Everywhere you looked you could see individuals laughing together, sharing ideas and reviewing one another’s blogs.
In September I attended Tastemakers Conference, a niche conference that limits the audience to just 250 food bloggers. Attendees included food bloggers (obviously), advertising agencies, public relations agencies, brands and other marketing specialists. The event was Tastemakers’s annual three-day gathering held this year in Portland, OR. Sessions were focused on education and community and the Tastemaker team hit a home run!
This was the first blogger conferenceI have attended and it was transformational in my understanding of what makes bloggers so successful. Here are the three things I learned from the 250 food bloggers at Tastemaker 2019:
Food bloggers love creating more than anything
In a variety of breakout sessions, led by the bloggers themselves, I learned that many of them don’t like the work of posting to Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook or Twitter. Instead, their passions often lie in creating recipes, baking, cooking and assembling the final product.
Many bloggers shared how once they reached a certain level of income from their blog, they began outsourcing some tasks. Susie Bulloch of the blog Hey Grill Hey shared how she creates to-do lists and when that list becomes too much to handle, she transfers the things she doesn’t enjoy to an “un-do” list. The un-do list helps her begin to see what she needs to outsource to someone else.
Food bloggers are excited to be part of a community
I wasn’t sure how bloggers engaged with one another before this conference. In today’s business environment, competition is a key driver for many businesses. Fortunately, this is not the case with food bloggers. Everywhere you looked you could see individuals laughing together, sharing ideas and reviewing one another’s blogs.
The collaborative spirit was most clear during the breakout sessions and panel discussions. Many of these conversations were led by bloggers themselves. Michelle Tam of Nom Nom Paleo was the opening keynote speaker and was vulnerable in sharing how she transitioned from her career as a pharmacist to becoming a full time blogger with sponsored campaigns, her own action figure, cookbooks and more. In many other fields, brands aren’t willing to share what has made them successful because they don’t want their competitors in on the secret. This was not the case at Tastemaker 2019.
Food bloggers H-U-S-T-L-E!
One of the afternoon panel discussions titled, “Work Smarter, Hot Harder: How to Effectively Manage & Why You Should Outsource Your Work” highlighted just how much time bloggers are investing in to their business. Rosalynn Daniels, lifestyle personality and content creator, was a featured panelist and shared how she invests nearly 60 hours each week into her business.
Like many of us, bloggers are often balancing business with family and log off before dinner and get back on when the kids are in bed. This often times leads to working from 9 p.m. – 2 a.m. Not a single speaker complained about the hours, instead spoke with passion about the investment of time and how it has helped to grow their business.
I left Portland with a renewed appreciation for food bloggers and the content they so enthusiastically create. I’m already looking forward to Tastemaker Conference 2020.