The perks of being a food-blogger
If you know me, you know I'm more than a little obsessed with food. My podcast and blog, Snacks and Hacks, have become a passion project that Eden and I have a healthy obsession with. In the last few months, we've been stepping our game up (working with a production company, planning live podcasts etc). That said, when I had the opportunity to attend the 1st annual "Everything Food" conference in Salt Lake City last weekend I jumped right on it.
Aside from the jaw-dropping beauty of the city itself (Jesus has DEFINITELY settled there in his retirement) SLC happens to be the mecca for a lot of food bloggers. As I started talking to people between bites of free samples, I realized that many of the people I was meeting (mostly women) were waaaaay at the top of the food blogger food chain. I had accidentally stumbled upon my newest heroines, so I quickly put them all in my kung-fu grip of food-networking ("do you have a card?" "are you on instagram?")
I met a bunch of these women for dinner after the conference wrapped up and I decided NOT to tell them about my diabetes while we were eating. I am always wrestling with whether or not to share this piece of information, and I generally ask myself two questions:
1. Will it help? (clarify, educate, etc)
2. Will it hurt? (distract, stigma-fy)
In this case, while I liked these women and wanted to be really open with them, there is always a block that forms in my throat when I'm talking about, writing about or (most importantly) EATING food. While sometimes it can be a great topic of conversation when I pull out my pump to give myself insulin during a meal, other times I find that there's this veil of judgement over the whole idea of me eating anything that isn't a brussels sprout. This stems mostly from the fact that many people don't know that I can eat foods with sugar in them as long as I dose correctly (this misconception is always thanks to the confusion of type one (insulin replacement) with type two (insulin resistance) diabetes).
So, I answered the question accordingly: sharing the fact that I have diabetes will distract these people, and might cloud the idea that I could offer some food expertise to the world despite my "condition." I only wanted to talk about food, blogging, and how to get everything to the next level without that "food handicap" lingering over the conversation. Not ideal, but sometimes necessary.
Now, here's what I learned:
Mormons can be pretty damn hilarious.
I'm pretty sure all of these women were Mormon. Some I can confirm, others not. But ALL of them had a whole bunch of kids and they had never had a sip of alcohol. They were all around my age. I must admit, in my Hollywood cocoon I had formerly understood Mormonism as a lateral move from the Amish. Maybe that means the Amish are cooler than I thought, too. And, while some of these women did live on farms outside of SLC, they were surprisingly hip and had refreshingly dry senses of humor. Seriously, at least three of them need an agent (I'm talking to you, Hey Grill Hey).
- Blogging can bring in a lot of $$$.
Blogging is something you can do from home, which is why these women are able to do it while also raising a slew of children. In fact, it seems to be one of the best things you can do (money-wise) if you also want to be able to be at home with said children. The kicker: you better know what you're doing, and do it right. Which brings me to...
- Consistency and advertising are the key ingredients.
You better commit. This is my problem, I've learned. I'm spread too thin and never post anything at the same time every week (or multiple times per week). Time will tell if I can actually change this habit...;/
And then there's ads. Ad clicks make you money, but first you need people reading. And they'll only read if they can depend on you to post. Ugh, I hate these rules.
- People will scratch your back if you scratch theirs.
After meeting all these bloggers I realized something was missing from our conversations: cattiness. I've never been part of a world where people are more genuinely happy to help (and feed) each other, and where working together is always mutually beneficial (ie, if I featured someone on my blog, it would drive people to their blog and diversify my own). Maybe the willingness to help stems from the fact that they/we are always working on a full belly. Ideally.
Still type one,