Hey guys! Real talk. Let’s get serious for a hot minute, ok? Ok, not that serious, but I’m bringing you something a little different today – food blogger lessons. I’m mixing this whole posting thing up, ya know? I haven’t been blogging for a huge amount of time, but long enough where I can share a few tidbits of info with you guys.
You may be thinking ‘But, Dawn, I’m not a food blogger; why would I even care?’ Wellllll, first of all hopefully you like me and you like reading my stuff or maybe you will find this half entertaining or, at the very least, a way to spend 10 minutes while you drink your morning coffee before you have to haul yourself out the door. Really selling it here, aren’t I? And, positive note, if you don’t find it entertaining, well I guess you can laugh at me. No, don’t do that 😉
Food Blogger Lessons
I can guarantee you one thing, though, this whole blogging thing has been a BIG learning experience. I was doing something on my blog the other day and I thought to myself ‘gee, if I had known that when I started, it certainly would have made this easier.’ You know, I have a lot of those moments. There is probably not a week that goes by that I haven’t learned something new. It’s crazy. And I’m only scrapping the bottom of the barrel right now. There’s a bazillion things that I still don’t know. Preach. And, if I still have my hair intact a year from now that will be miracle. So, without further adieu let’s get on with it.
- Being a food blogger means that you will suddenly be a dish collector. This goes in the same category as tea towel collector, utensil collector and backdrop collector. Just as well to go ahead right off the bat and call a contractor; you’re gonna need the space.
2. You better get familiar with food lingo. I’m talking gluten free, vegan and paleo to name a few ’cause you’re gonna wanna tag, hashtag, label, wrap-it-up-and-tie-it-in-a-bow with these things. Side note, what the heck is ‘paleo’? I honestly still don’t know. I just know that chickpeas aren’t permitted and then I was confused. Someone, help.
3. Get tech savy. ‘Oh, you silly girl, you wanna start a blog, do you?’ Well, you better put your big girl pants on and learn how to be a web master. SEO? What’s that? And don’t even get me started on if you update a plug-in (like an app) and it messes with your blog. Ugh!!! Oh, and apparently ‘Tall Pins’ (taller pics) on Pinterest are all the rage. What’s wrong with a regular sized picture? Huh??
4. Related to tech savy is social media savy. And you better get your act together. I swear, that there’s just as much work involved with putting your stuff out there into the million types of social media as it is actually doing the recipe. It’s cray cray. Speaking of social media, there’s Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and so much more that I don’t even have a clue about. I literally only signed up for Facebook last summer. Yes, last summer. And, no, I wasn’t living under a rock. I live on a rock<—that’s the nickname of the Province (like a state in the U.S.) that I’m from. Facebook is just not my jam. Wanna be a blogger? You better make it your jam. Put that on an English muffin and gobble that stuff up 😀 It’s your life now, baby.
5. Let’s talk about Foodgawker. You know that site where you submit your perfect professional looking photos? Yes, that place. I remember the first time I had a photo accepted on Foodgawker and I got the email on a Saturday night. It was for my Asparagus & Spinach Soup. I screamed up and down like a crazy person I was so excited and hubby probably thought I was completely losing it but it totally made my night. #TheLittleThings. This whole photo submission thing can bring you up or crush you with one little press of an ‘accept’ or ‘reject’ button. I have a bunch of photos rejected from Foodgawker, too, and I can truly say that I’m not too upset when they are because it only pushes me to be a better photographer and editor. Positive thinking<—I must be having a good day as I’m writing this, lol 😀 Ask me how I feel about that tomorrow and I might have an different answer for ya!
5. You will be a slave to your phone and/or computer because when you are not on it uploading photos, editing photos, writing your recipe, writing your post, you are on that dang social media again and you will go around like a drone and missing everything around you. That’s why you learn to prioritize and not have a FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)<—-look at me, I learned that 😉 Get your act together and realize that you can’t be working on the blog 24/7. Ain’t nobody got time for dat. #Truth.
6. Squirt bottles will change your life. When I did a really delicious taco post, I just spooned the sauce over top. I mean, it still tasted the same, but if I only had that squirt bottle. If only. Imagine how perfect they would look? Everything looks better with a perfectly drizzled sauce. Trust me.
7. All of a sudden you will need stuff that you didn’t know existed. I’m looking at you taco holders. Then, it’s like how have you ever functioned before without that item?? What? Lay tacos out without a taco holder?! What am I…an animal?!
8. Set a reasonable posting schedule. When I first started to blog, I thought that I would post three days a week. I blog as a hobby and work full time. What a silly girl I was. I can only shot pics on the weekend and I only have, like, 2 hours on a Saturday or Sunday where I have half decent natural lighting. In the winter, fugget ’bout it. Anywho, now this chicka be bloggin’ once a week. Quality over quantity, right<—–still working on dem pics, tho. Holla Foodgawker 😉
9. Food will always go cold. Hubby has learned that if I am making something that I am shooting for the blog to not even sit his little butt on the kitchen chair until those photos are done, son. Hey, at least I got the shot (eye roll).
10. You will have duds. I’m talking to you gluten free baking. It’s my nemesis. Sometimes a beautifully, tasty recipe in your head just doesn’t execute well. And, then, when you have those days, you could possibly sit down and cry and wonder what the heck you are doing and think that you don’t have a clue and you wanna give it up and you SUCK. Big time. And that’s after you’ve probably thrown that dud right out the window for the birds to eat and you are confident that you are not for blogging and you are going to quit and you’ve made up your mind. Then….
11. There are days that you love blogging. You know those days where someone makes your recipe and says how good it is or they like your pic and then you look like that little cat, Puss-n-Boots, from the movie Shrek all doey eyed and thankful and you want to blog forever and ever ’cause it’s the best. So,
12. Basically, you are on a roller coaster ride of emotions, but most of the time you are on the straight and narrow and trying to not look like a total fool doing this whole blog thing, trying to get your act together (or at least looking like you have your act together), but secretly trying to keep it together…ya know?
13. Sometimes I’m prepping/cooking/taking pics for soooo long that by the time I’m ready to eat it, I don’t want to anymore. No joke.
14. It’s like you spend 99% of your time in the kitchen (that’s what it feels like anyway), prepping, cooking, cleaning the endless amount of dirty dishes. Maybe I should just move the bed there. Have a hidden one in one of the cabinets. That way I can spend every single waking moment there. #sarcastic. Hubby says that I have this thing where I have to dirt every.single.spoon in the drawer. Hey, what can I say, I don’t want to cross contaminate.
15. Speaking of food, there are SO many leftovers! To all you food bloggers out there that blog multiple times per week, where do you put it? I’m honestly asking. I know I make one thing for the blog per week plus my regular non-blog cooking and, I swear, by the time Sunday rolls around I have enough food in the fridge for hubby and I until about Thursday. Do you freeze it? Give it away? Hide it in your pants? What’s your secret?
16. There will be people that don’t like your stuff and it blows. And you feel like crap. And you just want to stuff your piehole with popcorn and complain (on the inside) and you want to tell those people where to go, but you don’t ’cause you’re better than that. You gotta let that roll off your shoulders. Easier said than done, I know, but sometimes that’s life. Plus, there’s a bunch of other people that love your stuff and that has to count for waaay more than the haters, right? RIGHT! High five!
17. Never compare your blog to others. When you play the compare game you lose. Big time. I remember reading a quote somewhere a while back and it basically went like something to the effect of ‘when you compare yourself to others, you think you’re better than or less than and neither is a good thing.’ Ain’t that the truth? Just do you, boo. Do you very best, every time and what more can anyone ask of you or, more importantly, what more can you ask of yourself? Nothing. And if there are days that you just aren’t feelin’ it. Don’t even dare think about putting those little fingers to that keyboard because it just ain’t gonna happen. Your readers will feel your crappiness and who wants that? If you gotta take time away from the blog, do it! And you’ll come back that much more refreshed and ready to get at it!
18. You will have pieces of paper everywhere!! Even if you have a planner like me, you will make notes. It doesn’t matter where, but you will get an idea and if you are like me, you have to get that stuff from head to pen to paper or it will get lost. Heck, sometimes I even walk into my pantry and forget why I went in there. That’s another story. A lot of the these points you are reading right now were drafting on white space on the front of my local weekend newspaper. No lie.
19. There is a tremendous amount of support out there from fellow food bloggers. It’s this community of people with a common interest and there is always someone to ask if you don’t have a clue about something. Been there, done that. Multiple times. You know as they say when you were younger – ‘there is no stupid question. The only thing that is stupid is not asking the question.’ Truth be told that there probably are stupid questions, but I’m gonna ask them anyway. #NoShame.
Until next time, take care and chit chat again soon 🙂
P.S. If you are looking for something for Valentine’s Day tomorrow, check out this sweet treat!