9 Rules for Good Food Blogging

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  1. Put the name of the restaurant in the title.
    This may seem more boring than the witty title you came up with. However NOT naming the restaurant in the title can make it difficult to (1) figure out where you are writing about and (2) find your post on search engines or even in a reader’s browser history. A suitable title makes it easier for a reader to retrieve your article from their browser history if they want to refer to it again later as most browsers only search through page titles.
  2. Consistently put restaurant contact info either at the top or bottom of the post so your readers know where to find it. Don’t make people try dig it out from the body of the post. Contact info should include name, address, phone number, website (if there is one) and hours.
  3. More photos, less words.
    Readers would prefer more photos unless you are genuinely knowledgable about food or a very talented writer. See these tips on food photos.
  4. Declare advertorials.
    Make it clear up front if you are being paid to write a piece and/or your food was comped by the restaurant in exchange for the post. Likewise your blog shouldn’t be dominated by advertorials. Ad filled blogs feel “spammy”. If every other post is a paid for ad, you will lose credibility
  5. Review one restaurant at a time or one location at a time.
    Don’t randomly review two places because, say, you went to them both yesterday or cus they are both Italian. The article should, at the very least, have a coherent theme that is useful to the reader – eg “Kid Friendly restaurants”, “Restaurants in Robertson Quay”, “Best Nasi Lemak Places”.
  6. Be critical.
    Have an opinion and don’t just praise every place you go to – this will also lose you credibility. If you don’t have the courage to earn the ire of a bad restaurant, stick to photo blogging and don’t offer fake opinions.
  7. Write about real food.
    Don’t write about fast food. Hawker food is of course great for food reviews but food from BK, McDonalds or any other fast food chain is not. People don’t buy food at fast food joints because of food reviews.
  8. Write about food and only food.
    If you start including wedding photos, trips to the zoo or even “food at family reunion” stories then your blog will be disregarded as just another diary. If you want to be a food writer, keep your personal life in a different blog. Likewise don’t mix up recipe blogs with food review blogs. Have a definite focus and stick to it.
  9. Have a summary.
    At either the top or bottom of the post, have a 1 paragraph summary of the dining experience. This is a “TLDR” (Too Long; Didn’t Read) summary for those who do not want to read your insightful prose. These days people have info overload and want the gist of things quickly. If you force every reader to read your entire post to figure out if a place is good, they will stop coming back.

See also 12 Rules of Food Blog Photos.