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My promise to You

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I’m not exactly sure how to start this post.

One of the sub-topics, Advertisers and Blogging for $$$, has controversy written all over it (although not as much as two of the other controversial topics I mentioned yesterday). But I just can’t stay away. I know a lot of y’all will have different opinions from mine on the subject; that’s ok! I want to hear your thoughts even if they’re not congruous with mine. So please don’t shy away from leaving your honest opinions. And my aim at writing this post is not to have a go at the bloggers with Open Sky accounts; it’s simply to try and get a good discussion going.

Open Sky, Amazon stores, endless giveaways…
The advertisers are taking over the blogs!

I have no problem with bloggers who have Open Sky or Amazon stores. After all, it’s a completely-legal (and harmless) way to make some extra money.  It’s only when a blogger tailors every post to mention his or her store, that I start to wonder “What exactly is the reason he/she blogs: A genuine love of blogging? Or simply a desire to make money?” If a blogger wants to continuously promote his/her Open Sky or Amazon store, that’s fine. But I don’t read those blogs very often; I just get bored. If I read blogs for the sole purpose of seeing advertisements, I could just watch tv!

To be completely honest with y’all, the advertisers hooked me into their trap, at first, too. You see, about a year or so ago, when my blog started to get a lot of traffic, companies suddenly began contacting me left and right—dangling all sorts of yummy/exciting/expensive products at me, with the hopes that I’d mention such yumminess on my blog. In the beginning, I said yes to it all. My blog became bogged down with giveaway after giveaway; sometimes two at once! But I wasn’t having fun writing my posts anymore, because I wasn’t using my blog for its originally-intended purpose: to share fun, creative, and crazy ideas with the world and meet other fun, creative, and crazy individuals. Hopefully, you’ve noticed that—in the past few months—I’ve been getting back to writing posts that make me happy, with much less of a focus on giveaways/product reviews. And when the Open Sky Project contacted me, I turned them down. I am so grateful for you all—loyal friends, and fellow crazy souls—therefore I will not sell myself—or you all—out for free products, compromising the content of my blog, ever again. In light of my new blog, I thought it’d be a fitting time to highlight just exactly what that promise means:


First, what my new blog won’t be:

1. It’s not going to turn into a sales pitch.
For me, one of the best parts of blogging is the creativity involved. I don’t want to tailor my posts to push a certain product. Instead, I will mention the foodie products that are making me happy at the moment, not the ones I want to sell.  (For the record, I’ve never received a penny from Artisana for the thousands of people I’ve turned on to their coconut butter!)

2. It won’t be all giveaways all the time.
Y’all, I receive offers for giveaways/product reviews at least once a week. At first, I wanted to accept all of them. (Who can say no to free products?) But I got tired of just writing giveaway posts; as I mentioned above, my blog was becoming very boring! So now I only accept the ones I get really excited about and think you all want to hear about too. As fun as new products are, does anyone else ever feel like companies are taking over our personal blogs?

How does this sound: I’ll continue with giveaways every now and then, but instead of highlighting big companies, I’ll focus more on recognizing some truly-worthy little guys whom I know personally and who deserve attention even though they might not have the same exorbitant amount of funds at their disposal as the big companies. For example, I am privileged to be friends with the owner of a 100%-vegan cookie company! Stay tuned…

Also, to make my giveaways less “we’ve seen this before!” maybe I could throw in some of my own products, such as fudge babies, Afri-cards, or even photoshop creations, like my personalized money… what’dya think about all of this?

3. No play-by-play of my workouts and daily eating.
Many bloggers do treat their blogs as food diaries. But it’s just not my style. It’s not how I started my blog, and it’s not the purpose of my blog. So if that’s what you want in a blog, there are many others (many good ones!) you can read. I don’t have the time nor the interest to write out/photograph everything I eat and do. (You don’t want to see it all. I don’t usually bother making all my food look as gorgeous as my raw Carrot Cake.)


Now, what my blog will be:

1. Healthy Vegan Recipes for Everyone! (vegan or not)
It will continue to be a space where I share my crazy vegan recipes, dispelling the myth that you have to sacrifice taste for health. I know a lot of you are disciples of Clean-Eating-type philosophies, and while I agree with parts of those philosophies, they just seem a little monotonous to me.
Why eat plain oatmeal for breakfast when you can have Chocolate-Chip Cookie Oatmeal and still be just as healthy (if not more so, thanks to the fact that eating yummy foods, as opposed to boring ones, will give you happiness, which in turn contributes to your overall health and well-being)?

2. Product Reviews of foods I genuinely love (many of which I don’t receive for free)
I said before that I’m through selling out my blog for free products. But I think that doing some product reviews can be a good thing. Personally, I’ve learned about a few cool new products thanks to others’ reviews. So there’s something to be said for product reviews, as long as they’re only for products you are over-the-moon in love with. (You couldn’t pay me to not talk about my beloved coconut butter!) However, as I stated earlier, you won’t find me saying, “I just had the most amazing coconut butter for breakfast and it’s available in my online shop on sale this week for only __ dollars.” Instead, I’ll be saying, “Get thee to a store—I don’ care what store—and pick up some coconut butter. Now! Don’t make me come down there…)

Yikes, I hope the above doesn’t make me sound preachy.

As I wrote, I’m not against bloggers who have Open Sky accounts or Amazon stores. It’s just not my thing. Although the money is nice, my main enjoyment from blogging is still what it’s always been: connecting with others, as well as sharing ideas and a love of life! The fact that someone wants to pay me to do something I love and would be doing anyway… well, heck I’m not complainin’ ;)! But if it ever turns out that, in order to get paid, I have to compromise the content of my posts, I won’t do it. There are more important things in life than money. If, in the future, you ever think I’m going against my promise, feel free to call me out on it, reminding me of why I blog. But please do it in a nice way. After all, I’m only human, and I’m not perfect by any means.

What are your thoughts? Also: why do you blog?

Is it to hold yourself accountable to diet or fitness goals? To have an online scrapbook? Or maybe to be a part of a community?

Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 

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  1. Well said Katie! I feel very similarly to you. I blog because I LOVE food and I love sharing delicious and healthy recipes with people! I really want people to learn that healthy food can be so so tasty. That is the main reason why I blog :) and also, of course, to meet other awesome bloggers

  2. VeggieGirl says:

    Keep up your blogging and integrity, dear Katie! :)

  3. Lindsey says:

    Nicely put! I started blogging a few months ago as a way to share my recipes with my family and friends. Growing up, I could barely boil water….so it’s more of a source of proof that I can cook, and cook well! :)

    1. Haha I know where you’re coming from! I was so proud the day I made “microwave eggs” for my family. (Poor family had to suffer through my creation as their dinner.)

  4. thanks for the honest post! i blog for me but it is also nice to help out new, smaller health stores promote products that i personally enjoy and can share with my readers!

  5. Jennifer says:

    THANK YOU for having the bravery to post this! You rock, Katie :).

  6. i really appreciate this and i think you have the perfect outlook and reasons for blogging. keep up just being YOU! thats who we all love :)

  7. Lisa C. says:

    I don’t have a blog, but I enjoy commenting to feel like a part of the blogging world. And you are so sweet to feel like you have to apologize, but really Katie, you’ve given us so much that you ought not be apologizing for anything!

  8. Being so new to blogging, I am just having a lot of fun posting. I don’t have a crazy huge reader base quite yet (although for a month old blog, I’m super proud of my 60-100 hits a day average!!!). Although it would be nice to maybe make a buck or two at some point later on, I don’t ever want that to be the main focus. The friendships I’ve made in the blogging community are worth way more than any product or money could compare to! :)

  9. Sarah says:

    I LOVE what you wrote! I get tired of reading blogs that just promote themselves. I don’t like I have to follow all the links to previous posts, which are porbably just there to increase blog traffic. And I hate when they write they same thing they wrote yesterday in case you missed it. Every once ina while, I can understand that. But it gets BORING!

    1. I sometimes have to stop myself from incessantly linking to previous posts… but the reason I link so much isn’t to make more money, it’s that I’m so attached to old posts, and I work so hard on them, that I don’t like to think about the fact that people will never see them again after the day they’re first published! All that hard work… 😕

      1. Sarah says:

        That makes total sense, especially given how your posts are so well-thought out :) I wasn’t meaning to imply you were trying to make money by linking to other posts… but I do think people do that.

        1. Oh no no, lol I completely agree with you, 100%! I am sure people do it for that reason. But, as you said, it can be annoying to click so many links before arrivinng at the one you want. So I’ve been trying to link less (although sometimes it’s easier to just link so you don’t have to re-write something).

        2. Emmy says:

          Sarah you are absolutely right. These unessecary links are the reason I stopped to read some blogs. Like the one Anonymous mentioned.

          Katie congrats for your integrity and basically because you just want to have fun and communication through your blog.

  10. Noelle says:

    Katie, this post (and this blog!) are a breath of fresh air. I’m so tired of feeling like my clicks are only valuable in a monetary way; just supporting someone’s lifestyle. I don’t envy bloggers for making some money, not at all in fact, especially when so much work is being put into it.
    But when I see that the blog is toted as the only source of income, posts are all about pimping their ‘stores’ or are just photos of lunch, and the blogger raves about all the restaurant outings and fabulous trips she’s taking…it makes it harder to go out and work my 2 jobs. And then I stop reading.
    Cheers to you, and many happy years of blogging to come!

    1. Thanks so much, Noelle. I agree in that I don’t like feeling that the blogger thinks of me only as a “click.” I absolutely love all of the people who leave comments on my blog (well, the nice ones hehe), and I’d never think of them as just numbers. ‘Cause every single one of them (er, you) has a different personality, and I learn so much (and even sometimes change my opinions) from y’all!

  11. Hahaha… Why do I blog? Because my real-life friends and family were SO SICK of hearing me go on and on about the yummy things I was creating and eating! I guess I get a little TOO in-depth. :)

    1. LOL what, your family and friends don’t like to hear you ramble on and on about the joys of peanut butter? 😉
      (Haha mine either!)

  12. I agree with you on it being boring to read a blog that is constantly plugging a product. I blog just because I like to record my thoughts somehow and wanted to share what goes on in my life….at least part of what goes on =D

  13. Jennifer JCD says:

    Thank you for writing this post. Your promise is exactly what it should be; a promise to keep the blog yours. I stop reading blogs that get too self-indulgent with stores and stuff. I want to read quality posts about life, food, health, and have a laugh once in a while too. In other words, you have created a wonderful blog, and as long as you still have fun writing it, I’ll be here reading it…

    Now those vegan cookies you mentioned… 😉

  14. Kelly says:

    Thank goodness for your down-to-earth approach to blogging, Katie! I have to say, I’ve been getting a little discouraged at the Open Sky posts I see everywhere. Honestly, I find it a little distasteful when bloggers promote their shops in every single post, and quite frankly, it leaves a sour taste in my mouth. I’m so glad you’re sticking to your guns and only sharing what *you* want to share – which, in my experience, is totally worth sharing!

  15. Roselie says:

    Oh Katie! If anything could make me like you even more is these thoughts! I second everything you said, and I also loved how you were honest and real about buying into what the companies wanted you too! We are all humans and make mistakes and thankfully people like you learn from them and turn them into positive lessons for us all… 😉
    I can’t wait to read what you think about the ex “vegan” issue…

    Keep up the great work! I love your blog even more now with the changes you ‘ve made recently!

    1. Thanks so much, Roselie! And yeah, I am definitely not above giving in to temptation :(. But I can learn from my past mistakes too.

  16. Katie< I agree completely with you! I have an Amazon shop and I just started to do the foodbuzz featured publisher thing because its nice to get a little cash for all the time spent writing posts! it is by no means a big thing (like maybe a dollar or two every once in a while???), but it is nice. And in my store, I only add items that I honestly use and enjoy. Things that I think others would benefit from.

    I love giveaways! my readers have done so much for my inspiration, and I feel like it is a great way to give back to them :)

  17. I love it! I love your honesty…and as someone who finds herself only going back daily (or every few days to catch up on) to blogs like yours which are honest, creative, and lacking in sales pitches…I applaud you! :)

    I like to think I make those promises silently on my blog.

  18. lindsay says:

    Not preachy at all. To each his own. Your blog is an expression of you, no matter if you are gettin paid or not. I am thrilled to see more recipes and prodcut reviews but I also just like hearing whats on your heart.

  19. Kelly says:

    I agree with you that some blogs push products they benefit from selling way too much. But on the other hand, for blogs to exist in the way that they do, sometimes a blogger has to make use of mainstream marketing. It’s just not possible for people to make a living (typically) off of blogging alone. There’s a trade off somewhere. If you want to put your heart and soul into blogging by making it your full time job, you have to make money somewhere. It’s very difficult to maintain a high quality blog with consistent posting and working full time. That’s what I’m doing right now, but I’m not sure if I could do this forever. I don’t do a lot of product reviews or give-aways. i don’t have an open sky shop. But, if given the opportunity to take this hobby and make it into my dream job, I would have to succumb to these marketing techniques in order to contribute financially to my family. If you’re promoting products you truly believe in and you’re not bombarding readers with advertisements, then I think you’ve achieved a good balance.

    1. See, this is why I encourage disagreement: because sometimes, someone with an opposing view can really make me stop and think about the views I hold. That’s exactly what your comment did! You’re so right about the fact that blogging–when it’s more than a hobby–takes a LOT of work and time. I mean, I’m only starting to get into doing this for a job, and I only post once a day and that takes a lot of time… it’s hard for me to imagine the bloggers who do it three times a day. So your point is really valid. Thanks for having the courage to bring it up. :)

      1. Kelly says:

        Thanks Katie! I only stated my opinion because I feel like you welcome divergent view points if they’re done respectfully. People change my mind all the time so it’s great to have an open forum for real discussion. :)

  20. What a sweet post. Good to know Katie and I agree with you!

  21. Great aims, Katie. Blogs like that are the kind I really want to read, and the kind I hope to make mine as well. As far as giveaways and freebies go, I really think having a blog is a great way for myself and my readers to find out about and try some new products, but I don’t accept any offers for products that I wouldn’t be excited about eating or using for myself.

  22. I blog because it makes me happy. Cooking is my passion, the highlight of my day, and one of the things that puts the biggest smile on my face. I want to share delicious food with the world. My blog isn’t a food diary or an exercise log – it’s a website to show recipes that I personally tested and love. I just transitioned from being vegan to pescetarian and, as a result, have lost some readers. It’s been hard and I’ve wondered “should I be posting things that aren’t vegan?” but in the end, I decided to stay true to myself. My blog is just that – mine.

    1. Girl, you have it down! That’s exactly what a blog should be! :)

  23. Stacy says:

    I agree with Noelle in that you are truly a breath of fresh air! Thank you for continuing to write the way you do (and thank you for helping me find my way to raw carrot cake bites!).

  24. I agree- I like reading blogs and blogging because it’s fun, it shouldn’t be about the money. THat’s great if you can make some money from it as well, but you never want to read a blog that is totally sales-y!

  25. I’m glad you’ve figured out what blogging style makes you happy. And it certainly isn’t bad to have product reviews and giveaways sometimes – they’re fun! I love the idea of featuring small companies, because that’s a great way to get them some publicity and help us learn about companies we might like to support.

    I blog for all the reasons you mentioned, and also just to inspire myself to eat interesting food. If I didn’t have a blog I might find myself eating nothing but baked potatoes and brussels sprouts out of laziness and boredom.

  26. Annette says:

    I love all different types of blogs, but I really don’t need a sales pitch each time I read one. I don’t mind giveaways (even though I’ve never participated), but one or two a month isn’t too bad. I also don’t mind product reviews of items bloggers are sent if they are sincere. If every product they review is wonderful and tastes to great, I usually think it’s b.s. I like the bloggers that will say what they really think even though they got the product for free.
    I’m sure blogging is very time consuming, and that’s probaby why I don’t have one. But I do appreciate the people that do and take the time to keep them active and interesting.

  27. Annette says:

    Oh and to take the whole advertising thing a step further…let me apologize first because I’m sure this will really tick off some people – it seems like some people with blogs constantly comment on other really popular blogs so people will click their links and go to their site/blog. It’s like they are trying to advertise their own blog just by posting on yours. Know what I mean?

    1. YES!!!!!!!!
      (Haha, do you think I agree with you enough?) And it has to be the first comment. Sometimes you read those first comments and go, “Did they even read the post? Or were they just racing to have the first comment?”

      1. Annette says:

        Lol!! You can tell they don’t read the post or that they just skim the first and last paragraphs. They basically just put “Yes, I agree with ……”. I make sure I never click on those links. haha

  28. Albizia says:

    Blogging should be all about having fun and sharing emotions, not a business. If one has more ads than words coming from the heart, that’s bad. Money isn’t everything. Your blog doesn’t leave the impression of being a commercial one and that’s why I like it.

    I created a blog because I needed a place to express my emotions without being judged. Feeling like a part of a community came as a consequence (a good one!) . As for blogging as a business, I couldn’t make money of my 5 bored to death readers even if I wanted to 😀 . I’ve been blogging for about 4 years and I keep doing it just because I like it and my blog is like my best friend.

  29. I started blogging because I realized I didn’t write as much as I used to. It seemed like a good way to get back into it, and I’ve really enjoyed it (although I write about completely different things than I did in high school, lol).

    That said — I totally plunked down $10.99 + tax for a jar of coconut butter and now I don’t know where to start with it! I’m going to have to try some of your (multitude) of recipes soon.

    1. Eh, who needs a recipe. Eat it straight from the jar!! 😉

  30. I blog because I wish I’d had a blog to look to during my hard times where I could say “Me too!” or at least feel less alone. Sometimes it’s nice having an extra resource or tool to use outside of obvious sources. Anonymity helps a lot of people open up about their insecurities.

  31. Rebecca says:

    My only issue with open sky is that it is ridiculously over priced, the prices for some items are way above retail.

  32. Camille says:

    I really like your stance on blogging. In a way, I wish I were the Kaths or Angelas or Caitlins of the world who can make a living on their blog, but I feel like that takes away from writing about the things that YOU care about! (Not that I don’t love all their blogs, because I do and I am a loyal reader!)

  33. I’m with you on the blogging for money thing! I’ve never received a penny for my blog, even though I’ve briefly considered doing the Blogger ad thing. But quickly decided against when I realized the ads Blogger chooses for me might not be in line with my values.

    I do accept most offers of free products to review, but that’s because I honestly love writing reviews. I enjoy it on my blog and in my real job as a newspaper reporter. But if I don’t like something, I’m not afraid to say so.

    I also love giveaways, but I see them, not just as an opportunity for companies to market their products for free, but as a way for me to drive my own blog traffic through FB and Twitter posts.

    However, it’s all about balance. I usually save any sale announcements and the like (and I only do them for small companies that I believe in) for the bottom of an otherwise food-filled post.

    As for your blog, I like the new direction. But please don’t stop blogging about Artisana. You have given me endless ideas on what to do with coconut butter and other nut butters.

    1. Haha NOone could make me stop blabbing about them. I will be happy to give Artisana free press for the next 100 years if that’s how long it takes to convert the entire world to Artisana-eaters ;).
      I love your reviews. Although, like I said this morning, they make me mighty jealous… and hungry :).

  34. To tell you the truth I’ve never even known what OpenSky was until you mentioned it today! I’ve seen it on a few blogs but never clicked…I guess that shows my interest in it! 😛

  35. amazing post, Katie!!! This took guts to put it all out there and be 100% straightup about it all and I commend you, big time!!!

    “No play-by-play of my workouts and daily eating.”– me neither, it’s not a food diary or workout diary on my blog either

    Opensky, stores, etc and continual linking to these…I know. I have an Opensky store and honestly have plenty of info I could give about them and really don’t mention my store much b/c it’s more trouble than it’s been worth for me. I could give you an earful about it but wont :)

    Give aways…I used to do tons too, but w/ the 2nd ad unit, they are not allowed unless they are precleared and even though I probably could get clearance, I have moved away from them too.

    Wonderful post…thank you for being honest with us all :) A rare trait lately it seems :)

    1. Love ya, Averie. I’ll email you soon! :)

  36. Alisa Cooks says:

    If you never did a giveaway again, I would still love your blog! It is the recipes and fun ideas I come back for. That said, a giveaway of homemade CCK stuff is a real treat!

  37. dragonmamma/naomi says:

    I read blogs because I like them, not to win free stuff. (Which isn’t to say that I won’t enter the contests when free stuff is offered!)

  38. bitt says:

    I appreciate your point of view. I think good critical reviews are important and people seem afraid to give a critique of a product they’ve been given for free. Or just mention a product without even giving a critique. Seem subliminal. I do have some ads and affliates only because I am broke but I haven’t had them for the first 2 years of my blog and I’m just trying it out. If I make no money I might not bother anymore. I do like testing out new foods from small companies and reading books for review.

    I ordered once from opensky and had a not-so-great experience with them so I don’t think I’ll be ordering again. Why bother if the price is much more?

    I think the fitness accounts in detail are dull and I skim right over it. Daily eats are interesting to me only if vegan or raw.

    1. Hehe I feel bad when I have to do a bad review (such as with Vega or Amazing Grass bars, which I hated). I try to be nice about it… but I’m not going to lie, because I’d feel even WORSE if I gave people a dishonest review.

      1. bitt says:

        I’ve actually told a few companies that I’d rather not review if it’s negative, but some want it up anyhow. For food, everyone has different tastes. I am not a big fan of Sunwarrior or Vega, which a lot of people love. I appreciate honesty.

  39. kaila says:

    i blog because i genuinely have a passion for healthy living! i am a teen and most of the people around me do not share my same values and love of health food….so blogging for me became a great way to meet others (especially other teens!) like me. I love the comraderie of the blog world and the talented people i have had the chance to get to know!

  40. I blog because I love sharing my recipes and also have a terrible memory so it is a great way to keep track of them all. 😉 I used to post on, but once I learned about blogging (only a few months ago), I fell in love with the idea. I love being able to post step-by-step photos and the dialog that occurs between readers and other bloggers that share the same interests (it’s great to know there are others out there that get excited about kale and green smoothies!).
    Also, as my diet has become more “special” (gluten free, sugar free, & lately vegan & nut free) it has been a huge source of enjoyment for me to find people who like my recipes since my husband loves meat and sugar and doesn’t get excited about food that doesn’t include one of the two.
    I recently put an Amazon store on my site mainly for the purpose of helping people find some of the hard to find gluten free ingredients that I use. (I honestly LOVE Amazon and actually became a Prime Member since I purchase from them so often. You just can’t find gluten free oat bran or raw cacao nibs in stores – that I have found anyway!) Then an added bonus is that I can make a little money off of it too – so far, I have made $8 from items that my mom purchased. :) I certainly don’t want it to turn people off to my site though, I am new to the world of blogging and still learning proper etiquette – so please let me know if you think it is a turn-off!

    1. No no! Definitely not a turn off (Well, not to me, anyway). I have absolutely no prob with people having Amazon stores. Hey, I have a foodbuzz ad on my blog. It’s just when every single post is written as an advertisement asking readers to go to the blogger’s store that things get boring.

      P.S. I’m still thinking about trying that gravy! Do you happen to know how many cups the recipe makes?

      1. I’m so glad to hear you think the store is okay! For the gravy, I believe it made about 3-4 cups. I’m excited for you to try it! I may make it again tomorrow (it’s my b’day weekend and so far, that gravy drizzled over roasted portobello mushroom slices and mashed potatoes is my favorite vegan dish), so I’ll email you the amount it makes if I do!

  41. Jessica says:

    Great points, Katie. Honestly, I don’t bother reading or entering many giveaways – just seems pointless. I am much more interesting in the blogging community and learning what’s worth trying and meeting interesting people. Right now my blog is a lot of stuff about what I eat, what I’ve tried, etc, and I’m getting good feedback on doing new and better things. I’m not quite at the point of putting my own recipes and ideas out there — I’m still taking it all in!

  42. christina says:

    I’m not going to lie, I like your giveaways…at least it gives me a shot at being able to try some of those yummy products I can’t afford/don’t have access to myself.

    I blog because it’s an opportunity for expression. For creativity. And I never pass those up :)

    1. I’ll definitely be having more! Just I’m not going to mention them at the end of EVERY single post like I sometimes did, because it probably got annoying to people. And I won’t have two at once. But I do have some fun ones coming up for ya :).

  43. Jos says:

    I first started to blog so I could get into the community and also share my stuff to others (maybe not that successful yet since I still don’t get much traffic). At one point I did get interested to receive free sample products to review (who doesn’t like receiving free samples?LOL – so would be interested if you can let me know how did you start it hehe. you can email me directly hattorizen at gmail dot com.

    1. Hi Jos,
      I started getting emails from companies as my blog grew. I’m really not sure how they found me. But I know some others email the companies directly.

  44. I just started my blog because I needed a creative outlet :)

  45. whitney says:

    Good for you Katie! I’m glad to see you are being true to yourself. Sometimes I wish companies would send me free stuff to review every now just to try new things and give them an honest review but, I wouldn’t want that all the time. I really look forward to your giveaways however, I would still want you to blog about the usual. I don’t really have any complaints about your blog though, I read it weekly for sure. :)


    1. I know that some bloggers write directly to the companies, asking for samples. Some companies are happy to comply; it’s worth a shot :).

  46. Namaste Gurl says:

    Wow miss Katie, very well- thought out, genuine, and overall lovely post. You really put some work into testifying your main core values for your blog. You did great in clearly simplifying them. I am in complete agreement and couldn’t say it better :)

    Hope my blog one day attracts people as yours does. I guess it’s just cuz’ your one amazing, crazy girl who attracts :)

    1. Aww girl, you are such a sweetheart. Seriously.
      (P.S. when my blog was first starting out, I barely got any visitors… my first post had four comments hehe. But those four comments meant the world to me!)

  47. Allison says:

    Katie, you rock! I am with you 100% in your feelings about advertising through blogging. Do you ever read Her about me page has an excellent response regarding companies wanting to give her products to try. I love the idea of giving away lesser known products and/or homemade items.

    As for why I blog, I started out to have a journal where I could show my friends and family that eating vegan could be just as delicious as eating omni but it quickly moved into the realm of being here for community. Ironically, you were one of the first bloggers I ever commented to and you made me feel so welcome. So I have you to thank for getting me involved in the blogging community.

    1. Aw I’m so glad I inspired you to get involved, because the blogging community is definitely enriched by your presence in it!
      I’ve never seen that website, but I’ll be sure to check it out now :).

  48. Yay for you Katie! I’ve often thought this, especially about Open Sky! I get a little annoyed when bloggers that I love go on about their Open Sky/Amazon stores on their posts! I don’t mind when they mention them now and again, but when they constantly go on about it, it defnitely makes me think that they are blogging for money, and not for love or enjoyment! Anyway, I think your ideas and suggestions (especially for giveaways) are great! :)
    I blog because I have a passion for what I write about (food, life, etc) and I love sharing that passion with others with similar interests! I love reading other blogs (like yours!) which have similar loves and getting ideas and inspiration.
    Thanks for being so honest Katie! 😀

  49. Susan says:

    I love that you keep it real Katie. Your blog is a huge success but I don’t feel you’ve “sold out” in any way. Congratulations on being you – fabulous!

    I blog to express myself creatively. Sometimes it has to do with food, sometimes it’s just a forum for rambling. Either way, I view blogging as a gift, not a job or a platform for other things.

    Have a great weekend love!

    1. I think YOU are the gift. Truly, meeting sweethearts like you are the reason I blog :).

  50. Wow, I’m so happy that you posted this! Some bloggers could learn a lot from you! I did realize that you were gravitating away from giveaways, and I thought it was great! I get tired of blogs that are only about product reviews and giveaways, thanks for being real with us! I am addicted to your fun personality and that’s what I love about your blog, you keep it real and true!

  51. Jennifer I. says:

    Katie, I respect you for being so true to yourself and for your willingness to make a clear statement that.

  52. Missy Miller says:

    Ah, thankyou.
    I hope many many people read this and are hit with the a sudden flash of realization…
    cause there are a few bloggers who I ADORE and then all the sudden my reader feed is like….give-a-way, give-away-give-a-way….blah, blah, BORING.

    I’m like, “where did she go?”

    I enjoy the balance, like you appear to have grasped.

    I have a blog, it’s small and ridiculous and about ED recovery mostly so this is not an issue for me. But I am glad you have liberated yourself from the rabbit hole you almost got sucked into and reclaimed your space. Because we love YOU!

    Hi, by the way….I am not sure I ever dropped a line. Usually I shy away when someone receives so much traffic and comments.


    Please take every opportunity to promote this post of your so many bloggers read.


    1. Thank you so much, Missy!! And I’m so glad you commented, because I love “meeting” new bloggers :). (But I do hear you about shying away from commenting on big sites. I don’t do it much either, just because sometimes I feel like they don’t even read my comments. Not that I blame them… I mean, if you get 300, who can read them all? But for me, comments from sweet readers are one of the highlights of blogging!)

  53. Cat says:

    Thanks you, thank you, thank you!! One of the reasons I read your blog is because it feels so genuine. I love that you make it about you and not a business (no that there’s anything wrong with that!). I like hearing your recipes, you inspiration and little interjections of genuine chocolate-covered sweetness! :) Be true to who you are and what you want to write about and we’ll all be here reading.

    1. Aww, thanks Cat! LOL sometimes I worry I’m making the blog too MUCH about me! So your kind words are much appreciated :).

  54. Very, very honest – and refreshing. Yes…do you read many of those blogs out of curiosity Katie? …some that post like 3x/day and definitely are “marketing” their site to say the least…those blogs give me anxiety to be honest with you and not sure how I feel about them. But then I think it’s just my own stupid insecurities making me feel that way – jealously – and I know it’s my own problem…:(

    Is blogging your dream job thought?! What is?! Would love to know your thoughts…too bad we live in different countries – it’d be easier to chat over tea…and a fudge baby of course 😉

    1. To be honest, I don’t read many blogs, period. I just am not interested in other peoples’ eating habits. I’d much rather spend my computer time browsing sites like foodgawker, looking for creative dessert recipes I can recreate with my own vegan spin. But even that is not much time… I spend so much time writing my OWN posts and responding to comments and emails that when I’m done, I really don’t want to spend time on the computer! 😉

      1. Thank you Katie. Yes, I guess that’s the fortunate part though – you’ve built up a great following and success!! For myself with very little, people say that commenting and getting your name out there is needed for exposure…it makes me second-guess it though…:(

  55. Me! says:

    Plain and simple. You and your blog are just awesome! : O ( :

  56. Misty says:

    Wow ya know when they say people enter your life for a reason, well I saw your blog today for a reason… See I had joined a blogging network and really started to learn about people making money off their blogs. I mean I knew people did but when I started writing my first blog i am not a fat girl it was with a mission I wanted to just talk about my weight loss struggles, a place to be me and honestly didn’t expect a soul to listen. It’s been 4 months and I have over 200 followers now and right now about 3500 hits on the blog while I know this is nothing compared to yours, I was shocked, proud and amazed people actual read! I didn’t even expect them to…

    I then made another blog about my daily family stuff, I wanted this blog to be a bit more witty about my kids and such and how the pressures of being like other mom’s can be a bit much and I just wanted to be me so the not your crafty mom came into play and I am starting to enjoy that blog as well.

    I started to get sucked into the money side of it though the past few weeks, but what kept pulling my heart was simple I didn’t want my blogs to be advertisement blogs with tons of give aways and such (which is okay just not me)…… I didnt mind if in the future and opportunity came along but I still wanted to be true to my blog and I want to say thank you because you have shown me that if there is that same future for me that I can have that possibility AND still be true to what my blogs are really about.

  57. This is a great post! I agree with much of what you’re saying about advertisements. I feel really uncomfortable as a new blogger posting anything at all, because I don’t want people to feel like I’m only doing it to make money.

    I blog because I love gardening and I love eating vegan foods. I really want to get the vegan community more excited about growing their own greens, even if all they have is a window ledge!

  58. Maria says:

    I love your recipes and always look forward to you e-mails. Even as your creations are healthy, I don’t make them as often as I want to. I am looking for a Carrot Brand Muffin simular to the ones La Madeline’s make, only healthier. I think theirs have around 500+ calories to each.

    I you could find time to find something similar I would be very grateful. Thanks for your help.

  59. Angela says:

    Hi Katie, do you block non-vegetarian friendly ads on your site? If so, would you be willing to share a list of blocked sites for other veggie bloggers?

  60. bee says:

    I think it’s great that you blog for the reasons you love it, not because everyone else is doing it. I also appreciate that your blog is not a food and/or exercise diary (I get so bored and guilty reading those type of posts) … so thank you!

    I hope you continue to enjoy blogging for many years, because I really enjoy reading your posts, and the recipes are such a great resource for my food choices and intolerances.