Go hyper-local: Like the newspaper industry, food bloggers should focus on gaining a local readership. Cover local food, local restaurants, local farmers. Meet local foodies, organize local events (the Milwaukee-based food blog Burp! is doing this right).
Find a Niche: It’s hard to sustain a food blog that’s all over the place. Pick a theme, the more unusual the better, and stick to it. (This pertains to all blogs, not just food—see the fashion blog Manrepeller for an example. The theme is clothes that confuse and repulse men. Weird? Yes. But in a universe full of fashion blogs filled with recycled industry gossip, this blog stands out and gets covered in the New York Times.)
Forget Anonymity: When I started this blog in 2006, hardly anyone who read it knew me offline. Later, thanks to a mention in the local paper, local food blogger events and the ubiquity of Facebook, nearly half my readers seemed to be from the Milwaukee area. Co-workers and acquaintances (now Facebook friends) would mention my blog posts. My blog came up, unprompted, during job interviews.
Social Media: You pretty much have to be on Facebook and Twitter now, if you’re a blogger.
Be Creative: Remember when food bloggers got book deals? That stopped circa 2008. Great recipes and artsy pictures aren’t enough to pull in readers, let alone a publishing contract, unless you run a really major blog like Smitten Kitchen. So be creative. Be weird. Don’t settle for just another recipe-and-picture food blog.
Have Fun: When blogging's fun, it shows! Also: find a few blogs that you really admire, read them and leave comments. The bloggers will appreciate it. As will I if you stick with Yulinka Cooks. Thanks again for reading!