Journalist Turned Food Blogger
Before I entered the world of food blogging, I began writing professionally as a journalist some 18 years ago. I still write on a freelance basis today as well as tutor and mentor others in writing. As someone who has worn both hats, I’ve learned that blogging and journalism have a lot in common, but they do have their differences too. Because of my background, I’m often asked for writing advice. Therefore, I decided to start a food blog writing series as a helpful tool for other bloggers, both current and those starting a food blog. Each post will focus on a different area of writing.
This series is for you if…
- you’ve always thought about starting a food blog but haven’t because you have no idea what to write about.
- you are passionate about food and sharing your recipes but don’t consider yourself a “writer.”
- you’re already blogging about food but get stuck on what to write in your posts to go along with your recipes.
- you simply want to brush up on your writing skills and technique.
Now, just because I’m a professional writer and have been labeled a “grammar nerd” by friends and family, that doesn’t mean I don’t make mistakes. Everyone does. We are only human after all, which leads me to today’s topic…
The Human Connection
One way food blogging is different from other types of blogging is humankind’s innate response to food. How do you think the term “food porn” came about? It’s simple..we love food! We don’t hear about fashion porn or tech porn, so why food porn? Well, because food makes us excited!
But once you’ve enticed your readers with your hot steamy pan of desire, how do you keep their interest and keep them from running off to the next decadent delight?
You do it by creating a connection, a bond between you and your audience that leaves them wanting more.
Show them you’re human just like them, and not some robot that generates recipes with a push of a button. When you share details of your real life, it makes you more relatable. People want to see that you face the same daily struggles that they do.
Let’s look at two example excerpts for a post about cookies:
Today, I made the best cookies. First, I took out all of the ingredients and added them to my mixing bowl. Then my son helped me mix up the batter. We had such a great time together, even though it was a little messy. In the end, the whole family enjoyed them. I hope you will too!
I’m not going to sugar coat it…today was a total DISASTER! What happened, you ask? A better question would be, “What didn’t happen?” I mean, it started off okay. I poured myself a hot one and was ready to go. Little did I know, my plans were different from those of my son. We were going to make cookies together. I was so prepared. I took out all of the ingredients and carefully premeasured them so he could easily help me add them to the mixing bowl.
While the oven was preheating, I heard the dryer buzzer going off. I was in a multitasking mood, so I figured I had enough time to tend to the laundry. Oh, boy was I wrong! Don’t let anyone tell you two minutes is nothing…especially when you have a four-year-old! I came back into the kitchen to find my counters, my floor and my son covered in sugar, flour and cocoa powder! I spent the rest of the day scrubbing the kitchen and my kid! See the evidence of my chocolaty child below. Needless to say, once he was clean, we finally did get to bake our cookies together. Want proof? Here’s how we did it with step-by-step instructions, so yours are sure to come out just as delicious…
There’s nothing technically wrong about the way the first example is written, but it just doesn’t have that human connection. However, in the second example, any parent of a young child can relate to the mayhem described.
And, it still leads to the recipe without overdoing it or going on for way too long. It might even make people come back to your blog because they can’t wait to find out what happens in your next story.
They may also be inspired to check out older posts or perhaps your “About” page to learn more about you because they felt a connection…a human connection that is!
Don’t be afraid to open up. It’s human nature to want a peek into others’ lives. If it weren’t, reality television wouldn’t be so popular!
But at the same time, you are writing a blog post, not a memoir. So, it’s important to find the balance between writing about the recipe and incorporating some personal tidbits. I will be talking about this more in depth in a future post, so stay tuned.
Until next time, happy writing!
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