Wouldn't it be great to get paid to dine out and post food photos with reviews? Yes, yes it would! Please contact me if you would like to pay me to write or photograph anything related to food, cocktails, spirits, or wine. Being "Dallas Foodie" is not my job, but it is very related to my real job, which is the Marketing Director & President of a Dallas Internet marketing company, DGdesign. While I am uniquely qualified to help restaurants, bars, and wineries with their Internet marketing, I don't give them special treatment in my Dallas Foodie posts (see my Disclaimer).
"How are you able to dine out so often?"
I work remotely for my own company as an Internet Marketing Director, so I can work from anywhere with a Wi-Fi signal, such as at really good restaurants! I don't think I make more money than most Dallasites, but I do choose to spend it on dining out instead of other common expenses, such as TV service, shopping, and groceries. I assume kids are a big expense for many people, but I don't have any. I also receive some of my food, drink, and events for free; see that topic below.
"How do you not weigh 300 pounds?"
I don't eat everything in my photos! I usually taste everything, but I can't eat it all. I also avoid carbs and sugars as much as possible, for example, I substitute french fries for green veggies and often remove the bun from sandwiches after I've tasted it all together. I also started running every day in April 2013 and that has helped me lose weight.
"How did you get started as 'Dallas Foodie'?"
In August 2009, I was working on a web design team at a big advertising agency in downtown Dallas. Clients were starting to ask for help with their Facebook and Twitter accounts, but "social media marketing" didn't really exist yet. I already used Facebook for personal use, but I didn't have a Twitter account. I figured I needed to create one if I was going to keep my job skills relevant, but I also wanted to test if Twitter was a viable marketing tool. Could you use Twitter to create a following for a brand that didn't currently exist anywhere else? I knew few people would follow me if I just Tweeted random stuff about my life, so I picked a theme that would give me easy content to Tweet every day: food. I was already a foodie, whose co-workers and friends would consult about where to eat, so I just carried that idea onto Twitter and came up with a relevant name, @Dallas_Foodie. I got a few hundred followers in the first 6 months and was pleased with my Twitter marketing experiment. I decided to just keep posting, so I created a Facebook Page on February 17, 2010. Other social media accounts quickly followed. Then I opened my own social media marketing agency in June 2010— not even one year into my first Twitter account— but that made me one of the most experienced marketers in the business! Instagram didn't even exist until October 2010, and I didn't create my account until April 24, 2011. Even though my Instagram account was by far the last to get started, it quickly grew into my second-largest audience, after Twitter. Several years, tens of thousands of foodie followers, and hundreds of amazing food and drink media comps later, my little experiment (and my business) are going stronger than ever!
"Do you ever cook at home?"
I really love to cook, and I've been told I make delicious food, but I absoltuely hate cooking for one person. My groceries were going bad before I could use them, so I completely stopped buying groceries and cooking at home in May 2012. If you think I'm joking, check out the photos and dating analysis of my empty fridge on CheckTheirFridge.com. Plus, I work from home, so dining out lets me to get out of the house to interact with other human beings in the real world. I look forward to cooking at home again when I find the right man to enjoy it with me. :-)
"Do you get free food?"
Sometimes I receive offers to eat, drink, and attend food festivals for free, and I always mention it in my post when I do (see Disclaimer). If you are a publicist or marketer, please check out my Press page.
"How can I get free food, too?"
In most cases, the offers and invitations come to me without my asking. If you frequently post good content and have a large audience of relevant followers, then publicists and marketers tend to approach you with free offers. If you work in PR or marketing and would like to reach the most influential Dallas food bloggers, please contact me through my social media marketing company, DGdesign, and I can connect you with the right people.
"Have you ever worked in a restaurant or attended culinary school? What qualifies you to critique food?"
This requires a longer answer than I could type here, so I wrote a blog about it.
"How may I contact you?"
I'm all over social media sites— try reaching out on Facebook or Twitter. If you need to contact me in private, you can email Dallas_Foodie @ DGdesign .biz (without the spaces).