Blog Flog

w-shooting-omelet

Remember this photo of W taking a picture (with an old camera that didn’t actually work) of his omelet? Sigh. It was my blog header of my blog for a long time – although the omelet was cut off and a lot of people couldn’t tell what the black box was. Anyway. I needed a photo here because you gotta have a photo, right? And it relates to taking pictures and writing recipes and the stuff I do around here.

Sometimes (oftentimes), people pay me to write stuff. Or to photograph stuff, come up with recipes, or make food look pretty so that other people can take pictures of it. This is a good thing, because I’m a professional food writer and the goal of any professional anything is to make a living doing that thing. Sometimes I get paid by magazine or newspaper editors (who get paid by advertisers) and sometimes I get paid cookbook royalties based on book sales and sometimes marketing boards or brands come directly to me to do things.

The professional part still sounds funny, even though it’s now my job – as many of you know, this is what I wanted to be even as a kid, when I wanted to be Elizabeth Baird. (I still do.) This was back when there were very few food writers, and many of them were ladies with tall hair who answered cooking questions in newspaper columns. Things have changed, obviously – the internet now exists, the playing field has flooded and food editor gigs at major magazines are rare, and still mostly take place in Toronto. And while I do (!!) have food writer/editor positions (at Parents Canada, and Western Living!) and columns, I write lots of things for different people, and get paid (or not) in different ways – but I love being here the most. And so sometimes – less often than not – when people ask me to use a product in a post and offer to pay me for it, I agree. A new recipe is better than an ad, right? (As a kid I used to cut out the Canadian Living ads that had recipes in them and put them in my scrapbook. I was a recipe nerd even then.) My favourite are the locally grown and raised ingredients – beef, pulses, cheese and the like, which I use on the regular anyway. You want me to make something with lentils? Oh, OKAY. I can do that.

I – along with a lot of people – have been struggling to find a good way to identify such posts. (See making a living as a food writer – a few thoughts I apparently had last spring.) A lot of people don’t like it when you announce a partnership at the bottom, and when you work it into the copy – “I teamed up with so and so” – it can sound forced and awkward, and I’m not sure everyone really understands what that means, and I know (I do it too) not everyone always reads the whole post anyway. So I’m going to try identifying them at the top with a bold announcement you can’t miss: Blog Flog! Because it’s fun, and that’s all this is meant to be.

Think of it as if you were watching Seinfeld on TV (I get to be Elaine) – remember when you had to wait for it, and it anchored your Thursday nights? – and a commercial comes on. Only it’s not an annoying commercial, it’s something that’s hopefully useful, that I wrote, only someone else paid me to do it. (Just like they do when I write for newspapers and magazines.) Which helps cover my (not insignificant) hosting and web guy fees, which helps me share things here.

Anyway, just wanted to explain the Blog Flog thing you’ll start to see sometimes, and ask what you think of it, because it’s really all about you guys. Truly. Thank you! Carry on.

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22 comments on “Blog Flog

  1. Esme
    October 1, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    All I want is for you never to stop blogging because I enjoy your site so very much, and it’s my go-to for recipes, tips and nostalgia. I think the “blog flog” idea is great ; if anyone doesn’t like reading something you were paid for (!) they can leave right away with their virtue intact. The rest of us are happy you get paid for something you give so generously for free the rest of the time. Also, I personally would have no problem donating to your blog or paying a user fee because I know it’s a lot of work to create content and maintain a website, and I think you should be compensated financially for that. Thanks for years of humor, learning, community and unparalleled recipes and photos.

  2. Erica B.
    October 1, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    Thank you for keeping it up all these years. I have become a better cook, met great people thanks to dinnerwithjulie. If monetizing the blog keeps the lights on, so be it. : )

  3. Julie
    October 1, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    You guys! Thanks. Sniff.

  4. stacey snacks
    October 1, 2016 at 5:07 pm

    Julie, I have been reading and enjoying your blog for years……

    I was just asked by a local supermarket to do a post (and I am getting paid decent money for it)……to create a recipe and link them to the post. I have to use their words at the end “so and so supplied me with the ingredients for this recipe but my opinions are my own….blah blah blah”.
    I feel so odd about it, but like you said, who reads the post to the end anyway!!!!

    Stacey

  5. Lee Anne
    October 1, 2016 at 5:55 pm

    I LOVE your blog. Honestly, I’ve never made anything you’ve posted that didn’t turn out. I’m thinking I may try your pear gingerbread for thanksgiving next week. Whenever you reminisce about studying your Canadian Living magazines, it takes me right back to bring a kid. I have the fondest memories about reading my mom’s. The Christmas editions were my favourite. I still haven’t made it to Christmas In November. Until I do, I’ll have to keep living vicariously thru you. Keep doing what you’re doing and I’ll keep posting your yummy recipes it my Pinterest boards!

    • Julie
      October 2, 2016 at 1:55 pm

      Aw, thanks Lee Anne! And I hope you make it to Christmas in November someday – it really is a fantastic event! (I’m not going to be there this year, so no living vicariously through me this time.. 🙁 )

  6. Mardi (eat. live. travel. write.)
    October 1, 2016 at 6:16 pm

    Amen to this. Thank you. I love the way you write and if sponsored work helps you pay the bills and it’s stuff you’re going to use anyway, go for it! xo

    • Julie
      October 2, 2016 at 1:54 pm

      Thank you! 🙂

  7. Della
    October 1, 2016 at 6:23 pm

    Flog away!
    I have a very small number of favourite blogs that I read faithfully. Obviously, yours is one. Because I love the content and the writing. If it’s a sponsored post, I’m okay with that. Honestly, I’m likely to try the product so, as I said, flog away.

    • Julie
      October 2, 2016 at 1:54 pm

      Thanks Della!

  8. Jean Saunders
    October 2, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    Why shouldn’t you be paid for the work you do? When I buy a magazine I know there will be ads – what I paid for the mag couldn’t possibly pay everyone for their work. The world is changing( has changed?) and how we are compensated has changed. I think as a reader I benefit – nobody gets complacent and you can be paid as a professional – as you should.

    • Julie
      October 2, 2016 at 1:54 pm

      Thank you Jean! 🙂

  9. Crystal Reynolds
    October 2, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    We all need to ‘make a living’ and as someone in the ‘industry’ this is a wonderful way to partner with paying clients to promote their products in a very organic and natural way. Kudos – I look forward to reading the Blog Flog’s!

  10. Evelyn
    October 2, 2016 at 2:19 pm

    Julie- I love reading your blog, and I share your recipes with everyone. Having said that, YES, please be clear about “sponsorship” at the beginning of the article. I am starting to get frustrated with local newspaper Travel articles that RAVE about the hotel, pool, etc., only to read the disclaimer at the bottom of the page.
    (Trip paid by.. .) IMHO being paid to develop a recipe using a food item is not the same as traveling around Alberta on a subsidized Road Trip. Your blog is my cookbook. And earning some money makes sense. Just let me know when the commercial begins.

  11. M
    October 2, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    I’m a senior medical resident… when I come home post-call after 26 hours awake and barely eating I am both wired & tired and just so miserable. I read your blog and or Twitter and it takes me about 10 minutes to feel warm and at home. I save your posts for these times. Therapeutic! I couldn’t care less how you are remunerated, as long as the lights stay on. I can’t believe such things are a discussion. Everyone deserves to be paid for what they do. Any long-time reader trusts you enough to know you will only accept sponsors and offers that resonate.

    • Julie
      October 3, 2016 at 11:25 pm

      Wow, thank you. All your comments are making me feel warm and at home!

  12. Alicen
    October 3, 2016 at 5:22 am

    I have to agree with commenter “M.” To quote “Any long-time reader trusts you enough to know you will only accept sponsors and offers that resonate.” I whole-heartedly agree! I have no problem reading anything you write Julie, and any sponsored posts seem to be carefully curated to match up with the products/ingredients you would normally use anyway. It might be different if you suddenly start touting the virtues of spray cheese or something like that but from what I see, the sponsored posts don’t change the tone and feel of the blog.
    I love your space and have been a reader since your first year. Please don’t stop doing what you do, and please by all means, get paid for it! 🙂

    • Julie
      October 3, 2016 at 11:24 pm

      Thank you Alicen!!

  13. Sue D
    October 3, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    Hah – this reminds of the scene in Downton Abbey where Maggie Smith’s character makes a moue of distaste when it emerges that one of the characters works for a living.

    New times (lo these past hundred years!) – and fortunately most people consider it not only acceptable but desirable for a person to keep themselves afloat by working.

    In any case – thanks for the transparency, but mostly thank-you for building up this companionable way of feeding ourselves and our families!

    • Julie
      October 3, 2016 at 11:22 pm

      Thanks Sue. You’re the best. Truly.

  14. Nancy
    October 3, 2016 at 3:57 pm

    You inspire me weekly to cook and experiment in the kitchen and to try and commit some of it to paper for my own kids so they can make the food they love for those they love when I’m no longer here (actually WHEN I’m here too 😀 ). I honestly do not think I have ever tried a single thing you have posted that didn’t turn out well and many, many of your recipes are being shared and enjoyed at our table every night. You were the first blog I ever read and still my favorite. Flog till the cows come home Julie! I’m in!

    • Julie
      October 3, 2016 at 11:21 pm

      Aw, thanks so much Nancy!!

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