Hello friends!

We made you a spicy little podcast!  In this episode, Tracy and I talk about blogging.  Boy oh boy, the Internet sure has picked up the pace.  Tracy talks about a caffeine induced shame-game, and we talk about traffic, popularity, and sponsored posts.  Transparency.  It’s a big deal.


There’s a great article in the New York Times about pop culture and popularity.  What It Means To Be Popular (When Everything Is Popular).  So interesting!


 I’m going to be Pinterest for Halloween.  Tracy is going to be Ryan Gosling from Lars and The Real Girl.  This makes so much sense.  Like… the most sense ever.  Tracy is going to need a Real Doll.  If she brings it to my next book signing, I’m going to lose it.



image credit

Oh Gosh.


Baked Espresso Glazed Doughnuts  will take the blame for Tracy’s weirdness. I guess….

Thank you for joining us for another podcast!  It really means so much to us!  Have a great weekend, friends!


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35 comments on “Therapies

  1. Jenna Sep 13, 2013

    Hot bod! (I’m going to use this as the new “Great Scott!” from now on). Was so excited to see there was a new podcast, I got off work early (in Australia so it’s Friday afternoon now) to do a tonne of cooking for my boyfriend’s birthday party, so it was awesome to have this to listen to.

    Really glad you talked about sponsored blogs, being a non blogger/ reader only I had no idea so it’s interesting to hear the behind the scenes stuff.

    I usually try to comment positively on your sponsored blog posts, thinking maybe that helps you get more sponsor deals (as I totally support you trying to earn money anyway to produce this content that I love to read/ listen to). But I’m also a bit torn as it seems like nobody really likes sponsored posts (on the blogger’s end or the reader’s end), so maybe it would be better in the long run to protest until the advertisers realize that sponsored posts aren’t the way to go & come up with a better way to get their message out there & appreciated.

  2. Jessica Sep 13, 2013

    Halloo! I see both your blogs and perhaps even more, your Instagrams, as tiny windows into your lives (or the lives you want to show us!) That’s it! Oh, and I am in it for the wildly delicious food (!), so trying out new recipes and enjoying the inspiration obviously. Therefore, please, do what you like with…your feet, or the plates you use! It seems some people want to almost recreate your lives by buying your things and I think it is a fine line between flattery and annoyance (when fifty people ask the same questions) or even, you know, being a leeetle bit creepy! Thanks for such a great and honest podcast.

  3. Melissa Sep 13, 2013

    Hey girls! As usual – great podcast!

    I think you both do a great job choosing sponsored post and the items you post often lead me to discovering great new things. I feel like you both do such a great job respecting your readers by not bombarding us with useless ads and such. Keep up the great work! I feel like everything you choose to do is authentic.

    Thanks for answering the question about baking for others. I have also had this same dilemma and you gave some really useful tips that I will definitely use next time I am baking for someone.

  4. That’s too funny! I was thinking of being Pinterest, too, so when you said that, it cracked me up!

  5. Although a lot of the blogs I read aren’t lifestyle-type blogs, I do see a lot of sponsored posts on the ones I do peruse. I often wondered why there were so many sponsored posts nowadays (as opposed to, say, a year ago), so thank you for putting it out there. What you said actually makes me more likely not to feel huffy when I see these posts, especially from women like you two, who I really do want to support if I can (through social media or other channels).

    Re: not being able to keep up. Tracy, I so identified with you when you were speaking about this. No one can keep up! It’s not all smoke and mirrors, but it’s pretty close. I read a lot of blogs about Spain and traveling (my niches), and I sometimes feel like, “I’m never going to travel enough, visit enough places, or see enough things to keep up with so-and-so.” I’m glad you guys said it: IT’S OKAY. We’re not those people—and we don’t have to be.

    So, in short, thank you, thank you, thank you to two beautiful, talented, fun ladies, whose blogs I never miss.

  6. Hey Joy and Tracy, I really enjoyed this podcast. As a blogger small-time blogger, it was really interesting hearing your thoughts. Bloggers who are really good at what they do (ie: both of you) can sometimes give off the vibe that blogging is really easy, always fun and stress-free. This isn’t because you guys are fake at all, you simply produce excellent content and I think people underestimate the amount of work that goes into every post. It was really refreshing to hear your frustrations and challenges when it comes to constantly churning out posts, balancing life and trying to make some money. So real. Thank you for your honesty!

    Oh, and Joy, please please be Pinterest for Halloween. That sounds awesome.

  7. Joy and Tracy,

    Thank you for speaking openly about some of the bullshitery that goes on with blogging and sponsored posts. I so wish more bloggers would talk honestly about the business side of blogging instead of acting like it’s some mythical unicorn creature that cannot be discussed… the blogicorn? I digress. Anyway, I would love to hear more podcasts discussing blogging like you did today. Also, thought I’d share two along-the-same-lines funny posts going around the internets this week:

    On the ridiculousness of social media nowadays (I snort-laughed at the title of this one):

    On the endless comparison to others we put ourselves through:

    – Joy (not the Baker)

  8. Alexis Sep 13, 2013

    I loved this podcast. So much of what y’all talked about related to blogging was fascinating! I am not a blogger but I read a lot of them and over the past six months or so, I have felt a real drain from reading them due to the sponsored posts, materialism and consumerism. Seeing so many pretty things spurs that whole feeling of wanting something new and shiny (at least in me). As I have taken breaks from them, I have felt better.
    I have also been known to stop following people on Instagram when there are hundreds of comments asking where did you get those (blank) or other questions that just drive me crazy.
    I adore your feed too much, Tracy, to unfollow you but now I will crack up when I see someone ask you where you got your shoes from or what color your nail polish is.

  9. AJ Khan Sep 13, 2013

    So awesome that Lars & the Real girl came up! One of my favorite movies for a winter slow cooked meal night (tmi). Excellent podcast this week. I need to leave mariah song voicemail for my birthday as one of my treats because i’m trying to do extra fun stuff. Plus those choc espresso doughnuts look awesome enough for a birthday self-treat! …… AJ

  10. Jasmine Sep 13, 2013

    SUCH a great podcast ladies! Thanks for giving us a little peak at the crazy world of sponsored posts! Reminded me of something David Verklin said: “Place-based media is like the Wild West of the American frontier. It’s an exciting freewheeling brawl, and there’s a new idea coming to town every week.” Everyone is still working out the kinks and it will be interesting to see where things go in the next couple years…

  11. Katie Sep 13, 2013

    Three things: I, too, gave up caffeine for a bit and then found myself super anxious after starting to drink it again. I switched to decaf and it’s much better (I like Kicking Horse decaf). Also, I am glad to be able to read the content you both provide and hope that you get compensated for it. Lastly, can we all collectively strive to make it a faux pas to ask someone “where’d you get that?” on social media? It reads to me either like a copy cat or like the middle school girl side-eye.

  12. Christie Sep 13, 2013

    Hey ladies! THANK YOU for this awesome podcast! I love them every week, but the info you shared about blogging and how the sponsorship/ad sense works couldn’t have come at a better time! As well as the email question you read about baking for friends and fam being awkward when it comes to money! I want to thank you both for staying true to yourselves and your blog content, and keeping your authenticity. Blogs are way too saturated with ads/sponsors/guest posts/link parties, etc. Yours are not and that’s why I keep coming back to your blogs. Clean, crisp, authentic! Keep up the great work, and the hilarious podcasts! I truly appreciate the time and effort you put into your blogs and the podcast!

  13. Marge Collins Sep 14, 2013

    What great, appropriate subject matter for this past cool graphic designer. The place social media has taken my old profession is crazy. Talk about more competition and feeling out of the loop and not liking the direction of the game. Yet this ever evolving form of “branding” without even realizing the free form communication is a type of branding, just less in your face. Absolutely fascinating. I am currently just going back to the artist I was aspiring to be when I entered Cal Poly’s Applied Art and Design in 1981. Back to basics: paint, paper, paintbrush. Taken it out of the commercial pressure. The old saying do what you love and the rest comes. Very thoughtful, insightful and I can totally relate. Yes I would rather enjoy what I do than try to please so much. “Free” never pays off oddly enough. Keep thinking and talking – so so helpful. Crazy fast ever changing land of media. Thanks Marge Collins, San Luis Obispo, old time graphics gal. Sol Proprieter…

  14. Meggie Sep 14, 2013

    I’m going to chime in with the thank you’s for this podcast! As a blog-reader and not a blogger, I had no idea about any of this. And it’s really helpful to hear your honest perspectives because I am so thankful for the content you guys put out that I’m able to enjoy for free, and I will admit that I’m guilty of not thinking about how the blogger affords to create content when I’m reading posts. I’m not totally sure why this is, but I didn’t even recognize it until I heard this podcast! And Tracy, when you started talking about people asking you to do things for free, something clicked for me. I know you were talking about companies, but I am totally guilty of having emailed you once asking for a TOTAL DINNER PARTY MENU to serve to my boyfriend’s family when meeting them for the first time! What a ridiculous thing that I thought nothing of at the time! I would never ask an attorney to plan out my entire legal case FOR FREE! So thank you, thank you for the honesty and helping me understand better the world behind the blogs that I love!

  15. Hailey Sep 14, 2013

    Hi Joy and Tracy! whats up? I have a question for you, I sit next to this toats hot guy in my french class we have talked a few times and i feel like he might like me to but how can i find out? I’m super shy and have a hard time talking to people.
    thanks guys i <3 your podcast Hailey

    p.s. i know that another girl in our class likes him too

  16. Laura P Sep 15, 2013

    Along with most of the comments from this podcast, thank you for the behind the scenes of the blogging world. Reading your blogs is one of my favorite activities to relax at the end of the day. I so appreciate your creative, entrepreneurial and go-getum ways of creating content. What are ways for me (the reader, listener, viewer) to support you? Obviously I have purchased Joy’s cookbook, but what are other ways to help you awesome ladies with your blog career? Hope to meet you both at the next book signing?

  17. fusilliamy Sep 16, 2013

    What I love about both of your sites is how your voice has remained the same. There’s been growth and improvement and success but it’s still authentic and that’s why I’ve stuck with you guys for years and have stopped following so many other blogs. Smitten Kitchen was the first one I found 6 years ago and when I figured out it was a thing that lots of other people did, my Google reader (RIP) was jam packed with 40+ sites. Even as just a reader it became stressful to keep up especially when you could tell the sites were going for hits or sponsors and it’s just one big EYEROLL. (I also get irked when people post a sauce one day and then the rest of the dish two days later. I see what you’re doing and it doesn’t count!) All that to say, I’m so happy that the both of you are still in this game because I love reading your words and I appreciate all the work that goes into them that we see and don’t see. I know how much I fuss over my silly instagram pictures so I can’t imagine what you go through!

    I can’t wait to listen to the rest so I can hear about Tracy as Lars!

  18. Concerning Instagram:

    I have been thinking a lot lately about how consumer-driven we’ve become online. It’s sad to me that we can’t enjoy a photograph for it’s artistic value…we HAVE to buy those shoes or that bowl or find that color of nail polish. I want you to know that I enjoy your work for what it is–inspiring and expressive of who you are. It is so much more refreshing to view that side of social media with the intent to become inspired and enjoy others’ point of view than to strive to be JUST like them.

    Also–YOU are your “brand”. Whatever you put online that inspires and expresses the joy that comes from you will shape your space. Keep focused on your roots and why you started in the first place. Let it be your inspiration.

    Thanks again for a wonderful podcast!

    p.s. Love when you reference articles, Joy! Keep doing that? thanks.

  19. Tasha Sep 16, 2013

    Hi ladies, I just wanted say that Im not a blogger, but a student and September is kicking my butt too, and your blogs are my favorites, you guys are awesome!! Quick question for Joy I’m not sure where you are in your cookbook adventure but I was just curious if you have a rough date of when we can expect it?

  20. Thank you both for the honest blog talk. I had no idea that CPM was no more, and now I understand why I’m seeing so many sponsored posts now. That’s a hard call to make, and I appreciate the real look into what you have to do to support your blog and stay true to yourselves and your voice. Thank you!

  21. Rhonda Sep 17, 2013

    Please please please make the Lars/Real Girl book signing thing happen. And document. Love the podcast, always will. Appreciate your hard work ladies!

  22. Kendra Sep 17, 2013

    HI Ladies,
    I love your blogs and podcast and listen / read daily. Would like to concur with your advice to the young lady contemplating uprooting her life in the Midwest for her man friend: don’t do it. I HAVE done this and it turned out bad. We broke up, I don’t see the child anymore, feelings are hurt and there is lots of regret. And in my case, the man was ASKING me to relocate to be with him. If the Manfriend hasn’t even broached the subject, just don’t go there. If he wants you, and if he deserves you, he will a) get divorced, b) put a ring on it, c) treat you like the amazing prize that you surely are.

  23. Good podcast. You both sounded like you needed some positive encouragement after listening to the podcast. I appreciate the effort that you both put in to your blogs. I enjoy reading them both. I enjoy reading the recipes even if I do not always have the time to make everything. I love Tracy’s I Love Lists Friday feature and her week in pictures. I enjoy the writing in both, because you kind of sound like my 25-year old daughter-in-law. Thank you for providing some behind the scenes insight to the difficulties in running a blog (and hoping to make some income from it.) It explains why some of the other blogs that I read are pimping products so much (and why I am reading them less and less). Good integrity on your content.

    Good answers to the question from the Midwest about the still-married boyfriend and daughter. I cannot imagine trusting someone who was still married. I have friends (men and women) who are separated or divorced that still enjoy a “divorced with benefits” status with their ex-spouses. I would not be surprised if that wasn’t the case here.

    Several friends do wedding (and other decorative) specialty cakes. It is a gift and an art form. As an engineer, I can structurally design a wedding cake, but it looks like a stack of bricks. :-) So, I appreciate the skill. I do appreciate both of your skills in photography

    Well, enough for now. Know that I look forward to you next podcast. Please keep them coming.

  24. Samantha Sep 18, 2013

    I really enjoyed the discussion you two ladies had regarding blogging. Recently I have become a bit peeved while reading a certain food blog because E-VER-Y single blog post is sponsored by a food brand. I tried to understand that she is probably trying to make some money and I know that the ingredients and time put into a food blog can be very expensive, but as a reader I can’t help but think that I’m just being “sold” a food brand. It was really helpful to see your side of the story and the struggle that you two go through when it comes to deciding what to include and what not to include on your blogs.

  25. Really enjoyed listening today! And I promise never to ask “Where did you get those great plates?” on instagram ever again. ever. ever. Just add that to my list of daily faux pas. meeep.

  26. Thanks for all the blogging real talk. Sponsored posts are definitely a balancing act. I’m a a tipping point right now where I’m not making much money but I’m starting to get a decent amount of offers. It’s hard to say no to something that’s not a good fit when it will pay really well, but I know it’s important to keep the integrity of my little space on the internet.

    I just catered a spread of desserts for a wedding this past weekend. The bride didn’t like cake so she requested a handful of fall-themed desserts and a two tiered cheesecake. She is a really good friend and I knew it would be really time consuming to get everything done. I decided to do it for her but just let her decide what to pay me on top of supplies. I just knew that no amount of money would probably feel worth how much work it would be (and I was right). Overall I’m glad I did it but I probably wouldn’t do it again for someone that I wasn’t such good friends with.

  27. This episode was so interesting! I had no idea about how advertising/ sponsored posts worked. Thanks for the real talk, love the show- and your blogs!

  28. I was trying to figure out what it was about sponsored posts that bugs me. After all I am not against making money, capitalism, and really ultimately what all this means: keeping people employed. I mean TV has been doing this to viewers from the beginning of the time/space continuum. Radio did too . The only ones who don’t are NPR and public TV and even they have fund raisers because “free” TV is run by real people who need to pay their ren, eat, and go to the doctor.

    It is an illusion to ever think something is truly free. For me the person behind the blog is who I read who I follow. If a blogger can figure out how to blog and support it like NPR does it that’s one way. If they have to “sponsor” it like 99% of TV and radio stations do it –that’s another way.

    Because really all of us are selling and buying something every day all the time. We buy things we like and need. It’s just that we don’t like being coerced into a sale. But we still have free will and can make our own choices.

    Personally I still follow bloggers I love and admire even if they do sponsored posts.

  29. Heather Sep 23, 2013

    Hi Joy and Tracy, I want to say that both of you are two of my favorite bloggers. Your work seems to honest to who you are and I love your hilarious take on things that so many people seem to be eating up like blog conferences and even Kinfolk. Yall express so well the love/hate/fascination/huge eye roll feeling that I have about so many things. So keep doing what you’re doing! I have found since hearing your explanations about sponsored posts that I am less annoyed when I see them. I especially don’t mind it when I still get a recipe! It’s on other blogs when I am reading a DIY blog post and the whole time I’m thinking “Hm, it’s really weird that they’re using painters tape for this” and then I see the post is sponsored by 3m. : /

  30. Kohaku Sep 23, 2013

    Thanks so much ladies for explaining how blogging works. It makes me appreciate you two even more. Understanding what you go through seems quite challenging. I’m thinking about starting a blog as well. I heard on another podcast (PopTechJam) about taking your blog and making it into a web magazine. Have you heard anything about this? Looked into it at all? something like = http://typeengine.net/ ……. whats your thoughts on this?
    Much love :)

  31. Have either of you read “Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance”? I think you’ll like it. It has a lot of interesting thoughts about quality and how you can really measure it (as you could measure clicks, views, downloads etc for example). What I want to say is, there are just too many people in this world so there’s bound to be countless blogs and pintrest and instagram pages but nobody else out there is you! So keep being you and forget about halloween themed cupcakes and how many people ask where you got your balls!

  32. Hi ladies! I listen on my phone, but popped in here to get the link to the NYT article. Looking forward to reading it.For those who haven’t seen it, I also wanted to share an oldie but a goodie, by David Lebovitz. It’s a great article on food blogging and food writing in general. http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2011/02/food-blogging-food-blog/

  33. Kelly Oct 5, 2013

    Hi there! I love Love LOVED this episode! I have been binge-listening to you gals for a bit (catching up from the beginning) but this one really struck a chord. Tracy, THANK YOU for explaining/uncovering the *new* blogging world to us non-bloggers. It really is frustrating as an avid blog reader to constantly feel like I am being sold some unrelated product. gross. I love both of your blogs so much and I am happy to hear that you strive to maintain your own personalities (brands?) while balancing the sponsorships. Keep on keeping on, you two rock!

    PS- Joy, I have been digging all of the Baking 101 posts you have been up to. I think about the need to stir my flour before measuring all. the. time. now! I have even been doing it! That said, I still use salted butter and just omit salt in the recipe (shout out to Tracy for supporting this approach still, I hope?). Love you both to the moon.

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