Food blogging is not a new phenomenon, and that means many of us have been tapping away at our keyboards for years.
Have you ever agonized over finding a new way to describe your love for butternut squash (once again) during the fall harvest? Felt stumped about how to creatively use kale, spinach, pasta, oats, apples, berries, potatoes? Wondered if the world really needs another brownie recipe?
You ain’t the only one. At some point we all experience ‘food blogger fatigue’, where we feel uninspired, clichéd, fallow and gastronomically exhausted, yet stressed and pressured to deliver new content to our devoted readers. They’re counting on us to help them make dinner, decipher what to buy or where to go to eat!
The truth is, no one wants to read blog posts that suck, and your readers would rather miss you for little while than read words that are hollow and tired.
Fortunately, there are many ways that you can re-ignite your passion for food blogging. Here are eight techniques you can try to nurture your sagging food blogging spirit.
Flip Through Your Favourite Cookbooks, or Pick Up a Book You Wouldn’t Ordinarily Choose.
If you’re anything like me, you spend a lot of time trolling recipes online or drooling over community-based sites like Foodgawker and Tastespotting. While these websites can undoubtedly stimulate culinary inspiration, they can also plunge you into a shame spiral of comparison and self-doubt.
Pick up the cookbooks that are collecting dust on your shelf and read them. Gaze at the images, get immersed in their stories and follow a recipe or two. Don’t think about creating from scratch – concentrate on following instructions, which will not only release the pressure, but also connect you with being in your readers’ shoes.
Visit your local library or bookstore and select a cookbook genre that wouldn’t normally draw your attention. What wisdom can you glean from a book about grilling, or baking bread, or feeding a family? Are there new techniques or recipes that aren’t a part of your regular foodie world? You might be surprised at what you find.
Change Up Your Blog Design.
Everyone feels invigorated after a makeover. You don’t need to undergo a complete site overhaul, but think about making small design tweaks that will refresh the look and feel of your blog, so you’ll feel excited about writing for it. Can you create a new header, add in some updated photos, switch up your colours or fonts, or add more sharing buttons? Small changes can make a big difference.
Add a New Foodie Feature to Your Editorial Calendar.
We have a habit of writing about the same ‘ol things in the same ‘ol way. Even if you’re writing about a specific niche, perhaps you can add a new feature to your blog that still meshes with your foodie philosophy or ‘beat’. What about writing a cookbook review or restaurant review, interviewing a local farmer or restaurateur, spotlighting a favourite ingredient, sharing food styling tips, inaugurating a blog challenge? You could start off by adding these features monthly, evaluate how they are received and determine if you’d like to include them in the future.
Step Away From the Computer.
Some of my greatest insights and ideas as a writer arise when I’m strolling through the streets and enjoying fresh air. If your creative genius isn’t flowing, staring at a blank screen in angst won’t help it surge any quicker. Step away from your computer and do something else – something non-blog related – like stretching, exercising, meditating, walking the dog, hanging out in nature, calling a buddy for a quick chat, or anything that will get your circulation moving.
Play With Creative Writing Prompts.
Approach writing in a fresh way by experimenting with creative writing prompts, which inspire you to explore new ideas, change points of view, or incorporate certain words and dialogue into a story. This can be particularly tricky if you haven’t written creatively since the fifth grade! You can sign up for daily prompts by email, or pick and choose your prompts online.
Use An Ingredient You’ve Never Tried, Or Play With An Ordinary Ingredient In a New Manner.
There is plenty to explore in the world of food. Pick a fruit, vegetable, animal, spice, herb or other ingredient you’ve never bought, or rarely buy, and figure out how to prepare it deliciously. Try taking a traditionally unpopular ingredient, like Brussels sprouts or peas or anchovies or cilantro, and whip it into something more desirable. Are there ways you can use the plain standbys in imaginative ways? What about baking a chocolate soufflé using butternut squash or yams, or transforming a lasagne by using strips of eggplant or zucchini instead of noodles?
Take a Blog Break.
When we’re overwhelmed, overworked and overtired, we just need to unplug and relax. This is okay. Take some time to forget about cooking and blogging and Pinterest and Facebook. Your readers will forgive you for taking two weeks off. If you’ve built up a bank of solid, shareable and search-friendly content, your traffic won’t take too much of a hit anyway. Engage in activities that are nourishing, supportive and restorative, so you can return to blogging with a renewed sense of vigor.
Get Horizontal and Naked.
Yes, I’m going there. I recently read a fascinating book by Naomi Wolf called ‘Vagina: A New Biography’. Wolf describes the intricate tangle of nerves in the pelvic region that connect to the spinal cord and brain. She suggests that acute bursts of inspiration and creativity are more likely to occur after a satisfying orgasm, and backs up her assertion with both science and testimonials from some of history’s most well-respected writers. Sexy fun is worth a try, right?
And on that note, let’s hear from you! What are your suggestions to help get the blogging groove back?
How To Re-Ignite Your Passion For Food Blogging was written by Sondi Bruner. Sondi is a holistic nutritionist, freelance writer and food blogger. She educates people who follow allergen-friendly diets about how to eat simply, deliciously and safely, allowing them to rediscover the pleasure of food. When she’s wearing her writer’s hat, she works with natural health brands to create content that will help their customers live fulfilling, healthful lives. Find out more at www.sondibruner.com. Connect with Sondi on Facebook and Twitter @sondibruner.