If you’ve listened to this podcast, you might have noticed a trend: food bloggers love Instagram. If you’re in the same boat, but you’re confused about how to use Instagram for your blog…or just how to use Instagram in general, today’s episode is for you. I spoke recently with Cara Reed of the blog Fork and Beans about Finding Your Instagram Voice for food Bloggers. Listen on for all the goodness!

Cara Reed is the next guest on the Chopped Podcast talking about Finding Your Instagram Voice for Food Bloggers

I’m so happy to have Cara on the podcast today because if you haven’t been to Cara’s site or her Instagram feed, you should go there soon. Like right now! Cara started her site Fork and Beans four years ago after being diagnosed with food allergies. She started her site to share tips with others on baking without eggs, dairy, and gluten. She had no idea what she was doing, and she spent the first year just trying to figure it all out. Without any baking experience on her belt, she absorbed everything she could and learned something amazing: she found food blogging to be one of her biggest passions!

But how did she go from learning to create allergen friendly treats to finding her passion? It all began with rice crispy treats in the shape of Frankenstein. It may seem like a strange Instagram strategy, but for Cara this kind of fun, playful approach — making creative shapes with her food — helped her find her voice for her photography. And now she’s using that same approach for food photography on her blog as well. Because it helped her answer the question, what am I good at? Cara realized the sooner she understood herself and focused in on her true voice the sooner she’d connect with her true audience on social media.

Cara asked herself three questions to help clarify her mission for her blog and everything else was much easier to deal with as a result. The answers to these 3 questions — 1) What am I good at? 2) What is my goal with my blog? and 3) Who is my ideal audience? — helps her with her photography, her styling, her recipes, and even how to deal with negative comments.

Once I figured out what my message was — it’s to make people happy with food that happens to be allergen friendly — it was really easy to then just create this new world on Instagram where I was making fun creations with my food and people were responding to it in a really good way. — Cara Reed

Have you ever tuned a guitar? You can tighten or loosen the string this way or that, but you’ll know it when you land on the right pitch. The string resonates with it! And according to Cara, that is what finding your purpose can do for your blog too. You will resonate and your readers will know it.

Instagram Changed my life. It gave me my voice back on Fork and Beans too. I realized this is what I’m good at. — Cara Reed

Finding your passion is such an important thing and Cara encourages that using a social media platform like Instagram can be a perfect playground for you to try new things tpp. Listen in as Cara provides some great tips for finding your Instagram Voice!

Featured Content – Finding Your Instagram Voice with Cara Reed

Here are some of the highlights of my discussion with Cara:

  • Listen and you’ll discover how junk food was a big inspiration for helping Cara start her food blog
  • How Cara connected with other food bloggers early on
  • Learn what the biggest reward was for Cara as a food blogger
  • How Cara approaches Instagram as a food blogger
  • Cara asks her three questions to help her define her Instagram (and blogging) strategy
  • Cara explains how she had no idea what to do with Instagram when she first started
  • We talk about the added barriers for people pleasers to find their authentic voice
  • Cara explains how looking at what you do as a business rather than a blogger makes all the difference in the world
  • Cara talks about how getting 10,000 followers on Instagram will not make you happy. Or getting 15,000 followers on Facebook won’t make you happy. If you’re looking for happiness as a food blogger, Cara talks about the switch in thinking that will help you be more successful in being authentic to your voice and therefore reaching your core audience…and more happiness to boot
  • How Cara uses visualization meditation to help her stay focused
  • Cara explains her editorial planning process
  • Cara encourages other food bloggers to find a like-minded group of people and form community
  • Cara explains that blogging is not a popularity contest and how we should spend time encouraging each other as much as possible
  • Cara has super fun news to share about what’s coming up next in her life

Show Notes

This episode includes references to some resources you might find interesting. Here they are:

  • Learn more about today’s guest, Cara Reed on her site Fork and Beans
  • Cara talks about Vegan MoFo as a way she started out promoting her blog
  • Why not give Cara a shout-out on Twitter or Instagram and say thanks for the Chopped Podcast interview!
  • The favorite app on Cara’s phone is Waze. If you’re interested in the best way to get from location A to Z, this app is for you!
  • In the introduction, Marly mentions the book Essentialism by Greg McKeown
  • Connect with Chopped Academy Online:  Instagram  | Twitter
  • Connect with Marly: Namely Marly |  Instagram  | Twitter
  • Production, music, graphic art & sound design by Shawn Beelman.

Announcements

  1. 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!
  2. Tickets for the 2015 Chopped Conference are available. You can also attend a Food Photography Workshop with Matt Armendariz or participate in the dynamic Food Blog Success Summit. Take your food blog to the next level…learn more and buy your tickets today!
  3. Best Food Facts LogoToday’s podcast episode was sponsored by Best Food Facts. If you have questions about the best way to cook your veggies, or maybe you want to read about the latest on controversial food topics, then head over to bestfoodfacts.org to learn more about all things food straight from university experts!
  4. Our next podcast interview is with Nicole Johnson of the blog Or Whatever You Do. Nicole and I are talking about using CoSchedule for food bloggers. If you’re curious about CoSchedule or already a fan and looking for some awesome best practices, you’ll want to listen in on this episode. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss it!

Subscribe to the Show & Feedback

Thanks so much for listening to today’s podcast. I hope you found it informative and helpful to the work you do every day. Make sure you don’t miss out on any of the Chopped Podcast episodes by heading on over to iTunes to subscribe to the Chopped Podcast. While you’re there, provide a review and rating is a great way to help other podcast listeners find it too! That’s it for today’s podcast. As always, thanks so much for joining in the discussion!