What’s the Shill with Food Blogging?

A few weeks ago, a food writer and blogger that I’ve read for years posted an interesting open letter on his site that really took me by surprise. In short, his post summarized that after a decade of food writing and blogging, he can no longer make a full time income off of his blog.

I’ve read his short post about a dozen times now and talked about it with many other writers (food and otherwise). There’s one line that stuck with me long enough to eventually write this post.

quote

I think this phrase stuck with me because I’m pretty sure Adam would consider me the worst of both worlds. Namely, I don’t do this full time, but he would probably also consider me a shill.

I feel the need to respond and defend myself (and all the other shills out there), but also I’m curious what you all think or if you even care?!

This post will get into the nitty-gritty of food blogging, which many of you couldn’t care less about, but I think that it will hopefully touch on some important aspects of how the Internet is changing these days.

Who’s writing what and, more importantly, who’s paying for it?!

Food Blogs – A Short History

When I started writing Macheesmo about eight years ago, there were a decent number of food blogs out there. There were the pinnacle success stories like Pioneer Women and Smitten Kitchen, but there were plenty of other scrappy writers out there just writing because they loved to write and loved to cook.

It should go without saying that the atmosphere has changed drastically.

Today, there are literally millions of blogs on the Internet. A good chunk of those are food related. There are so many flavors and varieties of food blogs that it’s hard to even define them. Some write about cooking and recipes, some write about restaurants, some write about food news and current events, some are sort of an amalgam of these things.

The point is that the sheer number of these blogs (and their overall quality, in my opinion) has skyrocketed in the last 2-3 years.

How Do Blogs Make Money?

Believe it or not, there are a lot of expenses with running a site like this and it also takes a huge amount of time. I would estimate I spend about 40 hours a week working on Macheesmo. At some point, I had to start thinking about making some income off the site to pay for expenses but also to justify the huge amount of time it takes.

When I started Macheesmo in 2008, most blogs made money by a single source: ads. In general, an ad network would pay a certain amount of money per 1,000 views of their ad code on your site.

Depending on placement of the ad and many other complicated factors, this number used to be fairly high. Many sites were even getting $5 or higher for 1,000 views. That means if you can get 10,000 views a day on your site, you make $50/day on that one ad. Not bad.

As any intro economics student will tell you though, there’s this little thing called supply and demand. Years ago, the supply of quality food blogs was fairly low so those sites could demand top dollar for their ad space. Now though, the supply of quality food blogs is beyond comprehension.

This has driven ad prices down to basement levels. As an example, my ad income in November of last year fell by around 40% even though my traffic was one of the highest months ever.

What this means is that to make a living based just on ads in today’s online world, you have to have a lot more ads on your site and you have to get a lot more traffic. When Adam says, “…wildly successful…” he means get a wild amount of traffic. Millions of views per month.

But, these days there are more ways to make money on a food blog than just ads. And that’s where the second part of Adam’s statement comes into play.

My Name is Nick and I’m a Shill

So, if ad dollars are on the decrease these days, what’s a blogger to do? Well, there are a few options that bloggers tend to try:

  • Ramp up ads. Not only are blogs showing more ads, but they’re placing more creative ads. Ads over photos, ads disguised as links, auto-play audio ads… you name it and someone will pay you to put it on your website.
  • Create something and Sell it. Write a book. Sell a premium service. Or, find something someone else has made and help them sell it for a cut of the money.
  • Sponsorships. Work directly with brands to showcase their products and the brands pay you.
  • Donations. Straight up ask for money.

In my opinion you can do any and all of these in a positive and negative way. None of these methods bother me (except the auto-play ads) as a reader as long as they are done thoughtfully.

For example, I ran a sponsored post on Monday. It’s for a company, Bob’s Red Mill, that I truly like. It featured a product that they make, but the recipe doesn’t have to use their product. I worked for weeks with them to feature a recipe that I think my readers would actually like. It wasn’t just some recipe that a PR team sent me.

I turn down, no joke, 39 out of 40 sponsored post opportunities. Every post I write could be a sponsored post if I wanted it to be. That, of course, would be terrible though. (THIS LETTUCE WRAP POST IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY WEIGHTLOSS PILLZZZ LLC!)

For me, the trade off for having a few sponsored posts (never more than two a month in my case) is that I have less ads (and smaller-sized ads). Personally, I think this makes for a better reading experience and it’s my website so I can do whatever I want. NANNY NANNY BOO BOO.

According to Adam, doing the occasional thoughtful sponsored post instead of having huge ads (the traditional way) makes me a shill.

The Big Picture Thing

Bringing this all back to Adam’s post… I get his sentiment. Adam had a guaranteed ad rate for The Amateur Gourmetwhich I’ve never heard of, and I can see how having that get canceled would create some panic.

But, I thought it was a bit petty for him to assume that everyone who makes money online in a way other than he does is a shill. I work incredibly hard on the posts I write and I don’t think that partnering with a respected brand occasionally makes that work less valuable.

I know dozens of bloggers with shiploads of integrity that create meaningful sponsorships with brands. These shills are doing what they are passionate about and making a small amount of money from it to support their websites and time.

More importantly, what’s better from your point of view? I write words on the Internet. I view my primary goal as a resource, but my close secondary goal is to entertain. The vast majority of people who read Macheesmo will never make a recipe off of it so creating a positive viewing experience might be the most important thing.

What do you think? As a reader, would you rather a website have more ads or the occasional sponsored post? Either way, I have a feeling sponsored posts are here to stay friends.

67 comments on “What’s the Shill with Food Blogging?

  1. Well… I used to read the Amateur Gourmet, but I unsubscribed at least a year ago.

    I have no problem with sponsored posts that are clearly marked as such, especially from a company I would buy from anyway like Bob’s Red Mill. Once in a while I see a post here that’s sponsored by a product I wouldn’t use, so I ignore it. Then I go on to enjoy the other posts that that sponsorship makes possible.

  2. I also read Adam’s post, but I didn’t think of it as an insult to those who use all sorts of means (like sponsored posts) to bring in more income. I saw it as more of a personal conflict for him- and it could be that the majority of requests he gets are for products he really doesn’t like, or maybe he doesn’t like sponsors’ approach with him. That said, I can see how his post could come across as insulting or demeaning.

    I follow a couple hundred food-related feeds, and a number of them use sponsored posts. As long as they’re upfront about it, I don’t mind at all, though I’m generally less likely to click through if it’s not a product I’m particularly interested in. In other cases, such as your example of Bob’s Red Mill- I love those products, so in that case I’m always interested in new recipes.

    1. Thanks for the comment Dan! Yea… it’s possible I read too much into his statement, but the title “What’s Going On with Food Blogging” made me think he was trying to say something larger. I’m still a big fan of Adam’s writing though.

  3. Interesting post! Thanks for being so honest. I always found your blog to be very well balanced and I have been following it since 2010 (someone recommended it to me). I have watched it change over the years but in a positive way. I have noticed the sponsored posts from time to time but you’ come off and honest and transparent and it is obvious that you’re choosy about which sponsorships you agree to, therefore, it has never bothered me in any way! I also realize how much work it is to run a blog….
    Either way, once you have readers that trust you, I feel that you can do whatever you want as long as you continue to be honest and produce quality content (and you always do!)

  4. Gererally, I’ve no complaint with sponsored posts that are identified as such. The topic of the post is what will cause me read it, not the sponorship by a company that I respect. I’m unlikly to open a post by companies and/or organiztions I do not like and would never patronize even ones that millions of other people patronize and/or support.

    1. That’s a great point. In reality all sponsored posts should be super-clearly disclosed. There’s actually new FTC laws about blogs disclosing info like that. If a site isn’t doing it, then they are probably doing a bunch of other shady stuff…

  5. Like others have posted I have no issue with sponsored posts as long as they’re clearly marked. Most of the food blogs that I follow do use sponsored products that I use anyway. I fully realize that if I don’t like that brand or it isn’t available in my area that I can use something else.

    1. Thanks Julie! Yep. It’s pretty much always the case (at least on Macheesmo) that sponsored post products are mere suggestions and the recipes could be easily made with other ingredients.

  6. Your blog is one of my favorites. I *hate* auto-play ads, so thanks for not doing those. Also, I happen to like the occasional sponsored ad. It introduces me to new brands that I may not have heard of before.
    Keep up the good work, Nick. I’m here to stay.

    1. I think I can say with 100% certainty that you’ll never see an auto-play audio ad on this site because then I couldn’t read my own site… ;)

  7. Hi Nick,

    As the editor for a non-food website that pays me $0, I understand both sides. We have turned down sponsored posts, but that’s because of the nature of what we cover (comic books) – it seems contradictory to take money to promote a book that we may actually dislike. Your posts are totally different than that – they are clearly labeled, and they are never shill-y. You are using a featured product, but creating a recipe you stand by – that’s far less obtrusive than an autoplay ad or ads embedded into text links.

    Your site is the first one I go to for recipes (made one last night, in fact!), and I appreciate the minimal ad content. If you can make a living off of what you’re doing, even if it means that I will roll my eyes at a sponsored post (due to my knee-jerk punk rock belief system that I am constantly betraying), that’s a win.

    Keep up the great work.

  8. I work in reality TV so that I can write what I want in my children’s books. When I was a photographer, I worked photographing Embassy events and receptions so that I could also make good art. All of us make trade-offs to support what we love, and anyone who doesn’t understand that, needs to self-examine. Our habits and hobbies are expensive, and time consuming, so anyone who doesn’t understand making them at least slightly self-sustaining is foolish.

    What you’ve done, with the ads, the sponsors, and the service (and I’m a happy member who frequently cooks the recipes) is not only wonderful, but something you deserve to be paid for.

    Be a shill. Write for money, do what it takes to keep Macheesmo online!

  9. Nick, as others have said, I have no issue with sponsored posts. The ones I’ve seen you have seem completely in line with something you might have made anyway so it seems completely inline with the tone of your site. And really, if we’re honest, we’re all shills in one way or the other. Don’t believe me? Check out the name of the yoga pants, laptop or car we’re driving — we’re shilling the logo all over town every day. The only difference is, we do it for free. My point is I think some folks like to get snooty when reality bites. Thanks for all you do and this interesting thread.

  10. Hi Nick, I’ve been reading your blog since nearly the beginning–May 2009. I remember the first recipe I made (Texas Caviar) that got me to subscribe to the blog, and I have made SO MANY of your recipes since then! I’ve made them for me, for friends, family, for parties, and even for some of the healthy cooking classes I teach. It’s been really delightful to have your blog as one of the few constant sources of recipes throughout the years–from clueless post-collegiate cooking (2009-2010) to mostly-vegan cooking (2011-2012) to feeling experienced in the kitchen, getting compliments from my friends, teaching cooking classes, and focusing on whole foods, high quality ingredients, and fresh foods (2013 to now!).

    Here’s the thing about sponsored posts: if your recipe quality suffered because of them, we would notice, and it would matter. If sponsored posts cause a blogger to speak in support of something they don’t actually support, put out recipes or recommendations that are actually no good, and sacrifice the quality of their blog, that person would be a shill, and it would be an issue. None of that has happened here.

    I’ve been cooking with you for six years. In that time, your recipes have gotten stronger, your writing clearer, and your content more appealing. You’ve become more well-rounded and more confident as a food blogger. And you’ve managed to do it all while getting married and starting a family. Without some source of income for the blog, I suspect it would have gone the opposite direction. I’m so pleased and grateful to have gotten to cook along with you all this time. I hope you’ll feel confident doing whatever necessary to keep your content growing, your blog viable, and the good food coming.

    1. Hey Annie! So nice to hear from longtime readers. You were there before I knew what color balancing is for photos. Haha. Thanks for sticking around! ;)

  11. I have a little different perspective on sponsored posts. I really don’t care at all. As long as it’s something where I could chose to use the sponsored product, but also just as easily chose another product for the same recipie, it doesn’t bother me one bit. To me it’s more important that bloggers like you, that I trust enough to try their recipes, are still able to continue. There are a million recipes out there, but I come here because I share your philosophy about food and I trust you. If I have to put up with ads or whatever, so be it.

  12. It’s funny – I never really noticed your sponsored posts until you worked with the insurance company that I work for. Your post/recipe showed up on my company’s intRAnet page, and I was so confused! Ha – so, you do a great job of integrating your paid-for posts with your regular posts, and as others have said, you’re upfront about saying which posts are sponsored. I don’t think that’s shill-y. This post is a good up front way to say, “hey, we both know I have bills, and this is how I’m paying them.” which automatically makes you not a shill. If you were sneaking links to sponsors into your pinterest posts, or misleading readers somehow, that would be a different story. Good job, keep it up, hug that baby of yours.

  13. Hi there, Nick–

    I have been reading your blog and Adam’s for years. I kind of thought his post was a bit of a crybaby move. Don’t get me wrong. I adore Adam. I just feel like running a business, whether its blogging or law is like playing ball on running water. You have to constantly adapt to change, or you will fail. If he doesn’t want to write sponsored posts, that is fine. Calling all bloggers who do a shill is a cheap shot. You’ve got to make it rain somehow, and there are more legit ways to do it than just ads. Ads are annoying. If your sponsored posts were annoying or lacked authenticity, your readers would let you know either in comments, or just by quitting reading either that post, or all posts. You give away great prizes (I still enjoy and very much appreciate the coffee grinder and Bodum french press that I won from your site). There is room out there for all different stripes. If you find time to have a paying job and a paying blog, more power to you. My blog (which pays zero cents) sits very neglected, owed to my paying job taking most of my time and energy. I guess, though I think Adam is right up there with the best of the best he has more reasons to change career directions than ads not being lucrative. He has another project to pursue, so the blog isn’t going to be his work. That’s okay. He has big readership, so he can make a splash with predicting a tidal change in food blogging. I’ll give him credit for that, but I don’t think food blogging as we know it is over its just changing and evolving like everything else does in the world.

  14. I really didn’t think he said people doing sponsored content are shills. He did say readers often think of you that way. When he was doing sponsored posts for a mayo brand, they felt contrived and inorganic, very different from his usual posts. His readers responded with pure vitriol. It was toxic to witness.
    I think he just executed his sponsored posts poorly. Why didn’t he find a gourmet cheese company or local meat curers, etc? Something more Adam!

    1. Yea… I did see that his readers responded in a particularly bad manner. I actually thought he and I shared a fairly common readership but that clearly isn’t the case I guess!

  15. As a relatively new and aspiring food blogger I totally get you on this. I can imagine how the landscape has changed since you started and how it affects the way you blog. Even though you have a base now, I assume it’s still very competitive with all the quality food blogs out there. I feel I provide a lot of wonderful recipes and valuable content to my readers, but that’s not enough nowadays. You need to be aggressive on social media and promoting yourself, as well as find creative ways to get noticed. As far as making money off a blog, I know it’s possible but takes so much work to get there. I’ve put countless hours into my blog over the last year and have seen extremely minimal return. It takes a lot of faith and effort to start something like this. I plan on equally focusing on getting my name out there while doing context creation, so hope that will change soon. As far as ads and sponsors, I think readers are used to those and don’t mind. If they are getting all this free context from a blog, then an ad on the sidebar shouldn’t be too intrusive. Sponsorships could be done in a tasteful way. As long as it’s just a short line that mentions it within the post, then it shouldn’t affect the overall experience of the reader.

    1. Hey Matt! Thanks for the comment. Your site is growing awesomely I think. I’ve been diving into it a bit more over the last few weeks. Cheers!

  16. I value the time/effort that is involved with maintaining a consistent and readable blog.
    of course you should
    make a return that’s the American way.
    Subsciptions and pay walls are models for those who seek to restrict and create a nitch but that seems to take the ‘fun’ out of the effort and makes it a ‘job’ instead
    Personally I much prefer an open internet and don’t object to the sponsored or paid endorsements as way to have the best of both worlds. Would much rather have the way you are currently managing than an alternstive

  17. Nick, I think the way you monetize this blog is terrific, and ethical. You’re aboveboard about everything you do, you sell your cookbooks and classes, and you have sponsored posts. I just don’t see a darn thing wrong with it.

    As long as you’re transparent, I just don’t see anything wrong with it. As I discussed this week on my own blog, the rising problem is link schemes and people who are CONCEALING paid relationships: http://www.makealivingwriting.com/watch-out-for-this-income-killing-online-writing-scam/

  18. I have never felt that any of your sponsored posts felt sponsored. Maybe others don’t want to put in the extra effort to make things feel like they belong. Thank you for no auto play ads. They suck. I love your site and your cookbook has gotten my husband to try some new things which is a blessing! Keep up the great work!

  19. There are two kinds of sponsored posts that really bug me..one is that the recipe HINGES on the featured product (like honey garlic chicken where the main ingredient is Company X’s Honey Garlic Sauce). Sure, I could probably deconstruct the sauce and make my own with some trial and error. But I follow blogs that use primarily whole foods and real products, so when I can only make something from a cake mix or bottled sauce because they wanted to make money is extremely frustrating.

    The other is when a brand obviously approached 10 bloggers to post recipes on the same day, using the same ingredients. A month or so ago, I woke up to 6 or 7 posts in my reader featuring No Yolk noodles. I don’t necessarily mind that content, but by the third or fourth post, reading about why No Yolk noodles were SO GREAT had gotten really old. It’s just a sign to me that those bloggers all replied to the same email asking them to create almost identical content for a brand.

    I 100% appreciate the need to make money from what you love to do. I started my blog in October with the hopes that maybe, some day, I could monetize, since working with and writing about food is a combination of my passions. At the same time, I’m hesitant to add ads or sponsored content to my site (partially because I still have so few page views!) because I never want someone to feel about me the way I feel about some of those other sites. Such a catch-22. Thoughtful, deliberate partnership with brands is something I can get behind, though, and that’s something I would assume you need a sizable following before you can pursue.

    1. Thanks for the comment Jessica. I hadn’t quite thought about the effect of the second scenario where you have many writers posting on the same thing. Thanks for bringing that to my attention!

  20. Hi Nick, sorry my post caused you so much consternation! I really wasn’t trying to shame anyone; I use “shill” very narrowly to describe anyone who’s forced to promote products they don’t care about or like in order to support themselves. That was the position I found myself in a few months ago when I made the decision to try another career and to end my relationship with my ad company. If you’re able to support yourself as a food blogger without compromising your integrity, that’s terrific and you are not in any way a shill. Thanks for taking the time to write this post and lots of luck to you! Adam

    1. No worries Adam! It was actually a good reminder to me to check in with my readers about this stuff! Thanks for the response!

  21. I started reading your blog at the same time I started reading his — about eight years ago. I still read yours, and don’t read his anymore. So there’s that. :) I think you have the right balance, and wish you both tons of success!

  22. I cook at least one of your recipes once a week in my household! You never disappoint and always make me laugh! Keep on doing what you do :)

  23. Thank you so much for writing this, I’ve actually been very curious about this topic. I started reading your blog in 2010. This is the only blog that I am subscribed to and this is where I got my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe (browned butter chocolate chip cookies) and where I was introduced to the magic that is baked oatmeal (how did I not know about this?). Imma be real honest here- I could not care less about adds placed around someone’s blog. At this point we’re so inundated, as a society, with advertisements- I tend not to even see them. Also, I agree with others that have posted in that sponsored posts don’t bother me if the writer tells me that I’m reading a sponsored post and auto-play audio is an automatic deal breaker. I don’t think that it should come to a surprise to anyone that bloggers who spend their time and effort creating a product that consumers want to read should be compensated for that time and effort. Finally- as with anything, if one doesn’t keep up with the times, they are left behind or are forced to choose a different path. As with other aspects of life, we have to be willing to be flexible, to learn and grow with modern technology and ever-changing environments of advertising. I appreciate that you have and hope that you continue to do so for a very long time.

  24. Hi Nick,
    I read two food blogs: yours and SmittenKitchen. I don’t make recipes from either one very often anymore — and I gave up the one I used to do myself — because I now live alone. I read them because the photography and writing are good, and I’m a writer. I should add that Deb Perlman’s recipes are usually too caloric, but like yours, her pix are terrific!

  25. Hey Nick,
    I appreciate your thoughts on this! And thanks for not using auto-play ads. :) I don’t care if you do sponsored posts as long as you are up front about who is sponsoring them – and you actually like what you are promoting! It would suck (for everyone, I would think) if you wrote a post about a sucky product that you hated but got paid big bucks for promoting.

    Keep up the good work! I made your meat loaf on Monday night and we are still enjoying the leftovers!
    Jess

  26. I think that sponsored ads are perfectly fine, as long as a thought is put into the choice of sponser. Let’s face reality, every professional and amateur would like a good sponsor, from golf, racing, blogging, or even a charity, a sponsor can be a great benefit. Firstly, of course you have to be good enough for someone to want to sponsor you. I say if you earned that, good for you.

  27. I am an average person who enjoys blogs and by that I mean I do not have one of my own and never leave comments. I read purely for entertainment and informational purposes. I stumbled across your blog a few months ago while searching for a recipe. To date I have made two of your recipes and loved them both. In fact, I have several of your recipes sitting in my freezer. I loved your series on freezer meals, by the way. If ads and sponsored posts make this blog possible for me to read then I appreciate that you are compensated for it. I am a sales manager and spend all day selling products and encouraging my team to do the same. Your ad and sponsored posts are exactly the same thing. Your reader has a choice to purchase that product or not and some of us appreciate the suggestions.
    I wish you continued success with your blog and I continue to look forward to your subscription emails in my inbox.
    Kristen

  28. Well….. I’ve been reading food blogs for YEARS! I have never had an issue with sponsored posts. In fact, I always feel happy for bloggers who are able to make money from their blog. I recently started my own food blog, and am realizing that it really is a BUSINESS. Just like any business, balancing customer relationships with sales marketing is very give and take. As long as you are giving your customer (reader) something useful, like an awesome and unique recipe, than I don’t see any issue with being transparent about getting paid for it! Being choosy, and only endorsing products you love will show through. I have only done one sponsored post, and hope to someday get to choose 1 out of 40!

  29. I don’t think you are a shill, and I don’t think that the guy with the original post would say you are a shill either. I don’t know the situation he is/was in (I’m not a reader of his blog–I only read through the one post), but I would hazard a guess that he meant people who advertise for things that are NOT related to the content of the blog. For example, if you suddenly started doing sponsored posts for laundry detergent and furniture or something, THAT would make you a shill. The occasional sponsored post that is relevant to your blog isn’t a big deal–UNLESS you start doing those stupid autoplay ads, loads of “link roundups”, or that annoying popup that says “please subscribe to my blog because I’m incredibly desperate!” Those things will cause an immediate removal from my reader, because I can’t stand them. And I’d probably quit if you started regularly advertising for something that is irrelevant to the blog. Otherwise, just keep doing what you are doing–it seems to be working for you. :-)

  30. I have no problem with sponsored posts, in fact I feel it is the best kind of marketing for the platform. I trust that my favorite bloggers would only sponsor products they truly liked and it has influenced my interest in trying these products if I like the post. I don’t mind ads, everyone has to do it, but my biggest complaint is sites that reduce the viewing space in the browser window with fixed horizontal ads that don’t scroll with the page. Some sites cut the viewing space by half and at that point I just quit reading and move on. I’m not really in a position financially to donate to support my reading habits though, so I don’t think I have any right to complain about how they fund the site!

    1. Good point Ellen! I try to max out viewing space for content on Macheesmo. It’s a tricky game for sure. Ad-to-cotent ratio though is one of my personal things I look at when I’m deciding whether to regularly read a site or not.

  31. I’ve seen blogs where nearly every ingredient has a brand name. That’s a shill. Like everyone else, I have no problem with how you do it. Or many other blogs for that matter, I think disclosure is key. I’ve been enjoying your blog for ages, keep up the good work!

    1. I’ve seen that too Tony and it’s beyond excessive. In general those aren’t sponsorships. I think it’ s actually software that pulls brand names for ingredients listed in recipes and then links to those brands. So basically text-link ads. I don’t like them b/c they make the recipe almost impossible to read.

  32. Hi Nick! Great post. As a newbie blogger, I eat this kind of thing right up. I read Adam’s post and I didn’t interpret with quite the same negative angle that you did. I didn’t think that he was calling anyone who does sponsored posts a shill. I thought he was saying that to make enough money to feel worth it to him (note: worth it to him), you’d need to do a lot more ads and sponsored posts than he’s comfortable with. I didn’t take that as slight on other bloggers at all. I guess I interpreted it as, he’s tired of doing sponsored posts and dealing with ad companies. It seemed to me like he’s just tired of playing that game. But overall, as a reader, I don’t mind ads or sponsored posts. I think sponsored posts can be done with style, tact, and the right amount of genuine enthusiasm. Basically, I just want to read something funny or useful and see beautiful pictures. Ads don’t bother me much – even the ones that pop up. I just consider them a natural part of using the internet. If the pop up ones annoy me, it’s only for a fraction of a second. Then I close them, and forget all about them. Thank you for this post. I really enjoyed it and I’m glad I stumbled across your site!

  33. I have zero problem with sponsored posts. But what does annoy me sometimes is when the post is sponsored and I’m forced to click through to the sponsors website. Maybe that’s a requirement from the sponsor, but like many others have said, I read blogs not only because of the recipes, but for the writing and photographs. So it’s somewhat annoying when I’m forced to go to a different site to read a recipe.

    1. That’s interesting. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that… but yea… I wouldn’t use something like that unless it was for a coupon or something. Not for the recipe itself.

  34. Nick, you actually respond to people’s comments and engage in discussion with them. That level of attention and care for your audience alone gives you, in my mind, carte blanche to do whatever danged thing you want.

    (the fact that your recipes are frequently delicious is icing on the cake).

    Cheers!

  35. I have no issue with sponsored ads because I learn about products I might not know existed otherwise. I hate those auto play ads.

  36. Sponsored post is the “no brainer” choice for me. I use some of Bob’s Red Mill products so feed back on that is much appreciated. I feel like adds to a website are like billboards to a city…..they make it look trashy. Plus, I loved your Tabasco sponsored post and have made the escarole toss more than a few times. Keep doing what works for you. I love this site!

  37. First, nobody works for free. If you are being used by a company to spread their products and you don’t share that info, you are a shill. I f you share that info followed by this is my opinion but this company provided the recipe and ingredients you are not a shill. No matter what you choose, your adoring audience will be cheering you on. You do the work and we reap the benefits. Nuf said.

  38. I think you may have taken his post a little too personally or read too much into it. That post was about HIS feelings and thoughts about making money blogging. I don’t think he meant it as an insult nor do I think it was an attack on bloggers who feel the need to do sponsored posts. I enjoy Adams site greatly, love his writing, and skip over sponsored posts, just as I do here (I’ve always disliked them and they make me feel as if the blogger is wanting me to buy their choice of product). Those kind of posts have always irritated me, but that’s just how I feel – it’s not meant to be a reflection on anyone else’s feeling about those types of posts. This is how he feels and/or felt and isn’t meant to be a personal reflection on any one blogger in particular. We are all different.

  39. Very informative article! I was referred to your article by a fellow blogger in response to needing some advice on food blogging. I am a novice food blogger and trying to blog well enough to attract quality readers. I appreciate your suggestions and useful links offering excellent advice for blogging. I will be keeping your advice in mind as I blog.for details please
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  40. You sound like a whiny bitch. I read his post. You are way off base. Sounds like you need a dose of man the fuck up

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