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.