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What motivates food bloggers?
‘So what are they all doing in there’ asked the guy in the coffee shop, gesticulating at the arts centre next door. 'Blawggers or somefink?'
What indeed? How do you explain why 150-odd people should choose to spend a sunny Saturday indoors listening to people tell them how they should shoot pictures of their dinner and share them with total strangers?
Food Blogger Connect, which has been taking place in south London this weekend, is one of a number of blogger events that take place round the world attracting delegates from Canada to Finland - and of course the UK. It brings together a group of people who have nothing in common but their passion for food and desire to express it. Almost all of them are women (curious, that. Do male bloggers reckon they have nothing to learn or simply not enjoy sharing what they do?) Most, I’d guess, are under 35.
Many think bloggers are in it for the giveaways, the free meals and trips but that’s not been my impression. In fact the more seasoned bloggers are scornful of cack-handed attempts by PRs and companies to hijack their blogs and get them on-message.
Most are driven by real passion for food, one that can’t necessarily be shared with family and friends who roll their eyes wearily when dinner is delayed for that perfectly lit shot. To network with like-minded individuals who share that obsession is invigorating.
Some have jobs that fail to stimulate them and find blogging an outlet for their creativity, daring to dream of a career in food - maybe even that elusive book deal (though most are realistic enough to know that only a few will clinch one). Still, there’s always self-publishing these days . . .
But coming from the business background that many of them do they’re not leaving anything to chance. If they’re going to blog they want to do it as well as they can - write better content, take better photos, build a bigger audience. Blogging is driven by the American ethos of 'could do better'.
Some have more money than others to invest in their ambitions. At £300 for the weekend*, tickets to Food Blogger Connect don’t come cheap but nor do tickets to the opera or special interest holidays. Most hobbies are expensive. But you don’t need to be rich to write a great blog - you just need to invest the time and energy.
Which brings me neatly to my next post. What makes a food blog stand out in the crowd? More thoughts on the lessons from #FBC5 - and elsewhere - tomorrow . . .
* £150 if you booked an 'early bird' ticket.
If you have a food blog - or any other kind of blog - why did you start it and what makes you keep it up?
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Picture of blogger (and former lawyer) Ren Behan doling out bigos (a Polish hunter's stew) at her Polish Kitchen pop-up at Food Blogger Connect
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