Today, I’d like to introduce you to Emma, a mother, teacher, food blogger and creator of the newly launched Food Blogging Collective, a one-stop resource for anyone who wants to, or currently does, write a blog – phew!
I have been a keen follower of Emma’s blog The Food Brood for quite some time now. It’s no secret that I HATE complicated, pompous and fussy food – why spend all of your time in the kitchen when you can be sat with friends and family eating, rather than cooking, food? So Emma’s site, which focusses on recipes that require six ingredients or less, is like a god-send to me. With mouthwatering dishes like Totally Crazy Beer-and-Chocolate Ice Cream and Moroccan Lamb Tagine with Oranges, she really does prove that you don’t need a lot of time, energy, or a tediously long list of ingredients, to make delicious, home-cooked food.
So thank you Emma, not only for taking the time out of your busy schedule to tell us about the trials and tribulations of being a food blogger, but for providing me with inspiration on those “cant be bothered to cook” nights…
Name: Emma from Food Blogging Collective
Occupation: Blogger, Teacher, Mum!
What is your background?
Originally an academic by training, I started my food blog The Food Brood whilst on maternity leave with my second baby. After a period of fast learning and absorbing everything about the industry, I realised that I missed teaching, researching and writing and so made the leap over to blog coaching and development. My new website, Food Blogging Collective, focuses on providing simple, actionable advice for food bloggers to start, nurture and grow their own businesses.
What sparked your interest in the food/cooking?
Cooking has always been my hobby – it’s my way of relaxing after a hard day. I taught myself to cook at university because it took so long to get served in the dining hall at night. I had never even boiled an egg before I went away – and by the time I came back from my first term just 10 weeks later, I could cook practically anything!
What differentiates your brand/company from others in the industry?
Although there are a number of blogs that teach people how to grow their blogs, I was really struggling to find one place on the Internet with information specific to food blogs – I ended up picking up tidbits from all over the place. I also found that the majority of information came from the US whilst I’m in the UK. As far as I know, I have the only UK website that teaches food bloggers.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your role?
Inspiring other food bloggers to try new methods that really make a difference to their businesses.
What is the most challenging aspect of your role?
The same as any blogger, I guess: the sheer amount of people you have to be when you’re a blogger: web technician, writer, editor, photographer, marketer and schmoozing guru! I probably forgot a whole bunch right there!
Where do you get your inspiration from when developing a new recipe?
Easy – my blog always has focused on food that I actually serve my family, so I cook, we eat, I write. What makes it a little more challenging is that my niche is actually six-ingredient meals so sometimes I have to do some clever engineering to make a standard recipe fit the brief without compromising on flavour.
What surprises you most about the industry?
How NICE other bloggers are! I thought it would be all dog-eat-dog and every (wo)man for her(him)self but everyone is just so helpful. I think it must stem from the fact that we were all beginners once and remember how hard it is to just get readers in the first place.
What is your most exciting project right now?
I’m just starting a series called “Blogging All Stars” where I interview some of the top UK food bloggers. I intend it to work as inspiration for other bloggers on methods and tips that really WORK. My aim is to turn the series into a podcast, eventually.
What trends are you seeing/experiencing right now?
Everyone seems to be diversifying. I think that if you want to make a living as a blogger you need to have a finger in a lot of pies.
What is your favorite flavor right now?
Cumin! I put it in everything – fajitas, chilli, rice, beans….
What’s your favorite dish (to cook/eat)?
At the moment it’s paella as we’ve just come back from Spain, but my all-time favourite food is actually curry, which is huge in the UK.
What’s your guilty food pleasure?
Chocolate-peanut butter sauce for ice cream! Spoiler: I HATE ice cream, but I LOVE it drenched in this….
Where is your favorite place to eat?
The best meal I ever had was in the Witchery hotel in Edinburgh where my husband and I went for my 30th birthday. I was heavily pregnant at the time and so had to keep off the champagne (sob, sob) but we had an incredible meal in the world-famous restaurant nonetheless. For my starter (appetizer) I had a ham-hock terrine with apple crisps and it was out of this world. Actually it doesn’t seem that exotic now, but back then it was groundbreaking!
Who is your favorite chef?
Well, being British and favouring easy, family food, I have to say Jamie Oliver. If I want something with more fire (and swearing) then I go for Gordon Ramsey! But only when the kids are in bed… 😉
What’s next on the agenda for you?
I’m currently developing two courses that I’ll deliver through Teachable, one on using Pinterest as a food blogger and the other on affiliate marketing.
You can visit Emma’s websites here: