Do you have a food blog and want to grow on Instagram? Well then this blogpost is perfect for you. In this blogpost I will share my best 10 food blogging tips with you here in order to help you kickstart your own food blog channel!
I have been a food blogger for over 3 years now. Today I can proudly say that I am Austrias biggest fitness food blogger and am grateful enough to be able to inspire thousands of people every day with my healthy recipes and active lifestyle.
Since the beginning of this year I am doing it full time, having made my hobby into my dream job! Now in this blogpost I would like to share my knowledge with you to become a top food blogger as well!
How to start a food blog successfully?
Below I will show you 10 hands on tips for stepping up your food blog game! Because of that, I will also link you products that I am personally using at home.
Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission. Know that I only recommend products, tools, services and learning resources I’ve personally used and believe are genuinely helpful. This is not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to purchase them. Most of all, I would never advocate for buying something that you can’t afford or that you’re not yet ready to implement. The products are simply the ones I use at home and where I thought you might find the direct Amazon link helpful as well 🙂
1. Find the right light
Taking a good picture will greatly depend on the light situation in the room. Hence, make sure to find a spot where you get good lighting. My tips: shoot with natural light, avoid straight sunlight and use a reflector.
- Natural light: I like to shoot at daytime. You get the worst photos when trying to shoot at night with your kitchen lights on. Oh and by the way – never use a flash for your photos. That is just straight up going to kill the photo! I usually place my food right next to a big window, so I get good light from one side. The best time to shoot when you have a slightly cloudy sky. This gives you nice diffuse light.
- Avoid sunlight: When you try to shoot under direct sunlight you will get a lot of very hard shadows in your photos. Also, the colors will come out in a very different way. When its sunny and you must shoot a photo I can recommend getting a diffuser. You can put that in front of your dish to shield it from the sunlight and get nice diffuse light.
- Use a reflector: I usually put a reflector on the other side of my dish, so light gets reflected back onto the dish. You can get a really cheap reflector on Amazon. This is the one I use daily at home. It really makes a huge difference, since you will get a brighter photo with less shadows!
2. Find the right angle when shooting
What I learnt is that not every dish can be shot from the same angle. If you are shooting a nice smoothie bowl you most probably want to shoot it straight on and not from the side because you would loose a lot of that nice decoration on the bowl.
However when taking a photo of a pancake tower you definitely want to shoot that from the side to see the stacked up pancakes. Therefore, don’t be shy to move around with your camera and try out different angles.
3. Get social
How to become a food blogger on Instagram? Very simple – start by engaging with a ton of other people in your niche! After all Instagram is a social platform. When I started I spent hours commenting and liking other peoples posts. Giving is living! If you give a lot you will soon notice that you will get a lot of engagement back.
But don’t just write mundane sentences like „nice pic“ or „looks awesome“. Thats so unpersonal. Read the captions and actually say something meaningful. Start real conversations. Moreover, make sure to watch and reply peoples Instastories. This is a great way to really get to know the people behind the accounts.
4. DSLR cameras making top food bloggers
What do top food bloggers have in common? They all shoot with a DSLR camera. You won’t hardly find a food blogger who doesn’t use a professional camera for their food photography. It simply makes a big difference. Phones can take really good pictures and are very practical for on the go. However, a DSLR camera simply differentiates the hobby bloggers from the professional ones.
I personally use a Nikon D7500. In my opinion, it is a great camera also for beginners. Regarding lenses I can recommend using either a 35mm. 1.8 (thats the one I am using at the moment) or a 50mm 1.8. With these lenses you get a beautiful depth effect and can shoot pretty close to your image.
5. Join a party
If you are already highly engaged in the foodie niche you might have seen other food bloggers throwing a party and inviting everyone to join with a dish. Usually these parties have some kind of theme. I recently had an autumfoodparty and in the summer a summer closing party. Some people throw parties when they hit 10k, 20k, or something similar to celebrate the occasion. You might wonder now why people do this. It is actually a huge advantage for the people throwing the party and those participating as both parties will grow their reach and get more exposure.
When you enter the party you have to tag the person in the caption and the photo, like this your followers might become aware of the account and go follow. On the other hand if the big host account will feature your post, usually in stories and the winners on the feed, you will get a lot of exposure back. It is also a great way to start building a relationship with the bigger food influencers out there.
6. Build a network
When starting out it is important to build your own network of people who will be supporting you on Instagram. These are going to be your loyal followers who will comment and like all your posts. This is what will determine also your engagement rate. Because of this make sure to find likeminded people that you can connect with. I suggest you find other food bloggers in the same niche who have about the same following size as you do in the beginning. Like this it will become easier to start a conversation and build a relationship. Once you have a good network you can start asking your other foodie friends for shoutouts on their stories. Mutual IG story shoutouts are a great way to grow and get more exposure for your account.
7. Tag curation pages
When you post your content make sure to tag it correctly. There are hundreds of great curation pages out there that are looking for viral content daily to post on their galleries. Those pages can take your photo and repost it on their account, often reaching ten thousands of people giving you an incredible amount of exposure. If you manage to get reposted on a consistent basis by many big accounts I guarantee your account will grow immensely.
What I like to do is to write those curation pages a personal message and asking them directly if they would be interested in sharing my piece of content. They are always looking for new talent and you might be the next big star on their profile <3
8. Consistent posting schedule
Moving on to the next tip. Have a consistent posting schedule. I believe it is important to stick to a clear schedule regarding how many times a week you are posting. Like this your followers will know when and how often to expect your content. Don’t post nothing for a week and then throw out three pics in a row. This will seem super confusing to anyone following you. If you can’t manage to post every day then try to commit to every other day or at least four times a week.
9. Food Styling
Next, lets talk about food styling. This is something I have neglected for the longest time. It is so powerful though! Because of this simple trick I was able to improve my food pics by a lot. Things like little flowers, tiny cookies, sprinkles, fruit and nicely cut veggies can make or break your dish. The most boring chia pudding can look absolutely fascinating with the right kind of decoration. A basic trick I use for so many of my dishes is cutting out little stars or hearts from bananas and place them on the bowl, cake or parfait. Makes it look so much better instantly. I actually have a separate blog post about this whole topic here.
Therefore, I recommend you get yourself a couple of cute little cookie cutters and learn the art of decorating your dishes! These are the ones I use a lot for my recipes.
10. Photo Setup
Last but not least lets look at food props. Back in the days I used to place my dish on a simple blanked on the floor. Looking back now this makes my laugh so hard. When wanting to take great food pics your photo setup is super important. In addition, you will want to make sure to have a nice background you can place your dish on. Something I can recommend is going to the local hardware store and asking them for samples of marble or wooden floor. I got all my backdrops for free just by asking them for a sample to take home. Worked really well! Furthermore, I can recommend using a nice loose fabric that you can put in the background to blur out your photo smoothly.
Besides that you should acquire a nice collection of glasses, jars, spoons and plates to switch up your food photos.
Food blogging online course
If you are really serious about your food blog and want to take it to the next level, I can really recommend my food blogging success online course.
You can check it out here.
Do you want to have your first company cooperations? Want to start making money with your food blog? Or even want to become a full time food blogger?
This course will teach you all of it. I have been through the process and want to give all my knowledge to you now. This course is an extremely valuable source of information. Basically I put everything I’ve learnt in the past year about food blogging and how I made it into my full time job into this online course.
The course is structured into 6 chapters. After the introduction you will find the food blogging chapter, where you will learn how to find your vibe and voice, develop great content and a content policy, learn how to set up a blog and I will also be touching on legal requirements.
The third chapter is dedicated to food photography, where I will share my camera equipment with you, tips on how to prop and style your food, how to find the right light, how to edit your pics with and without photoshop and some more tricks along the way.
The next chapter is dedicated to Instagram growth. You will learn how to make use of the Instagram algorithm and make the features of the app work for you. Learn how to get reposts and post content the right way, join the right parties and create your own Insta highlights.
Before the final send off I dedicated a whole chapter to the topic of monetization. I’ll be sharing with you how to find your pricing rates and put together your media kit with great examples. We will talk about how to reach out to companies, negotiate prices and the important topic of disclosing a partnership.
You will see this is a well rounded course giving you all the insights you need. Head over to the course now. Or sign up for free tips and tricks:
Here is also a short video summarizing this topic for you:
Are you interested in more tips on becoming a food blogger? Head over to my YouTube to watch videos on how to make money as a food blogger and how I got started a couple years ago. Finally, you can also check out my blog post on the art of food styling, which might be helpful for you as well!