The Ten Commandments of Food Blogging

And the Lord spoke to Moses.

No, not really. These are these Ten Commandments of Food Blogging, from the The Gospel Gastronomique by St Fouad the Bewildered. The following are my own personal feelings and opinions on the dos and don’ts of food blogging. Do you share my opinions or are you against them? I’m not claiming to be perfect here, but I think a set of guidlines could be useful. Let me know your thoughts.

1 – I am the Lord your blog; you shall have no other interests before me
The first teaching of the Gospel is perhaps one of the most important. The core message is, however, quite simple. Your blog should be about your most favourite topic. Do not write a blog about something you have little interest in, as your lack of knowledge and enthusiasm will be apparent.

2- You shall not make yourself an idol
Here, the Lord tells us to keep it real. Do not try to be omniscient or omnipotent, and do not think that you’re a deity. Thou art human, and your blog should celebrate your experiences as a human being. So share your successes as well as your failures, and do not take yourself or your blog too seriously.

3- You shall not make wrongful use of the name of your blog
This commandment relates to the subject of comments. Do not comment on someone else’s blog just to get a link back to your blog and don’t write idiotic comments. Your comments should be constructive and honest. Do not say “Oh that looks so good, I want to eat it” or “Oh, I’m salivating” as these comments seem like a copy and paste job, and they leave the blogger with an empty, hollow feeling. Give thoughtful remarks and ask questions, and expect the same in return. Show the blogger that you have read what they’ve written and give their content its due respect.

4- Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy
Every once in a while, take a break from blogging. Go to an expensive restaurant and leave your camera at home. Experience the food like the good chef intended you to. It’s nice to have a meal without a 5 minute photo session delaying each course.

5-Honour your father and mother
Here, your father and mother symbolise your heritage and past experiences. Share your culture and your knowledge because they make you who you are, and who you are is what your blog should be representing. A blog is after all, your online diary and it’s where your story is told.

6- You shall not murder – the English language
Seriously, you don’t need to be Shakespeare to write a blog, but spell checking and proof reading are the least you can do to ensure your writing has no or little errors. It is so much nicer for a reader to be presented with a well written piece of text. Remember, writing is not the same as putting your thoughts on a blog. Thoughts are usually badly composed and chaotic, but a piece of writing should be balanced and well considered. Luckily, writing a blog is meant to be conversational and down to earth, so keep it simple. But remember, your blog is a medium for you to learn and better yourself, and improving your grammar and vocabulary can be easily achieved with the right level of attention.

7- You shall not commit adultery
The Seventh Commandment holds many truths, and should be kept at the forefront of our thoughts whenever we perform any blog related actions. Do not prostitute your blog. The integrity of your blog is of the utmost importance, so do not use your blog to get priority seating, free meals or to gain access to unrelated events. Using your blog to get free stuff means that you will inevitably owe something to someone, and that jeopardises the credibility of your writing. People look to bloggers to get an honest point of view, and plugging advertorials on your site to get a $7 burger is not worth the loss of your credibility (neither is a $1000 burger). On the flipside to seeking out freebies, it is ok to accept freebies you did not intentionally and purposely seek. We spend considerable effort writing and maintaining a blog and to get a small reward every once in a while is quite satisfying. But always, always disclose the fact that you did not pay for something you are reviewing. And under no circumstance should you feel obliged to give a glowing review to a mediocre restaurant or product. Simply do not write about something if it’s bad.

8- You shall not steal
This one may cause intense burning in hell if not heeded. Do not steal reviewing ideas from other bloggers. Do not steal content from other bloggers. Do not steal recipes from other bloggers. Do not steal photos from other bloggers. If you have benefited from reading another blogger and your blog entry is the result of an inspiration they have given you, give them the credit they deserve and attribute your work as inspired by them.

9- You shall not bear false witness
The Ninth is one of those open for interpretation, and scholars are in dispute as to the exact meaning. I personally think that it relates to leaving a comment on someone else’s blog where you dishonestly say something nice when deep down you know that the blog entry you just read is wasted time that you will never get back. Be honest instead of just being plain nice. If my recipe is shit and you know it, tell me and maybe I can improve it, or just don’t tell me at all.

10- You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife
Last but not least, the Tenth Commandment is there to remind you to be content with what you have. Do not look at other bloggers and covet their number of visitors, the amount of comments they receive or the freebies they get. Be happy for them and do your personal best for your blog, always focusing on the content. After all, unless I’m wrong, you started blogging to fill in a void. You started blogging because it was a means of self expression. You wanted to say something you cared about. It was never about the numbers, it was always about you. Don’t turn your blog into a full time job. Chances are, you already have another full time job and that’s why you started blogging. Right?

20 Responses to “The Ten Commandments of Food Blogging”

  1. Amen brother! At the risk of breaking commandment #3 i don’t really have anything else to say! I agree with everything even though the religious connotations make me feel slightly uncomfortable. Good job, I’m salivating?
    .-= lili – pikeletandpie´s last blog ..Pickled jellyfish on the streets of Hanoi =-.

  2. Steph says:

    LOL let us all gather to worship at The Gospel Gastronomique! I agree with all 10 of them, and hope I have done my best so far to adhere to them. Though I admit to being one of those people who writes inane comments every now and then, can you blame me for being a little brainless first thing in the morning at work? And though I don’t believe in reciprocal commenting, I do feel a little bad if there are bloggers who regularly comment on my blog and I don’t read theirs :(
    .-= Steph´s last blog ..Matcha Mousse with Honeycomb =-.

  3. Karen | C&C says:

    Ye Almighty hath spoken, and we all should heed thy word. Gosh did that make sense or did I just break the 6th commandment?

    Very well said Fouad and I couldn’t agree more with 7, 8 and 10. Especially 7 hehe.

  4. Reemski says:

    Beautifully put Fouad. Although I’m guilty of of mangling the English language on my blog, good writing is the main thing that keeps me coming back to a blog.
    .-= Reemski´s last blog ..Beef Stew with Carrots & Paprika from Little Vietnam by Nhut Huynh =-.

  5. Trissa says:

    Oh I like that – that looks so yummy and good! haha! Kidding! I really appreciate this list though – and admittedly – have been guilty of a few!

  6. Maninas says:

    Very well said! And I think most of it applies to most blogs, and not just food blogs.
    .-= Maninas´s last blog ..And the winners are… =-.

  7. I really like that and I fully appreciate the effort that went into writing it. My biggest problem with blogging is comment and sometimes I put my foot in my mouth and pay dearly for it; it is just that I get bored saying nice things all the time but I feel like people really want and expect niceties; on the other hand if I am salivating, why can’t I say so? if that’s all I feel?Communication is so tricky.

  8. Editha says:

    Loved the post Fouad, great writing, insightful, brutal at times : )
    If I was a blogger, you would’ve certainly straightened me out…

    …tilmiz….

  9. FFichiban says:

    lolololoololoololol good work man! The almighty St Fouad has spoken but does that break no. 2 :P haha jkjk
    .-= FFichiban´s last blog ..Tetsuya’s – Sydney CBD, Sydney. =-.

  10. Viviane says:

    Sounds so formal! I agree though mostly. I do not even have the energy to comment something unless I absolutely like it. I think that makes me a fan of your blog, I keep coming back and commenting! lol
    And AMEN to #6, I have such an aversion for grammatical errors that sometimes I think I might a tad OCD about it. Somehow caring for the form is manners in writing.
    I think I never had as much fun with cooking since we started the blog which started as a fun exchange between friends, actually I was a bit surprised to see the “professional” food blogging.
    Finally I think that reading other people’s blogs is benefiting from an experience they have or had, coveting their number of comments or popularity won’t help anyone, especially not the envious person. I admit it is always a pleasure to receive a comment, but as you say it, nothing beats honest ones!
    .-= Viviane´s last blog ..Get the F out of my kitchen! =-.

  11. CaroQ says:

    Umm, #8 . . . “intense burning in hell if not headed.” I think that was just a typo that spell check didn’t pick up. (heeded) was what you wanted.

    I must tell you that this particular posting is outstanding! I would appreciate it if every blogger did as you have commanded. For that matter, any person writing anything should obey many (if not all) of these commandments.

    Keep up the great work!!

  12. Gourmantic says:

    Great perspective on the wrong doings out there in the blog world, and not just in food blogging. My favourite is “do not take yourself or your blog too seriously”.

    I’ve just stumbled your post. I think it will resonate with a lot of people. Well done, Fouad :)
    .-= Gourmantic´s last blog ..Tasting the Mediterranean =-.

  13. The Ninja says:

    Fortunately for me, I need not put effort into being omniscient or omnipotent.

    Fortunately for me, I need not covet women nor freebies, for I possess both in overflowing excess.

    Fortunately for me, I speak English real good.

    So take you’re commandments somewhere else, foolish mortal! And bring me a sandwich while your at it!
    .-= The Ninja´s last blog ..Shinara =-.

  14. Well put….although sometimes I stumble across a post with such mouthwateringly delicious looking photos my jaw falls so far to the ground and all I can manage is a “oooh, looks so good!” My brain goes into food freeze.
    I think your point about passion is very true though, blogs which are written by people for the sake of it, or just because they have a product to plug are easy to spot a mile off and are BORING to read!!
    .-= JT @ areyouhungary´s last blog ..Crackle Crackle – Roast Pork Loin =-.

  15. Fouad says:

    Lili – LOL! salivate all you want my dear. The only photo on this entry is my picture :)

    Steph – I know what you mean. I’m sure I’ve broken one or two as well, but no one’s perfect right? It’s nice to encourage other bloggers, but we should be able to help when we can :)

    Karen – get out! What kind of English is that! Glad you enjoyed :)

    Reemski – I know what you mean. A well written blog is such a pleasure to read.

    Trissa – see my answer to Lili LOL!

    Maninas – Yes. The Gospel transcends time and space…

    tasteofbeirut – It’s a thin line right? I guess, say it if you really mean it…

    Editha – Ustaz!

    FFichiban – Hehehehehe – I’m just a saint, not a God… But I’m glad you were amused

    Viviane – I totally agree. And I really value your readership and I’m very glad you keep visiting :) Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    CaroQ – Your comment was heeded :) and now the text reflects the changes. Thanks for pointing that out. Glad you enjoyed

    Gourmantic – Thank you. I’m glad you agree. And thanks for stumbling my post.

    The Ninja – Thanks for visiting. I hope you brought the women you mentioned. By the way, it’s “your” not “you’re” but that’s a common mistake for a mortal. More than happy to bring you a sandwich if you promise to slice it up with your ninja sword.

  16. Amanda says:

    Thanks for the tips.
    As a new blogger, I find that it helps me to read as many others as I have time to. As you say, some are life’s moments wasted, but then, at least I get some idea of how I do not want to be!
    As an Irish/Australian with a mad passion for Middle Eastern food, I doubt that any of my time spent here will fall into that category!
    .-= Amanda´s last blog ..“Fresh” food and tragic teens! =-.

  17. hey mate, I’m finally setting up my food blog and these 10 points will really help focus my efforts. Also, am a regular reader of your blog, love it.

  18. Fouad says:

    A bit late as a reply… But regardless:
    Simon – Thanks for your comment. I hope they do guide you through the righteous path. Good luck with your blogging venture. It’s a fun ride and it looks you are off to a great start.
    Amanda – Hello again! Your blog is fantastic, and I am sure it will be easy for you to keep going! Glad my Middle Eastern recipes are to your liking :)

  19. All of you commandments echo really nice sentiments, I agree totally. Especially commandment 10. I am inspired by people who are doing well at blogging and I am always surprised that it is an industry with no jealousy or tall poppy syndrome. Just lovely!

  20. Leah says:

    I particularly agree with number 10. I don’t do this blogging thing because I expect anyone (except maybe my parents) to read it – for me it’s about self-expression and sharing my love for food. I expect I’ll never have the most popular blog, get a book deal, be able to give up my job and blog full time, or even get a lot of freebies. And I don’t care. It’s fun, it’s a hobby and I’ll keep doing it as long as I enjoy it.
    Also number 6 – I’ve actually had to stop reading some blogs because the number of typos and misspellings (not to mention incorrect phrases/sayings) drove me nuts!

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