Like it or not, we’re living in the "Era of the Blog." In a country where just about everyone has the ability, with the click of a mouse, to not only consume but create content, it seems like anyone with an opinion to voice has taken to their laptop and started a blog. This is obviously nothing new (as anyone who used to have a Xanga account can tell you), but the fact alone that anyone, anywhere, can set up a platform and instantly reach millions of readers is one worth celebrating. So for the fourth year running, we’re ranking the top 25 food-oriented blogs, ranked according to readership and social media following.
There’s plenty of time to argue the merits of what makes a food blog great, be it the amount of breaking news, quality of the recipes, layout, industry usefulness, or wide appeal, but for today’s (and previous years’) purposes, we took a very objective approach: we tracked down nearly 200 leading food blogs, using "best-of" lists from sites including Saveur and Babble, and then compiled four data points on each of them: the average number of monthly visitors for the past year (using Compete.com’s data), and the number of Twitter followers, Facebook fans, and Pinterest followers.
To arrive at the final 25, we factored in the number of average unique visitors (this accounted for 50 percent of each blog’s score) and the data from the three social media components (which accounted for the remaining 50 percent). The blogs with the highest total scores made the cut.
While the list didn’t change dramatically from last year, there were a few notable differences. The Kitchn made a leap from number six up to number two, and Picky Palate jumped from number 12 up to number five on our list. Skinnytaste, which ranked third last year, fell to number 10 this year, and David Lebovitz, whose star just keeps rising, jumped from number 11 up to number six. Simply Recipes held onto the top spot for the fourth year in a row.
There were also several newcomers, while others fell off the list entirely. This year we welcome Bakers Royale, Chocolate & Zucchini, Elana’s Pantry, Food52, Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef, Simple Bites, and Thug Kitchen to our list, while we say goodbye to Annie’s Eats, Gluten-Free Goddess, Mommy’s Kitchen, Our Best Bites, Pinch My Salt, TasteSpotting, and A Year of Slow Cooking. Falling off our list in no way indicates a drop in quality; reasons vary from blog to blog. Some have slowed down the rate of posting entries; others have simply been surpassed by other blogs in traffic.
The blogs on our list offer everything from recipes to breaking restaurant news to simple musings about life and food, but they’re all worthy of being on your radar if you love food. Click here for our list of the 25 top food blogs, and if you think we missed any, let us know in the comments below!
Dan Myers is the Eat/Dine Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow him on Twitter @sirmyers.