You get home from work (i.e., you close your laptop and move from the right side of your couch — the work site — to the left side of the couch — “home”) and start thinking about suppertime. There are four foodstuffs in your fridge — espresso-flavored yogurt, a jar of pickled jalapenos, beer, a little container of non-dairy creamer, and beer. Except for the beer, everything is past its so-called expiration date. In your cupboard is a can of nacho sauce, a can of beans, a single English muffin, and a plate that once had food on it but now has a dried kevlar coating of many colors. All these things are also past their expiration date.
Quiz: What do you make for dinner?
Answer: You make a call to 100% Full Yum Chinese American Take Out for a cheeseburger sub.
But let’s say Full Yum is closed because pandemic. Now you have to make something with the meager stores of your neglected kitchen. You open your home laptop, google in every culinary “ingredient” you have, and type “dinner??”
Surprisingly, you get 6.5 X 1⁰⁸ results.
The reason is food blogs. Anyone can be a food blogger. All you do is bloggisize about food. But. Why would anyone blog about foods? More importantly, why would you blogs about food? There are many reasons. A few of them are shekels, moola, lettuce, benjamins, zlotys, and the cash money. Also, a chance to share with the world your creativity and love of not starving to death.
But. As noted above, there are 6.5 X 10⁸ food bloggerers ahead of you. So, you have some catching up to do.
Before we dive into the internet and turn on the keypad, there a couple of considerations.
Where To Eat?
If you’re anything like us, the people at the Popeye’s and Wendy’s drive-thrus recognize you by smell and would really appreciate it if you’d stop offering them rides home. Oh yeah, it’s personal. Best to go ahead and rip that band-aid off, right now.
The thing is, even though you may like the food at a fast food place, they don’t really care about press. They’re more into volume. No one expects their meal at McDonald’s to actually taste *that* good. They expect it to be quick and palatable. If they can keep it in their bodies long enough to get home, or wherever they’re going, hey, that’s a win. If you want a free meal out of them, you could try complaining, but that’s kind of a dick move. It means getting the workers in trouble. So don’t do that. But if you walk into Mr. Bojangles with a monocle, a fake beard, and a fez, they’re going to assume you’re just a regular customer.
No, you’ve got to aim a little higher on the social ladder if you want to find someone gullible enough to truly dupe into giving you free food in the hopes that you’ll write about it.
First off, there are literally billions of blogs out there right now that are about food. To distinguish your blog from these others, you’re going to have to do more than just share recipes from the back of a Wheaties box or that package of tofu dogs. Yes, you’re going to need recipes, or reviews, or nekkid pichurs, but you’re also going to need a hook.
What Kind Of Food [Blog] Am I?
There are two general types of food blogs. There are those where you go out and review restaurants or some other kind of places to eat, taking pictures of your meal, along with whatever kind of story you can concoct. These can be combined with travel, or adventure, or human interest stories, or being an asshole.
The other type is where you get down and dirty, actually cooking something, sharing that experience, and disguising your real name and other identifying personal information, at least until you get a book deal. These can be blogs where you mainly provide recipes, or just share the private hell of having to produce a meal every day of your miserable existence.
REVIEW YOUR WAY TO RICHES
Let’s say you want to take the lazy route to Blog City. Go out to eat somewhere, use your cell phone to take pics of the meal you order and then…write…well, not a review exactly. That would involve knowing something about restaurants, cooking, food and how to write about all these in a compelling, intelligent, and entertaining way.
So instead, distract your blog readers by talking about one of the following
Sure, you’re eating something unpronounceable that seems to be mostly teeth, but you’re eating it on a sun-kissed beach in the middle of the Pacific Ocean!
Basically, you’re doing the blog equivalent of sharing the travel pictures and bland stories of your vacation at a party/dinner/cookout/subway/ office/supermarket/babysitter, and so on.
Except it’s not obnoxious because there is no etiquette when it comes to blogs.
Adventure food blogging is the same as Travel Food Blogging, except it takes place:
· In a jungle where parasites are likely/inevitable
· You are stranded
· You are a hostage
· In a war zone
· Facing inevitable death/dismemberment
Same as Adventure Food Blogging except…well…
Cooking Your Way Through A Famous Cookbook
Unfortunately, you’re pretty late to the bachelor/bachelorette/binge drinking party on this one. Bloggers have cooked their way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking, the Classic Italian Cookbook, the Momofuku Cookbook, The Galloping Gourmet, The Epileptic Epicurean, The Fascist Foodie, and on and on. So how do you freshen this up?
You need to search farther afield, in the nooks and crannies of Cookbook World. Look for titles that will grab your reader’s interest and hold it with a can’t-look-but-can’t-look-away unhealthy fascination. Some titles that might work:
- The Art of Roadkill Cuisine
- Healthy Pinecone Recipes
- Cooking With Foods After Their Expiration Date
Another way to put some spark into you cooking blog is to take a novel approach. Make all the Julia Child recipes but put them in a blender, then judge the results. Substitute jello for the main ingredient in famous Italian dishes. Get a book on traditional Indian cuisine, but make the recipes based on the titles alone.
Pawning off a recipe for a specific ethnic cuisine as your own when you are not of that specific ethnicity is generally frowned on, but what isn’t these days? Or just invent an ethnicity, like Freedonian, or Howtoevenstan.
Maybe it’s time to think outside the cereal box. How about recipes for foods you can hide in your navel? Or a meal that, while inedible, can double as a fake life partner or bed companion? You could take pictures of yourself covered in the food you’ve cooked, like Sushi Girl but the opposite of appetizing/attractive.
Next, here’s are some of the nitty gritty of food blogs you need to know
Avoid grit, especially 80 grit, which should only be used for shaping food, or removing a lot of food material.
Most food blogs strive for a breezy, conversational style so that the blogger feels like a friend. Of course you don’t have friends, so rather than pathetically fake it, maybe aim for a nosy neighbor, or weird conspiracy theorist.
Alternately, you could set yourself apart from the crowd by writing in a voice that’s obviously alien to you. For example, what about a robot voice, where every word ends in a period? Or you could use a 20s gangster patois. If you go this route, though, make sure stereotyping doesn’t conflict with the kind of recipes you’re posting.
People are much more likely to want to eat, make, share and pin your recipes when they have appetizing photos next to them. Or, at least, they’ll be less likely to gag. This means you’re probably going to have to buy photos from people who actually know how to cook, which will make this whole thing cost prohibitive. Maybe just make Ramen instead.