This is the final part of my Eat Drink Blog 3 posts :) I’m feeling a little sad…reminiscing all the good times I’ve had with my fellow food bloggers, it’s just a shame that we wont get the chance to meet up as often as we would like to. But at least we are able to look back on these photos and look forward to the next time we meet!
The first day (Part 1 and 2) of our conference was just full of eating, drinking and talking :P but the next day was when the real conference began. It was going to be a pretty full on day because most bloggers had to rush off and catch the 7pm flight back home.
EDB was very kind and had organised breakfast for delegates as it was a pretty early 8:30am start, we were provided with an array of pastries and breads from Red Door Bakery. I was super excited about trying the pastries as I had put Red Door Bakery on my ‘to-go’ list but knew I wouldn’t have the time to go, so it was a win win situation YAY! I had the orange marmalade danish and it was everything a good Danish should be, the pastry was puffy and flakey and with the orange marmalade it was just NOMMY!
It was then followed by Dianne’s workshop, where she went through her thoughts and opinions about food bloggers. I was very excited about meeting Dianne, as I have been meaning to purchase her book ‘Will Write For Food’. Now I’m definitely going to buy it ~ she gave us an overview of her experience with food bloggers, and she said she has seen a massive influx in the number of food bloggers in the past 5 years. A couple of years ago there were probably 40,000 food blogs, but this figure is no longer accurate. Dianne also mentioned that competition amongst food bloggers have also increased, therefore, its important to have good quality content on your blog~ I’m worried…I talk too much randomness to my blog posts hahaha
Source: The Stone Soup
I then chose to attend the Blog Design workshop by Jules Clancy (The Stone Soup), it was a wonderful workshop as I have been interested in redoing my blog design, but haven’t had the time or expertise. These are the key points I got from Jules’ talk :)
- Need to decide on an objective for the blog, what do you want people to focus on when they visit your blog
- Make it easy for Readers to find recipes and reviews
- Must easier to read posts with a white background and black writing
- Use narrower columns to help Readers quickly skim through the post
- Research has shown that the first time we look at a website is the top left corner
After attending this workshop… I really think I need a new blog designnnnnnnnnn can anyone please help me? :P Pretty please! It’s so complicated hahaha
Time seriously just flew by and it was then time for lunch ~ no one knew what we were going to have for lunch, so we were all surprised when we walked downstairs back into the Central Market. The market is closed on Sundays but a number of stalls had opened up just for us to create a Market Feast!
Everything smelt and looked fantastic but the ginormous seafood paella was the show stopper :) I’ve never seen such a large paella pan in my life! I got a small serve and it was so delicious! The seafood gave it a sweet kind of flavour, while the chorizo was smokey and full of flavour.
More San Jose ham, chorizo and salami! You might remember San Jose from part 1, where we got to met San Jose and his partner turing the Central Market tour.
We also got to sample Vegas poultries pandan chicken :) I love the subtle pandan flavour the chicken pieces had and would really like to take some home with me if I could, because it’ll be the best after work dinner dish ~
We also got to sample some of O’Connells Meats, I don’t think we got to meet them during our Central Market tour, but they were offering the most exquisite ham I have had :) It was warm, smokey and seriously AMAZING flavours! This is seriously the best ham to serve at any Christmas party.
Dessert was covered by Providore, another chocolate fountain? YES PLEASE! I can seriously contemplating getting one of those plastic mini chocolate fountains and put one at home so I’ll also have a never ending supply of chocolate :P
I practically just sampled, the savoury dishes, instead this was my lunch lol pancake with strawberries drenched in chocolate sauce and topped with chocolate gelato :) Life couldn’t get any better!
I really wished we had more time to eat even more food, but we were only a very tight schedule. So we were rushed back into the Central Market Kitchen for the next lot presentations~ Next up was Geoff Kwito, the web entrepreneur and SEO guru. I really wished I had the chance to talk to him more, to pick his brain about SEO. He explained SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) very well and also gave us many hints and tips on how to optimise it to increase our hits.
- SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is important and inevitable
- Keywords are important, include them in the title and in the post
- Google will not rank your blog very high if it does not have good content
- Share the love, link back to each other :) The more links you have, Google will believe you are a quality blog
- Google does not recognise images, therefore, it is important to name them something relevant
As we were all paying attention to the presentation, I saw on the corner of my eye, Natasha (The Playing House) who is also part of the EDB committee set up a table in the corner with our afternoon tea. It was like a little girls birthday party and definitely made me grin from ear to ear ~
I had a lot of trouble deciding what I wanted! I simply wanted to try everything there ~ I did manage to try the cakepops are they were so delicious! Fudgey and soft cake centres covered in chocolate then the crunch from the 100s and 1000s hehe yum yum yum!
I couldn’t go past the caramel popcorn cupcake and then were AWESOME! Let me repeat that AWESOME! It was this soft, sticky and sweet caramel cupcake with a caramel filling, topped with caramel popcorn that was so crunchy and YUM! The cupcake was SOOOOOOO good, I couldn’t help but ask Natasha for the recipe, and she has been so kind to share with me :) I’m going to try making them ASAP and once I succeed, I will post about it :D
Source: Fig and Cherry
The last presentation I wanted to share with you would be Q&A about Ethics and Working with PRs, with George Ujvary (The Foodologist), Ed Charles (Tomato) and Christie Connolly (Fig and Cherry). I was most excited about meeting Christie in person as I follow her blog and love the simple yet tasty recipes she shares, I also like stalking her blog because Poppy her daughter is SUPER adorable :) I thought this topic was very interesting and important topic for food bloggers, especially since more and more food companies and restaurants are now using food bloggers to help promote and sell their products.
- Always be honest with your Readers and also be transparent and disclose when products/meals are paid for
- Decide what products you will accept and review that fits with your blog
- Decide whether you will charge and how much
- Public Relation companies do not usually have a budget, marketing firms usually have a budget and are able to sponsor bloggers
I think these tips were great and very useful, as I think it’s very important as a food blogger to be honest and disclose when products or meals have been paid for. I think Readers have the right to know and shouldn’t be misled to think that the meals were paid for individually when it wasn’t ~
Now that concludes my EDB 3 food bloggers conference :) I am going to cherish this experience for the rest of my life ~ I had the chance to meet all these fantastic bloggers and people in the food and beverage industry, be able to taste all the fresh produce and delicious dishes and most importantly learn how to be a better food blogger :D And that is to be honest with Readers and write good quality and intersting content!
Would also like to say a HUGE thank you to Christina (The Hungry Australia) and Amanda (Lamb, Ears and Honey) co-chairs of the EDB event and everyone else on the committee Natasha (The Playing House), Celeste (Travelling in Mary Jane), Erin (She Cooks She Gardens), Alex (Eating Adelaide) and Kristy (The Natural Foodie).
I’m really hoping to go to EDB again next year with all my fellow Melbourne bloggers and also catch up with all the wonderful and talented bloggers I met this year :)
For a recap of EDB 3, Simon (Simon Food Favourites) has done a brilliant video ~ I love re-watching it hehe :)