As you may have heard, food is bigger than ever on Pinterest. If I said that having a Pinterest strategy was a must for food bloggers, would you say, “Yep. Of course it is. It’s pinning recipes and pictures of food!” If so, I hope you’ll listen to today’s conversation with Lauren, of Six Sisters Stuff, where we discuss all things Pinterest marketing for food bloggers.
Lauren and her 5 sisters (that’s right, 5 sisters!), began Six Sisters in 2011 to keep up with each other as they were beginning to start their own families and move away from home. But as the blog grew, and they began to have people besides each other and their mom viewing the site, they knew they needed to be consistent with pinning. Their strategy at the time was for each sister to take a day of the week and pin on that day. No plan, no strategy for growth.
As things continued to grow and their following got bigger and bigger, they realized that their blog was no longer just a way for them to keep up with each other. It had become a place where folks were coming for recipes and crafts, and these folks were pinning the sisters’ content on a regular basis.
From Blog to Business
After about 6 months, the girls knew that their little family communication tool was well on its way to becoming a real business. From that first 15 cents they made, to employing all of the sisters, their parents, and even some of the husbands, the sisters have had a ball growing their business and working together.
When their mom and sister Stephanie attended a blogging conference, they just happened to sit at a table with a book publisher who told them that their type of business was exactly what his company was looking for. Within 6 months, the sisters were working on their first cookbook.
Since that time, the cookbooks have kept coming, and at the time of this recording they are about to release their 6th cookbook!
Jumping into Pinterest
The sisters weren’t even using Pinterest at the beginning of their business. What they were using though, was Google Analytics. And their analytics kept telling them that the majority of their blog traffic was coming from Pinterest.
They had no idea what this Pinterest thing was, or how all those people had found the photographs of their recipes, but they knew they had to figure it out. Once they saw that it was basically “free advertising” for their blog, they decided to jump right in.
They began by pinning one recipe every single day from their website. It grew to five pins a day quickly. And then…they were each taking a turn pinning every other hour every day. Can you imagine the stress and the work involved with that strategy, especially when you are a new mom or full-time college student?
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Learning Food Photography
Back in 2011 when the sisters started, Pinterest was full of horizontal images. Fast forward to today, and things look very different on the platform than they did back in 2011. Along the way, the girls had to learn about food photography.
Each of the girls purchased a camera, and they dove into research mode. They bought e-cookbooks, took courses online and in-person, consulted with friends, bought props, and focused on their end goal. From the beginning of their research, their focus was on their brand, figuring out how to distinguish their photos from other food bloggers.
Some sisters definitely had an affinity for photography more than others. But they all just kept working on it until each one was comfortable with the camera.
*A tip that Lauren shared is that each sister owns the same props, so that their photos are branded and consistent.
Finding Your Own Style
One of their main goals was to have their brand be seen as “real” and “approachable”. Their photos reflect that goal. They wanted anyone scrolling through Pinterest to see their photo and immediately feel like it was doable.
They have certainly felt the pressure to do things differently. A quick scroll through Pinterest will give you magazine worthy photos of food. But it was just important for the sisters to keep their recipes and their photos as “real” as possible. Not to have their food look too fancy and too complicated, but easy and accessible enough that the average family could make it for their own dinner.
Tips for New Food Bloggers
When Lauren and her sisters began their site back in 2011, the food blogger niche was not what it is today. There was less pressure for things to look a certain way, and much less competition. I asked Lauren for some tips for those who are wanting to get started in food blogging, but feeling very unsure of themselves.
- Don’t compare yourself to other bloggers. This includes numbers, followers, photos, size, shares, etc. Focus on what you are doing.
- Don’t give up. It takes time to build up followers and page views, so be patient. Have the determination to keep going.
- Have a plan. Organization is key, along with having and executing a plan. Be sure to set goals and work toward them.
- Grab your social media handles early. Even if you don’t know if you’ll use them, get them anyway before they’re gone.
Connect with the Six Sisters
Photography course – http://pinchofyum.com/tasty-food-photography
Join Food Blogger Pro as well! I’m an expert over there and it’s an amazing community for food bloggers.
Do YOU know a thing or two about Pinterest marketing for food bloggers? Are you a food blogger whose had success using Pinterest? We’d love to hear about your best tips in the comments below.
FYI — I have a private Facebook group where I love to chat all about Pinterest. Join me.
3:50 From Blog to Business
7:15 Jumping into Pinterest
8:45 Food Photography
12:35 Finding Your Style
15:25 Tips for New Food Bloggers