I know you read at least read one blog. You would be surprised though how many people want to be successful bloggers without bothering to read what it is they are meant to be writing.
As you might have guessed from the title, this brings to mind cooking. How can you create an excellent dish without being a lover of food? Top chefs live for food. They love flavors, aromas, the look of the finished plate, and they also get a kick out of seeing people enjoy it.
Can you say the same about your blogging? Do you love blogs? Do you love to blog?
When they are cooking all the time they are taking tastes. I am sure you are aware that when you go to a decent restaurant someone will have taken many tastes of the food before you get to it. People have told me that revolts them but if you think about it, how else would they know they have prepared it correctly? While I am sure someone will find me a story of a chef born without taste buds I have to believe a chef who tastes their food does a better job.
When was the last time you re-read your own posts? After time has gone by you can be more objective about your own writing. How good is it really? What could you improve? Was it really the best it could be? One of the reasons chefs get a reputation as being ogres is they have exacting standards, that mixed with the high pressure environment of a Michelin starred kitchen means there is a lot of shouting. I don’t expect you to shout at your fellow bloggers but how critical are you of what you produce?
Like a chef also you need to have an eye for mixing the best ingredients and be willing to experiment. If all you ever turn out is the same old stuff then people will get bored. Lately I have seen some bloggers hit on a formula that has given them good results and they have stuck to their formula. That’s great, but if every post looks the same, reads the same, or if all they are creating is pretty lists time after time, engagement will drop even while bookmarks stay high.
Do you want to create a reference or a community? Personally I would prefer fewer links and lower traffic in return for readers who actually want to communicate with me. That means providing surprises, delights and treats, along with the familiar.
One reason I could never work in a restaurant is the amount of criticism and abuse people in the food industry have to accept. I guess though with most endeavors we have to be prepared to take abuse in search of improvement. I get my own fair share of “you suck” emails right here 🙂 Chefs are constantly criticized, by the public and by reviews, but they are prepared for it and grow a thick skin. As bloggers we open ourselves up to criticism too. If we want the plaudits we have to accept sometimes there will be rotten tomatos too. How well do you deal with criticism?
I expect there are many other similarities but I didn’t want to force this into being yet another top ten list 🙂 Do you think good bloggers are like chefs? Am I just mad? Do you still read blogs or is this the only blog you read? Please share in the comments – talk to me 🙂