advice Guides Life as Food Blogger TFIF
Why your blog is awesome9/05/2014
A few months ago, I received a hilarious email. It was called "Your blog has potential" and consisted of a blogger making a cour...
A few months ago, I received a hilarious email. It was called "Your blog has potential" and consisted of a blogger making a course, who had decided the very best form of getting business was to email other bloggers. Great idea, right? Well, yeah, except their grand idea is to tell them why they were sh*t, and how they could be just as fantastic and popular as them. Did anyone else get this honor, or was it just me?
Umm, thanks I guess? I can only reply with...
YOU CAN'T TELL ME WHAT TO DO.
Except I don't want lots of advertisers, a demographic or a spit-shined blog. I like it just the way it is.
In my experience, the world of blogging is run by sheer luck and enjoying what you do. I've read some blogs with only 3 followers and thought it was a millions times better than some of the ones that have thousands. Followers = nothing in the way of if your blog is good or not.
Here's why I think our blogs are awesome, and why we shouldn't give a toss if someone has a bazillion more subscribers, a whole friggin gallery of photos on foodgawker or has that amazing theme we wish we'd of done first.
OUR PHOTOS DON'T SUCK....
Our photos don't suck because we got rejected.Show me a food blogger who hasn't been rejected on foodgawker and I'll call bullshit. The problem isn't in the rejection, it's the fact that we care. Here's what I do: Take it as a compliment. Especially if the reason for it being declined was something like "composition / styling"
Like any site, Foodgawker / tastespotting are looking to keep within a central brand. They want the same sorts of shots / angles / lighting and look to keep their homepage looking all pretty and themed, like an overbearing parent who dresses their kids in the same outfits without irony.
So you got rejected, take a step back and realise it's not because your photo is bad, it's just that on this occasion, it doesn't conform. It's a badass food photo. Be proud that it stands out from the crowd.
and our photos don't suck because we don't have all the professional equipment.A helpful tip I see a lot of is "have eye catching pictures" , which is a great tip. Yet somehow, down the line, this has evolved to mean "have magazine worthy pictures taken on expensive cameras and make sure you buy £10000000 lights and editing software OR YOU MEAN NOTHING."
I agree, having a good picture is fantastic, and I have some photography equipment because taking photos is a massive hobby of my husbands' & mine. But I'll be honest here, I read blogs with pictures taken on an iPhone and my brain doesn't fizzle out and die, I still enjoy them just as much.
I read blogs because they are homemade and personal. Sometimes, I feel you can edit your personality right out of the mix with all the photoshopping, styling and 'appealing to advertisers'.
I realised this point myself one day after I spent 20 minutes carefully moving an artfully placed piece of coriander round a dish to take a photo and actually got stressed from the fact it wouldn't look right. Like really stressed. Stupid-coriander-placement tears.
Sometimes, you gotta throw that shit on there and make no excuses for yourself. This is your hobby, and if you think it looks great, then chances are those reading it will too, no matter how much equipment was used to capture it or if your coriander is a little to the left, or on the floor because you threw it there in a fit.
STATISTICS ARE A LOAD OF POO
Sorry, but your page views are bullI've heard this before "Only people with low pageviews would say that". Thing is, I just don't look often, and last time I did, the number was pretty sweet I guess, but I value my blog by how I feel after I click publish. If I like it, then I've done well.
I'm still in awe that anyone else except my mum and husband read this. Yet here we are. It doesn't matter to me if there are 2 or 2 million of you, I'm just pleased as punch that anyone took the time out of their day to be here. I genuinely want to give you all some cake, hell I'd even make it gluten free / vegan or from organic dog farts if that's what you're into. I'm that chuffed.
So pageviews? The only time I bother to check them is if a company says "how many pageviews did you have this month? We want to send you free stuff." Which is when I last checked.
If you ever feel down about your hits remember they aren't faceless numbers, they are whole awesome and amazing people, don't degrade them by shoving them into a 'demographic' and making that the be-all and end all.
That doesn't mean I don't appreciate the views, merely that I don't define my blog's 'success' by it, and that makes me pretty happy to keep wittering on week after week.
After all, will you be sitting on your rocking chair telling your grandkids about that time you got hundreds of hits one random Thursday, or about the awesome community you were a part of?
DESIGN & CONTENT IS YOUR CHOICE
We are all a little obsessed and meticulousHave you spent more than 3 hours slaving over the design of your blog? Slowly moving the colour marker around between two different shades of red? Does this scene look familiar to you...
In my world it can roll between being the most fun thing ever and something that makes me want to throw my computer into the garden and shoot it with lasers. If someone comments on it favourably, I actually want to kiss them. Full on the mouth, just to make things weird.
Your layout is your personal choice and I love that every blog I read has their personality injected into it. Like fairies? Slap some winged little buggers onto everything! Love your cats? Post a picture every day, hell, why not give them a bitchy column on there called "Catty Remarks" (someone PLEASE do this.)
Who the hell said blogs are all the same!?If everyone's blog was the same there would be no point in there being more than one, we'd all just congregate around this circumscribed area of the internet and it would be boring.
Instead I get to read a varied and wonderfully batshit crazy world of blogs. There is something for every mood. CASE IN POINT:
When I'm feeling a little fruity I can go visit Thug Kitchen, and for serious inspiration I'll rush onto Supergolden Bakes. When I feel like having a laugh and some reading some stories I'll read Get In My Mouf and How To Philosophize With Cake. For serious pasta making envy I'll skip over to Emily's Recipes and Reviews, and for the creative healthy recipes and lots of tasty bread I'll gander at Angie's Recipes. On the other side of the coin, for a sugar coma I'll induce myself into The Sugar Hit. To learn about rooftop gardening and get serious life envy I'll spend some time over at Brooklyn Farm Girl. For inspiration and what feels like a warm hug, I'll spend some time at The Noble Foodie or Day Dreaming Foodie. For restaurant reviews that feel like they're being delivered by a friend over a glass of wine, I stop by at The Food Tourist or New Girl In Toon. To feel like I'm visiting a friend for a slice of cake and a chat, I'll stop by The Baking Explorer and Bake Then Eat.
[[You would not believe how long it took me to bloody link all those up. They are all worth it though, all fantastic in their own way. I wanted to put so much more, there are some seriously talented bloggers out there.]]
The only thing these guys have in common, apart from making me hungry and having a passion for food, is that their blogs make me feel like I'm dropping by for a visit. Which would be great, God, imagine the spread they'd put out. I'm drooling just thinking about it. Instead we have to do it through our computer screens. But I'm happy with that.
It's your voice and your place
I can't define myself or my blog, but I can tell you that I swear because I do it in real life and I can't help it if a bugger slips out here or there.
I type like I talk. This is me. Come round my house and I will bake you a cake, give you a cup of tea and we will talk about boobies, farts and our favourite TV shows. My dog will literally make you worship her and I will make you hold a rat. Mostly we'll have fun, because I can't think of the last time I had someone over that didn't end in gut-wrenching laughter or a brilliant heart-to-heart over a cuppa.
To end this rant-that-wasn't-really-a-rant, I'll tell you a tale.
I once got chatting a lady in a PR department. She had emailed to ask me to do some stuff for free and I had politely declined, because the offer was ridiculous. She had then emailed me back saying that she didn't blame me. She said she hated asking, and that blogging looked like a full time job in itself - and that to run a website of our standards, with the content we put out, would take a team of at least 3 in a company.
So keep that in mind next time you feel a little inadequate.
So I open the floor out to you. What do you love about your blog? Blow your trumpet and be proud, because I really want to hear it.
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