As one of a gazillion food bloggers out there, I naturally look at other blogger’s posts. As a matter of fact I am a part of a few “share” groups. Groups where we YUM or PIN or otherwise share each others “recipes” to help promote ourselves. Most of the sites I visit are really nice sites, good writing, good photos (learning from them) and good recipes; even if it’s not something I would necessarily eat as many of blogs are vegan, gluten-free, or otherwise restricted in what they prepare and serve. But I happily promote them as I know there are many out there who want just those types of recipes.
Some of the sites I visit and have to promote are horrible and it pains me to have to YUM them. I mean really, how do I YUM a recipe that is not even a recipe? Or such a poorly written recipe that instruct you to open a can, pour it into a pot, heat it up and serve it over rice? Sort of like that campaign Campbell’s Soups did a while back. I totally cracked up over that campaign; wondering who was the brilliant person to come up with those recipes. I mean seriously, is it a question of whether to serve Campbell’s Chucky Sirloin soup over rice or mashed potatoes? Anyway, over time I’ve come up with my Top 10 things food bloggers do that drive me crazy.
1. Posting a recipe, that is not a recipe. If you are just putting a pretzel stick onto a Reese’s Peanut Butter Mini, with some colorful store bought icing, that is not a recipe, that is a craft. Call it a craft. (see above)
2. Capitalization errors: capitalizing words that don’t need to be capitalized – Like in your recipe list. Butter does not need to be, nor does any word unless it’s a proper name. OR Not capitalizing when there is a need – Mexican food does need to have a capital M for Mexican, food does not. Chinese food, also, for the C not the f.
3. Misuse of grammar. Now, I’m not an English major, but I do have a sense of what’s up in grammar. I’ve been known to leave a participle hanging, but if you don’t know the difference between their, there, and they’re … you need to look it up. Same with then and than. One is then and now, one is rather than another. Which is which. I think you can figure it out. And it’s and its. It’s a contraction people, of it and is,(as in, it is a very fine cake). Its is a possessive, it belongs to the it (its flavor is just FABULOUS!)
4. Spelling errors. I am a horrible speller. I used to get all A’s on my spelling papers, but that was memorization work, and I was pretty good at that. The retention; not so much. So please, watch your spell-check and if it can’t find the word or spell check offers no suggestions…Google it! You generally only have to get to the first four or five letters for it to find something you really meant to say.
5. Overuse of your recipe title in the copy: Speaking of Google, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) dings you if you don’t use your title in your copy often enough…so many repeat the dishes name over and over in their blog. Name of Recipe: Raspberry Apple Tart. To make this raspberrry apple tart, you need raspberries because without raspberries you would not have a Raspberry Apple Tart, only an apple tart. Also you need apples, otherwise you would not get a Raspberry Apple Tart, only a Raspberry Tart. This Raspberry Apple Tart is so easy to make. We had this Raspberry …you get the picture. OK…so the SEO says the keyword is a bit low in the copy, let it go! Please…
6. Taking a picture of every step. I understand. You, like me, want to be a great photographer. I really do. I want to improve my skills. But do I have to post it all? No, I don’t think so. If you want to show how awesome the salt looks sprinkling down on your whatever, make a tab on your blog to show awesome photos you think we might want to see. Now if there is a particular technique that you can better illustrate with photos, by all means, show me the steps! And I mean you too Pioneer Woman.
7. Same with ingredients. I know what a can of friggin Hunt’s Tomato Sauce looks like, I don’t need to see a can of it. If you are doing it for you, to know what you put into your dish, that’s fine, just leave it off the recipe so I don’t have to endlessly scroll to get to the crux of what you are suggesting I cook.
8. Taking other people’s recipes as your own. Verbatim, or even close enough that I took 3 ingredients and changed them, then rewrote the way the instructions were written…come on. Cooking is tough, using the same ingredients over and over, in different ways is hard. Surly you had at some points inspirations from others. If so, recognize them. It can be “inspired by” or I read this really interesting idea by XYZ and thought, add this and that and yay ME! I think mine is better. Link. Give credit where credit is due.
9. Stealing other peoples photos. If you understood how hard so many work to try to make pretty pictures for you to drool over, and then you knew, someone just went in and steals that awesome photo and puts it on their blog or Instagram as if they took it …well, nothing pisses off a blogger more.
10. And the final of the final…why so many ads? I understand monetization, but at some point I do want to find your recipe, and your voice, amongst all those flashing ads all over your blog just begging me to “click off”.
So that’s it. I’m sure there are more and I’m sure I’ve committed some of these errors myself…in a grammatical fashion. What are some of your pet peeves…for Food Bloggers?