I Need Your Advice

by Jenn (eating bender) on August 25, 2011

Dear Amazingly Fantastic Eating Bender Readers,

I need your advice.

Over the past few months, I’ve felt a little lost with my blog. Don’t get me wrong, I still love every post I write and enjoy the fact that I am not tied to any one topic on any given day. But there is a part of me — a big, Type A, structure-craving part of me — that wishes there was a little more organization going on.

Or at least some guaranteed posting days. I owe you (and myself) that much, don’t I?

Additionally, there is also a huge part of me that struggles with being limited to discussing food. I love the name “Eating Bender” and everything that I have created since I began this blog more than three years ago, but I’ve changed a lot since then. My interests have grown to include not just food and exercise, but writing. Writing, writing and writing.


Also, business. But I’ve found ways around that through the blog I co-write with my business partner, Pursuing Our Passion. It’s a great outlet for me in terms of business or entrepreneurial content.

But back to writing. Writing is a much more personal journey, one that, from my perspective, makes much more sense to share with all of you, since you already know more about me than you ever wanted than I ever dreamed. 😉

The first time I mentioned my desire to write professionally was way back in April 2009. I touched on it again this year when I wrote about my journey with The Next Big Author contest. Since then, I have been reading books about writing nonstop. I know that sounds counterintuitive, but I love them. I also began subscribing to Writer’s Digest. If you have any interest in the subject of writing, I highly recommend you check it out! Last but certainly not least, I have been attempting my first-ever first draft of a novel.

It’s been keeping me busy, to say the least!

Here’s where I need your advice. I would love to be able to share this journey with you, but I worry that because this blog (and its name) denotes food, that it won’t be interesting to my audience. I’ve thought about ways around that — buying a new domain, combining everything into a new blog that is more about random musings — but at the end of the day, I know I am not ready to say goodbye to this blog, and I’m definitely not ready to say goodbye to all of you.

I need your honest feedback. Would discussing topics like writing, business or any other random musing besides food be a huge turnoff for all of you? Please do not be afraid to let me know how you really feel. I will take everything into consideration and let you know what I ultimately decide.

If you have any other suggestions for content, let me know as well. I’m always looking for new ideas!

Once I give this a few more days of mulling over, I’m going to put together a post detailing how things are going to change around here, as well as what is going to stay the same.

Thanks in advance for your support, and for continuing to read. I appreciate each and every one of you!


{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sara August 25, 2011 at 9:59 am

When I read posts like this, I always think this: It’s your blog, so you can write about whatever you want. Seriously. People might come here at first because it’s about food, but I think people keep reading a blog (for the most part) because they’re interested in the person and they like their writing. So I’m all for you writing about whatever you want right on this blog! :)


2 Jenn (eating bender) August 25, 2011 at 10:05 am

Sara, I know exactly what you mean! It took me a while to push publish because I feel the same way when I read it on other blogs, but ultimately there was a part of me that felt I owed it to the readers who have stuck with me through sporadic and inconsistent posting these past few months. Even if it’s more of a heads up than anything. I appreciate and value your honesty, truly. Thank you!


3 Amanda August 25, 2011 at 10:00 am

Personally, I know that I don’t just read blogs to see what people eat. I really like to know what other people are interested in … so write about what you love and people will be interested!!


4 Jenn (eating bender) August 25, 2011 at 10:05 am

That is fantastic advice. Thank you, Amanda!


5 Megan (Braise The Roof) August 25, 2011 at 10:18 am

I think the key to any good blog is to write about material that you are passionate about. If you are feeling passionately about writing, then your posts will be compelling and we will read. I say go for it!


6 Jenn (eating bender) August 25, 2011 at 12:24 pm

Well said. Thank you, Megan!


7 Lindsay August 25, 2011 at 10:29 am

I have to agree with Amanda and Megan- I don’t read blogs to see (just) what people eat but to hear their voice and understand them. If writing, business or any other topic is what you are passionate about then do it. Passion is what will get you and keep you readers.


8 Jenn (eating bender) August 25, 2011 at 12:29 pm

This has by far been the biggest learning lesson for me today. You are absolutely right. Thank you!


9 Freckles & Spice August 25, 2011 at 10:36 am

One thing I took away from HLS this weekend is how diverse the bloggers are. We are not just people who eat bowls of oatmeal like the world is ending, but we are also knowledgeable about so many different things.
Personally, I would love to hear what you have to say about writing. I need major help in that department. I think this is definitely a yes. Do what you love and the readers will come/stay.


10 Jenn (eating bender) August 25, 2011 at 12:30 pm

So wish I could have gone to HLS this year. It sounds like you learned some amazing things — and I am very glad you’re interested in hearing more about writing! Thank you for the feedback. :)


11 Carol @ Lucky Zucca August 25, 2011 at 10:46 am

I agree with all of the above- people read your blog because they are attached to you- the writer- it is not only what you write about. One of my favorite bloggers got pregnant and though I can’t yet relate to pregnancy, it has been a pleasure reading about her journey because I adore her and am interested in her life. I started reading her blog for the recipes, now I read it to find out what is going on in her life. The same will happen with your readers! We like you for who you are! So, stick to that, and you, this blog, and we will all reap the benefits. :]


12 Jenn (eating bender) August 25, 2011 at 12:32 pm

I love the pregnancy example because that rings true for me, too! It becomes so much more about the person than the “most interesting” subject. Thank you so much for the feedback, Carol!


13 Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food) August 25, 2011 at 10:50 am

Jenn, it’s like you always take the words right out of my mouth. I have been going through this Exact. Same. Thing. Can you email me sometime and maybe we can discuss?


14 Jenn (eating bender) August 25, 2011 at 12:25 pm

I would love to chat more about this!


15 Brandi August 25, 2011 at 10:56 am

I say, write about what YOU want to write about.

If today that’s a new recipe, great. And if tomorrow is something totally unrelated, awesome.

While a majority of the blogs I read do center around food, I don’t keep coming back to all of them JUST because of the food.


16 Jenn (eating bender) August 25, 2011 at 12:25 pm

Thank you, Brandi. Your last line is a huge realization for me!


17 Girl In The Pink August 25, 2011 at 11:05 am

I think you should feel free to write about whatever you want on YOUR blog! :)

I personally would be interested in learning about business and writing!


18 Jenn (eating bender) August 25, 2011 at 12:26 pm

Thank you! I am so glad to hear that! :)


19 Kimberly August 25, 2011 at 11:38 am

I agree! People originally come to your blog because they have spotted something that strikes interest. However, people keep coming back because they like THE PERSON behind the blog. Let your personality shine through like it always does and your readers will love it because you love it! :) Good luck!


20 Jenn (eating bender) August 25, 2011 at 12:33 pm

Thank you, Kimberly! That was incredibly well said. I appreciate your feedback and support!


21 Misty Fritz August 25, 2011 at 11:53 am

As an aspiring writer myself, I’d love to read posts from you about writing, whether they’d be here or on a separate blog, but I have to echo what others have said above. We may initially click through to your blog for the recipes and whatnot, but we keep reading because we like getting to “know” you.


22 Jenn (eating bender) August 25, 2011 at 12:33 pm

I love hearing feedback like this! So excited to share more with you about writing and hear your story, as well. Thanks, Misty!


23 Aly ~ Cooking In Stilettos August 25, 2011 at 11:53 am

I’m in agreement with everyone – it’s YOUR blog and you should write about your interests. I would love to read about the writing side of things as well :)


24 Jenn (eating bender) August 25, 2011 at 12:35 pm

Thanks so much for the feedback, Aly. :) I’m excited to share more. This entire process of putting it out there has reinvigorated me!


25 Adrienn August 25, 2011 at 11:55 am

Like everyone else, I feel like this is your blog and you should write about what’s important to you. I am a writer as well, and I work in corporate America, so business and writing are topics that are important to me. That said, I like reading about recipes and fitness, so I hope those don’t disappear!


26 Jenn (eating bender) August 25, 2011 at 12:36 pm

The recipes and fitness definitely will not disappear. But I’m very much looking forward to creating more content around topics that interest me. Very cool to hear that you are a writer, as well. I look forward to reading more of your story. Thanks!


27 braingutshands August 25, 2011 at 12:12 pm

When I started writing my own blog, I thought it would be very important to keep it structured. Since my interests are so all over the board, I chose to focus on the three areas that encompassed what was, at the time, most important to me: think pieces, food, and DIY. I’ve pretty much ditched that structure and, in the process, have cultivated a consistent readership. Not answering your question directly, but blogs change all the time. Your blog now is extremely different from the one you started, but that’s a necessary change. Nothing creative should ever be static.


28 Jenn (eating bender) August 25, 2011 at 12:27 pm

“Nothing creative should ever be static.” Well said, cuz. You are right – I appreciate the perspective!


29 FoodCents August 25, 2011 at 12:18 pm

Write whatever you like, whatever is YOU……. The thing that sets you apart from other who blog, is your ability to blog about an assortment of matters/subjects/issues & still interest people. I think those who write for themselves first, interest people the greatest.

Maybe you will move from “eating bender” to “living bender”…. only time will tell, but I look forward to whatever the future brings.


30 Jenn (eating bender) August 25, 2011 at 12:28 pm

Love the “living bender” concept – great idea! Thanks so much for your feedback. I think you are absolutely right – now that I’ve had a chance to think about it, the blogs I enjoy most are those that write for themselves first. It seems like common sense, but sometimes I need the reminder!


31 Brittany August 25, 2011 at 9:27 pm

I agree with Dottie, “Living Bender” has a nice ring to it!

And, I’m definitely up for reading whatever you choose to write about. I come for you as a person. :)


32 Jenn (eating bender) August 25, 2011 at 11:09 pm

I really do like that name! Thanks for your support as always, Britt. :)


33 Erica August 25, 2011 at 12:24 pm

Id love to read about your writing!! And this is your space! Put on here whatever your heart desires


34 Jenn (eating bender) August 25, 2011 at 12:28 pm

Thank you, Erica!


35 Angela Ten Clay (@AngelaTenClay) August 25, 2011 at 12:44 pm

I say the more you share the better! I would love to see variety outside of just food posts. Remember, it’s your blog…so you decide the content! Even though readers give input of course. :) As long as you still post about food ideas/recipes/thoughts a few times a month I think you are completely fine. And I will keep reading!


36 Jenn (eating bender) August 25, 2011 at 12:59 pm

Thanks, as always, for your incredible feedback and support, Angela! I truly appreciate it!


37 Kate A. August 25, 2011 at 12:45 pm

I live in Chicago so I was originally drawn to your blog becuase of your posts about chicago activities/food etc. I don’t think I would be interested in business stuff at all, but the writing stuff would be a nice addition in my opinion. Obviously your readers like to read or we would not read blogs (on any topic). So if your writing sections were light and interesting and not too much about the technical aspects of writing a novel and more about trying to come up with ideas, getting published, writers block etc. then I would definitely stick with your blog, even if you stopped writing about food.


38 Jenn (eating bender) August 25, 2011 at 1:01 pm

This is fantastic advice, Kate. It’s great to know more specifics about the type of “writing” posts you’d be interested in. I’m definitely going to keep the food posts coming, as well, but I’m really excited about the additions and truly appreciate your support and feedback. Thank you!


39 Mahealani @ Pu'uhonua August 25, 2011 at 12:52 pm

Jenn, I would love to see some of the other things you’re passionate about make it to the blog. Give us whatever, we will keep reading!


40 Jenn (eating bender) August 25, 2011 at 1:02 pm

Thank you so much for the feedback, Mahealani! It brought a smile to my face. :)


41 Paige August 25, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Ummm I think that would be awesome!
And I didn’t know about the novel. How cool, Jenn! :)


42 Jenn (eating bender) August 25, 2011 at 10:59 pm

Thanks, Paige!! :)


43 Marianne August 25, 2011 at 3:39 pm

I say write about whatever you are passionate about on your blog. If you aren’t totally into what you are writing, it will show, and your readers will move on. Sure, some might move on anyways if they truly aren’t interested in your subject matter, but that will happen regardless. And new people will find your other topics fascinating. Change is inevitable as we live and grow as people – no reason to fight it :)


44 Jenn (eating bender) August 25, 2011 at 11:02 pm

Love that last line. Thank you for the perspective as always, Marianne. You are very right that when someone is not passionate about subject matter, it shows! I’m very excited about what’s to come.


45 Melissa @ TryingToHeal August 25, 2011 at 5:07 pm

what what you love because that shows your passion, and that’s what people want to read about! no worries lady! we’ll always love your blog!


46 Jenn (eating bender) August 25, 2011 at 10:59 pm

Thanks for the support, lady! I heart you! :)


47 Clare @ Fitting It All In August 25, 2011 at 7:34 pm

PLEASE write about what interests you! I read for the passion, not the blog title:)


48 Jenn (eating bender) August 25, 2011 at 10:59 pm

Thank you, Clare!! :)


49 Amy August 26, 2011 at 2:11 am

For a second there, I thought you were saying goodbye to this blog – and based on my reaction to that, I can wholeheartedly say that I would love to read whatever you have to share with us, so long as you continue the blog.

As a reader who has been reading for a while, I will admit that I came for the food/healthy living aspect of the blog at first. But you’ve changed since then – and as a reader, so have I. These days, I care less about what bloggers are eating and more about who they are and the stories they have to share with the world.

From the comments I’ve read, I’m definitely not the only one who feels this way. Please write about writing as well as business, or heck, anything else you feel like throwing in (like your drool-worthy Mama and Papa Bender dinner creations). I may be biased though because writing is also my passion, and business is what I’m in school for. 😉


50 withasideofhope August 26, 2011 at 7:19 am

I really like when I read a blog where the person talks not only about food but they engage their readers about their life, work, etc. I want to know about the person’s life who I am reading about every single day. Ultimately, it’s your blog. You need to do what is right for you. Either way, I will most defintely keep reading! :)


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