I jumped into the food blogger world 2 ½ years ago. Although I have a journalism background and a bit of culinary training, I wasn’t really sure what blogging was all about. I just knew I loved food, and I wanted to archive my recipes.
Over the years, my site has started to take shape. My food photography skills improved dramatically. I have posted more than 200 recipes. And Zestuous is starting to become a familiar name to national food companies. My greatest reward though is that I have an invaluable network of foodie friends who have made this journey possible.
Recently, I was asked to take the Foodista and Zephyr Adventures State of Food Blogging Survey, asking me why I blog. Reading through the questions was quite insightful. Food is definitely my passion, but I had to think about what else I wanted out of this site. Money? Fame? Employment?
The personal satisfaction of sharing my recipes and making other people happy is the most rewarding benefit, but it would be nice to bring in a little bit of money. I dedicate about 15 hours a week to Zestuous on top of my regular 40-45-hour workweek. I just haven’t taken the leap into making this a profitable business yet. Some day I’ll develop a business plan.
Of the 679 food bloggers who answered the 2013 questionnaire, the majority were married females age 25-44 who are employed full time and don’t have kids. Most have blogged 2-4 years. That’s me exactly!
I found it interesting that Twitter surpassed Facebook and Pinterest in terms of social media effectiveness. I guess I need to tweet more. Twitter is not even in my top 10 traffic sources. Most Zesties (what I call Zestuous followers) come from Pinterest and Foodgawker. Facebook ranks sixth.
Some respondents have very popular sites with more than a million followers, so the average results were reportedly skewed. I’m glad that information was disclosed because when I read that the average food blogger had 42,000 unique visitors, I was discouraged. When I blog regularly, I have about 20,000 unique visitors. Just this month I actually had to increase my site’s bandwidth because I was nearing capacity. The report states that the median number of unique visitors per month is 2,000, much different than the mean, and much lower than Zestuous…so discouragement over.
It was interesting to see how food bloggers are bringing in money. Most are successful with paid writing and even brand promotion. I’ve been doing some brand promotion for King’s Hawaiian, and Chobani is sending me samples of their products next week. But so far, I’m just developing recipes in exchange for product. I’ve got to get working on that business plan 🙂
The report concluded with some benefits of attending a food blogger conference, such as 10 times more unique visitors per month. Wow! That would bring Zestuous to 200,000 unique visitors. I would love to share my recipes with that many people.
Their next International Food Blogger Conference is September 20-22 in Seattle. I wish it were going to be held in Vegas. I would definitely attend, and I’m not alone. The cost of travel is the number one factor in determining whether bloggers would attend a conference. Maybe 2014 will be closer to home.
In the meantime, I’ll keep cooking along because I truly enjoy sharing my Zestuous dishes with all you Zesties.
View the full results of the 2013 State of Food Blogging Survey by clicking here.