Food blogging advice from a seasoned pro — how to stay motivated and more
Whether you've been blogging for one year or 10, blogger burnout is a very real thing. Food blogger Jaden Hair, publisher of SteamyKitchen.com, has been blogging since 2007 and knows how to keep burnout at bay.
As if maintaining a successful blog isn't enough, Jaden is also a cookbook author, television chef, and she and her husband, Scott Hair, run Kitchen Table Mastery — a private mastermind for food bloggers with a focus on business.
So if you need food blogging tips, you've come to the right place. We talked to Jaden about staying motivated, her best tips for turning your blog into a business and even got a peek into her gorgeous kitchen. If you want more, catch her at #BlogHerFood15, where she's joining a stellar panel of speakers on a topic she knows well: Achieving Long-Term Blogger Happiness.
How do you stay motivated when you’ve been blogging for many years? What inspires you?
Giving back to the food blogging community. We create Food Blog Forum events with our good friends Todd and Diane of White on Rice Couple. Any money we make from our events goes right back into funding scholarships to food bloggers. Hosting these big events and just sharing everything we know about food blogging revitalizes our energy and hearts.
Your best tip for turning your blog into a business?
Knowing your ROI for everything you do. By the way, the "return on investment" could mean money, profit or happiness. My ROI for time spent on social media is very low. I'm not a big social media person anymore — I don't enjoy it, my kids don't like when I'm constantly in front of a screen. While we do get good traffic from Pinterest, it's more important for me to make it easy for readers to share my content on social media versus me spending time on social media. I'd rather spend my time on activities with higher ROI on happiness and my bottom line. For Steamy Kitchen currently, it's email newsletters and e-cookbooks and finding ways to generate income outside of advertising.
The thing you wished you’d known before you started a food blog?
Don't feed the trolls and negative commenters! Just delete and forget it.
The best piece of blogging advice you've ever received?
I have to credit Elise Bauer of Simply Recipes for guiding me in my early days of blogging. We became friends early on, and her generosity in sharing her knowledge and experience really helped me so much. She's always stressed the importance of community and giving back.
The thing that surprised you most about writing a cookbook?
How long it took! I can create and recipe and publish online in several hours. The book took two years from concept to shelf.
Your biggest influence in cooking?
Yan Can Cook! Martin Yan is my kitchen hero. I used to watch him on TV in the '80s. Back then, there weren't very many Asians on television. To see a fellow Chinese cooking on TV, not hiding his accent and celebrating everything Asian was such an inspiration.
The favorite part of your kitchen?
Gosh, it's so hard to pick just one thing. I think overall design — the feel — of our kitchen is exactly what I had in mind when Susan Serra designed it for us. The pieces are more "furniture"-like and blend seamlessly into our family room.
But if I had to just pick one item in the kitchen, it's the built-in compost bucket in my countertop, right next to my sink.
The most surprising thing in your fridge?
Beneficial nematodes! We use them in our aquaponics garden as a way to battle pests without chemicals. The nematodes are in a sealed bucket in my refrigerator to store until needed. The great thing about aquaponic gardening is that it forces you to treat your garden as you would treat nature. Any pesticides or nonorganic fertilizer would kill the fish.
Check back for interviews each week as we lead up to #BlogHerFood15, and head over to BlogHer to get all the information you need. Register here, see the agenda and speakers, and sign up for the newsletter for announcements and opportunities.