They let their food go cold. They rock fancy SLRs. They tweet up a storm, posting photos of their on-trend lunches and they always know where to get a good feed. Here are five facts about food bloggers you may not know.

1. They hate food fads just as much as you do
Macarons. Masterchef. Those over-blogged ‘it’ restaurants. Food bloggers have been there, done that, or at least read it in their mile-long blogroll. At EatDrinkBlog, one food blogger admitted to me, in hushed tones ‘I don’t think macarons are that great, actually.’ I had another prominent food blogger email me to agree that Sydney’s recent night noodle markets were both overrated and lacking in noodles. Chances are your fave food blogger is as sick of hearing about Jamie’s Italian as you are…or soon will be.

2. They’re zeitgeisty, not trendy
Food bloggers will break the next big thing months before the more cautious mainstream media. By taking risks, readers feel they get the inside scoop and other bloggers can follow suit and put in their 2 cents. As a rule, food bloggers don’t blog an experience they’re not that enamoured with, unless it’s macarons, possibly served at the night noodle markets by one of the contestants of masterchef, so the initial buzz bloggers create is often well-deserved.

3. They work extremely hard at what they do
Blogging requires consistent effort, especially for big name bloggers or those who have successfully monetised their blogs. Once readers regularly stop by or start paying for content, it becomes even more important to provide consistent, quality stuff. Food bloggers know they have to bring their readers something fresh and new that they can’t find on their own. A full-time blogger may work around 15 hours a day, 6-7 days per week. I myself spend about 8-10 hours a week just to produce 1-2 posts.

4. They’re often not as tech-savvy as you might think
Bloggers aren’t all tech heads, nor are they all graphic designers. When figuring out how to do something tricky on their blogs, the default method? ‘Google it’. I’m really glad I’m not alone in this, as along with visiting forums, it’s the method I usually use. Another thing I’ll do is to get in contact with bloggers who have a feature on their blog I particularly like, and ask them where they got it. Food bloggers are usually more than happy to share their knowledge and help you out.

5. They’re not all trying to get published in mainstream media
It’s often assumed by those outside the blogging community that bloggers are trying to get published in a ‘real’ medium. For some, this may be the case – they may be after freelance writing jobs or book deals. But for many, blogging can be a hobby, or it can be a business, it can be just plain fun. I know for myself the motivation is producing something, publishing something myself.

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24 Responses to 5 Things I learned about food bloggers @ EatDrinkBlog 2011

  1. Michael says:

    Great post. I love how you’ve taken a different angle from the obvious. Don’t be surprised that the default answer is “Google it” though. That’s what the most technical people I know do.
    Michael recently posted…SEO Presentation Slides

    • Lau says:

      Yeah, come to think of it, that’s true. I think ‘technical people’ are actually often just those who like to find out the way things work, thus they are more likely to try and find a solution themselves rather than get overwhelmed and ask for help.

  2. Blah to macarons, I say. Pity I missed the conference last weekend, sounded quite interesting. 8-10 hrs a week? Man, I’m jealous!
    Ps was that “nom” word thrown around a lot last Saturday?
    john@heneedsfood recently posted…Tehuitzingo Deli & Grocery – Hells Kitchen, NYC

    • Lau says:

      Well, I blog short posts and I don’t spend ages on photos. If I make the task too huge it’ll never get done. I force myself to lower my standards, otherwise, no Corridor Kitchen.

      That’s a round-about way of saying your blog is drop dead gorgeous and I wish it was mine.

  3. Fiona says:

    I like them on occasion. But the one I ate was soooo sweet.
    Fiona recently posted…An attempt at recapping Eat. Drink. Blog. (2011) Wish me luck?

  4. I saw the tweets on this event – it sounded like a pretty good one!

    I like your list. I don’t like or dislike food trends, or the next big thing – they’re just not that important to me. I just enjoy good food. I definitely relate to working hard and researching tech things for my blog. I would love to forge a career as a writer and I do hope blogging will help with that, but prior to my current food blog I’ve had a website and a blog which I ran just for the heck of it, with no such desires attached.
    leaf (the indolent cook) recently posted…spicy, light & crispy salt and pepper tofu

    • Lau says:

      I agree, fads aren’t important to me either but they do up your audience.

      What I think blogging does for your writing is it makes it habitual. Which can be good (writers write, after all) but sometimes it makes me lazy. To get myself to write I say to myself ‘It doesn’t matter how good it is, just write SOMETHING.’ Sometimes what I write is crap.

  5. great read. i like your 5 things although i’m still not sick of hearing about jamie’s italian because so far it’s living up to my expectations and i’m looking forward to trying more of its dishes. i’ve never been a big fan of macarons or sweets for that matter but oysters and seafood is my preferred passion. if i was paid as much as my normal job i’d go full-time so i could blog more regularly but i’m doubting that will ever happen. i love eating, photographing and writing about my food adventures.
    Simon Food Favourites recently posted…Kingsleys: Launch of Grasslands Premium Beef, Woolloomooloo (17 Aug 2011)

  6. Glad to read “8-10 hours for 1-2 posts”, and glad that’s sustainable. I’m spending up to 6 hours on each post, though I’ve only been going two months and still working out ways to be more efficient.

    I noticed that Simon Food Favourites posted photos from the EatDrinkBlog meetup at 2am the next day. Clearly that took less time. :)
    Detective Chow recently posted…The Hive Bar, Erskineville – or – Neighbourhood Watch

    • Lau says:

      @Simon – Cheers! I have yet to try Jamie’s Italian, people rave about it. I will wait until it calms down a little, I think. PS I could never blog the way you do, you’re nonstop!

      @Detective Chow – Yeah, but that crazy comic book thing you do has to add a bunch of time.

      Yeah, Simon didn’t even come to the conference and I think his post was the second post up? Too quick.

  7. Gaby says:

    Macarons are overrated! Especially when spelled wrong (“macaroons”). IMO some of the best bloggers are not very tech savvy. On the other hand, IT professionals like me kinda suck as bloggers :)
    Gaby recently posted…Product review: CO YO (coconut milk yoghurt)

  8. Sefie says:

    Hah, what a refreshing way to look at the conference! I think I’d spend about 10-20 hours a week on a single post, but I am the Original Master of Taking Many Words to Say a Simple Thing. Blogging lets me run my mouth as much as I want :)

    I spent 6 years in IT support and 2 in web design, and still google everything. People actually do call me and ask me to do “that magic thing you do”.
    Sefie recently posted…Eat. Drink. Blog 2011 – Part 1, the Conference

    • Lau says:

      Wow, I’m feeling super lazy now!

      Sometimes my posts take longer once you factor eveything in. Like when I went to Haberfield Primavera recently, that was about 4 hours of eating and photographing, 2-3 hours photo editing and I’m not sure how long writing and tweaking…maybe 3 hours?

  9. Julie says:

    Amazing 5 things you learned list. I didn’t get to meet you on the day :(

  10. It’s nice that you’ve taken a different spin on the coverage of the conference. Not the summary or running commentary of the day’s event (not that there is anything wrong with that).

    I’m real envious of people who are able to knock out a post in 2-3 hours, photos included. As with you, it takes me about as much time per post.

    • Lau says:

      Thanks! I have enjoyed the rundowns I’ve read so far but I wanted to take a different approach.

      I’m willing to let my standards drop in some areas. And I’m aware that my photography skills aren’t amazing and I don’t know a thing about photoshop, which saves me time!

  11. Awww.. don’t hate the macaron. Hate the people who turned them into macaroons lol
    Great post and all points quite true. For me, I think I discovered how completely diverse food bloggers are. Often times our love of food seemed to be pretty much all we had in common but in very a good way :)

  12. The tech savvy point made me laugh. I have been blogging for seven years (I had an old blog before my current one). Nope. Uncle Google always knows:) And sometimes, I can follow the instructions, but only sometimes!
    Miss Kimbers @ Fruit Salad and Mixed Veg recently posted…Meet up & afternoon tea at the Bourke Street Bakery

  13. Beth Loggins says:

    Yes, macarons are overrated. After removing the blinders and judging objectively, macarons don’t really blow me away and are not deserving of the over the top adulation they get these days.

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