Ever thought about starting a blog? Brothers Pete and Leo Williamson, who have become known for blogging their dad’s food recipes, share their top tips for starting a blog and reveal the secrets to food blogging…
London brothers Pete and Leo Williamson have always enjoyed their father’s cooking, so they decided to create a blog documenting his creations. Bill (aka Dad) researches, explores, shops, forages, prepares and cooks everything himself then his sons photograph his food, note down the recipes and share it all on What Dad Cooked.
Pete, Leo and Bill will be appearing at London’s Waterloo Food Festival, running throughout July, in an event on starting your own food blog. Here, the brothers share their top tips for getting started with a blog – and then, more specifically, for food blogging.
What Dad Cooked tips on blogging
1. Come up with a good idea and stick to your guns. Be confident in your approach and work out how to do it as well as you possibly can in the time you have available.
2. Have high ambitions for your blog – but remember, blogs are slow burners so don’t expect miracles overnight. Allow your blog to grow and develop over time. One high performing post does not guarantee continuous traffic. Growing an organic following of people who love your site is hard work and don’t be put off if you find followers have to be earned one at a time.
3. Whatever your fan base, if you’re gaining followers this is something to be proud of. Keep going.
4. Plan your time very carefully – it is your most valuable asset.
5. Manage all aspects of the blog with equal attention – content, social media and marketing. These are the pillars of success, if one outweighs the other, you and your audience will quickly notice.
6. Timing is everything. Your favourite post may be lost if it was posted just as the wookie mask went viral. Don’t be afraid to re-post with a different spin, at a different time or over a different social channel.
7. Get yourself ‘out there’ whenever the opportunity arises. If they don’t arise, try and make them happen. Approach people, email people, tell them the ideas you have and how you wish to implement them. Collaborations are a great way to make new opportunities and you never know where they will lead.
8. Aim for the highest standards in your content. One fantastic post a day is more valuable than 100 poor quality posts that don’t get any traction. Look at how your posts are performing and respond to your data.
9. People do notice the details.
10. Proof, proof, and proof again.
11. Finally, enjoy every moment. Blogs are hard work but they’re fun and when you look back over the content you have produced you will find it very rewarding.
What Dad Cooked tips on food blogging
1. Timing… Be seasonal. People are more likely to engage with your food if you roll with the seasons and present food that suits the mood. Taylor your posts to the time of day too and even the weather. We do desserts during Antiques Road show, we know people are in front of the television craving something sweet to distract them from thoughts of Monday.
2. If you want people to cook your recipes try to use accessible and affordable ingredients, and avoid techniques or equipment that average households will not have. If you do have something specialist, offer a work-around for those who may not.
3. Follow safety standards and government guidelines for food preparations / minimum temperatures for cooked food. You can find links to info here.
4. Try to record your recipes accurately whilst you cook. Test them if possible before publishing. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to forget that tiny detail that makes all the difference. Remember George’s Marvellous Medicine?
5. Decide on measurement conventions and stay consistent. Measuring dry ingredients by volume can cause problems – using weight measurements can help here. 6. Doubling or halving ingredients is a risky business. Not all recipes can be proportionately modified. We advise to cook the actual quantities you specify.
7. Decide if you want to be a food stylist or a cook. If you want to do both it’ll probably be a full time job. We like to eat all our food so the quicker the photography session the sooner we can eat.
8. Photography can take longer than you think. If you are short of time for propping a table setting try shooting a close-up instead. It can save time and still have great impact.
9. Getting attention doesn’t have to mean doing unusual or quirky food combinations. At What Dad Cooked we’re all about flavoursome family food and that’s at the heart of every meal and every photo. Try to work out what your food niche is and do it to the best of your ability.
10. Get yourself out there. Work out who you can collaborate with. You’ve got the recipes and they’ve got kitchen, fan base, ingredients…? Reach out to them and tell them your ideas.
11. The good thing about food is it’s probably never going to go out of fashion… So keep cooking and enjoy blogging.
How to Start a Food Blog with What Dad Cooked is a free event on Tuesday 5th July at 6.30pm, at Travelling Through on Lower Marsh. Although it’s free, please register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Full details can be found here.
Are you a blogger? Have you thought about moving into food blogging? Let us know what you do and where you’re doing it in the comment section below (we’re always on the lookout for foodie people and interesting bloggers to interview)