Technorati listed 16,588 food blogs as of May 31, 2012, so there are probably 17,000,000 or so by now. This reflects the fact that people look for information about food online. They look, according to Google Insights for Search, for recipes, nutrition information, food trucks, fast food, Chinese food, restaurants, cake, kale, quinoa, and chicken, and that’s just the top 10. With a steady 92 out of 100 for Google searches all year long, food is one of the most searched-for topics in the world.
I was asked to serve on a couple of panels for food bloggers, so I had to think about food blogs a bit in preparation.
At the same time, I had been sent an e-book draft in PowerPoint by a usually-reliable source, so I thought I’d try it out by gathering up some of the foodie blog posts I’ve written over the years and making an e-book of them. You can download the e-book in question at the link below:
(In case you’re wondering, making an e-book with PowerPoint is a horrible idea, template or not. It might be better than making an e-book with Excel, but I can’t think of any other common software less suited to the task.)
These blog posts are, in some cases, personal blog posts. In other cases, they’re from blogs I’ve written for businesses.
Why should you consider blogging about food if you blog for your business?
- Did you notice the numbers above? Looking up recipes, restaurants, and other foodie information is one of the most popular online activities, so you might as well get in on it. This is especially true if drop-by traffic would be good for your website.
- Sharing recipes makes you seem human and friendly. How can you not like someone who gave you a recipe for the World’s Best Banana Pudding?
- They liven up company news. Your company’s BBQ sauce or mojito recipe is a great addition to your post about the company party. Otherwise, it can easily be just another party to which your readers weren’t invited.
- They make your staff memorable. Is Sharon the…ummm… you know, the lady who answers the phone… or is she the inventor of Sharon’s Amazing Protein Smoothie? Which is more likely to stick in your mind?
- Food writing helps you establish your geographic location. Whether it’s Louisiana gumbo or a local restaurant, mentions of local food can make it clear that you’re a local company, to human readers and to search engines.
- It’s often easier than other kinds of writing. I’m saying “often” because of course there are works of art written about food and writing well is never all that easy. Posting a recipe can be quick, though, even if you’re not much of a writer. Take a great photo and post that recipe when you’re in a hurry. No one will ever know.
- Foodie blogging is also often easier to crowdsource than other writing. Getting staff, customers, and even readers to share recipes or reviews can be a lot easier that getting them to write thought-provoking posts on industry trends.
- It’s great for social media. Your articles on sales tax law may not get much play on Facebook or Pinterest, but recipes are highly popular on most social media platforms. Pictures of food tend to have high click-through rates, and there are even special social media sites just for sharing foodie photos — yumsugar’s Savory Sights is one.
- Not to overgeneralize, but foodie posts tend to appeal to women. And — once again, not to overgeneralize — women make or influence some 85% of buying decisions. Even if you’re selling cars, appliance parts, or beer, chances are good that a lot of your eventual purchasers are women even if most of your visitors are male.
- Your foodie posts can then be gathered into an e-book and offered as The Downtown Dry Cleaner’s Cookbook or Our Partners’ Favorite Cocktails. Get visitors’ email addresses in exchange and you’ve added to your house list.