How to Create an Engaging Food Blog Post | Mackenzie Schieck | Skillshare

How to Create an Engaging Food Blog Post

Mackenzie Schieck, Writer & Food Blogger

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8 Lessons (49m)
    • 1. Introduction

      2:06
    • 2. Class Project Overview

      0:39
    • 3. Coming Up with a Blog Post Subject

      4:53
    • 4. Quick Chat About Camera Type

      1:35
    • 5. How to Take Visually Descriptive Photos

      13:18
    • 6. How to Get Started with the Writing

      13:07
    • 7. How to Put it All Together

      12:01
    • 8. Quick Wrap-Up and Final Tips

      1:10

About This Class

If you’ve always wanted to start a food blog, but weren’t sure where to begin, this class is for you! Mackenzie Schieck shares food writing and digital content creation tips gained during her seven years as an editor at Allrecipes.com, as well as from creating her own blog, Pine and Crave, in March 2016. In this class, you’ll get practical advice for creating a post that readers click on, consume, and share, including all the basics for how to approach:

  • Photography (styling, best angles, types of shots)
  • Writing (developing voice, identifying your style, nitty-gritty consistency stuff)
  • Putting it all together into a cohesive post

This class is perfect for anyone who has a passion for food, and wants to share it with others. When you’re finished, you’ll have a mouth-watering blog post that’s ready to hit publish on! Basic knowledge of at least one blogging platform recommended, and access to a camera. (Any type of camera will do--camera phones welcome!)

Transcripts

1. Introduction: So if you're one of those people who's always wanted to start a food blogger but just weren't sure where to begin, I want this class to give you everything you need to get started. I'll help you come up with a topic for your block post. I'll talk about how to approach the photography and the writing, and I'll talk about how to pull it all together to create a conclusive bog post, but not only represents your style but engages readers. My name's Mackenzie Sheikh. I've been creating digital contents as a writer since about 2006. I was in all recipes editor for seven years, and as a freelancer, I contribute to a handful of lifestyle websites, including Hello giggles apartment therapy. I'm also in editor at Feed Feed. So have a lot of experience creating digital content for a large audience. But I also know what it's like to start a block from scratch and the challenges that could go along with that. I started my blawg pine and crave in March of 2015 and it's definitely been the most challenging but the most fun project I've ever worked on in my career. mostly because I get to pull together a lot of different things that I already love, like styling and photography and course writing and food. All these things were a part of my life, either professionally or as a hobby, and now they're all merging into one, which makes it really fun. I've always been someone who loves to create, and one of the best parts about creating to me is being able to share. And that goes for when I'm sharing a recipe on my site for when I learned information as I go along. And basically, that's why I'm here today at skill share. So for this class you'll want to have a basic knowledge of at least one blogging platform. Ideally, you'll know which one you already want to use. You'll need something to take pictures with. Any camera will dio your phone or DSLR. We can work with all of it. You're gonna take beautiful pictures, no matter what. Overall, I really want this class to give you all the tools you need to get started. I want you to feel inspired to get started, and I want any roadblock that you put in front of yourself to be smashed all the way. By the end of this class, you'll have you block post that is live mouthwatering and that people are reading so quick and roll and let's get cooking. 2. Class Project Overview: Hi there. Thanks for signing up for this class. I'm excited to see you. I hope you are excited to get started for this class. I'm gonna help you come up with a topic for your first block post. I'm going to help you get started with a photography and the writing. And then and then we're gonna pull it all together and put it into one beautiful block post along the way, I'm gonna have you share some items to the project workspace. I love to know what other blog's you really like. Once you get started with a photography, I'd like to see some photos. I'd love to see a draft of your blog's post. When you get writing, I could give you feedback and you get feedback from other classmates. And, of course, the final project is going to be that live blogged post that you hit publish on 3. Coming Up with a Blog Post Subject: Hi, everybody with Mackenzie. Welcome to my computer. I'm gonna take you through the lessons. First section is topics for your blog's post. I want to back up just a little bit, cause I just want to give you a few ideas in terms of what you might do as an approach for your overall blawg. Just to get you thinking where to start, start with something. You know, start with something you like. Start with something that sounds fun. Um, my blawg was actually originally called single servings. It was geared towards people who cook for one. I started with that because that was, ah, column that I wrote at all recipes every month. So I was comfortable with that and you had to do that. So that's where I started. I started with something I know there's lots of different ways you could go about creating a theme for your blog's. It could be all original recipes. That's what I do on my blawg. You could cook your way through a cookbook. The most famous example of that is probably Julia and Julia, where a woman went through all of Julia Childs recipes and one of her cookbooks over the course of a year. Maybe you really like food trucks. You have a lot of food trucks in your city, and you want to write about that. Maybe you're not much of a cook. You actually just really like to food. And you like to go out to restaurants right about that. Me? There's a specific food type you want to write about, whether it's vegan, raw, paleo. There's a lot of that going around right now. Lots of things to choose from there. Maybe you're someone who actually has a culinary background. So you would like to share cooking techniques. You could do any of these. You could do all of these. I just want to give you ideas to get started. I'm going to give you some writer advice along the way, just things that have helped me over the course of last one years. Approach my writing for this food bog. Write about food that you can't wait to share with others. Never let where you start limit where you think you can go. I promise you your approach is going to evolve over time, so don't get stopped up by that. Just go with that creative flow. OK, now we're going to start to create a block post. By the way, you don't need to know where your blood is gonna go to create one post. We're just gonna get started somewhere. Okay? So what you gonna write about? Are you going to make a recipe? If you're gonna make a recipe, will you be creating one from scratch? Or you gonna be using one from a cookbook like we just talked about? Are you going to demonstrate a cooking technique? Maybe how to cut a pomegranate? How to de bone a fish? Maybe you're going to write about your favorite restaurant or even a specific dish there. Let's look at examples of different types of food block posts. So I'm gonna use this particular post from my blawg throughout this course just so you can see how I dio all these different elements within one block post Also give you examples from other blog's as well as's from other posts within my blawg. So this is my approach. I cook recipes from scratch. I start with a description of the recipe, how I created it. I get to the the specifics, the ingredients how long it takes. If you're making a recipe from a cookbook, be sure you talk about that before you credit that cookbook and site it. I wouldn't want to use the recipe. I wouldn't publish the recipe in that bond post. Unless it's your own. I would always be overcautious and over generous with giving credit where credit is due. So this is just the end of the block post here in the final result at the end here, I linked to other recipes that are similar to this one other Moose's as well as all desserts. That's one kind of block post. This is from a block called Kaylan Caramel, So this is just a different way to think about food. She does a lot of recipes that you eat, but this one is actually a mask. So I just want to give an example of a different way to think about food. She's really good at doing splattering. I love her splatters. So this is from a blob called Northwest Workshop. She has a handful of log posts that are more informational there, like a definition of different cooking terms, Whether it's an ingredient or a type of food. This is a great way to approach a block post. They can use you as a resource and as a cookbook. So two assignments for this particular lesson. The first thing is I would love you to share food blocks that you like to the project space . It doesn't have to be a food blogger. It could be any BLAWG. I'd also like you to share your food block topic when you figure it out. If you have a few ideas, but you don't know how to decide. That's definitely another reason to share. Get feedback from me. Get feedback from the class. So quick. Review. In this lesson, we talked about how to approach an overall food blogger lots of different ways. We also talked about honing in on what you would like to write for your specific class project. It could be something as simple as writing about the soy cappuccino you get every day. Your favorite coffee shop. Don't overthink it. Just do something that sounds fun Up. Next, we'll talk about how to approach the photography 4. Quick Chat About Camera Type: Hi. Welcome back in this lesson. We're gonna talk about how to approach the photography. Initially, I just want to talk about camera choice real quick. I heard a quote the other day that I really, really loved. And it was. What's the best camera to use? The one that's in your hands. Don't let thinking that you don't have the right camera stop you from beginning this process. Yes, a fancy DSLR is awesome. I have when I love it, but iPhones and your camera phone can take beautiful pictures, and it's a really valid and can be a really beautiful approach to a block. So let's take a look at some photos that I actually took with my iPhone. So I actually did post this in a block post when I when I was on vacation, just to let people know that they wouldn't be getting any new recipes from me. This week there's another one, just from a coffee shop when I was out in about and I didn't have my big camera, another one that I don't usually use filters on Instagram, but I happen to I really think that's turned out beautiful. I would definitely put this in a block post and my cute little coffee so not too shabby, right? I actually also found an article from bona petite that had a few really, really beautiful photos taken with an iPhone, as well as an article about how to do that better. I included that article in the resource materials that are posted to this class so you can go and take a look at that later. But here's a few of those photos I really liked. Beautiful marshmallows. I'm always a fan of marshmallows. Um, I also always a fan of gold cutlery, utensils again. Whatever camera you have is perfect. Just start with that. 5. How to Take Visually Descriptive Photos: Okay, Now we're gonna talk about how to create a visually descriptive photo and a few things to consider to achieve this. One thing you want to think about is plating the food in a way that lets you see all the components. Another thing to think about is what angle is going to show off the dish the best. And lastly, how can you style the food and shot toe, add more interest and tell a more complete story? Let's dive a little deeper into each element. So plating the food, take a look at some examples. So this is from my lemon mousse post again. Technically, this is a cup, but we're gonna talk about plating. But I made choices here to show off certain things in this dish, one of which is those pomegranate seeds. I put them on the top because I wanted to be able to see the shape in that color. You know, maybe someone else might have put a layer of pomegranate seeds in the middle to create a stripe. That would be beautiful, too. But I really wanted to see the shape of those seeds. I also wanted to communicate that the flavor of the moose was lemon, so I used that zest on the top. If I were serving, this may be at a dinner party. I may or may not have put the assessed on their for purposes of creating a photo that is visually descriptive. I wanted to have that assessed on the top, so I'm using This photo is an example of things I didn't write. There's actually one thing I did wrong that I want to talk about at the end. There are four elements that you're looking at here. There is squash kale. There's a cache of garlic cashew cream and there are pine. It's so I play this in a very specific way. I layered it very carefully so that when you looked at it from above, you could see all those elements cascading down. The one thing you can't see in this photo is that I actually had lasagna noodles in there, and that is something that I did not do very well. I did not get those pieces out to be able to see that I didn't want to take the time to reshoot it. You'll find this as you go along your blog's You're only one person. You can only do so much. So just note those things when they come up and you can do it differently next time. So in this photo, these are what I have nicknamed hockey cakes. I'm from Seattle. So go hawks. The things that I wanted to show off in this picture are number one, the colors, the green and the blue. So when I created this blueberry syrup, you can see that it almost ended up kind of being a purple color. So when I'm plating this I'm thinking, Gosh, I really want that blue to be brighter. So I added fresh blueberries to that plate in order to get those colors to pop. The other thing that I wanted to show off was that there are actually 12 pancakes there. If you are from Seattle, you know that, uh, Seahawks fans are called 12. So that was the other element that I want to communicate. So now we're gonna talk about how you can use the angle of your shot to show off your food better. So I want to look at my lemon mousse and with pomegranate again because this element was actually a little challenging, and I sort of pulled in the styling to help this shot a little bit. So we're sort of gonna be talking about two elements the angle and the styling. So I like this photo, but I don't get the impact that I want from the shape of those pomegranate seeds. It's okay. It's just not great. The side You didn't really do much for it. I think the overhead is beautiful, but you can't tell what's underneath those pomegranate seeds you don't know. That's move center there. So I ended up shooting it like this. I took a spoonful out of the moose, laid it next to that cup so that you could see the creaminess of the moose but still get the impact from that overhead shot of the pomegranate seeds. I also put a slice of lemon there because I wanted to communicate that that moose flavor was lemon, and I sprinkled a few of those pomegranate seeds on the right hand side because I wanted to pull that color to the other side. So it was balanced out a little bit and just why I actually did use all of these photos that I'm showing you in the Finnish blonde post. I think that that's fine, showing different angles, actually really like to show different angles. But if I was only allowed one photo to represent this recipe, this is the one that I would choose because it shows all the different pieces the most clearly. So I just want to show you a couple other examples, and I'll just talk about the styling and why I made these choices. So these air pancakes, pink pancakes? Obviously, this was for Valentine's Day and or gallon Tynes Day. Sometimes all do actually do a lot of pancakes, and I really actually like to do pancakes from the side, usually because I like to get the drip of the syrup. But to need this photo was more about the colors. It was about the pink, and it was about the red of the Berries that are on top. So, um, I wanted to do an overhead shot to see all those styling elements to see those Berries on the top. So I used a little shot glasses for the creamer and, uh, syrup. I wanted there to be a little swirl of that cream in the coffee, so it was clear what was sitting next to it. So this is what I like to call a foe in process shot. It shows the steps of making this recipe, but it's clearly staged. There are other times where I do actually take shots during the process of making a recipe , and it's all actually happening. This one was not actually happening. But the reason I did it is because I wanted to be able to show off all of these elements of this recipe. Those reds and whites swirls of the marshmallows. I want those to be visible, which it's harder to see those worlds as soon as you put that chocolate on. So I wanted to show what was underneath it. I wanted to show what was going to go on top of it, and I also wanted to show what that Final One was, Which is that top right? Finished one. Also, I used those broken candy canes to communicate what flavor that marshmallow is. And just use a powdered sugar because you're gonna That's part of the process is well, is dipping those marshmallows and powdered sugar. So I'm gonna back up a little bit and go back to the angle element because not I don't get sidetracked exactly, but I talked about it in tandem with style styling. So let's take a look at examples of specifically overhead shots, which are my favorites. Take so soups I always do from the top. Um, I think he would be hard pressed to find a soup that would actually extend beyond the top of the rim of the bowl. So it's either you need to do an angled like 45 degree shot at a soup or overhead, and I just I happened to like overhead better. I also always do overhead shots. Four ingredients. I think this is It's pretty obvious that if you try to do a side shot, you just simply wouldn't be able to get those ingredients in that shot that it wouldn't be clear what they were. So I'm gonna show you a couple examples of side angle shots. I think I mentioned the syrup before. I love taking shots of pancakes from the side and dripping syrup down the sides. You get those luscious, delicious sweet drift all the way down. So I took this shot from the side because obviously, if you did it from overhead position, you just wouldn't be able to get all those ingredients in the shot if I had perhaps opened up the hamburger, put you know, a few items on the top of the hamburger bun and on the bottom and had them sort of side by side. You could probably do an overhead shot and still get all those ingredients, but as it is completely assembled, you definitely need to get it from the side. So now I'm just gonna talk about the types of photos that you might need for your block post. You want to think about shape? Are their positions on your block post where you need square photos? Are there places while where you'll need rectangle ones? I also think about the orientation when you're taking those rectangle images. Do you need them to be horizontal or vertical? Do you want to use some of both? I'll show you where I need to keep shape and orientation in mind on my blawg. There's a spot in my block post one in building that where I need to choose a quote unquote featured image. This is where that image is gonna show up pretty much any place where that block post is featured on my site, it's going to pull in that particular photo. So what I know about this photo is that it needs to be horizontal and needs to be rectangle . So when I'm shooting, I make sure that I get a photo that is gonna work for this position. This is also the photo that I want to be the most visually descriptive. Remember I talked about, um if I had to use one photo to represent this recipe, I would use this photo and this is exactly where I would use it. And then over the course of, um, you know, refining my style for each post, I eventually decided that I always want to do a square photo at the beginning of my block post. So when I'm shooting, I make sure I have something that's gonna work in a square. So this will be different for your blog's. You'll make your own decisions about stuff, but I just want you to have this in mind as you're shooting to get lots of different shapes and sizes. So one more thing about photography. I want to talk about secondary establishing shots. So aside from pictures of the main dish, what other photos could you take? That what enhance the post? This could be photos of ingredients. It could be in process shots like why I talked about a little bit in process shots could demonstrate a cooking technique. Or he could do it just to be fancy location shots. If you're writing about a restaurant, consider getting pictures of the exterior and interior. Maybe the bar, Whatever you think would enhance your post and make your reader feel like they're there. Even if you're working on a recipe post. Did you get the ingredients at a farmer's market? Include those pictures. If there's any piece of that process that is interesting to look at visually, those of the Texas situations you could take pictures off. So here's some examples. This one's an ingredient shot. I do these as often as possible. Not I don't always do it, but I like it because it breaks up the page. Otherwise, it's a lot of text all in a row. It adds a visual interest, and it's actually helpful. I I personally find this helpful in a block post. I'm visual. So I like to see what goes into a recipe. And to me, this makes the rescue look more accessible. You can see 123 words. You know, you can see exactly what goes into it, and it's not that much. And I'm gonna show you process shots for what I called Valentine Mallows. The technique I used to make these. So this is the kind of rest pay that you can't just like, put this picture up and be like today. Ah, you know, like, there was clearly a technique that went into this. So I definitely want to show how I achieved this. So I did a picture of you know, how I created the hearts by dragging a toothpick through it. I showed that final slab of marshmallow that it should be in lines with about an inch between each row of hearts. I showed how to slice it into strips and then how to cut it into smaller pieces. And then how we dip it into chocolate and set it to dry and harden. And now you know, is the total apart because you know how you got there and then his next ones are definitely in the just to be fancy category, you know? So do we really need to show how ingredients look in a bowl? Not really. Do we really need Teoh? Demonstrate what it looks like when you put stuff in a pan? You know, not really same deal here, but it as visual interest. And it breaks up the page where if you have a really long recipe, inserting these pictures just moves the eye along a little bit better, and it's it's fun to look out. I love looking at pictures. It also makes me feel fancy, Um, location shots for these shots. You don't necessarily need the food in the picture. It's just nice to offer pictures to give readers context and understand where they are in this picture. And there is actually you can see that cookie on the table. But clearly this photo is not about that food. It's about that wall, which was the whole reason I went to this cafe because I saw a picture of this wall and I thought I used to go there. So just take pictures of what you love about the space that you're writing about. So let's review real quick in this lesson. We talked about how plating and styling helped to create visually descriptive photo. We talked about how to determine what angle is going to show off your food, and best we talked about keeping in mind what photo shapes and orientations are needed for your post. And then, aside from the final dish, consider what additional secondary establishing photos. What help to enhance your bog post For this lesson assignment. Please share at least one photo of your final dish or the main subject of your bond post and at least one photo of a secondary establishing shot. Next up. I'm gonna talk about how to approach the writing. I'll talk about developing your voice and style as well. It's the nitty gritty details stuff that will help you stay consistent 6. How to Get Started with the Writing: Welcome back. Uh, this lesson is going to be how to approach the writing. Specifically, developing voice in this section. Eso I have a little bit more of Mackenzie's writer advice, right? Like you talk, then maybe punch it up just a tad. I'll show you some examples of what I mean by that. So this is a block post from my blawg. I'm using this example cause I have, um, several instances in here where I feel like my voice comes out And where I have punched up my voice a bit. You can see right here. I say any who? Um I say get my were in gear. I'm so a fan now, we all know raw almonds are the best for you, blah, blah, blah. These are types of things. I probably would not string together in a few sentences over the course of about 20 seconds . But these are things that I might say over the course of the day. So when I say right, like you talk, but punch it up a little bit, this is what I mean. I wouldn't add any more to that because there's a lot going on there, but I just want to give you example of what I mean when I say right like you talk but punch it up a little bit. So here's another example of this is she's actually not a food blogger. She's a stylist in Brooklyn. On DSHEA. She does business coaching. I use her as an example of strong voice because she has a very vintage and other era type style to her. You can see here, she says, My dear, delighted. You're here right here, she says. How do you want your clothing to make you feel when you walk into insert simple, everyday, smashingly exciting activity? So that's a very distinct voice that's very clear. You get an idea of who she is. Just a couple more examples from her sight. Have a problem. Love. It's very her. That's very Hillary. And again, I doubt that she would say all of these phrases and words in one sentence, but this comes off is very authentic to me. I believe that she uses these phrases never it phrases in everyday life. So again she's writing like you talks, but she's punching it up a little bit, So this is another example I think of a strong voice. This is from a block called the Sugar hit. I'm just going to read you through. Some of ones that I think are strong are indicative of her voice looking for a total Blau blowout. Killer feast for one or two. No problemo. Got food allergies? A nothing. So I can hardly even feel like I get away with saying that for this class. But I totally believe that she would say that in real life. Looking for a modern spin on a classic recipe? Are you kidding me? Yeah. No, big. So definitely a very clear voice there. And one that is very different from mine, Very different from Hillary's. So another element to approaching the writing is developing your style. You actually already have a style. You probably know that. It's just that now you're going to apply that style to your blawg. I think that the key to developing your style is more about being able to identify it, which can be really hard. You live it so it's difficult to detect. You're just doing you, you know, as they could say, to hone in on what is uniquely you. I recommend looking through other people's blog's and taking note of how you feel You differ as an example, let's look at my style versus the style of the sugar hit Blawg so words I would use to describe my block pretty clean, simple, modern ish and stuff that I do That's totally me. Pull in pop culture references. Avoid using culinary terms. I post a lot of vegan and gluten free recipes, but I keep a kind of quiet. I don't really market my blawg as a vegan blogger as a gluten free blawg. So all of these things make up my style for comparison. The sugar hit style I would describe Sarah style as playful, bold, colorful, decadent stuff that she does that's totally her. She post these insane, amazing looking desserts. She uses a lot of what I would call candy shop colors pink, turquoise, yellow and she uses comic book type visual references. You can see that a little bit in the, um, lettering up here. We have another grabbed, another screenshot. So this, you know, this is like the Pau zip zoom that you would see in a comic book. Very specifically, the sugar hit you would not see that on my website. I think if you were to swap these elements, but, you know, put these next to my blawg and my descriptors next to her Blawg. It just wouldn't fit it wouldn't make sense. So those air styles you can see very clearly. So when you get started with a writing, I just wanted to give you some writing prompts. Uh, still, For me, the hardest part of writing is getting started. So I feel your pain. If you're going through that, Here are some questions you can consider to get your creative juices flowing. And I've included thes questions in the resource materials that are attached to this class so you don't need toe. Uh, memorize these by any means, but I'm just gonna read through them for you right now. What time in your life does this food remind you off? Why did you choose to write about this particular food? What is your favorite time of day, week or year to eat this food? Have you always loved this food or is it new to you? Go through the five senses. What does the food taste feel? Smell look like? Is there a sound you could associate with it. Maybe when it cooks, for instance, popcorns loud. It's a pop. What would you pair this food with? Finish this sentence or one of these sentences? I love to eat this food after I've blank while I'm blank, right before a blank when I'm feeling blank again. I included this list of questions in the reference materials so you can take a look those later when you start the writing. I also just wanted Teoh go through steps in the writing process. Yeah, again, more of Mackenzie's writer advice. Uh uh. So the 1st 1 is right, Your shitty first draft. So that's actually advice, courtesy of the Brilliant and Lamont from her book Bird by Bird. Basically, you know, the idea is the first draft is not going to be good. And any writer who tells you that they right at first the first time is lying. It doesn't happen. It's always not great. So at this point, I just don't get a sense of yourself. I don't want you to edit yourself a lot of times when I'm writing a first draft, I don't even use punctuation because I don't want to sell myself down. I just want to get the ideas down. Um, I also like to write at night. Um, when I'm doing first drafts because I feel like my filter is broken down a little bit. It's not quite a strong cause. I'm tired. So write your first draft. Don't censor yourself. Number two let it simmer for a day or two. Don't look at it for a couple days. Just let it hang up. Number three Come back with fresh eyes, then add and cut where you feel too. If you have a friend that you trust, I would definitely, um, grab them and say, Hey, can you take a look at this? You know, let me know what you think and number four Give it one more day, take one more pass for last minute tweaks and then hit Publish So final thoughts on voice and style Don't overthink it. Just do your best. If you're writing what feels good and true, it will resonate with readers and I want to emphasize one thing because this particular piece helped me a ton in my own writing. I constantly ask yourself, Is this true? Can I make this statement any truer. And when I say is this true? I don't mean to imply that you're lying. It's not about that. It's just it's about getting to the core of what you what your experience really was. I'll just give you a quick story toe demonstrate this. So I made these black being Kenwood cakes, and when I was taking them out of the pan, they just would not stay together. They kind of fall apart. And so I, you know, I put on the plate anyways, took pictures, like, made them okay for the photo. But I just thought, you know, I'm not gonna post this rest because it just didn't work out very well. But I ate them and they were so good that I was just like, I'm not not gonna post this recipe like, I need to share this cause it's really good. But what I did in that bomb post is I shared that experience. I said, Hey, guys, I almost didn't imposes because they did not stay together. I could not get them toe stick together to save my life. But they're so good. So I think you said should still try them. And the reason I'm telling the truth there is because number one I want them to eat this rest because it's delicious. And number two I don't want them to think that I did it perfectly because maybe they're not gonna have that experience, and then they're going to feel like they did something wrong. So that's where the truth comes in. It just it's always gonna resonate more with your users and readers. So I swear. Last thought on writing, promise, promise. Just always keep going. The more you do it, the better you're going to get and cut to. Eventually, you're going to have a refined style and voice that is totally you. Okay, so now we're gonna talk about the writing in terms of the nitty gritty consistency stuff. For those of you who are doing a blob with a block post about a recipe, consider these types of things Will you always include a ready in time? How long it takes to complete the recipe? Will you pull it out your ingredient list? Will you number your steps on the directions? Or, for instance, if you're writing about restaurants, will you include the restaurants, hours in your post. Will you create a rating system for, you know, if you liked the recipe or not, will you include prices of the dishes? I just want to get you thinking about these elements and what you might want to include and how you might want to execute it. Here's some examples of various approaches. So again, this is from my lemon mousse post. I, um I always put the recipe title up here. I always bold it. I always bold the prop time and include a prop time. I always include a ready in time and bold it, and I always say how much you're gonna get out of the recipe. I also, um, boldly ingredients. I use a coal in here, and this is I realize this is already boring. This is not super interesting, but I just want you toe think about these things as you're writing, so you start to develop some consistency. I don't bullet out the ingredients just because I don't like how it looks in my template. It spaces them out too much for the directions. I do use numbers because I think it's helpful for following along, so this is from Kale and Carvel. She doesn't use times at the beginning of her recipes. Um, she see how she spaces out her ingredients? My guess is that she just likes How about looks? There might be something about her template that makes it look weird to put him to close together. She doesn't use numbers on her directions again. This might be a template thing. She might just It might push over that text if she uses numbers. So it's cleaner if she doesn't. And this is from the sugar hit. She looks like she uses a little bit bigger of a font for the recipe titled The Top There. She doesn't bold it like Ideo. She uses the word instructions instead of directions. And you can see she doesn't use a colon there like Ideo. So this is the just three different ways of doing the same thing. So final thoughts on the nitty gritty stuff Don't worry about figuring all this out right away. I just want you to be aware of it so you can make decisions as you go. Also, there is no right or wrong way to do any of this stuff. I just recommend having a reason why you're making each decision so that it's easier to remember to do it that way. They're in, obviously making easier to be consistent. You might actually consider jotting some of these things down and working on creating a style guide. Just you have that to reference. It is really hard to remember all this stuff, even when you do have a reason. So if you need ideas, if you if you're not really sure what you want to dio, as always, check out other blog's and see how they do it. Check out other recipe sites, see how they set up their recipes and just borrow what you like. So let's review real quick in this lesson. We talked about how to develop your own voice by writing like you talk and writing. What's true, We talked about how to identify and develop your style. We talked about considering the nitty gritty stuff to help with consistency. Maybe you want to think about creating a style guide to help you keep track of those decisions, but this lesson assignment I'd like you to share an example of writing voice that you think is really strong and it could be. Any writer doesn't have to be a blogger next up, putting it all together to create a cohesive block post. 7. How to Put it All Together: okay, putting it all together, the small stuff and the bigger thing we'll get to both of those things. So now that we've talked about how to approach the photography in the writing, it's time to build your block post. So in general readers, attention spans are very short online, so I'm gonna give you some good rules of thumb for making your block post Easy to scan and able to hold your readers attention. We'll talk about the small stuff, creating effective titles, breaking things up, using bold type how and when to link to other content. Let's take a look at some examples, so when you're creating a title, it's more important to be clear than to be witty. Um, the first thing you want to make sure of is that they're straightforward. And then, if there's room, you can add personality. The personality I would say in this title would be this word flair that doesn't really tell me anything about the recipe. It just adds personality to it. So if I were worried about that title being too long, I would just yank that word out of it. And the other thing you want to keep in mind is shorter is better and put the important stuff at the beginning, and I'm gonna show you why. So this is these air search results from Google. You can see that this is my recipe here and see it cuts off right here. So this is as much space is. You have to write a title before they're not going to see it anymore. So that's why I say, Put the important stuff, the beginning. So the most important words of this recipe title to me or that it's a vegan, that it's lemon and that it's a moose again. All right, the beginning. So there's no chance of that getting cut off. Break things up as I mentioned already, online attentions fans are super short, So if you have a lot of text, break it up into smaller, bite sized paragraphs, also breaking up with images, it's much easier for a reader to take in. I'll show you what I mean by that. So for the purposes of this class, I closed all the spaces between the paragraph that progress that I had for this text here. It's not insanely long amount of text, but a lot of people are using phones and they're using tablets to read stuff, so this could potentially take up an entire screen. It's a lot of text in one screen, so just I want you to notice how different it feels when there are paragraphs. See, that's just is just easier to handle. And it seems silly, because it's the same amount of words. But for whatever reason, visually, this is just easier to look at, and it's definitely gonna be easier to look at on a phone or on a tablet. The other thing that I will do in my block posts is I will make sure that as I'm scrolling , there's always a photo in view so you can see as I scroll down this road. This recipe can still see a photo up here, and you can see a full photo here. And as you continue to scroll again, here's my ingredient photo, which breaks it up so nicely. Otherwise, you go straight from this to this, and it's a big block of text, and then at the end I have finished product photos. Another way to break up the text is used bold type in key spots use it for sub headers. If you do have a paragraph that's a little bit long, kind of a bigger block of text, you can use bold to highlight a particular sentence that you want to draw attention to. Here's where I typically usable type again. I use it in the title here when I, um, actually write out the the recipe. I use it in the prep time here and the ready in time. You notice I don't use it here or in the in the minutes here or here, because I don't want it to be too intense ice on people's eyes to go naturally there. So they know that that information is there for them. And then they can look closer. What it actually is. Ingredients folded, directions folded and actually down here. If I do a little note all bold, that in all capito really highlight. Hey, I need you to notice this particular things that's gonna help you do this recipe. Okay, Now I want to talk about how and when toe link to other content do it as often as it makes sense. Any time it could be useful to your reader. It's a good idea in just a little technical information about this. If you're linking to another website when you're embedding the your l be sure to choose the option to open in a new window tub. If you're linking to something on your own, blogged, choose the open in the same browser window. This is usually the default, so you shouldn't have to do anything in these cases. And I'll show you a picture of kind of what this looks like, and I'll explain a little bit more about that in a couple slides. So here, a couple of examples of when I might link to other content. So this recipe included pomegranate seeds. Um, I personally had never removed sees from a pomegranate, so I had to look up how to do it. And I thought there probably would be readers coming to this rescue who also didn't know how to do that. So I didn't want to actually have to create a tutorial, but I didn't want that to be a roadblock for anyone going through my recipe. So what I did is I linked to a video of how Martha Stewart does it, and that's and I linked to her site. So again, this is a situation where I made sure to choose for this. You're out to open up a brand new a brand new window when you click on it so you can see this video popped up in a completely different window. My block post is still back here. Let's say someone wasn't brand new user to my site. They've never been there before. They're not really even sure how they got there. I didn't lose them because they still have this open. They still can see my blonde post. But they still are able to get this information that I linked them to. So a lot of times, I will actually linked to other block posts from my own blawg. In this case, I talk a lot about the colors in these in this recipe. Um, so right here I happen to have these marshmallows that are the same color. So I linked to those marshmallows. So not really a similar type of food, but a similar theme. So I felt that that was related. So when you click on that, you go straight to this other block post where I created these marshmallows So just one more example of me linking to other content. This dressing that I created was meant to go on top of the salad. So I linked to that solid right here, the hardy Mexican chop chop salad. So you click on that. You go to this page and you can see here that I actually linked to that dressing within this page as well. I also linked to my black being taco soup, because it is as easy I say as this recipe. So it's there wolf Mexican food. They're both super super easy. So it's something that I thought this a reader might want to know about. Just one more example. Uh, in this recipe, it calls for two teaspoons of adobo sauce when you when you use the two teaspoons of that sauce, there's still a lot left in that jar, and I really don't like waste. So I wanted to give readers on idea what else they could do with those chilies and the rest of that sauce, and I found this article on serious eats that says ideas for using up the rest of the can. So I just I link to that article from here again. It's just it's helpful for the reader, so that's the reason to include it. Okay, so putting it all together, we talked about the small stuff, and now we're gonna talk about that one bigger thing. So I want to talk about your recipe to writing two photos ratio. How much space in your block post will be spent talking specifically about the food and or recipe? How much will be spent talking about the food as it relates to your life? How much space will be photos? This is sort of a style thing. It's sort of a voice thing, and it's sort of putting it all together. Layout thing. All bloggers do it differently, so let's take a look at some examples, so I tend to keep it pretty sure and light and mostly talk about the recipe. I'll give little details of my life. For instance. I talk about that. I don't make New Year's resolutions, but I don't get too deep into my life. I really write these post to be about the food and how to make eating how you want easier. I get to the recipe pretty quickly, and then I'll end my post with 123 photos of the bottom. Um, I love looking through photos. So if I have a handful of good photos all through mall in there, So this is just a different example of different blawg. It's called Not Without Salt. The first thing you see on her block post is a huge, gorgeous picture of the dish that she's talking about. That's the That's at the very top again. Compare that to mine where you could see a photo and writing so she starts writing underneath that first image. Um, this is, uh her name is Ashley Rodriguez, and she's asleep. Seattle Blogger. She's married and has three kids, and I know this because she writes a lot about her life in her in her blob because it really impacts how she cooks. So should these air. Very. These two things are very connected to her, so she really includes a lot of that in her blawg. More photos. She's a beautiful photographer, and here's even here is even more text. Like I said, she she really tells a story about this, this dish that she's created, whereas I kind of give him a little personality. I give him a little bit of why I came up with the recipe and then I get right to the recipe and then on her blood post. The last thing you see is actually the recipe again. Think about mine, where the last thing you would see were photos of the finished dish. So this is one more example her from kale and caramel. She also starts her food bog off or excuse me, her blonde post with a photo. So one thing that she does that I really love and that's different from hell I do. My block post is that she will do a series of photos that details the cooking steps, but she doesn't write the cooking steps along with it. So you can see in that top photo that this is a the raw dough, so it's not cooked yet. Here, you can see that she looks like she's putting the ingredients on it, and this is the finish cooked dish. So then she gets see the ingredients and the recipe at the bottom, whereas I tend to put the photos in with the directions. I'm a visual person, so I just I like to see that paired with the with the step. There's just more steps here. You can see it's within the directions here again, two different approaches. Both are great. They're These are just some options for you to consider when you're deciding how you want to set up your own post. So putting it all together, like I said, there's no wrong way all approaches Air Ballad and could be done really successfully. I have another little bit of Mackenzie's writer advice. Experiment for a while, then find what works for you and be somewhat consistent with your writing to recipe to foot photography ratio. It's hard to say, uh, that way readers come to know what they can expect from you. So just to review in this lesson, we talked about things to consider when putting your block post together, how to effectively create titles when and how to break things up for scan ability, using bold type to draw a reader's attention to something how and went toe link to other content and lastly, your recipe to writing toe photos ratio. For this lesson assignment, share an almost finished preview of your block post so that you can get feedback before you hit. Publish up next final final final thoughts 8. Quick Wrap-Up and Final Tips: congratulations. You made it your at the end of the class. Over the course of the lessons you choose your block topic. You worked on your photography and created beautiful photos. You worked on your voice and identifying your style. And you started. Think about those nitty gritty writing things that'll help you be consistent moving forward . And most importantly, you put it all together into a beautiful block post that readers are just gonna eat up no pun intended. Just a couple more pieces of writer advice for you. Um, the only way to refine your style. Your approach, your voice is through doings to just keep going. Keep working on your block. And one thing that I struggled with when I first started my blawg is thinking it needs to be perfect. But here's the thing. Your blood does not have to be perfect to be successful, but it does have to be out there. So just start now. Wherever you're at, just start now and it will get better. I promise it'll get more beautiful and more mouthwatering by the day. So good luck. I can't wait to see your final block post in all its glory. Remember to post it to the project workspace