food blogging guide to success and a slumber party gone bad

posted on: Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I swear this is one of the only pictures of me and basically one of the only pictures that were taken with my camera this weekend at the Foodbuzz Festival. Last year I did a much better job at taking pictures. This year I did a much better job at just being present. This was the 5th blogging conference I've been to and the pattern is the same. People come, gazzilions of pictures are taken, and then gazzlions of posts are written. I'm making my way through all the posts and it's fun reliving the moments. It's even more fun to see YOUR pictures. Thanks for posting them. It's much appreciated. In fact if you did a festival post leave me a link on the comments section. I'll come and check you out. I'll smile and remember the funny moments and then I'll probably be in a funk because seriously, why can't people feed me ridiculous amounts of delicious food every day for free?!

At the closing brunch I turned to my table and said "I'm so sad I'm going home and I'll have to cook." Half of the table looked at me weird, the other half nodded. I'll leave it at that.

This year I had the opportunity to present on a panel titled "food blogging guide to success a slumber party gone bad" Kidding. Don't mind me. I'm just trying to find comic relief as I  make my way through the dense aftermath of having my hotel room broken into and my computer stolen. Best part was Mariko and I freaking out at night looking under the bed to make sure no one was there. We were so scared the thieves would come back. Four days later and it's already starting to be funny. A little.

Back to the conference.

Because really it was a good experience. I presented on a panel "Food Blogging Guide to Success" with Stephanie from Lick my Spoon and Tina from Carrots 'n' Cake. We are not as serious as we look. We do however respect each other and respect what we do. A lot. WHICH. IS. KEY.

When I think of successful bloggers I think of Dooce (love her), Design Mom, Nie Nie, and The Pionner Woman, or as I would call her the Oprah of the Internet. These ladies are making a living, a big fat living, off their blogs. I am making enough to sustain what I love to do. I've made enough money to buy a nice camera, buy lenses, pay for conferences and hotel rooms, pay a blog designer. Yup. Pretty much that's it. Oh, wait I did buy Christmas presents with my blog money too. Not sure why. Hey Christian can I get a reimbursement on baby Maria's new doll?

Do I think I'll become Dooce or Ree? Nope. I don't think so. But I do think that I'm in the right direction to be able to do this long term, to write for a living (we live frugally around here). I'm not sure how it will work out. I'm not sure if I'll ever make enough money but I do know that because I take my blogging seriously and because my husband takes my blogging seriously I have time to write. I have time to do what I love. We've worked out our schedules so that this could happen. It took two years of both of us being in grad school and working full time to get to where we're at. We still have scheduling hiccups along the way, but we respect each other's work. So, maybe one day I will be a famous blogger and Christian will get to stay home with the kids and surf to his hearts content. Maybe one day he'll get his dream job and I'll get to write without making money but having his full support the moment he steps in the door and relives me of child watching duties. Maybe one day we'll both be contributing to the family income.

Or maybe we'll just put our kids in some modeling agency and hope for the best.

If I could give you one advice on how to make your blog successful (whatever that means for you) it would be to respect yourself. If you love blogging don't feel guilty over it. Blogging takes time. It takes so much time. You get sucked in. Dishes don't get washed. It happens. Set up a schedule if you can. Block out time in your day to do it and Do it. Just turn off Twitter. It will be there in the morning. Try to find balance while you pursue your blogging dreams. Your health is worth more than a post that needs to get done. Your sanity is worth more than commenting on 1000 blogs. Find a balance that works for you and for those around you. Include those around you. If you're married, if you have kids, if you're single with a cool aunt that lives two doors down, include people you love in the process. It will make for a much more enjoyable time.



  1. Thanks for this invaluable advice. I easily get caught up in what ever my current obsession is and block everything else out. It is nice to be reminded that other people go through this too and get some tips on how they deal with it.

  2. Damaris, you're gorgeous. And this post is wonderful. You're so lucky to have a husband who supports what you do and helps give you time to do it. And your advice is absolute GOLD. I completely agree. It's easy to want to get sucked into the internet and get new followers by commenting on lots of blogs, but frankly, it isn't worth my sanity and it wouldn't make me happier as a person. I love my followers and I love that so many of them I've gotten to know well. And I adore when I get to meet new, fantastic people like you. You're one of the ones I make time for.

  3. Hi Damaris, I was lucky to listen to you speak and Foodbuzz Fest this weekend, and I enjoyed hearing how you schedule your time, something I need to learn. I also related to how you used to feel guilty blogging, which took you away from your time spent with your kids, as I sometimes feel the same way. Another thing I guess I need to work on!

    I love your blog design and you now have a new follower! My dad lived in Brazil many many years ago, and I have some relatives their, so I feel a sense of connection with you.

    I am so sorry to hear about your laptop!! What hotel did you stay in? I suggest password protecting your computers, smart phones, etc.

  4. What great advice, your right I NEED TO ENJOY IT! I have made it my hobby and love to incorporate my husband and daughter.

  5. I have given you an award. Check it out.

  6. Everything you said on panel and everything you say here is exactly why I am now your biggest fan.

    The beautiful thing I've noticed, though, is that the more I enjoy what I write and write from the heart, the more I blog for ME, the more my readers respond too.

    Preach on, Da!

  7. Thanks for honing in on the already amazing advice you gave during the festival. It was lovely meeting you, if even for just a split second!

    I kept asking myself on Sunday evening when the passed hors douvres would arrive. I was slightly dissapointed to realize I would be the one making dinner. =) Back to the swing of things I guess.

    I have several recaps on my blog with a final installment tomorrow morning. Would love if you relived the weekend yet again.

  8. Damaris, this is a great post. Your panel sounds like it was really great. I wish I could have gone to the festival and joined in the fun!

  9. Thank you for this post. I also (yesterday) wrote a post about blogging, in a small way, trying to encourage those who get caught up in their follower count, or feel 'down' that their blog is "just like everyone else." Your words are inspiring and encouraging! :)

  10. What a wonderful recap, I wish I had seen you speak! Next year I hope we meet again! You are a pleasure in person and I could listen to you speak all day! Or maybe hang out in Brazil in one of those hammocks!

  11. Hi! I did not get to actually meet you at the Foodbuzz festival but I was listening in at the panel on Saturday. I love your blog, your pictures, your writing and your outlook on everything. You have such a positive and genuine attitude and seem like such a wonderful person. I am so sorry to hear about your room being broken into and your computer stolen! Anyways, so glad to have found your blog, I will continue to follow it.

    As for recaps of the festival, I have three recent posts (it took 3 for me to fit everything!) on my blog, feel free to check them out :)

  12. I was bummed to miss your workshop but I think your last paragraph here sums it up well. You've got what it takes to be a blog star!

  13. Da, it was so wonderful to meet you at the festival. I thought of you when I got home and realized that I was a little sad that I had to cook for myself! And your advice about blogging success really resonated with me. I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from you.

  14. Blogging is so much fun, but you do have to find balance.

  15. great post lovely to meet you as well I am sure I have visited your blog before though lol
    so sorry about what happened at the hotel thats awful


  16. Interesting... and lovely. Blogging is so personal - which is why I love reading them and everyone has different reasonos for their their first initiation into the world.

  17. ugh. i'm so sorry to hear about your computer and the hotel being AWFUL.


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