No doubt about it, the life of a food blogger is kind of cool. You get to combine a few important things into one:
- Your passion for food…oh, glorious food.
- Making sure you and your family eats. You know, because they have to.
- Earning an income from home and from your computer.
It’s pretty awesome to be able to turn what you love into a living and serve your family at the same time, right? But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t get kind of hectic. Sometimes it is tough to balance.
How many times has this happened? You planned to feature a recipe on your site, so you made it, but then you forget to take a picture. Or you’re in such a hurry, you don’t have time to set up a nice shot and it comes out blurry, too dark and just a mess. You know, it goes a little something like this…
Or when you’re so busy and creating meals on the fly, you just never quite get around to making that blogging plan. After you take the last bite of that amazing lasagna you think…dang…that would have made an awesome blog post. The good news is, it’s not too difficult to balance everything, so your family eats AND you get great blog content. Here are a few ideas for you.
- Plan your meals in advance. We know, we know…who has time to get organized? But funny enough, when you’re organized in one area of your life, everything else starts to fall in place. If you do a monthly or weekly menu plan, you can ensure you have plenty of great ideas for your family to eat and for you to add to your blog. It’ll also save you plenty of time at the grocery store, save you money and even afford you more time for blogging.
Planning doesn’t have to be detailed or fancy. Lynette uses Google Calendar. She has a family calendar for events but daily meals are also added to the family calendar. That way, everyone knows what’s for dinner without asking.
In addition, because Google Calendar is hooked up to her phone, that gives her the flexibility of adding a meal when she thinks of it, while at the store, waiting in line or anywhere. Although her preferred method is to set aside a few minutes every Saturday, the freedom to add and edit on demand is much appreciated.
- Plan the scene in advance. If you’re cooking a meal for your family and know you need to take a photo before you eat, set the scene before you start cooking. Whether it’s a place mat, cutler or garnishes, have it ready to go, so you can swoop in with your camera quickly.
Research styling of your particular dish on Pinterest (we have plenty of ideas for you on our boards) or through Google. The more prepared you are in advance, the more likely you can avoid the disaster photo like shown above.
- Set aside a plate for later photos. The problem with taking photos just before you eat, especially at dinner time in the winter months, is that the lighting is rarely ideal. Yes, you can use a lightbox or other artificial lighting set up, but realize that natural light usually produces better results, unless you have a very professional set up.
Add to that, food that is cooled often results in a better photo. Food that is steaming isn’t particularly photogenic. To combat this, set aside a portion for a photo for the next day. Then you can have time to set up the scene properly and get the best light.
Just be sure to tell your hungry teen boy that if he touches that food before you take a photo, he’ll lose his wifi privileges.
- Schedule a photo shoot day. At Alice’s house, there are often “Photo Shoot Days” that the whole family loves. It’s a day where Alice just makes food to photograph, one dish after another. There are no scheduled meals that days, but the family knows there is some yummy stuff coming and it will trickle out of the kitchen throughout the entire day. Alice generally prepares the food in smaller batches, so she can get through a lot. Plus, there are plenty of leftovers, so the household cooking is much easier for many days after.
- If the photo is bad, all is not lost. Just because you didn’t get a photo, doesn’t mean all is lost. Sure, food content always goes better with photos, but you can always take a photo of some of the ingredients or even just the right stock photo can work in a pinch. Or if you want to make sure you have a photo, write the content now, put it in draft and add the dish your meal plan again for next week.
- Hire a writer. If you’re so busy with all the little details of your site, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and frazzled. A good ghostwriter can help you create articles about food, rework recipes, schedule posts for you, and more. Then you can focus on testing and photographing the recipes or creating other content for your audience.
- Use our ready-made content and photos. Of course, you can also lighten your load by using and adapting the ready-to-publish food and garden content we have for you. We have photos, recipes, reports, articles and more. You can edit them, add to them, brand them, monetize them and use them how you’d like in your content plan.
It’s not always easy getting it all done, but give yourself a break. We’re our toughest critics and harshest bosses, but with a little planning we can get to where we want to and have a fresh supply of great food content on our sites.