If you’ve been hanging around this blog for a little while, you probably noticed that I sort of “pigeon-holed” myself. Around this time last year, I decided to go hard on sharing recipes that I love to cook. And while I still love to do that (and treat that as the bread and butter of this website), I admit, I’m getting kind of tired of it. I’m stuck in a recipe pigeon hole and I’m ready to climb out!
Here’s the other part that’s truly eye-opening: My posts that aren’t about recipes end up drawing more of a readership. I know we have a lot of at-home cooks that follow this blog, but there’s something to be said about how posts outside of the topic of recipes draw even more eyeballs. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think people are craving connection and something fun to read while still working from home. Not just another thing to cook in the kitchen.
So, I decided recently that it was time to broaden my horizons. As someone who works as a food writer and photographer, I have a lot of things I want to talk to you about. I want to tell you all about my tips for writing, living in New York City, surviving that work-from-home life right now, staying healthy, and so much more.
Don’t worry—I’m still going to share recipes. A lot of them. I love to create new foods and write about it, so that part will not be going away.
But I just want to expand what I write about. Because I’m tired of doing what everyone else does. Which brings me to my pet peeve.
Food blogs are basically money-making machines these days.
How many times have you clicked on a recipe from a blogger and your phone or computer basically crashes because of how long the post is, or how many ads are on the site? I mean, why in the world does a post about simple chicken enchiladas need a table of contents, 20 images that are basically the same, and a 5,000 word count?
For no reason other than ranking. There are a lot of bloggers out there that focus on making their blog a full-time income. Each post is optimized to make a lot of money from ad visibility, as well as a high ranking on Google. It’s not really about user experience anymore. It’s about the competition. Which posts will make more money? How well will this post rank?
I mean, even the recipes are chosen based on SEO (search engine optimization) capabilities. There are courses and tools that teach you to look for keywords with higher search volume and a low number of competing links. Rarely are food bloggers making recipes because they simply want to share it with you. It’s all a competition.
How would I know? Because I was playing the game for far too long.
I switched up how I would make my posts to play the Google search game. I focused a lot on proper word count, keywords, and all the other bells and whistles a post needs to rank well on Google.
And then…I got tired of it. Why force myself into making this blog a full-time income when I already get to write about food all day in my current job? Isn’t that counterintuitive?
So I’m shifting gears a little big. Climbing out of a pigeon hole and allowing myself to completely suck on Google so that I can just write what I love. Write what you love to read. And not give a flying poop about how much money I’ll make from it.
Yes, as you can see, I still have ads on my site. But it’s not many! My “ad visibility” on my site is total crap. To be fully transparent, I make a whopping $1 a day right now.
And that’s fine with me. By the end of the month that’s a little extra cash to buy more groceries so I can make recipes for this site. So you can say this site is self-sustaining, right? Right.
I don’t plan on going overboard with my ads—truly. I don’t plan on overloading you with videos, ads, and posts that load so slowly they make you want to scratch your eyeballs out. Instead, I want you to come to this site and have a wonderful user experience. And to glance at maybe 3-4 ads so I can make that $1 for the day.
So that’s my pet peeve. And I wanted to end this post with a relevant question.
What kind of stuff do you want to read?