If you love food as much as you love to write, than a profession as a freelance food writer may be a great job for you.
To be successful at freelance food writing, you have to be able to write well but you also need to know how describe food well. This is an essential component of food writing. The key to composing great content about food is to create clear, focused comparisons. For example, which one of the next two phrases do you find more appealing: “That was the best steak I’ve ever had” or “The juicy, flame-grilled steak melted in my mouth”?
The most important rule of food writing is to make people wish that he or she had some of whatever delicious food you’re writing about. This is relatively easy to do because whenever we think about an item or action, we stimulate the areas of our mind that turns on whenever we’re interacting with that item or action. In other words: if we think about eating our favorite food, our stomach growls and our mouth starts watering.
When you’re writing about food, you want to stimulate those same areas of the mind to make people feel that he or she is there with you eating the same food. Terms like “tasty,” “delicious,” or “really excellent,” won’t trigger anything in your readers. Only words related to food — or words and pictures with strong psychological connotations — will really get your readers salivating.
Once you’ve written your article, where do you sell your food writing? If you live in a city, you can write for a local newspaper or newsletter. Most of these publications have a food section or a related section where they publish food related articles. When people need to make a restaurant reservation for a date, company dinner, party, or other social involvement, they usually look in the food section of the the local media for hot new restaurant reviews.
Stay on top of restaurant opportunities and closings in your town in order to find new ideas for articles. New restaurant opportunities can be your main source of new article ideas because local magazines and newspapers are always seeking these types of articles.
If you have a favorite local restaurant that not many people know about, write an article about it. Then submit your content to a local newspaper along with a query letter. You might be the first one to write about the place, giving them content they can definitely use. In the end, you’ll make some money from the piece and get a published clip with a byline that will lead to more writing opportunities.
Another option is to write for magazines devoted to food, cuisine, local night life or the tourist market. If you want to write for magazines, your options about what to write about widen greatly. You can create how-to content, interviews, kitchenware reviews, and etc.
If you want to write for local travel guides, you should stick to restaurant reviews. Tourists probably don’t know about the popular restaurants in town. Tourism guides help visitors find out what’s hot and what’s not in the area. This means that there’s a constant flow of new readers for your restaurant reviews and etc. Even the Department of Transportation in several states publishes a monthly magazine about local news. The magazine’s editors often publish local restaurant reviews as a way of promoting out-of-state travel to different locations.
You could also try writing sample copy for press releases, recipe books or ads for restaurants or food suppliers. Companies and book publishers are always looking for excellent food writers to help promote anything from new food products to delicious recipes. Even a local grocery store might be willing to pay for copy in their weekly supermarket flyers.
In addition, there’s always blogging. Food blogs are hugely popular right now and there’s numerous ways to make money from a food blog, such as Google Adsense, selling private advertising, donations, affiliate marketing, sponsored posts and selling your own products and guides. In addition, with blogging you have complete control over your content and you have the freedom to write about whatever you want. You could write a blog about restaurant reviews or instead write about recipes, cooking tips, cooking product reviews and etc.
Food is one thing that won’t ever stop being popular. Therefore, food writing guarantees job security, and even more important than that: it’s just overall fun to write.
For more information about freelance writing, check out our article How to Find Freelance Writing Jobs for Beginners.