I’m never sure how much to write so it’s just enough or when to stop so it’s not too much. I don’t back up my blog until I have a really big scare when my site goes down and I get prickly heat and I’m convince it will never come back. I procrastinate about answering the hard emails. I have a hard time working ahead and I don’t keep a strict editorial calendar because when I do, I usually blow it because of my recipe whims. I suck at SEO. And I really suck at accounting. I do however remember to save all of my work related receipts. Thanks dad, you can’t say I didn’t listen to you.
Hello, I’m Heidi and I’m a blogger. But obviously not a very efficient one.
These are just some of the reasons a bevy of food bloggers descended upon Miami, FL for the 2014 BlogHer Food conference, to learn from those in the know and get secret insight to the magic that will make us all work smarter. harder. better.
Me, not looking in the camera but instead at an invisible spider on the wall, Lauren of Climbing Grier Mountain, Annalise of Completely Delicious and Cassie of Bake Your Day
But like nearly every conference I’ve been to, I end up learning a lot more from my fellows in the field, my blogging buddies in the line of fire with the oven burns to prove it. Comrades who I can ask questions of and advice on how in the heck to do it all.
I did come home with a few takeaways I’m happy to share with you here.
So not to bore my non-food blogging friends, my Blogher blogging tips are at the end of this post.
First up, my list of this week’s foodie crushes in the form of my Friday Faves.
But before we get started, if you didn’t enter the giveaway for a weekend stay at a Florida beach house, hurry and get over there and enter before it ends all too soon! And, I bet you’d dig winning a $100 Amazon gift card for some new summer kicks. Enter here.
At the Wisconsin Cheese party at Blogher Food (my recap is coming soon) we couldn’t come to an agreement which lip sync was better. Cassie says it’s Paul Rudd. You decide.
I LOVE THIS POST! And it uses my favorite four letter word in all the right ways. It’s okay, my mom says it too.
and, speaking of my favorite four-letter word…
Celebrities read mean tweets. About themselves.
A few new follows for you to follow too:
This blog. She’s my gal pal and I just can’t get enough of every. single. thing. she. does.
This Pinterest board. She’s a classic curator, oh so lovely!
I had this saved to share around Mother’s Day, but didn’t. It’s still a really cute slideshow that makes me want to grab my Smudge and just hold her tight and never let her grow up ever, ever, ever!
Welcome friends! This is a cute idea for new neighbors.
I’m on the hunt for classic popsicle molds because of food blog recipes like this one above. Anybody know where I can find them? These are the closest I’ve yet to source. But I don’t really want plastic. Help!
With school almost out I’m keeping an eye out for fun stuff I can do with my Smudge. 10 years old is hard. She’s not quite a tween, but not a little either.
I think this art project would be super cool to do together, and might even end up with some artwork for the house or our bodies.
Smudge may be a little old for this crafty play, but if there’s sparkles involved, I think she’s there.
This slouchy T. I could live in it.
Ready. Set. Picnic. I love the looks of this.
These are the cutest DIY picnic bags ever. Plus clip on the bag utensils? So smart!
Cataloguing cookbooks so you can search for recipes quickly is pretty near impossible unless you have a librarian’s degree. This site does it all for you. I’m totally doing this. Thanks for the tip Jen.
My nephew is getting married next week. These would make a cute wedding gift with a little something extra.
Hold on Trigger. Don’t put away that crock-pot yet. 15 spring dinners you can make in a slow cooker here.
The future of blogging. What do you think?
….thank you and that was a gentle lead in to part deux of today’s post.
via Instagram Completely Delicious
What I Learned at Blogher Food 2014
I certainly learned some gems from the sessions and made some great networking contacts with brands and new to me food bloggers. But like many of the attendees I talked to, I feel like I’ve outgrown a lot of the content at the conference. Three cheers and high fives if that’s actually the case. While I’d love to see more advanced topics with a tiered track to suit all learning levels, I don’t know if that will happen in the future or not.
And that’s why I’m a firm believer that there’s a new, non-conference trend afoot.
In the coming years I think you’ll be seeing many more small gatherings of bloggers, who come together to meet and share and have fun along the way. To teach one another about our individual expertise. Or just dumb luck stuff we’ve discovered on our food blogging paths.
So let’s just pretend this is our own mini-conference, where I dish on what I learned. These are literally my notes from my mad texting thumbs, minus the autocorrects and hopefully my many mispells.
If you have something to contribute to the conversation, I bet we’d all LOVE to see it in the comments below.
Plug-ins and Features for Your Blog
I recently installed Clique Me on my site. It’s that little black tab on the bottom right corner of this page. It’s a little like Instagram in that you can like images on my site (each image has a little heart and like in the bottom right corner of every image) so visitors can bookmark their favorite images and visit back to them when they come back. The goal is to make your site more “sticky” and an easy way to introduce existing content on the site and keep the reader on the site longer. There’s also a trending images section of what’s popular on your own site, and those you follow. The goal of the developers is to keep readers on our sites, instead of heading off to a mega content portal like Pinterest. Learn more here.
Stolen content is a concern of many bloggers, especially with the large scraper sites whose robots find our content and lift is as their own. A tip I learned is to install a footer plug-in on your blog so that with each blog post a footer is placed automatically that says (and you can customize this as you want) “If you’re reading this content on FoodieCrush.com, thank you. If you’re not, this content has been stolen.” You could include an email address for contacting you if desired. There are several plug-ins available, this one had pretty high marks.
Use Tail Wind App for Pinterest analytics.
See what is being pinned of yours by going to pinterest.com/source/YOURDOMAINNAME.COM then use the most popular images in other social media, like Facebook posts and upload to recipe aggregator sites like Foodgawker and Tastespotting, etc.
** When I looked at mine I realized it isn’t displaying pins from group boards I’m a part of. I believe these are pins directly from your site, not from Pinterest boards. So it’s actually an organic view on what people are responding to. Good to know!
Embed your Pinterest feed on your Facebook page for extra engagement. Woobox was suggested to do this.
Either use a vertical image or use text on a horizontal image. **IMO, always use a vertical image. And, I’m seeing a big trend away from text on images, especially when it’s bad typography that distracts from the image. So if you don’t know your type, don’t text.
Facebook’s algorithm has affected everyone, even blogs like 100 Days of Real Food, who has 1.3 million followers. And whose Facebook traffic dropped drastically, and overnight, in January. She sees no rhyme or reason, just that it happened and is slowly coming back but not nearly to the levels it was.
Budgeting Facebook advertising into a brand sponsorship package may boost ROI for them.
Working with Brands
Trends in what brands will pay for:
1. Visual content: Create content for brands to post on their sites, not yours, so it is Pinnable to their sites.
2. Leverage your instagram account and use as part of your promotional package.
3. There are curators and there are creators. Which one are you? If you’re a curator, you’re finding content that is created by others, but you package it within a theme, etc. Creators create the content curators crave. Develop custom themes and ideas that apply to the brand you’re working with.
Advertising and Sponsored Content
1. Brands want traditional content, but what they’re really craving is video. Video that is authentic and mature but not too slick or overproduced. This video and this one are examples of what worked well for Target.
- Brands want the connection you have with your community rather than a CTR (click through rate).
- Brands want lift, to raise awareness and move needle for brand.
- Content metrics include time spent watching the video and outbound links.
- They want to know how much time readers/viewers are spending watching the video and what the keywords are they’re searching for.
Pay attention all around you for nuggets of writing inspiration.
Capture sudden ideas on you phone or in a notebook, even if they stuck.
Use overheard dialogue of people around you.
Find turns of phrases and borrow to make your own.
Develop a rhythm for beats in dialogue and what their timing might mean. You can even use your recorder in your phone to record them. Create your own timing in your writing.
Create a swipe file that houses all of your ideas, a list or database to inspire new ideas or use for storytelling.
Diana and Eric of Eating Richly led this session. If you’re interested in creating video, their blog is one you should definitely check out.
The video below was the example she shared and the comments below are based upon. Give it a look and you’ll see what they’re talking about.
Have a hook reenact a story as you’re telling the story, like sharing about that one time when your grandma was drinking booze if you’re making booze video. They used their son in this video and a neighbor boy to do the audio.
Write a description of what the video is about
Write a 2-3 sentence synopsis
Define what’s the hook
Describe what feelings you want to convey
Write a Script
Write some one liners, just a quick list of sayings you might want to use. This was for a video about cooking a bean soup.
- Beans magical fruit
- Onion safety goggles
- Cooking dance break
Then start filling in details, writing line for line for the script.
Start a storyboarding shot list
Include which shots should be wide and or close up shots
Audio is half of your video
Use an on-camer microphone like this one from Rode
Or a wireless PAC to PAC
Or a zoom portable audio recorder
Film for editing so you have room to edit.
Add a little more at the beginning of the video and leave the camera on for a few beats once the scene is done.
Video editing software
Final Cut Pro 10
Make sure whatever music you use always allows for commercial use. The following are suggested sources for music.
Shutter speed should always be set to 50
So you can be at 28 frame rate
ISO is always in multiples of 160, and don’t go over 640
The variable is your f-stop to get the right lighting. Outdoors it could be set to 20 to get the correct exposure.
And that my friends is all I wrote.
And I still never know when to stop so it isn’t so much.
Happy long weekending everybody! Here’s to lots of BBQs and pick-nick-ing.
Wisconsin Cheese paid for my airfare to Blogher Food. As always, thank you for reading and supporting companies I partner with, which allows me to create more unique content and recipes for you. This post contains affiliate links. As always, all opinions are my own.