Top 8 Important Characteristics Of A Food Blog

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Have you ever thought ‘What makes a food blog outstanding?’ Have you ever wonder why some food blogs captivate your attention while others don’t?

I have been reading a lot of other people’s blogs for years before I started my own blog a few months ago.  Now I’m frequently asking myself those questions to help me improve my blog. I’m still enjoying blogging very much. I have made various changes to my blog and way of blogging over the past few months. There are definitely more rooms for improvement.

Personally, there are some food blogs that I really like and some that I really don’t like. And lots lie in between. I have been asking myself a lot of ‘whys?’. What makes a food blog stand out among the rest? I have thought hard and long to answer that question to help myself improve my own blog. The list below is just what I observed and is definitely not conclusive. I’m sure you have more points to add on. Here are my:

Top 8 Important Characteristics Of A Food Blog

  1. Content
    Do you have good contents? Do you take time to produce good content? How often do you post? If your blog is to serve any purpose, especially for the readers, content is undeniably the most important. Your content has to be relevant and regular. Nothing is more frustrating to find a blog that I like but not knowing when is the next post coming. It’s unlikely I will return. Let’s remember that most readers are quite lazy and impatient, including myself.
  2. Design/Theme
    To me the first impression when I visit a food blog is very important. I only give myself a few seconds to decide whether to stay or not to stay. As much as I like a lovely design, content must be there to captivate my attention first. It’s hard for me to concentrate on the contents if the design or theme interferes with the content. Let’s remember that readers visit food blogs for contents, not for the beautiful design of the blog. Personally, I love a neat look.
  3. Font
    What is the best font size? I have come across some food blogs with very small font and some food blogs with big fonts. I prefer an average font, like 11 or 12. If I have to struggle to read, then it’s unlikely I will stay on. Similarly, some blogs use fonts that almost blend into the background. Personally I prefer a white background with dark font which is easy for the eyes. Let’s remember that readers would like to enjoy reading without any discomfort or struggle.
  4. Pictures
    It’s always said, ‘A picture speaks a thousand words.’ This is very true. Relevant pictures are the first to catch my attention the moment I land on a food blog. Are there any good pictures on your blog or is it just a huge block of words without any pictures? Are there too many pictures or too few? Are the pictures too small or too big? Are the pictures well taken….clear and sharp? I find it tough to stay long at a food blog without any pictures. In fact, most of the time I leave immediately.
  5. Personality and Style
    Are you writing in your own style or are you trying to copy other people’s style? Your personality and style must shine through your food blog. That makes your blog unique. Do not copy the style of other food bloggers. You are you and you are special and that makes your blog special. Readers want to be able to relate to you.
  6. Adverts
    Is your food blog filled with too many adverts? It is perfectly fine to earn money from adverts after all the hard work that you put in but when there are too many, readers will feel confused, lost or irritated and they just leave. I have come across food blogs that have too many adverts. If the adverts catch my attention first rather than the contents, then I don’t really stay. I feel confused and lost. There are also some food blogs where the landing page is an advertisement. Do you prefer that?
    Do you have a comment box? Is it easy for people to comment on your blog or have you made it difficult for people to do that? I do think comments are important. They are like extra information and an extension of the article. I feel it good to see food bloggers respond to those comments. This show that they care. However if food bloggers make it inconvenient for readers to comment, then they may not stay because they feel that the author does not wish to be connected.
  8. Passion
    Are you passionate about your food blog? Do you love what you are doing? Do you care for your readers? Are you still as passionate as when you started? Readers seem to have a sixth sense and can always sense when your passion wears out. Personally I love to read food blogs where the blogger is very passionate about food and passionate in sharing with others. When I read it, I can feel the warmth or fire that inspires and encourages me. I feel connected.

What other important characteristics do you think a food blog should have? Please share, add and comment in the comment box below. It doesn’t matter whether you are a blogger or not, all your comments are greatly appreciated because it is my desire to become an excellent blogger, especially a food blogger.

Other articles that you may be interested:
Top 10 Benefits Of Food Blogging
Top 11 Reasons Why Blogging Is Beneficial For Everyone

Quote of the day……

‘There is no joy in the world like the joy of helping someone else achieve success.’

Zig Ziglar.

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Maddie Graeme  on September 27th, 2009

I think you have covered most aspects in your post and I feel a minimalistic approach is generally a better way to go if you intend to make money with it,with any affiliate links in the text of your blog posts/articles as apposed to too many banners.

The main concern is not how your blog looks but getting (targeted) visitors to it.

maddie xx

kristy  on September 27th, 2009

Hi Mary, actually what I don’t understand the most is…what is blogging? Is it for yourself or you doing it for others?? Or is it about the traffic??? I’ve no idea!

penny aka jeroxie  on September 27th, 2009

I agree with many points. And the blog must have its own identity because it is about you.

Divina  on September 27th, 2009

I hope my blog is one of the blogs you like. haha. Thanks for breaking it down for us. This blog is about me and for me until I learned that someone is actually reading it and they become inspired in some ways. But a few weeks ago, I guess I want to blog for myself and for other people because this is one of my ways to change other people’s lives positively.

I think a blog should have a purpose. Even if I’m doing it for myself, I believe it still has a purpose. It has a content that would benefit other people in a a positive way instead of a negative way.

The blogger should also be sincere. The blog is an extension of another person’s characteristics. Part of who you are is in that blog.

Southern Grace Gourmet  on September 27th, 2009

Hope my blog is fulfilling your requirements! I am trying. My biggest pet peeve with any blog is organization. Some blogs are so “messy” and filled with so many many pictures on how to do a recipe, I get irritated and leave. Or so many many badges and ads and pay per click ads, it looks messy and cluttered. I try to take most of my inspiration from successful blogs in US and abroad, one of my favs for design that inspired me was, been looking for an hour, cant remember, but was designed by Another pet peeve is 2,000 words plus of irrelevant commentary. Get to the point already, right! Ill twitter the sight to you if I ever find it again, its really cool, i think it is matt something, in swedish i think.

Mary  on September 28th, 2009

@Maddie - Thanks for your comment and for sharing. I do agree that there shouldn’t be too many banners. I think too many affiliate links are also annoying. I do think that if we want to get targetted visitors we have to work hard on improving our blogs especially the contents and also social networking to promote our blogs

Mary  on September 28th, 2009

@Kristy - very good questions. Just what I was asking myself over the years before I started my own blog a few months ago. In my simplest term, blogging is what you regularly write and put on your blog/website where people can interact through the comment section.

Different bloggers have different purposes of their blogging. Personally, I am much into food and health so my main goal and purpose of blogging is to help myself, my family, friends and others. I know some people go for traffic but I think that if that is the top priority, you may not last. If I am passionate in what I am doing, I know I will go a long way and traffic will soon come. So far I find blogging is fun and am really enjoying it. I hope you will consider starting one.

Mary  on September 28th, 2009

@Penny - totally agree with you that a blog must have its own identity.

@Divina - we share so many things in common esp food and natural health. So, you know I love your blog. It’s always so encouraging to know that one of your goals in blogging is to change other people’s life for the better. That’s very noble. It brings joy in return. Totally agree with you that a blogger must be sincere. Thanks for sharing.

Mary  on September 28th, 2009

@Southern Grace Gourmet - I have to say you have a nice blog. I can see that you put in a lot of effort to it. I am still new and learning and really hope to improve my blog. Yes, ‘messy’ is the right word. Sometimes I got lost in some blogs. Very good points you brought up. Thanks very much for trying to find the nice blog to show me. I’m sure eager to have a look. We all can learn from each other. Thanks for sharing.

Olive  on September 28th, 2009

Mary, you covered it all.. the main reason I started a blog is because I love sharing recipes that I love and teaching/showing others how easy it is, it’s like, if I can do it, so can anyone else. I have lots of pictures on my site that I do hope you or southern grace don’t find annoying. ;)

I don’t like too many ads or banners too, so annoying. I’m quite new to blogging and still working on improving my blog and your post is timely, really informative and helpful.

Thanks again Mary, just so you know, I like your blog ;)

claire  on September 28th, 2009

hi Mary, thanks for the information and tips on how to put up a food blog.. in fact i have one which needs some changes here and there.. first of all, my camera is not doing me any justice cos i m very amateurish… 2ndly, frankly, i don’t know how to cook much, i am only interested in taking pics of the whereabouts i love to eat…:)

Mary  on September 29th, 2009

@Olive - thanks very much for your compliments and for sharing. I love your idea of having a food blog to share with others how to cook. I remember those times when I didn’t know how to cook, I really appreciate all those food blogs that share recipes and show people how to cook.I’m sure many people out there, including me, appreciate what you are doing. You have a lovely blog with relevant pictures. I like it.

Mary  on September 29th, 2009

@Claire - thanks for your comments. I actually love to see all those pictures on your blog…make me feel so at home but miss all the food…hmmm. I am still learning and hope to improve on my blog as time goes by.

chubbychinesegirl  on October 1st, 2009

great summary!!! thanks for sharing…

Mary  on October 2nd, 2009

@chubbychinesegirl - thanks for dropping and your lovely comment.

Honestly Good Food  on February 2nd, 2011

Nice post. I’ve been trying to grow my food blog lately, it’s fairly new. I have been checking out other folks food blogs and asking myself the same questions. Why do I like the ones I do. You’ve summed it up!

Mary  on February 2nd, 2011

@Honestly Good Food - Thanks very much for visiting and lovely comment! Hope you have fun cooking and blogging. I think that’s the most important :D You have a lovely blog. I like it :D

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