Seeking Guest Bloggers for Hudson Valley Restaurant Week: Here are the Ground Rules

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C’mon — you know you have an inner restaurant critic in you somewhere! I’m looking for your help!

We had such a great response to guest blogging Hudson Valley Restaurant Week for the past two years running, and I’d like to enlist your help again this year. There are more restaurants this year than ever before — and I’d like to see as many of them as possible covered here on Small Bites.

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Here is a link to all the fabulous guest bloggers that helped cover HVRW we had in 2010.

And here is the link to all the coverage from 2011.

So many! Isn’t it exciting! Let’s beat that number this year!

So here’s the deal: send me an e-mail at ewjohnsonATlohud.com with your top five choices of restaurants you’d like to blog about — and how many of those you can commit to.

I can only allow one post per restaurant — otherwise we’d have a million of 42 and X20 and none of anyone else. I’ll try to accommodate everyone’s choices.

After we figure out who’s cover what, if you are a first-time blogger, I’ll send you instructions for test blog post. You’ll upload a photo and introduce yourselves to the readers. Then we’ll be out dining and blogging for HVRW.

Here is the list of participating restaurants for 2012.

Below, I’ve set some ground rules for guest blogging. They include stuff like treating our restaurants fairly, being familiar with blogging software (I won’t have the time to do your blog posts for you) and not throwing my name around to get special treatment. But you’d never do that, would you?

Blog rules below. Send me those e-mails!

HVRW Ground Rules for Guest Blogging

For a HVRW blog post, you’ll write about your experience at an HVRW restaurant. You’ll take photos of your dinner and the restaurant, describe what you ate and discuss the service, drinks and anything else that comes up during the dinner, such a great number of choices on the menu, a huge crowd at the bar, a great view, etc. etc.

You will not use your status as a guest blogger to ask for any favors and you should not expect any special treatment because you are a guest blogger. Please don’t announce you are a guest blogger. If someone asks, sure, go ahead and answer. But the last thing I want is people arriving at their reservation and announcing to the host: “I’m Jane Doe and I’ll be guest blogging for Small Bites tonight.”

We won’t reimburse for your meals. Sorry. This is a community effort, not a paid position.

You must be somewhat familiar with blogging software or have some kind of experience uploading photos and writing online. I’ll give guest bloggers user names and passwords, and you’ll write your posts directly into the Small Bites software. I will edit your posts and then publish them. If they not up to our standards — whether photos or writing or formatting — I will have to just delete your posts. I’m sorry, but I don’t have time to fix them.

Please treat our participating restaurants fairly. Of course if they make a bad dish, you can say so. But it is not my policy here at Small Bites to trash people for the sake of trashing them. You can fairly assume that if I don’t write about someone it’s for one of two reasons: I haven’t had a chance to get there — or I went there and it wasn’t good.

I expect that if you are guest blogging for me, you’ll consider that the restaurants we’re writing about have gone to a great deal of effort to put out an inexpensive menu for guests at a great deal of cost to themselves. Sure, it helps them in their marketing efforts. But the restaurants still have to buy all the food, pay their staff and pay their rent. They are not making a profit doing this. They’re participating in HVRW because it’s good for the Hudson Valley food scene, they want to get butts in the seats, and they hope that if they show you a great time, you’ll come back again when it’s not restaurant week. So your job as guest bloggers is to let us know if we should. Please just be honest and fair without taking pot shots.

Sorry for the stern tone — but I just want everyone to know what I expect going into this. Now let’s have fun and eat cheap!

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About Author

Liz Johnson is the food editor of The Journal News and LoHud.com, for which she's won awards from the New York News Publishers Association, the Association of Food Journalists and the Associated Press. She lives in Nyack with her husband and daughter on a tiny suburban lot they call their farm — with fruit trees, an herb garden, and a yardful of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, shallots, cucumbers, zucchini, radishes, cabbage, peppers, Brussels sprouts and carrots and four big blueberry bushes.

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