Wednesday Ramblings – Food Blogging For Dummies Review
If you are a food blogger, or are thinking of starting a blog, stop what you are doing and read this book: Food Blogging for Dummies. The only complaint that I have with it is that I didn’t have it when I pushed “publish” for the first time 15 months ago.
When Kelly contacted me to ask if I’d be willing to review her book, I was thrilled to accept. I have long been a fan of Just a Taste!
I met Kelly in Nashville at Food Blog Forum last October and knew instantly that she was someone to learn from. At the conference she spoke on recipe development and many things she said then have stuck with me. The content of this book is no different.
This is me, getting a pedicure, craving pancakes, and learning how to be a better blogger.
Kelly’s writing style is easy to follow. And she presents information that is relevant, educational and useful. The writing flows well and is what I would call “activating”. Meaning that I wanted to take immediate action after reading Kelly’s tips and tricks. I was really encouraged as I read.
Before shooting these Healthy No-Bake Peanut Butter Bites, I read the photography section in which Kelly gives some great tips on photography backgrounds. (Spoiler alert!) She mentions using a beat up cookie sheet for food photos and that every time she uses it, it looks a little different. Almost immediately, I pulled mine out and shot these bites and fell in love with the sort-of “rustic” look. You’ll probably be seeing a bit more of my beat up baking supplies in future posts.
Other high-points and take-aways:
Each chapter stands alone so you don’t have to read cover-to-cover to get what you need. You can reference and re-reference as you need to.
The superficial stuff matters: pay attention to site design, “about me” page, even your blog name (Kelly talks specifically about this!)
The book is full of icons that draw attention to: helpful tips, things to remember, and things to avoid.
If content is king, then quality is queen. Perfectly said.
The book includes a nice overview of photography with a dSLR camera.
View your blog and yourself as your brand. Be the valuable and credible resource behind the blog.
Kelly gives real life examples of other blogs and bloggers. She includes experiences of not only herself, but also from many others who are successful and inspire me every day!
Things I would change:
As I mentioned, I sincerely wish this would have been written before I started my blog. I could have avoided a few headaches. At least I have learned from those, right?
I really have no other complaints. The in-depth information provided is very relevant for the current state of the “blogosphere” but I could see that it might quickly become outdated so I hope to see updated versions in the future with more examples and information on the continued evolution of food blogging, and food writing in general.
Here are six action steps that I wrote down that I personally want to take to be a better blogger. All of these ideas were sparked while reading the book:
1. Be better at responding to comments from readers; not just commenting on their blogs, but replying to the actual comment.
2. Make top 10 lists and “behind the scenes” and other posts to invite readers into my life outside of food.
3. Post a video! What do you want to see?
4. Make an editorial calendar. Right now I use an Excel spreadsheet which functions well but I need to plan more diligently.
5. Be my brand. (See above.)
6. Keep learning. Especially in the photography realm. I have a lot to learn!
Disclosure: I was provided with a free copy of Food Blogging for Dummies to review. All opinions expressed are 100% my own, as always. I was not compensated in any other way to provide this review. Some links in this post are affiliate links.