Wednesday, June 11, 2014

My Blog, My Content

At the beginning of this year I decided to step it up a notch when it came to blogging. As a member of the Austin Food Blogger Alliance I am exposed to a number of amazing blogs on a daily basis. They're extremely active, well photographed, and full of varied content including recipes, reviews, giveaways, and so, so much more. I wanted to be like these blogs. Who wouldn't want to be that awesome?

So I signed up for a couple of PR directories so I could get regular offers from companies that were supposed to align with my blog's purpose. I also started sending out monthly newsletters to readers, each containing a new recipe with personal notes on what's been going on with me. Around this time I also signed up to create recipes once per month for the website All About Vegan Food.

Everything went really well for a few months. And then, what seemed like all of a sudden, I just did not want to blog about anything anymore. I started thinking about why I felt this way. Here's what I came up with.

  1. The powers that be typically recommend that you post a new blog entry at least once per week to keep generating new and return site traffic. While I had been able to maintain this for a couple of years before, I was somehow struggling with it now. Probably because I have additional hobbies and interests now. And I had the added tasks to creating my newsletter and contributing to another website. The weekend would creep up on me and my brain screamed, "Ugh! I have to write another blog post!"
  2. My inbox was inundated with offers for free content and interview requests. And then follow ups to those emails I did not dignify with a response. And they were mostly for providing me with content like recipes that my "readers will love." You know, for like bacon bowls and great barbecue. Right up my alley! A very small percentage of offers were related to actual vegan-friendly products. I would say that most PR groups don't even look at a blog or their description in the directory they use before sending out offers.
  3. The hostile atmosphere of blogging has reared its head on me more than once in the past six months. I've experienced this in times previous while running other blogs before I started Lizz Delicious. Essentially, while I have tried to foster a spirit of community, encouraging vegan bloggers to work together through offering guest posts on my blog, trying to organize blog parties, and searching for content to use in my recipe roundups, the majority of writers are only concerned with their own content, seeking likes and plus ones and re-tweets and not reciprocating. They want to know if you'll write about them on your blog, or if you'll review their book. But they never have any option to cross-promote. Because, I would presume, they're more focused on being successful than they are on interacting with the rest of the community.

These three things were stressing me out so much that I really thought about just not blogging anymore. Why keep doing it if it was no longer fun? After a couple of days, though, that seemed kind of drastic. I therefore contemplated how I could remedy my fractured relationship with blogging. I've consequently come up with a new premise for Lizz Delicious, though the only thing that will really change is my attitude toward, blogging, hahaha.

Basically, I'm going forward operating under the concept of being a "cookbook author with a personal blog" as opposed to being a "food blogger." I feel like this will suit me better. Of course, I'm still going to write 1-2, maybe 3 posts per month, but they're going to be about me, or they'll be for a new recipe, or about a restaurant I just tried out. I'm not going to do product reviews, giveaways, or shared content anymore. I just don't have the time. I would rather provide my readers with quality content as opposed to frequent syndicated nonsense. And my true passion is recipe development. I am in love with the new cookbook I'm working on. That's the only thing I really want to focus on right now.

I just wish I figured this out earlier. I feel like I would be further along developing my next cookbook, or I would have been able to share more recipes with you. This is a lesson I feel like a lot of bloggers could benefit from, which is why I'm sharing my story here. Don't try to make your blog into something it's not. We're raised being told to be ourselves and your blog should be no different. Do your own thing. Write what makes you happy. Don't conform. You will lose that battle!

Thanks for reading, you guys. I appreciate each and every one of you. I couldn't ask for a better audience :-)

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