Though I have been blogging for over four years now, I know little about running a blogging business. It has always just been a hobby. But last summer I decided I wanted to start a food blog, one I would take to a new level. I have been working toward this goal since then.
Years of experience of hobby blogging does not make a knowledgeable entrepreneur. So, in comes the research. My time is too precious to invest it in something I don’t even understand.
Books, posts, research…
More books, more posts, more research…
Even more books, even more posts, even more research….
I have way more I want to read, but I think I have a bit of an idea now of what it takes to be a professional food blogger according to the pros.Here is a bit:
- The writing must be engaging. It should encourage, inspire, and engage. It needs to be no longer than 600 words as I my main audience is busy moms. But, if it is less then 1,000 words it is not even worth publishing.
- The photos need to be quality work. They should be colorful and interesting, while still showing off the food. They should make the reader 1. eat the food 2. cook the food. 3. remember that time you made them with your grandmother (or other such happy feeling).
- Recipes that are a magical combo of clever, easy, impressive, visually appealing, creative, old, new, and of course yummy. These recipes should be tested multiple times to get right, then a few more times to test other ingredients, and a last time (if needed) to be finished right at 2 o’ clock to be photographed.
- A youtube channel with quality videos, so you can stand out from the masses of other food blogs.
- The business sense of a business manager and the artistry of an art major.
- An active instagram, facebook, google+, and pinterest account. But of course, you spend very little time on this as you need to focus on the blog.
- Delegating tasks to others while keeping a strict quality control.
- The ability to not only make sense of analytics, but to use them.
- Responding to comments and e-mails. Commenting on other blogs (without a spammy “hey check out my site” plug). Commenting on other profile/pages/newsfeed.
- Posting truly stellar posts at least once a week, plus 3-4 more posts that can’t really be expected to go crazy on pinterest but are of very high quality.
- Plus a hundred more things…
I have approximately zero of these down. But, there is one important thing I have yet to read anywhere. One thing I DO have. If you want to be a food blogger, you must have a good brownie recipe. I can’t believe no one else has written about this.
My photos are improving, but until they are amazing…at least I have brownies. My writing has a long way to go. But, I have brownies. Google analytics makes my head spin. But, I have a husband who loves the numbers. Oh, and brownies. I know I can’t please everyone with my recipes. Everyone will have different priorities on the ease/special/tasty/healthy/allergy scale. But, hey, I have brownies.
Not any brownies, these are “Ultimate Healthier Brownies.”
I call these brownies ultimate because they are delicious. I call them healthy… because they are about as healthy as you can get with brownies and have them still be brownies. They are made out of dates. I came up with that idea when I was moaning over another failed brownie recipe. I have been trying for a few years to come up with a good allergy-free, and somewhat healthier, brownie. After all, it is my “professional” opinion that you can’t have a food blog without a brownie recipe. But, none have been chewy, fudgy, with moist crumbs, and exploding with chocolate flavor.
The problem was lack of glue (i.e. eggs or gluten) and using oil instead of butter needs MORE glue. What is sticky? Dates. The also happen to be a natural sweetener, and allergy friendly. So, in a little pot went some dates, baking chocolate (the real kind, not homemade with coconut oil) and a few other ingredients. Once they cooked to chewy perfection I topped off with a ganache style frosting (one that is only slightly less healthy then the brownie itself).
The result? Some of the best brownies I have ever had. I must admit I was shocked that it worked. But, the shock was not too bad. Nothing a few brownies couldn’t fix.
To help support Worth Cooking this recipe has affiliate links
- 3 oz unsweetened fair trade baking chocolate(real kind, not with coconut oil)
- 1 cup packed dates (as many as you can fit in a 1 cup measuring cup)
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- ¼ teaspoon + pinch salt
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla
- 2 Tablespoons tapioca starch or arrowroot starch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Sucanat or sugar (see notes)
- 1 recipe chocolate glaze
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and oil a pie pan.
- In a sauce pan mix together the dates, baking chocolate, water, oil, and salt. Heat over low heat until the chocolate fully melts. Pour into a food processor and blend until smooth.
- Add the starch, vanilla, and baking powder. Blend until well incorporated.
- Spread batter in prepared pie pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Let pan sit at room temperature until cool. Pour 1 recipe chocolate glaze on it.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving (even if not using the glaze this is essential for the brownie texture).
- Serve in small (1.5-2") squares.
Gluten Free Wednesdays @ The Gluten Free Homemakers
Allergy Free Wednesdays @ The Whole New Mom
Fat Tuesday @ Real Food Forager