Sharing recipes that are a little different or have a strong selling point is the number 1 reason why I was able to grow my blog to 1 million monthly views in 8 months.
I think most people would guess that I’d have photography as #1. The reason I don’t is because the photos of most of the popular recipes on my blog aren’t the best! (PS If you are curious, you can read my entire “top tips” list in this post: How I Did It: Zero to 1 Million Monthly Views in 8 Months).
There is no doubt in my mind that creative recipes are the reason that I was able to draw in large amounts of new traffic from early on. The key similarities between most of my most popular recipes are:
- they are easy;
- look good – think stretchy cheese, cute bites; and
- are something a little different.
This does not mean that you need to make widely creative or amazingly unique / ground breaking recipes! Most of my recipes are my spin on ideas I’ve seen on cooking shows or online.
The key takeaway here is that each of these recipes have a unique selling point. Here are some of my most popular recipes:
- Crack Bread – one of the most popular recipes on my site. Stretchy cheese is always a crowd pleaser, but not only that, this is something a little different and easy to make.
- One Pan Rotisserie Chicken On Potato Gratin – the “selling point” of this is that it is two dishes made in one pan.
- Quiche Toast Cups – made using sandwich bread to make the cups. Again, something a little different because I guess most people don’t always have pastry on hand (or don’t make pastry) but almost everyone always has bread!
- Pork Carnitas – I actually don’t get why this is so popular because there are many Pork Carnitas recipes out there. Maybe because of the photo, or maybe because I did a strong pitch about how to get crunchy bits without drying out the meat (which is the problem with many recipes. Broiling = dried out meat!)
- No Washing Up Ham, Egg and Bread Bowls – again, somewhat of a unique recipe. Big pitch around how there is no washing up! And also, more stretchy cheese.
- Cinnamon French Toast Sticks – again, something a bit unique. Not an original idea except that I was specific to explain how to make it so you can actually pick it up without it flopping (all the other ones I saw had them stacked up and looked like they would flop!)
- Truly Crispy Oven Baked Chicken Wings – big pitch that this is the best way to make wings in the oven that come out seriously crispy, tested by Cooks Illustrated.
- Pad See Ew (Thai Noodles) – a very early recipe that took off. I guess because…well, who doesn’t like Thai food? And maybe because this is made using ingredients that you can get at the supermarket?
- Baked Spinach and Ricotta Rotolo – I think this was popular because it’s a different spin on cannelloni. And some stretchy cheese always helps!
The key observation from the above list is that not all of them are wildly creative or unique. BUT it is clear that there is a very specific selling point for every recipe.
And you know what? The selling point could be as simple as it being a family recipe. Or a chef’s recipe for a signature dish. A clever shortcut. Or a new way to make an old favourite.
Whatever it is, make sure every recipe you share has a “hook”. That does not mean that you should aim to only post recipes with “viral” potential! All it means is that you need to stress why you love that recipe so much!! You can read more about “selling” your recipes in this post – “Sell” Your Recipes
So tell me – in the last recipe you blogged, did you emphasise what’s so great about it? Did you make it clear right up front in the post? And on social media?
Love to hear your thoughts! – Nagi