13 Must-Read Links for Food Writers

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Israeli bagels at the Carmel Market in Tel Aviv.

Wondering how to be more effective on social media, how to become a better food photographer, or whether to publish an e-book? You need the top links from my most recent newsletter.

But before you skip down to the list below, please sign up for the Will Write for Food newsletter. It’s free, and best of all, you’ll get only four emails per year. It’s filled with useful info for food writers, bloggers, recipe developers, cookbook authors and social media mavens. The next one’s coming out at the end of December, so sign up now.

1. A scientific guide to writing great headlines on Twitter, Facebook and your Blog. Great tips on how to be more effective on social media, based on writing that grabs people.

2. Along the same lines, read How to Write Compelling Titles for Blogs & Content. I like her suggestion to monitor competitors’ titles. Sneaky.

3. Or try this title generator. It takes a while to create a catchy title, and this site gives you suggestions for how to improve. I used it for the title above (also sneaky, I know).

4. Pull up a chair. It might take time to read all these award-wining newspaper food features from 2013 Association of Food Journalists winners. But in the end, it may help you improve your own work, or generate great story ideas.

5. Wondering how long your blog posts should be? See this blog post for an answer.

6. You’ve always been told that readers spend the most time above the fold on your website, right? New research says that’s wrong.

7. Why Google Authorship is More Important Than Your Website. Kind of scary about why you should be active on Google+, but important to understand.

8.  How To Self-Publish a Bestseller: Publishing 3.0. This author’s not joking. In the first month he sold more than 44,000 copies.

9. Publishing your first e-book? This post lists all kinds of resources.

10.  If you want to write a Kindle single (20-100 pages), this guy has tracked which e-books succeed and why.

11. Want to be a professional food photographer, or take better photos for your blog? Take this three-day (whoa!) workshop from Andrew Scrivani, who shoots food photos for the New York Times. On the second day, Shauna James Ahern joins him. Cost is $149.

12. Wondering what kind of cookbooks publishers want these days? Pay no attention to the title of this piece. There’s great reporting here from dozens of publishers on which categories have strong sales, surprise hits, and what kind of content succeeds. If you make it to the end, there’s a list of the top 20 cookbooks sold in the US the first 6 months of 2013.

13. Here are video interviews with several New York Times current and former restaurant critics. I love watching Ruth Reichl in action. She’s not wearing business clothes like the other guys, and her hair is messy, but she’s accomplished about five times more than any one of them. And unlike me, she loves the word “delicious.”

* * *

If you enjoyed the links I listed, here are more:

10 Useful Links for Food Writers and Bloggers

* 10 More LInks for Food Bloggers and Writers


  1. says

    OK! Whew. Very helpful post. Have only 2 more of your links to read. Great having coffee with you this morning – early enough to actually get through all of this material. Really valuable information for me.

    • diannejacob says

      Valerie, it would be lovely to sit at the table with you over a coffee. I bet it’s pretty cold there now.

  2. says

    Hi Dianne,

    It will take me a while to cover all the links and I know it will be well worth the time. Thanks for compiling the list and sharing with all of us :-).


    • diannejacob says

      Thanks, Susan. The title generators are not for everyone, but they do show you what kind of titles get attention, even if they’re not your style.

  3. says

    Thanks for this, Diane! I’m working my way through them right now — #8 is an incredible wealth of information. As always with a treasure trove of links like this, within each, I’ve found others to sift through. Much appreciated!

  4. La Torontoise says

    Dianne, thank you so much! I learned a lot from these materials, I’m halfway through:-)
    A very timely post.
    Have a great weekend!

  5. says

    Thanks Dianne for a great Sunday morning read. Cup of tea, sunshine and vineyard views in the Coonawarra wine district in South Australia with your Top 10 reads is the perfect start to the day. Particularly enjoyed the video food critic interviews. Your book – Will write for Food has been my bible, many sections ear marked, highlighted, re-read and in many instances tried. I attended one of your workshops in SA earlier this year- inspirational, challenging, rewarding.

    • diannejacob says

      Hello Kate — lovely to hear from you. I’m so pleased that you came to my workshop in Adelaide. That was so much fun. And it’s great to know these links are worthwhile, especially the one on food critics, as so few people seem interested in critiquing food these days. Enjoy the sunshine!


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