Last week, Darren at ProBlogger.net asked a question of us readers: What has blogging bought you? Plenty of folks answered stuff, toys, electronics, and vacations. Too bad that Men in Aprons has not yet reached the vacation level yet. I answered that blogging has bought me a domain name and hosting. That's about it so far. However, with the next dcheck, I should be able to buy something special for myself. I really want to buy some books and CDs and some other junk.
When I first read Darren's question, I thought he he wrote B-R-O-U-G-H-T. Brought. I think that it's a very good accompanying question to, especially for those who aren't making enough from blogging to buy condos and a vacation. For my part, blogging has brought me a lot more than it has bought me.
Blogging ... food blogging to be specific ... has brought me quite a bit of free stuff. It's amazing what people will send you just because you have a web site and an opinion. Right about now is my anniversary of when I first began receiving items in the mail to review or mention on Men in Aprons. Since then I have received a couple of cookbooks, beer, Hefty disposable dishware, Reynolds Fun Shapes, a coffee maker, countless bottles of hot sauce from hot sauce blog, a bbq grill accessory, seasonings and salts, some jellies and bbq sauce, and delicious hand made chocolates.
I admit that getting and trying free stuff is a big draw to me. This is partly because I love getting free stuff, but also because I like to give my opinions and hopefully help out consumers who want that opinion on a product. Not only that, helping out a small-business owner by providing my input and review brings me a great deal of satisfaction. It's part of the consumer process.
Experience and Research
When I first started this web site, I set out to post regularly as a research project for a manly cookbook that I wanted to write. I've learned quite a bit about cooking and the male psyche, I've learned many new techniques and recipes, and by writing this, I've got a head start on the book. Someday it will happen.
This is one of the most fundamental things that I enjoy about blogging. I enjoy communicating with people on the web, helping them, and creating relationships. Even before Men in Aprons, I had a personal diary blog where I met a lot of great people. Those people stuck by me when I was laid off and even sent presents and money to me and my family. But really, I just like communicating with readers, other home chefs, and bloggers.
Extra spending cash
It wouldn't be fair of me to not mention this. Blogging has brought me a way to make a little extra cash on the side. Right now, I only make a little bit per month from a couple of different revenue sources. It's taken a year and a half to get there, but I feel confident that I can keep it up and increase it. I've written about food blogging before here, and have had a few responses about it. I do believe now that a person can make money from food blogging. I have yet to see if the money can be good enough to live off of, but a little extra cash never hurt.
A hobby that stuck
I've had plenty of "hobbies" in the past, but blogging is the one that has stuck. I get a lot of enjoyment from blogging, and the above reasons shoul clue you into why.