Blogging has changed so much in the nearly 10 years since I started. Back then, readers really got to know the bloggers – food blogs were part personal journal, part recipe resource. Bloggers shared their lives through their recipes and photos, and readers ate it up – figuratively and literally. When you followed a food blogger, often it was to keep up with their lives, perhaps escape into a bit of lovely prose, and look at beautiful photos as much as it was to get new recipes.
Most successful bloggers wrote their posts memoir-style, with an intro – sometimes related to the recipe, often not – a few (or a lot of!) photos sprinkled in, and then finally, the recipe. It was a format that felt right at the time – title-story-photo-story-photo-recipe. Pretty much all food bloggers fell in line. This is how we wrote our blog posts because it’s how it was done. It’s also one of the reasons I got into food blogging. I love to write.
For better or worse, memoir-style is still how it’s still done.
Five or six years ago, things really began to change. Mobile views began to surpass desktop views – over 80% of my readers now read my website via phones or tablets. At the same time, more and more people turned to recipes online instead of phoning mom or flipping through cookbooks. Food bloggers flooded the space with their story-recipe posts, the readers followed, and the best recipes – fueled by ratings, reputation, viral videos, Pinterest, and/or Google juice – rose to the top.
At the same time, our readers became more task-oriented. Sure, we have our loyal readers who come to us via email lists or social media, but if they really have the time to want to get to know the story behind the writer or the recipe, they’ll follow us on Instagram.
Meanwhile, if they found us on Google or Pinterest, it’s true – most of the time, they just want the dang recipe. They didn’t type “Best blondie recipe and a touching golden retriever rescue story” into the search bar. The format that served food bloggers and their readers 10 years ago has become at best a distraction, at worse, a hugely annoying obstacle. Especially when having to scroll and scroll and scroll on a phone.
I surveyed my readers a couple of years ago and they were evenly split between wanting to read a story vs. just wanting to get to the recipe. I figured that if only 50% of my loyal readers wanted a story before the recipe, the average person who finds my blog via Google is probably much less likely to want it.
And you know what? Most of the time, when I’m in reader mode, I just want the dang recipe too! I don’t want to scroll and close pop-ups to get to it. I do get it. When people say “just get to the recipe” I nod and say “I know, I know.” I believe way, way more readers feel this way than food bloggers realize.
But dear readers, please just know that when a food blogger has poured heart and soul and hours and hours of their life into a recipe blog post, “just get to the recipe” stings a little. So take it easy on us, will you please? And for us food bloggers, we need to remind ourselves that it’s really not personal … this is just how things have evolved. And will, I’m pretty sure, continue to evolve.
Here’s the thing, though. There’s no solution – not yet. We can’t “just get to the recipe,” and here’s why.
1. Google doesn’t like it.
Earlier this year, I ran an experiment. On a handful of my well-performing recipe posts, I moved the recipe up to the top and the story down below. (Google likes more words rather than less, and many times there are some great recipe tips within my story, so deleting the story entirely isn’t an option.) So rearranging seems like an easy solution, right? Welp, within a few months, all of those recipes moved down in search results – and, of course, pageviews for those recipes, in turn, had gone down too.
2. My ad network doesn’t support it.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE my ad network. But their philosophy on this issue – which echoes that of many food bloggers – is that food blogs are different than your standard grab-and-go recipe website like AllRecipes. Their perspective is that food blogs have heart; a story; a person to get to know. We want people to settle in and stay awhile. Our goal as writers should be to make them want to. My ad network is my bread and butter, so I at least need to consider their perspective.
Also, those in-content ads? The ones that pop up in between paragraphs? If the paragraphs don’t exist, those ads don’t exist. And they need to load fully – not be skipped – in order for revenue to be made. For many of us these days, our food blogs are our full-time jobs – or at least, our side hustle. We need to make money in order to keep doing this. Would you like to know how much good, solid, fast web hosting costs for Kitchen Treaty? $2200 per year. I LOVE my food blog and I love that it’s my job, but it IS my job. It’s a business. And I need to make money in order for it to continue to exist.
My solution for the past few years to the “just get to the recipe” conundrum is a “Skip to recipe” button at the top of every post. It’s not a perfect fix, but it gives people an option to skip the fluff and just get to it. As far as the in-content ads go, I’m okay with sacrificing some income for a better user experience. (It’s a balance.) My ad network thinks those are a bad idea too, and here are some good reasons why, if you’d like a little inside perspective.
3. I don’t know what the solution is.
If I go back and edit all of my posts – delete the story, remove all but one photograph, and just post the recipe – as of right now, my blog will fail. And moving the recipe to the top of the post was a bust, too. So what’s the solution? I don’t know.
I do believe that food bloggers need to evolve when it comes to the format of their recipes. But evolve to what? That’s the million dollar question.
What do you think?
Are you a food blogger that’s tired of hearing “Just get to the recipe?!” Are you a reader frustrated with food bloggers’ mile-long preambles? I welcome your vents, thoughts, and especially your ideas in the comments below.
Update: I just learned of this very similar article written by Cadry’s Kitchen. YES! Great read on the subject.
Thanks for this very interesting and insightful post. I wonder about this just about every time I visit a blog (I’m in the I’m-usually-coming-here-just-for-the-recipe). I really appreciate your insights on this – having read this post, the reason that blogs post the way they do make a lot more sense.
Thanks so much for reading, Tony! I do think that for every person that complains outright there are countless others who seethe quietly – ha – or even just wonder like you have. I wish I knew what the fix was.
I like the skip to the recipe button. The first time I visit the recipe, I want to read the story. If I make it and love it, I will keep coming back to it, but I don’t need to read the story again, just get dinner on the table.
Yes! I feel the same way. That’s another reason why “Skip to recipe” is so great. Not everyone is a first-time reader. My blog is also a personal recipe archive for me and when I am looking up one of my recipes for the 56th time I totally use that Skip to recipe button.
Same here. The first time, I read the story because in a food blog, the story is peppered with hints about what makes the recipe work or not. After thast first time, I want the recipe now. If I know I will do the recipe often I print it…usually it’s a muffin recipe! 😀
I love the stories! I do feel like I know you a little bit, as well as the other bloggers I’ve followed for a while. I often enjoy reading the posts even if I don’t end up making the recipe. When I google a recipe and land on a blog of a person I don’t follow I skim through the post to see if it contains tips and read the recipe. I don’t understand why that would be annoying to someone! That being sai, I do enjoy when the post relates to the recipe…gives tips and hints with personal stuff thrown in. I have learned a lot about cooking from reading blogs! Thanks for what you do! I hope it continues to be enjoyable and profitable for you!
So nice to hear of someone who still likes to read (and appreciates!) the stories. 🙂 Thank you so much for your comment!
For what it’s worth, one of the biggest reasons I just want to get to the recipe is that I want to know the ingredients. I’m frequently looking for a recipe that fulfills one of both of these requirements:
1) I can cook it with the food I’ve got in my house
2) It doesn’t contain a couple of very common ingredients I hate. Turns out no one specially advertises that they’ve actually written an onion free recipe, or at least one with enough other flavourings I can skip the onion – which means looking at half a dozen or more different recipes to find one worth trying.
I don’t really want to read the details only to discover it’s not something I was ever going to be able/willing to try. So I scroll. I don’t blame the bloggers, I figured it must be an ad thing. That doesn’t mean it’s not frustrating – I definitely appreciate “skip to the recipe” buttons and am now planning to check out the recipes on this blog because at least I can look quickly to see if it’s worth reading the whole thing.
Thank you for your thoughts! I’ve heard this from other people too – you want to see the ingredients first! Which totally makes sense. I’m working on a new design that will hopefully help solve this problem. Fingers crossed it’s helpful!
Thank you for writing this post. Honestly and truly, I read it all the way through and it has made me pause. I am guilty of just skipping to the recipe quit often. I will think differently about this now.
But, really, honestly, the best part?
The Unrelated Content Cute Kitty Photo Bomb.
THANK YOU FOR THAT CUTENESS BOMB.
Hahaha if this wasn’t the perfect place for a cute cat photo, I don’t know what is! 😉
I really do love the personal stories- 90% of the time, that’s why I’m visiting the blog. I read quite a few blogs through a feed reader (Feedly), and many times I will click on a post even though the recipe doesn’t interest me at all, just because I want to read the personal part of the post. I feel like I “know” all of the blog authors and like keeping up on your lives! I like the skip to the recipe button option for times I’m just doing a google search in the grocery store for a recipe, but most of the time, the personal story is my favorite part! Do you make income from ad revenue if the post is read via Feedly, or only if I click through to the actual website? I’m happy to click through to your website if that would make a difference.
That’s very insightful and something I’ve wondered about. I like reading people’s stories as much as reading the recipe. However, when a story drags on and on and loses my interest, yeah then I’m all about just get to the recipe – faster!
I’m with Connie, I almost always read the story the first time but recipes I have on repeat I just want to get to the recipe. I usually cook with my laptop in the kitchen but if I’m cooking someplace besides my home I will use my phone and it is painful scrolling through a lot of content to get to the recipe. If it’s the first time making a recipe I also look through the comments from people who have made it for tips, issues, etc. That can be very useful. I get frustrated when a blogger has tons of comments and none are from someone who actually made the recipe posted.
I have followed your blog for about three years now, and I just want you to know that you basically taught me how to cook. I never made anything form scratch before, but now I love to! You always give great tips, pictures, and really explain the steps to making the recipe work in a lovely way. Also 90 % of your recipes I try are instant favourites. Just wanted to thank you, and tell you I think the way you write is amazing. Don’t change it!
Regards from Norway
Hi Lena! This is a super belated reply and I’m sorry for that – but I wanted to thank you for your wonderful comment. Thank you so much for reading my blog and trying my recipes!
Wow, this is so interesting, and I’m glad you shared this. I had no idea about the SEO components of food blogs, and I really appreciate the insight. It will change how I respond to food blogs from now on. “Jump to Recipe” is a perfect solution in my book. If it’s a recipe I can easily tackle, I generally will jump right to it. If it’s something kind of new to me (new style of cooking, or a tool I’m not as skilled with like a pressure cooker), I will read the post to glean any helpful tips. What I think is helpful about your blogs is the stated intention of this blog–meat and non-meat eaters living together. This is where extra, non-recipe info is useful–how to make a recipe do double duty, how to serve it, etc. As the main cook and the only vegan in the house cooking for meat and dairy eaters, I appreciate the site.
Ditto everything you said! 🙂
I assume this is in response to Slate’s article and the semi-kerfuffle on FB. Thank you for your explanation for why this is done. I too just want the recipe (cuz I’m a procrastinator and leave everything until the last minute) but as someone else said if it’s a recipe I save I’ll probably read it at a later time. Thanks again!
Yes, that did inspire me to finally write this and explain, but similar kerfuffles (can that be plural?!) come up every couple of months and the “just get to the recipe” complaints seem to be consistently gaining steam, so the post has been brewing in my head for awhile. 🙂 Thanks so much Jane!
Maybe the solution could be a bit less photos, who needs 15 photos of the same recipe ? Or smaller pictures? Sometimes they are so big you need 3 thumb scrolls to get past one.
Good point! For me, sometimes it’s really hard to cut down on the photos when there are so many I love – ha! These days I usually go with 3-5 photos and even that’s probably a bit much.
Wow…thanks for explaining this to us! I am new to being a vegan and depend heavily on food bloggers to learn the ropes and get a whole new recipe repertoire. You touched on every one of my annoyances lol! Now that I understand, it makes sense and it is definitely less frustrating…so thank you again. Sometimes we need to hear “the other side.”
There are a handful of food blogs that I love and keep going back to (yours is one of them), and those are the ones I want to hear a story from. When I’m looking for particular recipes, I always just want to skip to the recipe. I have a folder on my browser filled with bookmarks to my favorite vegan blogs. Sometimes I sit with coffee and look at one after the other. That is when I will read the stories. So I like both. Sometimes the stories motivate me when I’m struggling with this new lifestyle.
I love the “jump to the recipe” function. I think that solves the problem, really. It gives people the option to just go the recipe when they aren’t feeling it…and the story is still there for those who want to read it. Win/Win
Thank you for this article and explaining the blogging way!
I think your link, ‘skip to the recipe’ is genius! I usually look for recipes and save the website in my phone and return to it when I’m writing my grocery list and cooking it. For those times, I don’t want to reread the content, I just want to see the recipe. Thank you for taking that into consideration!
Hi Sadelina! Thanks so much for reading and for taking the time to comment (I’m sorry it took me so long to reply as I’ve spent the month catching up on life after the holiday season which was extra crazy for some reason this year). I’m so glad you hear you use and like the “skip to recipe” link. My blog also serves as a recipe repository for me and I use that link constantly! 🙂
Thank you so much for this perspective!
I’ll admit I have griped before that so many food blog authors write a sentimental story before the recipe and I never once considered the reasons – that personal food blogs with a greater sense of community, with insights into the authors’ lives and relationships with the dishes actually predated the search-click-grab method of finding recipes. And I certainly never realised that search engines favour this either.
I feel pretty sheepish about being so rude about it now and I’ve bookmarked this post to share in case I see the topic brought up in conversations online in the future.
What a fantastic post :):)
I think this is the first time I’ve commented on a food blog too BTW!
Hi Jules! Oh my goodness, I had a whole bunch of comments get stuck in my queue and I missed them. I feel terrible that this was the first comment you’ve left on a blog and I never replied! Thank you so much for your thoughts and for considering another viewpoint. It takes a pretty awesome person to do that! 🙂
Thanks so much for posting this! As a food blogger, I get the comments about why am I going on and on when they just came for the recipe. Yes, it does sting a little bit! And I’m guilty of the same thing when I’m searching for recipes. But to me, it’s just how it is. I know I have to scroll, so I scroll. I never understood the point of complaining to someone about it. At least with recipes, you know they’re at the bottom. Other “how to” posts you actually have to read through it to learn whatever it is you need to learn!
I completely get it. I’ve been blogging since 2009 and it has really changed in that time frame. It is so important to have longer posts because GOOGLE wants longer posts. I hate sounding like a robot trying to get my keywords in so people can actually find my content in searches.
What I’ve tried really hard to do is keep my additional post content less on me personally and more on things that would help the reader. So while I might write 1k words, most will be tailored to offering more information regarding the recipe, ingredients, tips, method, etc. If the article can’t support that a lot of words, I try to let it go and not stuff content in there for the sake of stuffing. I hope that is less annoying and more valuable than me sharing what silly things my dog did today. I do think it is harder for readers to connect that way but social media has grown so much and allowed a platform for more personal stories there.
Hi Emilie! My posts have trended the exact same way. It was much more fun to tell the story of the funny antics my cat has gotten up to lately but isn’t all that useful to most readers sadly. 😉 I suppose it makes sense that with social media taking over, people who are more invested will head over there to learn more about the “woman behind the curtain” so to speak – and when they’re searching for a recipe, they just want the recipe. I should really step up my social media game!
I come to your blog often but have never commented! I always looking for another way to make chicken (I have had to reduce red meat in the diet). I totally understand where you are coming from! All bloggers are suffering from this very issue. A lot of blogger I used to follow no longer blog! So many can go straight to Pinterest to even read what you wrote! Like you, I don’t know the answer. I wish you luck! If you don’t mind, I would like to link to this post. I sure my other fellow doll bloggers will find this interesting!
The way I see it, it’s a food blog—not a recipe website. The two are super different, and the readers who fail to understand that need to get over themselves. I prefer recipe link jumps for recipes I’ve read the posts for already, if only because I’m usually in the kitchen and pulling it up last-minute on my phone to check the steps. But I never liked the recipe sites because they lacked personal touches to them. I’m not into reading about people’s husbands and dogs (I’m a lesbian and love cats), but I still care about the person behind the food blog. I see the work they’ve put into it.
So if that means they need to get some things off their chest for a few hundred words—even for just SEO purposes—that’s fine. Where I come from, the kitchen is a place for discussion. To me, it’s like cooking and chatting away with people you care about. Because food brings people together.
It also feels a bit like I’m having a cup of peppermint tea and listening to someone chat.
I’m hard of hearing, though. It could be that I love blogs and the stories because I don’t have to ask anyone to repeat themselves. Nevertheless, keep on keepin’ on.~
(Also, sorry for one giant blob…the box won’t acknowledge that I’ve pressed Enter and simply inputs a space, but my keyboard is working fine, so I surmise it’s a setting you’re already aware of!)
Ahhh Jane, this is a lovely comment. Thank you so much. I think it’s true – many don’t understand the difference between recipe websites and food blogs. With the latter, it’s usually one person behind the recipe and yes, we’re often a chatty bunch! Thank you for being a part of that “conversation” – it gives me the warm fuzzies to know there are still people out there who are okay with slowing down and learning a little more about the person behind the recipe who chooses to share a bit about the recipe and themselves. And yes, I definitely appreciate “jump to recipe” in certain instances too, it’s super useful especially when I’m on my own blog and making a recipe for the 217th time, lol.
Thank you again for your comment. 🙂
Great information. Thank you!
I personally love a great story, but nothing too long. I think keeping the copy to a minimum (for most posts) is really important. Drawing the reader in and staying on their level is always admirable to me and causes me to respond. A sense of humor goes a long way too.
I’ve also noticed in the last year that any post I write involving simple comfort food gets a huge reponse (especially if it involves chocolate!)
I just read Urvashi Pitre’s perspective on this same topic at https://twosleevers.com/stop-complaining-about-free-recipes/
thanks so much for sharing! 🙂
Thank you for the explanation. My brain likes to know the reason why things are done a certain way. I’m usually in the process of cooking so I’m just there for the recipe. I won’t be annoyed anymore when I have to scroll through all the text & pictures because I know it’s a necessary format for the blogger. 😀
When I do a google search for recipes, I have to search through many pages to pass up uninteresting food blogs. What I’d like to see is more recipes from magazines and books – where many food bloggers get their recipes in the first place. Sure you may change the recipe to make it your “own,” but what value have you added? An annoying, self-absorbed preamble to scroll past.
Good on you for making some money off of this, but I wish I didn’t have to deal with it.
Hi Lorenzo. Some food bloggers do get their recipes from magazines and books (or other blogs), yes. But some have culinary backgrounds and or are surprisingly accomplished home chefs and create their own recipes from the ground up. Dismissing all bloggers because blogging is their medium is like dismissing all magazines or all newspapers or all TV shows. I encourage you to look beyond your bias of the medium and maybe you’ll find a few gems. Meanwhile, for me when I go looking for a new recipe to try, I often employ recipe ratings to separate the wheat from the chaff so to speak. You might also be surprised how many recipes in magazines and books actually go untested! I appreciate your feedback – as I appreciate almost all feedback – though “annoying and self-absorbed” is a wee bit harsh don’t you think?
I’m incredibly sick of it. However, I’m willing to compromise. If every single recipe blog post without exception had a “jump to recipe” button at the top, I’d have no complaints.
All we want is a clear photo, the recipe, shopping list, substitution options. No one cares about fuzzy feelings, memories or your culinary mein kampf.
Do you want to sell it? Title your blog, “FOOD TO IMPRESS, NO LONG STORY, EASY AF
Ha! Well, tell Google. I’m sure they’ll head in that direction eventually but for now, more verbiage helps rank recipes higher.
My husband and I are on the Mediterranean Diet. I look for recipes that fit the diet rules. If I have a choice of Allrecipes or reading some commentary, I’m going to Allrecipes. Generally speaking, I make my own pitas, tortillas, sauces, etc. I don’t chop up a bunch of veggies and dump them on a pita. I make the pita which means I’m mixing my flour, water, and leavening agent. I’m leaving it sit, adding more flour, olive oil, and salt and kneading the bread, then letting it rise, etc, etc. If I have to go through your commentary each time because my phone took a nap, it’s not worth it for me to go back and re search for the recipe. I love Allrecipes, anyhow.
I blog, too, and I hope my readers don’t avoid me because they don’t want to go through my stuff more than they care to.
Thanks for your thoughts! (And your homemade pita sounds delicious!)
blah blah blah….get to the recipe!
I hate the chatter also.
If some like it why
Not give a choice like
Some and have a
Jump to recipe ?
I have a “skip to recipe” link and think it’s a great solution for now. Others don’t like to use the jump to recipe link because they feel readers might miss some important information and they also might miss out on some ad revenue (which is how many of us food blogs are able to stay up and running)!
My solution is to search actual recipe sites and real cookbooks. Using google only gives you these types of annoying blogs which nobody enjoys. I didn’t even read this whole drivel. In fact, most of these white lady mommy blogger recipes are just existing recipes where you changed one or two ingredient measurements, so it’s no problem to find it somewhere else.
You might be surprised where the recipes come from in some cookbooks and “actual recipe sites” (and what are those?) And you also might be surprised where recipes come from on many food blogs. Many bloggers (myself included) develop and thoroughly test their own recipes. But you do you!
Thanks for your article. I have a better understanding now of why food bloggers tend to, well, ramble so much. I very much appreciate the ‘skip to the recipe’ button and I additionally appreciate when there aren’t ten photos of identical dripping whisks. That said, I will also snark less on those who tend to lapse into purple-prosed novellas seeing as how it’s kind of a damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don’t situation. If you can help me make a decent veggie burger it’s valuable enough. Thanks.
Really very nice blog post thanks for sharing with us.
Could you try a two page format ? Page1 story page 2 just recipe not sure if it’s possible.
Hi Anita, thank you for your thoughts! We’ve found that this format is even more annoying for readers because they have to make an extra click to get to the recipe.
This actually opened my eyes. Thanks for telling us!
Thank you SO MUCH for this post!!! I’m currently going through a SEO course and one of the lessons was on user experience. It made me wonder, if putting the recipe card at the top and bottom would satisfy both types of readers. But, I wasn’t sure how that would impact Google rating my content. Im so glad I found your post here because now I feel more comfortable with what I already have in place, which is the card at the bottom as always and a jump to recipe button at the top.
Google has made some updates since I posted this, and I’ve been planning on playing around with recipe placement some more to see if it makes a difference. But very carefully, lol! Ultimately I think recipe at the bottom + jump link is going to remain the best compromise for awhile.
I think a “skip to the recipe” button is perfect! You don’t need to hold people’s hand, just give them a little help. Good idea and I hope it catches on.
Thanks! It seems lots of bloggers have added this feature. It does seem to be a good happy medium for now.
It makes sense that your blog format is (to some extent) dictated by revenue requirements, like any business. For me, I don’t search for recipes to read about stories; I just want to type “How to make ___” into Google, and get a recipe. It just so happens that the top results are often blog-related recipes. I’m hoping to avoid clicking on blog posts when I search for recipes.
So I guess your strategy would depend on what proportion of the general public are just looking for the recipe, vs. people who don’t mind reading a blog first, vs. people who actually prefer to see it in blog format. I hate ads with a passion, and some people (not just me) will go out of our way to avoid doing anything that will result in seeing a new bot-tailored ad on Facebook about the topic that we just searched (for example).
Thank you for writing this and for being both transparent and compassionate about the issue. Your explanation was much better than another article I read that called me names for even asking the question. If the long narrative is the reason why I was able to even find a recipe in the first place, I will scroll without complaint. 🙂
Thanks so much, Joan. It’s definitely a balancing act. I’m working on a redesign that brings the main ingredients to the top of the post; I’m hoping that will be a good compromise for now!
Hi ! thanks for sharing this post ! very interesting and got to know much more ! Gonna follow this one ! Especially your recipe preparing way !! Yumm….
You always motivates the world with your awsome recipes. God work. God bless you.
Oh gosh, that is so nice. Thank you!
For me, it really depends on where I’m reading the recipe and what the context of the story is/how it relates to the recipe.
1) If I’m accessing the recipe on my phone in Safeway, it’s likely because I’m trying to make sure I get in and out of the store quickly with everything I need for said recipe. In that situation, I don’t have the time or the patience to scroll through a personal memoir simply to find the ingredients, while closing pop up ads every step of the way. In this case, a “skip to the recipe” button is a helpful tool.
2) If I’m at home cooking, I’m likely still using my phone to access the recipe because I have a tiny kitchen. Like most people, I have my phone set to turn off the display after a certain length of time to avoid draining the battery. Inevitably, when I “wake” my phone to view the next step of the recipe, I’m back at the top and have to scroll through the story, once again, dodging pop up ads and losing my place, while also keeping an eye on whatever is on the stove/in the oven.
3) If I’m simply looking for fun recipes to try, that is when I enjoy reading the story behind the recipe. But it needs to be relevant to hold my attention. I don’t mind reading about how this was how you prepared steak every weekend for your beloved labradoodle. I don’t want to read a tangential (if even that) anecdote about your child’s latest potty training exploits. The story needs to relate to the recipe at least a little, otherwise I question whether I’m even on the right page.
Just my $0.02. For some context, I’m a single, childfree woman in her early 30s living in a small apartment with a cat. I’m not much of a chef, but am always looking to try new fun, tasty, and easy recipes!
Thank you so much for sharing! You know, I hadn’t even considered that the increasing impatience with all of the paragraphs before the recipe has corresponded directly with increasing mobile phone use. Makes sense!
If the blog/pre-amble has some useful info in it then, sure, it’s worth a read. Unfortunately though, that’s not always the case. I recall one recipe that simply repeated the fact that she had fooled her husband into thinking that the cookie had flour in ott, when in fact it didn’t. It was obviously padding for the advertising space and inspired me to install a “recipe only” Chrome extension. (The recipe was *excellent* by the way)
If you choose to provide a service on the internet, I think you have to accept that people will avoid “paying” for your service, be that in money, or in time. Just like a shop has waste, and my business has people who don’t show up for classes that I spend time preparing for them. It’s part of the loss of running a business that we all have to stomach sometimes.
If you have enough “paying” customers to operate your business and turn a profit, then you are successful. If you don’t, well that’s a hard reality, but it is one faces by millions of small business owners across the world. Food bloggers are no different to any other business in that respect.
You know what’s funny, I like the that bloggers go into detail and talk about their recipes. It gives very useful information and lets me know about the person. However please please please tell me why they can’t put the recipe first and the story after??? The reason is often I (and I assume other people) are looking at many recipes, seeing if we have the ingredients and if we are likely to enjoy it and we are in a hurry. When I find one that I think will work then I can read the story after. Everyone wins! I don’t have time to read 10 stories to find the one recipe that I actually will save to my iCloud prenant files.
Recipe first, story after. Please tell me why this can’t become a mantra for food bloggers
Already there exist google plugins to just search the recipe and leave the essays out of it. I actually don’t want that.
TLDR, just get to the recipe.
I’m sure there are a few people out their that enjoy the stories but tbh most people just scroll past them and they are a hassel. Some people have poor connection and it takes forever to load to the recipe, especially on a mobile device. long stories about so and so’s grandma from scicily making marinera are just annoying and boring. I say Just put the recipe at the top of the page so people can get on with their lives. For those who have time to read they can keep scrolling to the bottom. Give the audience what they want, that’s the key to success.
I love this. just thanks for your contribute.
OK, honestly…..if there’s no ‘skip to the recipe’ button I probably won’t return to the blog ever again. Why? Because I work full time. I have to get the shopping done, cook dinner, throw some dirty clothes in the washer, walk the dog, get the bills paid and clean the sink all before I can even sit down and start to relax after a busy day. Weekends I go to the gym, run errands, have appointments, meet friends. I might even want to read a book once in a great while. I do not spend an inordinate amount of time reading bloggers’ philosophical ramblings about the joys of organic chives. Or how they ground their own hazelnuts to make flour. Sure, sure…if it’s compelling enough I might stay around to read part way through. But for Pete’s sake, some of the overwrought prose about gosh darn pink salt is just a bit much. Not everyone who cooks is a great writer. And a few don’t grasp the concept that ‘less is more’. Why are there TEN photos of your dripping wooden mixing spoon? So while I get that everyone is trying to make a living these days, no one is obligated to wade through nineteen paragraphs of blah blah blah.
I’ll be very honest, I love the stories, though sometimes you need to skip for time. But I cannot stand all the ads. On my.phone. I cannot view a recipe blog without at least one pop up video you cannot close until it has played a certain amount of time. It blocks the age and makes me want to go elsewhere. So many add everywhere makes spending any time on these pages the last thing I want to do. I understand that is most likely the bloggers income source, but it is what turns me off.
I came upon your post as I was searching ‘Should I move my recipes to the top and story to the bottom’. As a food blogger, I do hear ‘just get to the recipe’ a lot…and I always feel the need to go into the whole thing about posts having to be 300+ words for Google to recognize it and it having a chance of being seen. I’ve tested a personal story, nothing but tips for the recipe, and a mix of both. It still seems that most just really want the recipe. I 100% understand it, but at the same time, as you said, there really isn’t a way around it yet. Until then, I guess we just keep writing and there’s always the Jump to Recipe button!
It was nuts how those recipes dropped in search rankings! It’s been a couple of years so maybe Google has changed by now. But yep … until we know for sure, we’ve got Jump to Recipe! 🙂
I’m one of the readers. I always read everyone’s story unless I’m truly in a rush. But usually I will spend time going through recipes to plan ahead, and I bookmark a lot too. I am an extremely empathetic person, and an artistic person so I look at the stories as an insight into the soul. I know as a musician I put my would into music so I hope people stick around to listen. I feel the same way when I read, I want to know why the person writing feels it’s a great recipe. I like hearing people’s experience with food. I wish more people were on the story train. I mean after all life is so short, someone put hours into one recipe and the story, why not take time to slow down and read. Also when I come back to a recipe I like, I usually hit skip to recipe because I know the story now. Sometimes I will reread just to be reminded why the author is passionate about their recipe. Keep the stories, I like them.
Great post! I’ve often found myself wondering about the reasons behind the structure of recipe blogs, especially since I usually visit them just for the recipe itself. Your insights in this post are incredibly helpful and have shed light on the topic for me. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts on this!