Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Food Blogging Resources

Because blogging has been so good to me, I've become a blogging evangelist, often encouraging others to blog too. At first blogging was fairly straight forward, but over the years, it's gotten more complicated. I used to say you could set up a blog in 5 minutes on Blogger. That may still be true, but there's a lot of work involved after that. There is food photography, food writing, and a plethora of social media to participate in. Even though I've been at it for 9 years, I am no expert when it comes to blogging. I have questions and there haven't really been books to turn to, until now.
Food Blogging for Dummies addresses the questions of the food blogger. The format of the book makes it easy to understand things like the pros and cons of self hosting your blog and provides a very basic cheat sheet with some html code. It also covers food photography. While it's not comprehensive, it really does touch on an awful lot. The author is big on name dropping referring to top bloggers by first name--Heidi, David, Elise--but she clearly knows her way around the food blogging world. Though I think it's probably best for the newbie, the seasoned blogger will surely pick up some tips in this book too. 

There are a lot of food photography books, but as a food blogger, chances are, you are also the food stylist. Two new books actually take on this combination. The first is Food Styling and Photography for Dummies. Let me just say at the outset that this book is not specifically targeted at food bloggers, although bloggers will find much of it useful. If you are hoping to make the leap from amateur to professional this is a good book for you since it covers everything from dealing with personnel and sets to professional lighting equipment and pricing models. 

The other book on the subject is Plate to Pixel, digital food photography and styling by noted food blogger and photographer, Helene Dujardin. Ok I'm just going to say it. The overuse of the distressed wooden surfaces in this book drives me a bit bonkers. But there is much to learn about lighting, perspective, equipment and resources. The tone of the book is encouraging and positive. All in all, it's a great book.

Do you need a book on social media? These days everyone is talking about Pinterest, the fastest growing social network of all time.  If you are one of those people who feels like they can't be bothered, think again because it can be an important source of traffic to your blog.

I know some people think it's just a time suck, and a way to ogle at photos, but it's really so much more than that. Pinterest can be a powerful tool for organizing information, finding content and more. Pinterest for Dummies author Kelby Carr jumped on the bandwagon early and is a good guide to getting the most out of Pinterest whether you are new to it or not. I particularly liked the chapter on finding ways to use Pinterest.

Even as someone who has embraced Pinterest I picked up a lot of tips and techniques. The more you learn about Pinterest the more you will get out of it. I also believe the sooner you get involved with it the better. The book is a slim volume but worthwhile. 

Last but not least there are two books that are not new, but that I refer to frequently. The Recipe Writer's Handbook is just the best resource for anyone who writes recipes. How many cups are in a pound of cranberries, how do you adapt US recipes to metric, what's the actual definition of sauté? It's all there and more. The other book is Dianne Jacob's Will Write for Food, the current version has quite a lot on blogging and is good for all food writers or wanna be food writers. It is not a book that covers photography or how to find advertisers. It is a book on food writing and on that topic alone it's very comprehensive. Whether you want to become a better writer, find an agent, get a book deal or write for magazines, her advice is solid.


Disclaimer: There are affiliate links in this post and I may receive commissions for purchases. I also received some, though not all of the books discussed in this post as review copies.