An Open Letter To David Lebovitz

Dear David,

The first thing I said upon finishing to read the entire 9,238 words-length post, titled “Food Blogging”, is: WOW! (Sorry David, but it calls for an exclamation mark and I am not laughing). The second thing I said: “I can’t believe I read the entire article”. Then I added: “Yes I can”. It is always a pleasure to read your post, but this time it affected me emotionally, so much so, that it took me some time until I was able to write a comment on your site. That someone with your experience and know-how would be willing to share his knowledge with the entire food blogging community magnanimously, and without ever considering the fact that these people are your competitors, is just astonishing. I’d like to thank you on behalf of all the newbies (including myself), for all those considering to join the food blogging community and everyone else that is inspired by your achievements. We truly appreciate your support and leadership.

I started my blog about 3 months ago and as you can imagine I downloaded many e-books, reports and articles about how to develop an effective blog that is interesting to read to an extent that people will come back for more. None can be compared to your post. It is inspirational, illuminating and the best “how to” tutorial. If I never thought about writing a blog about food, following reading your post, I would get myself next to my computer and start to write.

I am not at all surprised about the tremendous interest in this and other posts you write; the first time I encountered your site, it was love at first site or bite? Although you are trying to convey to us in this post the importance of hiring a designer for creating an attractive blog site (and I am not saying that it is not important), but the main reason people come back to your site repeatedly is because of the style and tone of your writing, as well as the topics you chose to write about. It has a “relaxed” conversational style (at times almost hypnotic) that one can actually imagine as if you are sitting on the couch in the living room next to him/her and explaining the how’s and why’s of blogging. Only after reading a couple of your posts that I started to understand what these so-called “experts” mean, when they emphasize the importance of great content.

Unfortunately, however, I also read other blogs (unrelated to food) that discuss how to “increase the traffic” on your site, how to build followers quickly and successfully, how to get noticed by Search Engines (the famous “running after the SEO algorithm”) and I believe that is when my writing started to get lost and even my GPS was of no help to get me out of the maze I got myself into. After reading your blog David, I feel I was right with my first ideas, but I let these “aficionados” get the best of me with chasing after key words, inbound links and SEO programs.

I started this blog after realizing that my health is deteriorating and I will not be able to continue to do what I did all these years – like putting 10-hours days in the office and add another four at home. Not to mention, as Nicky from Delicious Days put it, the Frugal Gourmet show was canceled a while ago. Since I am not a quitter by nature, I was looking for an outlet that I would enjoy doing (able to handle) and equipped to do based on my life experience. Although, when I took stock of my strong suits, it was medical writing that made it to the top of the list but chocolatier was not far behind. That is how Chocolates & Figs was born. I am not going to bore you here with more details about the birth of this blog; that is why we have an “about” page. If you, or anyone reading this letter, is interested to know more about me, my plans with the blog and other “gossips”, I am working on changing the “About” page, so please come back in a day or two to read it.

I do like to emphasize that reading yours and a few other well written blog sites are (e.g. Dorie Greenspan, eatmakeread, Smitten Kitchen, Lottie + Doof, Smitten Kitchen) the ones that are responsible for the creation of this blog. I felt empowered and encouraged to go in this direction. I must add that my granddaughters’ input was not a minor influence, as well.

I also followed your recommendation about what camera to buy (I still need to buy the macro lens), but the truth of the matter is, that you can buy the best camera in the world; if you do not know what those buttons with those funny symbols are on your camera, the photos that you make with the camera are not ready for prime time. So, I am asking my readers to be patient; I will learn. But in the interim, everybody, including you David, recommend to breakup “big blocks of text” with photos, so while I will try my best, the photos my not be up to par (or what I would like them to be).

In conclusion, I will write about what I see, inhale, feel, and taste, but everything will have a touch of my experience and know-how in it; isn’t that what blogging is all about? I did not know until now that there are words that they are taboo in the food blogging sphere; I must have used at least a couple of times the word delicious because I love to read the Australian Food Magazine, titled: Delicious. I do not see why it should have a negative effect on my post? I am relieved that I do not need to be concerned with key words, back links, and the likes. I am not sure about the extent of fun one can have by reading about ingredients , like how important it is to create beta crystals in chocolate if we do not want it to get discolored (but I will think of something, like borrowing ideas from Alton Brown of Good Eats to make it fun, as well as educational).

I was shocked to read that people do not like the “thank you note” for followers in Twitter? That was the first thing I was advised to do by the social media experts. In fact, I was told that it is impolite not to send the note when you receive a notice of a new follower. People, please talk among yourselves, makeup your minds and present with a coordinated voice.

Just one more thing David; could you please recommend a designer? I am having a hard time to find one. Thanks.

Have a great week everyone. Thanks David


The chocolate enthusiast

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