The Blog Turns One

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Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me…oh, hello there. My blog has made it to the one-year mark and I’m celebrating. Want to join me?

I know I’m a piker compared to many of you, but when I started blogging about food writing, I didn’t know if I could continue posting at least twice a week, or if I’d have enough to say (hah!).

I just looked back at my first post, and I think I’m still delivering what I promised: a useful place to read and comment on the world of food writing. I also said you’ll find  links to lots of articles and sites on food writing, and while that’s true,  you can now find more in my tweets, so people can read them right away. I had no idea why Twitter was valuable back then.

Launching the blog has been exhilarating. Here are some of the benefits, for those of you who might still be on the fence:

  • I’ve had a ball getting to know food writers and bloggers from all over the world
  • I write regularly again
  • 2009 sales of Will Write for Food were up 50 percent in the first six months after I launched
  • A reader hired me to edit her cookbook based on my posts about recipe writing
  • People have hired me to advise them on starting or repositioning their blogs, and
  • I’ve been invited to speak and teach at blogging conferences, including BlogHer Food and the Club Med Food Blogger Conference.

I’ve also got a better idea of what not to do: criticize another blogger publicly and then let her have her say on my blog. When I did so, five months in, my readership  peaked and the numbers were never that high again for the rest of the year. But that’s no way to get the page views up, and the whole experience left a bad taste in my mouth. (In fact, I wondered if I should even provide the links if you missed them the first time around, but in the interests of full disclosure, I’m trusting you.)

As for what works, I still like to be controversial and opinionated sometimes, and that has a certain appeal. You can see, at the top right, which posts have generated the most comments. Sometimes, in your replies, you have helped me see that I’m wrong. I love that, actually.

Beyond popularity, I’m still deciphering which posts work and why. Sometimes I don’t care and write whatever I like, including personal stories. I guess that is the privilege of having my own space. I give myself permission to get off track and see what happens. I sometimes post things that don’t strike a chord. It’s all part of the mix, and I enjoy the wide range of content and the freedom to write about whatever strikes me.

Most of all, thank you for taking me seriously with thoughtful comments, debates, engaging with other commenters, adding resourceful information, and helping me generate a thoughtful discussion about all the different ways we express our passion for food by writing about it. It’s been a heck of a year, and I’d be nowhere without you.

Comments

  1. says

    Happy birthday! Glad you started, and glad you found out that blogging resulted in so many positive things happening in your life.

    I encourage you to be more personal, more authoritative, and more opinionated. That’s what makes things entertaining :-)

    • diannejacob says

      I will work on it, Nate. Thanks for being a regular commenter. I appreciate it.

  2. says

    I started my food/photo blog just a couple weeks after yours, so I too, can’t believe a year has gone by. I read your book, I’ve enjoyed your blog and I look forward to meeting you sometime. Thanks for your talents and for sharing them.

    • diannejacob says

      Thank you Cathy. SoCal isn’t very far away (I’m in Oakland) so we’ll have to find a way to meet.

    • diannejacob says

      Well, I don’t see how that’s possible, but thank you, Laurie. Great to hear from you.

  3. says

    Congratulations on completing a year here. Each year is important in its own way but the 1st anniversary is always the most special. :)

    • diannejacob says

      Yes, I wasn’t sure whether to point it out, but one seems like an accomplishment. Maybe the rest will just pass by.

  4. says

    Congratulations, Dianne! Today marks my one-year blog-iversary too….it sure flies by, doesn’t it? Thanks for sharing all your gems about the food writing life. One of these days we should talk about beverage writing – which I’m finding has its own set of challenges and benefits – the latter including, of course, free drinks. Speaking of which, we should have one together next time your travels bring you to NY.

    happy blog-iversary!

    • diannejacob says

      Thank you Kara and happy blogiversary to you. I don’t know much about beverage writing, it’s true. Look forward to an education.

  5. says

    Hi Dianne,
    congrats on your one year- I’m sure you’ll have many more blog years to celebrate! I can tell you that I was so incredibly happy to know that you were blogging because I looked for your content beyond the book, Will Write for Food. It’s such a wonderful resource and I wanted more! Thank you for being here – enjoy your day! :-)

    • diannejacob says

      Thank you so much, Yvonne. Soon I will have another announcement about that.

  6. says

    I’m glad you’re celebrating this milestone — it’s a big one, and worth commemorating. I think of your blog as a place I can take the pulse of important professional issues. I always look forward to the bolded font in my RSS feed indicating there’s a new missive from you. I then grab my tea, and settle in for the ride.

    • diannejacob says

      You are sweet, Cheryl. And I always look for yours in my email, knowing I’ll be smiling.

    • diannejacob says

      Hah! I don’t know about “clearly” but I’m enjoying myself. Thanks for all your comments, good ideas, and tech support, Stephanie.

    • diannejacob says

      Hey, another journalist. Hi there, Cynthia. What do you mean, unprofessional? If I’m a pro blogger, so are you.

      Thank you so much for letting me know about that piece. Had not read the food section yet today. It’s on my kitchen table.
      This is a good one! Just tweeted it.

      • says

        You’re welcome.
        By unprofessonial, I mean unpaid and working for myself. So far I’ve had the good fortune to turn up my nose at some ridiculous job postings on some online freelancer sites, for instance, the ones that want to pay 5 cents an hour or that want someone to “rewrite” other people’s content.

        • diannejacob says

          What’s wrong with rewriting people’s content? I do that as an editor. Or maybe I need to know what “rewrite” means.

          • says

            Oops. I wasn’t clear what I meant.

            I’ve worked as a copy editor and an assigning editor and enjoyed both very much, but I didn’t mean that type of rewrite.
            When I edited in my former job and made changes to a story (in consultation with the reporter), I didn’t then remove his or her byline and replace it with my name as if I had reported and written the story.

            I think it’s great for people to share and borrow ideas, become inspired by others’ good work and incorporate their research into something new.

            What the online job posters were looking for was someone to cut and paste content that they did not own or create, and reword it enough that it wouldn’t be recognized easily as plagiarism. They then planned to present the tweaked content as their own.

            I didn’t care for the idea.

  7. says

    Congrats on your 1 year! I enjoy reading your posts and get a lot out of them. Thanks for all the great advice. I’m looking forward to reading what you have to say in this next year.

  8. says

    Happy Blogoversary! Your posts are those that I know will always spark good dialog between readers which is so often not the case. Thanks for keeping at it, it’s good to have something to read that makes me think.

    • diannejacob says

      Alisa, Charles, Jerry and Fran,

      Thank you all so much for your support and good thoughts.

  9. says

    Happy Blogiversary! I know how exhilarating this is! A well-thumbed copy of Will Write for Food was on my desk before I realized that you had a blog, and I was so happy to see that you created this space to share more of your knowledge and experiences with us. It’s a great space for information and debate which is important to any food blogger who is open to improvement and change as well as exchange and discovering other bloggers.

    Keep on going, we are here to read and discuss! Who is making the cake?

  10. says

    I’ve been getting to know you over the last few months and am thoroughly enjoying your book and reading your posts. Thank you for doing what you do, it helps me tremendously! I look forward to meeting you live at one of the upcoming food writer’s conferences (Okanagan?) And of course, congratulations on your year :)

  11. says

    Congratulations on a full and substantial first year! Looking forward to reading more in the year(s) to come. :)

  12. MM Pack says

    Having witnessed the conception and birth of your blog, I feel like a proud family friend watching the little rug rat blossom and grow. You go, girl.

    • diannejacob says

      Thanks Mary Margaret. You’ve been with me all the way, and a great source of friendship and support.

  13. says

    Hey Dianne-
    Happy anniversary, I just passed a year myself on 6/17! Like you, I’ve have learned in leaps and bounds this past year and I have learned quite a bit from your posts. Thanks!!

  14. says

    Congratulations Dianne! I have started following your blog a few months ago after taking your book out again when I finally started to build my own food blog, after dreaming about it for many years. I had no idea you yourself started blogging so recently! I read every post with great interest and I know of no other resource online that’s so relevant to what I do. I also admire your very faithful habit of replying to almost all comments posted by your readers. You are very passionate and committed and it shows! I’m going to the IFBC in August and I really look forward to hear and possibly meet you there. Thanks for your great work, reading your book and your blog helped me gather the energy and courage to start writing about food as well.

  15. says

    belated blogland birthday wishes. somehow i missed this post. but ordinarily i find you in my feed and know i’m going to learn something valuable, have my assumptions challenged, or discover a little bit more about a new friend.

    has it really only been a year? congrats on reaching this milestone with all your goals on track — and here’s to a second stellar year on the food writing beat.