Is Food Blogger Your Dream Job? Consider These Alternatives
When you’re having a bad day on the job, do you spend part of it daydreaming about where you’d rather be? You might feel grateful to have a paycheck, but something inside of you wonders what life would look like if you had a chance at your dream job.
Before you whip out your resume to edit your way into a blissful new career, here’s a dose of reality: no job is perfect, and every job has a downside that you would rather outsource to an assistant. Instead of blindly pursuing a job that looks great on the outside but isn’t right for you in real life, we’ll be introducing a series of articles that breaks down stereotypical “dream jobs” into realistic descriptions.
If you know your way around a kitchen, you’ve likely entertained the dream of purchasing a URL, writing up your recipes, and dipping your toes into the world of online food blogging. You’re cooking anyway, so why not build a following, launch a cookbook, and retire on the profits?
While there are many successful food bloggers in the blogosphere, the reality of the job requires a lot more hard work, dedication, and business savvy than the average home chef might guess. Here’s a look at common misconceptions about food blogging and how to know if it’s a good fit for you in real life.
Food Blogger, The Job Description Of Your Dreams
Food blogging viewed from outside the kitchen looks like an awful lot like heaven: wander into your kitchen in your PJs and cook up some chocolate cupcakes for breakfast. Put an artsy twist of a lemon peel on top, then snap a few photos for the blog.
When you’re tired of cooking, step over to your wallet and count all of the hundred dollar bills you have from releasing your latest cookbook. Or fire up your computer to read complimentary comments from readers around the world who love your recipes and photos.
Food Blogger, The Job Description In Real Life
The challenges of this job start with the cooking. Your normal “workday” involves five to ten hours standing in the kitchen developing recipes. You’re not following recipes; you’re developing them, which means you’re on the hook for the astronomical grocery bill for wasted exotic flours and eggs when your recipes don’t turn out perfectly (and for any kitchen upgrades you want in your home, such as non-Formica countertops and new appliances).
Recipe development (not to mention high-quality photography of those recipes) is only the first step of sharing a successful recipe. Once you’ve done all of the kitchen work, it’s time to head online and deploy the skills of a marketing manager, technology specialist and copywriter to set up, write posts and drive traffic to your website. Managing your web traffic is yet another day job you must take over as you fight spam, and approve and respond to real comments asking questions or requesting clarifications about your recipes.
If all of this wasn’t enough, it’s also on your shoulders to monetize your blog in a way that brings in a steady source of income. There are many strategies to do this, but all of them involve preparation, hard work and business savvy.
What To Do Instead of Being a Food Blogger:
Fortunately, you don’t have to give up your Julie and Julia dreams entirely. There are plenty of food-related jobs on the market that require less risk and commitment that will allow you to incorporate some aspects of the food blogger’s workday without the overwhelming stresses. Consider one of these food-loving positions for now and who knows, maybe once you have some experience in the food industry, that food blogger business will become yours after all.
- Recipe Developer or Recipe Writer
- Food Critic or Food Writer
- Chef or Chef’s Apprentice
- Sushi Chef, Apprentice, or Cook
- Food Service Worker
- Food Photographer
Don’t believe the hype. More often than not, what you think of as your dream job is an attempt to escape from reality. Instead of pursuing that perfect job unicorn, take a clear look at your skills and motivators to line up a job that will feed your passion and your wallet at the same time.
In this case, your attraction to all things food, kitchen and recipes might lead you to a creative career that doesn’t come with the downsides of being a full-time food blogger.
See also: 7 Must Have Skills for A Chef Career