What we Learned at the International Food Blogging Conference

What we Learned at the International Food Blogging Conference

As you may remember from our recent Sweet Potato and Andouille Sausage Salad post, we recently spent a blissful, kid-free weekend in New Orleans at the International Food Blogging Conference (IFBC 2018). As relatively new bloggers, we were so excited about all the amazing information, food and fellow bloggers. And here, we’ll attempt to break it down for you.

What we Learned

Here are some of our best tips for new bloggers –

  1. It’s never too early to start thinking of your blog as a business. We assumed that we couldn’t start a true business plan because we are still building up our content and our following. Not true! Begin looking into affiliate marketing programs and discovering which brands you’d like to work with now, no matter how new you are to the market. Exciting stuff!
  2. Engage! Comment on other blogs, Instagram posts, and Facebook posts. And pin, pin, pin! Social media is your best friend that wants to do favors for you every time you ask! And the more you engage and comment, the more times your name is seen by other bloggers and other accounts.
  3. Post stuff. A lot. Be consistent with your blog. Make people expect to see you on certain days and to receive content regularly. We were shocked to learn that the most successful Instagram accounts post at least three times a day. We were only posting twice a week. Uh oh!
  4. Repost and repin. Give credit. Give a shout out to people who have content that you like. Chances are they will like you too and spread the word about you. So many potential friendships waiting to happen!

Conference Tips

Would we recommend this conference to another blogger? YAAAAS (as they say). Especially if you’re early on in the process. Double especially if you’re a blogger who desperately needs a weekend full of awesome food without your kids. Here is a quick list of blogging conference advice:

  1. Put yourself out there. As an introvert, this doesn’t come naturally to me. But you have to be outgoing and willing to connect with the other bloggers. You all share common interests, and everyone is so supportive. You will be shocked how easy it is to network within this community.
  2. Wear comfy shoes and elastic pants. Your pants don’t have to be elastic, but definitely dress comfortably. You will be standing and walking a good bit. And hopefully eating a lot!
  3. Take business cards. Our intern had been bugging us for a while to get business cards, but we thought it was kinda dorky. We finally took her advice before the conference and we can’t believe how many we passed out. And we refer to the ones we got from other bloggers pretty often too.
  4. Stay in touch with the other bloggers you meet. Bloggers are good people! It is a fun community to be a part of and we all have so much in common.
  5. Bring a backpack. You will want to be able to have a place to stuff your notebook and pens (and free samples!!) while you taste any food you’re lucky enough to try. Fortunately, backpacks are making a comeback and are so much cuter these days than they were back in our youth. And, hey, hands free!

Restaurants in New Orleans:

We were only in NOLA for the IFBC 2018 for 2.5 days but this was long enough to absolutely fall in LOVE with the food scene. We only scratched the surface of food this awesome city had to offer, but here are the places we loved:

Court of Two Sisters

We got to meet the chef!

Red Fish Grill

BBQ Oyster Po Boy (OMG)
Alligator Sausage and Seafood Gumbo from Red Fish Grill
Alligator Sausage and Seafood Gumbo from Red Fish Grill

Café du Monde

IFBC 2018
Café du Monde Beignets – Amazing!

Café Beignet

IFBC 2018
Café Beignet – Also Amazing!

Bloggers you Should Follow:

We met so many inspiring bloggers while we were at the conference and here are a few that we think you’ll love –

* Gypsy Gastronome – http://www.gypsygastronome.com/ – “A traveling connoisseur of good food and beverage, a wandering epicurean.” This awesome blog is filled with recipes, travel stories, and inspiration.

Biscuits and Burlap – https://www.biscuitsandburlap.com/ – A mother/daughter team with southern roots who excel at putting a twist on old classic recipes. We love their ideas and photos.

Mom Under Pressure – https://mom-underpressure.com/ – This pharmacist/wife/mother “takes her love of fine-dining and reinventing classical Indian cuisine to make restaurant worthy meals at home. With little time to spare and hungry mouths to feed she is a mom under pressure who wants to show you how fast and easy cooking can be!”

Makeover my Leftover – http://makeovermyleftover.com/– “Using Leftovers as Startovers to Create New Meals.” This one speaks to us as moms of picky toddlers who are rarely part of the Clean Plate Club.

The Foodie Co. – http://thefoodiecomp.com/ –  Creating amazing looking, healthy recipes that appeal to everyone. These recipes look so appetizing and we love that they are healthy!

And lastly, how about our new pic!? Photo cred: Skysight Photography. If you are in the Greensburg/Pittsburgh area and are looking for a photographer, we suggest SkySight. Autumn was awesome to work with and was able to wrangle our 15 person family (including five kids three and under) for a great photo shoot.

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