Oct 222014
 

Kat-Kinsman-Tasting-Table-Editor-in-ChiefKat Kinsman is one of those living-larger-than-life types I adore, dressing in Betty Page with red lipstick and tattoos, speaking often and passionately, and writing about whatever fascinates her, especially on Twitter.

Luckily for us, a lot of what interests her is food. Currently managing editor of CNN’s Eatocracy, she’s leaving soon to be editor-in-chief of Tasting Table. With  54,000+ followers on Twitter, she tweets at @kittenwithawhip.

I saw Kat in Memphis recently for the Association of Food Journalists conference. Here’s a spontaneous interview about why to tweet and how to be good at it:

Q. Do you have a love-hate relationship with Twitter?

A. Mostly love. It’s broken down the barriers with so many people. Now people in the Continue reading »

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Jan 242012
 

Has anyone not heard of David Lebovitz? He’s a super successful American food writer blogger living in Paris. He’s also a gorgeous photographer, author of five cookbooks and one memoir, and author and co-author of two apps.

I first met him on email in 2005, when he endorsed my book, Will Write for Food. Recently we spoke about his success and philosophy on food blogging, writing cookbooks, social media, and how he finds the time to get it all done:

Q. Why do so many people adore your blog? What is it about you and your subject matter?

A. It’s a combination of things. Part of it is I started a long time ago so I’ve had a long time to practice, to learn about blogging and build a site. Part of it is I live in Paris and that interests people. Plus I worked as a professional chef, which is part of the mix. People say they feel my blog is very personal; they know the person behind it.

My blog is largely about cultural differences because I’m a foreigner living abroad, and the longer you live somewhere, the more it gives you more credibility. And perhaps people can relate to being an “outsider.” Years ago I was more of a critic of certain aspects of French culture, but now I’m more of an observer and I try to be more neutral. The longer you live somewhere, the more you understand how people are and I’ve become more integrated, too, and understand the culture better.

Q. How has your blog changed since you started your website in 1999? What kinds of posts do you no longer do?

A. Now I microblog on Twitter (105,000+ followers) and Facebook (26,000+ followers). I used to do Continue reading »

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Aug 182011
 

Here I am, baking with cookbook author Greg Patent in Montana. Notice his cookie-making technique: Instead of scooping tablespoons of dough for each cookie, he made a rectangle, cut it into 24 squares, and then we rolled each piece into a ball. Brilliant. (Photo by Owen Rubin.)

I need your advice.

On a recent vacation, my host and I tweeted to each other, while in the same house. Is this a new low, or is this just what it’s like to be on social media these days?

Let me back up and explain. My husband and I stayed with cookbook author Greg Patent and his wife, author and nature writer Dorothy Hinshaw Patent, for a few days in Montana.

Lying in bed in their guest room early one morning, reading email on my laptop, I saw Greg’s tweet:

“Made cheese sambouseks with @diannej yesterday. Iraqi empanadas. We share a common background, and she’s here in my Missoula kitchen!”

(Let me back up a little further: Greg and I met 12 years ago at The Symposium for Professional Food Writers at the Greenbrier, where we discovered our similar background. He grew up in Shanghai, the son of an Iraqi Jew; and both my parents were Iraqi Jews from Shanghai.You don’t run into that Continue reading »

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Jul 112011
 

Andie Mitchell, 26, grew Foodista's followers from 10,000 in May to more than 140,000 today.

Start-up companies always look for smart young people to join them and set the world on fire. Andie Mitchell, 26, is one of those people.

A former film production assistant in Boston, she started writing a food blog called Can You Stay for Dinner? earlier this year. The blog helped her get an internship at Foodista in Seattle because of its impressive comments and Andie’s social media skills.

Foodista promoted Mitchell to become the editor who handles all the company’s social media campaigns. She also manages a staff of four contributing editors who produce blog posts on food news, recipes and cooking, healthy nutrition, holidays and events. Many of Foodista’s tweets feature these blog posts.

Since she started in May 2010, Foodista’s Twitter followers have expanded from 10,000 to more than 143,000. How did she do it? Read on.

Q. What is the secret to writing a good tweet?

A. Tweets are most often retweeted when you evoke an emotion. A study I read recently confirmed a direct link between a tweet that incites emotion and adds value. Give your audience something Continue reading »

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Jan 262011
 

Gluten-Free Girl (Shauna James Ahern, right) and the Chef (Daniel Ahern, left), with 2-year old Lucy. (Photo by A.J. Bates.)

When a blogger launches a book, it’s a chance to capitalize on her community. Shauna James Ahern knew how to run with that opportunity when her second book came out last fall.

Despite her protestations to the contrary, the Pacific Northwest blogger excels as a marketer. She’s also a terrific writer, community builder, and generous supporter of other food bloggers and cookbook authors.

I’ve known about Ahern for years, but got to know her personally when I took a class she taught on voice through Leite’s Culinaria. I quoted her writing tips in the revised edition of Will Write for Food, because I admire how clearly her energetic, honest, and positive voice comes through in her writing.

This post is not about her writing, though. I’d like you to know about Ahern’s marketing skills, and learn from them for when your book comes out. Ahern’s passion for building community seems to come to her naturally, and  blogging has been a perfect Continue reading »

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