If you’re looking for ways to drive traffic to your food blog, I’m sharing some actionable strategies that you can implement right away to start increasing traffic and make more money!
Time and time again, I receive questions from you about blogging and business. The main question I get, aside from income related questions, is “How do I drive traffic to my food blog?”
I totally get it. You have all these amazing recipes and you want the world to come see what you’ve created! And let’s be real, traffic is also is the gateway drug to monetizing a food blog.
More traffic = More pageviews = $$$
But first, let’s talk content
Before we get into the nitty gritty of driving traffic to your food blog however, let’s talk about content really quick. I know this goes without saying but I’ll say it anyway. You MUST be producing high quality content that your audience wants and loves consistently.
You have to pick a niche and stick to it. If you have a whole bunch of random topics on your site, it dilutes your overall authority on Google. More on that later.
If you have old posts with very low traffic numbers, delete a few of them at a time and redirect them. Make sure you’re always sharing high quality content that fits your niche and delivers a ton of value!
Are your blog posts solving problems?
If you think about it, whenever we go to Google or Pinterest, we’re searching for solutions. We’re either looking for photography inspiration or an awesome arroz con leche recipe. It’s right here, you don’t even have to google it! ;)
But aside from that, we’re also searching for other cooking tips aside from the actual recipe. So when you’re drafting a blog post, think of questions you would receive from a friend or family member that was making your recipe — “How do I store the leftovers?” “Will this dish last in the fridge and for how long?” “How do I make this ahead of time?”
Providing high quality content consistently with as much value as possible within each blog post helps you rank higher in Google searches.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk TRAFFIC. Here are actionable steps to get you driving traffic to your blog ASAP.
Step 1: Focus on SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
When someone comes to your site from Google, that’s called Organic Search. The better you optimize your site with SEO tactics, the more Google searches you’ll appear in and get more traffic.
Make sure you have a Google complaint recipe plugin installed in WordPress
Did you know that Google ranks food blogs by recipe card FIRST?
This is why using a Google compliant recipe plugin and inputing ALL the fields is crucial for food blogs. The recipe plugin has language that only Google understands. That’s how your posts rank in Google searches.
I use WP Recipe Maker. Super easy to use and very straight forward. I used the free version for a long time but the premium version allows you to customize the look and feel of the recipe card and the nutritional label. It’s worth the upgrade! Wish I would’ve upgraded sooner.
Use keywords and headers throughout each blog post
Using both of these within each blog post help you rank higher in Google searches. For keyword research, you can use the Keywords Everywhere Chrome extension. It’s free and helps you come up with great keywords for your posts.
As far as headers, I wouldn’t necessarily litter each post with a bunch of headers. And please DO NOT add an h2 header around an entire paragraph! Headers are meant to make the content more digestible and easy to read. Remember, above all, user experience is your top priority. High quality content + value = happy users. :)
Focus on E.A.T. = Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness.
Google introduced E.A.T. in their latest update (March 2019) which stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness.
In short, this means Google is looking to see if you are an authority in your field. Do you have an author bio in your blog posts that describes your expertise? Are you posting quality content? Are you an expert in this topic? Is user experience good? Are recipes easy to find? Are they explained clearly? Google is focused on quality over quantity more than ever now.
Optimize old posts with fresh content
SEO is a long game so it’s always a good idea to optimize existing posts with new photos (process shots!), retested recipes, filled out recipe cards and keywords. You can then resubmit these updated posts to the Google Search Console to get them reindexed in Google searches.
Step 2: Drive Traffic with Pinterest
Although we all categorize it as a social platform, Pinterest is actually a search engine. It’s also my 2nd highest traffic driver after Google. Read more about that here.
Some tips for driving traffic with Pinterest:
- Make sure your pins are visually appealing (I use Canva to create my pins!) with bright photos and easy-to-read font that catches people’s attention.
- Include keywords within every pin description so your pin appears in searches.
- Join as many group boards related to your niche as possible and pin into them.
- Pin consistently with Tailwind. With Tailwind, you can set it up to automatically pin to group boards on Pinterest on a schedule. I schedule about 30-40 pins a day (a mix of my own pins and pins from others) for an entire month. It’s a time saver!
Step 3: Create An Email Newsletter
One of the first things I did when I started my blog in 2016 was create an email newsletter. I know the importance of reaching to my readers outside of social media. Email may not be the most popular thing (it should be!) but your email list is pretty much the only thing you own aside from your blog.
If Instagram dies tomorrow, at least you still have email! Plus, a lot of my initial traffic came from email newsletters. I’d send one out every time I shared a new blog post. MailerLite allows you to have up to 1,000 subscriber emails and send up to 12,000 customizable email newsletters per month – FOR FREE!
A word about social media + sharing sites
Social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter and sharing sites like Foodgawker can be good traffic drivers but I find that my time was better spent focusing on Google (SEO), Pinterest, and email.
Not to say that you shouldn’t have a presence in each, you totally should however the behavior on these platforms is usually that the user would rather stay on them than go elsewhere. Like for example, when you’re watching Instagram Stories, do you really want to go click the link in bio?
With that said, I still recommend you try out every platform to see if there’s traction from your audience. In the past, I tried Tumblr, StumbleUpon, Yummly, Google+ (RIP) and, it always boiled down to Google, Pinterest, and email as the best platforms for driving traffic.
Here’s a screenshot of my traffic from January 2019 to May 2019.
Don’t get me wrong, I still post on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram but I don’t rely on them to bring me loads of traffic. At the end of the day, each platform still has its purpose and you should totally leverage each one to your advantage.
Last but certainly not least, be patient.
I KNOW I KNOW that’s not what you want to hear but hear me out. When I first started blogging, I clicked published and wondered why I wasn’t rich yet. Lol. True story. My impatience was next level! Read my story.
Growing a blog takes time and effort. My posts from back in 2016 didn’t start generating traffic and making me money til about a year later. Rome wasn’t built in a day. There is an audience out there for everyone.
Just be patient, stay consistent and it WILL happen. Hard work will always pays off!
Other posts you may like:
- Food Blog Income Report: How I Made $85,000 in 2018
- A Week in the Life of a Food Blogger
- Food Blog Income Report: How I Made $24,000 in First Quarter 2019
- Best Photography Tools for Food Photography
- How To Start A Food Blog in 5 Steps
This page contains affiliate links. This means that if you click on one of the product links above and complete a purchase, I’ll receive a small commission. Do understand that I will never place a link nor make a recommendation on a product or service that I don’t love or use personally. Thank you for keeping A Sassy Spoon, sassy. ;)