Growing visitors to your blog doesn’t happen over night. It requires time, hard work, media knowledge, and bit of good luck to increase traffic to your site.
Beginning of Blog
As I mentioned earlier, the readers and supporters of Just One Cookbook for the first 2-3 months were all our friends. Nami started sharing her recipes on Just One Cookbook and didn’t know what else to do besides posting recipes to the site. Then she joined Foodbuzz and instantly met many bloggers through there, and some of them became her close blogger friends.
If you wish your site to have more readers, promoting your site is inevitable at this stage especially no one knows your site yet. The fast and easiest way to get immediate connection is to join the food bloggers community.
G+ Food Bloggers Community organized by Chef Dennis Littley is a wonderful network and resource especially for food bloggers. You get to learn tremendous amount of tips on food blogging, SEO, Social Media, Photography & Styling, and more from fellow blogger members and you can also put any question you may have on the discussion board. You will meet a lot of knowledgeable bloggers there.
Besides joining the community, Nami started to visit some food blogs that she finds interesting and leave a comment about their post. Some bloggers may respond to your comment and you may start talking to each other through commenting on each other’s post (blog hopping). In a way, blog hopping is more personal approach than talking in the Food Community Board, and you might feel easier to ask questions to your new blogger friends. Nami started to learn a lot about blogging from her fellow blogger friends. When some blogger comes to your site and leave a comment, it’s a nice gesture for you to do the same for him/her. If a commenter is a non-blogger, be sure to respond to their feedback, especially if you want to grow your readership.
In earlier days when Nami received a guest post request by her fellow bloggers, she never turned down and took the opportunity for her site to be exposed to a new crowd. She doesn’t guest post any longer due to two children needing more of her time, but she still appreciates her initial guest post opportunities on blogger friends’ sites.
At this early point, most of the readers were our friends and food bloggers and our site had very few readers from Google and other sites.
Keep on Improving Blog Skills
While you continue promoting your site, it’s important to constantly improve your site so that readers can easily navigate your site and find what they are looking for. If they enjoy your recipe and content, they will more likely come back to your site or even subscribe to your blog. Here are some of the elements that we are constantly working on.
- Food photography and styling
- Writing skills
- Unique and resourceful content
- Layout and functionality of the site
- Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and Instagram)
- Recipe development
- Learning Japanese cooking culture and knowledge
As your photography gradually improves, start sharing your food photos on Foodgawker and Tastespotting. It’s a good way to raise awareness for your recipes and website to the general public on the Internet.
Currently, most of the readers of Just One Cookbook comes from Google search result.
Our hobby has turned into hours and hours of hard work. Nami typically works on the blog at least 40-50 hours a week. She cooks, photographs, writes posts and replies to all the readers’ questions and emails she receives everyday. We are really glad that we started Just One Cookbook and get to share Japanese recipes with readers like you.
Thank you for all your support and we hope we learn more things this year to share with you.