food blogging as a career

I’ve been thinking a lot about whether or not to write this post. I suppose this is for several reasons: 1) I am not an expert in food blogging by any means (though is anyone, really, in this dynamic field? If you are, please introduce yourself so I may learn your ways); 2) I don’t feel like what I do for a living is a job as much as it is a passion and a hobby that I love in that deep-down, forever and ever way; and 3) because food blogging as a career looks so different depending on the person and his/her circumstances.

But I do sit here, today, in my yoga pants (#fancy) at my dining room table (a.k.a. “office”) and I’ve called myself a full-time food blogger for nearly two years, so I guess I’d better own it already and go forth.

In all seriousness, the reason I thought to write this post is because I often get asked what I do for a living and how I made food blogging a career for myself. It’s not like I don’t want to get another e-mail or message ever again about what I do and how I do it — please, puh-lease don’t think that! I like you. E-mail me. — but I thought it might be helpful for those who haven’t asked the question yet or, more likely, don’t want to receive an e-mail response from me to the tune of 2,000 words with a lot of “yay!”s and exclamation points (basically, I’m a long-winded tween in e-mail form). So instead, you get a blog post to the tune of 2,000 words.

Let’s do this.

1. How did you get started writing a food blog?

The answer to this question is given in more detail on my FAQ page, but basically, I was bored and unemployed and I needed somewhere to spout my thoughts and energies other than on my new husband, lest he head for the hills. I love writing and baking, so I combined my two loves into this lovely little space o’ internet.

2. What is your background?

My degrees are in journalism and anthropology: journalism, because I was convinced from age 13 (yes, that young) that I wanted to be a newspaper reporter, and anthropology, because I ended up taking all of the classes for it (which allowed me to travel to Amsterdam and India during college, so no regrets). After college and a year of not-so-fun jobs at two coffee shops, I was hired as the arts and entertainment reporter for an Iowa City paper. I worked there for a little more than two years while also blogging, all the while slowly falling out of love with what I thought was my dream job (reporting) and slowly falling in love with what I discovered was my dream job (food blogging).

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Happy Valentine’s Day, friendlies! I hope today is filled with all the love and chocolate truffles.

I’m not here to tell you what to make or eat today, though. No, I already gave you a strong suggestion yesterday in the form of ice cream, and earlier this week in the form of doughnuts. Today I’m here to tell you about something else.

plum-blackberry cream cheese bread with oat streusel

Something involving lots of tasty tastiness.

vegan cranberry-cherry granola muffins

Something that has to do with bread.

nutella-swirled banana bread

And maybe some sugar (but also salt, for my savory-loving folks).

blue cheese buckwheat cornbread muffins

And lots of fun and easy baking.

caramel macchiato doughnut muffins

Any ideas?

Gosh, the suspense is almost TOO MUCH. It makes me want another doughnut.

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Happy 2014! We’re ringing in the new year with fancy cookies and new features to this humble lil’ webspace of mine.

Recently, I signed on as a partner with ZipList. And here’s where you’re either all, “Wahoooooo! I love ZipList!” or “Um, what are these words you are typing. Do not understand.” In either case, I’m going to walk you through what ZipList is and does and how to do it all on Girl Versus Dough.

ZipList is a meal planning/grocery listing/life altering tool that a whole host of other bloggers I love use to help, well, do just those things. So when you see a recipe on my (or anyone else’s) blog that you’re going gaga for and want to save for later, ZipList does the job for you. It’s pretty nifty.

Here’s how it works:

ziplist tutorial

See that “Recipe Box” category in the navigation bar? That’s your ZipList headquarters, so to speak. If you click on that link and you’re signed into your ZipList account, you can access all of your recipes, grocery lists, meal plans, etc. This is where, if you save a recipe from my blog or any other site that utilizes ZipList, it will be stored and saved for your use.

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a new look.

Hi there! Just popping in before the big turkey day tomorrow to show you the little (read: Big. Awesome. Amazing.) pre-holiday makeover Girl Versus Dough underwent these past couple of days. The lovely and fantastic ladies of Wooden Spoons Kitchen literally took all of my random, garbled babbling about all the pretty things I wanted my blog to have/look like and turned it into THIS. They’re geniuses. And magicians. And I can’t thank them enough.

So have a look around (especially at the new recipe index!). Take a peek. Do some fiddling (not like with a fiddle, duh — unless you do that, too, in which case by all means, PROCEED). Let me know if anything seems weird or wonky, please. And enjoy settling into this fancied up new home with me.

I would have a recipe to share with you today, but 1) I’m about to be all up in Thanksgiving vacation mode soon and I assume you are, too, and 2) the next recipe I have for you is really quite perfect for the weekend ahead. So I’ll be back on Friday with some brunch-like yums for you.

Until then, a very happy, peaceful, food-stuffed and love-filled Thanksgiving to you all. I heart you so.

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slow cooker turtle upside-down cake

Happy Thursday, ladies and gentlefolk! I hope your weeks have been treating you well and that you’re looking ahead to fun-filled weekends. As for me, I’m heading to Iowa City this weekend to catch up with old friends, so this week has been pretty hectic in getting everything prepped for some time away.

BUT because I like you guys and I just can’t leave you hanging without something yummy to share, I’ve wrastled up a roundup of some tasty fall sweets and breakfast treats I’ve been creating for some neat sites I write for, like Tablespoon, Betty Crocker, Bisquick and KitchenAid. Get ready for some serious yums in your face.

First up! Slow Cooker Turtle Upside-Down Cake (pictured above). Um, to say that I ate approximately half of this cake with my by myself in two days is an understatement. It’s rich and it’s delicious and it’s easy and you gots to make it.

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girl versus dough turns four {giveaway}

(This giveaway is closed.) I cannot believe that this week (tomorrow, to be precise) marks the four-year birthday/anniversary/blogiversary/blogobirthday (?) of this here blog.

So much has happened between then and now, it’s insane. When I first started I had no idea what I was doing, how to bake a loaf of bread, how to wield a camera or what this bloggy business had in store for me. There have been new jobs, new homes, a new kitten, a lot of kitchen failures (and successes), some sweat, some tears, some memories made and friendships built. In four years this blog has gone from a fun little hobby to a full-fledged career that I love.

Like I said, insane.

And awesome.

Now is when I get sappy and tell you that I couldn’t have gotten to this moment in this space without you guys. But I’m totally serious. There have been several times when I’ve wondered why I’m even doing this whole ding-dang thing, if it’s even worth it, getting ready to throw in the towel — but then I remember my readers, my blogging friends, the food blog community, all of you who inspire me. And I remember that this space is incredibly special to me and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

I wish I could meet you all in person and give you big ol’ bear hugs and tell you how much I love you (in the least creepy way possible). But instead, I shall give you a gift. Actually, several gifts. Because what says “thank you for being here and for being awesome and for putting up with my ramblings and my weirdness and for trying my recipes and liking them, really really liking them” than a giveaway of gifts, amiright??

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