The State of Food Blogging in 2013

Foodista | Results of the 2013 State of Food Blogging Survey


The 2013 International Food Blogger Conference (IFBC) is slated for this September in one of my favorite cities, Seattle. In anticipation of the conference, and Zephyr Adventures, the groups that organize IFBC, conducted a survey in February/March 2013 on the state of the art, their second annual installation of the survey.

IFBC is one of 18 food blogger conferences initiated in North America since 2009 (there are others abroad). This will be my second IFBC conference, and I am hoping to be in a better position than last time to take in the vast quantities of information to be fed at this food blogger’s trough. Last time I was newer to all this, and overwhelmed, though I certainly came home better equipped to take steps toward serious blogging. (Okay, I’m still only half serious, but I’m headed in a direction.)

Nearly 700 (679) food bloggers completed the online survey, sharing their food blogging background, size of following, motivation, and indicators of success. Of particular interest to me was participant background: A bit better than one in four food bloggers (27%) said they had a professional writing background and 22% a professional food background. Some had a background in food service (15%), editing (15%), or beverage (4%), but as one could select multiple categories, presumably those with an editing background are largely subsumed in the writing category, and those in food service and beverage in the food category. (The survey didn’t ask about professional photography background, but it’s a safe bet that many have this expertise, as captivating images are becoming a make-it-or-break-it criterion for successful blogging.)

This leaves an awful lot of food bloggers with no professional background related to their blogging. Another quarter (26%) had a marketing background, not surprising as blogging can readily be seen as a marketing activity. But fully 42% said they had no background in any of these areas. Hence, despite the substantial contingent of marketing-savvy bloggers, it is little surprise that the vast majority say they blog not to make money (18%), nor to promote their business (18%) or another business or organization (7%), but because “food is my passion” (87%).

Of those sampled, bloggers who attend food blogging conferences appear to benefit, or perhaps they already were well engaged:

  • Their websites are seen by 10 times more unique visitors per month
  • 93% are more likely to be making money from their blog
  • 172% are more likely to have been blogging for more than four years
  • They are engaged with 704% more fans on Pinterest, 668% more on Google +, 281% more on Facebook, and 155% more people on Twitter.

If this life of (largely) uncompensated passion intrigues you, the conference has already sold out its 320 slots. However, you may sign up to be wait listed in case spaces become available.

 Seems there would be a good chance of it. Passionate people can be impulsive.

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10 thoughts on “The State of Food Blogging in 2013

  1. September 29, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    Hi, Jennie! It was so nice to meet you in Seattle. Your blog is great and I’m looking forward to exploring it more!

    1. September 29, 2013 at 9:22 pm

      Great meeting you too, Susan! And likewise fun to explore your blog and Seattle posts. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. July 11, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    Interesting stats on blogging. I would love to go to this conference but no such luck this year.

    1. July 11, 2013 at 9:18 pm

      Sorry you can’t make it, Kim — I hope you’ll make a future one. The last one I went to was hugely helpful though I really didn’t know enough at that point to use the information well. I’m really looking forward to this year!

  3. July 9, 2013 at 8:44 am

    Great post! I’m one of the bloggers going to IFBC with no formal food background per se, but training in forestry science/restoration and ethnobotany, which at least makes for interesting stories. I have been pondering culinary school, but grad school is my current expensive distraction.

    I totally second the impulse factor, though, and so need to talk ideas with you in September!

    1. July 11, 2013 at 9:21 pm

      Hi Jessica. Ethnobotany sounds fascinating! I’m sure you will find links between your life in forestry and food. I know I have with social welfare and food justice. Probably a good idea to take one degree at a time. Good luck and I hope to see you in September!

  4. June 13, 2013 at 10:48 am

    Interesting read, Jennie. This matches up with my observations, although I’ve not posted any polling questions. I still haven’t gone to any of these blogging conventions, but will probably start to look more seriously at it all next year. I’ve heard great things about so many of them now. Great to see you last night at the Photo SIG! Subscribed to your blog now!!

    1. June 13, 2013 at 6:52 pm

      Thanks, Wimpy Vegetarian. The blogger conferences can be overwhelming (like learning photography!) but full of great information and good community.

  5. May 30, 2013 at 10:04 am

    Thanks for the heads-up, Jennie! I’ve been thinking I should attend a bloggers conference, and so just added myself to the wait list. I anticipate being slightly overwhelmed by it all, but look forward to at least one familiar face in the crowd (should I be able to come). 🙂

    1. May 30, 2013 at 10:16 am

      I hope you get in — let me know! It was a blast last time. And it’s always fun to have friends there. Plus Seattle is such a great city. Good luck!

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