Moving your food blog from Blogspot to WordPress

At the Australian Food Blogger Conference yesterday, Michael from My Aching Head mentioned the process of moving a blog from Blogspot/Blogger to WordPress. I’ve had to do this three times over the past few years for friends.

Here is the step by step process for moving a blog from Blogspot to WordPress. It does require some very basic editing of your blog template and a file in WordPress, but the gigantic bonus is that you get to maintain all of the incoming links to every page from your old blog.

Here is an example of it in action:

  1. Go to
  2. It will redirect to (check the URL bar in your web browser.)

Four tips for food blog PR

There has been debate on the Australian food bloggers group about opting in or out of the public relations onslaught, mostly because when it comes to food blogging, some PR people act like dicks.

It is no great secret that Australian business is a long way behind the US when it comes to online PR. It is something that an Australian PR agency might tack on to their services but few (if any) specialise in online in Australia or do it consistently well because there is not a great deal of cash in it for them yet. As it is dawning on the industry that print media as we know it is doomed, jumping on the social media bandwagon is the action de jour.

My four tips:

1. At the very least, read some of the food blog before you fire off a press release.

It’s not that hard to work out the topics in food that are of genuine interest to a particular food blogger. Read their blog. You’ll soon discover that food blogging is a broad church and it is not likely that your clients’ product will align with the interests of all food bloggers. If you’re doing your job, you should be able to find a good fit somewhere.

Unlike print media, unpaid food bloggers are under no compunction to put out regular editions or posts. There is no pressure to fill column inches and so this negates the need for bloggers to trawl through press releases at the end of the day just to churn out a few hundred words. For most food bloggers, press releases have zero value.

2. Even better, don’t send a press release at all.

Cut the “positioning” bullshit. You’ll get much better results if you engage in intelligent conversation because for most food bloggers, intelligent conversation is their modus operandi. If there is nothing intelligent that can be said about your client’s product (or your client’s product does not relate to food for humans) then just maybe you should question your future career in public relations.

Approach this as if you’re forming a relationship that will last forever. Most food bloggers don’t think in terms of discrete campaigns or product launches: the biggest mistake that PR folk make when approaching any social media is that they expect that it will last for the life of the campaign and not any longer. If you burn bloggers early, it is likely that you’ll have to work extremely hard to get them back on side for any future campaigns or other unrelated clients.

3. Link to me and send me traffic.

If you want me to sit up and pay attention to your (or your clients’) website, link to mine and send good traffic; the traffic that reads more than a single page and adds comments. I segment my traffic and notice that behaviour. Write your own food blog or get somebody to write one who cares rather than spamming out press releases. I still wonder why clients would ever trust an agency to do “blogger PR” when the agency (or its staff) do not run a blog.

4. If all else fails, food bloggers are very easily bought.

Most food bloggers love free shit; especially meals and the feeling like they’re receiving something exclusive. You’ve only got to look at this food blogger meetup organised by Club Med just to see that even if your food is not necessarily the greatest in the world, you can still buy fawning coverage by some of the world’s biggest bloggers. POM juices got coverage aplenty simply by mailing out juice and holding a competition. The trick is permission and not expecting anything directly in return. Ask people’s permission to send them free things. Ask for their advice rather than “write about this in your next blog post!”.

How to make coconut milk

I make my own coconut milk. It tastes nuttier and richer than that from a can, and frankly, I enjoy spending vast amounts of my spare time preparing food. Most recipes for making milk mention grating up the coconut or extracting the white flesh with a zester or fork – but it is much faster to pulp the flesh up in a blender.

how to make coconut milk

You’ll need a hammer, a clean cloth, a blender and an old brown coconut.

how to make coconut milk

In his book Thai Food, David Thompson recommends cracking the coconut open with the back of your heavy cleaver but a hammer is much more efficient and satisfying, with the added bonus of not risking losing an ear. Whack the coconut with the hammer until it cracks open. Let the juice inside run out and discard (or drink it, if you’re into sour coconut water).

how to make coconut milk


how to make coconut milk

Peel out the white flesh using a knife or a spoon. There is a thin and woody brown membrane that coats the flesh, the testa.

how to make coconut milk

Cut it off.

how to make coconut milk

Continue until you’ve separated the brown parts from the white. Place the white flesh into your blender along with about two cups of warm water. Blend until thoroughly shredded.

how to make coconut milk

Pour the shredded mix into the tea towel or clean cloth.

how to make coconut milk

Squeeze out the milk. I’d do this with both hands, but my other one is holding the camera.

how to make coconut milk

Let it settle. The thick layer on top is coconut cream, the thinner milk is beneath.

Measuring web statistics for your food blog

Unless you’re going to act upon it, measuring anything is nothing more than statistical masturbation, whether it be on the web or anywhere else. There is the warm afterglow that you get from the first time that you hit a hundred; a thousand or a hundred thousand visitors to your blog a day, but once you know that people are reading your blog: then what?

Web traffic alone is meaningless without a goal attached to it. And this leads me back to the first post in this series where I asked you what is motivating you to get into the business and art of food blogging. If you don’t have a goal, there is no need to measure anything at all on your blog.

How should I measure:

Get Google Analytics for whatever blogging platform you use. It is both a blessing (it’s free! at least if you don’t count Google harvesting your rich and creamy data as a cost) and a curse (it’s so powerful that you can spend more time analysing statistics and staring like a rabbit in the headlights into an oncoming graph than you can writing about food). It’s also inaccurate; but still accurate enough for the common food blogger who doesn’t need to worry about a 25% margin for error or so.

What should I measure:


Always measure trends

Daily bumps and spikes in web traffic are meaningless if they cannot be repeated at will or sustained. What all bloggers should aim at is growth in audience (unique visitors), average page views, time spent on site, and readers of your RSS feed over time. It will take a few months after the launch of your blog for any of these things to become apparent. In the early days you (probably) won’t have enough content or readers to make a real assessment of where your food blog is headed.

Always measure your goals

Amongst people like me who measure web traffic for a living, there is much talk about how to judge the meaningfulness of web traffic beyond just visits to your website or even “conversions” (the people who buy your product and the path by which they arrive there). If you’re not selling a product and your goals are as ephemeral as the vagaries of food blogging then what is worth measuring?

Unless you’ve read the how to start a food blog, design, and making money posts, the following goals will sound a little vague.

Specifically for food bloggers:

Goal: I want to meet people who write on the web that aren’t freaks and be a part of a community of like-minded, passionate food junkies

Most important metric:
Incoming links from blogs that you respect; conversations started. And who you’ve met.

Incoming links is by far the easiest of these to quantify. Google Analytics does it under Traffic Sources > Referring Links. You can also chase up the links that have never been clicked to your site by typing into Google’s maw. This will output a raw number of incoming links and it’s easy enough to scan through the list to see if any blog that personally matters to you

Conversations started can encompass much more than just the number of comments on your site. The trend for blogging is that an increasing amount of the talk generated about what you write about will happen on sites other than your own: on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, StumbleUpon, on other people’s blogs and in the mainstream media. There isn’t a convenient tool yet to roll all the conversations together and come out the other side with a useful metric. When someone comes up with a widely agreed upon “conversation quotient“, I’ll be a happy web marketer. Nielsen BlogPulse is the beginning of these tools, along with Tweetscan or Summize for Twitter.

Check your address book to see who you’ve met. Poke your Facebook friends or something.

Goal:I want to make money

Most important metric: How much money you’re making.

Yes, it is that obvious.

While masses of visitors to your site will often be a proxy to how much money you’ll make (and is a direct correlation if you’re lucky enough to be paid per visit rather than per click), if you want to make money, measure what works. If you’re using Google Adsense, they include handy information on the click-through rate for each ad that you place on your site. Use this information to tweak ad placement.

Goal: I have a food business/restaurant/am a food professional and need somewhere to honestly link up with the punters/debate my awesomeness

Most important metric: Local traffic and conversions. Unless you’re running a destination restaurant that punters will fly in from all over the world to visit, the most important thing for a restaurant/locally-focussed food business is the traffic from your immediate region and how many of those people eat your food or buy your product. To measure this traffic on Google Analytics, go to Visitors > Map Overlay, click your country then use the Segment selector to segment up your national or regional audience however you choose.

Secondly, if you’re selling something, you can set up goals to measure whatever action/conversion is desired. Google can tell you more about setting goals in Analytics. Offline, you need to harvest this data wherever you can. Can you ask those who book or buy where they found out about you?

How should I act upon it:

Repeat the things that are successful. Stop doing the things that aren’t successful. If you’re tracking a goal, defining what counts as success is straightforward. Do you write posts that start more conversations than others? Could you spin them out into a monthly series? While you were building an audience did something spur a huge number of people to subscribe to your RSS feed? Could you, in good conscience, repeat it?

If you were obsessed with statistics, you could test every change to your website using multivariate analysis before you commit to any change, but for the average food blogger, it is not worth it.

Making Bacon

Making Bacon

There is a descent into a darker realm when you begin cooking with a product labelled “CAUTION: Do not swallow”. The possibility of inadvertently killing your loved ones rises and your ability to rely on the way that a preparation tastes before cooking declines. The normal sensory cues that stop most sane people eating food that is deadly can no longer be relied upon. Things must be measured rather than guessed.

Sodium nitrite, the key to this particular charcuterie abyss, alone is not for human consumption. At least it says as much on the bag. But with it and a little pork belly, salt and sugar, you can free yourself from the hegemony of industrial bacon.

The Basic Bacon Cure
(from Ruhlman and Polcyn’s Charcuterie):

450gms of salt
225gms of sugar
50gms of pink salt (6.25% sodium nitrite; marketed as TCM, Instacure #1)

Method: Mix together thoroughly.

Buy one to two kilos of good pork belly. Lay about 50 grams of the cure onto a surface large enough for your piece of belly. Press all sides of the belly into the cure until it is covered with cure. Bag it into a zip-lock baggie, tag it with the date then refrigerate it for a week turning over every day.

Making Bacon

The wait is over. The belly firms up a little.

Making Bacon

Wash the cure and pork juice from the belly, pat dry, then roast for two hours at 100 degrees Celcius, by which time your house will smell like what I imagine the Sirens would have smelled like to the Argonauts, if Jason had have been in search of the Golden Ham. If it wasn’t nigh on impossible to buy a real American smoker in Australia, this stage would have been supplanted by a few hours over hickory smoke in the backyard. Damn Australian barbecue parochialism.

Making Bacon

Slice off the rind and eat it.

Apart from the possibility that my arteries would clog shut in mid-bite, I couldn’t think of any reason not to crunch away on it. Plus I have a congenital inability to discard anything that is remotely edible. The fact that it is crunchy and bubbling in the first place suggests that my oven is running much hotter than 100 degrees, so I may as well reap the only rewards of a faulty thermostat.

Making Bacon

Slice and fry to your heart’s continued malcontent. Your own bacon will be richer, juicier and thicker. More fat renders from it when cooked. It is texturally more dense and chewier than your store-bought fare. You’ll wonder how you were ever hoodwinked into buying the facsimile of bacon available in most stores and what other sad cuts of pork have been foisted upon you in the past.

Making money with your food blog

Selling eggs near Psar Toul Tom Poung, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Selling eggs near Russian Market, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

As I mentioned in “How to start a food blog“, food blogging is a terrible way to make money if you enjoy living in the First World. This year, food blogging will pay my rent but not much else. Here is how to do at least that, without devoting your entire life to blogging:

Advertising for your food blog

Which ad network? Or which combination of ad networks?

There is no single ad network that is right for everybody. The most profitable blogs tend to use a mix of networks and play to each of the networks strengths. This list of networks is by no means exhaustive: there are hundreds of ad networks out there.

Google Adsense – Everyone has Google Ads; the number of people getting rich from them apart from Google shareholders is miniscule. Google’s biggest coup is that it has realised that most bloggers are happy to get paid nothing as long as a few dollars trickle through. The advantage of Google is ease of use: they’re dead simple to add to your site, customise in a bare bones fashion and earn a few cents a click. You can use them on every blog network. They’re the ultimate in low maintenance. The disadvantages are the low pay and the complete lack of control over which ads turn up on your site. Because the ads are geographically targeted, the ads that you see won’t be the ones that anyone else sees. This is fine if you don’t care.

Yahoo! – Just like Google but second best!

Text Link Ads – if you want to people to find your website by searching on Google, this network is dead in the water. Google penalises your “page rank” if you use it, but I use it over at Phnomenon because in most of the categories that I write in, I have no competition on the web. It pays very well, doesn’t rely on clicks (so you make money whether people click your ads or not), and if you place them judiciously, people won’t even notice that they’re being advertised at.

A similar network has beaten Google for now. They’re still in the early stages of development (as the spelling mistakes on their beta site attests) but worth watching.

Blog Ads – the specialist ad network for bloggers. They’re a handy way to make money when you have low traffic because they pay regardless. The downside of this network is that if you do receive big, unpredictable spikes in the number of people visiting your site, you won’t be getting an equally large spike in earnings. They’re invite-only which is a strategy that I still don’t understand.

Selling other people’s products

When people read your favorite cake recipe, it is unlikely that they’ll click on the ingredients to buy them online. When people read a digital camera review, the opposite is true. Selling other people’s products and making a commission is a popular way to make money for most bloggers but it is difficult for food bloggers to do well because of the nature of the subject. Most of society does not buy the bulk of their food online. The easiest way to sell products is via Amazon affiliates program or the lesser known Chitika (Probloggers swear by it, because unlike Amazon, it relies less on you making sales and more on click-throughs)

If you want to spend your time writing reviews of products then this is a possible way to make money and there are still a few niches where food bloggers could be making huge amounts of cash: major appliances and kitchenware. Most of the top food bloggers already use Amazon to link to cookbooks but most of the time it is just a half-hearted link rather than a ringing endorsement.

Selling your own ads

Selling your own ads is by far the most profitable way to make money for your blog because it is one of the few avenues by which you’ll firstly be in direct contact with the advertisers’ money and secondly, will be able to charge what your blog is worth. The only downside is that you have to do the selling. As much as I love marketing, marketing is not sales. The low effort way to sell your own ads is to put a banner where your ad would be and link to your rates page. How much should you charge? Here’s blog network Gawker Media’s rates for their network of professionally produced and edited blogs. That will at least give you a point for comparison.

Unconventional means


A few food blogs sell their own merchandise: Chubby Hubby was selling notecards for a time; Ideas in Food sell their photo book; I’m considering turning Phnomenon into a book. If you can find a niche this may be worthwhile.

Make money from every link

I was going to call this bit “monetize your food blog”, but I get a sharp stabbing sensation in the part of my brain that stores verbed nouns every time I write “monetize”. Whenever you can throw in a product link, make sure that you make money from it. For most bloggers, this means the occasional link to an Amazon product, but you’ll notice that practically every link on this page has my referrer code on it. If you sign up for anything then I make money from you! It doesn’t affect your income but I benefit.

Get hired by someone else as a food blogger

This isn’t as hard as you think it might be. B5 Media are always on the lookout for good bloggers. Problogger keeps a handy jobs board: at last check there were two paid food blogger positions. The biggest advantage of making money from your food blog in this way is that (generally) you need not worry about the technical side of the blog or selling ads as the blog network/business will do the design and marketing. The down side is that the pay is terrible and you have no control over design and marketing.

Sell your posts and photos

If you think that your posts and photos are magazine quality, try selling them to magazines. For me, selling a single article to an American newspaper earns just a little less than the income from my two sites for a month. Get over to mediabistro and to your local press to get started. Scoopt started a business selling blog posts to mainstream magazines as ScooptWords (e.g. these food bloggers in Olive Magazine) but have since seemed to have discontinued the blog side of their business to concentrate on cellphone snaps of celebrities.

As for photos, the online stock photo business is well on its way to destroying a valuable income earner for the bad professional photographers who take the photo of the guy climbing the mountain with a briefcase. Good pro photographers will always have a business. To sell your food photos online, see the links below.

Sell out entirely

Get paid to write reviews of other websites at somewhere like ReviewMe. If I no longer valued human decency, I’d make $60 every time that somebody wanted me to review whatever shit that they thrust in my direction.

Where should I place ads to make the most money?


blog ad heat map

Google published the above heat map to show which ads are clicked the most with the red areas being the most clicked. They have also produced one targeted at blogs which is a little more rudimentary and when I’ve tested it, doesn’t seem to work well.

Also useful are themes for your site designed with making money in mind. See below for links.

The easiest way to make money from blogging is writing about making money from blogging.

Just because I’m making a Third World income from blogging doesn’t mean that you can’t earn more. Read Shoemoney or Problogger. They’re earning 6 figure amounts but they’re also devoting the entirety of their lives to doing it. Sadly, that is the bare minimum amount of time you’ll need to spend.

Maintaining your audience

How often should I write?

As often as you like.

The standard answer to this is that if you are looking to increase your audience, often is better. If you look at Technorati’s top blogs, most of these sites are updated multiple times a day. You’ll also notice that none of them are food blogs, unless you count which is substantively about cats perverting the English language.

I’d prefer to be reading blogs that update once a month and write 15,000 word articles rather than one that writes two 250 word posts a day. I’m not most people, but nonetheless, I’d encourage you to write for me. What seems to matter as much as frequency is consistency. If you plan to write once a week, stick to your schedule.

I’m burnt out and sick of blogging. What do I do?

Take a break.

What I tend to do is write articles that aren’t time dependent and change their post date to two weeks in advance (you can do this in WordPress). If I have enough content in two weeks time, I push it forward another two weeks. This maintains the appearance that I’m equally motivated all of the time. I’m quite clearly not. The scary thing is that my blog will continue to run for a few months if I’m dead.

People don’t comment. How do you make them?

Ask a question at the end of your post. People are that easy to manipulate…or aren’t they?

Links of note:

Selling your photos online

WordPress themes optimised for making money

Handy “monetizing” links.

How to make mayonnaise in 20 seconds

Why don’t marketers show you this when they sell immersion blenders? This is no Cuisinart or Braun, it’s the cheapest plastic model on the market.

The hours that I’ve wasted, whisk in one hand and slowly drizzling oil in the other, or more likely queuing with my sorry jar of Praise at a store. No more.

The world’s laziest mayonnaise recipe:

Prep time:
Total time:
Yield: 1 cup

Crack an egg into your immersion blender container. Don’t even bother to separate the yolk. Add two teaspoons of dijon mustard, a tablespoon of lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. Pour in 200ml of oil. I’m using canola because I’m being both cheap and lazy; if you’re neither of these things, spend some time researching the various olive oils and making tasting notes. Put hand blender to the very bottom of the container and blend until it thickens into mayonnaise.

How to start a food blog, part 2: Design and building an audience

Food Blogging

This post follows on from How to start a food blog.

How do I design my blog?

Don’t. Get someone else to do it, unless you’re lucky enough to be a web designer or are keen to use the blog to practice your web design skills. Good design counts.

Firstly, all of the major blogging platforms come with a template system where you can easily pick and choose between their stock (or easy to modify) designs. Links for a few template sites where you can download free to use (or free with attribution) templates are below.

Secondly, you can hire a web designer to make a template for you. This is costly for your average blog, but if you’re setting this up as a part of your broader business, it is well worth the expense for your site to both stand out from the crowd and fit with your brand. For a decent designer building a unique template, budget for between US$450 and US$900+ depending on the amount of work involved. Alternately, you could pick up a non-unique but well designed theme from somewhere like Template Monster for around $45.

Building your audience

Building your audience is not about being the biggest food blog in the world: it is about capturing the readers who you want to be reading your blog. If that audience is just your family and friends, I’ve already told you twice to stop reading this guide to starting a food blog, and get over to Blogger in the previous post. If it’s to capture the minds of other food bloggers and accordant readers with a passing passion for food: read on.


Being social is almost more important to gathering an audience than writing blog posts. Make valuable comments on the blogs or forums (e.g. Chowhound, eGullet) that are similar to yours or you think has the readers who’ll lap up your thoughts on food. As much as I love it when someone writes “Great post!” and nothing else in the comments (cue stock response below), I like it even more if somebody writes something substantial that builds on the post or completely disagrees with it. If they do that, I’m likely to have a look at their food blog. Controversy is good for traffic, even if it makes you look like the fool.

For food blogging, networking isn’t limited to online. You can always try inviting another blogger for a meal/drinks, emailing them for suggestions, or attending one of the organised blogging meets. It shouldn’t be any great surprise to people that food bloggers like free food. Physically meeting people is more powerful than just commenting for building relationships.

Online Food Blog Events

Is My Blog Burning? – tracks blogging events/posts where individual bloggers host a themed post and encourage others to write about the same topic. Both hosting an event and being involved in them are great ways to attract likeminded bloggers and build incoming links to your site.

Menu For Hope – is the food blogging world’s superbowl: a raffle in aid of a charitable food cause (last year the UN’s World Food Programme) hosted by Pim from Chez Pim and others around Christmas.

The cynical web marketer in me still screams out that the money spent on pepper in Cambodia has paid off one-thousandfold in incoming links. You couldn’t pay the world’s bigger food bloggers to link to your site, but once a year, you can get it practically for free. And the money goes to a good cause.

Get listed on the aggregators

At the moment, there are only two important sites that specifically aggregate food blog content: foodpornwatch and tastespotting . Food Porn Watch provides a text link to your updated posts as they happen. To get listed, after you’ve written some quality content on your site all you need to do is email them your RSS feed details at . Tastespotting highlights food photography with an emphasis on well-lit macro shots of styled food: the sort of shots that bore me pantless but the rest of the world seems to love with gay abandon. (Thankfully, Gourmet editor Ruth Reichl thinks along similar lines, so maybe this trend will swing back to either shots of unstyled food or my hope, to the bad, oversaturated food shots of the 1950s) To get yours up at Tastespotting, go to

Writing for search engines (SEO)

When you write for the web, you write for two audiences: your human readers and search engines. At the moment, a search engine reading your site is like a blind person breaking into your house and trying to guess the color of your clothes by the way they smell. If they’re lucky, your clothes will be tagged. If they’re not lucky, they’ll guess that your clothes are all brown.

Writing for search engines is like putting Braille labels on your clothes. If it’s done well, only the actors who matter will notice.

Unlike blind burglars, search engines are more easily tricked and this manner of prestidigitation forms a whole new field of marketing called “Search Engine Optimization”, the goal of which is to list your site as highly as possible on a search engine for a particular keyword and thereby attract more readers when they search for that keyword. Most of the tricks are as easy as finding Braille labels. Here are the five most important things to do to raise your website’s profile in the unseeing eyes of the search engine:

  1. Keywords in your titles – if you’re writing about “How to start a food blog”, name it thus. As much fun as it is to write wacky titles, search engines can’t find them because they have not got the semantics worked out yet. I will be a happy man when search engines like a pun.
  2. Keywords in incoming links – Incoming links from other websites form much of the basis for your ranking in search engines and are even better when they contain the keywords that you target. For me “Cambodian food” is a better link than “Phnomenon”. You can encourage this by writing them yourself. If you’re commenting on another site and have a post that illustrates a point, make a proper link (e.g. “I’ve written about Cambodian food before” rather than “I wrote about Cambodian food at“). For businesses, do the same in press releases, which often will end up on news websites unedited. Having keywords in your titles also helps this because when another blogger writes about your fantastic post, they’re likely to link to the title.
  3. Incoming link quality and quantity – Lots of incoming links from respected sites helps.
  4. Relevance of the page that the incoming link is on – submitting your site to off-topic pages will not help. Get a mention on a Wikipedia page or a University research site dedicated to your niche helps a great deal
  5. Age of your site – Older sites rank more highly. Stick with what you’re doing and it will come to pay off.

Social Media (apart from blogs)

“Social media” is any site that relies on user generated content and where said users can interact with each other. The most important thing to remember about using any social media to promote your blog is to maintain a consistent presence. Saying that you know nothing about food on your Facebook page then writing about eating in all its glory on your own site is inadvisable. The amount of work that you put into promoting your blogs on social media sites is limited only by the amount of time that you can spare.

FlickrFlickr is a handy place to store and share your photos as well as build links back to your blog. On every single photo that you post on flickr, provide a link back to the blog beneath it. On the social side, there are ten thousand flickr groups devoted to food, so post your photos to likeminded groups.

Technorati – is useful to see how your blog links to every other blog (if you’re not keen on doing any further analysis); and adds yet another place for people to find you.

StumbleUpon – I discovered StumbleUpon recently, but it seems to deliver a much more relevant food audience than other social networking tools. Login and “stumble” through sites tagged by other users, tag your own sites as “food”, tag your friends’ sites, and get in touch with other Stumblers. – Amongst the bookmarking tools is a favorite. It doesn’t send huge numbers of people to my sites, but the ones that it does send are pure gold: they spend more time reading multiple pages than any visitors from other directory sites.

Facebook – Like most web marketers, I regard Facebook as a marketing tool where I can harvest demographic information from anybody foolish enough to post their personal details there and then use it to target them with closely tailored advertising in perpetuity.

I also use it to play Scrabble.

You can certainly use it to pimp out your food blog – David Lebovitz, for example, has six hundred friends whom he spams with links; I’ve got a Facebook fan page that I don’t promote because I’m too busy playing Scrabble. In Australia, Facebook is becoming the dominant social network.

Digg – Digg is nigh on useless for most food bloggers at the moment unless you’re blogging about the intersection of food and technology, humour, or junk food. The traffic spikes that I have received from having the occasional article being “dugg” have not translated into my goals of attracting long term readers, rss subscribers, or even ad clicks.

Twitter – Twitter, the social network that just wants to know what you’re doing, seems like a distraction rather than a useful tool for food blogging with one caveat. If your audience is interested in you as a person rather than food content (you chose “I’ll write about whatever I like” as a reason for building a food blog), twitter is a simple tool to let them know where you’re at. As Twitter grows and slips into the mainstream, it will become more useful.

Next Thursday, I take on maintaining your audience and making money with your food blog.

Links of note:

Blog templates

Search Engine Optimisation