I’m gonna share my thoughts now, on the future of food blogging. And whether it’s a thing of the past…
The images in this post are original, and may not be replicated or used without permission in any way, shape or form. Unless for preschool classroom projects, you do not have permission to use these photos. The thought process, as well as detail in graphic design and intricate color coordination was both time consuming and costly.
Is food blogging a dying art?
I have this theory. Call it a hunch. It’s about food blogging and the future of the recipe descriptive totally amazeballs photographing and food writing from many talented people who are professionals and/or self taught cooks looking to take people on a journey back into their kitchens to make things. Ya know? That kind of food blogging. I have some thoughts when it comes to what the future holds for food bloggers.
I won’t lie to you. Not once did I read a food blog before the idea of starting one myself. Unless I were searching for a type of recipe. And Google’s search engine showed me a recipe that came from a food blog. THEN I entered their site. Other times, I saw an amazing, mouthwatering image that I had to get my hands on. And it took me to a food blog.
In my home, recipes are on paper and folded up in an old fashioned recipe box. Right on the kitchen counter. If I lose this boxed recipe treasure, I will lose my sole. Especially during the holidays. Everything is in there. Every staple dish I make, love making, love mimicking, and love writing in depth notes about. I wrote down the recipes from my mom, my mother-in-law, friends, relatives, or found them online somewhere and printed them off.
Food blogging is hard. I’m learning. It takes time. A lot of time. And it’s very competitive. I remember one day I Googled some ingredients and low and behold, my recipe showed up second. On the front page. Of Google.
It displayed right below a Barilla recipe and above many outstanding recipes from very popular food blogs. Mine was the second recipe on the first page. And I started to cry.
My husband was worried. He asked me what was wrong. I replied, “I made it on the first page.” (cry. cry. cry.)
“First page of what?”
“Google search.” (cry. blow nose.)
“Oh. Wow! For gluten-free food bloggers or gluten-free recipes?”
“Neither. For gluten-free pasta with peas!”
Silence. He handed me another Kleenex, then went about his way.
I explained to him later that was actually a big deal for me. But in the entire scheme of things, it’s still stepping up onto the ladder when it comes to being discovered. Time is of the essence here. Time and patience and plugging away. Which I have done, am currently doing, and will continue to do for as long as it takes.
Food blogging is not what it used to be.
The industry is not what it used to be. I’m actually about ten years too late. Which is fine, because missing the boat can sometimes be a good thing. A bigger and better boat might just come back to pick you up. One thing I’ve been reading up on since launching my food blog, is that blogging is just not enough. I hear it’s not enough anymore.
“Helping others is here to stay.” That’s what former chef Aimee Wimbush-Bourque from the popular food blog, Simple Bites, states in another article written by Dianne Jacob. Jacob is an award winning food writer and editor. Aimee claims that blogging just isn’t enough anymore and that helping others is the route she is taking. Which is fantastic. Bloggers with philanthropes make me smile big. Real big.
There are articles out there that give suggestions that can help lots of beginning bloggers. Some a bit harsh and actually hilarious, like this article from smartblogger.com. But informative to say the least.
And then there are some like Blog Tyrant, who claimed last year that blogging, in general, is not dead at all.
Food blogging is bigger and better than it’s ever been.
Google defines a blog as a ‘regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style.’
Instead of thinking that food blogging isn’t enough anymore, I think rephrasing it like this is much more compelling:
Food blogging is bigger. It’s much much bigger than it used to be. It’s a beast. And it’s all changing. Rapidly. But that is the BEAUTY of it. Food blogging now includes lots of different aspects, like food origins and amazing food photography and fantastic writing. Yet still manages to pull it all together to remain the same: A ‘regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style.’
And I think that is amazing.
I never envisioned blogging about food as something to ‘catch up’ with. Trends change, yes. And recipe trends change everyday. Constantly, in fact. And food photography changes faster than I can implement the last trend. But that is not just food blogging. That is every facet of life. Change is always happening. Industries change constantly. It’s inevitable. And if you don’t keep up, then you may get left behind. And then…you sink.
I’M KIDDING!!! You don’t have to sink, is what I mean. When you throw in the towel, then yes you will sink. But look at it this way: If you fall behind, it’s fine. You can catch up later. You’ll be fine. And maybe you’ll get discovered if you’re running to catch up, and the last one out there. Why? Because everyone will be able to see you. And maybe you’ll be different from the rest, and cooler and smarter.
You just never know what will happen in industries.
Of course just food blogging is not enough. I knew that BEFORE I launched my food blog. I remember Googling ‘food blogging’ when I started and I found there are more food blogs on the internet than I ever thought possible. But I said to myself “Ok, if food blogging is not enough and I don’t know anything about food blogging or how to launch a website, then I’m gonna learn.” So I did.
- The first thing I did was I learned how to write again. Literally. That meant first and foremost, writing like I do best. I studied journalism in college. I’m an annoying talker. And I can write for the average crowd. I’m good at it. So, I made sure to stick to my guns. And perfect my craft. I’ve strayed from my writing style with several posts, because I thought it would help my traffic and I would sound more foodie like. But it made me depressed. And it didn’t help traffic at all. I’m a story teller. That is how I write. And writing is more competitive than ever now when it comes to blogging. So, sticking to my gut will help me find success.
- Then I built my site from the ground up. I studied and learned how to start a food blog. I knew that this part would be a monster. It is STILL a monster. I think it’s a must for new bloggers, though. I’m not a developer. Half the time I don’t know what I’m doing. SEO will change. Everyone has sites that are optimized differently. Some are perfectly developed and others are not. And then THOSE sites will change. Because Google changes its algorithm constantly. And results for those recipes will change. And so forth and so forth. Is your head ringing yet? My point is that if you don’t know your foundation at all, you’re going to get off track a lot. Because the competition is simply fierce today. And there is much more to food blogging than just blogging. If you don’t keep up with it, you will get overwhelmed when things shift. I get overwhelmed constantly with the tech side. It’s only me and my blog. But I’m proud of how far I’ve come. Baby steps is what I say to myself. Baby steps.
- I visually challenge myself daily. Here is what I discovered, and what draws me to food blogs. It is imagery. Not video. Not text. It’s the food pics. The images. The gorgeous, beautiful, fascinating and compelling images of plated foods. Like the images in this post.
I love gorgeous food photography. I can’t get enough of it. And I challenge myself everyday with it. I know that in order for my food blog to be successful, I will NEED to take better and better and better images. Constantly. Because if a reader is going to look for a gluten-free recipe to make, I want them to be entertained with my food photos. And the words that go along with them, of course. But to draw them in, I will need captivating images. That are all my own.
I didn’t just create Feeding Gluten Free to put up gluten-free recipes. There are tons of fabulous gluten-free bloggers and incredible resources out there about gluten-free cooking and Celiac disease. Happy to be a part of it, but it’s not why I started my blog. I started my food blog to show how AMAZING gluten-free dishes can look. I want my food photography to stand out over time, and be recognizably gluten-free. And I’m proud of that. I also started my blog to show readers that ANYTHING can be made gluten-free. The good, the bad, and the ugly. We are talking Thanksgiving spreads galore and potatoes in a bit of bacon grease, like mom used to make 🙂
I’m not a professional chef. I leave that to the professionals. But I have fun cooking. And I have even more fun pushing the edges and challenging myself constantly with photography. I wanna show you how cooking from scratch is an option for you. And you can make it all gluten-free if you must, or if you simply choose to. I don’t discriminate here. This is a blog for everyone.
Should you start a food blog?
More and more people are cooking in their kitchens than ever before. There are services that people use to order food and have it delivered to their front door. And these services are booming! So, people are finding recipes and actually making them at home. Which is why it’s a perfect time to take up food blogging. Can you imagine? A family seeing your recipe online, then ordering through a service to get the ingredients to make that recipe? Fantastic.
Life is fast and now, the internet is faster. People want to be entertained more and more than ever before. Some visually, some mentally, and some just looking for a WOW factor in whatever form it presents itself. Others are looking for compelling beauty. Like this photo below.
Again, please refrain from the use of these images without permission. Intricate detail and time consuming nature was put into them. If you would like to purchase, each image in this post is priced at: zero cents.
And some are just looking for laughs. I say, grasp it all and take it in.
Start a food blog!
Things will change the day after it launches. But embrace it. Know your foundation and how to build your foundation. Do what your gut tells you to do. Do it all if you want to. Write posts that are funny and that tell a story. Take pictures that are incredible. And videos too. Go to your local library and check out cookbooks. All of them. If you’re a food blogger and haven’t visited your local library to check out cookbooks, it will open up a whole new world for you. In my opinion, it’s a must. You can learn more from cookbooks and professional chefs than you ever thought possible.
I hope to publish a cookbook and see it on store shelves one day. And to master food photography. And to make a living off of blogging. I’ll need to make money first, of course. Heck, by the end of the year I just might be able to buy a WHOLE BOOK of stamps AND some fine wine (maybe only boxed) as a result from all my hard work! Yes!!! And if I can’t……….then I’m screwed.
I’M KIDDING! Or am I 😐
Just keep your vision. Set your goals high, even if you never reach them. That is part of the wonder. And don’t drink boxed wine if you reach your goals. I was kidding there. Just don’t do that.
Stick to your foundation and produce great work. Make things simple and give your readers something to look at. If you go with your gut, you will be just fine. Patience might be the one thing you’ll need throughout the entire process.
I am not a marketing guru. I am not a finance guru. And I’m surely not a sales mastermind. I’m actually quite horrible at all three. But I am good at creating. And I am good at self teaching when I force myself to dive in. And I’m good at studying what will come next.
So I say, go start a food blog and don’t be afraid. You may be the one to make it completely mainstream.
In my opinion, food blogging is just beginning. And I can assure you it’s enough. It’s way way more than enough.