Let’s be honest, you and I, because if we do not have honesty, what do we have? I’m not sure about this whole Project Food Blog thing.
First, let me explain what Project Food Blog is.
Project Food Blog is a set of challenges that will test the blogging mettle of the 1,000+ contestants. Each challenge will whittle down the contestant pool until one blogger reigns victorious! This lucky blogger will get a cash prize of $10,000 and all sorts of yummy exposure on FoodBuzz. Sounds great, right?
Yes it does! I love the idea of a contest to celebrate food bloggers. Honestly, as a group we seem to get more scorn than love (Yes, Christopher Kimball I’m looking at you). The challenges themselves are interesting to be sure, and they will stretch the contestants outside of their blogging comfort zones. That all sounds great … until you really think about it.
Our blogs are supposed to be our voice and our identity. I can’t tell you how many times I have been told that the blog you write should be what you would read, and you should write a blog you love. Passion tells, and if you create content with passion people will listen. This is where you may wonder what, pray tell, is my passion?
I am a recipe developer, and my blog is devoted to the recipes I create.
Cooking and baking – along with belly dancing, playing with my hound dogs, and sleeping late with my husband on the weekends – are what I love most. There is a lot of comfort in my recipe development routine. From testing, tasting, tweaking, and final product I enjoy taking an idea from my imagination to your plate. I take pride in what I create and I hope that shows.
So, I guess I feel a little disingenuous blogging about why I ‘have what it takes to be the next food blog star‘, or posting about challenges that are not my true passion. I never want you, dear friends, to feel I have sold out. Yes, I would love to win this contest because I do feel I am good at what I love to do. Otherwise, why do it?
The cons –
From my perspective the ability to succeed in a bunch of arbitrarily concocted challenges, created by people who may or may not share my vision or passion, doesn’t exactly equal blogging ‘greatness’. If you take a restaurant review blogger and ask her to write a post about entertaining, including menu development and decorating, that does not seem like a challenge that fits into her blog vision. Yes, she may be able to do it well, but how does that prove she is best in her chosen field?
How legitimate is a victory that does not judge the contestants based on the merit of their real vision? Who is to say that these challenges really define a blog star?
The pros –
As I said before, I am just not sure about this contest, but does that mean I can’t learn something from it?
I do not claim to be an expert on blogging, and I know I have a lot of room for improvement. Honestly, I have never blogged with an eye towards how many readers I have or how popular I am. I am a take me or leave me kind of gal. With me you will always know where I stand, what I think, and what I love.
There are things I can learn about myself from this contest. From a personal growth perspective I think the contest will be engaging, fun, and provide me with a personal challenge. I am not sure how it will impact my blog content. Perhaps the video challenge, should I get that far, will inspire me to do a few more videos on actual cooking and baking technique. Maybe the dinner party challenge will inspire a new series on planning a party, or holiday menu planning and timing. Who can say?
The best thing about my blog is no one can tell me how to write it, what to post, or what my voice is. If this contest inspires me to try new things that can’t be all bad as long as I really believe in it.
My conclusion –
Readers are savvy and can smell fake a mile away.
With that said, I will be participating in Project Food Blog (as long as I am a contestant – see my profile here). I plan to post my contest entries on the weekends so if you have an interest in what contest shenanigans I am up to you check them out. My promise to you is that every contest entry will come from an honest place, I will not sacrifice my integrity, and it will be the best I am capable of. I owe you that much.
I only do what I love, and I hope you love it too, and I will always be me. I don’t plan to change. Take it, or leave it.