You love food, and you want to write about that passion. But how do you get started? Breaking into the food writing world can take time and, once you do, the result can be well worth the effort. Here are some top tips for becoming a food writer.
Find a Niche
The world of food is vast and offers an infinite number of writing topics. Be a better food writer and connect with an audience by finding your food writing niche. The best way to find your niche is to consider which aspects of food you enjoy most or which type of food you prefer. For example, are you naturally drawn to writing about sweet or savory foods? Does your cultural heritage influence your food writing interests? Considering the answers to these and other food-related questions can help you find the perfect niche.
As a food writer, you’ll regularly need to interview sources within the food world. These sources will include chefs, restaurant owners, bakery owners, wait staff, food bloggers and more. As such, building a substantial list of sources that you can quickly contact and interview for articles will be an invaluable asset. Start establishing relationships with food professionals by attending food conferences, visiting local restaurants, connecting with chefs online and more.
Develop Your Photography Skills
Food writing and food photography go hand in hand. If possible, start developing your food photography skills. Being able to write about food and photograph it well can make you a more attractive asset to publications, editors of online food sites and the other powers that rule the food writing industry. If the thought of learning to photograph food is a bit overwhelming while you’re first learning to write about food, put this goal on the back burner until you’ve established your byline.
Diversify your Income
If you want to make real money as a food writer, a good rule of thumb is todiversify your income. For example, you may decide to start a food blog on which you’ll place advertising. But you should also explore other food writing opportunities such as pitching articles to local newspapers, regional magazines, online food sites and more. By diversifying your food writing income, you’ll be able to more easily rebound if one of your sources of writing income suddenly goes away.
State Your Opinion
According to a recent expert interview with Dianne Jacob on writing about food, Jacob states that a strong personality makes for a great food writer. You should have an opinion about the topics of your food writing and not be afraid to state that opinion.
It’s important to recognize up front that you’ll always face critics of your food writing and that you’ll never please every reader. For example, if you write about desserts, you’ll most certainly face anti-sugar critics. If you write about the world’s bread-making traditions, you’ll hear the shouts of gluten-free advocates. Find your niche, state your opinion, kill the critics with kindness and, overall, recognize the loyalty of the readers to enjoy reading your opinionated articles.
Becoming a food writer is certainly possible. It just requires a bit of an effort. From finding your food writing niche to establishing relationships with chefs and other food professionals, take the initial steps today to earn the title of a food writer.