8 Tips for Starting a Successful Blog from Michelle Tam of Nom Nom Paleo
Categories: Food

8 Tips for Starting a Successful Blog from Michelle Tam of Nom Nom Paleo

Michelle Tam has been called the “Martha Stewart of Paleo,” and we couldn’t agree more. She and her husband, Henry, have built the blog Nom Nom Paleo into a righteous and delicious brand, replete with videos, a doll, tee shirts, a Webby Award-winning app and a book. As we look over our 2015 resolutions to do things like eat better, start that blog we’ve been saying we’d make and spend more time with our loved ones, Michelle makes a pretty rad role model. We’re super excited that she agreed to chat with us and share some of the secrets to her success.

1. Make Your Blog Your Passion

Michelle is easily the most famous Paleo blogger out there, so we asked her for advice for newbie food bloggers. She told us, “Do it because you love engaging with people about food, not because you expect a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. You may not make money right away (or ever) from blogging, so don’t do this for the wrong reasons — it’ll only lead to frustration.” She says the key to a good blog is consistently generating useful content, filling a need, staying authentic and editing like crazy. Once you do that, “You’ll develop an audience that appreciates and supports you.”

 

2. Find Friends to Help

Michelle tells us that you don’t have to go it alone. “Blogging can also be a slog at times, so it helps if you have someone in your life that can lend a hand, especially in areas where you’re not strong.” Michelle works with her husband, and she says that she and Henry play to their respective strengths. “He’s responsible for the food photography and site design, and I provide the snarky writing and recipes.” 

 

3. Find a Work/Life Balance

We talked to Michelle about her challenges with blogging, and she said the hardest part is finding enough time in the day to actually blog, “Between working and parenting, squeezing in sufficient time to get our recipes, photos and posts ready can be a huge challenge — not to mention responding to readers’ emails, managing our social media channels and working with our partners and sponsors. We don’t sleep as much as we should.”

 

4. Push Interesting + New Content

Michelle tells us that she got the site running as a well-oiled business by accident. She shared, “The blog started as a hobby, and as our audience grew, we wanted to continue engaging our readers by continuing to push out useful and interesting content in new and different ways. Plus, we’re always looking to create stuff that we think is fun. That’s why we created Nom Nom Paleo-branded apparel, the iPad app and the action figure: These are all things that we get a kick out of making and using.”

 

5. Be Accessible + Engaging

Michelle said that for any readers who want to improve their social media skills, “It all comes down to being accessible and engaging. Responding to every single question or comment may no longer be possible, but I do my best to remain available and helpful. She tells us that being useful and authentic are key, and to avoid blatant marketing. “Self-aggrandizing promotional announcements on Facebook or Twitter are just commercials. And no one likes commercials.”

 

6. Patience is Key

Michelle’s whole family — including her young sons — eat Paleo, so we asked her for tips for transitioning family dinners to pure Paleo. She told us, “What finally worked with our two boys was to simply model the food behaviors we wanted to see, and let them come to the decision themselves. With some patience and persistence, both of our kids now eat Paleo… at least when they’re at home, which is most of the time!”

 

7. Pack Lunches You Want to Eat

When it comes to packing lunches for herself and the kids, she says, “For me, the key is to include real, nourishing foods: some protein, vegetables, healthy fats and fruit. When I’m prepping lunches for the kiddos, I try to follow the Golden Rule of Lunches: Don’t pack anything in the kids’ lunchboxes that I wouldn’t happily eat myself.”

 

8. Don’t Believe the Hype

Michelle talked to us about the most common misconceptions about the Paleo diet: that Paleo folks are trying to precisely replicate what the caveman ate, and all they eat is meat. She told us, “The caveman’s just a mascot — a shorthand for our approach to getting back to eating whole, natural, unprocessed foods, including mostly vegetables — that are more healthful than harmful to us.”

Has Michelle inspired you to start your own blog or give Paleo a go? What blogs have you been looking at for food inspo? Let us know in the comments below!

(photos via @nomnompaleo and @wfmfresno)