Food bloggers are busy people. When you generally have to write/cook/style/edit your own content then any handy tools that you can use to reduce the amount of time you spend at the computer are very welcome. Less time spent at the computer means more time spent on food after all! Once again though, you can apply these tips across the blogging genres, where appropriate.
If This Then That
There is a tool called IFTTT (if this, then that) which you can install on your smartphone (you can also log in online but I find it works best on the phone). The recipes inside are very clever and help you link up your social media accounts with minimal fuss. For example, if you post an image on Instagram and share it to your Twitter account then the image is viewed as a link which followers have to click through. IFTTT has a ‘recipe’ which automatically takes that photo and shares it as an image on Twitter. Add the ingredients to the recipe once and it will continue until you turn the recipe off.
This is a comprehensive (premium subscription) blog planner. It links to most of my social media networks; you can drag and drop content into the calendar from WordPress and Evernote. You can CoSchedule to Buffer (see below) to push out your content and analyse your most popular posts across all your social networks. They do offer a 14 day trial before you buy, which is how I ended up buying my subscription. It saves me an awful lot of time. I can schedule content linked to my blog to publish at the optimal time on individual networks and/or to push to Buffer. I do like the Pinterest scheduling setting as well.
I use Buffer in a number of ways as I have it installed on my phone and on my desktop. On the desktop, I click and drag interesting articles to the app so that they are automatically shared during the day. It’s linked to CoSchedule (see above) and this ensures that I have a constant stream of social media activity and not everything clumped into the part of the day I’m online. Providing that is, I have a chance to load it up!
I use MailChimp to manage my email subscribers on a monthly basis. Actually, I’ve found that because I publish on the blog so regularly, people prefer to follow my blog on social media to keep up to date on a daily basis, but they like the monthly newsletter with a more general update. This means I have far more newsletter subscribers than blog subscribers. MailChimp is free for the first 2,000 subscribers. For most bloggers it’ll be quite some time before they get more than that on their list. It has a great design element so that you can tailor your newsletters and include blocks of images and text. I love using it. The bad news is that once you pass 2,000 subscribers it can become expensive, especially if you’re increasing your numbers steadily.
Here are the other blog posts in this series that you might like to read:
Next week…… I’ll talk about copyright for food bloggers, how to find out if somebody has nabbed your content, and what to do if they have.
Disclosure: This blog post contains affiliate links, specifically to CoSchedule and MailChimp above. If you click through those links and go on to purchase a service I might get a discount.
What qualifies me to give this advice?
I’ve been blogging for nearly 7 years now, with this particular blog being over 4 years old. My first cookbook was published by Mercier Press in 2014. I’m a regular contributor to the Irish Independent and work freelance as a writer/blogger/social media advisor, with a particular emphasis on developing thrifty recipes and homegrown food. I’m no expert, I never claim to be; I do know what I have learned and I’m happy to share it.