Food and recipe blogs are perennially popular. Check out the resources that will help get your food blog off to a great start.
Looking for more compelling food reads? Along with Afroculinaria, we also profiled Banal Muffins and added some great food-focused editors’ picks on Discover last month — and ran an interview with David Lebovitz!
We have a seemingly inexhaustible appetite for reading about and looking at pictures of food, from the clichéd but ever-popular Instagram of our last cappuccino to the wealth of beautiful recipe blogs to the longform analyses of food culture on sites like Afroculinaria. It’s no surprise: we all have to eat multiple times a day!
Thinking about venturing into the world of food blogging? Here are some of our favorite tidbits of advice for creating a crave-worthy blog.
Find your food focus
A compulsively readable food blog needs more than just great recipes or photos — it needs a point of view:
[Even] if you don’t focus on a particular cuisine, you still have your own take on food and how to talk about it, so play that up to highlight what makes you (and your recipes) unique. Cookin’ Five Square Meters dishes up an impressive range of foods from a teeny-tiny kitchen. Food on Fifth focuses on meals accessible to novice cooks. Gourmandistan looks at the larger systems that underlie the food we eat. All three sites have apple pie recipes, but all three bring their own angles.
When we find a blog that we return to again and again, it’s because the blogger moved us in some way. Made us laugh. Provoked us. Helped us think about something in a new light. Made us feel less alone. The best food blogs do that, too. They share personal stories, take us on vicarious trips around the globe, teach us about other traditions and cultures, and help us connect to our food, to one another, and to the world. Don’t just share your recipes: share your stories, and yourself.
Looking for more tips to help shape content as beautiful as your three-layer cake? Take a few minutes to read the rest of “Build a Food Blog Worth Following.”
Photos we can almost taste
Images of your dishes draw readers in and inspire them to actually give your recipes a try. Whether you use a cameraphone or a pro-level SLR, use these food styling ideas from a panel of successful food bloggers to arrange a perfect tabletop tableau:
Stewart, Putney Farms: Almost all of our photos are taken in-process, but we have a few styling go-tos: We work on big white plastic cutting boards with smaller boards on top for a clean, easy, and practical background. When chopping or assembling, we place a tool (like a knife) in the photo as a focal point.
Radhika, Just Homemade: When photographing veggies and fruits, spraying some mist makes them appear fresh. And always keep herbs handy, to add color.
Paola, Love + Cupcakes: I like to surround my final product with remnants of ingredients. If my recipe is for a lemon pound cake, I’ll surround it with sliced lemons and a few “accidental” drops of glaze.
Theresa, The Craving Chronicles: Don’t be afraid to get a little messy. Perfectly styled and presented food can be pretty, but there’s something appealing about fruit juices bubbling over or silky caramel spilling out of a jar.
Throw your dish in the ring
Not literally; please keep your dishes safely on the table! But do jump into the world of food blogging events. There are a variety of events — long-term and short-term, themed and open-ended — run by bloggers just like you; they’re a great source of recipe inspiration and a way to make friends (and get your posts in front of more readers).
You can find some food-focused events in our Community Blog Event listings, and sites like Events n’ Roundups and The Food Blog Diary are one-stop shops for dozens of events covering the gamut — cooking, baking, and food writing and photography.
A common piece of advice for writers trying to improve is to read more — so to grow as a food blogger, read food blogs! Browse the Food and Recipe categories on Discover for blogs and individual posts that combine strong writing and stunning images, or take some time to look through the blogrolls of bloggers you enjoy.
To get you started, here are a few recent finds that had me running to the grocery store for ingredients:
- Food Loves Writing‘s decadent-looking raw cashew cream chocolate cheesecake makes me feel like I can have my cake and eat it too.
- These chocolate and rye pancakes at Kellie’s Food to Glow look like an interesting twist on a breakfast classic.
- Since everything can’t be dessert, I’m eying some kaffir lime chicken at Gather and Graze and a roasted root vegetable and goat cheese tart from A Pug in the Kitchen.
Whether you’re starting a food-focused blog or just want to post the occasional recipe on your personal site, there’s a wealth of resources here — and a big, supportive community of food bloggers to push and inspire you!