My blogging history
In just a few months time my blog will be celebrating it’s 5th birthday! Over the next few months you might find a few retrospective posts popping up and me getting a little bit nostalgic now and then… You’ve been warned! O and this is a fairly long post too.. 😉
I’ve been blogging now for a little under 5 years. I didn’t start right at the beginning of the world of blogging but still, I’ve been around for a while. While there is a big difference in blogging between the US and Europe, it seems that the blogging bug has now fully hit the Netherlands as well. I am part of a Dutch foodblogger group on Facebook and the amount of food blogs that keep popping up is amazing really.
When I started 5 years ago I was one of the few here that had a blog and as of today there are only a few Dutch bloggers that blog in English. (I like my world to be a little bigger then our tiny country, even though there is something to be said for blogging in your mother language for sure)
And over the course of the last couple of weeks I’ve come to wonder why people start a foodblog? Why is it all of a sudden a big thing? Why do new blogs pop up on a daily basis? What is the reason it has gone from slightly weird to popular in the space of maybe a year or so?
So that is my question to you; why did you start a foodblog (or other blog if you have one)?
When I started I seriously had no idea. I had heard about blogging before and had always found it intriguing. From the moment I could write I have been writing diaries and stories, so for me blogging almost felt like a natural extension from paper to digital. However, those first posts…. What do you write about when you don’t even know really what you want to share with the world? I had just started my own company and as a photographer it is crucial to be out and about… You have to have a presence on the Internet and social media or you might as well stop and find another job, so that was my reason for starting. I figured I could write about shoots I had done, making it some sort of online advertising for myself. Very quickly it turned out that was sooooo boring…. Remember that I started out doing portraits and weddings and product photography and part of the problem was that I couldn’t just go and post people’s pictures without their consent, so I ended up posting boring stuff. But then I discovered the world of foodblogs… What’s for lunch honey, Life’s a feast, Tartelette, Kayotic Kitchen… Those were a few of the very first foodblogs I came to know and I loved it…. Food, I could write about food!! The name of my blog changed from Junglefrog Daily Adventures to Junglefrog Cooking, I switched blogging platforms from typepad to WordPress and I started to write about my cooking adventures…
And at first that was boring too. The pictures were horrible but overtime my skills grew in both the photography and the cooking part. I felt that the foodblogging community was a fantastic one; I made many new friends along the way, both digital as well as in real life. I went to blogging events like Foodblogger Connect and Plate to Page… Both in their own way were a total eye opener for me.
Like everyone else I also – at one point in time felt the need to explore my blog commercially… Heck there were bloggers out there, like Jaden Hair from Steamy Kitchen, who made a small fortune out of blogging, so why should I not do that too? I’m pretty sure that most of us had that thought at one point or another… But I also quickly found out that I those flashy ads on my blog are annoying, plus they only made me something like 20 bucks a month. Was that worth all the annoying popup stuff?
No. So when I had my blog being redesigned by Purr Design a year or so ago, I figured it was time to get rid of them.
Ads maybe make sense when you have a lot of visitors but I’ve never been a hugely popular blog. I get visitors (and I love you all!!) but the numbers are nowhere near my fellow Dutch blogger Kay.
There has been a time too when it frustrated me to no end… What was I doing wrong? Why did I not have thousands of visitors a day?? Don’t we all have the obsessive stat checking period at one point or another? But the fact of the matter is that there are so many gorgeous blogs out there it is becoming harder and harder to be noticed and I’ve stopped worrying about it.
Essentially I blog because I love it. The ‘ pressure’ to post something new a couple of times a week makes me more creative, it makes me do stuff I wouldn’t normally have done, like make my own cheese or make steamed rice cakes. I’m also not afraid to show my failures as that’s what we all have. I also think it makes me a better photographer too. Shooting for a client is very different to shooting for my blog. I have full artistic freedom in both styling and plating and sometimes that results in pretty little surprises (and sometimes in horrible mistakes!)
In terms of commercial exploitation; I’ve given up the hope of ever being a full time world famous
blogger who becomes a millionaire just by writing a little piece a few times a week. 😉
I do cookbook reviews for which I – sometimes – get the book for free and I might do the occasional product review if it happens to be something I feel is relevant for me and my blog and I would travel the world to write about it, if someone would ever ask me… ( haha)
I do not accept guest posts (unless I ask the blogger myself), I do not accept link-exchanges and I don’t do flashy ads or stuff like that.
But then again I might just change my mind at some point in time as that is what we people do right? I’ve registered for the Blogher ad network so you might see a few ads here and there in the future. Who knows…. And that’s fine. Earning money with your blog is fine, but I don’t think it should be your driving force. It should not be the reason you start your blog right?
I’ve seen way too many blogs popup lately that just steal content from other blogs, plaster the blog full with ads and post 12 times a day… That creates traffic and therefore income but that is just a ridiculous way to do it…
So tell me; what is your reason to blog? Why do you keep at it, even when you might not have the traffic you would like to see? What is the magic ingredient that makes you a blogger?