Sharing and Video: the Perfect Recipe for your #Blog Post

Perfect recipe by HoaLuu CC0 Public Domain from Pixabay

People love recipes! They love to be educated. Truth is, video can assist your post’s popular­ity. It can also help your blog grow. Is it the perfect recipe for growth? I have not used many on this blog, but I have used them widely for custom­ers.

If you love recipes and wish to publish them then there are a few simple rules to follow. These rules also apply to other types of educa­tion­al post. There are so many oppor­tun­it­ies to make your work shine when demon­strat­ing you culin­ary favour­ites. Let’s face it we all love food. One of the main uses of the Internet is person­al educa­tion, so why do a bad job sharing your knowledge?

Popular, or Perfect Recipe!

One of the most popular types of post on the web are recipes. Yet, recipes are among the poorest quality pages published on the web. Many do not include pictures. Fewer still include video. Writers think it is simply a case of posting firstly a list of ingredi­ents and secondly giving the briefest descrip­tion of the method used. Wrong!
Dish by RitaE CC0 Public Domain from PixabayLook in of the cook books by famous chefs, wheth­er Nigela Lawson or Mrs Beeton and you will see them explain recipes in full detail. They also explain the inform­a­tion behind the recipe. We have an Italian cookbook that gives a story behind the making of certain pastas. There is untold inform­a­tion is learnt before creat­ing a single recipe.
Watch any cookery show on any channel on TV and it is immedi­ately clear that publish­ing recipes requires a multi-media approach. In the search for the perfect recipe then the minim­al­ist approach is defin­itely not good. Here is what every recipe needs:
  • The background
  • A reason for trying it
  • The Ingredients
  • The method used
  • Show pictures
  • Show video
  • Serving & Presenting your food
Look at any TV chef and they tell a story around the food they are serving, even when they show only a short present­a­tion. To demon­strate this I will include a simple recipe that anyone can use to enhance the flavour of their morning cup of coffee.

The Background

Its origin. Where does a the recipe come from? Is it your Grandmothers? Did you encounter it on a trip to Tuscany? This tells the reader where the recipe origin­ates, for example “it is a tradi­tion­al Italian recipe that we have used our own unique twist to add more spices, which I believe provides a great­er depth of flavour”. It can also tell them something about the person­al­ity of the dish.
You are setting the scene so the reader may like your present­a­tion. They will appre­ci­ate that you used an oppor­tun­ity to show a recipe that is unique in some way. It is your twist that adds something new.
TV presenters do this in their own unique way, like talking about the latest stops on their tour of Burgundy. Showing how they select the ingredi­ents, this helps set the scene for the viewer. Perhaps assist­ing them under­stand why one variety of pear may be preferred over anoth­er. These are all tips that will both set the scene and educate their audience about the quality of the items used.
The TV presenter does this so expertly, and you hardly notice it being done. Writers must also set the scene. The backdrop for the recipe I present will show that it is possible to add a person­al touch, include why you like it etc. Background is short but it does give inform­a­tion about where the writer encountered the idea and what makes it special, were this a recipe page then I would add more detail to the background.

Background — Cinnamon Coffee

A simple recipe that every coffee lover will appre­ci­ate! Indians love their teas, and they make them with special spices, especially Marsala tea. That is boiled in milk. As a coffee drink­er it became clear that many of those ingredi­ents can also be used to enhance the flavour of coffee. Other spices were not compat­ible. After many exper­i­ments over sever­al years I have perfec­ted a the recipe, using certain ingredi­ents to compli­ment the taste of the coffee. This taste is not for all, but it is one of many ways that I have used to occasion­ally enhance the flavour of a morning coffee.

A Reason for Trying it

Macaroni and Cheese by Scooby12353 CC0 Public Domain from PixabayLook up any dish using Google and you will probably find a thousand recipes. Whether you intend to create a simple Macaroni Cheese or a delicious Clam Chowder there are dozens of ways to do it. There are many reasons why you may use a partic­u­lar recipe, includ­ing:
  • It reminds you of something grandma used to make.
  • You have all the ingredi­ents in your pantry.
  • It is visually appeal­ing.
  • The perfect practic­al dish.
  • Simple to make.
When writing the recipe you must appeal to your reader. Work their taste-buds. Why should they use your recipe? This is where you have to advert­ise its virtues. The example below shows how I might do this for my Cinnamon Coffee recipe. Get the idea here that this is all about telling a story, it is because I will be honest I will be gone in 30 seconds if there is nothing to excite the taste-buds and an ingredi­ents list will not do that.

Cinnamon Coffee: Enhancing your Cuppa Joe

Everyone loves cinna­mon buns! But, have you ever thought of mixing cinna­mon with your coffee?
It is not for every­one, but if you love your cuppa to be brewed in a cafetière using freshly ground beans then this recipe could be the delight­ful twist you have been waiting for. It is probably best when drunk black, but it will enhance your coffee even if you use a little cream.

The Ingredients

Recipe Ingredients - Lamb by Tjena CC0 Public domain from Pixabay
This is the start of the business end of your recipe, but the list of ingredi­ents should not be a boring list. Look at how a TV chef handles this element. Many discuss the import­ance of each ingredi­ent, perhaps what it brings to the dish. 
One thing you could do is suggest altern­at­ives — partic­u­larly where you know that aller­gies relate to specif­ic ingredi­ents. Perhaps you have healthy altern­at­ives in mind. You can advise the audience of ways to enhance the recipe, perhaps the addition of pepper to the ingredi­ents list, or how sea-salt provides a stronger flavour than table salt.
With all recipes there are options. Showing them gives you the oppor­tun­ity to show altern­at­ives. Demonstrate the core ingredi­ents that should not change.

Cinnamon Coffee: Ingredients

Cinamon Sticks from tastyfood.comFor 2 large cups, include:
  • 1 medium sized stick of fresh cinna­mon approx­im­ately 2.5 inches (60 mm) in length
  • 1.5 cups of coffee beans
In addition to cinna­mon (or in place of it) you may further enhance the flavour by adding 1 or 2 cloves, or 3 to 4 cardamom pods, all three work well when ground togeth­er. Ginger is anoth­er altern­at­ive, although a much smaller amount is needed to flavour your drink.

Demonstrating the Method

This is, perhaps, the most valuable discus­sion in the entire recipe. It is where you are educat­ing the reader of the steps to take. This discus­sion is the most import­ant aspect of any educa­tion­al page you create. Each step may require its own subsec­tion.
In theory the steps you take must cover everything in the minutest detail. Do not assume your reader has ever done this element before, unless it is so basic a step that every­one in the world knows how to do it
The reader may not know how to kneed dough. Tell them how many minutes they should be perform­ing this opera­tion and the type of texture they are looking for. If the specif­ic element is partic­u­larly complex it may be wise to add a video that demon­strates how it works — that shows the reader the required action in a way that words alone are not able. Video enhances your instruc­tions.
Make sure you include all the details are included — this is where the import­ance of editing your article comes into its own here because any mistake shines out like a neon light, read it through and make sure it describes each step in detail.

Cinnamon Coffee: Method

Add to Blender
Cinnamon is added to the coffee beans when ground, there are two ways to do this either adding it to the coffee grinder before any coffee beans are added or after you have added a small handful of beans. The video shows the cinna­mon broken into strips of about half an inch before adding any coffee beans to the grinder.
Grind the mixture
Set the grinder at coarse to allow larger chunks of coffee bean and cinna­mon to come through — this gives a better depth of flavour in the drink.

Transfer the powdered mixture to the cafetière then add hot water.

Pictures and Video

Pictures add weight to all articles. Steps need to be clearly identi­fied when educat­ing your readers. There are many oppor­tun­it­ies for pictures. Presenting the ingredi­ents via a picture can be very helpful. This is especially true when showing an unusu­al ingredi­ent.
It is almost oblig­at­ory to include a video when present­ing a recipe, especially for more complex recipes. Soufflés, for example, are extremely delic­ate and are often best described in words and presen­ted in video form. There are plenty of educa­tion­al examples where video aids under­stand­ing, not simply the textu­al present­a­tion. Showing people how to use software is anoth­er example.
Think about who presents your video. One view, the perfect recipe video is best presen­ted by the person publish­ing the article. But, many writers do not feel they would make good presenters. If someone else makes the present­a­tion, then ensure they stick to your script. Alternatively you can search YouTube of Vimeo for videos produced by others.
On the technic­al side, your video should be a minim­um of 720p resol­u­tion (that is 1280×720 px, also called Standard HD), although 1080p is prefer­able today. 1080p is 1920×1080 px, also called Full HD.

Serving and Presenting the Dish

Here is anoth­er lesson to learn from the TV chefs, 90 percent of food is about present­a­tion of the final product. The taste may come from the method you use to prepare the dish but how you present it at the end of the day is all about how others will under­stand your recipe.
One possib­il­ity, use the picture of the final dish as the featured image for your post. This way people know what to expect from the dish before they come to your page.
If you just cooked it photo­graph then photo­graph it. Pictures along the way are all helpful in demon­strat­ing progress. The image of the finished item should present your recipe in the best of light. Show us that roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, or the lamb chops served with roast potatoes and mint sauce. They should be so delicious that the reader cannot pass them by.

All in the Presentation

This post is based on one origin­ally published on Wikinut. It has been updated with new thoughts. Recipes are amongst the most popular of pages on the web. The major­ity are poorly presen­ted, which is a pity because they fail to showcase the work in the best light. If you have the perfect recipe, then present it well.

Other material by Peter Giblett includes:

Peter is also a monthly contrib­ut­or to Two Drops of Ink, the liter­ary home for collab­or­at­ive writing.

Be the first to comment

Your comments