Category Archives: Best Practices

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.

Social Media Basics for Food Lovers

Now, if you enjoy food as much as I do, then you may have on occasion stumbled upon a food blog or two. Don’t be a shamed. It’s only natural to want to see pictures of amazing dishes. People have been documenting food since the 1600’s! Maybe you even thought of creating a blog yourself and showing the world just how wonderful a chef you are. Maybe, like me, you just like to eat food and want to shout to the world just how great that cheeseburger you ate is. Regardless, in this article you will be armed with all the tools and platforms you need  to start in order to brag to fellow foodies just how much you love to eat.

During my time as a content manager for a food website, I’ve had the pleasure of eating and documenting many delicious dishes throughout New York City. Below is the list of my favorite social media websites that I used.

1)      Pinterest

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    This site is perfect for food images. In fact, the food category in Pinterest is by far the most looked at. Don’t believe me? Here are the stats: 57 percent of user’s interacted with food related content, by far the most of any category.  What’s great about Pinterest is that it is absolutely free. All you have to do is create an account and post away.  When you start the account you have the option of creating as many boards as you like. I would recommend that you do at least 8 boards. I personally have 12 different boards ranging from pizza to pasta. I highly recommend that you only post quality images. So forget about the camera phone pictures. Pinterest is a network for sharing. People only want to see the best, so don’t short change yourself by posting less than stellar photos. Why? Because in Pinterest “repins” are the name of the game. Users have the option to repin posts of others pictures on the site on to their boards. This is what makes the sites so viral. You should also repin images from other websites with their “pin it” button and populate your boards. The more images you have on your boards—the better.

This is also great for inspiring food bloggers. Because when you post an amazing picture, the chances are high that your photo will be repined. And if you link the photo back to your food blog, when someone clicks on the photo they will be directed there. Again, the stats don’t lie. The site drives more referrals to sites than Google +, LinkedIn and YouTube combined. Pinterest is a great way to get free and effective traffic back to any website.

Which bring me to my second favorite site for would be food bloggers.

2) WordPress:

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You’ve taken the time to make sure the dish you just made or ordered (no one’s judging) looks fantastic. Now it’s time to show off your food vocabulary. Well, all you have to do is go to WordPress.com and create a free login. There you can customize (this may cost, depending on how far you go) your blog and post all the wonderful experiences you’ve had eating that delicious dish. If you linked back your images on Pinterest back to your blog, there’s a good chance that people will be able to see just how wonderful your writing is!

Of course there are more advanced techniques and sites that you can use once you get a strong hold on food blogging. But these two sites will help you get the ball rolling. Let me know if you have any thoughts or questions?

-Daniel Pleacoff