It may be that ONE amazing food photo that you saw somewhere on social media, and followed it to the food blogger you now follow; or maybe you don’t follow any food blogger – you just love scrolling through your instagram or Pinterest and seeing those food photos. There is so much behind the scenes that goes on that you don’t even know.
I started blogging sporadically when I started my personal chef company back in 2007, but it wasn’t until 2010 that I took it more seriously. There weren’t that many bloggers – at least kosher food bloggers at the time as there are now. Do you really know about food bloggers and all the work they put in to bring you those amazing recipes?
Here are 10 things you don’t know, but should:
1. There is a lot more that you DON’T see
We take up to 100 photos sometimes and we only post 3 or 4. For one, we know we can’t bombard you with so many pictures (even though we sometimes want to!) but also, we are really particular and want to post the very best shots. Also, our kitchens are not always as clean as they sometimes appear on social media. Newbie food blogger Sarah Chana Gruskin of She Cooks That says “a sparkling clean kitchen can look like it got hit by a hurricane, just to take some food photos!”
2. It’s not all about sponsorships and food media dinners
I personally have a day job and work Monday through Thursday. It’s really hard to balance that, along with family and still keep my blog and foodie world relevant, but I work hard at it because I love it. I want to share my knowledge and content with you.
Conversely, other food bloggers strictly earn a living from their blog, so sponsored content is just one of the ways that they earn income to support their families. You can be sure that most (honest) bloggers will only partner with companies that they resonate with, and the products align with their brand or vision.
We occasionally get invited to events and food media dinners to spread the word about something because of the reach that some food bloggers have. Don’t hold it against them! They’ve worked hard to get there. Hindy Garfinkel of Confident Cook Hesitant Baker says “it’s all about a good work life balance. Every day is a juggling act from going to work, to feeding and taking care of a family and making meals that are blog worthy.” She has the added challenge of having a child with special needs. “It’s one more tightrope to balance on”
3.We’ve taken different routes
I feel very fortunate to have graduated from The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) and then working my way through many NYC restaurants, but the blogging world is a whole new world. I have to learn different skills. It’s also about building relationships and making connections with our readers/followers and other professionals that lead to opportunities. Eitan Bernath of CookWithChefEitan.com says “Within a short time after its airing, (Food Network’s Chopped) I was hired to do cooking demos all over the Tri-state area, won an award, and even cooked on live television”
4.Things aren’t always what they appear. By necessity, food blogging is all about the visuals. Every once in a while, the photo is styled so well and looks delicious but in actuality, the taste is less than ideal. We know we can always adjust a recipe, but the photo is what pulls you in.
A Jew’s Bouche says that he feels a responsibility to his audience to be honest about what worked and what didn’t. To be a real person who shares and learns from failure. Through full transparency, he introduces new ideas to show that if he can do it, so can you.
5.We wear many hats and sometimes, we sacrifice
This one is close to my heart, and sort of ties into what was mentioned in #2. We are the author, food photographer, food stylist and social media manager for our own blog on top of managing our household, family and personal life. I can personally say that I sometimes feel mom guilt when I am working too long on a recipe or taking photos before we eat. It’s a hard juggling act, because many of us are not great at ALL aspects, so if we really want to hustle, we take time to research, and learn and get better at our craft – that sometimes takes away from what’s most important!
6.We love when you visit our ACTUAL blog
When you ask for a recipe on social media or expect us to just post our recipes instead of taking the time to go to our website, it sort of diminishes the work we put into it. We worked really hard developing a recipe to share it with you, and love when you go to our website and get the recipe we are sharing with you. It’s free! It honestly makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside! Samantha Ferraro of Little Ferraro Kitchen says “We love it when you tell us about a similar recipe you grew up on!” On another note, when you make the dish and tag us on social media, we feel like a million bucks.
7. Some food bloggers plan content many months in advance
Is it Summertime? Well, for some, you can count on us thinking about the holidays! Others post when the mood or inspiration strikes. Liz Reuven of Kosher Like Me explained that she works on an editorial calendar coded by seasons, Jewish holidays and major American holidays. She leaves plenty of openings, though, for last-minute inspiration.
8.We sometimes serve on paper or plastic
GASP! No, really…Miriam Pascal of Overtime Cook says “sometimes we serve on plastic dishes too. I’ll use fancy/high quality paper goods when hosting a large crowd for the Sabbath and Holidays and I don’t want to deal with a billion dishes. And I’ll use cheap stuff when I’m feeling lazy during the week and don’t want to wash anything.”
9.We don’t eat THAT well, and sometimes not at all!
“People tend to think that food bloggers eat really well, but sometimes we are so busy testing and retesting recipes, that all we really do is taste and we don’t actually EAT it” Chanie Apfelbaum of Busy in Brooklyn says. When it comes to kosher food blogging, there is even an added element when it comes to food styling and photography Chanie adds “Sometimes we have to treif up [make non-kosher] our food just for the sake of a beautiful photo! Like when we put a vintage non-kosher spoon into a hot bowl of soup and we have to chuck it after! (or feed it to our non-Jewish help!”
10. We actually like each other!
“What seems like it would be a competitive field is seriously full of support instead. So many of us food bloggers talk every day, comment on each others websites, like each other’s social media posts and more! We are growing together and we truly inspire each other.” Melinda Strauss of Kitchen-Tested couldn’t have said it any better! She once mentioned my name on her Instagram stories just because – and I seriously got so many follows from that! 😀
Thank you to all my food blogger friends for their contribution for this article and for their honesty. Go check out their awesome blogs and spread the love!