Do you love food? Really, from the bottom of your heart and stomach? Then in the name of all that is delicious and good in Singapore (and there is so much to choose from), don’t join the food bloggers, don’t start a Singapore food blog to chronicle your daily munchies in aching detail. Like there aren’t enough of those to go around. Resist the pull of expressing your inner Asian by indulging in the latest technological wizardry (especially if the latest camera is shaped like a macaroon and has a beauty-face function selfie) to elevate your social media status to god-like. For a change, eat your fancily-dressed meals warm.
But if you absolutely must be a Singapore food blogger, because your holy quest is to find out what the best Eggs Benedict in Singapore is, then fulfil your sacred purpose. However, before you whip out your phone and hashtag yourself into oblivion, take a moment to consider what puts you off every Singapore food blog that you’ve encountered and exited quickly like a bad speed date, and avoid these cardinal mistakes that food bloggers make.
“If you’re looking for a free meal ticket to becoming a social media socialite – it is a fool’s errand.”
Food blogging for all the wrong reasons
Let’s go back to Eggs Benedict. I confess that I am not over-easily impressed, because brunch has a special place in my heart that is not bound by poached eggs and necessarily breakfast food, but I am willing to entertain the argument that the dish unlocks a culinary heritage so noble and virtuous that it warrants you dedicating a food blog to it. If you approach it with good intentions, a genuine passion for good food in Singapore and your distinct point-of-view, proceed in good faith with my blessing. But if you’re looking for a free meal ticket to becoming a social media socialite – it is a fool’s errand.
The lure of the monetization & the free stuff trail
There is no such thing as a free lunch, even in the world of food bloggers. Delicious as the food may be, in the best case scenario, you are still “on the job” – the food may be a different temperature by the time you have snapped a picture that you are happy with. It is a delicate balance, maintaining your integrity as a food writer while refusing to be beholden to the members of the food industry that are subsidising you. The food industry’s continued interest in you wanes when your following does; do not compromise on the quality of your content and the authenticity of your views.
As the owner of a Singapore blog, when you try to monetise your food blog by writing sponsored content, reviewing free meals or advertising, you run the risk of alienating your audience. Webpages cluttered with ads and blog posts dripping with sales rhetoric turn food blog readers off. As food bloggers, make your review and editorial policy one that puts you under no obligation to write about a product or experience unless you have something you honestly want to say about it. Stay true to yourself and your readers will follow.
How Does It Feel To Be One of The Beautiful People?
There will always be more beautiful people in more glamorous parties, taking pictures with better looking people using more expensive cameras. They will have thousands of followers no matter what social media platform they migrate to, and have the privilege of hordes of creepy anonymous people relentlessly trying to snap chat them. For these food bloggers, it might all end in a glorious flaming spectacle on reality TV, and when it does, I hope it’s broadcast on the cooking channel.
What other food bloggers do with their lives (bodies, mobile devices, internet personas…) on some sponsored yacht event has nothing to do with your food blog, unless of course you have a trust fund and a boat of your own. Become a food blogger because you have a story to share, an immense love for good food in Singapore, the smarts to extract a budget fine dining deal from the slew of corporate lunch hour specials and the guts to become the ultimate Singapore food blogger, or anything else you care deeply about.
Tell your story, colour in your experience, your thoughts, your impressions. Take the photographs that the story calls for – it may not be in the cascading folds of a specialty crepe or the chocolate sauce flourish that dances daintily around the main attraction, presenting it like Velma White in Wheel of Fortune. It might be in the décor, the ambience, the view… or a lovingly unique touch like the menu design with a gloriously old world feel. Write (and write about) what excites you, what tantalises your tastebuds and piques your interest. That is why we love food bloggers and are addicted to their blogs.
Don’t forget what you love – Good Food, Great Company
Food is integral to our identity in Singapore – not just to food bloggers. Everyone is an expert on what they like to eat and their favourite dining experiences – good food in Singapore is our high culture and our heritage. The culinary adventures we collect, the cuisines we curate, and whom we choose to share them with, paints an intimately personal narrative that only a select group of people are a part of, regardless of whether we have a Singapore blog about it. For those of us who like to play private chef to our friends, we trust our guests with our hearts, and they trust us with their stomachs. What a simple and exquisite joy, breaking bread together. How frequently our smiles are stretched thin, watching curls of vanilla bean ice cream soften and liquify as our friends and food bloggers fail to find the right angle.