28 July 2013

Tips for Food Bloggers - FBC#5 (Day 1)

photo: Flickr/Ewan-M
During a sunny weekend at the start of July I flew down to London to attend Food Blogger Connect.

What's FBC, I hear you ask? Food Blogger Connect is an annual international food blogging conference, where food bloggers can network, attend workshops and talks, hone their skills and eat. Yes, there is a lot of eating!

The conference was held in the rather gorgeous Battersea Arts Centre on Lavender Hill.

Battersea is more famously known for it's dogs home, but it is a really nice area filled with cafés, restaurants, some interesting shops and pubs.

Here are some of the highlights from the conference on day one.

As you can see there was lots of food sampling and taking photos of food!

Day 1 

Blogging: Then, Now and There

Food Blogger Connect opened by founder Bethany Kehdy 
and keynote speaker David Lebovitz
The conference was kicked off by an introduction speech by founder Bethany Kehdy and keynote speaker David Lebovitz. 

Then we were straight into the first talk by David. I was looking forward to hearing David speak as I have long followed his blog and have a copy of his slurpilicious cookbook The Perfect Scoop.

David started blogging way back in 1999, so he really does knows what he is talking about. 

David told us:
  • Not to expect fame to come knocking when we start our blogs, it takes a while to build them up.
  • Our blogs shouldn't be perfect. Blog your mistakes, people like to see you are human and make mistakes. 
  • Try your recipes over and over. David tries his recipes again and again and a few more times to get them right and heavily edits himself. 
  • Don't add lots of photos of the same dish from different angles, that one good photo would do 
  • Make sure there are no errors in your recipe before you post it

How To Get Published In Magazines

I was really impressed by this talk given by blog friends Karen Burns-Booths from Lavender and Lovage and Ren Behan from the blog of the same name, formerly known as Fabulicious Food. 

Karen and Ren spoke about their own experiences in writing for magazines and gave us some really useful tips.

  • Before submitting some work to a magazine, do some groundwork. Find out the correct person to get in touch, it may not be the editor, it may be the food editor, the features editor or a lifestyle director.
  • Really get to know the theme of the magazine and the style of cooking the publish.
  • Submit recipes that fit this theme.
  • Strike up a conversations  with editors on twitter, but don't harass them.
  • Keep adding good content to your blog and the work will come to you.
  • Consider holding some recipes back, so if as magazine gets in touch, you have work to offer that hasn't been previously published.
Another highlight from day one was a talk by Niamh Shields about her: 

Cross Canadian Journey

Niamh writes the popular and long running blog Eat Like a Girl. She is a wonderfully funny and sociable Irish lass who has been blogging since 2007 and spends a lot of her time travelling and trying the foods of the world. 

She has a new cookbook out called Comfort and Spice, which I have had a good flick through and plan on buying soon. 

Niamh shared photos of her journey across Canada and talked about the people she met and the food she tried. What particularly piqued my interest was ice cider made from frozen apples. I was lucky enough to taste some afterwards and it was amazing. Such a pure hit of apple flavour and so intense. Niamh told me M&S are going to be stocking it, so I will be looking out for that.

At the end of the first day myself, Karen (Lavender and Lovage), Regula (Miss Foodwise), Niamh (Eat Like A Girl), Hazel Hardijzer, Louisa (Chez Foti) and Giulia (Juls' Kitchen) headed out onto the streets of London where Niamh found us a rather nice wine bar.

I decided to try a London beer  from Camden Town Brewery called Hells Lager, which was very drinkable. Some of the others tried a sparkling red wine, which was strangely good.

Stay tuned for day two.

Here are my 5 posts:
  1. Tips for Food Bloggers - FBC#5 (Day 1)  - including how to get published in magazines
  2. Tips for Food Bloggers - FBC#5 (Day 2) - including food styling tips
  3. Tips for Food Bloggers - FBC#5 (Day 3) - including brand identity and general FBC tips
  4. Food Blogging Tips - FBC#5 - including lots of key tips for food bloggers
  5. Meet the Bloggers - FBC#5 - including profiles of 10 bloggers you may not know and and a list of others that attended.


  1. Another year and I missed out on FBC- the dates always clash with stuff we have on! This year it was our honeymoon! But thank you so much on your lovely and interesting report Jac, great to hear all about the conference and looking forward to Part II

    1. Well you had to go on honeymoon. Congratulations Kate.

      There is always next year and until then I will fill you in on everything :)

  2. You let a mere honeymoon interfere, Kate? :)

  3. ooh sounds great, especially the food & drink..thanks for sharing the tips

    1. I couldn't keep it all to myself Helen. I love when people come back from these and share tips. I am usually glued to twitter when there is a conference on.

  4. I can see myself there, It was our "tasty" lunch at Whole Foods :)
    Great writing!

    1. Thanks Sylvia. The Whole foods salads looked so good a well. Very disappointing!

  5. Ah yes, Karen is always a highlight ;-) Thanks for sharing.

  6. These events are such fun Jacqueline. It is wonderful to connect with so many like minded people.

    1. That is the best bit Val. Wish you had been there. I would love to meet you in person x

  7. I love hearing about food blog conferences given that I have only ever managed one. I am jealous that you heard david lebowitz speak - I have never followed him religiously but constantly stumble across his posts and love them. I also would have loved to hear the other speakers - sounds great

    1. He was interesting and nice to speak to in person too. He just hung about with us and chatted over the weekend. Nice guy!

  8. wow Jac 5 posts that's real dedication and when did you click a photo of me clicking the food at whole foods?? lolz :)I am looking forward to the next 4 write ups.

    1. Thanks Nayna. I know the whole thing morphed. I took too many notes!

  9. I was too busy playing with my new camera , hardly too that many notes but I see FBC 5 have uploaded the slides so I shall have to check them out for the notes.:)

  10. Thanks Jac, it's always good to hear what we missed out on! Seriously, it is interesting and you have some great photos of Karen - glass in hand :)

    1. Haham, her hubby liked those shots. I couldn't comment :)

  11. That was indeed a very nice place where we ended up!
    Now I really need to kick my but and start writing.


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