Submitting recipes to food aggregate sites are one of the more tedious tasks food bloggers face with each new post but any blogger serious about their blog’s growth will tell you it is an invaluable resource. I accept that every morning as I enjoy the few quiet moments I have before the kids wake up I spend them submitting my recipes to these sites. So I’ve managed to cut down my time managing and submitting to these sites while maintaining high acceptance rates. So I’ve written out step by step directions on how to get through your daily chores as quickly as you can to get you back in the kitchen or marketing so you can grow your blog even more!
First things first, have you pinned and yummed your recipe yet? Go do that and I’ll wait here. Ok, done? Awesome. Pinterest and Yummly are two of my absolute top referrers, so before I sit down to mess with these submissions, I immediately take care of those first. Now let’s get these recipes in front of the eyes of people looking for gorgeous food!
foodgawker: The king of the submission sites, the picky, stickler for the rules of photography who will keep you on your toes and have you watching your inbox with baited breath before the next round of pictures go live (usually at 1:00pm and 10pm PST). They are without a doubt one of my favorite resources as a food blogger and they also have pushed me to QUICKLY improve my photography skills. In fact here is a post I put up on my personal Facebook page the first time I got a photo accepted with the caption:
That eggs benedict crabcake dish was my first acceptance out of 14 tries! You would have thought I won the lottery I was so excited. Since then I have upgraded lenses, lighting, backgrounds, props… well basically everything that goes into photography and now I have a much better acceptance rate. I started 0/13 and after this acceptance I’ve gone 65/80. So needless to say with views like this: I do my best each day to not only get accepted, but to get accepted near the top of the pack. For a brand new blog, there is really no better way to get your recipes in front of thousand of interested eyes every day. These are people who love food and are looking to find something new without searching for anything specific. They are just looking for things that look GOOD. Your job is to make the pictures look so good they can’t help but look at your page.
Those five ingredient noodles you see were on the second row of the first page in their respective batch. That translated to great views immediately which pushed me up into the “most gawked” section and that has kept the views rolling in.
Okay so down to business.
To submit my post from that day to foodgawker. Here are a couple of things to note:
- They do not like photos where the food takes up the whole frame. Make sure you see at least one edge of the plate. Side views and top views seem to be the most popular accepted photos.
- I almost ALWAYS resize my photo I submit to them to 550×550. This square size will help you later too with other sites.
- Make sure your photos are BRIGHT. Of my rejections they are almost always due to “underexposure.” Look at how bright the Sour Patch Grapes below are as an example.
- Contrast. Make sure those colors are vibrant.
- Make sure you utilize the 140 characters in the description as well as you possibly can. Replace “and” with “&” and other similar substitutions. You get a very small amount of space to convince that user to click on your photo!
- I give them 3 looks to the same recipe. I know some superstars who will submit one version and get in the top row every time, but I am not nearly so good. In a Facebook conversation with a foodgawker employee one day I was told they don’t mind if you submit 3 of the same recipe one bit. SOLD! Now I give them 3 versions and let them choose what they like best. Often times it wouldn’t have even been what I chose, but I am not a professional photographer like the people approving photos, so I defer to them until I have a better grasp on my photography.
Okay, so now that we have input all the fields we have done the hard part. It is a simple copy/paste game now.
- Since foodgawker allows 3 submissions at once, I copy-paste into three additional duplicated tabbed windows (I know that makes 4, just wait…). If your page is filled in, when you duplicate the tabs and click on the submit option in the dropdown menu, you should have a form that is already filled in.
- Add photos to each tab, and submit one at a time. Once the three are submitted close those windows out.
- I don’t like complicating my submission here because it is my #1 priority each morning so I make sure it is done before I move on to the other sites. I don’t want to risk my computer freezing and losing my description or keywords, etc.
- Keeping the fourth one open with all the submission info I open Tastespotting, Yumgoggle, Foodspreading, Tasteologie, Dishfolio and (if applicable) Finding Vegan in new tabs. Log-in to each of those sites and then… (I promise this is the easiest method):
- Copy the link field. Input it on each of the pages.
- While you are doing this upload your photo (Tastespotting takes the photo and has you size it before you input keywords, so I upload photos in this step so I can copy-paste more quickly at the end and not have to go back for tastespotting’s keywords.) Also, your 550×550 will come in handy here because unlike foodgawker and Tastespotting, the other sites will not give you an option to resize or crop your photos.
- Copy the title field into the pages (some sites don’t need titles, like Tastespotting for example, they only need the description).
- Copy the description.
- Lastly, copy your keywords. I input keywords in my posts on my page anyway, so I usually just copy and paste this from my post and edit if I need to.
- Double check each page quickly and submit.
Congratulations you’ve just submitted your recipe to: Pinterest, Yummly, foodgawker, Tastespotting, YumGoggle, Tasteologie, Foodspreading, Dishfolio and Finding Vegan! Do this with EVERY SINGLE RECIPE. I’m not kidding. It may seem like it is tedious (and I’m not going to lie, taking 30 minutes each morning to do this is not my favorite half hour of the day) but you are giving yourself NINE chances to get lucky. That is nine FREE places for you to market yourself in a half an hour. As a food blogger you are pretty fortunate, there are resources to get your blog promoted for free. When I’ve finished with these sites I move on to more unique forms of marketing (which I will cover in subsequent tutorials).
If you are wondering about other social media sharing, I have WordPress auto share for me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumbler and Bloglovin. I am currently researching if this hurts my reach on the respective networks to have them auto post for me. If it does, I will add them to my list of morning tasks, but for now I wake up after my post has been published according to my scheduling and has been emailed out to subscribers.
Finally, if you are looking for a more in depth tutorial for how to get accepted on foodgawker, you can review this information published via foodgawker themselves. I read it so many times I have most of it committed to memory. I think making the changes in it has made a huge impact on my blog’s growth. In fact here is a Facebook post of mine from two days ago about foodgawker:
Tune back in tomorrow for a new recipe and next weekend when we go over July’s Traffic & Income Report and another tutorial in my “Grow Your Blog” series.
Thanks so much for stopping by, I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend! And if you are still looking for a delicious breakfast or brunch idea check these recipes out!