogs have grown in popularity – these days, many people find most of their recipes online as opposed to in a traditional, physical cookbook. Since there are so many food blogs out there already, it can be difficult to make yours stand out.
Luckily, there are endless potential food blog ideas and types, from recipe blogs to review blogs to everything in between. The more unique your food blog is, the easier it will be to set it apart and attract an audience.
While you may enjoy food blogging because you love food, blogging can also be a lucrative hobby and even career! To begin, you’ll just need some basic website knowledge.
We’ll break down the steps to help you create your own website for a food blog, and from there it’s up to you to post great content! Take these 8 simple steps to start a food blog.
How To Create Your Own Food Blog
Pick a Niche or Type of Food Blog
Before you can create a food blog, you need to decide what kind of content you’re going to post! If you have little to no experience in the kitchen, fear not. There are plenty of food blogs that share restaurant reviews, food product reviews, or even try cooking recipes from an inexperienced perspective!
Figure out what you’re most interested in about food and what kind of content you want to share. You can share original recipes, reviews, recount your experience trying recipes – the list goes on. Many food blogs focus on a very specific niche of food and dive deep on that topic. This could be all baked goods, all foods from a certain culture, or even all one type of food, like an all pizza based food blog!
You could also run a local food blog, where you try all the best food in your city and target local followers and readers. Another option is a travel blog, where you try food in your travels around the world! There are endless opportunities for topics – you just have to find the right one for your blog.
Ideally, your food blog topic should be somewhat unique. If there’s nothing to set your food blog apart, it can be harder to compete with food bloggers that already have a huge audience or thousands of posts. Try to make your food blog unique so that it stands out!
Come Up With a Catchy Name
Picking a name for your food blog is more important, and often more difficult than you may think. The name of your food blog should also be unique, in part because you need a unique domain name, and in part to make it easy to remember. Try to come up with a food blog name that is:
Since the name of your food blog will likely be your domain name, it should be relatively short and easy to spell. That way, it makes it easy for readers to remember and to navigate back to your website.
Your blog’s name should include one or more of the following things:
Combine these elements to create a name that is specific to your blog and the content you’ll be sharing.
Coming up with a catchy name can be hard, but there are a few tricks you can use. One is alliteration, using the same first letter multiple times. For example, if your name is Leah and you live in Los Angeles, it could be something like LeahLovesLAFood. You could also incorporate food puns, sayings, or other quippy jokes that are short and easy to remember.
Buy Your Domain Name and Hosting Plan
Once you’ve come up with a name, you need to check to see if the domain is available! If a website already exists with that name, you’ll have to change the domain or come up with a new name idea altogether.
This free tool from BlueHost makes it easy to check if your domain name is available:
If the name you came up with is available, you can now purchase it or get it for free with a BlueHost hosting plan.
You can choose to buy your domain name and then shop around for a web host, but we recommend using BlueHost since it’s reliable, inexpensive, and you can get your domain name for free all in one step. It’s also very easy to use, so it’s a great choice for beginners.
A web host is the server for your website, so you have to take this step for your blog to appear on the internet.
How To Set Up BlueHost
Setting up BlueHost is simple; once you’ve checked that your domain name is available, click next to get it for free and set up your account.
There are a few different hosting plans offered by BlueHost to choose from. Most blogs, especially for beginners, work well with a basic plan, shown below. This one is also the least expensive!
Fill out basic account information, and then choose the 36-month plan – if you’re serious about starting a blog, this is a pretty short time frame, and it also offers the cheapest price.
There are other options offered by BlueHost, called “Package Extras”. The only one we recommend is the Domain Privacy Protection, and we strongly recommend it. This prevents your personal information, like your name, address, and phone number from being visible to the public on the internet.
For your own privacy and safety, it’s well worth the 99 cents per month for this protection. The other extras are unnecessary, however. We recommend that you uncheck the other add-ons and save your money.
Complete your purchase and you’re onto the next step in building your website!
WordPress is probably the most popular blogging software and website creation tool today – most bloggers use WordPress. It’s incredibly intuitive and easy to use, and it’s free with BlueHost, so you’re already well on your way.
Follow these steps to install WordPress:
After the installation is complete, click “View Credentials” to receive your login information.
Choose a WordPress Theme
Now that you officially have a website, it’s time to make it look good! WordPress themes help you figure out what the website will actually look like, and there are a lot of themes to choose from. Some themes come for free, but for a better looking website, we recommend investing in a premium theme.
Choosing a good theme has many benefits. First, you want your website to look good and reflect your style and the tone of your content. But more than that, a theme can affect how your website performs outside of its visual appeal.
Premium themes ensure that the website is functional and responsive, which is vital to people being able to navigate your blog. A responsive theme will also transition well to smaller screens, like smartphones. Having a high quality theme is also important for SEO purposes. Low quality themes often have coding issues, user issues, or errors that will prevent Google from showing your site in search results.
Since you want people to see your blog, we recommend getting a premium theme. There are a few well-designed, user-friendly themes that we recommend especially for food bloggers.
Recommended WordPress Themes for Food Blogs
Explore these themes or other premium themes and purchase your favorite – be sure to read reviews to learn how it performs. Once you have a theme, install it by following these instructions:
Now that your theme is installed, you can start adding content to your website!
Add WordPress Plugins
If you want your website to perform its best, it’s worth installing some plugins as well. Plugins are tools that add extra features to your site. Some are free, and others are paid.
There are endless plugins that you can look into, but we’ll recommend a few for food bloggers:
Set Up Tracking for Your Blog
Once your website is up and running with all your great content, you’ll want to know how that content performs! There are a variety of analytics and tracking tools you can use to see where your posts rank on search engines, how much traffic they receive, and much more.
Some analytics tools are expensive, but there are also free options that work great. Google offers free tools, like Google Analytics, that every website should use. All you have to do is set up a free account and then add a tracking code to your website.
Another free tool from Google is Google Search Console – this offers more performance metrics, and ensures that your website is running well and the pages are recognized by Google.
There are other paid tools like SEMRush that offer more comprehensive metrics, so if you’re serious about your food blog it may be worthwhile to look into other tools!
Start Sharing Content
You now have a fully running website, complete with a theme, plugins, and analytics – so get posting! As always, share quality content and you are sure to find an audience. Promote your food blog on social media, with hashtags, or through other free channels. Learning how to write for SEO can help your blog posts rank even better, but focus on quality and have fun with your new food blog!
via Blogger How To Start a Food Blog
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SEO Training for Restaurants
In 2018 the best way to beat your competition and fill your tables is dominating Google search with proper SEO. Learn step by step how to do your own restaurant specific SEO and show up on top of Google search results. Includes 35 detailed, step by step videos and bonus material.
Learn how to do SEO for your restaurant and start dominating the search results over your competition.
via Blogger SEO Training for Restaurants
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Philadelphia, PA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 01/15/2018 -- Restaurant Clicks, a digital marketing agency for restaurants and bars has released a free restaurant marketing plan template. The template is publicly available for download on their website.
In today's business climate, restaurants need an edge to compete within their local markets. The Restaurant Clicks marketing plan delivers a much needed template for 2018 marketing initiatives specifically tailored to restaurant businesses.
"We have been in the restaurant business for close to 20 years, as marketers and owning restaurants ourselves. The ability for us to give back to our industry from what we have learned, is important to our growth." says Brian Nagele, owner of the Restaurant Clicks agency.
The marketing plan is the first product in an upcoming training series for restaurants to learn how to do their own online marketing. Restaurant Clicks plans to launch a do it yourself video training series for topics like SEO, Google Maps, Social Media and more. Restaurants can subscribe to receive unlimited training and marketing secrets designed for the hospitality industry. The agency plans to launch the training in February 2018.
About Restaurant Clicks
Restaurant Clicks provides do it yourself marketing training for restaurants. They also offer done for you services as an agency including website design and digital marketing.
For more information on this press release visit: http://www.releasewire.com/press-releases/restaurant-marketing-plan-released-as-free-downloadable-template-915894.htm
Media Relations Contact
from ReleaseWire http://www.releasewire.com/press-releases/restaurant-marketing-plan-released-as-free-downloadable-template-915894.htm
via Blogger Restaurant Marketing Plan Released as Free Downloadable Template
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How To Find and Use Instagram Hastags
One of the best ways to expand the reach of your restaurant’s Instagram photos is using popular hashtags.
Too often I see restaurants completely missing the point of hashtags and how to use them. So, I decided to write this blog post and a video to explain the reason behind hashtags and how to find, then use them properly.
The keys to success with hashtags are:
In the video I use the example of finding food related hashtags for a restaurant in New York City. We go through the process and search for tags, then find really popular and relevant tags for their posts. Tags like #nyceats, #nycfoodie, #newforkcity are great examples that will expand your reach and help you grow your instagram followers.
via Blogger How To Find and Use Instagram Hastags
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Three Simple Ways to Engage Your Customers on Social Media
Social media makes it very easy to engage your followers/customers, yet the majority of restaurants and bars don’t take advantage. Here’s three simple ways to do it.
1. Repost Customers’ Pictures
There is currently an estimated 800 million Instagram users, and the hashtags for “food” “foodie” and “foodporn” have a combined 455 million total posts, making them three of the most popular hashtags. It is obvious, people are using the social media networks predominantly to post pictures of food, so there is a very strong chance that your customers are posting pictures from your restaurant. You should be checking your location tag and your tagged photos EVERY DAY to see if a customer has posted something. Unfortunately, the pictures aren’t always good enough quality to repost, but more often than not they are. If the picture quality is acceptable, screen shot the picture and repost it, making sure to give photo credit to the customer who originally posted it, as well as tagging them. This will not only build content on your page, but it will also make your customer feel special! People love seeing their pictures repost by an establishment, and it’s super easy.
2. “Tag Your Friends”
In previous blogs, we have discussed instilling a call to action in every post. This means prompting the viewer to do more than just look and scroll on. Some examples include posting a link to an online reservation or your restaurant’s website. In addition, an easy way to increase traffic to your page and engage your customers is by using the “tag your friends” call to action. Create a facebook post with a picture of a share plate, like a cheese board or a family style appetizer, and use the caption “tag some friends you would like to share this with.” Or post a picture of a martini with the caption “tag a friend who would drink this.” This will trigger the viewer to tag their friends, some of which may not currently be aware of your business, subsequently driving new traffic to your page and garnering potential new customers for your establishment. By using this method, our friends at Steam Pub issued a promotion to win baseball tickets (see below), which received 701 likes, 788 shares, reached an astonishing 86,021 people, and consequently 220 new likes for their Facebook page!
3. Take a Poll
Post a picture of two food items and ask “which one would you rather see as an upcoming special?” This will induce the customer to voice their opinion in the comment section, which will not only show the customer that their opinion is valuable, but will also make the post more likely to show up in their friends’ news feeds. Instagram also has an interesting new feature under “stories” that enables you to take a live poll, and allows you to see in real time which item is receiving the most votes. Simply go to the story section, post a picture of the two food items, click under stickers and select “poll.” To check the votes simply go to the story and slide up on your screen.
These are three very simple AND cost effective ways to engage your customers! Remember, it’s not just about posting on social media, it’s about the effectiveness of what you are posting that is even more important!
The post Three Simple Ways to Engage Your Customers on Social Media appeared first on Restaurant Clicks.http://restaurantclicks.com/three-simple-ways-engage-customers-social-media/
via Blogger Three Simple Ways to Engage Your Customers on Social Media
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Google Announces Skip the line: restaurant wait times on Search and Maps
Tuesday Nov 7th. Google announces a new feature for restaurants in Google maps listings.
When it comes to a saucy bowl of pasta or a perfectly cooked steak, people are willing to wait in (long) lines for a taste of their favorite comfort foods. Rolling out soon, wait times on Google Search (and coming soon to Maps) shows you the estimated wait at your favorite restaurants. Now you can decide whether that cronut is really worth an hour wait or plan ahead to get your fix at a time when you can avoid a wait entirely.
To see wait times for nearly a million sit-down restaurants around the world that allow walk-ins, just search for the restaurant on Google, open the business listing, and scroll down to the Popular Times section.
There you’ll see the estimated wait time at that very moment. And by tapping on any of the hour bars, you’ll see the estimated wait for that time period. You can even scroll left and right to see a summary of each day’s wait times below the hour bars–so you can plan ahead to beat the crowds.
Wait time estimates are based on anonymized historical data, similar to how we compute the previously launched Popular Times and Visit Duration features.
The post Google Announces Skip the line: restaurant wait times on Search and Maps appeared first on Restaurant Clicks.http://restaurantclicks.com/google-announces-skip-the-line-restaurant-wait-times-on-search-and-maps/
via Blogger Google Announces Skip the line: restaurant wait times on Search and Maps
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Interview Questions for a Restaurant Marketing Position
Whether your restaurant is opening soon or has been open for some time, you’ll need to make some decisions on hiring an internal marketing team.
How do you hire the right person to help your business grow?
Too many people applying for marketing jobs believe posting on instagram and snap chat qualifies them as a marketing director.
Remember, the most important thing is hiring someone for your restaurant who knows what to do and how to do it. You don’t need another employee asking YOU what to do. You have enough on your plate. No need to hire someone to micromanage.
Before we get into the questions you need to ask when hiring a marketing position, let’s talk about all the areas of expertise you’ll need to cover in order to have a solid restaurant marketing plan. There is a big list!
That list only relates to the digital marketing. What about local outreach, sponsorships, direct mail, telemarketing, etc?
We can all agree that one person will be unable to handle everything on their own. So we need to figure out your candidate’s knowledge and where they fit in to the outline above.
There needs to be a level of understanding in regards to the fundamentals of marketing. Remember the most important part of marketing is the ability to increase your revenues, drive NEW business through the doors, and collect data to keep them coming back again.
Please note that 9 out of 10 candidates you will interview for internal positions will be primarily interested in social media and posting food photos. That is only 1/15th of your marketing needs, so let’s separate the instagramers from the real marketers.
You can ask these questions in person, or we suggest giving each interviewee a written test before meeting with the hiring manager. We have found the written test eliminates wasted time sitting with unqualified candidates.
Some unqualified candidates may even see the test and walk out because they know they don’t stand a chance.
All marketers these days should know the following, as they are the basics of online marketing:
KPI – Key performance indicator
ROI – Return on investment
SEO – Search engine optimization
PR – Public relations
CTA – Call to action
PPC – Pay per click (advertising)
CPC – Cost per click
CTR – Click through rate
CRO – Conversion rate optimization
CMS – Content management system (like wordpress)
CRM – Customer relationship management
SWOT – Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats
If the candidate doesn’t correctly answer at least 10 out of 12, you have an Instagrammer on your hands. They just want to post food photos on social media and will not know how to grow your business.
This is one of the most important online marketing areas for small businesses and also one of the most overlooked and misunderstood. We highly suggest outsourcing this, but your internal team or manager will still need to know how to manage the SEO vendor. So having basic knowledge of SEO is a must.
Email is still one of, if not, the best converting digital media available today. It is so powerful and yet overlooked or underutilized. Ask these questions to understand the candidate’s thought process as it relates to email marketing.
We think it is really important to have the candidate describe what they would do in a marketing scenario.
We recommend asking an advertising question as it relates to spending and budgets. Asking them about ROI helps as well.
At this point you should know who is ready for next steps and hopefully you have a few possible candidates to hire.
Hopefully this helps you find and acquire the proper marketing talent to increase your business revenue and take things off your plate. As mentioned in the first paragraph, we believe a combination of internal team and outsourced agency is the way to go. If you are looking to find an agency, we know a great one! (cough, cough, hint, hint)
When you do hire the perfect candidate, we recommend sending them through our restaurant marketing training course. They will learn all our restaurant marketing secrets in step by step video training. Access the course here.
The post Interview Questions for a Restaurant Marketing Position appeared first on Restaurant Clicks.http://restaurantclicks.com/interview-questions-restaurant-marketing-position/
via Blogger Interview Questions for a Restaurant Marketing Position
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How To Rank Your Restaurant In Google Maps
Have you ever wondered why some restaurants show up in the three maps results for Google searches and maybe yours does not? Ranking your restaurant in that three pack is a sure way to generate a lot more customers for your business.
There is a secret recipe to rank higher in the maps.
1. Claim and Optimize Your Google Business Page
The Google Maps engine is based of the Google My Business (GMB) directory/pages. Make sure to claim or create your listing and your listing is complete and accurate, including:
Here is a quick video on how to claim your Google Business page:
2. Properly Categorize Your Business
When you first create a Google Maps listing, you have the option of adding a primary ibusiness category, or “keyword” to describe your business.
What many business owners don’t know is that you can additional categories. You should make use of all five of these. Your primary category should be the main classification for your place (ex: bar, restaurant), while the remaining five categories should incorporate local SEO keywords that act as additional descriptors (ex: sports bar, italian restaurant, brunch restaurant, event venue).
3. Add Your GMB Name, Address, Phone Number to Your Website
Google needs to match the name, address and phone number (NAP) in your Google Business page to the NAP on your website. Most restaurant miss this key ingredient. Some just add the NAP to the contact page of the website. We recommend adding it there AND in the footer of your website, so it displays on every page.
Just remember matching is exact match. There is a difference between using the word Street and abbreviating ST. I would literally copy and paste the address from GMB and directly add that to your site, rather than retyping. Most web designers care less about optimizing your website for successful seo and maps ranking, so don’t think they did this for you already.
What are citations? They are your Name, Address, Phone Number (NAP) listed on a national or local business directory. Google searches these directories and matches your address in their listings to your GMB page and your website. To rank your restaurant in google maps, you need citations.
This builds authority and shows that your restaurant is probably the best choice to show first for a restaurant in the area your are located. Citation directories include Yellow Pages, City Search and dozens more.
We believe and have tested with results, reviews matter. Make sure you stay on top of reputation management and respond with public comments to both positive and negative reviews to your page. Also encourage customers to leave you a google review.
6. Other Secret Ingredients
We gave you the basics above, but if you want a few secret recipe ingredients to ensure Google Maps domination, sign up for our marketing course and you will learn. Not only do we teach you how to set everything up with step by step videos, we also give you the list of citation websites to add you business info to. Over 100 citation directories hand delivered in a spreadsheet.
via Blogger How To Rank Your Restaurant In Google Maps
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2018 Digital Marketing To Do List for Restaurants
A new year is approaching and the world around us changes every day when it comes to keeping up with marketing trends and technology for your restaurant business.
In this post we break down the top items you’ll need to focus on right now to improve your top line revenue this coming year.
1. Goals – Have a Purpose
This is the #1 area where most businesses fail in their marketing efforts. It’s like driving your car with no destination in mind. It’s sounds silly, but a majority of businesses are not planning properly and setting goals, then tracking their progress towards the goals.
I’m not just talking about top line revenue goals like, “We need to gross $3 million this year.” Yes, that’s a goal and it’s a great start, but how are you going to get there? Especially if you only did $2 million in 2016?
So where can you improve? Can we set specific goals to grow the business? Examples are:
2. Tracking and Return on Investment (ROI)
What is a lead worth to your business? What is the life time value of your customers?
You learned to set your goals above. Now let’s run programs to meet those goals and track which pieces of the programs are getting the best results, for a profit.
If you can see through analytics that spending $30 on a pay per click ad with Google Adwords generated a $2,000 catering event for your restaurant, how much would you continue to spend on that ad? The answer is “All of it until you are sold out!”
Because it’s working, you can see it in the tracking, so scale it up. All digital marketing has the ability to be tracked down to the goal you want to achieve.
We all have those moments when we fell for the salesman/woman and bought the ad we maybe shouldn’t have. Maybe it was $500, or $1000 or $5000. Only to think later, “Did I get any increase in business from that ad.” The sad thing is most likely NO. So let’s stop wasting money on things we can’t track for ROI.
Old school ad formats are dying for a reason. They can’t be tracked and linked to your goals (above).
Newspaper = dead.
Which nets you the most leads or sales? Paid Search/Adwords? Facebook posts? A Facebook ad? Google searches (SEO)? Instagram posts?
Do you even include a trackable link in your social media posts or ads? Did you know you can?
Setting up the tracking is actually pretty easy once you learn the tricks. Then it is staying disciplined to always make sure your team is following through. You can see exactly what platforms, ads, websites are driving traffic to your business.
3. Mobile first!
Google and all your customers think and act on mobile first. The majority of your customers are on mobile devices all day versus desktops.
Google knows this and split their index into mobile and desktop search results. They are putting priority on mobile first. If your website is not mobile friendly, you are going to plummet in search results on mobile phones in 2017. Get a mobile responsive WordPress website designed.
Is your website mobile friendly? Test it with Google’s Mobile-Friendly Testing Tool
4.Hire a Photographer
This year you need quality photos of your food and drinks and interior. If you want to make a difference on social media and digital marketing, you need great pics! Spend a few bucks and hire a pro. Your iphone with the flash on will not cut it. These photos are a representation of your brand, so make it count.
5. Outsource Some of The Work
These tips sound simple but there is one HUGE problem. Your time!
It would be crazy to try and take on all the heavy lifting yourself. You can’t be an expert in everything, so be an expert in running your business. Outsource the rest. Most restaurants outsource linens, food delivery, liquor inventory management, overnight cleaning. So why not outsource some or all of your marketing to experts?
There are new marketing methods, platforms and tricks coming out every day. Are you on top of the latest? Do you have time?
It might be best to shop around to some agencies who know what they are doing. Most can do this for less than the price of an entry level marketing hire and net you 10 times the results.
Just make sure they are focused on results for your specific goals. You want to hold everyone accountable to meet your marketing plan. Remember the agency needs to show ROI too!
It takes some time to get up and running. There is a lot of up front work to just set the systems in place before they start generating sales. Know the investment is worth it and give it time to work.
Take action and have a plan.
via Blogger 2018 Digital Marketing To Do List for Restaurants
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You’re Posting on Social Media All Wrong
When it comes to social media marketing for restaurants, how can you tell if you are doing it right or not?
We analyzed dozens of restaurants to see why some are killing it with social media and others are struggling. All the data points to a few key differences in how they organize the process plus the content. It is actually a lot easier than you might think.
We want to show you an example of a promo we ran with two restaurant / bars in Philadelphia area. We set up a promotion to give away a vintage Philadelphia Eagles stadium T-Shirt. We used the same copy and images and the same call to action. Each place claimed to be amazing at social media and we put it to the test.
The promotion was run through a Facebook post to each of their pages with no more than a $10 boost. We wanted this to be mostly organic and see the results.
The results had such a huge difference, we were shocked and had to dig deeper. Here are the two promotions side by side. Steam Pub had over 700+ reactions, shares and comments. Flying Fish Crafthouse had only 7! Not only that but, Steam had over 16,000 people in organic reach!
How is Steam crushing it on social media and Flying Fish was not?
This really got our attention. It was such a big difference and we wanted to investigate why. So we interviewed the people handling the social media at each place. Here is what we learned.
Flying Fish Crafthouse mostly had their day time bartender handling all their social media posting while she was on shift and not busy. They post maybe once per day, usually every other day.
Steam’s social media is handled by one of the owners and he posts an amazing 10-15 times per day! Yes, that says 10-15 posts PER DAY.
How is this possible? Who has time to post that much and especially a bar owner who is also managing the floor five nights a week and doesn’t wake up until 2pm every day?
No restaurants are doing this and we can see it every day how most are missing the mark completely with social media postings.
We interviewed Paul (Tubby) from Steam and learned his secrets. One of which he only spends two hours each week to posts over 100 times!
The info Paul gave us was so good, we added it to our restaurant marketing course videos with a step by step guide from Paul himself on the way he dominates social media marketing.
Sign up for the marketing course here and start dominating your competition. http://restaurantclicks.com/restaurant-marketing-plan/
via Blogger You’re Posting on Social Media All Wrong