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Have you ever wondered why food blogs have such long blog posts and taken your frustrations out on the writer because you had to scroll forever to get to the recipe? Have you not cared for the additional information prior to the recipe yet wondered why we still give it? Have you bitched about the number of ads on a food blog?

Here’s the thing – majority of food bloggers actually agree with you. Trust me, if we could change this, we would, and quite frankly, we have listened and we have implemented tools to help get you to the recipe faster…and yet, we still get shamed for writing such long content.

Food blogging and content creation is a business that very little people understand, and I hope with this post, you will be a little bit more educated and have a little more grace. Perhaps you’ll think twice the next time you share some meme about how you’d rather die than scroll to get to a recipe or that you’d get my entire life story (which, let me remind you – that is so 2007. We don’t even write like that anymore. That meme that keeps circling is so old and truthfully makes those who share it look bad because they don’t even see what we are posting these days.)

My hope with writing this post is helping you understand the background behind all of our business decisions. Yes, believe it or not and whatever you think about food blogging, it IS a small business and it is how many of us make a living, which is why the food blogging community takes such a defensive stance when we get attacked or “triggered.” It’s actually interesting because what everyone is saying, without saying it, is “we don’t want you to make money and have a living.” I still don’t understand why food blogging is the most attacked industry. People literally want us to fail…while feeding them…for free.

1. It is income and how we make money.

This is the truth. I’m not going to lie to you and say that I make a little money. The blog supplements my lifestyle. Unlike many creators, I do have a full time job aside from blogging, but without digging into my personal finances, the blog does pay for some of my personal finances as well as the business aspect such as ingredients, equipment, web hosting, web maintenance, accounting, and most importantly, my time working on the website. You can’t possibly expect me to work for free, do you? Would you?

Advertisements on any website pay for the creators of the website. Just like when you watch streaming networks and there’s ads. Those ad placements are the products paying for screentime and therefore making the streaming network money. Do you write to them your frustrations? Do you shame them? Likely no. This is no different than food websites.

Perhaps your perception of, “everything on the internet is free” is seriously warped and you need to understand that NOTHING is free on the internet. Behind every website (and every image you find on Google) there is a COST. The company/content creator is paying for a domain and the web hosting. This is how the website is live. The images you find on Google are taken by a photographer that used their time, talent, and professional photography equipment to capture them.

My recipes are 100% free for you to access. Unlike NYT or Cook’s Illustrated or a streaming service, you don’t have to pay for access. My mission is to simplify your life by providing easy and approachable for everyday life, and that’s important for me. Therefore, I offer all my recipes for “free.” My parents always said, “nothing in life is free,” and that’s true because allowing access to my recipes for free will require you to “pay” by spending seconds of your time scrolling through.

It is a business strategy with how many ads a blogger chooses to have in their content. Some have a lot, some have middle of the line, some have few. These are business decisions. Some bloggers don’t need a lot because they use ad revenue as a secondary source of income and have diversified elsewhere. Some need more ads because of their financial situation or they need as much as possible to supplement their lower traffic. Whatever the reason is, understand that we try to give you a good user experience and we aren’t purposely trying to make your lives harder.

2. SEO is the game and Google is President Snow.

If you take anything away from this post, I hope this is the section.

SEO means Search Engine Optimization and Google is President Snow (Hunger Games reference for those confused) telling us what to write in order to get ranked – which means what we write, it needs to be helpful in order for Google to show us in search results. Google is our main traffic source and we need to make Google happy.

Google ranks our sites based on how helpful the content is to a user, not by how long the post is, but in order to be helpful, we need to be lengthy and write about the recipe in-depth. For example, if I write about Greek Chicken Souvlaki, I need to write about its origins, what it is, what is in the recipe, and more. Us writers need to put ourselves in the shoes of a reader who has never made this recipe before and how we can help them. That is what Google wants. AND THIS IS WHY those stupid memes about us writing life stories are so freaking dated. We don’t even write about our lives anymore. That’s not what Google finds helpful.

If ANYTHING, taking it out on food bloggers gets you nowhere. Take it up with Google and their requirements and their algorithms. Unfortunately, we are at the mercy of Google and how they treat/rank our sites. A lot of it is an uphill battle and competing against one another (may the odds be ever in your favor), but we listen to what Google tells us because unfortunately, they’re the monopoly of search engines.

3. It’s our content and our choice in how we share it with you.

At the end of the day, it really is our website and how we choose to share our content with you. I know, what a blunt thing to say, but it’s true. Think about it – what someone is saying about me and my content is like me telling you how to run your business or what you should do to make me happy. Doesn’t make much sense, huh?

Of course, we want to make everyone happy but you and I both know that is impossible. You’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t. That’s just life. Please understand whatever bloggers and content creators are choosing to do is not a personal attack on you nor purposely trying to make your life harder. It’s our business and our prerogative. We have studied stats and data and through that have formulated what we believe is best for our business.

You are allowed to have your opinions, as long as they’re kind.

I get a fair share of comments from both men and women that tell me to “get to the point” or “no one cares about your life story” (again, this is very dated; they clearly didn’t read the post) or to “I just want the recipe.” Fair. However, there is underlying sexism and condescending tone in those comments that I won’t stand for. In a female-dominated industry, men are basically telling us to shut up and get back in the kitchen and the women are basically bringing down other women instead of lifting them up. Whatever happened to supporting one another? Rising tides lift all boats.

4. We have implemented tools to help you. Use them.

I would say 96% of food blogs have a “Jump to Recipe” button at the top of every post. If you hate the “fluff” in the middle, just click or tap that button and voila! It takes you to the recipe. Just a note – if there is a blogger you love and consistently come back to use their recipes, if you have time to spare, why not show them a little love by just scrolling and “paying” them for all the recipes you use from their site?

Or, just scroll. Let’s be real – we have had smartphones for over a decade now. We know how to scroll fast. You do it on social media apps. What’s the difference on a website? Your scrolling ability is not my problem, and again, there’s the “Jump to Recipe” button.

FAQs

Why can’t you just put the recipe at the top of the post?

Very few recipe websites do this. Having the recipe underneath the content helps in the following way:

-It earns us more money.
-It helps our bounce rate (meaning, the longer you stay on our site, the bouncer rate is lower) and it helps with us SEO and ranking on Google.
-The most important reason is that the “junk” in the middle isn’t junk or fluff AT ALL. It literally helps you with the recipe. It gives you explanations as to why an ingredient is used and it gives you substitutions to use and also tips to help make the recipe successful.

Some food blogs I go to don’t have a ‘Jump to Recipe’ button.

That’s their decision and some might not want to do it because it results in a loss in income for them because it literally skips all the ads in the post.

Are there any subscription options so I can have an ad-free experience?

You tell me. Would you pay for a subscription to my website if it gave you an ad-free experience? Majority of people balk at the idea. In fact, I know this because once upon a time, I had some of my content locked where in order to unlock it, you would have to sign up for my email newsletter and people lost their shit, and it was still free. You just had to give an email address and it unlocked the content (FREE). Nothing monetary and people still lost it. So yeah, while the idea of having a subscription trade-off for no ads sounds enticing, I don’t think I have the readership that would embrace this idea.

Can you reduce the number of ads on your site?

As I mentioned above, this is a business decision and I am not willing nor am I obligated to share the reason. If you find an intrusive ad, by all means, please reach out to me so I can reach out to my ad management team to get this fixed. There is also always an X in the upper right corner of an ad so you can close out of it. If the sound automatically starts to play on an ad and startles the beejezus out of you (happens to me every now and then too!), please report that ad.

Thank you

If you’ve reached this far, thank you for taking the time to try to understand why blog posts are so long.

Next time you see someone complain about long food blog posts or share nasty memes and/or shaming content creators, I hope you stand up for us, or if you’re the one wanting to share the meme, I hope you think twice about it. There is absolutely no reason to shame someone who wants to make a living and someone who works hard to do so. There is also no reason to shame someone for their decisions if they don’t align with yours, especially while you’re getting the content for free.

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19 Comments

  1. Thanks for this post. Very few people understand what actually goes into maintaining a blog, and your explanation was on point.