How to write a recipe

how to write a recipe

Smart recipe writing

For any food blogger or creator one question is always relevant, how to write a recipe. After all, this is the content that is at the very core of your platform. You may know that what you create is tasty and nutritious, but if you miss some important steps, you might find it hard to convince your audience to try it. The creative part, we leave up to you. What we want to show you are the best practices and technical solutions to make the most of your creations. Here is a complete list of all the components of a good recipe writing. 

 

Ingredients and steps – the core of a recipe

 

What is a recipe? Basically you need a list of ingredients required to cook it and the list of steps describing how to use them. There are some best practices to have in mind when creating those essential elements:

  • Don’t use too many ingredients: for breakfast the optimal amount is 5, for lunch and dinner, 10. Remember: too many ingredients make the prep time longer and the cost per portion higher. Read here what parameters will give you the best performance rate
  • Upgrade your SEO game with ingredients as links. This helps to navigate your website and creates a better content structure.
  • Decide on a star ingredient. Use keyword finding tools to determine what should be the title of the recipe. For example: for a pasta with feta, chicken and tomatoes you might find that „Feta chicken pasta” will have better results than „Pasta with chicken and tomatoes”.
  • Use pictures and videos… but in a smart way! Don’t mix different videos and pictures in one recipe and don’t change the style too often.  Make sure your content is consistent throughout the recipe and the whole site.
  • Put your recipes in categories and add relevant tags. Good website structure with the right category pages will help your SEO performance and make your platform more intuitive.

 

Here is how we do it:

Smart recipe by MyMenu

We designed a Recipe Creation Tool that pushes a simple ingredient list to the next level and helps you write a good recipe. We provide you with a special edit form to fill in all the recipe information and publish on your blog or website with all the information calculated by us. It means the weight, calories or nutritional values you might want to include are quickly available. You own all the usage rights to the recipe, the content, ingredients, steps and photos! Our CMS is supported by the database of ingredients gathered in USDA, additionally complemented by EU specific products.

 

 

 

Data is everything, even when writing a recipe

how to write a recipe data

A recipe blog is a bit similar to a personal notebook with recipes. It’s a text, formatted in a specific way: a list of ingredients, steps, additional information and some introduction. No matter how many pictures, icons, share buttons or even videos you add to it, the essence will stay the same, it’s still a simple text. From technical point of view you can perform certain actions on a text, such as copying or printing, but in a digital world those are very limited options.

Here is how we do it:

If you want to write recipes that are smart, you have to think of your content as of data points. What are those and why do they matter?

Say you put cherry tomatoes as one of your ingredients. In a simple text format this element’s only function will be limited to telling your audience that they should use it in the dish. Those same “cherry tomatoes” converted into a data point will automatically assign a specific ingredient ID with their nutritional data or measurement units. If every element of your recipe is converted into data points, you’ll be able to compile all this information and you’ll open a world of opportunities for your recipe platform.

This is how our recipe creation tool works. We are able to convert your recipes into a powerful database. It means we can implement many useful features on your website such as calculate nutritional values, add automatic tags for SEO, create shopping lists out of your recipes or transfer them to e-grocery which will generate a new revenue stream for you. We can also start tracking all the user activity for further UX optimization. It’s a first step to unlock your blog’s true potential!

 

Nutritional values don’t have to be difficult to manage

According to a study on 195 recipe platform users on their goals for meal preparation, eating healthy proves to be the main concern, as declared by 82% of our respondents. Next big motivation is budget eating, indicated by 46%, however closely followed by generating less waste and creating a more diverse diet (42% and 41% respectively). This shows us that nutritional information is something your users will definitely be looking for in your recipes. 

Goals for meal preparation

 

We discussed more on the topic of nutritional values in recipes here, but here is the main output:

  • Bare numbers mean nothing, put them in context and add a point of reference to the data you display
  • Provide some visual indicators to help better understand the overall nutrition score of your recipe
  • Add additional features like meal planners with built in calorie calculators, if you really want to add value to your recipes

 

Here is how we do it:

As we mentioned above, our recipe creation tool not only helps you to write your recipes in a specific order, but also enables you to have all the nutritional information from the USDA and EU databases at hand.

 

meal planner mymenu

Since the ingredients you put via our recipe form are all transformed into data points, creating a full meal plan out of your recipes is very easy. All the nutritional values will add up smoothly. Our meal planner feature will then help you increase the customer loyalty, because your users will come back to your website to use their plans or generate new ones.

 

 

Special features your audience will thank you for

On most blogs and food platforms a recipe is the ending point of the user journey. They search for content that best satisfies their needs, compare a few different recipes and choose to cook one. Here is where the story typically ends. Unless they need another inspiration or repeat the same meal, the users most likely will never come back.

 

There are however some proven ways to first grab your audience’s attention and keep them around longer:

Recipe features engagement

  • Add likes and comments to your recipes. This is the best way to validate your content and boost your credibility
  • Allow for personalization; enable creating personal accounts on your blog, change portions number, edit, add or remove ingredients (for allergic or picky users)
  • Let your users save their favourite recipes in a personal cookbook and increase customer loyalty
  • Fit and healthy is trendy! Seize this opportunity and add a meal planning feature to your platform. Show your audience they are able to plan all their weekly meals with you.
  • Make your recipes shoppable. Our shopping list feature allows your audience to buy all the necessary ingredients with one click. By connecting your platform by connecting with an e-commerce provider you’ll be able to create a new stream of revenue.

 

Here is how we do it:

After completing the first step, filling out our recipe creation form, the content is converted into data points. As a result we can add all of the features mentioned above onto your platform. The user will be able to change the portion number in the recipe and all of the measurements an nutritional values will change automatically. If they are allergic to an ingredient or just don’t like it, they can edit, change or remove it. Our system allows to create a copy of that recipe to which only that user has access. Then they can add the recipe into a meal planner or save it into their cookbook.

Next step will be adding all the ingredients form a recipe or a whole weekly plan to the shopping list. All the ingredients will add up in the list and will be divided into categories, thus making it more intuitive while shopping in a store. Additionally, if we connect your platform with  an e-commerce provider, you’ll allow your users to shop all the ingredients with a couple of clicks.

 

Final thoughts

Personalised features for recipes

Knowing how to write a recipe well is not as straightforward, as one would think. Preparing a meal requires simple instructions, but also many additional features that cater to the needs of all of the audience’s segments. We’ve designed a set of smart solutions to help you in every step of the way.

For us a content audit and an audience analysis is always a starting point. We have a look at your recipes structure, performance and user journey. Then we recommend measures that will help fixing all the missing elements.

Additionally, by converting your recipes into data points, we are able to automatically add relevant tags to better structure your content.

 

If you want to know more about the ways we can help you grow your recipe platform, contact us.

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