How To Write A Recipe Blog That Your Readers Won't Hate
Updated: Apr 19
Learning how to write a recipe blog seems like a really straightforward process… and I absolutely think it should be. But- we’ve all shared/laughed/enjoyed a good meme about how… um… cinematic recipe blogs can be.
“Let’s make my perfect Apple Pie recipe!
… Bu-u-u-t first… let me tell you how and where I was born…”
The problem is… As much as we chuckle at this very relatable frustration. It’s exactly that.
I’ve never visited a recipe blog post in my entire adult life that didn’t leave me feeling exceedingly annoyed at how hard it is to get the information (value) that I clicked the damned Pinterest link for in the first place.
As a professional copywriter, the average recipe blog template is the antithesis of everything we’re taught.
And what are we, as copywriters, taught about writing copy and content for others to read?
Ensure readers understand exactly where they are, what to do, and easily find the information they need…
Many recipe blogs drop the ball on readability and user-friendliness
… and I just don’t understand it, because it’s such a consistent layout/organization issue. I did some research just to be sure there wasn’t any specific strategy behind the layout decisions, and I’ve yet to come across anything indicating why it’s effective.
Constantly having to scroll up and down between finding the measurements and following the directions, for example. And I’m sorry, I’m not trying to call anyone out in particular, and I’m a HUGE fan of using blogs as a vehicle for story-telling…
But there’s a much better, more effective, and more considerate way to do it… and it’s easy.
In this post, I’ll teach you how to write a recipe blog, and how to organize a recipe blog layout!
So, if you’re new and want to know how to start a recipe blog, or already have a recipe blog and are brave enough to experiment a bit… This post is for you.
Why I Really Don’t Like Recipe Blogs
When someone visits a recipe blog, they’re there for one reason.
They want to recreate a recipe...
They either have a specific dish in mind, or maybe they’re looking for something other than their usual menu of go-to meals to enjoy… but the reason they end up on a recipe blog post is the same.
They need to follow a recipe.
Aside from just trying to scroll through walls of text to find a recipe… when you find the directions/steps for the recipe, the measurements are listed in a different section.
Which means… Now you have to scroll again to find the measurements and then back up to the recipe.
Sometimes I’ll see recipe bloggers include directions/step-by-step cards below the measurements… but for frick-sake, WHY can’t you just put the measurements IN the step-by-step directions?
There are more times than I care to admit when I’ve had my phone and my iPad out with the SAME recipe, one device listing the measurements/ingredients, the other showing the step-by-step directions.
No one ENJOYS following a recipe this way… but since this seems to be a commonality between pretty much all blogs (especially on mobile devices), we’ve learned to tolerate it.
Now, if you want to be a cool person with a recipe blog that DOESN’T drive visitors crazy– and allows you to build an enjoyable post that delves deeper into more than just the steps… I’m going to show you how.
We’ve discussed all the reasons I dislike recipe blogs as a copywriter… but now I’m going to show you exactly how I’d use copywriting best practices to fix them.
How A Copywriter Would Write A Recipe Blog
Now that we understand all of the reasons why certain recipe blog layouts don't work, let's discuss what a professional copy and content writer (moi) would do instead.
Give Them Control Over How They Interact With The Blog
I think this is the most important thing you can do. If you want to share a personal story related to your recipe, the history behind the recipe- any content that doesn’t actually show the recipe… then let your readers CHOOSE to read it.
How can we do this?
It’s actually quite easy. At the top of your post, create a table of contents with anchor links to each section. You can make these as simple or as fancy as you want). Here’s an example of what they could look like:
Go To The Recipe
Why I Love This Recipe
Important Recipe Tips
As you can see, this very simple addition to your post can alleviate SO MUCH frustration right off the bat… and you don’t even have to really change anything else you’re doing.
You can add as many of these “header” anchor links as you want. The point is to give readers options to let them know you respect their time, intelligence, and experience on your blog.
They might actually be more inclined to read the story-driven content of the blog just because you gave them the freedom to choose. They’ll appreciate it (think good ole reciprocity). It also gives you an opportunity to quickly and immediately highlight any specific aspects of your post that you might want to generate more engagement/attention toward.
Make It Easy For Them To Follow The Recipe
Now that we’ve made it easy to navigate your recipe blog, let’s make it easy for them to actually follow your recipe. Along with your ingredients list and measurement section, include measurements in the directions.
You can do this easily by adding the measurements for each ingredient to your step-by-step directions. For example:
Instead of writing: "add flour, eggs, and butter to a bowl and mix", it's much more helpful to write: "Add 3 cups flour, 3 eggs, and 1/2 cup butter". This simple switch eliminates the need for readers to scroll back and forth between the ingredients list and the actual recipe.
This is so helpful—especially if this recipe is on the complicated side. When readers have to continuously break their train of thought scrolling, they’re much more likely to make an error…
Guess who they’re going to blame for that?
Guess who’s recipe post they’re going to leave a frustrated comment on?
Yes, it’s your recipe post.
Adding the measurements for ingredients INTO the step-by-step process. will immediately endear you to new readers… and they’ll be MUCH MORE LIKELY to follow/return to your blog in the future.
All because you made it easier than a competing blogger.
Readability Is Key
If there’s one thing I hope you take away from this post, it’s that the reader’s experience is what matters most. They should enjoy accessing your content, and never work harder than necessary to find the value you’re sharing.
As you can see, you can keep all of the other elements of your posts without confusing and frustrating readers. Let them choose to read about the story behind your recipes, and give them the choice to skip past it, right to an easy-to-follow set of directions that set them up for success.
I can almost guarantee you’ll set yourself apart, and you’ll probably receive several happy comments commending you for providing them with a reader-friendly and easy recipe-following experience.
If you have any questions about how to write a recipe blog, feel free to drop them below! Even better, I’d love to hear about reasons you might disagree with this post! If you’re a fan of the traditional recipe-style blog format, let me know why. 😀
Until next time, see ya!