Food Blogging For Dummies Giveaway {rach reads & reviews}

by Rachel Gurk on April 12, 2012 · 153 comments

in Giveaway, rach reads & reviews

I was super excited when Kelly from Just a Taste asked if I would like a copy of her new book to review.

Food Blogging For Dummies. I’ll let you put two and two together regarding why I need this book.

Also, Kelly’s blog is fabulous, full of great food and awesome photography, so I knew she was very knowledgable and capable of writing this type of book.

In other words, I trust her opinion.

And let me tell you, I was not disappointed. There is a TON of great info in this book. It is jammed-packed with everything you need to know about blogging about food. I can tell it is one of those books that is going to get worn to pieces from all the use it is going to receive.

I’m not pointing any fingers…but you need this book.

Yeah…you.

Week 2 of my book review series! Yay! Here we go…

The book’s stats:

  • Complete Title: Food Blogging for Dummies
  • Author: Kelly Senyei
  • Photos by: Kelly Senyei
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
  • ISBN: 978-1-118-15769-5
  • List Price: 24.99 for paperback
  • 308 pages
  • Author’s bio: See Kelly’s bio here.

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction
  • Whetting Your Appetite (The Many, The Proud; Finding Your Niche; Setting Up Shop)
  • Finding Your Voice (Is This Thing On?; Setting Your Content Menu; Branding Your Blog through Consistency and Frequency)
  • The Soup to Nuts of Design (The Lay of the Land; Your Blog’s Roadmap; Getting Your Garnish On)
  • Eating With Your Eyes (Food Photography Basics; Gathering Your Equipment and Tools; Styling and Photographing Food)
  • Marketing and Monetization (Super Marketing; Bringing Home the Bacon)
  • The Part of Tens (Ten Things to Know before Starting Your Food Blog; The Ten Hardest Foods to Photograph)
  • Index

Note: I realize some of those might sound a bit cryptic, but Kelly has covered everything in this book. From naming your blog (if you haven’t started a food blog yet, take it from me–this one is important!), to content, to length of posts, to frequency of posts, to widgets, badges and buttons. So much more, too!


Things I loved:

  • The huge amount of information provided.
  • The photos–from reading Kelly’s blog, I knew these would be great, so no surprise there.
  • The layout. It is a very user-friendly book.
  • The familiar faces! I saw Marla, Kalyn, Amanda, and more! Kelly uses a lot of examples to really make clear points.
  • Charts and Graphs. Not only because I’m a nerd, but also because it shows how much time and research Kelly put in while writing this book. It also shows that it is factually based, not just her opinions.
  • Fun little icons denoting Tips, Things to Remember, and Warnings. These make the book easy to navigate.

Things I wished were different (because I’m always going to give you my honest opinion!):

  • I wish I had this book in my hands the day I decided to start a food blog. It would have taken care of a lot of headaches.

Some things I learned just from QUICKLY flipping through it:

  • The optimal placement for a knife in a photo.
  • I learned more about Google Recipe View.
  • That I still have A LOT to learn.
  • I got some fun prop ideas for photos.

Interested? Purchase here. Or enter to win below!

GIVEAWAY DETAILS: One winner will be randomly chosen to receive a copy of Food Blogging For Dummies.

UPDATE: Giveaway has closed. Congrats to Erin B! Enjoy the book!

To enter (REQUIRED): If you are a food blogger, tell me what you would like to learn or improve. If you aren’t a food blogger, tell me why you would like this book. A gift for someone? Interested in starting a food blog?

For Extra Entries (MAKE SURE to leave an extra comment for each or they will NOT count):

1. Subscribe to my RSS feed or add your name to my email list (please confirm when you get the email asking you to do so).
2. “Like” Rachel Cooks on Facebook (My NEW Facebook page! Please double-check to make sure you like this one and not my former page).
3. Follow @rachelcooksblog on Twitter (notice my NEW Twitter handle!).
4. “Like” Just a Taste on Facebook.
5. Follow Just a Taste on Twitter.
6. Follow me on Pinterest and pin this post. (If you aren’t on Pinterest, let me know and I’ll send you an invite!)
7. Tweet about this giveaway, using this: “Win a copy of Food Blogging For Dummies by @justataste on @rachelcooksblog’s site http://wp.me/p1AwA6-Nr #giveaway”

Up to 8 chances to win! Giveaway will close on the 19th of April (Thursday) at midnight EST and I’ll announce the randomly chosen winner Friday morning (4/20). Winner will have 48 hours to respond before I choose another winner. Book will be shipped by the publisher.

Disclosure: I was provided with a free copy of the book to review, but no other compensation. All opinions are, as always, 100% my own. Some links in this post are affiliate links.

PS: Congrats on the wonderful book, Kelly!!! I can’t wait to delve in deeper. I have my highlighter ready!

{ 153 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar April 12, 2012 at 7:19 am

I’d like to learn how to put those little twitter, pinterest, and facebook icons on my homepage. I have no idea how to put them there!!

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2 Rachel April 12, 2012 at 9:41 am
3 Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar April 12, 2012 at 7:20 am

I like you on facebook.

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4 Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar April 12, 2012 at 7:21 am

I follow you on twitter.

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5 Jennifer | Mother Thyme April 12, 2012 at 7:40 am

I am so getting this book! I always love reading about photography tips, idea and styling. This looks like a great read.

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6 Jennifer | Mother Thyme April 12, 2012 at 7:41 am

I subsribe to your email updates.

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7 Jennifer | Mother Thyme April 12, 2012 at 7:42 am

I like you on FB! :)

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8 Jennifer | Mother Thyme April 12, 2012 at 7:42 am

I follow you on Twitter! :)

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9 Jennifer | Mother Thyme April 12, 2012 at 7:43 am

I like Just a Taste on FB.

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10 Jennifer | Mother Thyme April 12, 2012 at 7:44 am
11 Brynn April 12, 2012 at 8:27 am

I would like to learn about object placement and lighting optimization.

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12 Felicia the Geeky Blogger April 12, 2012 at 8:31 am

Actually I am a book blogger who is thinking about tying food into my reviews! I am really interested in this book and seeing the best ways to combine the two :)

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13 Athena April 12, 2012 at 8:53 am

Oh wow…this giveaway came at the perfect time. I’m not a blogger, but I’ve been contemplating starting a blog for a while. This book would be an invaluable resource.

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14 Athena April 12, 2012 at 8:54 am

I subscribe via email.

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15 Athena April 12, 2012 at 8:55 am

I follow you on Twitter.

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16 Athena April 12, 2012 at 8:56 am

I like you on FB.

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17 Lesa @Edesia's Notebook April 12, 2012 at 9:18 am

I definitely could use this book. The biggest problem I have is food styling. I am seriously lacking in the creativity department, so all of my pics are of just the food, no props. I would love some help in that department.

The day you announce the winner is my birthday; wouldn’t that be the best birthday surprise? :)

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18 Lesa @Edesia's Notebook April 12, 2012 at 9:19 am

I subscribe via RSS.

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19 Lesa @Edesia's Notebook April 12, 2012 at 9:19 am

I have liked your new page on FB.

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20 Lesa @Edesia's Notebook April 12, 2012 at 9:20 am

I have liked “Just a Taste” on Fb.

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21 Cassie April 12, 2012 at 9:33 am

Great review, Rachel! I am thoroughly enjoying the book and love the ideas that I have gotten so far. I, too, wish I would have had it the first time I pushed “publish”!

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22 Kesha April 12, 2012 at 9:37 am

I really want to start a food blog myself! I love to bake and cook! I would love to be able to share some of my goodies with others and maybe inspire them to start their own blog:)

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23 Kesha April 12, 2012 at 9:38 am

I subscribe via email

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24 Kesha April 12, 2012 at 9:39 am

I like you on Facebook

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25 Kesha April 12, 2012 at 9:41 am

I follow you on twitter

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26 Jeffrey April 12, 2012 at 9:44 am

I don’t think I really need this book, I would rather read your blog than my own!

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27 Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine) April 12, 2012 at 9:46 am

Ohh do I need this book! The thing I would most like to improve is my food styling and photography.

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28 anne April 12, 2012 at 9:52 am

I for sure need to do better photography on my food blog! http://www.anniebakes.net

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29 Mai Nguyen April 12, 2012 at 9:54 am

I would love this book. Hello! Just the book title fits me. I’m just now starting out and I know there’s so so so much more for me to learn! (:

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30 Mai Nguyen April 12, 2012 at 9:54 am

I am already subscribed to you via RSS.

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31 Mai Nguyen April 12, 2012 at 9:54 am

I “liked” your FB page.

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32 Mai Nguyen April 12, 2012 at 9:55 am

I am a twitter follower @mommyoftwoblog.

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33 Mai Nguyen April 12, 2012 at 9:55 am

I “liked” Just a Taste on FB.

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34 Mai Nguyen April 12, 2012 at 9:56 am

I am following Kelly via twitter.

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35 Mai Nguyen April 12, 2012 at 9:56 am

I follow your pins via Pinterest.

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36 Charlene April 12, 2012 at 10:04 am

I would love this book, I want to start a food blog. I have no idea where to start, this would be very helpful. Thanks for the chance to win.

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37 Megan @ Country Cleaver April 12, 2012 at 10:09 am

Oh there’s so much I want to learn – like where to place the infernal fork and knife! Seriously, that question plagues me!
And how to utilize social media better.

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38 Megan @ Country Cleaver April 12, 2012 at 10:10 am

I heart you on Facebook!

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39 Megan @ Country Cleaver April 12, 2012 at 10:10 am

I follow you on Twitter, o’course!

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40 Melissa C. April 12, 2012 at 10:12 am

I’m read a lot of food blogs, and am considering starting one

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41 Dayna April 12, 2012 at 10:20 am

I would like to have more knowledge anout website creativity, social media and taking better photos for my food blog.

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42 Megan @ Country Cleaver April 12, 2012 at 10:33 am

I like JAT on Facebook.

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43 Megan @ Country Cleaver April 12, 2012 at 10:36 am

I follow JAT on Twitter.

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44 Steph@stephsbitebybite April 12, 2012 at 10:46 am

Awesome!! I love this giveaway! Just liked on Facebook (I follow you both already on twitter) and I just tweeted about the giveaway :)

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45 amy marantino April 12, 2012 at 11:04 am

I am not a blogger, but am interested in the realm and want to learn more about same.

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46 Christina @ This Woman Cooks! April 12, 2012 at 11:05 am

I’d like to learn more about photography and food props!

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47 Christina @ This Woman Cooks! April 12, 2012 at 11:05 am

I already “like” you on FB.

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48 Christina @ This Woman Cooks! April 12, 2012 at 11:06 am

I already follow you on Twitter.

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49 amy marantino April 12, 2012 at 11:06 am

i subscribe to your RSS feed

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50 amy marantino April 12, 2012 at 11:06 am

i Follow @rachelcooksblog on Twitter

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51 amy marantino April 12, 2012 at 11:07 am

I Follow Just a Taste on Twitter.

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52 amy marantino April 12, 2012 at 11:07 am

I tweeted about the giveaway

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53 Desi April 12, 2012 at 11:19 am

I want to learn how to take better food photos, styling tips, how to write better and make my posts more interesting and personal. DEFINITELY need help with html, design, widgets, and buttons, and photoshop tips. Basically I just need this book!

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54 Desi April 12, 2012 at 11:20 am

I’m subscribed to your rss feed via email :)

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55 Desi April 12, 2012 at 11:22 am

I follow you on pinterest and pinned this – http://pinterest.com/pin/18999629648198102/

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56 Nelly Rodriguez April 12, 2012 at 11:30 am

I’d love to learn more about the back end of my blog, tech stuff that bakers don’t know :P

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57 Nelly Rodriguez April 12, 2012 at 11:30 am

I am subscribed to your RSS

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58 Nelly Rodriguez April 12, 2012 at 11:31 am

I tweeted

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59 Averie @ Averie Cooks April 12, 2012 at 12:07 pm

I get your RSS feed

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60 Averie @ Averie Cooks April 12, 2012 at 12:08 pm

tell me what you would like to learn or improve = learn more about the nuances of wordpress CSS code and style sheets, widgets, and the tech nitty gritty so if I have a problem I can fix it myself…ya, right :)

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61 Averie @ Averie Cooks April 12, 2012 at 12:09 pm

I FB like you

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62 Averie @ Averie Cooks April 12, 2012 at 12:10 pm

I twitter follow

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63 Jamie @ Thrifty Veggie Mama April 12, 2012 at 1:04 pm

There are so many things I still want to learn! Mostly photo stuff though I guess.

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64 Jamie @ Thrifty Veggie Mama April 12, 2012 at 1:05 pm

I follow you on Twitter.

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65 Jamie @ Thrifty Veggie Mama April 12, 2012 at 1:05 pm

Facebook fan.

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66 Jamie @ Thrifty Veggie Mama April 12, 2012 at 1:05 pm

Subscribe by RSS

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67 Jamie @ Thrifty Veggie Mama April 12, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Tweeted the giveaway

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68 Jamie @ Thrifty Veggie Mama April 12, 2012 at 1:08 pm

Follow JAT on twitter

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69 Ally's Sweet & Savory Eats April 12, 2012 at 1:15 pm

I’d love to improve my photography, but cannot afford a new camera at the moment:(

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70 Ally's Sweet & Savory Eats April 12, 2012 at 1:15 pm

I like you on Facebook!

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71 Ally's Sweet & Savory Eats April 12, 2012 at 1:16 pm

I follow you on Twitter!

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72 Melissa@IWasBornToCook April 12, 2012 at 2:51 pm

I could use a bunch of tips…there’s always room for improvement!

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73 Allyson April 12, 2012 at 2:53 pm

I’ve just started a blog but I’d love to know how to direct more traffic (than just family) to it. I also know nothing about photograph so I’d love to learn more about photos for blog posting too!

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74 Allyson April 12, 2012 at 2:53 pm

Subscribed to RSS feed.

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75 Allyson April 12, 2012 at 2:54 pm

I liked Rachel Cooks on fb!

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76 Allyson April 12, 2012 at 2:54 pm

I liked Just a Taste on fb!

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77 Christina Tong April 12, 2012 at 3:59 pm

Subscribed to your email list.

attct[at]aol[dot]com

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78 Christina Tong April 12, 2012 at 4:00 pm

“Liked” Rachel Cooks on Facebook.

attct[at]aol[dot]com

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79 Christina Tong April 12, 2012 at 4:02 pm

Following @rachelcooksblog on Twitter.

attct[at]aol[dot]com

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80 Christina Tong April 12, 2012 at 4:03 pm

“Liked” Just a Taste on Facebook.

attct[at]aol[dot]com

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81 Christina Tong April 12, 2012 at 4:05 pm

Following Just a Taste on Twitter.

attct[at]aol[dot]com

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82 Christina Tong April 12, 2012 at 4:07 pm

I tweeted about this giveaway: https://twitter.com/#!/attctong/status/190531353379487744

attct[at]aol[dot]com

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83 Christina Tong April 12, 2012 at 4:13 pm

From your Review of this book, I can learn a lot and they are so useful to me. I like to cook, maybe someday I start a food blog soon.

attct[at]aol[dot]com

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84 Rosie April 12, 2012 at 6:49 pm

I’d love to get better and making food look pretty and taking pretty pictures. I can make it taste good, but presentation is important!

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85 CulinarilyCourtney April 12, 2012 at 8:23 pm

I would love to win this book because I feel that most of my food blogging has been self-taught and there are times when I find myself wondering, “what angle should these cookies be positioned in this photo.” I need help with photography!

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86 Avanika {Yumsilicious Bakes} April 12, 2012 at 8:25 pm

I like you through my own FB page.

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87 Avanika {Yumsilicious Bakes} April 12, 2012 at 8:25 pm

I follow you on Twitter.

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88 Avanika {Yumsilicious Bakes} April 12, 2012 at 8:26 pm

I would LOVE to win this book, considering I’m still mostly a dummy. Subscribe through Google Reader.

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89 Gail April 13, 2012 at 12:21 am

Would like to start a blog

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90 Gail April 13, 2012 at 12:22 am

Liked Rachel cooks on fb

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91 Gail April 13, 2012 at 12:22 am

Liked just a taste on fb

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92 Emily April 13, 2012 at 12:26 am

I need to improve everything about my blog ;)

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93 Ole Gunderson April 13, 2012 at 12:49 am

I like you on twitter.

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94 Ole Gunderson April 13, 2012 at 12:50 am

I like you on Facebook.

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95 Ole Gunderson April 13, 2012 at 12:52 am

This would be great for either my grand-daughter or my youngest daughter.

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96 Kellie April 13, 2012 at 2:32 am

There’s a lot I need to learn about food blogging. I’ve always wanted a book like this to tell me the ins and outs. I guess some savvy people can figure out these kinds of things by themselves, but I’m not one of them!

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97 Susan in the Boonies April 13, 2012 at 2:48 pm

I am considering starting a blog that is exclusively devoted to food. I feel this book might help me as I consider whether or not to do that, and how to set it up.

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98 Susan in the Boonies April 13, 2012 at 2:49 pm

I subscribe to your RSS feed.

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99 Susan in the Boonies April 13, 2012 at 2:50 pm

I have liked your new Facebook page.

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100 Susan in the Boonies April 13, 2012 at 2:51 pm

I have followed your new Twitter handle.

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101 Susan in the Boonies April 13, 2012 at 2:52 pm

I liked Just a Taste on Facebook.

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102 Susan in the Boonies April 13, 2012 at 2:53 pm

I followed Just a Taste on Twitter.

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103 Susan in the Boonies April 13, 2012 at 3:00 pm

I pinned this post.

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104 Susan in the Boonies April 13, 2012 at 3:03 pm
105 Joann April 13, 2012 at 5:42 pm

I’ve always been toying with the idea of starting a blog but am totally overwhelmed with where to start! This would erase that excuse, that’s for sure! :) Thanks! :)

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106 Fabiola April 13, 2012 at 8:09 pm

I would like more info on the back end of my blog. I’m teaching myself and my boyfriend is helping me. But really I think it’s best for me to know what’s going on with all aspects of the blog so it can function at its best!

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107 Fabiola April 13, 2012 at 8:12 pm

I followed you on twitter!

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108 Sheila April 14, 2012 at 2:34 pm

I WANT THIS BOOK. I NEED TO IMPROVE AN MANY THINGS..MIGHT BE HARD TO WAIT AND SEE IF I WIN. THANKS FOR THE GREAT GIVEAWAY!

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109 Sheila April 14, 2012 at 2:34 pm

I liked Just a Taste on Twitter

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110 Sheila April 14, 2012 at 2:35 pm

I liked Just a Taste on Twitter too!

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111 amanda @ fake ginger April 14, 2012 at 3:35 pm

I would like to learn to improve everything!

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112 amanda @ fake ginger April 14, 2012 at 3:36 pm

I subscribe!

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113 amanda @ fake ginger April 14, 2012 at 3:36 pm

I like you on FB!

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114 amanda @ fake ginger April 14, 2012 at 3:37 pm

I like Just a Taste on FB!

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115 amanda @ fake ginger April 14, 2012 at 3:38 pm

I follow Just a taste on Twitter!

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116 SnoWhite @ Finding Joy in My Kitchen April 14, 2012 at 6:02 pm

I’d love to improve photos & also ads/SEO.

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117 Dawn April 15, 2012 at 4:54 pm

I would love this book for myself. I don’t have a food blog yet, but have been wanting to create one for a while now to keep track of all the recipes I find and love!

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118 Dawn April 15, 2012 at 4:54 pm

I am subscribed to you via Google Reader!

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119 Dawn April 15, 2012 at 4:55 pm

I liked your FB page!

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120 Dawn April 15, 2012 at 4:55 pm

I follow you on Twitter!

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121 Dawn April 15, 2012 at 4:58 pm

I liked Just a Taste on FB!

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122 Dawn April 15, 2012 at 5:00 pm

I’m following Just a Taste on Twitter!

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123 Dawn April 15, 2012 at 5:02 pm

I’m following you on Pinterest and repinned your giveaway! Thank you for the opportunities to win!

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124 Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen April 15, 2012 at 7:46 pm

I am always looking for tips, especially on photography! Sounds like a great book!

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125 Kristin April 15, 2012 at 9:06 pm

I’d love to know how to reel in followers and keep them coming back!

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126 Kristin April 15, 2012 at 9:07 pm

I’m an email suscriber!

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127 Kristin April 15, 2012 at 9:09 pm
128 Kristin April 15, 2012 at 9:09 pm

I’m following you on Twitter!

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129 Kristin April 15, 2012 at 9:10 pm

I like your Facebook page!

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130 Kristin April 15, 2012 at 9:11 pm

Following Just a Taste on Twitter!

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131 Janet April 15, 2012 at 9:12 pm

I’d give this as a gift to my daughter who has a food blog.

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132 natalie@thesweetslife April 15, 2012 at 10:00 pm

this book sounds wonderful–each of the sections sound incredibly helpful. i’m wanting it even more now that I’ve read your review of it!

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133 Karen April 16, 2012 at 12:36 am

I would love to have a copy. Have been thinking for a while I would like to have a personal blog for family and friends. But have been a little unsure about the whole thing and where to start.

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134 Karen April 16, 2012 at 12:39 am

I like you on FB

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135 Karen April 16, 2012 at 12:41 am

I follow you on twitter

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136 Karen April 16, 2012 at 12:42 am

I follow you on RSS feed

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137 Karen April 16, 2012 at 12:43 am

I liked Just a Taste on FB.

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138 Karen April 16, 2012 at 12:44 am

I follow Just a Taste on Twitter.

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139 Karen April 16, 2012 at 12:48 am

I already follow you on Pinterest and pinned the post.

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140 Karen April 16, 2012 at 12:54 am

I tweeted about the giveaway.

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141 Erin B April 16, 2012 at 7:44 am

I’m starting a foodie blog and could use the help with photos!

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142 Erin B April 16, 2012 at 7:47 am

I “Like” Rachel Cooks on Facebook

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143 Jen at The Three Little Piglets April 16, 2012 at 9:05 am

I definitely think I need to learn a little more about editing pictures – I can handle basic editing, but some of the bigger stuff still kicks my butt…

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144 Erin B April 16, 2012 at 9:15 am

I follow @rachelcooksblog on Twitter

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145 Erin B April 16, 2012 at 9:22 am

I tweeted about this giveaway!

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146 Erin B April 16, 2012 at 9:24 am

I “Like” Just a Taste on Facebook.

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147 Erin B April 16, 2012 at 9:24 am

I follow Just a Taste on Twitter.

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148 Robin @ Simply Southern Baking April 16, 2012 at 12:05 pm

I want to learn more about food photography.

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149 Robin @ Simply Southern Baking April 16, 2012 at 12:07 pm

I follow @rachelcooksblog on Twitter.

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150 Robin @ Simply Southern Baking April 16, 2012 at 12:07 pm

I follow Just a Taste on Twitter.

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151 Sand April 16, 2012 at 7:19 pm

I would like to improve my publicizing

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152 Rachel Howdle April 19, 2012 at 7:03 am

I’m so in need of this book, my recipe blog is more of a recipe book list.

As ever it’s always a joy to read your page Rachel and it was fab to hear from you over on Twitter too x

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153 Caroline @ After Dinner Dance April 19, 2012 at 3:38 pm

I’d love to improve my photography!

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