Wine Bloggers Unite!

Blogging is a bit like exercising. Once I get into it, I'm on a roll. But as soon as things get too hectic, my best efforts are completely derailed. And, I don't know about you, but I find it very hard to get back onNorth American Wine Bloggers Conference the treadmill after I've been off for a while. That is why it is uncanny that this is my 50th post!

When I started this blog, I did so very reluctantly. It was only after much cajoling by Jim Laube of Wine Spectator that I finally gave in. It's pretty hard to ignore advice like that even if I do hate computers. Now, 50 posts later, I guess I'm a veteran blogger in a growing sea of wine blogs. This milestone comes on the heels of just attending the first North American Wine Blogger's Conference. Over 170 bloggers from across the country gathered in Sonoma County to taste, tour, learn and blog about wine. And, I was right there with them.

It was great to finally put the names with the faces I've met online. Deb Harkness of, Tom Wark of, Gabe Sasso of, Gary Vaynerchuk of, Alder Yarrow of, Jason Alexander of, and many many others.

You'd have to live under a rock to not realize that blogging and other forms of social media are changing the business world. For over 75 years, media content and consumer information have been tightly controlled by the news/media/information industries. This is no longer true. Today, anyone can have a voice and share their opinions on just about any subject, reaching millions of people around the world without even leaving their living room. When you think about it, it's truly awesome. Of course with that, comes an awful lot of clutter/junk. Still, opportunities abound for bloggers and businesses alike during this unprecedented time.  If you're just getting into blogging, here are a few conference observations:

Wine bloggers do not fit a consistent mold. Some are young and edgy. Some are mature with graying hair. Most are somewhere in between. Nearly all are passionate with a quirky off beat outlook that contradicts the established forms of wine writing and wine reviewing that exists today. Generally all have a day job and cram their penchant for blogging in on weekends and the wee hours of the night.  Nearly all would also like to make money from their blog but few will actually do so.  In fact, the chances for financial success are so slim that even the most successful wine bloggers today, including Tom Wark of and Alder Yarrow of continue to support themselves in other manners. As Tom put it, the few extra dollars he actually makes from selling advertising on his blog barely pays for the tequila he consumes on his vacations to Mexico. As for folks like me, blogging has to be a passion. It has to be fun. It can't be another business responsibility or chore like employee reviews or expense account forms. Or, you'll never stick with it.

Gary Vaynerchuk of WineLibrary TV put it best.  This feisty entrepreneur has revolutionized the wine industry with his humorous and irreverent online wine recommendations. Don't believe me? Just ask the 100,000+ people who regularly watch his videos or vlogs.  At one point, someone asked Gary how they could get more visitors to their blog. Gary asked, “How many hours of sleep are you getting?” When the answer was 6 or 7, Gary promptly retorted, “Well, that's the problem, you're just not spending enough time on your blog!”

Blogging isn't for the faint of heart. It takes a commitment and it can NOT be a transparent attempt to sell a product. If you're thinking about starting one for your own business, or you've already taken the plunge, you may have additional thoughts to share...

| | Comments (3)


Grant said:
October 31, 2008 3:27 AM

Re're right of course, but we're almost past the point though where anyone needs to pretend that they are doing it for purely altruistic reasons...there is a commercial element in all blogs, whether that be self promotion or business promotion. The fact that msot blogs don't make any money doesn't change the fact that most would like to, or to add to the success of the parent company/business, or to build a personal profile.

To my way of thinking the one's that hide this intention the best are the blogs that are the most successful, and therein lies the true art of the blog. Hope that doesn't come across too cynically because I'm a huge fan of the role of the blog in wine and the wider on-line world, but I think we have moved into a new mainstream phase with regard to this medium.

All the best


Kim (aka Wilma) Author Profile Page said:
November 1, 2008 9:14 PM

Thanks for commenting Grant. You're right of course...most blogs, at least blogs that are an extension of an existing business, are probably started as a way to talk with customers. And,the hope is that this will in some way have a positive effect on our businesses. But without a passion for the subject matter, no blogger will gain credibility nor will they stick with it long enough to ever really see the results. So I guess the lesson learned is, if you're thinking about starting a blog, make sure you are realistic about your expectations and that you truly like blogging.

DranoEnlini said:
February 11, 2009 12:45 AM

fascinating and communicative, but would make something more on this topic?

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This page contains a single entry by Kim published on October 28, 2008 10:10 AM.

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