… by Beth Cochran
When I attended BlogWorld just a couple short months ago, I was working on a new venture that, at the time, was straddling the line between start-up and a viable business. I was glad to be passed the very beginning – the website creation, building an audience, struggling to get all the pieces of the puzzle together, etc. I was finally able to direct my efforts towards refining the content and finding sponsors. But things happen, partners lose interest, and I recently found myself back at the start – unwilling to let my passion die.
This journey, however, has made me realize how much passion goes into food blogging (and any content creation for that matter). So as I take an all-too-familiar trip down start-up road, I figured I would focus this blog post on the process and provide some tips and tools – and hopefully some inspiration – to keep you going.
Just Do It
As Julia Child said “Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.” Passion is indeed the first step, and it will get you far, but knowledge and the right resources will carry you the rest of the way.
- Navigate the space – do your research. Is there anyone else out there doing what you want to do? How can you create something different? Find your niche.
- Establish your presence – get out there and start creating content. There are tons of free tools to get you started:
- Blogging sites – WordPress, Tumblr, Posterous
- Social sharing – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, TubeMogul, YouTube, Flickr
- Curating content – create an editorial calendar with dates and topics, but don’t let this become too daunting of a task that keeps you from creating!
- Build your foundation – if you don’t have the budget to hire and SEO pro or a designer, there are several free resources to get you by until you can:
“Like Nike says, ‘Just Do It!’ There are so many things that a new blogger will need to learn to make his/her blog readable, more to make it good and even more to make it great,” said Tony Morales, owner of Desert Smoke BBQ and blog. “Nothing can happen until you take that first step so get the basics up, and start writing. Don’t worry too much about it being perfect from the start. Your blog will evolve as you learn.”
Build a Network of Foodies
Surround yourself with people of like mind, and before you know it you’ll start coming up with ideas you never thought possible. Attending conferences like BlogWorld and TECHmunch have proven invaluable. Not only do you learn tricks of the trade, but you build your network (and make several lasting friendships) and see what others are doing. It’s a great way to keep your thumb on the pulse of the foodie/content creation movement.
Don’t forget to explore the digital space too. Food is a universal language. Technology allows us to see, hear and in some cases interact live with food creators from all over. We are now able to be a part of “Chili Takedowns,” or learn how other foodies taught themselves to smoke fish or make gourmet chocolates (FoodCurated.com), swap recipes on BakeSpace.com, or see the crazy brisket tacos being served up by the Taceaux Loceaux artisan truck in New Orleans (VendrTV). Yes, it’s a lot of work, but take a cue from these fearless content creators and start living your passion…it will pay off.
“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” – Julia Child