This past Saturday I was lucky enough to attend the TECHmunch Food Blogger’s Conference in NYC, hosted by two fabulous ladies: Babette Papej (Bakespace) and Nichelle Stephens (Cupcakes Take The Cake). The ten-hour event focused on a series of topics unique to food bloggers, including social media, web design, food trends and SEO (search engine optimization). Close to thirty speakers participated in eight casual, interactive lectures which later culminated in a networking party for all NYC bloggers and food/tech industry attendees.
I went to TECHmunch with my food partner in crime (aka, my mom). We were blown away by how well-planned the entire day was. Everyone was so friendly; from the staff and generous sponsors to the food bloggers themselves. While sponsors such as Jacques Torres Chocolate, Robicelli’s Cupcakes, Wichcraft, Driscoll’s and Chobani plied us with snacks and lunch throughout the day, KitchenAid gave away a bunch of different appliances including food processors and stand mixers! (My mom and I were fortunate enough to come home with a new hand mixer and slow cooker!) It was great fun.
Taking a cue from those speakers at TECHmunch who believe blog posts should be short and sweet, I’m going to give you just the “highlights” from the day: the things I found most interesting as well as other tips that might help my fellow bloggers (or at least make them smile/think!) Here goes…
What I learned at TECHmunch NYC:
1. Bacon is always in style. If you post about bacon, people will flock to your blog. Immediately.
2. Having separate twitter accounts for private and public use will help keep your blog professional. If you have something personal you want to share, do so using a different handle. (“Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should”–Cathy Brooks, TECHmunch speaker and host of TheConversation)
3. Blogging is about knowing who you are, and then writing about it. (By knowing what your ‘niche’ is, you can help brand yourself and make your blog more marketable.)
5. “Most people make the mistake of thinking design is what it looks like…design is how it works”- Steve Jobs
Keep your design simple. DIYthemes.com founder and web designer Chris Pearson says that design is for your users, meaning your blog should be easy to read, understand and navigate. Users can’t make a decision when they have too many options. Chris calls this “Analysis Paralysis”. Don’t let it happen to your users. (For more of Chris’ tips, visit his effective web design site)
6. Content comes first. Another of Chris’ important ideas poses the question: If you remove your site’s header, will your readers still know what the site is about? Make sure your blog’s content matches its’ intent, so readers won’t go to your site looking for one thing and be confused to find another.
Other quick tips for maximizing SEO and blog viewership:
1. Submit your recipes to recipe search engines which link back to your site, such as Allrecipes.com.
2. Give your photos the same name as your blog title so you appear in more searches. (ie, don’t leave the photos titled ‘DSC0001’)
3. Keep all fonts, headings and recipe formats the same in every post.
Thank you again to Babette, Nichelle, and all the sponsors and speakers who made this day possible! If you haven’t already done so, please make sure to check out their websites and see what they’re all about! The next TECHmuch conference is on July 24 in Boston. New England friends: if you can go, I’d highly recommend it.
Happy (food) blogging and reading to all!