Sep 302013

Under-ConstructionMy techie husband built my old website at least a decade ago in Dreamweaver, an Adobe web design tool. It served me well over the years, but I got frustrated trying to update it. I didn’t understand HTML code, tables or how to repair all the bad things that happened when I pressed the wrong button. My website languished.

Several kind people inferred that my website needed a facelift. I was too terrified to do act. I’d heard horror stories about the time sink. I pushed it off. For years.

Finally, a colleague told me about a good experience she’d had with a designer. Plus I loved the clean, strong design of her blog. I took the plunge. It was time to move to an all WordPress website.

The designer and I worked together on several drafts. That was the fun part. I won’t bore you with what Continue reading »

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Aug 062013

Three stories come from the New York Times, which seems to be suddenly catering to people like us as readers:

1. You will be fascinated by this piece on travel blogging. These guys are way ahead of Continue reading »

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Jul 302013

A freelance writer I’m working with is hesitating about starting a food blog. She thinks maybe it’s too late. There are so many food blogs now, she said. Maybe she could never catch up or get noticed.

She compared herself to successful food bloggers who started long ago, and wondered if she should bother.

I told her that it was normal to think that way, but no good can come of comparing. When I start thinking like that, I say a little mantra that helps me:

“Some people are not doing as well as I am. Some people are doing better. I’m somewhere in the middle and I am okay with that.”

I thought it applied in this case, because if you only compare yourself to Continue reading »

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Jul 092013

Melbourne-based Sandra Reynolds spends $120 per week on food for a family of four, and teaches others how to budget and eat well.

Last year at Eat.Drink.Blog, the Australian food blogger conference, I met Melbourne-based Sandra Reynolds of The $120 Dollar Food Challenge, who held the audience spellbound as she recounted how a dire situation led to food blogging and a cookbook deal. Recently, we spoke further about her career and her struggle to support herself:

Q. In February 2010, you left your job as a public servant and had to figure out how to feed yourself and your two teenage children.

A. I went to the Salvation Army and they gave me two $60 food vouchers designed to last two weeks. And it started from there.

I went on Facebook to complain to my friends that I only had $60 to feed my family. My friends started asking what I could cook. I sent them recipes, and then someone said, ’91You could start a blog.’

Q. How did you know what to do?

A. I’d read a couple. A friend of mine had me write a few posts for Continue reading »

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Jul 022013

Teaching at a Food Blogger Connect workshop in London last year (Photo courtesy of Sarka Babicka).

You can get a lot done online, but sometimes great opportunities come from face-to-face, particularly at conferences. Here is how my upcoming Dubai workshop in October came about:

Last summer I did a writing workshop at Food Blogger Connect in London (see this year’s conference July 5-6, with keynoter David Lebovitz). I was there because chef Dorcas Berry had invited me to Ireland on Twitter for a workshop, so I could combine trips after the London invitation arrived by email. How’s that for two amazing opportunities that came from online?

Now for the face-to-face. In London last year, some of my workshop students came to the conference from Dubai (including Sally Prosser of My Custard Pie and Samantha Wood of FooDiva). Organizer Bethany Kehdy and I started talking about Dubai. She said she was intrigued and would think about doing a workshop there with me. So this January, Bethany went to Dubai and scoped it out, talking with food bloggers about an event.

And on October 4, I will do a full-day writing workshop in Dubai! I can’t write this without wanting to Continue reading »

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Jun 252013

Food Memoirist Judith Newton was surprised to learn her book is studied in university classes. (Photo by Eliot Khuner)

A guest post by Judith Newton

Judith Newton is Professor Emerita in Women and Gender Studies at U.C. Davis. Her recent food memoir, Tasting Home: Coming of Age in the Kitchen won an IPPY (Independent Publishers Award) in May. She blogs at Tasting Home and the Huffington Post.

In American Food Studies classes, college undergraduates read the food blogs Smitten Kitchen, Orangette, Pinch My Salt, and The Pioneer Woman Cooks with the keen eyes of anthropologists studying the customs of an unfamiliar land.

They analyze the values embodied in recipes, cookbooks, food-related memoir, and fiction. They also study film, cooking shows from classic Continue reading »

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Jun 182013

Menu board at Farm Burger in Decateur, GA from a recent trip to Atlanta. Amazingly good burgers. I also tasted my first boiled peanuts — salty and addictive.

It’s almost time for my next email newsletter for food writers, filled with useful links for writers, bloggers, recipe developers, cookbook authors and social media mavens. You fit into one of those categories, right? I thought so.

So you might want to sign up for the Will Write for Food newsletter, if you haven’t already. You’ll get only four emails per year, I promise. Here are 10 terrific links from my earlier newsletter, to whet your appetite for what’s to come:

1. Did you miss the Roger Smith Cookbook Conference in New York earlier this year? Here are videos to watch of selected panels.

2. The FTC Clarifies its Rules for Bloggers: New recommendations on Continue reading »

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