What is a Food Blog?

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To this day, there is no exact definition of what a food blog is or is not. Ask anyone for a definition and each person will have her own view of how a food blog should be structured and what "recipe" you need to follow in order to be successful.

Differing personalities bring about a great diversity of food blogs. Finding the ones to follow that fit your unique tastes becomes a daily quest as we discover new sites that come into existence via the power of social media.

You will find blogs with heartwarming stories from childhood revisited in recipes recalled from the past. Others have a specific diet in mind. Then there are those with straightforward recipes - stripped down to the basics of ingredients and instructions with no stories attached. And while some might delight in those personal stories, a select few of us crave those sites which provide the scientific explanations of why and how something does or does not work. 

 My husband and I discussed this topic in depth last night after I asked for his feedback in regards to my latest post - my newest series A Food Story where I use the structure of a story with characters and plots along with photos to tell a short story about a recipe without actually writing the recipe in detail. "You need to pivot", he said. "If one thing is not working, do something different."

Specifically, he was telling me how I need to change things around in my posts and "list recipes first, tell stories later".

"Just give people what they want first", he said. "If they're interested, they'll read the words after the recipe."

"That's not how it works", I argued. "Food blogs are about stories", I kept telling him. "I'm saving the recipes for my book."

However, the "write it and they will come" mentality might not fit every case. In other words, not everyone will necessarily like your blog. Trying to "fit in" and writing about what you think will bring traffic to your site has a chance of coming out in your writing. People might sense that the "voice" is forced - that it is not uniquely yours.

I've been following the food community for about a year. In that time, I noticed a few things. The one aspect that I find most prevalent is that a food blog is not solely a source of recipes. It's about the stories, the photographs, the soul of a writer.

"If I wanted only the recipes, I'd go to a trusted site like Cook's Illustrated or one of my many cookbooks", I continued to argue.

When I visit a food blog, I take note of the sites listed on that blogger's blog roll if one is listed. Why, I ask myself, are these particular blogs highlighted? What makes them special? Is it all about the recipes? Or is there something more? In most of the cases, it's that "something more" that makes one blog favorable over another. Words spoken to which we can relate.

Developing recipes is an arduous process and not one to be taken lightly. Writing clear instructions is an art form in itself. My site is not a compilation of recipes curated from other sites. Rather the recipes I choose to share are my own and at this point it's simply a matter of experimentation. I share my views on food and life - something that connects each one of us. Some people might find this uninteresting, others might share a similar viewpoint to mine. Whatever the case, you have a great selection of food blogs from which to choose.

I refuse to accept the argument that simply listing most of my self-developed recipes will get people to my site. Perhaps it might get them to my site but will it be enough to keep them coming back? Although my story might resonate with only a handful of readers, I will continue to write and tell my unique story.

Not having a clear definition of what a food blog is or is not keeps things interesting and challenging. The possibilities are endless as are the stories. Thankfully, we all have a different story to tell with own unique voice which makes for a myriad of unique blogs to follow.

What are your thoughts on this? How is your blog different? Why do you follow the food blogs that you do? Is it solely for the recipes? Or is it that "something else" that the writer conveys through stories to which you can relate?