Missed the Everything Food Conference this year? Not to worry, here are some of my favorite blogging tips from the conference, along with my action plan to grow my blog
Hey all! Last month, my husband and I drove down to Layton, Utah, for the 3rd annual Everything Food Conference. I won a ticket from my ad network, Mediavine, so I was super excited to go and learn some great things and connect with other bloggers. I don’t have any spectacular photos for this post, but there are still great tips in here.
I had planned on getting these blogging tips up back in May, but I had to work on other projects and then I had surgery. Now that I’m fully back to blogging, here it is 🙂 I’m going to try and set a doable summer schedule for blogging, 1-2 posts a week consistently.
Since there are potentially pages and pages of things I learned at the Everything Food Conference, I decided to limit this recap to tips from the 2 panels that I found were the most helpful. Most of the sessions were fantastic, there were a few that I wished I had swapped for different ones, but all in all, it was a great conference with a lot of education.
My favorite part was meeting other amazing bloggers! If I go again next year, I need to see if I can sign up for the pre-conference photography or video workshops. I would love to take a hands-on food photography workshop sometime.
Since I’m an avid hand-written note taker, I have a notebook full of these little tips from the conference. All these tips are from my notes, I wrote down my favorite tips and the ones I found most useful 🙂
Blogger Work/Life Balance
During the Bob’s Red Mill sponsored breakfast on Friday morning, we listened to a great blogger panel moderated by Bjork Ostrum on blogger work/life balance. This is such a great topic since it often feels like technology and our blogs take over! It was great to hear from several full-time bloggers how they keep blogging without it taking over their life.
Bjork is a fantastic moderator and speaker, by the way. I’d definitely come to the conference again if he is there doing sessions or panels! I felt like I got the most benefit from the panels. Having multiple successful bloggers addressing common questions was super helpful and a lot of fun!
- Set boundaries
- Delete social apps off your phone if you find yourself getting sucked into your phone too much
- Live your life first! Your blog is your job, don’t let it take over your life
- Schedule time away from your phone and technology
- Schedule down time and family time
- Schedule your week in advance
- Be strategic
- Batch work: do your work in batches, shoot and style one day each week
- Front load your work: do your hardest work Monday through Wednesday, then easier work on Thursday and Friday
- Work ahead on your blog (create content ahead) so you can take time off as needed without worrying about running out of content
YouTube Success Tips
One of my other favorite sessions at the Everything Food Conference was a YouTube panel with some great YouTubers, like Sarah from The Domestic Geek, Tatyana from Tatyana’s Everyday Food, and Joanne from Fifteen Spatulas.
- Video is unique:
- YouTube is a human platform and is unique from social channels like Facebook or Twitter.
- You don’t have to be perfect or have perfect videos to succeed on YouTube
- Being on camera is a learned experience, it takes practice and there is no short cut for practice!
- Approach your videos like acting, pick your best traits and amplify them
- Brand yourself consistently, whether it’s the color of clothes you choose, the recipes you share, or anything else unique about yourself
- Add your branding to backdrops and props if you can, incorporate your uniqueness!
- Branding isn’t just your logo, but it is also the look and feel of your videos, props, style, etc.
- Brand every part of your channel (masthead, watermarks, thumbnails, etc.)
- Content strategies:
- Post videos at least 1x/week if you want to be consistent
- Content should be in several categories: content to reward fans, content that’s uniquely me, and content that’s for new audiences.
- Try to upload videos at the same time and day to be consistent
- Video series do great on YouTube, like 3-video series
- Have a theme if you post multiple times a week, for example: Monday snacks, Wednesday savory, Friday dessert, etc.
- Batch produce your videos and gradually schedule them to be released throughout the week/month
- YouTube Analytics
- You need to learn about watch time and try to increase it. YouTube will recommend your channel if you have good watch time stats
- Check your completion rate 7 days after your video has posted: you want to see a 50% completion rate at the end of the video (the percentage of people who watched to the very end of your video)
- It’s okay to have long videos, but be concise and wrap things up to keep viewers engaged
- Tasty-style “hands and pans” videos are terrible for increasing watch time
- Increase watch time through curated playlists, iCards (link to similar playlists), and end cards (link to similar playlists)
- YouTube videos can help rank blog posts when they are embedded in the post! Add videos to your blog posts
- Make sure that you are not keyword stuffing your descriptions, but word for user intent
- Wait for 1 week before uploading your video to YouTube
- Video Techniques & Tricks
- Speed up easy recipe steps, and slow down the detailed and complicated recipe steps
- If you do captioning for your videos through Rev.com and upload as a subtitle file, it can also be used by Facebook for captioning in Facebook videos
- Videos do best when they are 5-10 minutes long
- Use glass bowls so people can see what you’re mixing up
- Use wooden spoons to minimize clanking sounds while mixing
- Use the YouTube Community tab to build community with your viewers and subscribers through commenting, polls, re-sharing old videos, etc.
- Try to answer as many comments as possible, and if that’s not possible, answer the first comments faithfully
- Build relationships with your fans
- Collaborate with other YouTubers!
- You can delete negative comments, but negative comments still count as engagement in YouTube analytics so you can keep them and respond to them or ignore them if you choose
How I’m Using these Blogging Tips
Taking some tips from the blogging conference, I’m going to work on doing my blog work in batches. I started doing that this weekend, collecting ideas for several recipes then making and photographing several in one day. It works great! I’ve always struggled with schedules, but this is something I need to do consistently so I can make the most of my time and create content consistently.
Another thing I’m going to work toward consistently is doing more video. And seriously, I struggle with video! I am not a natural in front of the camera, and I can be socially awkward, so getting on video is super hard. But I know the more I do it, the better I’ll get!
One of the things I heard so many times at the conference was that those Tasty-style “hands and pans” videos are overplayed. But I secretly love those the idea of those videos since it means I don’t have to be in front of the camera haha 😉
I learned some great video techniques from the session with Chef Billy Parisi and Elizabeth LeBau, so I need to work on them. Putting knowledge into action is where the rubber meets the road!
Sarah Jane Parker is the founder, recipe creator, and photographer behind The Fit Cookie. She’s a food allergy mom and healthy living blogger based in Wyoming. Sarah is also an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, ACE Certified Health Coach, Revolution Running certified running coach, and an ACE Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist