Follow these easy steps on how to create a great food blog post! You’ll learn how to find SEO keywords and how to write for your audience to gain traffic.
How to structure a great and effective food blog post is something I struggled with for some time. In the early OBB days (which wasn’t too long ago), I was very happy writing whatever I felt like writing about. But, when you start to really consider things like gaining traffic, monetizing and strengthening SEO, your perspective on how to write a food blog post changes. Until recently, I wasn’t aware that there were reasons behind some of the things that food bloggers do.
I added some steps to my process that have helped me create awesome posts and I’m happy to share them with you! This is ever-evolving, but these steps will get you started in the right direction.
Step 1: Start broadly
When browsing through blogger forums, I often seen many people reaching out for help on what they should be writing about, and I know it can feel overwhelming. However, rather than focusing on the daunting mountain of an entire blog post, bring yourself back down by starting simple.
In the beginning of my blogging career, I used to think that I needed to come up with some grand, elaborate post topic all on my own, which lead to instant writer’s block. Start off broad. We’re going to use some easy techniques to narrow it down!
Think about what inspires you and fits into your niche. As a sharer of recipes, I’m inspired by my own tastes, cravings, ideas & experiences which drives most of what I write about. From there, I pick one word. If I have a craving for biscotti and I want to do something with that on my blog, then I start with “biscotti”. That’s it. I promise it doesn’t need to be more complicated than that.
Step 2: Research
As content creators, it’s exciting to jump right into your blog editor and start typing away (i.e. “I love biscotti, biscotti are my favorite! Yum yum yum…”).
However, to give yourself the best chance at gaining visitors and building an online presence, you MUST keep the reader of your blog in mind for every blog post you write. You need to target your posts to what readers are looking for. Yes, they are probably visiting your site because they are interested in your niche, but you want to center your content around what people are looking for. Hint: they want more than just the recipe.
So, taking our biscotti example… what is it about biscotti would be a driver for people to visit my website? Are they looking for new recipes? Maybe, people don’t know how to make biscotti and they want to learn. Maybe people actually hate biscotti and it wouldn’t even make sense for me to blog about it (speaking from experience, unfortunately you sometimes end up at this point).
These are all great hypotheses, but you need the data to back it up to make sure they hold true.
How do you find out what people are looking for?
It’s a loaded question but luckily there are some AWESOME tools out there to help you figure that out. Actually, there are MANY tools out there to help you figure it out.
I prefer using just two FREE tools:
These two give you quick insights into what’s popular and have been so helpful to me. Like I said, there are many more ways to figure this out. Tapping into your Google Analytics, Google Trends and SEMrush are a few others I’ve used and they are super as well. I think a lot of it depends on what your preference is, but at the end of the day you want to find a platform that provides you insight into what people are searching for online. I like using tools that are more visual than looking at numeric metrics. And of course, you can use them all combined to further support your idea.
So, what are you searching for exactly? You want to find target keywords & phrases. Not only will these lead you in the right direction on how to pitch your post, you’ll also scatter them throughout your post which will help boost your SEO and visibility.
How to use Pinterest to find target keywords
- Head over to Pinterest (make sure you’re logged in).
- In the search bar, type your word/idea (mine is “Biscotti”).
Observe the suggestions that Pinterest puts out; these are popular searches performed by users. In association to ‘Biscotti’, I have ‘Recipe’, ‘Italian’, ‘Easy’ and a few different flavors.
So, if I’m looking to make a biscotti recipe, I might start out with ‘Easy Biscotti Recipe’ or ‘Easy Lemon Biscotti Recipe’. You can continue scrolling to see more keywords, however, I recommend sticking with some of the top few (you want to stay within that popular zone).
Pretty easy, right? That’s how you can use Pinterest to target blog posts!
How to use Answerthepublic.com to find target phrases
The reason I like to pair up my results from Pinterest & Answerthepublic is because Pinterest finds me the keywords & Answerthepublic helps me find the key phrases (data from Google & Bing), and this combination helps create very rich posts. The way I see it is, if I stop at “Easy Lemon Biscotti Recipe”, what value am I providing the reader within the post? Sure, they know that the biscotti is ‘Easy’ and it’s ‘Lemon’, and that’s nice, but you want to keep this person engaged on your site. You want to create a robust post and you also want more SEO matches & touch points to drive traffic.
- Go to Answerthepublic.com
- Enter your keyword into the search bar.
The site will then spit out some gorgeous graphics that offer A LOT of different approaches based on your keyword (what, can, where, will, which, when….etc.).
How do I use this data?
The dark green circles are questions that are more popular. You can build up your post by including answers to these questions in your copy or title.
- Can biscotti be frozen? Talk about how Biscotti is a great make-ahead cookie.
- Where did biscotti originate. Write up a brief history about the cookie and where it came from.
- When are biscotti done? Share tips on how to know when biscotti is done baking.
- Are biscotti vegan? Readers might be looking for a vegan recipe.
- How is biscotti made/How to make biscotti Offer a photo/video tutorial, or share step by step tips on how to make amazing biscotti.
You can scroll down to more charts, and I further discovered that people are searching for “Biscotti without Nuts”.
As you can see, by using these two tools together, I can determine a few different ways to pitch my biscotti post.
-How to Make Biscotti without Nuts
-Easy Italian Biscotti
-Easy Lemon Biscotti Recipe
-Make Ahead Biscotti Recipe
-How to Bake Perfect Italian Biscotti
In the body of the post, I can leverage the Anserthepublic.com talking points to offer my readers valuable content. All of these potential posts include my original idea, but now they are targeted for what readers are looking for! Plus, using these same keywords throughout your post will naturally boost your SEO.
Step 1 & 2 summary…
- Start with a broad idea, one word is ideal.
- Use the Pinterest search bar to find other keyword pairings; this shows you what is currently trending. Use these to develop your post idea.
- Further enrich your post by using Answerthepublic.com to add value for your reader or as an approach for your blog post.
Step 3: Go make your recipe!
I bet you were expecting Step 3 to be “Write” 😉 . Sometimes, Step 3 for me is “Write” because I’ve already made my recipe before even thinking about the post. Sometimes, I make & photograph recipes first because of time constraints or other reasons, and then I write. It can be more difficult to create a blog post in that order.
I recommend starting with your idea, doing the research and then creating the recipe that perfectly matches your target keywords/phrases.
I get it though, we’re all creative and sometimes you let the creativity soar first instead! Totally OK, just know that it might take a little longer to structure your post in this exact process after the fact. As I mentioned earlier, there have been times when I made a recipe and then went through the research steps, only to find that it really didn’t fit into a proper category. I ended up scrapping the post.
Step 4: Write.
Start with your heading. In one or two sentences, describe the food/recipe. This should include as many targeted, trending, SEO keywords as possible. It should be brief, yet descriptive and naturally spoken. It should instantly grab the reader’s attention and set the stage for what they can expect for this recipe. Keep in mind, this description gets piped elsewhere when you share your posts, so it’s often the first thing people read.
My Easy Italian Lemon Biscotti Recipe is delicately sweet, has a light outer crunch but soft center. This make ahead cookie is made with real lemons, giving it a bright sweetness that cannot be replicated with extracts. A perfectly sweet snack for spring & summer!
I like to insert my pin after the heading. (I use PicMonkey to make all of my pins. Want to see what PicMonkey is all about? Sign-up for your free trial today!)
A few ideas to help you add even more text to your post, and some tips:
- What inspired you to make this recipe?
- What is the highlighted ingredient? Talk about any specifics of the recipe; this is where you can include affiliate links to special products needed to make the recipe.
- Are there specific steps/instructions for this recipe that you can elaborate on?
- Use other key phrases from Answerthepublic to help you talk about the recipe even more.
- What is the benefit of this recipe vs. other recipes? What does your recipe have that others do not? (gluten free, vegan, fast, easy…). Connect this to the keywords you found.
- Use your heading settings in WordPress to make the post easy to read and boost your SEO. Reminder: heading 1 should only be used once, all other heading should be H2+. Lastly, your targeted keywords should be included in the headings whenever possible.
- Add some visuals. I like to break up the paragraphs with as many related photos as I can. If I’m talking about texture of the cookie, I include a close up of the cookie so the reader can see the texture. Adding a drizzle? Include an action shot of you drizzling icing! (this is when it’s handy to have planned the post before making the recipe & taking photos).
- Aim for 350 words minimum.
- Ensure your readers can easily share the recipe to their favorite social media platforms, and be sure to ask them to tag you in any photos of them making the recipe. Include any tagging information to help build your following (Tag @owlbbaking on Instagram and hashtag it #owlbbaking for example).
You now have an amazing post to publish on your food blog!! Taking the above steps will serve as a handy guideline to help you create a great food blog post.
I hope you found this page useful! If you have any other successful methods or techniques to share, comment below! I’d love to hear about them!