Adopt a Blogger: 5 Things Every New Blogger Should Consider

Adopt a Blogger is a little program that Kristen (DineandDish) has put together a few times now. 
The idea is to pair an experienced blogger with another who is a bit new to blogging… to provide inspiration &advice, to answer questions and just to be there for help, if needed.  My adoptee is Beryl, a Southern Californian who has a blog called:  Cinemon Girl.  Beryl started her blog as a way to push herself to cook and bake more.  Well, she’s off to a great start… she’s already taking part in Tuesday’s with Dorie AND she’s a Daring Baker!  That’s definitely jumping feet first into the world of blogging.  Please visit Beryl’s blog and give her a warm welcome :)

Since I’m in the position of doling out advice, I figured I’d post my little tidbits for all to see.  You may agree with me, or you may not.  These are my opinions with regards to blogging…

5 Things (I Think) Every New Blogger Should Consider…

1.  How does my blog look? 
Have you created a nice design for your blog?  Is it unique?  Does it match your personality?  Blogger and WordPress, etc. provide free blog templates.  Those are fine and all, but eventually you may want to think about switching things up a bit and making your blog a bit more fun to look at.  If you Google around for blog templates, you’ll find quite the variety.  Here’s an example of a site that offers templates (and design).  On the flip side, you don’t want to overdo it with design either.  Blogs that are too busy are not always the most fun to visit.  And please avoid adding music… there’s nothing worse than peacefully browsing blogs on a quiet morning and then happening upon one that blasts their favorite song.

2.  Am I posting good photographs of food?
The number one draw for me when I visit a food blog is the food photographs.  If the pictures are crisp and clear and droolworthy… that’s the number one thing that will bring me back to that blog in the future.    You don’t have to have thousands of dollars in camera equipment (I don’t), but if you follow some basic guidelines… you’ll learn more about what works well and what doesn’t. 
Here are a few food blogger posts on food photography that have been helpful to me:
Food Photog. Tips 1
Food Photog. Tips 2
Food Photog. Tips 3

3.  Do I Want to Create a Niche for my Blog?
Are you a baker?  Gluten Free?  Vegetarian?  Cookie blogger?  Restaurant Reviewer?  Sometimes it’s nice to create a theme for your blog if you can figure out one that suits you.  It might just begin to happen naturally.  Or you might just choose to blog about anything and everything.  You’ll find that there are certain things that your readers enjoy reading about more than others.  Watch your comments!

4.  Am I going to accept freebies in exchange for advertising, and/or am I going to do Giveaways on my blog?
This is kind of a touchy subject in the world of blogging.  You’ll have retailers contact you to see if you might like to receive their product in exchange for a review on your blog.  Keep in mind that they’re looking for free advertising.    You’ll see a ton of bloggers that do reviews on products pretty regularly on their blogs.  You need to think about whether or not you want to do this on your blog.  I personally think that there is too much of it going on.  It’s a bit boring going to blog after blog after blog that are all reviewing the same product. 

5.   How Can I promote my Blog and Make Friends in the Blogging World?
*Visit blogs that you enjoy and comment when you have something to say. 
*Join The Foodie BlogRoll
*Join Twitter and follow other food bloggers.
*Register for Food Blog Search.
*Submit photos to Tastespotting and FoodGawker.
*Add a blogroll of your favorite blogs to your site.

Leave a Comment

27 Responses to “Adopt a Blogger: 5 Things Every New Blogger Should Consider”

  1. 1

    Ciaochowlinda — April 28, 2009 @ 4:37 AM

    Thanks for the blogging tips. I’ve been blogging for about eight months but still consider myself a newbie. Can I get help too? or is it just for those starting anew?

  2. 2

    Louise — April 28, 2009 @ 4:52 AM

    GREAT tips recipe girl…I will check out Beryl’s blog.

  3. 3

    RecipeGirl — April 28, 2009 @ 4:54 AM

    Linda- I believe all of the ‘spots’ are taken for this round of Adopt a Blogger, but I’m happy to help if you have any specific questions. Email me thru the contact form if you do :)

  4. 4

    nina — April 28, 2009 @ 5:11 AM

    I agree with all the points and you are a good adoptive “mother”!

  5. 5

    Natalie — April 28, 2009 @ 6:27 AM

    Feel free to adopt me! I love your blog!

  6. 6

    Maria — April 28, 2009 @ 5:33 AM

    Great post Lori! Thanks for the tips. I am always learning. I need to improve my photos, some are good and some are really bad:) I have decided to not do giveaways, they distract from my blog. I think they can get way out of control, but that is just my opinion! Have fun with your project!

  7. 7

    Beryl — April 28, 2009 @ 5:39 AM

    Thanks for all your great advice Lori! I’m one lucky newbie!

  8. 8

    Donna — April 28, 2009 @ 6:01 AM

    Adopt a blogger sounds like a terrific idea…I am a Newbie and I would love to have the input of someone with more experience. I did note from Nina’s comment that the positions have been filled but if someone would care to take a look at my blog and see what I am doing and give me there input I would be delighted.

  9. 9

    Janet — April 28, 2009 @ 7:36 AM

    Great post! I sure needed you when I started- still do! Awesome tips!

  10. 10

    Kristen — April 28, 2009 @ 7:58 AM

    Great tips! Oh – and as far as #4, make sure you have a place on your blog for people to contact you! No one can get a hold of you for that great book deal if you don’t have a contact form some place :)

  11. 11

    Amy I. — April 28, 2009 @ 8:44 AM

    Thanks for the advice! I’m a newbie participating in Adopt-a-Blogger. I’m actively working on improving my food photography, as I agree with you: it’s one of the things that makes me want to continue reading a blog.

  12. 12

    Brenda Campbell — April 28, 2009 @ 9:13 AM

    This is a great post, I am also a new blogger that was adopted and I could use all the tips I can get LOL Thanks for your 5 tips!

  13. 13

    ingrid — April 28, 2009 @ 10:49 AM

    Thanks for the tips! I’ll swing by to say hello to your adopted blog. :)

  14. 14

    Mike — April 28, 2009 @ 11:16 AM

    All very good tips

  15. 15

    Nicisme — April 28, 2009 @ 1:21 PM

    Great post with good advice for all bloggers, not just newbies!

  16. 16

    RobinSue — April 28, 2009 @ 1:41 PM

    I have been blogging over a year and still feel new to it all. I am toying with the “just say no” concept of doing product reviews. I have done 2 and have had a great time doing it but it can be distracting to the flow of my blog. I do have one more product in the line up and then it may be the last. The more and more I blog the more I see what I don’t want to do and more of what I want to do. The hang up for me is all the social networking. I barely have time to blog let alone Tweeting, commenting, and Photo Galleries. So I think I could have more readers if I put myself out there more but I can’t make the time for it right now. Thanks for the advice, your adoptee will really benefit!

  17. 17

    Elyse — April 28, 2009 @ 8:28 PM

    I think these are great tips! Can’t wait to check out your adoptee’s blog!

  18. 18

    VeggieGirl — April 29, 2009 @ 4:03 AM


  19. 19

    Jenni — April 29, 2009 @ 5:29 AM

    Excellent advice; I’ll go by right now and visit your adoptee!

  20. 20

    carmen — April 29, 2009 @ 6:13 AM

    Great advice!

  21. 21

    Teanna — April 29, 2009 @ 6:56 AM

    Thanks so much for those tips! I love the link for the photography… I am trying to learn right now!

  22. 22

    Kristin IowaGirlEats — April 29, 2009 @ 8:56 AM

    Thanks so much for this post! Just passed the one month mark for my blog! :D

  23. 23

    Gaby — April 29, 2009 @ 10:01 PM

    such fabulous ideas!!! and I just wanted to tell you that all your pics are fabulous!!

  24. 24

    megan — April 30, 2009 @ 5:30 AM

    I so agree with the music. Sometimes it comes on blaring on a peaceful quite morning and it can scare the stuffing out of me. Then the dog starts barking and, well, you get the picture. I’m off to take a look at your photography tips. I need all the help I can get.

  25. 25

    Girl Japan — April 30, 2009 @ 8:13 PM

    Fabulous idea, esp for the newbies out there, I am not only a food blogger but also about other things as well…will surely give her a hi, how are you!

  26. 26

    Stacy — May 19, 2009 @ 11:27 AM

    I just wanted to thank you for the info. I’m new to blogging and it was incredibly helpful!! Thanks!

  27. 27

    Shelly — July 4, 2009 @ 1:25 PM

    Those are some really great tips! Thanks!!!