“Something ugly is happening on Facebook, and as a food blogger, I am not only disturbed, I am alarmed.
People are starting Facebook pages that copy photos and recipes from food blogs and repost them on their page, either without attribution or improper attribution. Some even go as far as to claim the photos and recipes are theirs. And some are actually threatening the food bloggers who contact them.
Now in his ninth year as a food blogger, Adam Roberts of the Amateur Gourmet shows no sign of slowing. A witty and charming writer, he posts several times a week on restaurant meals, cooking a new dish, hosting dinner parties, and other adventures and experiments. He’s also good at coming up with attention-grabbing posts that go viral.
I met Roberts for the second time at Food Blog South, where he delivered a valuable talk on 10 Food Blog Posts That ‘ll Get You Traffic. He likes to write advice posts to food bloggers, whom he considers a main part of his Amateur Gourmet audience. I’ve listed those posts below. Consider them gold, because they’re like insider information on how to succeed as a Continue reading »
Snagging a literary agent for your book proposal takes nerves of steel. You might have to send a query out to many agents, while telling yourself that it only takes one who’s excited about your book.
Most agents accept only one or two percent of the queries and book proposals they read. They spend a lot of time saying no. The problem is that they don’t have time to tell you why they don’t like your book idea or you, and often their responses don’t shed any light. On top of that, you’re not supposed to ask for clarification when you do get a response, because once they’ve said no, it’s no.
Possibly the most stressful thing of all is how long literary agents take to answer. Many take a month to six weeks to write two sentences back about Continue reading »
And it was a blast! This was my second public Hangout on Google+. It was a huge success, with close to 200 participants and more than 400 comments and questions about the session.
If you haven’t seen this video, I hope you’ll watch or put it on in the background while you’re cooking. Typically you’d only have access to a session like this during a conference — for which you would have paid beaucoup bucks — so please take advantage of a freebie. The panelists discuss best practices for bloggers, writing craftsmanship, structuring posts, writing killer titles, and we take lots of questions from the crowd.
I’m still learning how to use Google+, and I don’t have many followers yet. Google hopes it will eclipse Facebook and Twitter as a way of sharing information. What’s different about it is the access to free video. You appear live on a Hangout that’s automatically recorded to appear on YouTube (unless you are charging for it, and if so, you can turn off that feature), and you can invite others to join you.
While it’s fun to do free hangouts and have yet another channel to share content, I’d like to see this medium evolve as a way to make money. I know. I’m so crass. But God knows, we already have lots of opportunities to share our content for free.
Some people are already trying to making money. A pioneering group, ChefHangout, charges for cooking classes. Chef Dennis joined in September 2011, originally one of 24 chefs. To be expected, it has been slow going and some teachers have dropped out.
Dennis’ first class was almost a year ago. His most successful one so far was on paella, with seven people paying $45 each. “It took me a little over an hour to do it. Not a lot of money, but I never left home, and my wife and enjoyed a wonderful dinner afterward,” he concludes. He has another one-on-one class that lets students choose what they want to learn to make. “Those classes can go up to $150 but still are a great value for what they’re getting.”
For me, this medium comes down to video and whether there’s a way to charge for it. Are you active on Google+? If not, why not? If so, do you use it to share content, or do you think there’s a way to make money? If so, what are the possibilities? Let’s brainstorm.
Writer and blogger David Leite (right) with his partner, The One.
It’s never just about the food. Soon enough, your partner or your kids start creeping into your food blog, because you’re writing about your life and they’re inseparable from you.
Suddenly a post about baking a red velvet cake includes how you made it for your husband, how your mother used to send you a whole cake on your birthday every year, and how your toddler smeared it on her new dress. It might be food writing, but as we know, it’s the storytelling around food that draws people in.
At some point, you decide how much to make the people in your life part of the story. And then, there are more questions. Do you Continue reading »