I often get asked for tips and advice from other bloggers; maybe because they’re looking for help to get started, or get ahead in food blogging, or get more work as a result of their food blog. Here’s a list of the resources I use to keep my skills as up to date as I possibly can. If this helps you, then please do share it on with others, and if you have any that you use that I’ve not listed here, please let me know!
- The Recipe Writer’s Handbook If you think recipe writing is as simple as typing up what you make, as you go, then think again. There’s a skill to writing a recipe that readers can follow and this book shows you in depth how to learn this.
- Plate to Pixel: Digital Food Photography & Styling For those with a DSLR camera this is a fantastic book which will help you use the finer tools in your camera to make your food ‘pop’ on screen.
- Will Write for Food The bible for food writers hoping to make a crust at writing online and offline. I’ve been to a seminar with Dianne Jacob and highly recommend the book.
- Collins English Dictionary and Thesaurus Boxed Set (Collins Dictionaries) I realise this may seem obvious to many, but if you don’t have them, get them!
- Canva A great (mainly) free online tool for creating blog graphics and content for sharing across most social media platforms.
- Picasa Free photo editing software from Google which you can install on your own computer. I use this to watermark, tag, and edit my photos. Just to note that it now doesn’t seem to be available directly from Google as they’re moving over to Google photos. However, it still works. Another free image editing application worth checking out is GIMP.
- Grammar.ly I’m a recent convert to this plugin but since I installed it I’ve been cross checking all the content I share on the blog, and online, for free. The basic version is adequate, the more detailed paid version I’m still to be convinced on.
Third Party Peer Review Sites
You might be scratching your head here and wondering why you’d need a third-party review? For food bloggers, the quality of food photography is often the first thing that attracts readers to their blog. By submitting to some (or all) of the following peer review sites you’ll get an idea of how decent your photography is, and often you’ll get some form of feedback on how to improve your images. Be warned, it can be soul-destroying to receive multiple ‘declined’ messages. When you get it right, you should see an improvement in your site traffic. These sites also come in handy for recipe/image research as well!
- Chopped Podcast This is a comprehensive, regularly updated food bloggers podcast by a food blogger based in the US. I tend to download the podcast and leave it running in the background when I’m out walking or in the kitchen. It can be a bit verbose and take a while to get to the gems of information, but in general, I normally get at least 1 piece of decent advice per podcast.
- The Food Chain One of my favourite food podcasts produced by the BBC. It’s highly engaging and informative.
- I’ll put social media tips/general advice for food bloggers in another blog post in the next week or so. If you have a question about anything I’ve mentioned here then please ask!
What qualifies me to give this advice?
I’ve been blogging for nearly 7 years now, with this particular blog being over 4 years old. My first cookbook was published by Mercier Press in 2014. I’m a regular contributor to the Irish Independent and work freelance as a writer/blogger/social media advisor, with a particular emphasis on developing thrifty recipes and homegrown food. I’m no expert, I never claim to be; I do know what I have learned and I’m happy to share it.
Disclosure: This blog post contains affiliate links, specifically the links to the books listed above.