Summer doesn't officially arrive until June 20th but it's time to start thinking about summer content for your food blog now (if not before now!). We've got over 65 summer food blog content ideas here for you as well as some tips for taking a little time off from your blog and getting a jump on food blogger busy season in the fall!
Editor's Note: This article has been updated with a focus on 2020 and the challenges the world is facing this year.
If there's one thing to remember when you're planning your food blog content it's that it's important to work ahead where you can. So many readers of our blogs are planners and if you rely on Pinterest for a lot of traffic, you're probably already very aware of how far ahead some people are thinking!
Whether it's vacations, entertaining ideas, meal planning, birthday parties, gardening... they're on it. So you likely want to be a little ahead of the game so they find you when they're looking for ideas.
2020 is proving to be a challenge for content planning (that might be an understatement) and this summer is no exception. While social distancing restrictions are slowly relaxing in Canada and other parts of the world people simply won't be entertaining in large groups or attending big events or parties. International and even inter-provincial travel will be limited.
But people will still be going outside and spending time together in smaller groups. That might mean family picnics in the backyard or at the park, outdoor dining on the patio and possibly entertaining other family or friends who they have carefully let into their bubbles.
Travel will be local as most provinces are slowly starting to encourage travel within their home province. Think about family camping trips or visiting very close family or friends in other parts of their province or state - likely by car. RV rentals by locals are said to be skyrocketing this year as it's an easy way to travel and social distance. People are gravitating to outdoor activities like hiking, biking and bird watching.
Gardening is already proving to be popular this year. More and more people are starting or expanding their home gardens and taking a keener interest in where their food comes from. That means they'll probably be looking for recipes for fresh, local produce as well as ways to store or preserve that homegrown produce over the fall and winter months.
How To Plan Content Around A Pandemic
What does this all mean for you? Well things are changing rapidly in this new world and nobody is really sure how things are going to unfold over the next 6-12 months. We might take some steps forward and some steps backwards. As outbreaks seem to be more localized as we move to this next stage, different parts of the country and continent might be under different restrictions at different times. Here's some key points for you to consider in your content:
- be flexible in your content production - create content you can easily modify or update if you need to as things change
- if you are not a certified health professional stay away from dispensing health advice outside of the big three: wash your hands frequently, practice social distancing (2 metres apart) and wear a mask where social distancing isn't possible, and stay home if you are not feeling well. Check with your local or national public health office for any additional measures people should be taking.
- focus on content for smaller groups of people and encourage people to do things outdoors if they are including people from outside of their immediate household
- avoid content that encourages sharing food outside of your household unit - like potluck dishes or anything that encourages sharing of utensils, glasses, plates or cutlery with people you don't live with.
Some of the items listed here have been crossed out or have notes next to them on how to modify them for 2020.
So let's get on summer while we can!
Summer Food Content Ideas
Here's over 65 summer content ideas for your food blog.
1. Summer Holidays
While the May long weekend isn't officially summer, it definitely signals a shift in mindset for most people. Here's some other (2020) days to plan around:
- Father's Day - June 21st
- End of school - varies from province to province especially with social distancing restrictions in place this year
- Canada Day - July 1st
- Fourth of July (if you have a heavy American audience) - July 4th
- August Civic holiday - August 3rd
- Labour Day (the unofficial close to the summer) - September 7th
- Normally summer would be prime wedding/shower/outdoor entertaining season but this year people will be meeting in much smaller groups
2. Outdoor Dining and Entertaining
Outdoor dining will be big this year as more families head out into their own back yards or take short day trips to local parks or go camping. Entertaining will be limited to close family or friends that people have chosen to bring into their personal bubbles. Most traditionally large gatherings like weddings, showers or big summer BBQs will not be happening on that scale.
Consider coming up with creative ideas of how family and friends can safely distance but still enjoy time together in small groups while bringing their own food and dishes.
This is the time of year where all Canadians head out of doors and make the most of mother nature before winter returns. Here's some ideas to consider:
- grilling - meat, veggies, fruit and dessert recipes and technique tips
- tips for prepping and caring for your grill
- the best grilling utensils (don't forget affiliate links)
- BBQing - old school style with charcoal has a very dedicated group of fans - tips and tricks for mastering a charcoal grill and making the most of flavour
- cooking over a campfire (we've seen a big uptake in interest in this!) whether it's while camping, at the beach or in a park
- camping meal ideas
- campfire safety and keeping a clean and safe camp kitchen (bear and other wildlife safety)
- picnic ideas, including planning, packing and food safety
- summer cocktails and mocktails
- popsicles and ice cream recipes
potluck tips, recipes and ideas suitable for all guestsrevisit this in 2021! themed party ideas - how to plan the food, decor and other special touches for showers, potlucks, wedding receptions, kids birthday parties, pool parties, movie night in the backyard. SCALE THIS DOWN FOR 2020 - focus on small family celebrations like birthday parties or family picnics in the backyard or outdoor movie night.
- homemade bbq sauce recipes
- taste test store bought BBQ sauces or other summer time dips - would work well for a YouTube channel
- no cook dinner ideas
3. Portable Food
People are on the move in the summer - make it easy for them to eat
- road trip snack ideas
- how to find healthy food while on the road while being mindful of keeping smaller, more isolated communities safe
- whether it's driving across Canada or heading out on a long flight
- healthy protein packed snacks for hiking, climbing, and other outdoor activities
- picnic options -
a day at the ball park for the kids' tournament, a day at the beach, picnic night in the backyard
- how to pack a cooler for a camping trip
- kid friendly snacks
for day camps or daycare
- budget friendly snacks
- don't forget snack ideas for specific diets: allergen-friendly, gluten free, vegan, keto, paleo etc
4. Canning and Preserving
Canning and preserving is year round activity but there's no doubt that it hits its peak in Summer and early fall as soon as harvest starts.
- canning tips for all levels (beginner, intermediate, advanced)
- different preserving methods: canning, freezing, jamming, smoking, drying
- tips for finding sources for large quantities of fruit and veggies
- how to choose and prep fruit or veg for preserving
- seasonal guides - what's in season each month and tips for preserving it
- canning equipment (great for affiliate income as well)
- canning and preserving books - do a roundup of books like The Canning Kitchen and Batch that your audience might find helpful (don't forget affiliate links here too!)
5. Culinary Travel
Culinary travel will be greatly diminished this summer (2020). International travel will be limited and as of this writing, the US/Canada border is still closed to non-essential traffic until July 21st. Social distancing will be in effect throughout the summer and restrictions and guidelines around dining out will vary greatly from location to location.
This will also impact culinary tours, summer festivals, fairs, and cooking classes as well as anywhere else that social distancing may be difficult or where shared food needs to be avoided.
There are still wonderful opportunities to write about and support local restaurants and producers and note that many farmer's markets are open. Just be sure to remind readers and followers of the importance of following social distancing guidelines and to be respectful of the personal space of servers and wait staff.
Whether it's sharing your best food finds from your travels around the globe or creating guides for tourists to your hometown, do not underestimate the power of helping people plan their vacations. Wine, craft beer and local eating are big factors for a lot of people planning vacations today.
- local winery and craft brewery guides -
even consider creating a "beer crawl" or "wine route" for your readers highlighting some of your favourite spots
- seaside fish and chips recommendations
- local ice cream hot spots - the more instagrammable the more popular they are so think over the top cones, sprinkles, crazy toppings, fat ice cream sandwiches and more
- your local culinary specialty - maybe it's sushi in Vancouver or donairs in Halifax
your local summer fair's food. The CNE and PNE are both famous for their midway food and it gets more intense every year. Do a roundup of the new and noteworthy or the classics like the PNE's mini doughnuts
- hidden gems in your neighbourhood that aren't on tourists' radar
- dining in your city on a budget
- provincial roadside guides - if you travel a lot in your province or have one or two routes you take regularly, create a little guide of culinary stops - diners, fruit stands, markets, farm gates, wineries... the list goes on
- a 48 hour or weekend guide for your city
- don't neglect smaller locations - they can get a lot of tourist traffic in the summer and are often underserved when it comes to on-line content but be sure to remind your readers to be considerate visitors and to ensure limited and socially distanced contact with locals
- farmer's market
More and more people are trying out growing their own food from small patio gardens to big scale backyard operations or local community plots. If you've got a green thumb, why not share your knowledge with them?
- plotting and planning a garden
- choosing seeds
- how to garden in a tiny space
- kitchen gardens, herb gardens, salad gardens
- garden chores
- tips for increasing garden productivity
- a harvest schedule or planner (works well for preserving posts as well)
- cooking from your garden harvest - seasonal and local recipes ideas (also works for farmers markets)
7. Back To School
Back to School is a big question mark for this fall and it could look very different from previous years. If parents of young children are a big part of your readership, pay attention to what's happening in not only your own jurisdiction but the ones where your readers live to get a sense of what kind of content could be useful.
Ok we hate to burst everyone's bubble but the thing is... back to school hits you like a hammer as soon as the labour day weekend wraps up (sooner in some cities). One minute parents are at the beach and the next they're packing lunches in a panic. Be ready - you can even dig out old blog posts that are appropriate like healthy snack ideas or overnight oat recipes!
- quick and easy to prepare lunchboxes
- allergy friendly lunchboxes
- don't forget adults and college students - they need to eat lunch too!
- dorm room food
- college dining on a budget
- easy cooking for college students
- healthy, daycare approved snacks and after school snack ideas
- tips for getting kids to help make their own lunches
- fast and healthy breakfasts for a good start to the day
- portable breakfasts idea
- hot breakfasts
Making the Most of Traffic Slow Downs
Summer is usually a slower traffic time for a lot of food bloggers, unless your niche is is canning or preserving or gardening. So why not take the time to slow down yourself and make sure you get some time in to refresh and recharge ahead of the busiest season of the year for food bloggers.
Use That Evergreen Content
If you've been blogging for more than a year dive into your content archives and start reusing all that beautiful evergreen content you have (that includes you restaurant bloggers - start thinking about your evergreen content too. All those summer recipes from the last few years can live on through your social media channels. Take some time to schedule them right now. Get them into your pinterest rotation now. If you plan and schedule properly and make use of all your older content you can trim down your summer posting schedule and spend more time outside.
Prep For Fall and Winter
Food bloggers know that prime traffic season starts as soon as Labour Day wraps up and only trends up through the fall and winter holidays. This is also the best time for ad revenue and sponsored post opportunities. Use the quiet summer months to get your fall and winter ship in order.
- get your fall work schedule in order. Make sure you have the room set aside to take on the number of sponsored posts you hope to do.
- start working on getting fall and winter content circulating on Pinterest (pinterest has a great guide on their seasonal search volumes for content creators - it's amazing how far in advance people start planning!)
- work on your SEO
- tidy up older seasonal posts so you can reuse them
- do an inventory of all your fall and winter posts and see which are perfect for promoting again this year either on your blog, in your newsletter, in a seasonal ebook.
But however you spend summer, make sure you take some time to feel the grass between your toes, unplug for a bit and drink some icy cold drinks!
- The Ultimate Guide To Prepping Your Blog for Fall and Winter
- 5 Fall Food Videos To Shoot Right Now For Your YouTube Channel
- Quarterly Planning For Your Food Blog (With Printables)