There was a point when I wondered if, since Sam turned vegetarian, the onslaught of vegetarian and vegan recipes in my website would make long-time readers leave and never come back. After all, those who have been following my food writing for years know how carnivorous our lifestyle has been. The wondering was momentary though. The truth is, I will not change the focus of the food blog to fit what readers prefer, or what I think most would prefer. This is, after all, merely a means of sharing what my family actually and truly eats — what we like, what we don’t like, what changes we make out of choice or necessity.
In short, the website has always been about us, not you. If some of you like what you see and read, I’m happy enough that those whose minds operate on the same bandwidth find the blog and return to it regularly or occasionally. If some others don’t like what they see and read, that’s fine by me too. The bottom line: I will not entice readers by pandering to trends nor buy readers’ loyalty by resorting to giveaways.
You may know, or you may have heard, how bloggers are often contacted by businesses offering to provide this or that product to give away to readers. There’s no cost to the blogger, just a post about the product and the mechanics of the giveaway. I always say no. I’ve only given away two things in my almost 10 years of blogging — the first, a cookbook I wrote (discontinued because it was too expensive for the average reader) and a cookbook that I inadvertently ordered two copies of from Amazon so I raffled off the extra. Both products, I could vouch for the quality.
But all those products I’ve never seen nor tried? I could quadruple the traffic of the blog by giving away something to readers for free every week. Or even more often than that. I could even spend my own money to buy stuff and give them away, and then strut around with the traffic statistics bloated by the giveaways. But that’s not me. I wouldn’t insult your intelligence by resorting to such gimmickry. If you’re the kind of person who only visits websites that offer freebies, and only because of those freebies, then you are not the kind of reader that I’d want to interact with. Save bandwidth; go elsewhere.
I know. A blog, ninety-nine times out of a hundred, is the embodiment of the carefully-crafted image of its owner. An uber-polite and friendly blogger answering the most inane (and sometimes downright insulting) questions. I never bothered to pretend. When have I ever?
So, for those readers who e-mailed me asking if there’s going to be a Valentine’s Day giveaway just like in 90% of the blogs out there: there’s my answer to your question. Sorry that it couldn’t be a simple yes or no.