Friday, 14 September 2012

How to Be a Food Blogger

Want to eat for free? Become a food blogger. It's easy. Just get a blog and write about what you had for breakfast. Everyone will love it!
Before you start, I thought I'd write a little list of helpful tips to get you doing things properly.
Most of these points probably relate to any kind of industry, such as beauty or fashion, but because I'm about as fashionable as a tie-dye T shirt and a pair of crocs, I'll be referring to food blogging.

1. Content.
There are two types of posts:
1. Review of something (a restaurant/sandwich/burger)
2. Your own recipes.
Stick with no 1. No-one gives a fuck about your recipes.

2. Freebies.The first and most important thing about being a food blogger is GETTING FREE SHIT. The way you get free shit? SAY NICE THINGS ABOUT STUFF. The more nice things you say, the more free stuff you will get.

2. Where do you start?
Start by going to restaurants, cafes, bars etc. Yes, unfortunately you will have to pay for a few meals to begin with. Don't worry, this won't last long. Next day, blog about how brilliant it was. Send a link to the restaurant, chances are they'll thank you with a free meal. Never be nasty about anywhere, except for easy targets. (see below)

3. Easy targets.
The only places you are allowed to be negative about fall into three categories:
1. Crappy chains you wouldn't seen dead in such as Aberdeen steakhouse, Yo! Sushi etc. (you can ironically blog about them though, which will raise a wry chuckle and a wink with other food bloggers).
2. Celebrity chefs' places that are so big and famous they don't give a flying fuck about food bloggers. Jamie Oliver, Ramsay, Wallace etc.
3. Places that bigger food bloggers have already been nasty about.

4. Go to events. As a food blogger, you will be invited to many events. Openings, launches, pop-ups, street food festivals etc (I'm literally going through hundreds of emails for tonight alone). It is customary to tweet about your TERRIBLE hangover from said event last night so people know exactly where you were, and which brand of just-launched vodka you drank, with in-jokes aplenty from the night before.

5. Distance martyrdom. As highlighted by MBFBY once before, here, if it's not in Central London, point out how much of a trek you went on to get to aforementioned restaurant you're blogging about. You want to get across how dedicated to food you are and how nestled you are in the cool places to be.

6. Quantity.
You don't have to write much. Nobody reads it anyway. One thing that's become quite popular is minimal text (what the dish is called) and a many of pictures. Oh, and multiple pictures of yourself = winner. Who DOESN'T want to see your smug face on a blog about food?

7. Blag.
Beg, tweet, email and call all the restaurants you can possibly think of to 'arrange a review'. If it's in public, all the better. Make out you're doing them a favour, too. Of COURSE Gordon Ramsay needs the publicity of a dedicated post in your  exciting unique blog.

8. Be first.
Introduce a new opening as your own personal discovery, using phrases like 'hidden gem'. The fact that Richard Vines tweeted about it a month ago and 90% of Twitter are talking about it doesn't matter, 5% of your readers think you are a God (NB: That's your Mum, Dad and the guy/gal who's trying to get into your pants).

9. Photograph it.Instagram everything you eat, ever. Even if it looks like a turd. No-one will believe you've eaten something if it's not documented in the proper food blogger fashion. Using, of course, my handy tips on food photography to help you along (photographed from above, blurry vignette along the corners, retro feel).

10. Build twitter followers.
Lots of followers is crucial, for status and blagging rights etc. Easy right? Just tweet regularly in a witty agreeable style and everyone will RT you, and nobody will risk not following. OR - buy blocks of followers in the 1000s of single, busty God-worshipping teenagers from Canada who love Justin Bieber and have zero followers themselves. (See @douglasblyde)

11. Be fickle.
Agree with everything bigger bloggers say. Someone with more that 5000 followers likes Nutella? YOU LIKE NUTELLA. Oh wait, actually no she doesn't? DAMN YOU HATE NUTELLA.

12. Be on trend.
You must like the latest trend. Aperol, Hotdogs, camping crockery, Japanese earthenware, Danish beardy weirdoes, be an expert on them and pretend to have been enjoying them since 1972 when they were invented.

13. Peckhamism.You must live in South East London. Brixton Market is your weekend hangout. Be especially touchy if anyone non-food-bloggy mocks the fact that it's bandit country for people that can't afford to be in as nice a place north of the River.

14. Hate the right people. You must HATE star-chasers, journalists (except the ones who have deemed you cool enough to be in their gang), chain restaurants and anything that Pret or Waitrose does. You must look down on, well, basically anything the bigger, stronger food bloggers do because if you disagree with anything from the canon, you're basically dead.

15. Be unpredictable.
Occasionally you may tweet about something not about food, like politics or something serious. This shows your deep character. But remember, any tweet you post that's not about food must be preceded by an apology and 'NB: NON FOOD-RELATED TWEET'.

16. Get in the clique.
Get in the loop. Chat to all the other bloggers and slowly they will welcome you into their gang. Turn up at all of the openings. Buy them Negronis (and know Russell Norman on first name terms), they will be putty in your hands.

Good luck, fledglings!!

Melissa x (always sign off with your name and a kiss)


  1. I...I don't think I am a food blogger. I like Waitrose, loathe Negroni, live in Essex and don't have instagram.

    Gonna go in the garden and eat worms.
    (then blog about it.)

  2. So true all of it......except maybe the kiss


  3. Stardom at last. Honoured to be mentioned!

  4. There must be an emoji for airkisses. So much cooler than kisses, nes pas? (and random French phrases, or are we only speaking Japanese now?)

  5. I've gone for the smiley face instead of the kiss. Hope that's OK? :-)

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