The 2013 International Food Blogger Conference (IFBC) is slated for this September in one of my favorite cities, Seattle. In anticipation of the conference, Foodista.com 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.