Why I hate the word “blog”

For my first real Food Blog Academy blog post I couldn’t think of a more relevant topic than the word “blog” itself. I know… it’s a bit on the nose but it’s something I’ve wanted to talk about for a while.

So I’ll just put it out there. I hate the word “blog.” Which is crazy since this site is called Food Blog Academy and since I am a food blogger. Let me explain a little.
Do you use the word "blog" to describe your website? Why I think you SHOULDN'T!

I’ll start with the sound of the word itself. Blog. Blahhhhoooogggg. It’s a pretty hideous word, right up there with moist and phlegm in my book. It’s simultaneously harsh, abrasive, and gross sounding, like something you’d say as you roll your eyes in annoyance. Or maybe a noun to describe someone reprehensible, “he’s such a blog!”

The other problem I have is with what the word actually represents, or its connotation or implication. The idea of a blog inherently implies amateur, novice, hobby, or unprofessional status. Starting a blog or being a blogger is often the punch line of a TV commercial joke. And you know what? It’s not entirely unfair because it is true that just about anyone with an internet connection and a basic understanding of technology can start a blog. When blogs first started appearing no one realized the potential they contained, let alone the exponential rise in popularity and media revolution that would ensue. There’s no degree, certification, or specific skills required to start a blog, which makes it difficult to obtain trust, credit, and status with one.

Yet, many of our blogs are seen by more people than some major print publications. In fact, some of us get more visitors than there are citizens living in entire nations.

So when we as “serious” bloggers, even those of us who earn actual money from our blogs, try to explain what we do to the dental hygienist as she cleans your teeth we typically get a “oh how cute” in response. Most people have no idea just how much work is involved in running a blog (one that people besides your parents actually read). As food bloggers we are:

-Writers
-Recipe developers
-Photographers
-Editors
-IT people
-Marketers
-Ad managers
-Social Media strategists
-Brand ambassadors
-Bookkeepers
-Dishwashers (begrudgingly)
-Professional grocery shoppers
… and SO much more

We wear so many different hats and there are many of us who have managed to turn our blogs into lucrative businesses, businesses that rival the incomes of most average college graduates. Some bloggers even earn millions. Yet, we aren’t always taken seriously. And we shouldn’t have to prove our worth to inquiring minds by telling them how many people visit our sites or how much money we make. We should be respected from the start for having created a business we love, but sometimes we’re not because of everything the word “blog” can represent.

The word “blog” is ridiculously limiting, and we have to be careful with how we describe our businesses not just to others, but also to ourselves. By their very nature blogs have a small and risky revenue model. Relying on ads is not sustainable, so it will become increasingly necessary to push our own perceptions of what a blog can be and achieve and how it can make money. Even those who have made ridiculous amounts of money from their blogs likely think of them as much more than a “just a blog.” There are many other options for what we can call ourselves and/or our businesses.

A smart man and business performance coach recently suggested I describe my food blog as a “media company.” Just the sound of it is so much more impressive, and it opens up so many more possibilities both within my own mind and in the minds of others. Here are some more ideas for how to describe your business and your profession to yourself, to the dental hygienist, or even as you fill out paperwork. Feel free to combine phrases or come up with your own.

-I own a food media company or I work in food media
-I own and operate a recipe website
-I am a food writer (or lifestyle writer)
-I am an author
-I am a professional recipe developer
-I am a professional food photographer

The word blog isn’t going away. And I have no problem using the word when I’m talking to my close friends, family, or other bloggers who get it. However I make a conscious habit to think of it as something much bigger and better than the word can manage so I can internalize the possibilities a phrase like “media company” represent. I hope you’ll do the same! Let me know in the comments below what you will use instead of “blog.”

13 Comments

  • Vijay @ NoshOnIt

    Reply Reply March 3, 2015

    So true Tessa. Especially for people who aren’t in the blogging world or don’t read blogs, the amateur nature of it is the first thing that people think about, yet they don’t realize the serious level of professionalism that goes into it. I’ve always referred to NoshOn.It as a “media company” since the breadth of what we do is so wide. I almost got into it recently with a very well-regarded restaurant critic about why recipe bloggers make more money than he does!!

    • Tessa

      Reply Reply March 3, 2015

      Ha!! I would have liked to see that conversation with the restaurant critic Vijay!

  • Great post! I know Joy the Baker has talked about this as well, and she likes to tell people she works in “food media.” When I made business cards for my blog I included MANY titles under my name like creator, author, designer, art director, PR manager, etc. because I wanted it to reflect all of the skills I need to put into action while maintaining my “blog.” It’s definitely an important thing to consider. Thankfully, I think bloggers are slowly starting to gain more respect from their title.

    • Tessa

      Reply Reply March 3, 2015

      Love that Sara! I forgot about the dilemma of business cards – that’s a challenge too! I think bloggers are starting to gan more respect too, and I think there might be a generational gap in the understanding of the word as well.

  • I agree with Sara too! I never know what to tell people when I talk about my blog. When I envision myself going full-time one of my biggest concerns (which is silly) is what I’m going to tell people that I do, food blogger just sounds so not real!

  • Rebecca Hubbell

    Reply Reply March 20, 2015

    This is so true. Whenever my husband catches me says blog, he corrects me to “website” for this very reason. When I try to explain what I do, most people just don’t get it. Sometimes I get self concious about it when I try to explain it to others, so thank you for the alternatives!

  • Vincent

    Reply Reply January 21, 2016

    Will I have to work shifts? tetracycline msds sigma His liberal-left record includes voting against the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996 and the anti-terrorism USA Patriot Act in 2001, both while he was in the House.

  • Maynard

    Reply Reply January 21, 2016

    Another year zoloft vs paxil for social anxiety It imagines that as a second stage of the innovation but would look for options for both a Spectrum Access System and sensing services concomitantly

  • Herman

    Reply Reply January 21, 2016

    A pension scheme where can i buy diflucan online “We hope to even scratch the surface of what those guys accomplished.”

  • Shawn

    Reply Reply January 21, 2016

    I’m about to run out of credit where can i buy albendazole 200 mg Mrs Sperling told the newspaper that when she found Nigel, “he was singing and talking without control..

  • Nicky

    Reply Reply January 21, 2016

    I’m training to be an engineer voltaren emulgel cream elephant handers do use a husbandry tool called a bullhook, sometimes referred to as a guide or an ankus

  • Billie Kelpin

    Reply Reply August 8, 2017

    Excellent. I googled “I hate the word ‘blog'” because I wanted to write an article like this. You expressed my sentiments exactly. Nothing very beautiful ever comes out of words ending in “og” except maybe “dog” and “fog” (if you like that kind of early morning mist that evokes one’s pondering of one’s existence and such. I don’t think I ever want to taste “glog” and “jog” implies way too much work for me. Of course then we have “hog” (ugh) and “log” upon which no one wants to be a bump.

    If we were writers for a newspaper or magazine we’d have a column, wouldn’t we? That’s not a much prettier word, but at least it seems more professional. I think I’m going to find a brand new dental hygienist and start over again telling her (or him) I have a “column on the web” or that I write “op-ed” pieces for an online publication.

    Thanks for the delightful article. Now I don’t have to write one. I’ll just link to this one!

  • Starlight

    Reply Reply December 10, 2017

    As i am revamping my site, i have arrived here and realized I am not alone in hating the word. You’ve helped me with my decision!

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field