I’m really glad that I found this book in the library last month. I’m even happier that I borrowed it (I’ve always refused to borrow any books from the Dummy series due to its explicitly derogatory implications). After reading through this entire bible about food blogging, my food blog (yes, this one here) finally obtained its long awaited refurbishment.
The chapters in the book come together to present a very well summarised, yet comprehensive list of guidelines for creating a minimally decent blog. It starts off with the introduction of the basics (i.e. how to set up a blog, from where to acquire a domain name etc) before going into the specifics of what makes a food blog kick (e.g. layout and design, tools required for taking good pictures of food etc). There are altogether 16 chapters which are further categorised into 7 distinct chunks:
- Whetting your appetite (focusing on how to develop your niche)
- Finding your voice (focusing on how to brand your blog)
- The soup to nuts to design (focusing on blog technicalities)
- Eating with your eyes (focusing on food styling)
- Marketing and monetisation (focusing on revenue making)
- The part of tens (focusing on digital photography)
Since each of these chunks focuses on a different aspect of food blogging, readers can pick specific ones to read depending on their needs. Within each chapter, clear pointers of what makes a blog good or bad are frequently exemplified through real food blogs found on the Net. In addition, the pros and cons of using different plugins or widgets are lucidly spelled out, thus setting the stage for us to take charge of making better decisions at every step of our creation.
Without doubt, the chapters that got most of my attention are the ones on food styling and photography. I was immediately impressed by how easy it can be to enhance the presentation and perspectives of a dish via simple props and tricks. On the other hand, the use of chemicals and glue to ‘fake the look’ of food is probably something I would not be doing for a long time to come, since I’m a staunch believer of ‘what you see is what you get‘; practicality-wise, budget dictates that I should not waste food for the sake of beautifying it.
My greatest consolation from reading this book is that many food bloggers out there also started off with a simple personal blog, just like I did three years ago. It’s been a learning journey just trying to empathise with my own needs and wants, and then catering to as much of these as I can within the constraints of the blogosphere. At this juncture, I am still stuck at the last few stages of primping this blog, but I think I’m almost there.
All in all, a quick and easy read for anyone who wishes to overcome the inertia of blogging know-all and technicalities and who aims to set up a professional blog for sharing content on food. Cheers!