Many write about recipes, others about travels and local cuisines, some tell about their travel adventures. There are the ones who prefer to talk about new trends, other about wellness and healthy eating (even for our four-legged friends)… Who are them? They are food bloggers, the largest niche in the large family of bloggers.
Food bloggers are content creators coming from different backgrounds, with different sets of skills. They can be freelancers, housewives, gardeners, farmers, winemakers, cheese-makers, but also architects, lawyers, cookbook authors etc… each with their own voice, personality and uniqueness.
What do they have in common? Surely the passion for cooking, the desire to share, reveal and show some culinary adventures, various techniques, secret ingredients and many other stories related to food, each in their own way. And the blog is a great storytelling channel.
Blogging gives you the opportunity to connect and network with like-minded people who share the same passions.
Here comes the Blog
The creation of a blog is often one of those spur-of-the-moment decisions, like that, without any kind of plan or goals in mind. It happens suddenly, when you feel the need to do something new and the blog appears as a good solution.
Hobby or work, there is no right or wrong way to make it, it depends on what you want to do.
- There are those who cook and publish recipes.
- Who writes about products reviews, or about restaurants, or gastronomic events.
- There are the niche bloggers who tell about their diet, but also about their lifestyle choices (gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, raw, egg-free, dairy-free, etc.)
- There are travel bloggers who talk about food as an expression of the place they are visiting.
- And then there are the bloggers who talk about wines and drinks, entertainment, wellness. But also photography and food styling (as in my case).
The blogger is an expert in communication, an information simplificator, an activator of thoughts, a multiplier of emotions. (Salvatore Russo, Branding Expert)
Often the elements overlap: you can talk about food but also about health, history, environment, culture, ethics, conscious and sustainable food. The blog, in some way, becomes the diary of a very personal journey around foodstuffs. There are no fixed rules.
What are the skills of a Food Blogger
There are “a couple” of things you should consider before embarking on your blogging project.
- You must be able to cook, of course, as well as to write, eat and drink;
- you’d be willing to commit to your new adventure and eager to learn;
- you must have passion, style and substance.
- Love studying, researching, testing recipes, tasting, writing and sharing content.
- As well as keeping fit!
Being a food blogger means communicating through food your professionalism and knowledge of the food world. It’s not only about sharing a recipe, as much as telling its story, the tales and knowledge regarding the ingredient used for this preparation, sharing one’s experience. (Sabrina Pignataro, Italian Food Blogger)
The elements to take care of for a successful blog are:
- to wisely choose your segment. Focus on what you know/love best, and define the main topic. Whether it’s cuisine (regional, ethnic, desserts, making bread; special diets: gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan); travel, wine, etc.
- Produce good quality original content. It shows when there is passion in what you do.
- Be consistent. Update the blog frequently, it helps to keep the attention high.
- Plan. Create an editorial plan, set goals, prioritize being effective and efficient. Stay motivated and do a good job.
- Practice. Write often, and for recipes remember to clearly explain each step completely. (Keep in mind that your readers may be inexperienced).
- What about your photographic skills? A good food blogger must know photography and maybe video-making and some food styling. Remember “a picture is worth a thousand words”.
- Learn to network. Share your creations on social platforms such as Instagram, Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Build your following.
- Have you thought about the name of your blog?
Skills? First of all you must know how to cook, and I emphasize cooking, not copying recipes online or stealing photos around. Write in a way that anyone can follow the recipe: in Emilia we call-it “monkey-proof process”. (Agostino Budelacci, italian butcher and food blogger)
Very useful subjects to master are about health and safety (HACCP certification); copyright (what happens if you use the works of others?); privacy, GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), elements of consent, information, etc.
What kind of studies a food blogger should undertake
There are lots of seminars/workshops out there to choose from. To start you could read as many blogs as possible (it’s a good way to learn, be updated on various topics, writing styles and / or image styles). The more you interact with others, the more informed you are; do your market analysis and get to know your competition.
Read also about culture, fashion, home, design, beauty, lifestyle, motors, DIY, etc. You never know if any of the subjects covered could be inspiring?
The food bloggers, with their texts, photos and / or videos, must be able to excite all the senses: sight, taste, smell, touch and hearing. How would you describe the experience of a morsel of some food in such a way to provoke a mouth watering effect?
Telling about food isn’t as easy as it might seem. How many ways can you tell that something is really good without repeating yourself? Never enough! But you can learn.
What can you do? Study!
- How to write recipes and expand your vocabulary.
- Learn creative and effective writing techniques.
- How valuable is a great content?
- What about the structure of an article and the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques.
- Analysis tools, keywords, tags, etc.
- The importance of social networks and how to write posts “ad hoc” for the various platforms.
- The legal aspects of the online world.
- The basics of Technical English and its Glossary.
Here are some of the beginner’s terms every blogger should know:
- analytics, tag, alt, backlink
- SEO and SERP,
- pillar content, topic, cluster,
- host (or web host),
- domain authority, html,
- podcast, mailing list…
- This it is not an exhaustive list in any way.
“There are many skills that a food blogger must grasp, not only concerning cooking or knowledge of the ingredients. You need to know how to write in general (preferably according to SEO rules) and how to write a recipe; you must know how to present a decent dish, set up of photo set and take pictures; even a bit of post production skills are not a bad” (Niva Florio, Italian taste guide and food blogger)
Next: How much a food blogger can earn?