Why You Should Go to #BlogHerFood15 (Even If You're Not a Food Blogger)

BlogHer Original Post

In ten years of attending conferences and social media events, I can honestly say BlogHer Food conferences are my favorite—I think everyone should attend one. That doesn't seem like a radical statement, as I am both attending and speaking at #BlogHerFood15, except perhaps for this—I am not a food blogger. Nor do I intend on becoming one.

Why You Should Go to #BlogHerFood15 (Even If You're Not a Food Blogger)

I am a huge fan of food bloggers. While all types of blogs and bloggers impact my life, food bloggers are a tangible part of my offline life.

Their work appears on my dining room table almost every day. It is often thanks to them I am able to show my love to my friends and family by feeding them wholesome meals.

It is also thanks to food bloggers that I maintain a rather undeserved reputation among my friends as an excellent home cook.

As much as all the above are excellent reasons for me to attend #BlogHerFood15, none is the reason I love it and think more non-food bloggers should attend. Nope.

The reason I think everyone should attend #BlogHerFood15 is this—food bloggers are some of the smartest bloggers out there. They just don't stay on top of what is working for them in blogging and social media, they are constantly looking toward the future. And they are uncommonly good at it.

One thing I've noticed when I attend blogging events is how quick some bloggers are to dismiss the knowledge of experts who blog in a different niche.

I've fallen into this trap myself from time to time. Yes, food bloggers, lifestyle bloggers, parenting bloggers, and book bloggers may all have different audiences (though not necessarily—there's lots of audience overlap). Yet the ways in which we build our audiences and gain new community members have more in common than we sometimes like to believe.

I've found it's been surprisingly valuable for me to be an "outsider" at a food blogging conference. Rather than dismiss the knowledge of those who blog about a different topic than I do, I am forced to find the ways in which it applies to me and my online presence. And boy, howdy do I ever learn things.

Photography

Visuals play a huge part in food blogging and across the Internet as a whole. All the best things I've learned about photography I've learned from food bloggers.

Whether it's using natural light, advice on creating a lightbox (a necessary item for me during the long, dark winters), or which lens to use, I've left food photography sessions with great ideas.

They've also shared some of the best photo editing advice. Food bloggers convinced me that yes, I really did need to use Canva (thank you, you were right).

They've also helped me improve my iPhone photography. Yes, food bloggers take lots of images of food, but in the end the food is a product.

If you are a DIY blogger, you are creating a product. If you are beauty blogger, you need visuals of the products you are using. If you have an online shop, you need to take beautiful images to show off your products. The photography sessions will help you.

Tutorials

I'm not talking about reading them, I'm talking about writing them. Specifically, I'm talking about recipe writing.

I can hear it now, "You're so silly, Karen. I never post recipes on my blog." Fair enough. But do you ever post how-tos or tutorials?

Step back and look at a recipe. Recipes are how-tos for a specific food dish. You list your supplies and equipment, and then you provide a series of steps and images for how to make it.

How is that really all that different than a craft, smoky eye, or a photo editing tutorial? It's not. If a food blogger posts two new recipes each week, they are posting more than 100 tutorials each year. With that kind of output, you know they have great advice to offer.

Savvy Social Media Strategies

When I first started attending BlogHer Food, a lot of traffic conversations focused on search engine optimization. SEO is still important and food bloggers made it really accessible for me, but traffic is increasingly coming from social sites.

Food bloggers have taught me how to increase traffic and engagement via Facebook fan pages. They know how to make your content shine on Pinterest. They can also tell you what filters to never, ever use on Instagram.

They know how to create a beautiful newsletter. Scared of video and stuck? They'll help you get unstuck.

Food bloggers are using social media not to just share their posts and increase their traffic, but to build vibrant, active communities. You want that, too, right?

Storytelling

Some of my favorite food bloggers are also my favorite storytellers. When I was growing up, the kitchen was where the storytellers in my family held court, so food and story are inextricably linked in my head.

The story or memory of the food can be as important as the recipe for the food itself in a blog post. The sessions at #BlogHerFood15 will help you strengthen both your written and your visual storytelling, even if means putting some of your favorite phrases on the chopping block. Maybe you'll even leave inspired to take the plunge into podcasting or video!

Will you join my table at #BlogHerFood15?

Register now: Space is limited.
See the agenda and speakers.
Sign up for the #BlogHerFood15 newsletter for announcements and opportunities.

BlogHer Community Moderator Karen Ballum also blogs at Sassymonkey.

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