"I don't pretend to have a fairy tale, cookie cutter life," says Sydney Kramer. Her blog, The Crepes of Wrath, is the latest feature in our Sweetest Blogger series. We're glad to have Sydney, mostly because she's not quite like other food bloggers.
For starters, she doesn't do this professionally. "I don't really look at it as a goal, per se, but if it happens, great," she says. "I do have a full time job outside of blogging."
Despite having a full-time professional commitment outside the job, Sydney has managed to build a well-designed blog. She produces not only delicious recipes, but also stunning photography that can stand side-by-side with the top full-time food blogs.
The Crepes of Wrath started back in 2008 when, as is the case with so many food bloggers, it was just a fun project. But over the years it developed into something like a habit. "It's just something I picked up for fun and can't imagine not doing," Sydney says. "I've thought about quitting a few times when I've been insanely busy, but then the thought of having unlimited free time stressed me out more than having no time at all."
Her first big hit came about three years after launch, when she adapted a recipe from The New York Times, The Infamous Jacques Torres Chocolate Chip Cookies. "They're still my top post." It's not surprising why. Not only does everyone love a great chocolate chip cookie, but the photos really make the post. We couldn't help but include one here.
A more recent post, Green Chickpea Chicken Coconut Curry, which she posted about a year ago, has been her greatest viral success. "I think it's a simple recipe that includes a lot of good, wholesome ingredients that can be eaten over the course of a week if you make a big batch, which is appealing to me and my readers!" Pinterest users in particular have loved it, pinning it more than 25,000 times.
As you can see, despite the name, The Crepes of Wrath isn't all desserts. " I think people enjoy dessert recipes, but I'd like to think I'm about 50/50," she says, noting her affinity for savory dishes. "Desserts are definitely fun to photograph, and I also like to bake for my office, which is where 90% of the sweets you see on the blog go and why I make so many."
Even though she has a day job, Sydney still puts considerable time and effort into producing and promoting recipes. "Including editing the photos, writing out the recipe, formatting, etc. probably a couple of hours," she says of her time spent on recipe posts. And then there's social media. "I think if I actually put a number out there I'd be really depressed, ha! Too much time, that's for sure."
At the same time, she doesn't meticulously plan her recipe schedule, and she's not shy about the reason why. "I very rarely plan ahead because that requires time and energy, ha! I should probably be better about it for big holidays, but again, I have a full time job and I don't plan my life around blogging."
It's impossible to produce blog posts regularly for nearly seven years and not improve your skill set. What has Sydney improved? "Photography, of course, but also my writing skills (though I'm still working on that). I'm also better at networking and social media and generally being more chatty and social. At my core I'm more of an introvert so it takes serious effort for me to be more outgoing. I want to be better at it!"
For other bloggers who want to get better, she shares some advice. "Be yourself, invest in a good camera, only shoot during daylight!" The last two are crucial for the kind of pictures required of successful food blogs. As bloggers have proven time and again, the pictures are just as important as the recipes.
To the first point, Sydney practices what she preaches. " I write about things that happen to me, the bad and the good, feminism, body image issues, etc." Then, with a touch of sass, "It's not all farmer's markets and powdered sugar."
One of the most interesting aspects of the Sweetest Blogger series is getting a feel for the food bloggers that inspire our Sweetest Bloggers. Sydney has her own unique list:
- Take a Megabite (Another great blog name, but not quite on the level of Crepes of Wrath)
- Glazed and Confused (Honorable mention)
- The Sugar Hit
- My Name is Yeh
- Wit and Vinegar
- Slim Palate
- Two Red Bowls
- Warm Vanilla Sugar
What is the most rewarding aspect of hosting a food blog? "I've made a lot of great friends via the blog, which is awesome, but I also eat really well as a result of endless recipe testing, which ain't bad."
Thanks very much to Sydney for taking the time to answer questions and be part of our Sweetest Blogger series.
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