Inspired by this piece in the Guardian, in which several successful fiction writers (including Elmore Leonard, Margaret Atwood, and Jonathan Franzen) give their ten rules for writing fiction, here are my ten rules for food blogging. (I hope my other senior food blogging colleagues write their own ten rules too.)
1. Have a hook. That hook might be cooking your way through a cookbook, deriding disastrous cakes, or advising fellow workers on where to eat in midtown.
3. If you don’t have a name, have a singular, stand-out voice that’s unlike any other voice out there.
4. If you don’t have a singular, stand-out voice, take beautiful pictures of beautiful food and include recipes.
5. Update frequently, at least three times a week. Even if you’re not a great photographer, include pictures in your posts; preferably, a lead picture at the top and several illustrative pictures studded throughout. (Edit these pictures in Photoshop, for maximum effect.)
6. Spend time on the design of your blog. If you’re not a design person, pay a designer to make it look great. It’s a worthwhile investment.
7. Interact with your readers. Prompt them for comments, acknowledge their comments in your later posts.
8. Offer your readers various ways to read your blog: syndicate your blog through RSS, send it out over e-mail, if you’re techno savvy (and I’m not) create an iPhone app.
9. Tweet. Nowadays, a great way to call attention to your blog and what you’re blogging about is Twitter. Build up a large Twitter following and then link to your posts when you write them.
10. Be exuberant. No one wants to read a shoulder-shrugging blogger. If you’re passionate, you’ll get a passionate response.