Last Saturday I popped along to my first ever Foodies100 blog camp in Birmingham. It really was a fun day to meet up with other like-minded bloggers while learning new things. Be it a session on how to be the best Pinteresting-Pinner, how to refine your food styling, or how to pick up some DSLR tips and tricks. Those were just a handful of some of the many informal tutorials.
Everything I do on my blog, (apart of the Journalism bit), is self taught. I like to dip my toes in to almost every thing and this comes in handy because to be a blogger, you need to master all aspects yourself. It may sound overwhelming at first, but I keep picking up little skills along the way, finding what works well, what doesn’t and easier.
And on the day, I met some lovely people and took umpteen notes on new things to consider. And, without even glancing through my scribbles, I thought I’d share the top 7 key things that stuck in my mind for blogging.
- Never use the Auto setting on your DSLR
Despite only having my camera for a month now, I flicked through my settings and quickly discovered that Manual does not take optimal quality pictures. They can be quite dull and flat, but when I play around with Manual settings, it can look amazing.
- Consider Negative Spaces in Photos
And by this I mean leave some blank space in your photos to allow text. It’s great to give your food picture a title and pop in your website and it makes great for pinning and sharing on Pinterest, Facebook etc. I’ve already been putting this in to practice right here.
- Leave a Pinnable Thumbnail Prompt People to Pin if They Wish
I loved this little tip from Sarah over at the Taming Twins blog. Once you’ve made your pins brilliant by enhancing them with text, position it in portrait to gain more page coverage and ask place them at the bottom of your recipe page, asking if they want to pin and save for later. That way, most of your hard work is done creating the pin while others can do the rest for you. And don’t worry if you’ve already got loads of recipes og blog posts up; just add them to your most popular posts to get started.
- Open a Pinterest Business Account
Things like a “Business Account” intimidate me, assuming you need to pay for it but it is completely free. Within a day, I was able to see what my most popular pins were, who’s liking them and where they’re coming from. And it turns out my Hash Browns are incredibly popular… I think this will have to be my next YouTube video!
- Consider a Colour Wheel for Photography
If you want to take food styling that little bit further, try and follow a colour wheel with your plates, napkins etc to accentuate the colour of your food
- Your Number of Views Means Very Little
There are so many areas of a blog that are ranked differently. Your Domain Authority, your Klour Score and others I can’t remember to analyse your engagement with your readers. It all gives us clues to see what type of content you are reacting and responding to the most.
- Get Your Blog Right First
Before you share your posts and your pins, try to get your blog to where you want it first. You could be pinning for hours on end sharing disengaging material. I’ve now learnt that number 2 (adding text to images) is one of the most effective practices.
I did up a few pointers, such as, don’t be shy about affiliate links to get paid a little for what you do. As long as you keep your integrity and let people know when you’ve been sponsored, you are a respectable track. Also, only link up the products you’ve tried and hopefully you’ve enjoyed.
I did want to come away from the day with a few more technical things, such as what are the best ways to make a recipe printer friendly, how to create a more effective lay out, and geekier bits like backing up a blog the most effective way. However, most of the people probably knew this so hopefully I’ll have sussed them before Blog Camp 2017.
Here’s a little treat of my vlog from the day, so enjoy!
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