Hey! Welcome to Well and Full. I’m Sarah, and I’ve been blogging here for about 6 years. From when I started in 2015, I’ve noticed a considerable increase in complaints online that food bloggers write too much in their posts. That they have a huge essay before the recipe, which nobody wants to read. When I first started, I really connected with people, and them with me, through heartfelt blog posts. Now, it seems as though there’s this culture of immediacy, where it’s unbearable to wait mere seconds before getting what you want online. I’m not here to dispute that. In fact, I agree with you.
I’m not going to sit here on my high horse and pretend like I don’t always press “Skip Ad” when I’m watching a Youtube video. I don’t want to watch the ad, I want to watch my video! I hate websites that are so clogged with ads that you can’t even scroll down without it crashing. And I’ll be the first to admit that I fast-forward drawn-out TikToks when I want to see an end result. So I get it. I participate in immediacy culture too. But here’s my question back to you – Where’s the consistency?
Do you sometimes mindlessly scroll on Instagram? Have you found yourself scrolling through TikTok for hours? Do you like browsing Pinterest and scrolling through Pins? For most of you, I’m sure one of these applies to you. So – I don’t think the issue with scrolling itself. I’ve never heard anyone come across a great TikTok and complain how long they had to scroll to find it. So why is this standard only applied to food bloggers? For my non-social media people, have you ever complained while reading a news article that had backstory in it? Information that gives context to the story? I’ve never seen anyone complain about that. Again, why are these complaints only reserved for food bloggers?
Let me tell you why I write a few paragraphs before my recipes. The first and least important reason is SEO. If my posts consisted of just photos and a recipe, Google wouldn’t show it on the first few pages of search results. Then you’d be even less likely to find and benefit from my recipes.
But the second reason is the most important. This is my website. I pay for the hosting. I’ve spent hundreds of hours of my life providing free recipes, asking for nothing in return. I’m happy to do this! I chose to do this! However, I am not happy with the idea of stripping myself from my own creation. Why should I not share a beloved family memory with my recipe? Should I divorce my life from recipes that originate from my life and experiences, just because readers might have to scroll two seconds to get to the recipe? To be honest, that’s not a fair expectation.
Here’s the deal. I’m okay with this gripe about food bloggers if the person also has an issue with scrolling for other content (especially content that takes longer to scroll down to, like on TikTok). But if the problem with scrolling is just reserved for food bloggers, well, that’s a different story.
If people don’t want to read the entirety of my blog posts, that’s fine. I get it, and I don’t take it personally! Heck, I’m even guilty of scrolling down other bloggers’ posts to get to the recipe. But I don’t complain about it, because I scroll for literally every type of online content I consume. Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram. And I firmly believe that if someone spends hours creating, testing, and photographing a recipe that is free for anyone to use, they are under no obligation to separate themselves and their stories from that work.
Well, I’m glad we had this talk. I hope reading this has given people more insight into why food bloggers write so much. This post is definitely a bit *~sassier~* than my usual content, but I stand by what I said. Feel free to share your opinion in the comments!
Jayme | holly & floraOctober 9, 2021 at 12:00 pm
I’m thrilled you posted this, Sarah. I agree on so many levels. Why the complaints of having to scroll to obtain a recipe, when we all watch full-on 30-minute or even one-hour segments of a cooking show, that’s centered around the storytelling behind the recipe. It’s weird to me, too. I also stand behind my storytelling, journal-like recipe-writing. I find the intimacy of reading the stories or inspiration behind a recipe. It’s like a great conversation over a meal. Would you ever say to your dinner party host, “I’m just ready to eat this. Get to the point!”? Nope. <3 <3 <3
SarahOctober 9, 2021 at 6:35 pm
I’m with you, Jayme! In the time since I’ve been blogging, I’ve seen a huge surge of “gimme gimme” readership and followership. Like I said in my post, I participate in that culture of immediacy too. But what I don’t get is why people gripe about scrolling for 2 seconds to get to a recipe, but will watch a 45-minute video about a vlogger’s haircut on YouTube. People can do what they want, but it’s a mystery why they complain about one and not the other!
AstaOctober 9, 2021 at 1:15 pm
I’m all new to your blog so I do not know the backstory to this post. But for me, I do not mind food bloggers writing a story. It’s a blog and not a recipe book. I don’t even mind when they write a story in a recipe book. But I do not scroll hours on Instragram, I do not have a Facebook account and I have not once scrolled at TicToc. If news media hadn’t written about it I would never have noticed that Instragram and Facebook didn’t work the other day. Write what you want and if people don’t like it, just let them go.
SarahOctober 9, 2021 at 6:32 pm
With 1.4 billion people on Instagram, 2.9 billion people on Facebook, and 1 billion people on TikTok, I’d definitely say you’re in the minority here ;) People posting disparaging memes about food bloggers on Facebook, for example, obviously have spent enough time on the platform to come across that meme. Content creators come up with elaborate videos on TikTok with the same complaints. Just as they have the right to complain about us food bloggers, I also have the right to give the other side of the story. I’ve never forced anyone to consume my content, and I wouldn’t even if I was able to. If people make the choice to decline my recipes because of my blog posts, I’m sad to see them go, but that’s their choice and I respect it!