Top tips for writing good recipes

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Writing good recipes isn’t always as easy as pie. It can be difficult to get the right layout, decide which photos to use, remember to include the ingredients and pitch it at the right level. So we asked the food bloggers who follow us on twitter to give us their top tips for writing good recipes, and here they are…

@HomeBakedOnline and @TheLazyGirlBlog both suggested it is important to know your audience. Choose your language carefully to make sure you aren’t using complicated terminology that your readers might not understand. If you do have to use specific terms then include a brief explanation. Also try not to be too vague either. Jen and Cass from @Frugalicious_ say they don’t like to see the word ‘about’ used in recipes so try to be as specific as you can with measurements and timings.

A clear and simple layout is really important. Set the ingredients list out clearly near the beginning so the reader can check they have everything they need before they start and a rough guide as to how long the dish will take to prepare and how many it serves is also useful. Numbering each step is often a good idea and @plus2point4 says that step by step photos can be helpful.

We all like to see what it is that we are aiming for so @FabFoodOrg suggests you should include some good photos of the finished dish. If you can, photograph the dish in natural light and avoid cluttered backgrounds – you don’t have to be a food stylist to get good snaps but have a think which crockery or props might help to make the dish look appealing.

Always try to make your recipe personal and interesting by adding your own twist or a dash of humour. @EYorksPud likes to read something about the background to the dish and maybe learn some interesting facts about it.

It is really important to make sure that your work is all your own. Blogging someone else’s recipe word for word or using their photos is never acceptable and can get you into some serious hot water. We all look for inspiration and there is no shame in adapting someone else’s recipe by changing some of the ingredients or the method used to make it. Make sure you give credit where it is due by quoting, and linking to if possible, your sources. If you are in doubt as to whether you can use something then ask permission first.

Last but not least, and probably the most important thing, is make sure that the recipe actually works! If in doubt then try it again before blogging it. @FabFoodOrg also reminds us about the pitfalls of scaling recipes down. Don’t just decrease the ingredients and keep your fingers crossed, test it to check it does actually work.

Thanks to everyone who responded on twitter. I’m sure this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to useful recipe blogging hints, so what would you add to this list?

 

Sally is the publisher of Foodies100, the UK's largest directory of brilliant UK food and drink blogs and bloggers. Every day of the week, we promote the UK's best and most exciting blogs about food and drink.

Discussion3 Comments

  1. For me, the most important thing when blogging a recipe is that you are scrupulously honest about the results! If you didn’t particularly enjoy it, but the rest of the family did, then say so. It may well be that a reader has someone in the family who also doesn’t like the things that you didn’t like about the dish.

  2. My number one tip for bloggers, especially new bloggers, is: Be yourself. When I started blogging about 4 1/2 years ago, I was seeing a lot of new bloggers imitating a particular blogger who was and is extremely popular here in the US. Not good. Let that blogger be *her*self and the rest of us be *our*selves. It seems to me that trying to be someone else for very long could do a lot of psychological harm to oneself!

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