My 100th Post & Top 10 Blogging Tips

As I sat down this week to try and bring some kind of order to upcoming blog posts, I noticed that this particular post will be my 100th post! In some ways, it feels as though I have been blogging forever and in other ways it feels as though my blog is still very young and has lots of growing to do…

Starting a blog has certainly been a steep learning curve but never a chore – a sign, hopefully, that I made a good choice when it came to deciding to write about food.
A couple of people have recently mentioned to me that they are thinking of starting a blog but don’t know how or where to start. So, this has prompted me to share my Top 10 Blogging Tips with you –
  1. Chose your subject carefully – there are millions of blogs out there, pick a category such as gastronomy, parenting, crafts, fashion etc and make sure you are really passionate about whatever you are going to write about (See Wikio Top Blogs for an idea of what’s out there) Some blogs include a mixture of categories and this is fine too as long as you have enough to write about.
  2. Do try and think of a niche or a particular angle within your category to have more chance of standing out but don’t narrow yourself down too much at the start. Blogging is a creative process and your blog will evolve.
  3. Think about who you are writing for. So, in the case of a food blog, are you writing for mums, parents, food-lovers, those who are apprehensive about cooking? Are you writing with a particular nutritional angle in mind? Do you particularly like baking or is there a particular challenge you’d like to set yourself?
  4. Chose a platform – Blogger and WordPress offer free publishing platforms and a choice of designs/templates and tend to be the most popular. Once you have a platform/blog up and running you can add ‘widgets’ fairly easily to encourage followers and highlight your most popular posts etc
  5. Think of a blog name and check it is available through your chosen blogging platform. Consider buying a domain name to make it easier for people to find you and to make it easier to move if you need to.
  6. Connect with people through Social Media e.g though Facebook and Twitter. Read and comment on other blogs to generate community spirit (this can take as much time as actual blogging!)
  7. Consider how much time you want to dedicate to blogging and when you will blog – try and stick to it otherwise blogging can quickly take over your life!
  8. Don’t rush posts just to get them out, it is always better to save a draft and come back to it later when you have time.
  9. A blog ‘grows’ – the more you write, the more your writing and content will improve and more people will start reading it and following it. Don’t get too bogged down with statistics and rankings.
  10. Join groups and associations to get help, feedback and your first few readers (outside your immediate family!) and join in with blog events as this is a great way to stumble across other blogs, gain readers and inspiration for blog posts. The UK Food Bloggers Association is great for food bloggers and British Mummy Bloggers and The Netmums Blogging Network are both good places to start for parent bloggers.
Many people ask how you make money from writing a blog. The short answer is – you don’t, unless it is linked in some way to your business in which case you are attracting readers as well as potential customers. A few pennies can trickle though from advertising if you want to go down that route and of course, there are some perks if you are lucky enough to get sent products to review. You can get paid to write posts for commercial sites, but you’d obviously have to be a good writer first. You may also be able to attract freelance writing work or perhaps recipe development but there is huge competition for such work. 

Yes, blogging can lead to bigger and better things, but book deals and career changes purely through blogging happen to the few rather than the many. Don’t let that stop you though – anything is possible if you put your mind to it! I have met many people along the way even in the last six months who have had some brilliant opportunities through blogging, including book deals and paid posts.

The best book I read before I started my blog was a book called Will Write For Food. Published by Da Capo Press, it is written by an American author, Dianne Jacob, who knows just about everything there is to know about successful food writing. I found this book to be invaluable when thinking about writing about food and it is still my number one resource. It is the kind of book you’ll want to read armed with a highlighter pen as there is so much useful information inside and of course, you can never find the right bit when you need it.

Dianne’s book has recently been revised and includes up-to-date advice on writing a blog, a cookery book proposal, a food memoir, how to write reviews, how to develop recipes and much more. Dianne also quotes and shares input from well known food writers and bloggers, such as David Lebovitz, who also writes the forward. 

A very handy line from the book:

“If you’d like to blog as a hobby or write articles for fun, you’re in good shape. “A day job and a rich husband helps,” one agent advised me.”

That kind of sums up my point about making money from it!  However, the book is simply crammed with top tips for writing about food, whether you are considering it professionally or just for fun, with an easy-to-read and informative style;

“At this point you’re probably thinking “Why should anyone care about what I have to say?” Good question, and it is a valid one. If all you want to do is document what you ate, probably few people will. Your job is to make readers care. Food blogging is about more than your performance in the kitchen or a list of dishes you ate in a restaurant. Instead, develop your storytelling skills so readers keep coming back.”

Will Write for Food: The Complete Guide to Writing Cookbooks, Blogs, Reviews, Memoir, and More

The very best advice I can offer came through my friend Jessica Chivers at her recent book launch – “You don’t have to get it right, you just have to get it going” – which I think sums it all up quite nicely.

Most of all, blog because you enjoy it! One of the very best things is not having a deadline or pressure on you to write, you write when you want to and when you are inspired to. I am encouraged to write because it is a lovely way of connecting with the world, it’s kind of nice to know that someone is reading and perhaps picking up a few tips or recipes to try along the way.
So, thank you for reading my blog and for encouraging me to write more, keep going and reach my 100th post with so much enjoyment!
If you have a blog, why do you write and what do you get from it? What made you start?

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  1. Fabulicious Food says:

    >It annoys me that Blogger doesn't allow you to respond to individual comments…

    Susan – one of the things I remember my husband asking me when I decided to start a blog was where I would get my inspiration from. As each day goes by, I think of two of three new posts -I just run out of time and often never get round to writing them! I have learnt now to put all my ideas into a draft post, even if it just a title. That way, there is always an idea to come to if I'm stuck. 100 posts really is nothing, some of the 'big guns' of the foodie world have been writing blogs for four years or more! That's a lot of posts!

    Sally – YOUR blog is amazing. A real pro. Everyone should go and check out My Custard Pie for a real foodie treat! Can't wait to meet you in August.

    Thank you Laura – onwards and upwards!

    I really appreciate all your comments :-))

  2. Fabulicious Food says:

    >Thanks Janet, it's definitely a good way to expand your culinary repertoire. I've tried so many things I would never have cooked – blogging events are good for that!

    Ah Judith, thank you too. Yours is an example of a really well-chosen blog name! I love it.

    Dear Anonymous – THANK YOU. I can't believe it has taken 100 blog posts for somebody to courteously point that out to me.

    TIP 11 – Check your sources, especially names, if possible, learn to spell and be grateful to anyone who covers your back and points things out.

    Thanks Jaqueline – sometimes 'hit and miss' is a very good way to learn. The main thing is, we are all learning, no matter how many blog posts we've written. Blogging is very self-driven and also you have to get good at lots of things, such as IT, photography, writing etc. Websites and magazines have editors, a blogger just has themselves!

  3. Laura@howtocookgoodfood says:

    >Hi Ren,
    Well done to you. It's no mean feat getting to 100 posts and you have done it!
    Great post, you're a real pro!
    Laura x.

  4. says:

    >Congratulations Ren – some good advice here.

  5. Susan's blog says:

    >Well done on 100 posts…and for educating us along the way so well.

    I wonder if you thought you would write so many when you started blogging?

    Did something ever make you feel like stopping?

    The above is VERY useful information to have to hand for us novice bloggers so thank you for writing it!

  6. Jacqueline says:

    >Happy 100th Post and a good one too. I could have used a post like this when I first started. It was all a bit hit and miss and I didn't have a clue about anything.

  7. Anonymous says:

    >Hi. Just FYI, you might want to correct the spelling of Julia's last name (which is "Child"). You don't want a foodie revolt on your hands.

  8. A Trifle Rushed says:

    >Congratulations! 100 blogs is a milestone I've yet to meet (I'm at 80!).

    Your tips are fantastic, I read the Dianne Jacobs book on my kindle, and found it really helpful!

    But the most inspiring thing for me is following other blogs, such as yours, it's wonderful to have instant access to so many talented people.
    Judith x

  9. janet @ the taste space says:

    >Congrats on your 100th post! I agree that it is important to do blogging only because you love it! For me, it started off as a way for me to share some great recipes and it has blossomed such that I have connected with so many others and my culinary repertoire has grown as well. 🙂

    Here's to many more posts! 🙂

  10. Fabulicious Food says:

    >Hi Carole, wow, your blog is really impressive. Hijacked?! I didn't know that could even happen, what a nightmare.

    I wasn't sure whether to write this post but I'm so glad I did now as it brought me to yours! Keep going, sometimes a change can happen for a good reason I suppose?!

  11. Carole Fitzgerald says:

    >Really excellent advice here. I have recently had to re-brand ( after my original blog was hijacked (looong story) and it has taken me a while to get into the swing of things. So your article was well timed for me. I agree wholeheartedly about the 'hobby' aspect. First and foremost, writing and cooking is what I enjoy doing more than anything else and I think that should always be the starting point.
    Thankyou for this.

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