Frequently Asked Questions
When did you start blogging?
I started blogging in 2009 with a self-help blog and started this food blog in June of 2014.
When do you blog?
To give you a little perspective on my daily routine, I work from home as a full-time instructional designer, designing technical training and building the virtual labs they are hosted on. I’m also a wife and mom to two college kids and my hubby and I are also pet parents to our Shih Tzu, Leo, and our Maltese, Roxy. Shooo!
Blogging is a part-time job for me right now..but.. I implement daily tasks to make sure I am growing day after day. I currently publish a food blog post once per week and also a How to Grow Your Blog Report weekly that has loads of insight on how I blog daily, tips of all kinds, tutorials, resources, links monetization and traffic generation strategies – in real-time.
I try to connect with food bloggers early in the morning between 7-8am and in the evenings and during breaks. I’ll write in the evenings and weekends.
How many hours per week do you work on your blog?
I work on my blog around 20 – 25 hours weekly.
Do you have a blog calendar?
I do but because of my competing priorities it tends to change a lot! But I usually shop for my recipe ingredients on the weekend, type up my blog post on Monday, make the recipe on Tuesday (more than once if necessary) and edit my post for the first time. I’ll edit the photos in Lightroom on Wednesday and edit post again. Thursday insert photos, edit post again, run through SEO check list and Blog Post checklist before I press PUBLISH! I market my blog and posts in the early am, during breaks and in the evening.
What does your week mostly consist of: blogging or marketing?
Marketing, marketing marketing! You should be spending about 80% of your time marketing your blog and 20% on blogging.
What kind of camera do you use?
Canon EOS Rebel T3i
Do you use web hosting or is it a self-hosted blog?
My food blog is hosted by bluehost.com using the WordPress.org software.
What WordPress theme do you use?
I purchased the Foodie Theme by Shay Bocks which is on the Genesis Network.
Which social media platform routes the most traffic to your website?
What is your biggest source of traffic?
Organic searches done in Google are my biggest source of traffic and also direct access to my blog which is where visitors type my website in directly to their browser.
How did you learn food photography?
My hubby initially helped me get familiar with his Canon T3i DSLR (which I borrowed and never gave back) and then I purchased Tasty Food Photography by Lyndsay Ostrum and also Plate to Pixel by Helene Dujardin.
How did you develop your food photography style?
I feel like I’m still developing my style but I’d say mostly from pushing myself to keep taking pictures even when I felt like I didn’t know what I was doing! The more you do anything, the better you get at it, right? I look at tons of food photos on Foodgawker.com, Pinterest, buy Foodie Magazines like Bon Appetit and Martha Stewart’s Living. I love to take pictures with a lot of contrast, bold colors and rustic settings. I’ll change up my photos a lot and sometimes take a brightly lit photo in one post then in another may do a photo shoot when the sun is going down and have more shadows present in the photo. You do finally get to a point where you really like your photos and feel they accurately express who you are 🙂
What do you use to edit your food photography?
I use Adobe Lightroom to edit my photos and PicMonkey to make my long Pinterest pins. (Still trying to master Adobe Photoshop.)
Where do you take your photos?
When I started blogging, I’d follow the sun from the front to the back of our home throughout the day! But for most of the photos, I placed a table in front of the largest window in my home, which was in our living room, and style the shot there. But we recently moved and now I finally have my own office (yay!) where I have a permanent place for taking photos, storing my food styling props, 2 desks; one with my work laptop and one with my Feel Good Food desktop and some lovely boxes I still need to unpack. 🙂
What’s some advice you can give to new bloggers?
Follow other bloggers that you respect and love their work- like a lot of them! Subscribe to their posts, visit their blogs. Looking at their website and content helps you get better and gives you ideas on how you can improve.
If you’re into food photography, look at tons of food photos daily. This will really help you determine which types of photos you love best and you can use them as a guideline for developing your own style.
Keep a Blog Activity Journal. This has really helped me keep track of :
- how I was growing my blog,
- what tools I’d discovered
- what strategies were directly impacting my growth
- new resources I was using
- new connections with new blog friends
Not only was it really helpful to me, but I started to see how this created a transparency that I couldn’t find on the web when I was starting out and felt many other new bloggers could benefit from. Now I publish a weekly report called How to Grow Your Blog Report that not only contain my blogging activities for the week but much more like:
Links to all of the Facebook Groups I belong to√
Helpful blogging tips√
Links to tons of resources√
Traffic generation Strategies√
Food Photography tips√
How to create a recipe√
How to find your “written voice” as a blogger√
Motivation and Inspiration√
Links to Free Training from Successful Mentors√
Check out some great advice I gave on my Anniversary Blog Post.
What’s your motivation?
I love to cook and create recipes that “wow”. I also love to teach people how to make food in their kitchens that is absolutely amazing and I love creating food photography people will love. Finally, I love to help which is why I created the How to Grow Your Blog Report 🙂