June 12, 2011

Blogging for Food and Reading for Fun

To warm up and familiarize yourself with my style, you can read about Blogging for Fame and Fortune here.

Will write for Food by Dianne Jacob

Get ready for my uncontainable delight. I am so delighted that I’m not sure I have the lung power to properly express it. It’s an amazing boooook!

I’m not going to describe the entire book. All the details that we need are concentrated in the chapter entitled “Get Published with a Food Blog”. Here are a few select quotes, which do not exactly reveal the ultimate mysteries of blogging, but they can definitely be added to your mental piggy bank of useful thoughts.

A little introduction to why a blog can be a useful exercise:

- Writing about your own life is so much easier than writing about anything else, because you are the expert on your own experience.

- Furthermore, you have to sit down and write, regularly, so you're already doing the job. 

And now a few housekeeping tips:

- An about section or page explains why you started your blog, they'll go there to find out about you. Grab their attention by explaining your blog's philosophy in a sound-bite-sized sentence.

- Self-deprecating humor, if you know how to do it, works well.

- Since you write your blog in the first person, try writing your About page in first person too.

- When you are done with the text, add a good quality headshot. It helps people connect with you. 

So, the roller coaster – without any squeaking or abrupt stops – is starting to climb upwards.

How to Make People Care

- Develop your storytelling skills so readers keep coming back. It's about eliciting emotions and reminding readers of events in their own lives.

- The best bloggers know how to make you identify with them.

- Blogging is about reaching out, not just documenting your life. 

Having reached quite an important topic, we find out about the author’s point of view:

How Personal Should you be?

- What all good blogging has in common is the ability to evoke emotion from the reader. To do that you have to be personal.

- Regardless of how much you share with readers, a big part of writing is trusting yourself, believing what you write is worthwhile and valuable. 

Without any breaks (or filler material), we move on to the next subject.

Develop Your Voice

- Related to the topics of evoking emotion and not taking yourself too seriously is your voice.

-You need a conversational voice, less formal than a book and more personal, than a magazine or newspaper article. 

The next step and the next chapter are dedicated to explaining some ideas on how to organize a post, and what to draw the most attention to. I have to confess – there are so many wonderful writers around that I don’t dare continue. Plus, another rule that I try to follow is not to make lengthy posts. I was just wondering if you use any of these tips, and what you think of them.

This weekend, we have visited TYPE books at 883 Queen Street West. The above photo is from that store. Because, in Toronto, our favourite small bookstores tend to disappear in the night, I'm so glad that I accidentally happened upon this store. I have the impression that they specialize in the less mainstream sociological and philosophical books, but they have everything else, from children's books to art books, as well. I will definitely be back.

These photos are meant to show the special design touches that are present in that bookstore. The staff were also very friendly and helpful.



  1. Another great post. It is so important to have self belief and find your own voice. I'm still working on it and I think I'm getting there. You are definitely there!

  2. I can think what I want to say, but it doesn't come exactly how I mean it. I think I am still learning how to crawl!!

  3. love this post, love your blog. thanks for sharing blogging wisdom. and your photographs simply rock. i want to find that bookstore and live there!

    thank you, friend. i am so glad to know you.

  4. Hello Olga:
    We have been most interested to read the excerpts from the intriguingly titled 'Will Write for Food'. As we always find your own blog to have such a good balance of ideas,images and personal experience we certainly feel that you do not really need to change at all. Your large number of followers are a testimony to this.

    The bookshop looks to be exactly our kind of store - lively, interesting and well-stocked. And, independent!!

  5. What a neat bookstore! I love the wallpaper and typewriter :)

    I'm loving the information your sharing about blogging. I'm going to put some of it to use!

  6. I love what you said about blogging-I'll try and put it to use. I love the book store, most of the independent stores have closed in my area it is sad.

  7. Very good Olga and I love the look of that bookstore. I am all for independent bookshops and long may they survive in these tough times. If you ever make it to London I promise to take you to my favourite one. We can get lost in the Art Section :)

  8. I love this post! I love blogging!
    I need to read more though.


  9. I love that coffee mug! I need one for each of my parents - they would love them, too.

    I love the wallpaper in that bookstore, too. Very unique.

  10. awesome post. I love the tips and insights. And that mug. And, the wallpaper.


  11. Great tips...

    that looks like a pretty interesting read.

    That yellow mug is so cool ♥

  12. Oh, to visit that bookstore! And as always, a great blog with plenty to digest along with a coffee in that wonderful mug!!

  13. Hi Happy Frog and I,
    It's a pleasure to hear that you think I have found my voice. I think I just do what I enjoy. Since I enjoy too many things, maybe my challenge is to know the right time to concentrate on something.

    Hi Cheryl,
    Most bloggers are not professional writers. I think that the most fulfillment is in the journey, and learning how to best express yourself.

    Hi Angella,
    I wouldn't say no to having a little apartment above this bookstore. That would be so convenient! :)

    Hi Jane and Lance Hattatt,
    Thank you for the kind words about my blog. I would love to see the bookstores that you visit on your blog. I'm sure it would be really fascinating :)

    Hi Brenda,
    Last time, you mentioned that you didn't find the advice you looked up on the Internet useful. I'm glad to hear you've found something for yourself. This book really is useful in many ways.

    Hi lilylovekin,
    Yes, it's really unpleasant to see little bookstores close. I know it happens all the time around the world. It's as if a certain magical part of a city is going away :(

  14. Hi Dolly,
    The art section is the biggest attraction in any bookstore for me. Of course, it would be so tempting to go shopping for books in any bookstore, in any country :)

    Hi tywo,
    Dear friend, I know that you're very busy now. Have you tried making a list for future reading?

    Hi floweringmama,
    Next time I'm in that store, I will also find it necessary to purchase one of those mugs :)

    Hi Mouthwash,
    Thank you for visiting. I am very intrigues by your username :) This bookstore has a special character.

    Hi Ann,
    I'm glad I discovered this bookstore for myself. We have a problem in Toronto with independent bookstores these days :(

    Hi aguja,
    I'm trying :) I'm really glad I can find something interesting for you. I'm looking forward to the posts from your journey.

  15. Dear Olga
    Wow.... the bookstore! So good! Very nice pictures!
    Have a happy week and all the best from Switzerland. Hugs Yvonne

  16. I totally agree with the premise of the "blog to eat" book you describe.
    I actually got a gourmet food shop client because of my personal blog -- I'll soon by doing their daily food/recipe blog, shooting pics, writing, etc.

    Is that cool or what?
    By the way, I want that Underwood typewriter. I love working at old typewriters. It slows me down, paces my writing -- and requires no electricity.
    And I love bookstores like this one.

    P.S. Let me know when you're thinking of traveling to Bogotá. I want to be your personal travel guide.

  17. Great post, and I agree with the points! I should have a page about me, but I'm too busy. And I feel like it'd be too boring.

  18. Hi Olga,

    So many of those pointers for a good blog (to me) were also pointers on how to be a good friend. There is an overlap, could it be that in life we all need to be genuine, caring and real? Just a thought at this wee small hour of the morn. I'd love to visit that bookstore! Well done for stumbling upon it.

    Have a lovely day,

  19. Bela Livraria...Fotos Espectaculares....

  20. I love getting lost in a bookstore until I find something that surprises me. Excellent shots Olga!

  21. Bonjour Olga , cette librairie est vraiment originale , merci de nous faire partager les images de ce lieu à la décoration unique .

  22. Great post, just love that bookshop. Just the kind of place I would love to browse and spend too much money!! Diane

  23. Oh, that's a gorgeous bookshop! I must make sure to visit there next time I'm in Toronto!

  24. I just make it up as I go along. I have no aims with my blog so I can be as random as I like.

    The bookshop looks fun.

  25. Good tips and that bookstore is the kind I like to visit. I also think your photographs in the thunderstorm post were outstanding.

  26. I love the picture of the Underwood. All the memorable words that were put to paper, wonderful.

  27. J'aime beaucoup cette librairie...
    And sure : "reading is sexy" !


  28. Hi Yvonne,
    Thank you for the kind words about my photos. I'm sure that there are some wonderful bookstores in Switzerland.

    Hi Rick,
    I'm glad that you're discovering such interesting perspectives on the subject of blogging. It's absolutely cool :) It doesn't seem like I'll make it to Bogota anytime soon, but thank you for offering. It's very kind of you.

    Hi Lydia,
    With your sense of humour, it's impossible for your to be boring even for a second.

    Hi Vicki,
    Overlapping has been after me almost every day lately. For me, whenever I feel that it's too much, I try to stop and take a deep breath.

    Hi Fernando,
    Thank you; I'm glad you enjoyed the bookstore and liked my photos :)

  29. Hi Randy,
    I really like your approach - next time, I'll try that myself. I usually go to the bookstore with a particular thing in mind.

    Hi Yannick Leroy,
    J'ai aussi beaucoup aimé la décoration de ce magasin. Le papier peint, et la couleur rouge sont des touches spéciales.

    Hi Diane,
    It's difficult to keep from spending an unreasonable amount in a bookstore.

    Hi Talli,
    I'm glad you liked the store. I hope it will be around when you come to Toronto.

    Hi Sarah,
    I think that, in your blog, there is a special touch - your personality. My wild guess is, you could you your blog when you feel like writing your memoirs.

  30. Hi Jennifer,
    I have a slight suspicion that you don't need any tips, because you already have a very successful blog :)

    Hi Vagabonde,
    Thank you. I would also like to see your favourite bookstores.

    Hi R. Jacob,
    I have to admit, I really like handwriting. And other old-fashioned things.

    Hi Pierre,
    I'm glad you enjoyed that place. I really think that to see a person reading can be sexy :)

  31. Really interesting tips for a blog. I love the Reading-is-sexy cup too, if only it were true :-)

  32. Hi Pet,
    It is true only if you believe in it:)