There was a day when you could start a food blog (or any blog for that matter) and be a generalist and be successful at it. In today’s world the market is a little more saturated and so it can be a really important marketing strategy to have a more targeted audience, otherwise referred to as a niche blog. The biggest controversy about that statement may not be the intent as much as how to say it. Do you say niche as if it rhymes with leash or hitch. It’s a big controversy. I’ve heard several online marketing pros who prefer to use the hitch version because then they can say an effective, little rhyme: Niche to get rich. The point is starting out with a small, targeted topic can help you grow and/or get noticed within a specific field. That’s why I’m talking today with Bridget Edwards about growing Your Niche Food Blog, regardless of how you pronounce it!
As soon as you stop acting like you need every single vote, you can earn the votes of the people you seek to serve. — Seth Godin
I’m noticing a trend with a lot of successful food bloggers I’ve interviewed lately: they didn’t start their blog as a money-maker. They started it to help people. And, in fact, many of these successful bloggers said they started their blog to share their recipes with friends and family. The thought of turning it into a successful business wasn’t on their radar screen.
The same is true of Bridget Edwards with the site Bake at 350 where she shares lots of lovely and delicious baked goods, with a focus on cookies. And not just any cookies, decorated cookies. Bridget shares lots of how-to’s and tutorials to help her readers create adorable, decorated cookies too.
I want my blog to be a place where people can come and learn and feel like they can do it. — Bridget Edwards
Bridget encourages bloggers to let go of perfectionism and embrace the idea of providing valuable resources for their readers. That’s saying a lot from someone who decorates cookies, because it takes a lot of work to learn how to do that, and now she shares those tips and techniques with her audience. And cookie decorating is a field of constantly new techniques and tools, so Bridget is always learning about what new ideas she wants to share with her audience next.
So how does a cookie decorator let go of perfectionism? She reminds herself to keep an eye on the big picture. It’s easy to get so focused on each and every detail, but it’s when we take a step back and get a bigger perspective that we realize how trivial those small things can be.
We see our mistakes, but our family only sees cute cookies. — Bridget Edwards
Even though she has beautiful photos on her site, photography is not her main priority. It’s a comforting thought to know that you can build a successful blog without an obsession with photography. Sometimes taking photos that are really good and helps your audience understand what the finished dish will look like, is enough.
In fact, Bridget expands this philosophy to ideas beyond food photography.If you're passionate about what you're writing about, that comes across. — Bridget Edwards #choppedpodcast Click To Tweet
Bridget’s blog is on Blogger and her domain name is provided via Blogspot. I think this is important to point out because I have received questions from folks asking how much money they should spend in developing a blog. I like to point out that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to make that happen, and Bridget’s site is a beautiful case in point. So, if you feel you don’t have the budget to start a blog the way you want to, do what you can with the tools that are readily available and take it from there.
The Inspired Blogging Process
I love talking to bloggers (or any creatives for that matter) about their process. It’s so easy to look at a finished product and contemplate how beautiful it is, without fully taking into account the work that it took to make that happen. I also wonder what kind of processes have been put in place or practiced over time to make the process of continuous creations, like we do with blogs, more efficient.
As many of you recall, I spoke to Christine Pittman recently about her highly organized and planned out blogging process. Christine’s work in her blogging production process is nothing short of a masterpiece, if you ask me.
On the flip side of the very organized coin, there is what I call the Inspired Blogging Process. This is the type of blogging process that is based less on a tight schedule, but more on an inspired path, fueled by what’s going on in the blogger’s life at the moment. Kathryne Taylor of the site Cookie + Kate described how she prefers this style of blogging. It happens to be the process that Bridget prefers as well.
If you’re seeing it on the blog, I’m probably still eating it. — Bridget Edwards
Bridget doesn’t use a planner, but she does use Buffer to schedule her Facebook and Twitter posts.
Bridget also shares about her favorite social medial and other blogging tips. Learn more Growing Your Niche Food Blog with Bridget Edwards!
Featured Content – Growing Your Niche Food Blog with Bridget Edwards
Here are some of the highlights of my discussion with Naomi, where we discuss:
- How Bridget started her food blog Bake at 350
- How Bridget missed something really special from her job which is what caused her to start decorating cookies at home.
- Bridget points out that food photography is not her favorite part about blogging
- We discuss how perfectionism can be such a creativity killjoy!
- Bridget shares about her blog production process, which involves a lot of inspiration
- Bridget talks about a pretty awesome conference she goes to called CookieCon
- One of the most important things a blogger can do, according to Bridget, is to meet other bloggers
- Attending conferences is a great way to network with other bloggers, but so is reaching out on social media or leaving comments on a blog
- Bridget uses Buffer to schedule her posts to Twitter and Facebook
- Bridget really emphasizes the importance of finding your passion and sharing that with your readers
- Twitter is Bridget’s favorite social medial platform
This episode includes references to some resources you might find interesting. Here they are:
- Check out Bridget’s site: Bake at 350
- Give a shout-out to Bridget and connect with her via Twitter and Instagram!
- Bridget mentions CookieCon as one of the conferences she enjoys
- Bridget’s favorite app on her phone is: Camera Plus
- Buffer is a social media scheduling tool that Bridget uses
- Here’s summary of the Food Blog Success Summit by Amy of Accidental Happy Baker
- I mention Seth Godin on the podcast intro
- Connect with ChoppedCon Online: Instagram | Twitter
- Connect with Marly: Namely Marly | Instagram | Twitter
- Production, music, graphic art & sound design by Shawn Beelman
- Learn about future Chopped Podcast episodes by subscribing to the ChoppedCon newsletter. Just add your email in the subscribe section at the bottom of this page. You’ll be glad you did!
Subscribe to the Show & Feedback
Thanks so much for listening to today’s podcast. I hope you found it informative and helpful to your food blog. Make sure you don’t miss out on any of the Chopped Podcast episodes by heading on over to iTunes to subscribe to the Chopped Podcast. While you’re there, provide a review and rating is a great way to help other podcast listeners find it too!
That’s it for today’s podcast. As always, thanks so much for joining in the discussion!