If you are reading this, you are probably one of those people (like me) who are constantly thinking about food. I wake up hungry each day and by the time breakfast is over I am already thinking about lunch and dinner. I cook, I eat, I write. Why do I write about food. Simply because I have been obsessed with the cooking process since I was little. That obsession grew as I learned about the amazing chefs that take that process to a different level (Thomas Keller, I am talking about you). Writing a food blog is fun and exciting, but don’t be mistaken. It can be quite time consuming and remuneration does not come easy. But if you love it so much, why not start a food blog and start sharing your experiences. Even if you are not profitable from it, you will be amazed at the great group of people this will put you in contact with. I have made some amazing dining companions through the blog (Addie I am talking about you), met some amazing Chefs (Jennifer and Julio-Cesar who never fail to impress) and I’ve gotten access to kitchens most people merely dream of.
Best thing about a blog is that you are not exactly writing a thesis. It’s just food, so make it fun and make it delicious. If you are ready to start your blog, here are a few very basic tips to get you started:
2. Pick a Hosting Platform – To write a food blog, you’d need to have some sort of platform or website to host your content. Web platforms like WordPress and Blogger are pretty easy for anyone to navigate. If you understand ms word, you will understand both these platforms. These have easy-to-use templates and content management tools so that you won’t be lost in your work.
3. The name is the game - If you want people to visit your blog, then you should think of a good domain name that will not only speak about yourself, but also catch their attention. There is a caveat; you must consider SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Think: “Allan’s Meals” doesn’t have the same kick as “Allan’s Meals Around the World”. This would be a great title because it grabs the reader’s attention, describes the theme of the blog and gives search engines a nice way to find the blog.
4. Images – Food bloggers are measured by the amount of pictures that they can capture about the food they are talking about. It is no fun to read about food and have to imagine it. If you post a recipe or restaurant review, make sure that there are images attached to it.
5. Are you prolific? – Make it a point to make regular posts in your blog. Not only will this help get you more readers, but this will also ensure that the stuff that can be read there are fresh. Write on a daily basis if at all possible, but make sure you are churning out quality content. Do lots of research before putting something on your blog. Be an authority in whatever field of food blogging you choose.
6. Do we know you? – Friends and family may love your blog, but if you are starting a blog, probably means that you want people to read it. Make a Facebook page for the blog and a Twitter account. Update your followers and fans on these great social media outlets.
7. Be original – Plagiarism is a crime and is just downright nasty. If it is your blog, it should be your words. If it is absolutely necessary to use content from another site, make sure that you properly cite the source and add a link to them so they can get credit for their work.
8. Making Money – You can start by checking out affiliate programs like Amazon and Google AdSense. You can also try to sell your own ad units, but this gets a bit complicated. Specially if you are a small or a part time blogger.
9. Following the Law – If you are a blogger, US law requires that you disclose if any freebies or payments were given to you. I usually post my receipts on my blogs so that people can see how much the meal costs and that I paid my way. If a chef brings out a special dish (and I am not charged for it) or if I am invited to a press dinner, I make sure this is mentioned in the blog. If you receive products (no matter how inexpensive they are) please make sure to mention that you received samples from the company. This will show transparency and will make your readers trust you even more.
10. Engage – Besides Twitter and Facebook, make sure to check out comments that people make on your blog, respond frequently and honestly. Answer any messages that you get. Building a readership and a community is key.