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Observations Of An Experienced Newbie Food Blogger
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Observations Of An Experienced Newbie Food Blogger

This new food blog is still in embryonic stage. It is less than a week old. But I am not a complete blogging greenhorn. Actually I began blogging with a food blog in German about six years ago that I abandoned after a few months in favour of a whisky blog. That blog, dramming.com, has grown into one of the major whisky blogs over the years, at least with regard to its visitor numbers.

It is an interesting experience to start a new blog from scratch in a different niche with the experience of a blog that has been up an running for years. As an avod home cook I have always been reading food blogs, but in the past weeks I had a more intensive look at the food blogging universe that I had left years ago before really becomining a part of it.

There is an obvious difference between whisky and food blogging. Whisky is only a very small niche because of a fairly limited audience. But in principle food blogs can target anyone because everybody needs to eat. And even if you leave out those who are not interested in cooking, the audience is much, much bigger. This is fairly obvious, but nevertheless some consequences of this struck me.

There are maybe 250 or 300 whisky blogs altogether.This may look a large number but it is nothing compared to the number of food blogs out there which must run into thousands. Many, if not most, whisky bloggers “know” each other via social media, and there is even a bit of a community feeling despite differing views on certain issues.

Websites like Food Blogger Pro that offer help in “growing your food blog” with instructional videos and an internal forum for a membership fee of currently $279 per year are unheard of in the whisky blogosphere. We only have a private whisky bloggers Facebook group where we can discuss about blogging topics.

Getting noticed among so many other food blogs may be the most difficult aspect of food blogging, so difficult in fact that many even spend a lot of money in hope to increase there chances. Food Blogger Pro currently has 850+ subscribers according to the website.

Maybe bloggers’ hopes of earning serious money with their blogs also play a role here. I know of no whisky blogger whose blog is a significant source of income. And some of the biggest ones are complete amateur sites with no advertising at all. Some whisky bloggers have managed to start a career in whisky, though, either as writers or as producers/dealers.

Another symptom of difficulty of getting noticed in the food blogosphere is the enormous focus on photography which even has spawned a sub-niche of food photography blogging. The bar is very high, and it seems that a food blog is doomed from the beginning if it does not present the food with professionally looking pictures, preferrably photographed on a table made from reclaimed wood.

Sometimes I even get the impression that food blogging is more about food porn than about food – the real thing itself. Let’s see how this baby blog will do anyway.

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • jude 19th January 2015, 11:50 pm

    Such a breath of fresh air, I say! Fascinating (for an Aussie) food with some wonderful old European techniques on display, ordinary no-frills photography, and a clear passion for the process. You can keep your reclaimed wood!

  • Johan 27th January 2015, 10:03 pm

    I agree with your approach, Oliver. I got into blogging myself for my love of food and technique, not to compete with others for attention or on photography skills. It’d be a losing battle anyway. Hence, I do all the “wrong” things. I write far too lengthy posts, I take badly lit photos, I experiment and I even write about my failures. I’m reasonably sure no one on Food Blogger Pro would ever advise you to do so, but hey, Iv’e been having fun for a year now.

    I think the world has more than its fair share of food porn blogs with two sentence posts, a lot of really stylish pictures and a recipe here or there. And while I do admire such blogs, I think it’s refreshing to see a new unique approach, I hope you keep it up!

    • oliver 27th January 2015, 10:25 pm

      I am fully aware that I am very late in the game. Trying to compete with the food porn pros is an uphill battle. But WTF, I already have a decent reputation in the whisky blogosphere. A German politician once said: “You have to set the bar so high that you can easily walk underneath.” Of course it would be nice if this blog gained some momentum as well, but essentially it’s really a fun thing. At least I am in a position where I can “recruit” quite a few readers from the whisky people I know. A lot of them are interested in good food and some even encouraged me to start a food blog.

      My sub-niche is actually pretty well defined and not too big I think, regardless of the quality of photograhpy: Keep it simple, honour traditions and don’t bother about trends and health fads. And don’t be afraid of the cheaper meat cuts 😉 Even if this might be the opposite of what makes a food blog successful these days.

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