Becoming a food blogger may seem like every Food Network fan’s ultimate dream job. And yes, the idea of stuffing your face with the finest food in the world has quite the appeal, but it’s also a lot of hard work that requires adaptability and clever marketing, not to mention good writing. Don’t count yourself out if you’ve never even been to a culinary academy in your life — the new food blogger rules make room for anyone with a unique perspective and serious dedication.
Food Blogging Tips
Find Your Niche and Work It
Start by asking yourself what kind of food truly inspires you. This will help steer all of your efforts in a concentrated direction. When you think about your love of food, do you look back on childhood memories of meals with your family, like mom’s meatloaf or dad’s famous mashed potatoes? If so, a blog focusing on comfort food might be your calling. Or perhaps you remember your Italian grandmother in the kitchen whipping up her special pasta sauce. Concentrating on a food from a particular region could be your niche. If you’re a fast food or “mom and pop” restaurant junkie, check out shows like “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” on the Food Network for a great example of outside-the-box thinking that will set you apart from the crowd. Whether it’s comfort food, local dishes or cross-culture fusion cuisine, find a niche to focus on and become an expert in it.
After you determine the theme of the blog, you need to name it. If you have trouble coming up with a name, ask friends and family for ideas. You can also try a name generator for inspiration.
Know the Rules Before You Break Them
Whether you plan on reviewing cupcakes across the country or the finest dry rub steaks the world has to offer, it’s important to have extensive knowledge about your topic, related subtopics, as well as the whole culinary circuit. While specialization is key, you want to be seen as a strong, influential brand that’s aware of all aspects of the market.
Become familiar with culinary festivals in your area, and eventually make plans to attend national and even international festivals, as long as they fit into your ethos.
If you plan on covering fine dining, be sure you’re well versed in the rating systems that dominate the industry and where they come from. In addition to knowing the difference between the saucier and the sous chef, know the difference between star, diamond and Michelin rating systems.
Even if you want to start a blog about breaking all the culinary rules, it’s important to know what those rules are so you can speak authoritatively about your opinion in your blog, and more importantly, be able to talk with followers and possible investors about your topic.
Give Your Readers Something More
Readers love knowing they can go to a blog to find exactly what they are looking for, but they still expect new, fresh material on the topic. When you can deliver even more value on a closely or even loosely related topic, you just might inspire a new fan for life.
The key to creating content that is still relevant but expands the scope of your blog is to listen to your readers, your Facebook likes, your Instagram hearts, your Twitter retweets. Use these social media metrics to determine what your audience is responding to, and don’t forget to also determine what they are ignoring.
Related: How to Take Your Own Blog Pictures
While you’re focusing on your content, you should also spend some time amping up your photography skills. Food blogs in particular rely on the power of a good photo to engage readers’ senses. Use hashtags on Instagram to show off the photos from your blog.
Make a list of all the topics that are related to the ethos of your blog and start integrating these topics into your social media mix and see what happens. You can base your next blog post on the results. If your audience responds to your posts about music, maybe review a restaurant owned by a musician or make a list of the best restaurants in town with live music. If you’re a traveling food blogger, you can hit your audience with an essential road trip packing guide for the wandering foodie.
This post was written by Stacy Eden, a Phoenix, Arizona, native with a passion for art, power tools, and historical significance. She draws inspiration from classic cars, ancient mythological sculptures and jewelry designers such as Delfina Delettrez, Shaun Leane, and Dior Jewellery creative director Victoire de Castellane.