1. Contact form or way to contact
This is one of the most important things to have on your site, yet it is amazing how few blogs have them. When we were going through blogs to add to our directory, it was surprising how many didn’t have any form of contact. Not even an email address.
Perhaps you want to remain anonymous and not be contacted by PR companies, your readers, or restaurants. But nevertheless, a contact method is vital. Perhaps someone wants you to review a book, or invite you to a special event. Everyone is busy nowadays and doesn’t have time for extra steps. Yes, they can comment on your blog, but contact forms are much easier. Given the choice, many of these people will simply move on to the next person. You are missing out on opportunities if you don’t have one of these.
2. Facebook / Twitter
The average person spends about 55 minutes per day on Facebook and this is a terrific way to get people to your site. There are tools to automatically publish your posts to your Facebook wall.
As for Twitter, if you aren’t active on it, you may not”get it” at first, but at least start an account and begin to get a feel for it. Again, this is another Social media tool you should take advantage of. You don’t have to be on Twitter 24/7, but just pop on there occasionally and join the chatter. It is also a great way to get readers to your site by tweeting when you have a new post. There are plugins for automatically tweeting your post.
3. About Me Page
One of the important things about your blog is not only being a great resource for quality information for the area or topic you serve, but also the fact that you have your own unique audience. You gain your loyal readers by developing your voice and establishing a rapport with your readers.
Write about yourself. What are you hobbies or interests outside of food? Why did you start your blog in the first place? Why should they read your blog? This should get you going. I highly recommend an “About Me” page where you share information about yourself (as much as you are comfortable with) with your readers. This will help them feel a connection to you.
4. Blog Roll
Most folks in the food community are truly kind and generous. A blog roll is a way to show your fellow bloggers some love. Often times, if you add them to your blog roll, they will reciprocate and add your blog to theirs, provided you have decent content. This is a good way to get on the radar of other foodies when your blog is new and you are not well known.
5. List of Reviews / Recipes
Don’t make visitors work to find content on your site. Make it easy for them to find what they are looking for or they will look elsewhere. It goes without saying that you need a search feature. However, a listing of reviews or recipes is even more helpful. Think of those folks that can’t remember the exact name of a restaurant or recipe, but can easily pick it out of a list.
6. A Writer with Thick Skin
Bet you weren’t expecting to read that. It is sad to say that as much as many wonderful people there are in the food community, it is appalling just how mean some people can be to one another. No matter how much integrity you write with and how dedicated you are, you will at some point run into those who shoot a snarky tweet your way, leave insulting responses to your comments on a forum, or pick apart a blog post you put your heart and soul into writing. Brush it off and keep going. Don’t let these curmudgeonly people get the better of you.
Did we leave anything off the list? Let us know by commenting below.