Two things (after food) are very important ingredients in making Food Blogger Connect the best it can be. Bringing our peers, fellow bloggers and newbies to the blogging world together is one. And planning ahead to give our growing community lots of exciting things to look forward is the second.
We know a lot of you will have already hit the ground running with new posts, ideas, photographs and styling techniques as 2014 gets well underway. Maybe you resolved at the beginning of the year to start a new blog – and good on you if that’s the case!
We’ve asked each to reveal how they aim to improve their blogs – be it by upping the ante on promotion on social media, developing quality relationships with their readers or honing their niche.
In the meantime we’re working hard to ensure #FBC14 taking place the 6th to 8th of June in London is bursting at the seams (let’s face it we all will be by day three) with helpful advice, tips and mouth-watering inspiration to help arm attendees with the knowledge needed to develop a truly amazing, loved by all blog to be proud of. Phew.
FBC Alumni speakers such as David Lebovitz, Penny de Los Santos and Niamh Shields were happy to share their wisdom on a variety of hot topics last year. And we’re still oh so grateful for involvement from the likes of Karen Burns Booth, Food Cycle, Sustainable Food Trust, Kerstin Rodgers and the lovely Miss Foodwise. So while we work on making this year’s big event even better – and remember ticket prices go up on January 20th – let’s hear from the bloggers on their POA’s for 2014…
Tina’s Plan of Action
Putting out posts on a regular basis
Connecting more with other food bloggers and The Spicy Pear readers
Improving photography and styling skills
To spend time on meal planning
Learning more about different cuisines and ingredients to expand repertoire.
Grow and expand my skills before deciding to focus on a particular niche
Tina says: “I plan to spend more time on my blog, scheduling time in the week to read, write and connect with others. I have already been spending time analyzing pictures on the Internet and magazines. I’m trying to schedule my cooking and styling during the day so I can shoot in natural lighting. I attended #FBC5 and took away a lot of useful knowledge. It has definitely given me the confidence to try new things, such as approaching PR agencies and writing articles for magazines. I regularly speak and share experiences with many of the bloggers I met there. Everyone was so friendly. And this year many of my friends will be attending and I will no longer feel like the new girl.”
Andreea’s Plan of Action
To learn and invest in my blog to make it look a bit more professional
Gain a greater understanding about the design and visual side of the blog
Take my blog to the next level
Develop a blog logo for online use and my business cards.
To expand my blog content in 2014 also to social foodie tips in Brussels and beyond.
Andreea says: “I travel a lot and realise friends (and readers) are interested in the different tips on where to stay, where to eat, where to go for a drink so I will be focusing on that. This approach should also help engage with different reader groups such as travellers, expats as well as foodies and cooks. I want to continue having fun sharing what I like and getting the online social engagement with like-minded people. #FBC14 will be my first time so I am really looking forward to this event answering or giving me some tips on how I can develop the above.”
Alissa’s Plan of Action
Establish myself as a writer and a photographer to gain credibility
Learn more about the technical side of websites; HTML, SEO etc.
To work for an e-commerce company and learn how a profitable and functioning website works
Potentially do an accredited culinary course
Improve my overall photography, styling and blogging in relation to food
Alissa says: “I would like to become a full-time blogger or my dream title “Editor” of an online magazine. This goal is quite a few years away yet, but I’m prepared to put in the hard yards to achieve my career goal. I have been consistently creating new content for my blog as well as working on my photography portfolio. I attended the #FBC5 Roaming Workshop in Dubai and it taught me the necessary skills to be able to self-manage and direct the content of my own blog and turn a passion into a profession. I learnt how to photograph correctly, to style using readily available props but most importantly I learnt the fundamentals behind engaging readers to keep them returning to your site. If I didn’t attended FBC5 I never would be in the position I am now. I am inspired, enthusiastic and look forward to every day.”
Claire’s Plan of Action
To start my own blog
To start believing in myself more and bite the bullet
Find my voice, blog name and develop my style
Build a website and got for it!
Claire says: “After about three years of hesitation, fearing what others might say and general self-doubt – I have decided to start my own blog. I have a good feeling about this year, so I have decided to bite the bullet and I’m really excited! As a newbie I have so many questions! My idea is to create a blog that I can use as a journal of sorts, recording my trials and tribulations in the garden, kitchen, and life. I’m hoping to photograph and write about a wide range of experiences including great meals, food events and as I’m from Australian, my Europe/UK trip with my Mum which is planned to begin in May this year. I’m banishing negativity, and saying yes to opportunities. I’m hoping to make #FBC14 this year and ask as many questions as possible!”
Luoana’s Plan of Action
For readers to enjoy reading what I post and share their thoughts
To feel more connected to my readers
To hold on to that spontaneous feeling that being a blogger can give to my life
Continue to meet and engage with lots of different people through blogging
Encourage more of my readers to: Do what makes YOU happy
Ensure my content is read by a wider audience and I get more traffic
Luoana says: “I’ve started my blog about four months ago, the idea of the blog was to just share my ideas and passions with readers and find bloggers that liked to read and write about the same things I do. I felt frustrated with being silent! I have never been to FBC before, but it sounds like a great opportunity to open up in a community of people that are doing something similar and get more insight on the world of blogging. I haven’t been doing it for long, and meeting experienced people with reall business plans can really help me achieve more. I would love to attend this year!”
Don’t forget to grab your early bird tickets now – there’s only a few days left to get the best price!
Before you do, here are also some of the topics we want to tackle this year and that we think will inspire and be useful to all of bloggers – no matter the niche.
Reputation management and online presence growth
Successful sponsorship and brand collaborations over the years
Hands on SEO workshops
Monitoring and analytics tools
Styling, photography and writing
Review products, restaurant and services
Judy (@Judycogan) is a freelance journalist who started out as a hack and now writes and edits food, travel and lifestyle features for national newspapers and magazines in the UK, the Middle East and beyond. With constantly itchy feet she loves to travel and has visited countries including China, India and Norway getting involved in the local culture and making good friends as she goes – then writing about them! On Judy’s first visit to Lebanon in March she fell for the country in a big way through its delicious food and lovely people (who like to eat and drink as much as she does). A chefs dream, she likes her steaks still mooing, curries hot and is slowly learning it’s not always a good idea to announce ‘I’ll eat anything!’ in different parts of the world.
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