8 Ways to Support this Blog (and other independent voices like mine)

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By Vicky Hampton

Spoiler alert: a huge proportion of the content on the internet – including content that looks like journalistic articles – is not independent. By which I mean that it’s been sponsored in some way, whether that sponsorship invol

Amsterdam Foodie | restaurant reviews and foodie travels

Spoiler alert: a huge proportion of the content on the internet – including content that looks like journalistic articles – is not independent. By which I mean that it’s been sponsored in some way, whether that sponsorship involves actual money changing hands or not.  This isn’t too surprising when you consider the last time you paid for content that you consumed online – the vast majority of us pay for almost none of the articles we read or the videos we watch, with the exception of a couple of monthly subscriptions. And yet, when I was researching for a presentation about blog revenue streams a few years ago, it transpired that 12% of readers were unaware that such content might be sponsored at all.

At Amsterdam Foodie, I try to be as independent and objective as possible. That means that I’m never paid to write something flattering about a restaurant. Occasionally (maybe 10% of the time), I accept an invitation for a free meal, but I always make it clear to the restaurant that I’ll write an honest evaluation – positive or negative – and I always disclose any freebies to my readers. I believe it’s important to maintain a critical voice about the places I visit, and not simply to “recommend” every new “hotspot” in Amsterdam. But the flip-side is that I receive very little income for what I do. This blog is supplemented by a day job as a freelance corporate copywriter – that’s what pays my restaurant bills, and indeed my mortgage. And I’m ok with that, except when I’m being berated by someone for not having been to their favourite restaurant or not having included their latest opening on my site. They say you get what you pay for: in this case, neither readers nor restaurants are paying me, so I’d say they’re already getting a lot more than can reasonably be expected.

With all this being said, there are a few ways I can make a small income to pay for the running and maintenance of this site. There are also some tips for consuming online content that help support the integrity of independent voices like mine. All other suggestions are welcome…

Do invest in my Amsterdam Restaurant Guide E-book

The reviews and articles on this blog are, and will remain, free to read – the same goes for the recommendations functionality on my restaurant finder. But if you’re looking for all your restaurant recommendations in one place, consider spending just €4.95 on my Amsterdam Restaurant Guide – compiled from over a decade of eating out, updated annually, and arranged according to types of cuisine and neighbourhoods. It’s in a handy e-book format, which means you can consult it on the go on your laptop, tablet or smartphone.

Buy your copy here: amsterdamfoodie.nl/product/amsterdam-restaurant-guide

Amsterdam Restaurant Guide: E-book by Amsterdam Foodie

Do make your restaurant reservations via my BookDinners links

The only advertising I have on Amsterdam Foodie is for BookDinners: an independent restaurant reservation system and social platform that does not charge commission for reservations to the restaurants it features. The people at BookDinners approached me about a paid partnership as part of their network of foodies who provide visitors with inspiration for their next meal out. BookDinners is not promoting any individual restaurant; it’s providing a platform whereby people can see which restaurants fit their preferences and where their friends recommend eating so they can make an informed decision about where to book. In short, it seemed to fit well within Amsterdam Foodie’s mission. You’ll find BookDinners banners like the one below at various places on my site, and you’ll also see “Book Now” buttons on some of my restaurant reviews. If you want to make a reservation at an Amsterdam restaurant, consider clicking on these to support my partnership.

Do become a Patreon

You may have heard of Patreon: it’s a platform via which consumers of creative content can make voluntary monthly donations to the creators of that content. Whether it’s articles, photos, videos or anything else. To become a patron (or Patreon) of Amsterdam Foodie, visit: patreon.com/amsterdamfoodie.

Do make a donation via PayPal

If you’d prefer to make a simple one-off donation, you can do so easily via PayPal. I’ve even set up a special little button for it on my donations page :-). Just visit amsterdamfoodie.nl/make-a-donation.

Do invest in my Working Lunch cookbook

As well as eating in restaurants, I also cook a lot – especially when I’m hard at work. Inspired by my experiences of office canteens in the Netherlands (which were dismal), I wrote a cookbook filled with simple, creative, healthy recipes that you can make in an office kitchen with little more than a chopping board and a knife. If you’re bored of endless kaas broodjes, you can’t afford not to buy this book! The hard-back version is compact enough for your handbag or desk drawer, while the e-book version can be used on your computer or smartphone at work.

Buy your copy here: amsterdamfoodie.nl/product/lunch-cookbook-vicky-hamptons-working-lunch

Do be critical about what you read

If you’ve been following a blog for a while and every so-called review that you read is unfailingly positive, dig a little deeper. The blogger may well have been paid to write nice things, and while that’s ok if it’s disclosed as such, it’s worth doing a little more research before you part with your hard-earned cash for food that might be sub-par.

Don’t get (too) angry at advertising

With the exception of the BookDinners partnership that I mentioned earlier, I don’t have any other advertising on my site currently. It was a decision I took for aesthetic reasons, and one I’ve frequently regretted. Yes, everyone hates sites that are littered with ads – but if that site is peddling nothing but free content, it may be the only way they can make any income publishing it. And even then, a blog needs to be getting hundreds of thousands of visitors a month before online advertising is really going to start making any dent in the blogger’s bills. No one said that making money from blogging would be easy, but without advertising there’s nothing but sponsored content left (which, in my opinion, is worse than advertising).

Don’t take Instagram photos at face value

I can’t count the number of times that one of the following situations has occurred on my Instagram profile:

  • I’ve posted a pretty food pic but explained in the caption that it was all style over substance and best avoided, only for someone to comment along the lines of, “That looks amazing! Will definitely be trying this!”
  • I’ve posted an ugly food pic but explained in the caption that it actually tasted wonderful (BBQ, for example – it’s almost impossible to make a charred, black hunk of flesh look appealing) and got zero engagement.

Pictures may speak a thousand words, but sometimes you need to read the words. Otherwise life would be one long avocado toast with #eggporn.

BBQ ribs may not make a pretty Instagram picture. But oh lord are they good eating…

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News list


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15:05 [Ticker] Sweden halts Iran Air flights after crash
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14:59 Outrage over reports EU-funding linked to forced labour in Eritrea
14:45 Meeting between the College of Commissioners and the Members of the Parliamentary Groups
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12:35 Politicians should take responsibility for their own laws, says legal chief
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12:35 'Explosive' growth in Amsterdam hotels despite stricter limits
12:35 More violent incidents at New Year, but fewer people are arrested
12:30 Number of hotels in Amsterdam region skyrocketing: report
12:05 [Ticker] Von der Leyen: 'Influential' EU means talk and trade
12:00 Pope Francis: "US-Iran tensions threaten rebuilding of Iraq"
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07:01 Canadian PM called PM Rutte about MH17 after Tehran plane crash
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11:18 Croatian Presidency of EU Council: press conference opening remarks by President von der Leyen
10:50 Girl, 10, dies after falling from asylum center's window
10:43 Compilatie 24H ‘Ontdek je stad’ 2019
09:35 President von der Leyen meets with Andrej Plenkovic, Croatian Prime Minister
09:28 [Ticker] Johnson suggests Iran crash was 'unintentional' missile
07:45 Iranian missile caused crash of Ukrainian Boeing 737: Officials
07:37 Gay, bisexual young people over twice as likely to be harassed, stalked online
06:24 [Ticker] EU blasts Israeli settlements on 'occupied' land
04:14 Poisonous caterpillar to strike earlier than usual this year
14:10 Boy, 10, randomly assaulted by woman on Haarlem street
13:51 2nd EU Clean Air Forum (Bratislava, 28-29 November 2019) - Part 2/3
13:20 Dutch car rolls in Belgium; deceased victims discovered hours later
11:40 More than 9,300 incidents over New Year's: police
11:20 2nd EU Clean Air Forum (Bratislava, 28-29 November 2019) - Part 1/3
10:32 Ontdek Amerfoort #Citytrip
09:40 Viktor Orbán threatens new Europe grouping to rival 'weaker' EPP
09:16 Trudeau: Canadians deserve answers on plane crash
09:10 Man, 68, arrested for taping jerry can to Leeuwarden train
09:09 Iran denies that it brought down Ukrainian plane with a missile
07:01 Canadian PM called PM Rutte about MH17 after Tehran plane crash
06:37 Only let specialized clubs light fireworks, coalition party says
06:15 Croatian PM Optimistic About EU Talks For North Macedonia, Albania
06:01 [Ticker] President of European Court of Justice lambasts Poland
06:01 [Ticker] Ukraine investigators want to search Iran plane crash site
15:50 Home prices in NL to increase 4% this year: ABN Amro
15:43 ‘Artefact detectives’ in Iraq aim to end the theft of their history
15:39 Archaeologists & filmmakers dig up the past of UAE’s Shamash temple
15:30 Moderation
15:05 [Ticker] Sweden halts Iran Air flights after crash
15:01 Middle East crisis: EU's delicate balancing act between Washington and Tehran
15:00 Dutch soldiers in Iraq safe, together, Defense Min. says
14:59 Outrage over reports EU-funding linked to forced labour in Eritrea
14:45 Meeting between the College of Commissioners and the Members of the Parliamentary Groups
14:33 [Ticker] Spanish court: EP must end Catalan MEP immunity
14:01 Dutch cabinet now in favor of new fireworks limits and regulations
14:00 Girls more likely to be harassed, stalked online
13:49 [Ticker] Orban to offer free IVF in anti-immigrant move
13:27 Hate speech has 'no place' in Austria, says Kurz, after Bosnian-born minister receives abuse
13:00 Trump proposes 'NATOME': NATO expanded to MidEast
12:35 Lack of career prospects leaves care workers to quit, says report
12:35 Singer songwriter Jeangu Macrooy is Dutch Eurovision entry- AD
12:35 Defrosted kingfisher rejoins museum collection of dead animals
12:35 Saba again present at Holiday Fair - Saba News
12:35 Politicians should take responsibility for their own laws, says legal chief
12:35 ChristenUnie calls for firework clubs, backs ban on consumer sales
12:35 Good weather will bring clear views of partial lunar eclipse
12:35 'Explosive' growth in Amsterdam hotels despite stricter limits
12:35 More violent incidents at New Year, but fewer people are arrested
12:30 Number of hotels in Amsterdam region skyrocketing: report
12:05 [Ticker] Von der Leyen: 'Influential' EU means talk and trade
12:00 Pope Francis: "US-Iran tensions threaten rebuilding of Iraq"
11:30 Friends of plane crash victims mourn loss
11:21 EC Midday press briefing of 10/01/2020
11:15 Croatian Presidency of EU Council: opening remarks by Croatian Prime Minister and President of EC
11:00 DUTCH RAILROAD CROSSING - Geldermalsen - Voetakkerweg
11:00 DUTCH RAILROAD CROSSING - Prinsenbeek - Spoorstraat
10:26 UK accused of 'behaving like cowboys' over EU database copying
10:26 Men in west London have highest male life expectancy in EU - Life expectancy
10:24 Ursula Von Der Leyen and Croatian PM Andrej Plenkovic talk to the press | LIVE
10:00 Car with possible explosives found in Gelderland town; link with ATM bombing investigated
09:39 Stockpiling for the New Year
09:37 European ministers meet to salvage Iran nuclear deal
09:30 Dutch Listening Practice - Talking About a School Trip in the Netherlands
09:22 In Myanmar Armys Corner, Aung San Suu Kyi Will Defend It in Rohingya Genocide Case
08:49 Ask Our Astronaut | What's next in space exploration?
08:18 8 teams who saw their seasons ruined by international breaks
08:17 Judiciary Council calls politicians to stop blaming judges for unpleasant rulings
07:39 House of Commons passes Brexit bill for UK departure from EU on January 31
06:27 [Ticker] Swiss afraid of EU wage dumping
06:25 [Ticker] Orban to start new EU movement if kicked out of EPP
06:10 ABN Amro names PwC's former Dutch chairman as new CEO
06:07 South Mississippi Strong- Mag Holland is an angel devoted to helping others
06:04 MEPs slam UK for violating EU police database
06:03 EU regions: don’t touch cohesion funds for Green Deal
06:02 [Opinion] Europe, Scotland and Brexit - what next?
06:02 [Ticker] Brexit back on EU presidency agenda next week
06:01 [Ticker] Athens asks for US help in east Mediterranean
04:32 How polluted is the air where you live?

15:50 Home prices in NL to increase 4% this year: ABN Amro
15:43 ‘Artefact detectives’ in Iraq aim to end the theft of their history
15:39 Archaeologists & filmmakers dig up the past of UAE’s Shamash temple
15:30 Moderation
15:05 [Ticker] Sweden halts Iran Air flights after crash
15:01 Middle East crisis: EU's delicate balancing act between Washington and Tehran
15:00 Dutch soldiers in Iraq safe, together, Defense Min. says
14:59 Outrage over reports EU-funding linked to forced labour in Eritrea
14:45 Meeting between the College of Commissioners and the Members of the Parliamentary Groups
14:33 [Ticker] Spanish court: EP must end Catalan MEP immunity
14:10 Boy, 10, randomly assaulted by woman on Haarlem street
14:01 Dutch cabinet now in favor of new fireworks limits and regulations
14:00 Girls more likely to be harassed, stalked online
13:51 2nd EU Clean Air Forum (Bratislava, 28-29 November 2019) - Part 2/3
13:49 [Ticker] Orban to offer free IVF in anti-immigrant move
13:27 Hate speech has 'no place' in Austria, says Kurz, after Bosnian-born minister receives abuse
13:20 Dutch car rolls in Belgium; deceased victims discovered hours later
13:00 Trump proposes 'NATOME': NATO expanded to MidEast
12:35 Lack of career prospects leaves care workers to quit, says report
12:35 Singer songwriter Jeangu Macrooy is Dutch Eurovision entry- AD
12:35 Defrosted kingfisher rejoins museum collection of dead animals
12:35 Saba again present at Holiday Fair - Saba News
12:35 Politicians should take responsibility for their own laws, says legal chief
12:35 ChristenUnie calls for firework clubs, backs ban on consumer sales
12:35 Good weather will bring clear views of partial lunar eclipse
12:35 'Explosive' growth in Amsterdam hotels despite stricter limits
12:35 More violent incidents at New Year, but fewer people are arrested
12:30 Number of hotels in Amsterdam region skyrocketing: report
12:05 [Ticker] Von der Leyen: 'Influential' EU means talk and trade
12:00 Pope Francis: "US-Iran tensions threaten rebuilding of Iraq"
11:40 More than 9,300 incidents over New Year's: police
11:30 Friends of plane crash victims mourn loss
11:21 EC Midday press briefing of 10/01/2020
11:20 2nd EU Clean Air Forum (Bratislava, 28-29 November 2019) - Part 1/3
11:18 Croatian Presidency of EU Council: press conference opening remarks by President von der Leyen
11:15 Croatian Presidency of EU Council: opening remarks by Croatian Prime Minister and President of EC
11:00 DUTCH RAILROAD CROSSING - Geldermalsen - Voetakkerweg
11:00 DUTCH RAILROAD CROSSING - Prinsenbeek - Spoorstraat
10:50 Girl, 10, dies after falling from asylum center's window
10:43 Compilatie 24H ‘Ontdek je stad’ 2019
10:32 Ontdek Amerfoort #Citytrip
10:26 UK accused of 'behaving like cowboys' over EU database copying
10:26 Men in west London have highest male life expectancy in EU - Life expectancy
10:24 Ursula Von Der Leyen and Croatian PM Andrej Plenkovic talk to the press | LIVE
10:00 Car with possible explosives found in Gelderland town; link with ATM bombing investigated
09:40 Viktor Orbán threatens new Europe grouping to rival 'weaker' EPP
09:39 Stockpiling for the New Year
09:37 European ministers meet to salvage Iran nuclear deal
09:35 President von der Leyen meets with Andrej Plenkovic, Croatian Prime Minister
09:30 Dutch Listening Practice - Talking About a School Trip in the Netherlands
09:28 [Ticker] Johnson suggests Iran crash was 'unintentional' missile
09:22 In Myanmar Armys Corner, Aung San Suu Kyi Will Defend It in Rohingya Genocide Case
09:16 Trudeau: Canadians deserve answers on plane crash
09:10 Man, 68, arrested for taping jerry can to Leeuwarden train
09:09 Iran denies that it brought down Ukrainian plane with a missile
08:49 Ask Our Astronaut | What's next in space exploration?
08:18 8 teams who saw their seasons ruined by international breaks
08:17 Judiciary Council calls politicians to stop blaming judges for unpleasant rulings
07:45 Iranian missile caused crash of Ukrainian Boeing 737: Officials
07:39 House of Commons passes Brexit bill for UK departure from EU on January 31
07:37 Gay, bisexual young people over twice as likely to be harassed, stalked online
07:01 Canadian PM called PM Rutte about MH17 after Tehran plane crash
06:37 Only let specialized clubs light fireworks, coalition party says
06:27 [Ticker] Swiss afraid of EU wage dumping
06:25 [Ticker] Orban to start new EU movement if kicked out of EPP
06:24 [Ticker] EU blasts Israeli settlements on 'occupied' land
06:15 Croatian PM Optimistic About EU Talks For North Macedonia, Albania
06:10 ABN Amro names PwC's former Dutch chairman as new CEO
06:07 South Mississippi Strong- Mag Holland is an angel devoted to helping others
06:04 MEPs slam UK for violating EU police database
06:03 EU regions: don’t touch cohesion funds for Green Deal
06:02 [Opinion] Europe, Scotland and Brexit - what next?
06:02 [Ticker] Brexit back on EU presidency agenda next week
06:01 [Ticker] President of European Court of Justice lambasts Poland
06:01 [Ticker] Athens asks for US help in east Mediterranean
06:01 [Ticker] Ukraine investigators want to search Iran plane crash site
04:32 How polluted is the air where you live?
04:14 Poisonous caterpillar to strike earlier than usual this year
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