Should You Start Your Own Kosher Food Blog?
Everyone else seems to be doing it… why not you?
Starting your own food blog can be the beginning of an exciting new venture that will earn you fame and/or fortune… or it can be a frustrating, lonely experience that brings you to a dead end.
So take the time for these food blogger reality checks before you take the plunge:
Photo by Dan Engongoro
What’s Your Unique Voice
You may ask: since there are at least a gazillion food blogs out there already, who needs another one? You are right to ask this question.
Well, the fact that there are so many food blogs is a reflection of the fact that human beings are extremely interested in food! And Jewish people are certainly no exception!
There is so much potential in this area that you definitely should not let the fact that there are already so many food blogs out there put you off. Rather, you should see this as a sign that you’re onto something!
But how you can stand out from the crowd?
The answer is that you have to find your unique niche, voice and spin. And it should be pretty specific. “Kosher recipes” is too broad. You are not going to be able to compete with the established giants in that niche. “Fast meals,” “low fat” and “frugal cooking” are also more overdone than a bad steak. It will be hard to stand out with such a general theme.
Look for a twist that reflects your unique personality, interests and gifts. You could focus on a type of recipe that you are good with, like bread baking, frozen desserts, or gluten-free dinners. Alternatively your blog could center on a creative theme, like Shabbos and holiday cooking, “dishes to impress your mother-in-law" or “quick-kid-friendly-vegan-raw recipes”.
Whatever floats your boat!
Your blog should be an expression who you are, otherwise you will soon grow bored with it and find it hard to promote. So just because low-GI recipes are the in-thing now, I wouldn’t recommend you start a blog on that topic unless you are sincerely knowledgeable and passionate about it.
The great thing about a blog is that the way to success is just to be whoever you are. The more of your unique personality and taste you express, the more readers will love you. This doesn't mean that you have to spill your guts about every detail of your life (though plenty of bloggers do), but it does mean that you don't have to work hard pretending to be a Cordon Bleu chef with a gourmet kitchen and an otherwise perfect life. Just be yourself!
My favorite kosher food blogs reflect the delightful, yet low key uniqueness of their authors:
The Kosher Spoon
combines humorous writing and great recipes, with stunning photos that the writer takes herself. Miryummy
cooks simple yet delish food and talks a lot about her life experiences, tying them in to each recipe or project. KosherPersianFood
has exotic recipes and great photos of the author, her family and their kosher Persian adventures. The Jewish Hostess
has scrumptious recipes along with presentation ideas that are a bit out of my league, but are still fun to ogle.
All of these kosher food blogs, and the hundreds of others out there, are as different and unique as their creators. And each has found their particular niche and audience.
Your food blog will be different than all of these… because it will be yours!
Excuse Me, Do You Have the Time?
OK, let’s be real here! Starting a blog, updating it, and promoting it are all time-consuming. Since you are already pretty busy, you need to be honest about what a blog demands of you time-wise.
Unless you can devote a minimum of two hours a week to your blog, it will most likely wither and die. The more time you can devote to your blog, the faster it will grow. In fact, most successful bloggers are somewhat obsessed with their blogs...
Will Anyone read your blog?
If you are going to put your heart and soul into your blog, it would be nice if someone actually read it, right? Someone other than your mother and your pet cat.
It will take an investment of time and effort to get visitors to your blog, but it’s not that hard if you follow my suggestions below (and if you blog is actually worth reading!):
The easiest way to get people reading, following and loving your blog today is to write a guest post on a popular food blog, which includes a link back to your blog at the end.
A guest post is basically free advertising for your blog, and you want your ad to do its job well. In case you’re not clear, the job of a guest post is to get as many people as possible to click through and check out your blog. Therefore, your guest posts should be AWESOME in every way... Fun to read, scrumptious recipe, gorgeous photographs, attention-grabbing title, interesting topic…
Also, make sure your blog is ready to welcome a stream (or flood) visitors before you start guest posting. It should look good and have some good posts on it already.
Making friends and posting on social networks, like Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter, is also a great source of traffic. Note that I put Pinterest first... because this a virtual pinboard/social network that is rapidly become THE place to share recipes and food photos.
Google can also be a tremendous source of traffic for your blog... but that will take some time.
Can You Make Money from a Food Blog?
It is certainly possible to make money from a food blog. You could sell ad space, you sell cookbooks and kitchen gadgets, you could promote your catering services, etc.
There are lots of ways to make money from a blog but they all have one thing in common: they take time and tremendous personal investment.
I definitely wouldn’t recommend starting any blog in the hope of covering your overdraft next month. Rather your food blog should be a hobby and a passion. Like many other hobbies, a food blog has the potential to grow into a source of income with time and dedication… but that is definitely not the point of a hobby.
In the meantime, the main payment you will receive is the feedback and adoration of your readers…
So… do you have what it takes to run your own successful food blog?