Ultimate Guide to Food Photo Sharing Websites


Are there alternatives to Foodgawker and Tastespotting? To find out, read my ultimate guide to photo-sharing sites and help grow your food blog traffic.

Ultimate Guide to Photo-Sharing Sites

Anyone who reads my monthly reports will have noticed that getting my food photographs onto photo-sharing websites like Tastespotting and Foodgawker has been high on my list of priorities.

I’m happy to say that I’ve now reached a point where I’m mostly successful (yay). However, over Christmas Jon (my husband) and I were discussing whether there were any alternatives to Foodgawker and Tastespotting. He kindly offered to help me out by having a look into this, so now I’m going to hand over to him to tell you all about what he found…


Foodgawker and Tastespotting

At first, submitting your photos to Foodgawker and Tastespotting is a bit like handing in an exam paper. Your mind is full of doubt and you just hope you’ve done enough. Fortunately Foodgawker tends to put you out of your misery fairly quickly (usually within 12 hours). Tastespotting on the other hand enjoys the tortured state of your mind and makes you sweat that bit longer (can take anything up to a week).

Acceptance of your photo not only brings increased traffic to your food blog, it also acts as a welcome vote of confidence in your photographic skills. The rejection email hurts and is intensely frustrating. Yes they’re probably right, but still there are photos on their site which, to your eyes at least, also have ‘poor lighting’!

Despite the frustration, many food bloggers persist with the ‘big two’ photo-sharing sites. Partly for the boost in visitors to their blog, however I’m sure another part is the satisfaction they feel from being accepted. It got us to wondering whether there any other photo-sharing sites? They might not provide as much traffic as the big two, but perhaps the bar of acceptance would be lower, or the criteria they use different, and therefore help to provide a timely confidence boost (particularly for new bloggers).

Have a look at Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen’s Foodgawker gallery by clicking the badge below

my foodgawker gallery

Are there alternatives to Foodgawker and Tastespotting?

Whilst on holiday from work over the Christmas period, I researched whether there were any alternatives to Foodgawker or Tastespotting. I came across lists of other photo-sharing sites, but none that told me how many visitors those sites generated. I decided therefore to conduct my own experiment.

At the start of January I submitted four recipes to as many photo-sharing sites as I could find. I would give them until the end of the month, and then total up how many visitors each site gave us. Of course some sites might reject some or all of the photos, but this was interesting information in itself.

Below are the four submitted recipes

Photo sharing ultimate guide photos

The Submission Process

In general I found that each site required five things in their submission process:

  • A square photo (min 250×250), with most requesting it be no more than 500MB
  • The title of the dish
  • The link to your recipe webpage
  • A catchy sentence or two describing the dish
  • Up to ten search tags

A tip I read was that you may as well use all ten search tags if you can, as it gives you more chance of being found once you move off the first few pages. Photo-sharing sites generally have search facilities and are used by people to look for recipes.

Results

In total the four recipes used generated 3,353 visitors in January, of which the photo-sharing sites contributed 1,263 (or 38%). It is important to note that these were the results for just four recipes and some of these sites will be growing. We will re-visit them in a few months time to see if things have changed. The ordering of the list below is by traffic (click on the title to be taken to their home-page).

Food Traffic Sources

Traffic sources for the four recipes

Foodgawker

Ease of Submission: Requires minimal information.
Likelihood of Acceptance:  Although all four recipes were accepted, previous experience has indicated it is tough to get on their site.
Traffic:  Provided 883 visitors, by far the most of any of the photo-sharing sites – only Pinterest provided more traffic for the four recipes. Traffic was split evenly across the recipes. Foodgawker tends to update their website twice a day with around nine pages of new photos. If you are lucky enough to be on the first page expect more traffic than if you are on page nine.
Other:  A decision is emailed to you usually within 12 hours, with feedback if rejected. They allow you to resubmit if you are able to fix the issue (we have been able to improve the light so a photo was accepted with photo-editing software). You can also submit two photos of the same recipe and let the Foodgawker moderators decide which is best.

Tastespotting 

Ease of Submission:  Requires minimal information but need to click through three screens.
Likelihood of Acceptance:  Although all four recipes were accepted, they have similar standards to Foodgawker.
Traffic:  Provided 211 visitors, second only to Foodgawker and regularly appears on bloggers top ten traffic sources. Traffic was split evenly across the recipes.
Other:  It can take up to a week before a decision is made, however feedback is given and you can submit two photos of the same recipe at the same time to give the moderators a choice.

Yummly 

Ease of Submission:  Once you’ve added a ‘Yum it’ button to your site, just one click on it and Yummly will do all the work to add the recipe and photo to their site.
Likelihood of Acceptance:  All recipes are accepted.
Traffic:  Provided 76 visitors. As Yummly is used more as a recipe-sharing site than a photo-sharing site (although a person is only shown your photo initially), the benefits in terms of traffic is potentially greater in the longer-term.
Other:  Seems to have an added benefit in that some of the less popular recipes on Pinterest are popular on Yummly, so helps to spread your traffic across different recipes. A disadvantage is that some recipes get no love!

Tasteologie 

Ease of Submission:  Requires minimal information.
Likelihood of Acceptance:  Only one recipe was accepted, however they have taken previous recipes which Foodgawker and Tastespotting have rejected. It seems a little random.
Traffic:  The one recipe generated 38 visitors.
Other:  You are not notified of acceptance/rejection and no feedback is given. A plus point however is if you are accepted it is usually within 12 hours.

Recipegraze 

Ease of Submission:  Requires minimal information but need to click through three screens.
Likelihood of Acceptance:  All four recipes were accepted. They do reject recipes (we’ve had one rejected which Foodgawker took), but they accept the majority.
Traffic:  Provided 13 visitors in total.
Other:  It can take a couple of days for a decision to come through. A downside is that when a person clicks on a photo they are taken to another Recipegraze screen where they have to click again to be taken to you website.

Foodieportal

Ease of Submission:  Requires minimal information.
Likelihood of Acceptance:  All four recipes were accepted. Foodieportal state they will accept all food pictures, and we have found that to be the case.
Traffic:  Provided 11 visitors. I should add that I have used Google Analytics for the visitor stats. What is odd is Foodieportal displays the number of times a photo has been viewed, and it shows as just under 200 views for all four recipes. I have tested Google Analytics can identify Foodieportal a couple of times from different locations, and also confirmed the Google Analytics numbers with those from Jetpack. Has anyone else had the same issue?
Other:  A decision is generally made quickly (they just check it is a food photo).

Foodepix 

Ease of Submission:  Requires minimal information.
Likelihood of Acceptance:  Although all four recipes were accepted, previous experience has indicated that Foodepix will reject some photos.
Traffic:  Provided 9 visitors, although as per Foodieportal their stats show a higher number.
Other:  A decision usually takes a couple of days.

Healthy Aperture 

Ease of Submission:  The submission process requires a tick-box exercise, as in order to be accepted a recipe must be classed as healthy.
Likelihood of Acceptance:  As long as a recipe is healthy, we have found that the site is likely to take it. Out of the four recipes we submitted, we deemed two to be ‘healthy’ and both were accepted.
Traffic:  Provided 9 visitors for the two recipes.
Other:  Decisions are made usually quite quickly. It is worth also noting that it has generated traffic numbers equivalent to Tasteologie for other recipes.

Fridgg 

Ease of Submission: Requires minimal information.
Likelihood of Acceptance:  There is no accept/decline criteria.
Traffic:  Provided 7 visitors.
Other:  You appear instantly on their site. I have to admit I have a soft-spot for Fridgg. The ‘I’d eat that’ button, their equivalent of ‘like’, is widely used by the community, and gives your morale a boost. As with Recipegraze however, a person would need to click through twice to go to your site.

Dishfolio 

Ease of Submission:  Requires minimal information.
Likelihood of Acceptance:  All four recipes were accepted. Apparently they do reject photos, but this has yet to occur for us.
Traffic:  Provided 4 visitors.
Other:  Decision made quite quickly.

Delishbook 

Ease of Submission:  Requires minimal information.
Likelihood of Acceptance:  All four recipes were accepted, and Delishbook state they will accept all presentable posts.
Traffic:  Provided 1 visitor.
Other:  Decision made quite quickly.

Yumgoggle 

Ease of Submission:  Requires minimal information.
Likelihood of Acceptance:  All four recipes were accepted, although there is a moderation process.
Traffic:  Provided 1 visitor.
Other:  It requires a double-click through to go to your site.

Food Foto Gallery 

Ease of Submission:  Requires minimal information.
Likelihood of Acceptance:  All recipes are accepted.
Traffic:  Provided no visitors, although as per Foodieportal this did not tie in with Food Foto Gallery’s stats.
Other:  Instant upload as there’s no moderation process, however because of this there’s a large number of photos submitted so it’s harder to stand out to visitors.

Food Porn Daily 

Ease of Submission:  Requires a rectangular photo that is 1200×800, however the rest of the info required is fairly standard.
Likelihood of Acceptance:  Only accept one submission per day from all photos they receive, so chance of acceptance is close to zero!.
Traffic:  Does anyone know?
Other:  Worth a look just to see great food photos.

Other sites that I submitted to, but no longer seem to be active are Kitchen Artistry, Foodspreading, isharefunfood and erecipecard.

I also recommend a couple of other sites whose criteria meant that the four recipes we chose for the experiment did not qualify:

Finding VeganFinding vegan is a vegan only site. Certainly worth considering when submitting photos as for one recipe it provided over 50 visitors.

DessertStalkingOnly accepts desserts. Generally provides high single-digit visitor numbers per recipe.

Can you recommend any other sites? We have just started using RecipechartRecipesgawker and mytaste. Will let you know at a later date how we got on with them.

Conclusion

No big surprises really. Foodgawker and Tastespotting are the most well known because they provide the most number of visitors. Are the other sites worth bothering with? That depends at what stage you are at with your blog and how much time you have. In general the submission process is easy, and if you open enough browser sessions you can just copy and paste the same info to each one. Certainly I would recommend Yummly, Tasteologie, Healthy Aperture and Finding Vegan.

For us, although we saw a huge boost in traffic to our site in January (to over 12,000 visitors), for now we have continued to submit the photos to each of the active sites listed above. Why? Three reasons really:

  • It only takes about 30-40 minutes to submit to all sites, something I do in the evening whilst watching TV.
  • We’re quite nerdy people, both having worked as analysts, and we quite enjoy compiling stats and graphs.
  • It also feels that it is worth trying to support these sites, as ultimately if they succeed it should help to increase the potential audience for food blogs.

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

 


32 Comments:

  1. Wow, you guys know what you’re doing! I feel like a complete beginner when it comes to all that, and I have saved your post so I get on to all that at some point (I am a planner… wish I could be a doer like you!). Since I submitted a couple of recipes to Tastespotting a couple of months ago after reading one of your posts, I haven’t done it again. Must try and find the time to do a bit more of that (why aren’t there more hours in the day?)
    x

    • I think this sort of stuff is our strength (we both come from an analytical background so we love the numbers). I’m lucky that Jon helps me out with the photo submission as by the time we’ve gone to all of those sites it can take 30-40 minutes per recipe. I’m not sure I’d have time for it all if it was just me (I also have half the number of children that you do so have more time!).

      I will happily swap my photo sharing skills for your Pinterest and commenting skills 🙂

  2. Wow, now that’s actually an ultimate guide! Will try out yummly a little more. Seems to be a good jobs worth the time. I also add my photos to eat365.com.au – they are small at the moment, but I like to support them 🙂

    • Yummly is definitely worth it. Once youve got the button set up it only takes seconds to submit each post. Thanks for the site recommendation, we’ve just submitted a recipe so we’ll see how it goes.

  3. Wow! Ánother super helpful post! I didn’t know these sites existed…probably because my photos are pretty pants so would probably get rejected…but I think I will try some of those that you say accept anything. It is just finding the time to do all these things whilst creating the recipes, feeding the family, writing blogs, trying to make a living etc etc!!! Aghhh! Another thing to add to my long list 😉

    • I know what you mean about time. I’m lucky that Jon is happy to submit photos to all of the sites for me otherwise I wouldn’t do nearly as many.

      Your photos aren’t pants at all! You should try submitting a few and see how you do, you might be pleasantly surprised.

  4. I am just starting to get into Pinterest. I have been on it for a couple of years but not really used it. Love this advise and will look into theory places too.

    • Thanks Natalie. I can’t believe the impact that figuring out Pinterest has had on my blog. It’s definitely worth a bit of time and effort.

  5. Love this and off to join some of these, thank you so much and for linking up to #brilliantblogposts x

  6. Wow!!! Incredible list, lots of work went into this, thanks so much for sharing it! Your photos are great, makes me hungry looking at them! I love that you showed how you have progressed. Impressive!

    • Charlotte Oates

      Thanks Nikki. I used to be an analyst (and Jon still works in that area) so we enjoy making lists and analysing data (geeky I know).

      It’s taken quite a lot of effort to turn my photos around from where they started but I’m really pleased with how they look now. I’m glad they’re making you hungry – that’s the plan 🙂

  7. Super helpful blog post! And it led me to your gorgeous blog, which is giving me lots of ideas not just for photography but for things I want to make. Thank you for writing this!

  8. Yes! I have an old food blog I kept for several years on Blogger and decided this summer I was going to create a new one with better photography and a better template. So I have searched around for helpful blogs, and I like the way you describe the process of expanding and improving your own blog. I submitted to a few of the sites you recommended and they accepted – I especially like Healthy Aperture. Looking forward to following!

    • Charlotte Oates

      So glad you’ve had success with the sites I recommended. Have you tried Yummly? That’s my current favourite as the traffic seems to grow and grow with no additional effort.

      Are you on bloglovin? I tried to search for your blog earlier so I could follow but I couldn’t find it.

  9. I just wanted to comment to say thank you so much for posting this!! It’s not easy finding a recent post/article covering so many food sharing websites in such an easy-to-understand way!! I’ll definitely be bookmarking this post (and your blog — love it, too, by the way!).

  10. I get lots of traffic from foodgawker but it has decreased in the last year or so. I remeber getting about 700 views after submitting, now is nowhere near this. Im not sure whats the reason. Maybe they dont promote the website much now

    • Sadly I just missed out on the great times for Foodgawker as they started to accept my pictures just as their numbers started dropping. I’ve found it’s been quite consistent since I started, with posts in the top couple of pages doing much better than ones towards the end. I suspect you’re right that it’s something to do with promotion, either that or the used to rank much better in Google. I still think it’s worth submitting though as it brings a steady stream of traffic and it also keeps me on my toes in terms of making sure my pictures are good as I don’t want to get turned down!

      Do you submit to Tastespotting? I’ve noticed visits from them drop quite a lot recently.

  11. Ive stopped but maybe should start again. traffic wasn’t as good as from foodawker and I think they were even more picky on pics

    • Yes, they’re definitely more picky and less predictable in terms of what they’ll take and what they won’t. I get a few hundred visits from TS a month (posting roughly 2 new recipes a week).

  12. This is a fantastic round up! I’ve been looking for something based on stats for a really long time. Thank you so much.

    • Thanks Ruth. We wrote it for that exact reason, I’d found so many lists online but none that gave any indication of whether they’re worthwhile or not. I’ve found that the sites have fluctuated a bit over time but not changed hugely from what I’ve shred here.

  13. Fantastic list. Would love to submit to more of these sites if I had the time.
    I’ve been using a site called http://www.vegrep.com to submit my vegan recipes.
    It’s similar to Finding Vegan

  14. This’s a great post. Many thanks for sharing! I am new to blogging and your list, and suggestions were extremely helpful.

    • Charlotte Oates

      I’m glad you find it useful. If you also have a look through my monthly reports you’ll find more suggestions for places to submit recipes that we’ve discovered since writing this post.

  15. Thanks for such a great post. Just what I needed. Have booked marked all the pages and plan to try and submit one recipe to each site per day. Done today’s submissions – one down lots more to go!!!

    • I’m glad you’ve found it useful. We’ve found other places to share recipes since writing this post so make sure you take a look through my monthly reports and I’ve included the best ones in there as I’ve found them.

  16. This is a great article. Thanks so much for sharing all that info Charlotte.

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