On Guru Purnima, Meet My Food Guru: Dassana Amit
Today is Guru Purnima, an Indian festival dedicated to pay respects to teachers and express our gratitude towards them. Our first introduction to Gurus is via our teachers during our academic lives and parents/spouses are our gurus throughout life. But apart from these very important teachers in life, in our day to day life we meet people who encourage and motivate us to reach new heights or pursue our passion.
Today I follow my two passions which is blogging and photography. But when I started initially with food blogging 4 years back I was clueless. I had so many questions, doubts, concerns, etc. I read lot of stuff online to figure out my answers but I wanted to reach out to someone who can help me on personal level.
As I was a newbie to cooking too whenever I searched any recipe online, the 1st blog which would pop up was Veg Recipes of India. It’s a very simple yet such an impressive food blog for Indian recipes. I was always in aww of it. So one day I decided to message Dassana Amit, the author of this amazing blog and also my first Food Guru 🙂
I was just trying my luck to get her advice as I never thought that she would reply. But she did and she was generous enough to answer my each and every query with patience. Today I join my hands and say a very big THANK YOU to Dassana for sharing her knowledge and expertise with me when I was such a clueless blogger.
I must admit that today I owe a Thank You to some of my other blogger friends who help me on daily basis with food blogging and food photography tips. But the 1st one is always special..Isn’t it?
Today also when I message Dassana with any query she would reply me with same enthusiasm. There are so many things to learn from her apart from her blogging skills.
I feel that knowledge is for sharing so I am also going to share the 1st advice which she shared with me which I think can be helpful to other newbie bloggers.
Here it is
1: You only have some 40 plus posts. For your content to come on google you need many many posts. it is a bit complex thing to understand. the many number of posts, the better the search engines rank your blog. thats why big sites like about.com or wikipedia do so well in search engine results. a site like indianfoodforever.com comes in google as there are many posts and they are interlinked. i always tell bloggers to keep posting on a regular basis. posting fresh and quality content regularly also help the google bots to index the site favorably in search results. so it works two ways. slowly slowy you can build up your posts. you can even create a niche as far as your posting is concerned.. eg baking, vegetarian or desserts or cooking from seasonal produce or it can be anything.
2: Your blog url is not keyword friendly. it should have something like cooking or recipes or a word that defines your blog… eg for a vegan blog it can be something like vegancooking.com or veganrecipes.com etc.
3: As i said before focus on your niche as well as USP. blogging has become competitive with so many bloggers vying for attention at the same time.
4: The theme that one should use must be light in terms of loading as well as the css coding. your theme is heavy with all the background images etc. so just choose a simple and light minimal them.. google penalizes blogs that take a lot of time to load.
5: The social bookmarking buttons are not visible. they should be either below the post or above the post so that your posts are shared. in your blog they are below but the attention does not go on them. even the social networking handlers are not getting any prominent attention. If possible in blogger than use a plugin where all the handlers are displayed in one line, instead of showing them on different lines.
6: Your title and description tags for SEO both for your blog as well as posts are not done the right way. I suggest reading this two posts from our other blog:
7: I would suggest you buying a new domain with .com extension and then install free wordpress program on it. Here is one link which will help you in installing wordpress on your own. You don’t need a web programmer to do this.
8: Before going for a new domain, I would also suggest you to apply for google adsense program so that you can earn some money from there. once google approves your application, then you can buy the domain and install the ad codes in the new domain.
9: One thing i saw in your posts, is that towards the end you post the pics in zig zag way… is this your style or you do it just for fun. What happens is that in the beginning everything is straight and the eyes follow a straight vertical line…. which is good. then towards the end, the photos are places left right left right…. this is not soo good as far as the dynamics of reading and mind are concerned. it confuses. when everything is aligned in one line whether it is right aligned, left aligned or center aligned… it is much easier to read irrespective of the person being left brained or right brained. Another point is there are too many pics. Just add the best ones to the post. I know as a blogger one wants to add as much as one can but from my own experience, it is always better to add the best pics. 3-5 pics of the food taken at different angles or with different stylings is enough.
10: As your photographs are good, try submitting in sites like foodgawker and tastespotting. You will get a good traffic from there. I suggest you think link from nancy’s blog which is really good and helpful. Rejection is high, but keep on trying and submitting. here is the link: http://www.spiciefoodie.com/2012/05/25/food-photography-food-porn-websites-and-tips-2/
11: You need to have a really good theme and with a good layout. So that the widgets etc are placed in such away that the attention is drawn to them. A little tweaking to your blog theme or design can redesign your whole blog and make it more presentable. If you later plan to use wordpress program you will have access to so many free themes.
12: Don’t give full posts on the home page or category pages. Show excerpts.
I feel your writing and pics are good. what is needed is a more presentable layout or theme to showcase your blog. The social media will catch up as soon as your blog grows. You can comment on other bloggers but remember it should not tire you out. If you don’t feel comfortable commenting or you are shy person, then there is no need to comment or take part in events. Just stay true to your heart and love what you do, cooking and photographing. Rest will follow.
I hope i have answered all your queries. If you have any issues and difficulty, then just ping me.
How did you find her?..Isn’t she super nice. Also I would love to know about your food gurus. It is their day, please express your gratitude towards them 🙂