Not like I pretend to know anything and everything there is to know about running a food blog (believe me, this entire thing has grown and is growing from a loooooong journey of trials and errors. And cookies.), but below are a few tidbits about me and some resources that have helped me make this bloggy blog a little bit easier (and fun!) to run. As always, if you have any questions not answered here, please e-mail me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or send me a message on Twitter.
Note: This page contains some affiliate links that will help me buy groceries and maintain the roof over my head so I don’t turn this website into a blog on how to make cat food from a tent. You just never know.
How did you get started writing a food blog?
Honestly? It started out of a combination of boredom and a need for a resume builder. I had recently graduated from college and got married and was struggling to find a job as a newspaper reporter (what I thought, at the time, was my dream job. It wasn’t, but that’s a story for another day). So I decided to start a blog combining the two things I loved to do in my free time (which I had a lot of back then): Bake and write. I had never baked bread before, so I took it on as a personal challenge and my niche for the blog. It’s grown and evolved like crazy since then into what, to make a long story short, has become my career. I’m still pinching myself. (P.S. Here’s a more in-depth post about food blogging as a career, if you’re interested, and here’s an interview I did with ProfNet about my career in food blogging.)
Do you have any professional training?
Not unless you call flipping omelettes and assembling sandwiches for a few years at my hometown café “professional.” Most of what I know has come from my grandmother, my mother, my father (The Breakfast Maker) and years of practice and experimenting in my own kitchen. As some major fails can attest, it’s not a perfect journey. But I like to think I’m getting better at it every day (here are some things I’ve learned already).
What kind of camera/lens do you use? Any extra equipment?
I have a Canon
EOS Rebel XSi/450D EOS 7D camera body, and I consistently use a 50 mm f/1.8 lens 50 mm f/1.4 lens. As far as equipment goes, I often use my Vanguard Alta Pro 264AB Tripod, a white posterboard from the craft store, a double-sided photo board from Erickson Wood Works and in the winter, a Lowel Ego Light (which you can see in action here and here).
Do you work with brands? How do you decide whom to work with?
Yes, I do work with brands and companies and websites; and I have amazing consistent relationships with some of them. That being said, I absolutely do not say yes to everything that comes through my inbox. There are some brands and opportunities that are not a good fit for me ethically, nutritionally, etc. and I do decline to work with them. It’s a delicate balance every day, and I do my best to be discretionary and hold true to my personal beliefs about food.
What are your “personal beliefs about food,” anyway? I think you’re vegetarian or vegan or amphibian or something.
Ah, yes. Even my close friends and family aren’t quite sure what we are/how we eat. To put it in a (very, very small) nutshell, we are flexitarians — meaning we try to eat meat sparingly (as in, once or twice a week total) and when we do eat meat or use animal products, we try to purchase products from companies with humane farming practices that are local and/or organic. But at the end of the day, we’re not super picky. If we are guests in your home or Elliott has one of his random McDonald’s breakfast cravings, we are OK with “breaking our rules” every once in a while. Everything in moderation.
Where does all of this food you make go?
Into mah belly. No, just kidding. Well some of it does, but good gracious, if I ate all the cakes and cookies and quick breads I made for this blog and other websites, I would have to be lifted from my home by crane. A lot of what I make is what we eat for breakfast/lunch/dinner, but I also try my best to share the extra goods with friends and family. Otherwise, I freeze it (my freezer is so full and happy). And, much as I hate so much to admit it, sometimes I just have to throw it away — I KNOW. But I really, really, really try to avoid that at all costs.
Can I use your photo/recipe on my site?
Yes! But a few things: If it’s a photo, please e-mail me (email@example.com) to ask permission first — and be sure to credit the photo to me with a link to my blog, as well. If it’s a recipe, please credit the recipe to me with a link to my blog — but no need to ask permission first (and please share your version with me — I love seeing those!).
What are some good blog resources you use/have used that you recommend?
The Thesis Theme for WordPress – This is the theme I used on my blog just before my redesign by Wooden Spoons Kitchen. I LOVE it. It’s super versatile and easy to navigate (and I’m no techie, trust me). I highly recommend it for anyone looking for a classy but affordable, build-it-yourself theme.
Liquid Web Hosting — You guys, I cannot rave enough about Liquid Web as a web host. I have had nothing but positive experiences with them. Any time my site goes wonky (so far through no fault of theirs), they are super-quick to respond and resolve the issue. If you’re looking for reliable workhorse of a web host, I highly recommend them.
Bluehost is another great web host for new bloggers looking to get in with a solid hosting company as they build their blog presence. They are very popular among bloggers for their ease of use and affordability.
Elegant Themes Premium WordPress Themes — I used Elegant Themes way back in the first days of the blog, and I loved using it as a starter theme. The templates are clean, no-fuss, easy to navigate and customize and professional-looking, too. I’d definitely recommend one of their themes for newbie bloggers, or for anyone who likes working with a template design.
Plate to Pixel — This is like my bible for food photography. I highly recommend it if you want to learn all the things about how to take pictures of your food.
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