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Food bloggers wear many hats in our role as CEO of our blogs. Not only are we the creative force, social media expert, business manager, and more, we’re also the marketing director. Part the job description for a marketing director includes brand development. Your brand is so much more than just the name, logo, and color scheme that appears on your site. If you’ve ever wondered how you could build a better brand presence for your food blog, I’ve reached out to the person who can help with that. Monique Volz has both corporate and personal experience in branding so she’s the perfect person to talk about Brand Building Advice for Food Bloggers. Read and listen on for the rest of the scoop.
Monique Volz and I are talking today about building a better brand for your food blog. Monique and I agree that the best approach is for each blogger to determine what’s important to them. Quite simply, each of us should answer the question, “What’s the focus for my blog?” For example, some bloggers want elaborate photos with detailed styling, props, and lighting. Others may choose to focus on recipe development. It all depends on the resources (including time) that you have available. For Monique, her focus has been on the recipe development, creating healthy recipes that her readers can easily make.
Of course I want the food to look good, but most of all I want it to taste good. Having recipes that are well thought out so that if someone actually makes them they’re going to turn out, that is my focus. — Monique Volz
Know Your Why
Whatever focus you land on, having it be a conscious decision can help you better define the brand for your site. If you’re wondering how you can better define your focus, understanding the big WHY for your blog will help you answer that question. What’s your passion? Is it easy recipes? Is it gorgeous food photography? Is your goal to create updated versions of comfort foods? Know your why and everything will flow from that.
Also, we talk about the issue of monetizing your blog. It’s an important topic and one that a lot of bloggers want to learn more about. However, you can’t let your goal for revenue overcome your why. In fact, as Marsha Sinetar says in her book Do What You Love, the Money Will Follow, “Money is also more likely to follow the person who has tapped into the vitality hidden in the things s/he loves. As we do what we were born to do, as we love the things we are required to do—even the mundane, even the ‘dog work’—we stimulate a qualitatively superior energy within us.”
My conversation with Monique reiterates this point. She emphasizes the importance of focusing on your why and producing quality content as the formula for creating a successful (and eventually profitable) food blog.
Everybody always asks the question, ‘How do I make more money or how do I get my numbers to be better?’ I don’t think it’s necessarily about that. If you’re passionate about what you’re doing and you continue to learn as you grow and you really are authentic then people will relate to you. People will come to your site. You will grow your brand. — Monique Volz
Featured Content – Brand Building Advice for Food Bloggers with Monique Volz
Here are some of the highlights of my discussion with Monique:
- How Monique decided to start her food blog Ambitious Kitchen
- Why Monique began creating healthier versions of her favorite recipes
- Monique explains how the focus of her blog is more about the recipes — her goal is making sure her readers can create delicious, healthy recipes just like the ones she shares on her blog
- Monique loves receiving feedback from her readers that her blog has made a difference in their lives, whether it’s through the recipe or an encouragement to exercise
- Monique prefers to be in the kitchen and does what she needs to on social media, but prioritizes how she spends her time beyond that
- Monique talks about her corporate experience before becoming a blogger
- She talks about the importance of understanding the impact of your blog and its brand and why you should have a strategy for each social media platform
- She recommends sharing about you and your life in your posts so your readers can relate to you
- She created a Wellness Wednesday series that her readers relate to
- Monique suggests to never publish a post late at night to help avoid typos
- To prevent burnout, Monique heads out to Starbucks, turns off the wifi, and writes all her posts for the week in one day. She also has designated times for social media and photography too
- Monique shares fun tip for being ready for her daily job as food blogger!
- Dealing with the repetitive side of branding – how to keep it fresh!
- Why it’s important to have a narrow focus, and if you can’t find a way to narrow it down, create a series to help you add some diversity
- Monique likes to remind bloggers that it’s alright to test things out and to make mistakes
This episode includes references to several resources you might find interesting. Here they are:
- Learn more about today’s guest, Monique Volz, on her blog Ambitious Kitchen.
- Monique references a post she read from Cashmere and Cupcakes on 10 Tips for Working From Home.
- Monique is launching a Fit and Healthy Program with Fit Foodie Finds called The Summer Sweat Series. Check it out!
- Marly and Monique discuss the book The Four Hour Work Week, talking about why it’s important to stick with the things you’re good with and to hire others to do the things you don’t enjoy so much.
- Why not give Monique a shout-out on Twitter or Instagram and say thanks for the Chopped Podcast interview
- Learn about future Chopped Podcast episodes by subscribing to the ChoppedCon newsletter. Just add your email in the subscribe section at the bottom of this page. You’ll be glad you did!
- Our next podcast interview is with Jeff Sanders of the podcast The 5Am Miracle. Jeff and I talk about time management and productivity tips for food bloggers. Jeff has developed a successful platform as a productivity expert, including working on his very first book. If you’re interested in being the most productive entrepreneur, you’ll love my interview with Jeff Sanders. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss it!
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