In this #learntoblog hangout they discuss finding your niche and your voice, food photography tips, recipe plugins, the benefits of Pin rich snippets and ways to monetize a blog.
Speakers in Hangout Are:
Crystal Van Tassel of Crystalandcomp.com
Kelli Miller of 3Boysandadog.com
Tiffany King of EatatHomeCooks.com
How your photography should reflect your blog niche
Write to yourself. Solve your own problems. What type of recipes do you feature: gourmet, gluten-free, weight waters, etc.? Stick to your original purpose.
Whose problems are you solving? Yours, your friend Sally’s, the om of a three year old? Your blog is not going to be for everyone. Are you a trained chef or self-taught? Be who you are.
Using simple props for everyday food
Snap your photos, then eat. Keep props simple.
- white place
- black plate
- black chair
- window light
- white foamboard
- black foamboard (more polished look)
You can get great photos just using a simple point and shoot camera. Just be relatable, recreatable (i.e. magazine quality photo of food = 2 hour prep).
- kitchen table
- natural light
- pretty tablecloth
- have several tablecloths to rotate
Kelli’s prop suggestions:
- shop at Dollar Tree or Dollar General for inexpensive supplies
- cloth napkins
- reusing same props hhelps you to learn the best settings on your camera (or phone). It can help with branding, too. If people see the same style, materials, etc., they will learn to recognize your content.
Which Camera & Photo Editing Software Should I Use?
Crystal likes PicMonkey for edit (a free program)
- The premium version offers burst option (the color, increases saturation)
- make the main image fancy (bar, graphic, font, url)
- url in same font
- plate her food
- may take 20 photos
- all other photos, just include the URL
- for a crockpot recipe: show ingredients in crockpot
- show an image that tells a story (like Crystal’s photo of the mom holding a baby while couponing)
- add font
Tiffany uses a Nikon D40 with a 50mm lens, Photoshop for standard photo editing (which has more fonts), and PicMonkey for collages.
In Photoshop, actions to take on a picture:
- gift wrap
- fabric remnants
- black foam core/board, use chalk on it, then wipe; looks like chalkboard (idea from whipperberry.com)
Easy Ways to Monetize Your Food Blog
Tiffany sells a meal planning service. It was her intention to sell the menus from the start. It took three years to get to that point. She use a virtual assistant to make the grocery list document. Take the content you have and repackage. Streamline, organize, and tailor. Tiffany created Eat at Home Meal Plans.
How to Get More Traffic from Your Photos on Social Media
- Share your posts on Google+, as it helps them to get indexed on Google search faster.
- Add your Twitter handle on photos.
- Make sure you are using Rich Pins, as it adds branding on Pinterest because it shows your favicon and site name. It also shows ingredients on the screen.