Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Why Do You Blog?

The discussion on "What's our responsibility as food bloggers?" has really been great! It seems there are a couple of related themes emerging and I thought it might be interesting to pull them out and make them their own topic.

So, my first question is "Why do you blog?" - what is it you hope to accomplish or what do you get from blogging?

I've actually been thinking about this for a couple of months since a few Seattle bloggers talked about it. Some of the people are interested in a writing career - not necessarily food related - and this is their way of practicing, getting exposure, making a foray into that world. Some seem more interested in documenting and/or sharing dining experiences. At least one is already a professional writer and blogs (it seems to me) to write about topics that are interesting but don't have a commercial angle. And then there are even sub-categories within those groups.

Then we also had a post about "Making Money from Your Blog" and while I don't think anyone seems to feel this is going to support their retirement, it is yet another angle. Maybe you don't envision directly making money from the blog but the blog leading to a money making venture of some sort. And a couple people have talked about perks they might receive from companies who know they are bloggers.

Or as a couple of people have suggested in the Responsibility comments, there's the possibility of recognition, or entree into some part of the food world (not trying to put words in anyone's mouth here, these are just general interpretations).

I've been blogging for just over 5 months. I first started out wanting to share the experience of the Cooking Club some friends and I have. But we only meet every other month so that leaves a lot of time in between. So, I just started talking about what interests me in the culinary world - lots of room to make that what I want! :-) And since I am interested in moving into that world in some way, at some point, I find the blog is helping me focus on the things I really like and gravitate towards and the things I don't. As I approach my 6-month mark I'm trying to document my focus (for myself, at least) and decide what my goals really are.

But, at this point, I still consider it a hobby. And I figure whatever money I spend on it is like money I'd spend on supplies for any other type of hobby. So, I don't expect remuneration of any sort but my "reward" is in watching my stats climb. But I'm not sure I'd quit if they didn't. Apparently, I like talking - if you couldn't guess that!

So that's a bit about why I'm in this world - how about you?

18 comments:

Sam said...

Why do I blog? Err, because I'm a mad woman with an obsessive personality?

drbiggles said...

I blog because my sister said I was supposed to and thought there would be a better venue for my weekly spews of meat pr0n. I'm married with children and this is an excellent way to keep busy without having to go far from home. I really enjoy meeting new people and love food. I'm also an equipment hound, cooking is a great activity you love 'stuff'. So is photography for that matter. So, to answer your question it's a hobby & outlet. I wouldn't mind making money off photography, but I don't specifically want to make a living writing. The writers I know have income fluctuations, something you simply cannot afford to have if you have children. A fellow blogger has offered me some of the product he's selling in exchange for some photographs for his printed brochure. Maybe that will lead to something? I dunno. I'm not quiting my day job, that's fer sure.

Biggles

Amy Sherman said...

Same here. It's either blog or relentlessly talk about food...in my case usually both.

paul said...

I started blogging for me. The amazing fact that I have an audience is secondary.

The reason I started a food blog was 3-fold - to hone the three hobbies/skills of cooking, photography and web design. I already had a blog (started and kept up for different reasons - to keep me current on web/job related stuff and to jot down stuff I found on the web) and I also wanted to learn and play around with Movable Type.

I knew posting stuff about food, and allowing comments about my photography and my recipes would bring in a lot of knowledge about both crafts. Popularity is cool, but it was never my goal. It's also very fleeting, and over the long run many "young whippersnappers" will come around and blow us all away with their enthuasiasm and originality.

Now I do make a conscious effort to do it for the audience. I started the food blog list since I saw no one else was doing it, and as it grew, I knew it would be a traffic magnet. I've kept it up to mantain whatever prestige and rank I have out here.

These days many bloggers have the goal of becoming famous (and maybe even rich) writing about what they love. I think that's great, and I think someday soon there will be an uber-food blogger who will reach mass-media level. Lots of bloggers have proved themselves as great food writers and could easily do it for a living.

As for myself, I still do it for my original reasons, and haven't set any goals to make a living at this, but the thought has crossed my mind.

Winslow said...

Hi all,

Thanks for a great blog.

Why do I blog? I've been a writer for a long time, but cooking is a relatively new interest of mine. My food blog is a way I can go off into a different universe from most of my other well-established interests and write for fun.

Another reason to blog is so that I have a record of how different dishes turn out: what works, what doesn't, what I want to tinker with.

I'd love to snag a big book deal because of my blog, but if it doesn't happen (and it probably won't), I'm fine with that, too. I blog mostly for myself, and if someone else wants to read my meanderings, that's a wonderful bonus.

Sylvie said...

I entered the blog world as a means to document my culinary adventures. I am neither a writer, a photograher, or aspiring food critic. I just know what I like and that's food.

My first emphasis was going to be on cookie decorating as that is my passion. A blog site was a means of posting my ideas and recipes. I ventured further after discovering so many of all your interesting sites.

I have a very demanding day job. Coming home to blog is a release. Sharing with others who have my same interest and just talking food as long as you wish. I've died and gone to heaven.

I also found that I immensely enjoy the memes. I find preparing for these stimulates my creativity and the roundups are good for the ego. Something like friends saying "Great Meal".

Cate said...

Like Amy, I wholeheartedly agree with "It's either blog or relentlessly talk about food...in my case usually both." I cook lunch once a week for the office (we all take turns), have a monthly Supper Club with 6 other women, entertain frequently, read cookbooks like they were normal books and scour the internet for even more recipes. But even with all that, there's still an unsatiable need for MORE. Always. That said, I used to do freelance writing before Nicholas arrived, and figured the blog is just another way to exercise those muscles and get back into it. And then, there's an audience for me on top of it? I'm there. If something else comes of it, great. If not, that's ok too.

Lyn said...

I originally started a blog to inform and amuse my friends back in Oz after I moved very very far away. After a while I realized I was trying to do too many things with the same blog (inform, amuse, whinge, coopk, review restaurants) and so I created my "food only" blog.

I find keeping the food blog really pushes me to think more carefully and deeply about what I'm cooking and why, and encouraging me to be more analytical about my cooking, eating and other food related activities. Like some others have said, if I wasn't blogging about food, (and even when I am!) I am constantly talking about food. I guess it just is a natural extension of something that has always byeen a huge part of my life. The fact that other people seem to want to read it is just a bonus.

Jennifer Maiser said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jennifer Maiser said...

Thanks for starting this topic, CF! Very interesting.

I would definitely say that the reason that I blog now is much different than when I started my blog. While it started more as a general life / food blog, it has morphed much more into a blog focused on food issues and buying local/sustainable foods.

I would definitely say that a reason that I blog NOW is for the sense of community and the people I have met along the way. That is something I never expected when I started this.

The other reason is a sort of personal look into the sustainable food industry, and a constant questioning of where I fit in (and where I can fit in as a career). I have met amazing people through my blog - and I don't think I could have made the contacts I have now without having my blog.

Jen

Barbara said...

I started blogging when I was forced to retire from work due to illness. I have always been "into" food and entertaining, and for the past 7 years worked in the wine industry. I needed an interest and when I discovered the food and wine blogging community I knew I had found something I would enjoy that would occupy my mind while I was out of circulation during treatment. I have no desire for my blog to lead to any sort of career, so for me it is all fun and no pressure. I enjoy participating in the various challenges and find myself cooking things I've avoided in the past because I thought they might be too difficult.

Blogwise I'm still finding my voice and in which direction I want to take my blog. I'm working on some ideas for the future.

I am impressed with the friendship and support the food and wine blog community offer toward each other.

Derrick Schneider said...

Blogging has always been a means of writing regularly (though now it's more about the editing, I suppose). I really do view it as a journal that happens to be public. I'm as surprised as anyone that I get the number of visitors I do.

I don't view my blog as a way to become famous (not that I mind the occasional mention :) ), though I did use some posts as writing samples when my first editor asked to see more of my writing. I used to not even mention it in my queries, but now that "food blog" isn't such an alien concept to the food mags of the world, I mention it along with the rest of my writing background.

Alice said...

Sylvie,

I blog for the EXACT same reasons you do!!! I have a stressful job that is very specialized, and coming home to blog about something completely different is such a release. It resets my mind before I go to bed and my pictures remind me of the yummy goodness I had when I ate/made/shared/experienced the object of my photo.

I also love the memes. They give me a structure for me to be creative, and I often organize it into a get together to share the experience with my friends.

I also found that blogging is a wonderful way to make new friends. Since my job is SO very specialized, I had a hard time meeting people outside of my job. Not anymore! I've made new friends in the area, thanks to the active food blogger scene here!

Simon said...

I started blogging much to the same reason as you did. I have friends living in Bejing California and New York and we all loved sharing out eating experiences. It wasn't always about the food but often times it was just the pure experience in meeting up with friends over some good food. Sometimes it was just about discovery about new places and foods. I like to blog cause it is a great outlet and provides a way for me to communicate with my friends about some of the things I really enjoy.

Rachael said...

I just have to say that I totally loved reading eall of your answers to this. (Especially Sylvie and Alice's! Just SO nice) It is especially inspiring to me that so many people do this for the pure joy of writing as an outlet for a passion. I just love it. Thank you all so much for taking the time to write your amazing blogs and for taking the time to answer this question, it just brings a smile to my face.

mrs d said...

I'm late here (been away for the weekend) but I thought comment anyway -- I mean who am I to pass up a chance to talk about why I do this? :-)

Since I co-blog with my husband, we have a mix of reasons. For him, it's the desire to share & expand his culinary school knowledge and -- in the long run -- build up a small bit of rep for when we get around to launching a personal chef business (somewhere down the road).

For me, it's helping him with the above, but on top of that, I'll add my desire to find and hone my non-fiction writing voice (my usual mode of writing involves hiding behind fictional characters), and -- of course -- my overwhelming urge to photograph everything my husband cooks!

Oh, and we love the memes. They give us an excuse to play!

Culinary Fool said...

It's never too late! Still hoping to hear from some of the others - I find it all very fascinating!

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