As a busy food-focused entrepreneur, you will love learning about Food Writing for Bloggers with Kate Kordsmeier. Kate talks about how she started her career as a food writer sharing about tastes and travels from around the globe. Today she has turned her passion for food into a career as a food blogger.

Kate Kordsemeier is the next guest on the Chopped Podcast and this is a headshot of her with text showing her site name Root + Revel.

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Food Blogging as a Career

Kate was living the life as a food journalist, traveling the globe and dining at the world’s best restaurants. And then one day Kate received a diagnosis that required a big change to her diet.

Her job was a dream job in so many ways but it was not easy on her stomach. She had to change her diet and as a result she didn’t know what she was going to do about her job. Her story is one that is a testament to the power of food to change your life.

In true “silver lining” tradition, she felt like the stars aligned and several things in her life changed, making it possible for her to make a big career change as well.

When she first considered food blogging as a career, she was hesitant. Her initial impression of food blogging was that it was mostly people blogging for free stuff. That is not what she wanted as a career.

But then she started following the income reports on Pinch of Yum and they helped her realize that food blogging could be a career, and a lucrative one at that. Through her process of research (a skill she learned as a journalist), she realized that food blogging was a serious career to consider.

Of course, then she started her food blog and soon she realized it was a lot more complicated than she thought it would be. There is a lot of work involved as a food blogger than one realizes from the outside looking in. So she began listening to podcasts and taking courses to hep her figure out how to make it work. She also invested her initial income back into the business. It meant she took a hit early on, but she was playing the long game and her investments eventually paid off.

Kate talks about how she hired help in the form of experts and assistants to help expand the reach of her blog. She shared about a dilemma a lot of food bloggers experience: Do you spend money to make money…or do you make money to spend money?

For Kate, she decided to spend money to make money. She reinvested all the money from the first 6 months back into her blog so it could grow her business into one that worked for her. She talks about some of her favorite podcasts and resources that she used to grow her site on today’s episode.

Food Writing for Bloggers

Then we got into the topic of food writing for bloggers. Sure, our business is about food photography and social media and marketing and partnering with brands too. But what about the food writing aspect of being a food blogger? Kate talks about the ways we can all improve our food writing.

Her favorite tip? In order to be a better food writer, read really good food writing.

Makes sense!

She recommends a couple of books (see below) that food bloggers should read regularly to improve. Kate suggests the following food writing for bloggers inspiration:

  • Take a Journalism class to learn how to research
  • Read the Flavor Bible (Marly’s tip), to better understand how flavors combine
  • Take a cooking class to become an expert in what you’re doing. Know your craft.
  • Get out in the world, away from your computer, so you can draw parallels from life into your food writing
  • Watch Food Network
  • Get in the kitchen and give yourself permission to play
  • Take a cooking class
  • Go to cooking school if that’s what you really want.

Kate also takes a stab at this engrained mentality that says we should be sitting at a desk from nine to five. If we’re not at a desk between nine and five, it feels like we’re not being productive; not working hard enough.

Kate points out, not every job in the country takes the same amount of time. She suggests instead of feeling guilty for meeting a friend for lunch or running errands during the day, celebrate the flexibility you have in your career.

As I point out in this discussion, oftentimes we find ourselves shooting recipes on a Saturday which can more than make up for any hours spent on a Tuesday afternoon away from our computers. Besides, I find a lot of inspiration when I’m out and about and that inspiration leads to greater enthusiasm for my work!

How to do a social media detox

Kate talks about how she did a social media detox. For her this meant staying away from social media for a certain period of time (say a weekend or even a week). She also required of herself a daily one-hour walk with no podcasts, only listening to music.

She found the detox to be inspiring and something she plans to do regularly.

I asked Kate this question: What would you say to someone starting a blog brand new today? Her answer was this: “You don’t have to do everything. You don’t have to be on Instagram and Pinterest and Facebook. Pick one and focus there for awhile. Otherwise it can be very overwhelming. Sometimes it’s better to simplify.”

Chopped Academy Give-away

We are SO excited about today’s episode on food writing for bloggers AND to have you a part of the Chopped Blogger community! And we are ALL about life-long learning! So, we are hosting a give-away this month! In honor of Kate and the two books she highly recommended for improving food writing for bloggers, we are giving away these two books:

Salt, Fat, Acid Heat by Samin NosratThe book Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat

Excerpt from Amazon: “Named one of the Best Books of 2017 by NPR, Buzzfeed, The AtlanticThe Washington PostChicago TribuneRachel Ray Every DaySan Francisco Chronicle, Vice Munchies, Elle.com, Glamour, Eater, Newsday, Minneapolis Star Tribune, The Seattle TimesTampa Bay Times, Tasting Table, Modern FarmerPublishers Weekly, and more.

A visionary new master class in cooking that distills decades of professional experience into just four simple elements, from the woman declared “America’s next great cooking teacher” by Alice Waters.”

Best Food Writing of 2017A copy of the book cover, The Best Food Writing of 2017.

Amazon Excerpt: “From small-town bakeries to big city restaurants, Best Food Writing offers a bounty of everything in one place. For eighteen years, Holly Hughes has scoured both the online and print world to serve up the finest collection of food writing. This year, Best food Writing delves into the intersection of fine dining and food justice, culture and ownership, tradition and modernity; as well as profiles on some of the most fascinating people in the culinary world today. Once again, these standout essays–compelling, hilarious, poignant, illuminating–speak to the core of our hearts and fill our bellies. Whether you’re a fan of Michel Richard or Guy Fieri–or both–there’s something for everyone here. Take a seat and dig in.”

People, you are going to want these books so you can up your food blog writing game! Here are ways you can win one of these books (we will choose one person per book):

  1. Leave a review of the Chopped Podcast on iTunes. (link below)
  2. Join the Chopped Blogger Facebook Group. (link below)
  3. Join the Chopped Newsletter list (scroll down to the form at the bottom of the page).

Do all three to increase your chances!

Then either send me an email (marly at chopped dot academy) or place a comment below letting me know which ones of these you did. Then at the end of January 2018, we’ll pick a winner and will send an email. How exciting!

Show Notes

This episode on Food Writing for Bloggers, includes information you’ll want to check out:

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