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Top 10 Reasons You Should Start a Food Blog

This weekend at Food Media Forum, several people posed the question, “Why start a food blog?”  They wanted to know what the point was.  Who would care what they had to say?  What could they bring to the table that hadn’t already been done?  These same folks wanted to know everything they could about food blogging before they were ready to start a food blog.

I wanted to give them a hug (I think I did in several cases) and tell them to just start.  So, here it goes:

Top 10 Reasons You Should Start a Food Blog

10.  You will experiment more in the kitchen.  Having a food blog and committing to posting at least twice a week will force you into your kitchen to try new things.  You can’t write about that same brownie recipe every week – even if they are your absolute favorite brownies.

9.  Someone you don’t know will leave a comment on your blog and tell you that they a) love your writing, b) love your photo, or c) love your recipe.  Do you enjoy it when you get “Likes” on Facebook?  Getting praise from strangers is even more exciting.

8.  You are the boss!  This one is huge.  Your blog may be the one place in your life where you get to call ALL of the shots.  Sure, common wisdom says that you shouldn’t post a pumpkin recipe in July, but if that’s what you want to do, YOU CAN!

7.  A company may offer you something for free.  When that happens, you will feel like you’ve won the lottery.  We all like free stuff.  Food bloggers have access to lots of it.  As you get further into food blogging, you’ll step back and take a long, hard look at the ethics of giveaways and product placement.  But, when you get that first offer for something free, it’s OK to do a happy dance.

6.  Another blogger will write about your recipe.  You will be completely flattered – and you should be.  It’s a huge source of pride to create a dish in your kitchen that someone else thinks is newsworthy.

5.  You will never again say, “I’m bored.”  A food blog is the ultimate hobby.  You can put as much or as little time as you want into it.  There is always something you could be doing to improve your blog.  And, and some point, all of that effort might pay off in dollars.

4.  You will make online friends.  At first glance, you might think being a blogger is a lonely activity.  But, you will soon get to know others with similarly-themed blogs and you will learn and grow together.

3.  You will make offline friends.  Most cities have food blogger groups that do fun things like cook and eat!  These people may end up being your new BFFs.

2.  You can use your blog as a platform to talk about things important to you.  If you are passionate about a charity, you now have readers who may be able to help.  You could give your son a free sidebar ad to promote his new business.  Maybe you think broccoli is a deity; it’s your blog and you can preach.

1.  You can use your blog as a springboard.  Some food bloggers receive cookbook deals, others have an opportunity to write for local newspapers and magazines, some get online freelance writing work, and still others are offered jobs teaching cooking classes.

You’ll notice that nowhere in the list above did I say that your food blog would become your job.  While Cupcake Project is my job, if I had started the blog with that as my goal, I would have been sorely disappointed and living on the streets.  It took four years of blogging before I made an income that I could live on.

As anyone who has read my About page knows, I started a food blog because I wanted a home for all of the cupcake recipes I was testing for my friends’ wedding.  I wanted the couple to be able to select their three favorite cupcake recipes off of the blog at the end of the year.  I didn’t know anything about food blogging, I didn’t have an SEO plan (translation: a strategy for being ranked highly in Google searches), I knew nothing about marketing a food blog, and I certainly hadn’t given a single thought to branding.  If I had worried about all of the little details I now think about, I never would have typed a single word.

That #1 reason for starting a food blog – the springboard – is at the top of my mind today.  This weekend, I along with Kimberly Henricks-Friedhoff of Rhubarb and Honey, Stacy Anderson of Every Little Thing, Laura Beaver of Food Snob STL, Stephanie Tolle of Iron Stef, and FEAST Magazine hosted the Food Media Forum – a two day food media conference in St. Louis.  I never imagined that food blogging would lead to organizing a 75 person conference with attendees from around the country.

I call this blog “An Experimental Cupcake Recipe Blog”.  You may have thought that the word “experimental” referred only to the crazy recipes that I make. It also refers to my daily experiments in making the blog itself a better place.  I still don’t know where food blogging is going to take me, but I’m so glad that I started.

What would you add to my list?

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68 comments on “Top 10 Reasons You Should Start a Food Blog”

  1. Efreetsays:

    I am an avid reader of this (and other) food blogs, and I’ve often wanted to start one of my own, but I always decided against it – English is not my mother tongue, and I’m a poor photographer, plus I don’t have time and get bored easily, and I mostly bake other people’s recipes anyway and and and…
    But now I think I might give it a try! Thanks so much for the huge ego boost!

    • I would hope that you give it a try…even if you only do it for family and close friends. Who knows you may end up with a huge success just in that alone. Once you get going with other people’s recipes you will find that you tweak them to satisfy your own tastes and before long you are working on all your own recipes. I just started my blog about a month ago and am having a blast learning how it all works…feel free to drop by:
      I encourage you to go for it!

    • Laurasays:

      You should give it a try, no doubt about it. This sort of projects give you a sense of accomplishment, keeping a food blog is kind of like a diary as you get to track your progress (and boast about the delicious things you prepare :) You get to see how far you’ve come after trying out a few recipes.

      I’ve started keeping a similar thing myself, only for creativity – feel free to drop by and check it out: Having something that’s easy to update is also important and I’d recommend SnackWebsites ( ). I do work for the company, but I wouldn’t recommend it if I wasn’t happy with it.

  2. TidyMomsays:

    great post Stef!! I was thinking about some of these exact same points yesterday!

    I realized that by having my blog ….I have grown. I have pushed myself out of my comfort zone to do things I never would have done a few years ago, I have been given opportunities I never dreamed of, and made friends that I will have for a life time. Those are the things I never thought about when I started my blog.

  3. Setasays:

    You nailed it Stef:)) I started my food blog about 7 months ago for 2 reasons then. Saving my recipes and learning social media – I was suddenly feeling quite old with all these new techs running around me using terms I didn’t know and programs I had vaguely heard about.
    Since then, I have discovered that a food blog gives you so much more! true, it is a lot of hard work, but there is also a big return. As you state, I have made friends from all over the world, from different walks of life. and yes, I am experimenting much more in the kitchen, trying to get the exact killer combination of flavors. The comments are such a booster, to-date I cannot believe that strangers managed to convince me to open the Arabic blog (my native language), but I just couldn’t resist the pleas.
    I don’t know much about the perks of income/free giveaways cause i am not there yet (I just started this past December and still at 7000 views/day) so will have to experience that before I can comment.
    I would add to your list that starting a food blog is like giving birth… it needs a lot of attention but the emotional rewards are countless. So for those hesitant, my two cents are “don’t hesitate about giving birth to your new passion! enjoy the ride especially that you can control the pace”

  4. It’s a huge stress relief in addition to all the things on your list. I know when i’m having a hard day at the office, I can check into my blog to see who else has checked it out or what else I can improve, and it makes me so happy. :-) It also gives me more purpose to what I’m doing in the kitchen and makes me enjoy every step in the process, including the presentation, more than I used to. I’m so happy I started mine!

  5. Thank you for posting this Stef. I started a blog a few months back, so it is still in its beginning stages. Sometimes it feels like only a few people read it and it gets discouraging. After your reminder, I’ve got a new outlook. I love my blog and I’ve learned so many new things through my work on it. It is a sanctuary for me and even if it doesn’t take off someday, it is a blessing. Thank you again!

  6. Love this! Starting my food blog was the best thing I ever did. It helped me teach myself all about cooking plus now I’m able to teach classes in my community on menu planning and cooking! Not to mention all the wonderful people I have met along the way!

  7. It wasn’t that long ago I was asking that question myself and think your list will be a great motivation to those thinking about starting a blog. I wish I would have seen it when I was out there contemplating the whole thing.

    So many of your points ring true with me. I am never bored. We drove 7 hours to attend the Food Media Forum this weekend, and I usually hate to be in the car, but this time I utilized my time developing ideas for my blog. Plus, my computer engineer husband and I have so much to talk about and spent hours discussing fine tuning my blog. He loves that I am learning html which is something I never anticipated doing. I’m considering the jump from Blogger to WordPress and he’ll be an invaluable resource, as will so many of the people I met this weekend.

    I want to thank you again for organizing such an amazing event. I learned so much and met such wonderfully talented people. I, like Seta, have been feeling quite old and behind the times. I still have so much to learn, but what I have realized is that I’m not alone in this endeavor. This weekend I encountered women and a few men from all walks of life who blog for so many different reasons. Some knew so much more than I did and were a wealth of information for me, while others with less experience were asking me questions that I was actually able to answer.

    One of the best parts of blogging has been interacting with people from all over the world and feeling a sense of accomplishment and joy when I hear that a reader was successful in re-creating one of my recipes and that it was a huge hit. This week I heard from two teenagers in New Zealand that are constantly inspired by my edible crafts/themed cuisine and they wanted to let me know about all the projects of mine that they have made. It made me so proud to know that two young women who live half way around the world, were in their kitchens making my recipes. That alone makes blogging worthwhile.

  8. Michelesays:

    This sounds so interesting. Ilove to cook and especiallly love to bake! How would I go about staring my own blog?

  9. Julianasays:

    I just started mine and it’s been amazing to get such good reviews in so little time. It’s fullfilling and completly worth it! I even considered writing both in portuguese (my native language) and english, just so I can befriends with even more people!

  10. Having just started my own Pinterest based blog about a month ago I find that I am really enjoying the creativity that flows in the kitchen(and the art room). I was already someone who experimented a lot with good success and this only encourages me to take it further in presentation, I am learning lots about my new DSLR, photography and lighting…and the kids are happy as we are crafting and doing a different activity everyday…to all those considering this I say GO FOR IT! You will have so much fun:D

  11. Love the post…I have a dessert blog but may start a savory one as well. Amazing what happens when you follow your passion…congrats on your blog and its success.


  12. Janicesays:

    Such a thoughtful post, Stef. What keeps me going is that it is so much fun and such an amazing opportunity to combine so many diverse and creative skills (some I didn’t know I had such as photography) in one endeavor.

    Thanks again for putting on the forum this past weekend…I enjoyed meeting, sharing talking with so many people who love food in all of its beauty, nutrition, taste, creativity.

  13. Fabulous post, Stef! I am honored to have been a part of Food Media Forum with you … and I can’t wait to see where that little venture takes us next!

  14. Great encouraging post! Regards from Germany.

  15. Johnnasays:

    What a terrific post! I would add that each of us has something to share that may be a great help to others. Whether it’s a special ethnic dish that is tradition in your family, a specific dietary niche or a great deal of knowledge on one cooking technique, someone will benefit from your specialized knowledge.

    Thanks for putting together Food Media Forum. I learned so much!

  16. Anonymoussays:

    #7 is exactly why food blogs like this will never ever be taken seriously…as long as you accept free stuff, your integrity will always be questioned.

  17. Yaelsays:

    Thanks for this post. I started a blog a few years ago with the idea in mind of just having a running record of things I make in the kitchen- something for my girls to see and use in the future if they choose. I don’t really have a following and that’s ok. I get satisfaction out of looking back at the things I’ve done and sometimes even amaze myself! Although I wouldn’t mind if more people looked at my blog, I’m perfectly happy with how it is now. Thanks again- great post!

  18. My thoughts, exactly! During the times I’ve questioned my purpose in having a blog, I’ve stopped, sat back and asked myself, “Would I do this anyway if no one else were reading it? Would I continue to cook, bake & write even if no other gain came from it?”… and when I found that the answer was always a resounding, “Yes!”, I knew that I’d done the right thing by starting The Kitchen Prep. It’s my little project and I love it! :)

  19. Love this post! Food blogging is the ultimate hobby! Great read! =]

  20. Cannot say how much I love this post. Blogging has also challenged me to move beyond my comfot zone and grow in self confidence.

  21. I think reason number five was the reason I started a food blog. By the way, I loved the food media forum on Saturday! Thanks for coordinating it, I had a blast!

  22. Nataliesays:

    great list! number 5 is particularly true–i never run out of things to do that are blog-related..that’s for sure!

    i’m bummed i missed the forum, i hope you guys do it again!

  23. Loved your top 10 reasons and how they focused on the personal rewards you get from blogging.

    I love blogging because it provides me with a creative outlet from my office job.

  24. Angiesays:

    You motivated me! I’ve got a lot to learn on “blogging”, especially on how to style and photograph the food in an attractive way, but i can’t wait to have a lovely blog like yours! xx

  25. Loved meeting you at the Food Media Forum. You guys did such a great job! It was so much fun networking with you and other food bloggers. I learned a ton. Another reason to be a food blogger…it makes you a better cook. At least it’s done that for me. Knowing that I’ll be sharing my recipes and that others need to be able to replicate them with good results has made my own cooking and recipe writing more precise and consistent.

  26. Elainesays:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! You summed up many of the reasons I decided to start a blog. I am very new to blogging (my first blog post was on June 25 of this year) and I still feel very lost. My pictures aren’t great, I’m getting little feedback from anyone (friends and family included), and I’m not sure if anyone else is really enjoying my blog. But I am because it allows me to focus on my passion for food, cooking, and baking. Like you, the main reason I started my blog was to have a convenient way to organize recipes I try and document my thoughts/reactions to the results (I include a pro/con list with every recipe). An online cookbook if you will. I also refer my friends to my blog whenever they request one of my recipes. Much easier than writing it on a recipe card or typing out an email. While I have not met many other bloggers and have very few followers, I am very much looking forward to that aspect of blogging. Thank you so much for this post-you helped to remind me, just when I was starting to have doubts, why I pursued this hobby.

  27. Thanks for summing it up so well. Good goals all around, I love to hear that some people are making a living at it at-all! Way to go!

  28. I think creativity is the one of the most important reasons why you should start a food blog. It gives you a chance to test your own limits yet be authentic and true to yourself. That kind of creative freedom should be on the top of the list.

  29. Terrific post. Congrats on organizing what sounds like a super event.

  30. I just started a cupcake/ sooon to be more than that blog…and i am loving everything about it..especially the art of it all.

  31. I think all of these reasons are 100% valid and many were a big part of the reason I started blogging. The others came as a bonus :) So excited to start planning for next year!

  32. amruta @ indiamarks.comsays:

    Really very interesting article. I loved your top 10 reasons. I like cooking so much. Your article inspired me to start blogging.

  33. Chinekasays:

    I loved this post. Blogging is so much fun for me and it combines three things that I really love: baking, photography, and writing.

  34. I started mine 2 years ago because my friends and family were always asking for the recipes I was making and talking about on Facebook. Blogging was just an easier way of putting them all in one place – easy to read, you can add pictures, etc.

    I now claim my job to be a food blogger. I love cooking, baking, and posting about what I eat :)

  35. brilliant post. I started my blog along with a friend a couple of years ago as a means of sharing our cake making experiments. It’s great fun doing it along with a friend and dare I say it even brings out my competitive side a little! :-)

  36. Thanks Stef,

    It’s funny because I wanted to start a food blog in college until I realized there are only a limited amount of variations with Top Ramen and Mac & Cheese. :D

  37. Tashsays:

    I had been toying with the idea of starting my own blog but never really pushed myself to start – so thanks to your post ‘The Velvet Moon Baker’ has been born. Thanks so much :D x

  38. Takiyahsays:

    For every reason I thought I couldn’t start a food blog, you have given me a reason that I can. So thanks for the inspiration. I’ll keep you posted on my progress :-)

  39. Korlinsays:

    Dear Stef, I just wanted to let you know that this post came *exactly* at the right time. I was toying with the idea to start a blog documenting my baking, but I was reluctant because a) I was mad at myself I hadn’t started it earlier, when I had more time for baking and created some really pretty, delicious and sometimes adventurous things. I thought it’d be kind of “too late” now. And b) I thought that there are so many great baking blogs out there – what difference could my little blog make? But then I saw this post and it was like a sign. You triggered ‘Of Cookies & Cakes (and all else she bakes)’ :) Thank you for that! Oh and while we’re at it – I followed your blog almost from the beginning on, it’s still my go-to blog for inspiration. Thank you for that, too!

  40. I couldn’t agree more about experimenting in the kitchen. I cook so much more now than I did before starting a blog and try things I never would have in the past.

  41. Such an inspiring post! I started a food blog in March and I’m still figuring out a lot of things. But as for experimenting in the kitchen, I’m putting in more time and energy. I hope one day I’ll be able to earn as well.;)

  42. Susysays:

    I started mine 9 months ago and still don’t understand a lot about blogging but I have noticed that my recipes have been seen around the world is just flattering. I decided to do it in my native laguage (spanish) and so far it makes me think that people as far as Indonesia feels happy to find a blog in their language I still dont understand why I don’t have any comments but it is still something I enjoy. I work full time in a very busy office so I don’t post very often.. but at least I got out of my negative state of why would I have a blog if I am not an expert? it is something I enjoy doing! Thank you for your encouragement!!

  43. It’s funny that you should post about this! I was just thinking today that our family needed a place to house all the recipes we have “modded” from our wall-o-cookbooks… we have five willing and experienced cooks in our house and I think it’s time we had a place (besides on food stained pieces of paper!) to save all our experiments.

    Thanks for posting! :-)

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