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May 202014
 
Stephanie-Stiavetti- Anime

Tech guru Stephanie Stiavetti

A guest post by Stephanie Stiavetti

I’m sure you’re familiar with the term Search Engine Optimization (SEO), one of the biggest time sucks we food bloggers endure to get more people to our blogs.

There’s no way around doing this work, as all bloggers must bend the knee to Our Great Google Overlords, with the exception of a handful of folks who are so insanely popular that they transcend the realm of mortal blogging (*cough*Ree*cough*).

The problem with keeping our websites search engine-friendly, however, is that every so often, Google changes the rules. And inevitably, for months following these changes, my inbox is flooded with the doleful cries of bloggers who have lost a chunk of their traffic.

If you’re smart, though, it won’t matter how Google alters its algorithm. All you have to do is produce good content and avoid questionable SEO practices. There are countless finer points, a few of which I’ll get to in a moment, but the fact remains that you’ll need not fear even the most Machiavellian changes Google makes to its ranking methods.

Here are a few tips for maintaining your trusted liege status to The Goog. They’re easy enough so that even if you’re  Continue reading »

May 132014
 

EmptyTableI know restaurant bloggers still exist, but I can barely find them.

I’m not the only one. The annual Saveur Best Food Blog awards doesn’t even list “restaurant blogs” as a category.

Sure, there are people who write reviews for websites such as Tasting Table and urbanspoon.com. But it seems that there are Continue reading »

May 062014
 

James-Beard-Medallion-300x255What I like about The James Beard awards, called “the Oscars of food writing,” is that I can find most of the journalism award-winning pieces online.

I want to soak up their brilliance. I also know I will be a little envious. That’s okay. Reading them gives me ideas for my own writing.

These essays will make you laugh, amaze you, make you nod in recognition, make you outraged — all emotions generated by skilled writers (and their editors). They are worth my time, and yours.

Just so you know, judges can only judge the entries. We don’t go out and look for work that might win. So if you don’t enter, you can’t win. (I am a book judge and a Continue reading »

Apr 292014
 

A Guest Post by Marcy Goldman

I never wanted to self-publish. I imagined continuing Random House and Harper Collins book deals for my growing baking author platform and features in leading newspapers and online venues. I envisioned more Christmas baskets from my publishers, help with my blog and website, and publicists to set up my interviews and promotional spots.

Marcy-Goldman

Marcy Goldman, a traditionally published bestselling author, chose to start her own imprint.

Instead, I am now River Heart Press, my own imprint, and I am boldly going where I went when I was 12 years old and self-published my own street newspaper, The Goldman Times.

After 25 years of great publishers, great cookbooks and what I thought was an upward spiraling career, I wasn’t getting a response to my next book idea from traditional publishers. So I Continue reading »

Apr 222014
 

Disappointed GuyAt a recent conference, I persuaded an executive to give me some dirt about working with food bloggers, as long as he could do so anonymously.

He’s been in the food business for 30 years, working for large food manufacturers, a worldwide commodity board, and a dried fruit company. Now he’s a consultant to six food companies, supplying post-ready recipes to bloggers, and inviting them on tours and to attend trade shows as media.

He might take 80 bloggers on a four-day tour on behalf of a company or board, for example. In addition to their expenses, he pays bloggers Continue reading »

Apr 152014
 
chocolates

Champagne chocolates on display at Dean & DeLuca.

It’s time again for my list of useful links, which I have culled from dozens more to find the most valuable ones for you. As always, they are excerpted from my recent quarterly newsletter. If you’d like to receive the entire list of links next time, sign up to receive my four newsletters per year. Now, on to the goods:

1. How Much Should I Charge? Part 1 and Part 2, from the Food Bloggers of Canada website, details all the issues to consider, particularly in Part 2.

2. Publishers Weekly did a good webcast recently about selling single subject cookbooks in unusual places.

3. What does a successful food stylist do? Check out  Continue reading »

Apr 082014
 
Woman-Buying-Books

Women buyers still predominate cookbook buying. And look! She’s already got her credit card out.

If you’re a cookbook author or hoping to become one soon, do you know who would want to buy your cookbook and why?

Adam Solomone, associate publisher of Harvard Common Press, answered this question for attendees at the recent IACP conference, where he gave a slide presentation of data collected by Nielsen, in conjunction with several North American publishers. Answers came from a core group of 2500 cookbook purchasers, a subset of 80,000 book buyers, based on the the last book they bought.

Here are the top findings:

1. Sixty-five percent of all cookbook buyers are women. You’re probably not surprised. Most buyers are college-educated. About Continue reading »