When I first started blogging, I never thought I would get over 4.4 million pageviews in 3 years! But it obviously took a little time (and lots of work!) to grow my audience.
So, how did I do it?
Let me share a few tips on increasing traffic to your blog.
I first joined Foodbuzz and met lots of like-minded and amazing food bloggers, many of which have become good friends… and that’s how I began to understand more about blogging.
Leaving comments on other blogs also means that people will get to “know you” and come to your site to leave a comment in return.
After Foodbuzz “disappeared”, I concentrated more on other platforms.
You need to “get out there” and have a good Social Media presence.
You must have accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram… at least, and you need to be active on all of them. I know, it sounds like a lot of work… and it is. But it’s fun work, trust me! These are great platforms to promote your posts on and they are all free.
Also, Google+ has “communities” which are groups of like-minded people who share posts/recipes/advice on many subjects and are a great font of information!
Remember you should also use Social Media to interact with your audience and find out their likes and dislikes. You will also have an idea of whether or not your are going in the right direction.
Writing a post for a fellow blogger, if invited, is also another great way to get known by more people and get more traffic.
Food Photography Sites
Getting your pictures accepted by sites like Foodgawker, Tastespotting or Tasteologie is also another great way to drive traffic to your blog.
I know many people get discouraged because their pictures get rejected. Don’t. I had so many rejections since I started blogging… yet, I kept submitting my pictures and now many of my photos appear on those sites. These sites used to be a great source of traffic and even though this has slightly decreased due to their “bulk approving” method, I still get quite a bit of traffic from them. If you are lucky enough to be on the first pages of any of those sites, be prepared to get a lot of traffic! When my Cabbage Rolls were the “most gawked” if the month in Foodgawker, my traffic sky-rocketed. So, submitting IS worth it!
All these things are quite helpful to get people to come to your site, but eventually the main reason for which people keep coming back is your content. You always have to create new, original and high quality content. That includes having good pictures, but not only. You also need solid recipes. You need recipes that have been tested and that are not going to fail!! That’s what people are after.
Also, try and remain faithful to “your voice”. It’s easy to get lost in the world of food blogging… there are so many recipes, so many successful blogs… your instinct might be to see what others are doing, and do it too. That can work in the short term, but remember that having your own little niche in the end pays off. During the podcast I did with Paolo of Quatro Fromaggio and Other Disgraces on the Menu about food blogging, we discussed this in more details. It’s easy to try and follow a trend when it’s successful, as it does generate more traffic, but if it is something too different from what you generally do, it can undermine your credibility in the eyes of your audience. To give you an example, MsM is all about authentic Italian food. Even though I know that “Fettuccine Alfredo” is a very popular recipe that would attract a lot of traffic to my site, I would never write a post about it, as it is not authentic Italian food (as delicious as it can be). Writing that post would go against the very reason why I started this blog.
Consistency, good quality, intellectual honesty are all great qualities that a blog should have to be successful.
SEO is really important. At the moment, the majority of MsM’s readers come from Google search results, so make sure you have a good SEO plugin and a recipe plugin that puts your recipes in rich snippets as this too helps to get better positioned in Google search (see my Technology Tips for more details).
Don’t forget to leave a comment if you have any question!
Next: Copyright and Netiquette
Jean | DelightfulRepast.com says
Manu, great tips! I like that you are not posting fettuccine alfredo, though it would be popular, because it would not be consistent with your blog.
Great tips! Thanks for the encouraging words, Manu!
Wonderful post, Manu!!! Such excellent tips 🙂
Marzia molatore says
Ciao Manu,il tuo blog e’ bellissimo..mi ispira e grazie per i connsigli.
Io ho cominciato da poco ae il massimo di persone che guardano il mio blog e’ 12…ahahah ci vuole tempo credo.\comunque tu hai fatto tutto da sola o ti ha aiutato qualcuno a creare il tuo bellissimo blog?
Ohhh grazie mille Marzia! Anche il tuo blog e’ molto bello, vedrai che avrai il successo che meriti. Ci vuole un po’ di tempo per crearsi una piccola nicchia e dei lettori piu’ o meno fedeli! 🙂 Io ho fatto tutto da sola… quando ho cominciato. non sapevo niente di computer e ho dovuto imparare guardando qua e la su internet! 😉
Thank you for sharing all your experience! One day, when I have time…