Food Blogging 101

Food by nature is judged by how visually appealing it as and how pleasing it is to the palate. Of course every dish is best viewed in person, unfortunately that is not always possible. Enter food blogs. I would find it hard-pressed, with all the specialized food blogs out there, that one would not find a blog that is appetizing. The blogs range from healthy cooking, international dishes, to the most innovative dishes you can imagine. However, this blog is about the best practices of blogging and how the most superlative blogs use them.

Be Visual:

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   Before I go into detail, I want to first define what a blog is. In the book, Groundswell, the authors state that “a blog is a personal journal or entries containing written thoughts, links, and often pictures” (Li & Bernoff , 2011, p. 19). For food blogs the emphasis should be on pictures! As I stated earlier, food can be a spectacle for the eyes. So why wouldn’t a food blog have high quality and visually attractive images of the food? The Seven Spoons blog does just that. With a simple, yet elegant layout, blogger Tara O’Brady depicts the dishes she creates with beautifully captured shots. This adds more enjoyment for the viewer while reading her food stories. However, she doesn’t stop there. She tweets her blog from her twitter account @Taraobrady. By having a personal twitter account, instead of a Seven Spoons account, she creates an intimate feeling as people are talking to a real person, instead of a website. To top it off, she posts high value images of dishes frequently that are not on her blog.

Remember, the images you use MUST be of high quality! Otherwise don’t waste your time.

Be Fun:

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   Yes, food can be told in an entertaining way. One example of that can be seen on the Appetude food blog, DishDigest. Full disclosure, this is a totally selfish promotion of the food blog of which I was the managing editor of! Mind you, there were many things we did wrong, including the one rule I extol for food blogging: quality pictures. Unfortunately, circumstances did not allow us to always have those kinds of pictures…

Anyway, the one thing that was a source of pride for the blog was the writing. Our site only had restaurants in the downtown area of NY and considering that we were a dish ordering website, we only did review of dishes from our restaurants. We made it a point to make sure that in our review– not only did we describe the dish– but we interwove it within a story. What does that mean? Describing food can be fun, but too much food terminology can leave you bored. So each blogger created a back story as to why they were going to the restaurant and then incorporated the dish within the story. It was short, light, informational and most importantly entertaining.

 

Be Different:

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   This is for those wishing to take a bite out of the niche markets. With so many food blogs out there, it becomes hard to stand out. One solution is to create a food blog that tackles unique dishes. The blog Spoonforkbacon does just that. Creating inventive dishes that could boggle the mind! Chocolate Chip Bacon and Orange Kissed Pancakes anyone? By inventing these unique dishes, Spoonforkbacon becomes a great go to source for foodies wanting to try uncommon dishes. This makes the blog stick out from all the thousands of food blogs that exist on the web.

These are three best practice ideas that food bloggers should keep in mind. Of course there other ways to make an outstanding blog, but following these three rules should help you catch the eye of food readers.

If you have any thoughts or other ideas, please feel free to post.

Reference:

Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Forrester Research, Inc.

9 thoughts on “Food Blogging 101

  1. Daniel

    Good approach analyzing blogging from a specific niche point of view and the best practices applicable to it. Your one point, interweaving a back story such as why they (the writer) was going to the restaurant and incorporating the dish was interesting. Was this approach successful? (Of course, success would depend in part on how its being
    measured.)

    Reviewing some of the other blogs you presented, I am curious what the purpose of the blogs are. For example, spoonforkbacon is packed full of recipes and would appear to be a channel (blog in this case) to spread the authors personal brand status. (I used personal brand status for lack of a better term.) So perhaps they (the authors) are content publishers? The authors have other works such as their book, Tiny Food Party!: Bite-Size Recipes for Miniature Meals. So for their blog, might a best practice be creating traffic for their other web properties?

    Thanks

    Tim

    1. Thank you, Tim! To answer your first question, as you said success is measured based on what we thought makes it successful. For me at least, success was based on the the quality of the writing– was it fun to read. Not all of our writers did that, but the ones that did got a lot of likes and shares.

      In regards to your second question, today blogs are becoming so important for marketing. Blogs that Google, based on if they perceive the blog is of worth, holds much weight in search rankings. The days of trying to sell to customers right away doesn’t work. A publisher first has to create a level of trust and engage users; which blogs are great for. Once an audience is reached, they can begin to sell their product or book in this case, within the blog. So to answer your question, yes best practice would to create links within the blog to bring relevant traffic back to page where you can sell something.

  2. Daniel,

    Your blog is off to a good start! I am an avid food blog follower, so I am excited you chose this arena. A couple of suggestions: make sure to beef up your about page. This section should say more about who you are and why you take the time to blog about food. Second, use categories. Tag your posts so readers can see groups of posts about specific topics. Finally, I would suggest trying to come up with a punchy title, just initials isn’t very enticing to readers. Also, keep including photos, they are a must have for food blogs!

    C

  3. The first two sentences say it all: food has to be visual appealing 🙂 It’s very simple, even when you go to a supermarket one feels more attracted by nice packaging or well baked bread – same product, different package or different location and the purchase decision will be different. Same applies for a food blog. Your choice of topics is diverse and
    that keeps me attracted and I am waiting for your next posts 🙂

  4. Hi Daniel,

    I enjoyed reading your blog. Great tips and use of references. There are so many food blogs out there today, I would be curious as to how one builds a successful food blog following. Food pictures are very popular on Pinterest and often have links back to a blog. Some of the more popular hashtags on Instagram are #food, #foodporn, #yum, etc. Perhaps your next post could be about how to cross promote your food blog with social media. 🙂

    All my best,

    Michelle

    1. Hey Michelle, thank you! That is a great idea for another blog! I was thinking about comparing Instagram to Pinterest to see which is better for food bloggers.

  5. Hi Daniel
    I enjoyed your blog. Great tips/practices for a food blog. I agree about how important good quality pictures are. I think a great picture of a delicious dish will draw the reader right in. Keeping it fun and different will likely bring the reader back. Nice job.

    June

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