Blogger entitlement: Not making money with your food blog.

For quite a while I’ve been meaning to update the “making money with your food blog” post that has drifted out of relevance over the past few years. I’m no longer certain that you can make money with food blogs, reliably, through advertising or affiliate links.

By reliably, I mean a predictable minimum wage, $589.30 a week in Australia, paid on a regular basis. If you’re willing to put in the hard work of conning advertisers out of their money, I think you’d need to pull in around 20K visitors to your blog each week, who look relatively homogenous (e.g. are all Australian). The best way to make money from your blog is by getting a related job with a wage or building something to sell.

Amanda Hesser recently wrote a great piece on her advice for future food writers, which is do something that pays and write on the side. It’s what writers have always done and it has never been a better time to be a writer. Publishing isn’t an industry, it’s a button that you press. You can break into what’s left of the industry by owning a smartphone.

There seems to be a sense that bloggers are somehow entitled to make money from their work; that by posting a slice of your personal creativity is in itself worth cash.

In a purely economic sense, creativity is worthless. If you can’t find a way to make money from it, it isn’t worth money. The great thing about working in a creative industry is that you realise early on that the ability to convince people to pay for creativity is worth more than the creativity itself. The realisation that making beautiful objects and ethereal writing doesn’t pay for itself is overwhelmingly awful but good ideas don’t sell themselves.

The three decade span where you could aspire to be a professional food writer is over, so you should probably get back to creating something which is useful.

When fried chicken went awry

He still puts on a white linen suit every morning, rides in a chauffeured white Cadillac, visits Kentucky Fried Chicken’s white column headquarters and plugs his “finger lickin’ good” chicken around the country.

But Harland D Sanders, everyone’s favourite Kentucky colonel, is disturbed about what has happened to his chicken and to America’s dining habits.

While it sounds like an alternate history from Adbusters archives, it’s from an interview with Sanders in The Milwaukee Journal, 1975. You know something has gone terribly wrong with food when the mascot starts decrying it.

Melbourne Restaurant Name Generator: Mexican Edition

Since the City of Melbourne passed an edict that no new restaurant can get a liquor licence in Melbourne unless it serves a fish taco, my Melbourne restaurant name generator has become redundant. I’ve been meaning to write some reviews, but most of the new joints do a pretty good job of satirising themselves. So inspired by this tweet from Beechworth chef Michael Ryan, here’s a Mexican edition of the restaurant name generator. Name that new restaurant:

My Bajacaliforniano Uncle

Press reload for more authentic Mexican suggestions. Also, inspired by my original generator, Willamette Week in Portland has made a local version.

Footscray Market Opening Hours – Christmas 2011

Another year down, another year where my local market, , fails to build a website. Opening hours for the market over the Christmas/New Year’s period are:

Saturday 24 December (Christmas Eve): 7:00am-5:00pm
25-27 December: Closed
Wednesday 28 December: 7:00am – 4:00pm
Thursday 29 December: 7:00am – 6:00pm
Friday 30 December: 7:00am – 7:00pm
Saturday 31 December: 7:00am – 5:00pm
1-2 January 2012: Closed
Tuesday 3 January: 7:00am – 4:00pm

The regular opening hours for Footscray Market continue to be:

Tuesday and Wednesday – 7:00am-4:00pm
Thursday – 7:00am-6:00pm
Friday – 7:00am-8:00pm
Saturday – 7:00am-4:00pm

2012 Food Trend Generator

Once again, it is the time of the year when food journalists wheel out the world’s worst portmanteau, the listicle, and predict where food trends will head in 2012. For a writer, they’re brilliant content. No editor is going to sack you if Cambodian does not become the new Thai or the world’s predicted hottest restaurant closes. Your audience does not hold you accountable if the hot food destination that you suggest collapses into civil war. So why not let a machine do the work?

Here’s my automatically generated predictions for the hot food trends of 2012. If they come true, you owe me money.

  1. Post-Tsunami Veganism
  2. Caraway Seeds are the new Caviar
  3. Hot Kitchen Tool: The Autoclave
  4. New Habit: Foraging Wednesday
  5. Sustainable Vegetarianism
  6. Food Destination: Qatar

Press Reload for increasingly accurate 2012 food trends.