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Saturday, August 09, 2008

A Thousand Thanks, and Aloha

Before we begin, let me just say that that was the most spectacular and jaw-dropping Olympic opening ceremony I have ever seen. I was totally geeking out at the LED floor. The amount of fireworks shot off at the Bird's Nest Stadium is just staggering. What an awesome production!

When I started this blog almost two years ago, it was just a place where I could store some pictures and brief descriptions of the food we were eating. I didn't really understand how powerful and beneficial the food blogging community could be. Then in February of this year, we heard about the FoodBuzz community. In exchange for putting an ad banner on our site, FoodBuzz would pay us a small amount per 1,000 pageviews.

FoodBuzz also had a traffic challenge, starting in March and ending in July, to see which blog could build its traffic the most. I signed up with FoodBuzz then, but kept blogging as before, which was not very seriously. I even stopped blogging for almost the whole month of May!

Then in early June, Annie kicked me in the butt and told me to get serious. I started studying other successful blogs and seeing how I could make House of Annie better. I started submitting pics to TasteSpotting and FoodGawker and actually managed to get a few of them accepted!

FoodBuzz treated us to a dinner with other Featured Publishers (like Lando of and Michael of at Gochi Japanese Fusion Tapas in Cupertino. They even sent us a box of Moo Cards, plus a nifty FoodBuzz canvas bag:

Sungold Girl with her fashionable FoodBuzz bag

esther foodbuzz

Then in late June, we were "Blogspotted" by the Malay Mail and that really got us excited.

July was a seriously busy month for us, with an average of 5 posts per week. But it was paying off, as we started to see the site get more and more attention. The March traffic challenge hadn't even entered my mind, as I thought I had started too late to make any significant growth. I was more focused on building the site and building relationships with other bloggers. We even ran a small giveaway of Lupicia tea to see if we could get more interest.

(By the way, Julie, if you do not contact me regarding the prize you won, I will redraw from the list of commenters!)

July ended, and we kept blogging and kept seeing growth. Then, just this week, FoodBuzz announced the winners of the March traffic challenge -- and we were declared the winners! The prize?


Daniel the Spam Musubi Maker with a Message

daniel thanks

So I have a lot of people to thank for this honor:

  1. First, God. His love endures forever.

  2. Next, Annie. Without her, none of this would even be possible.

  3. Next, blogger mentors like Bee and Jaden. Their willingness to share epitomizes the food blogging community.

  4. FoodBuzz, of course, for giving me the incentive to get better.

  5. Sara and Chuck, for the traffic spikes ;-) .

  6. And finally, YOU, our loyal readers! Thank you for letting us share a part of our world with you.

We are more energized, more excited, and more passionate than ever about food blogging. It's not just the virtual interaction we have with you, but moreso the face-to-face meetings with fellow foodies that makes blogging so much fun.

Tomorrow, we go to the 2008 NORCATT in Solano County. We hope to meet some foodies there. I don't know who exactly is coming, but hopefully Chef John from Foodwishes will be there.

Then, next week we fly to Hawaii to visit my family. We won't be posting as many recipes as usual, but we will be posting dispatches of some of the great places we went to eat (of course!). One thing on the agenda is a dinner with other FoodBuzz Featured Publishers in Hawaii. I'm really looking forward to that.

When we get back, Annie and I will be going to an event that we are both really excited about. I'd love to tell you about it but I think I'll leave you in suspense for now. heheheheh!

Well, this post has turned out longer than I expected. I'm going to sign off now, but I would like your opinion on something:

How would YOU spend $1,000?
A. Buy a new camera
B. Buy a new computer
C. Blow it all on a dinner at the French Laundry
D. Save it for a rainy day

Leave us a comment below!

Aloha, Nate


_ts of [eatingclub] vancouver said...

And hey, I don't think choice A applies anymore -- didn't you guys win the camera from Jaden? (Unless I'm mistaken.)

Um, a new computer only if you need it. I wouldn't blow ALL OF IT on a dinner (hehe)... then the rest, save!

THat's just my practical side talking, of course. =D

Jessica said...

Hey nate and annie !!
congratulations on winning the March traffic challenge :)
as for the opinion for the question I'd choose D ! hehe .. anyway hoping to see you all soon. And pls send me some pictures of the kids :) mom and dad would love to see their pictures !

[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

Congratulations, Nate and Annie, on winning the prize!

Just dropping a note here to let you know that I've been enjoying the quick Asian series so much. I've bookmarked all those recipes to try soon. I especially enjoyed the tofu, the beef with ginger, and the steamed mushrooms. Great stuff!

Nate-n-Annie said...

@TS - well, I was thinking more of a DSLR, but sure, I'll take a video camera! Woo hoo!

@Jessica - hey there, cousin! I'll try to put more pics up of the kids, if they'll keep still and smile more.

@JS - thank you! Annie's got more ideas for quick Asian dishes, so we'll be doing more of these series in the future.

Shao said...

Congrats! Congrats!

I would definitely spend the money on a camera but dinner at French Laundry is a very close second and so tempting. Looking forward to your posts in Hawaii!

Rasa said...

Congrats Nate and Annie. I am so proud of you guys! ZOMG, $1000??? That's like over RM3000, FAT TATT LOH!!

For me, I would spend the $1000 on a new camera because my blog basically went from GOOD and VERY GOOD because of my DLSR camera, and the money I have earned in returns is n times more than the initial investment. :)

Have a great vacation!

Reid said...


WOW! That's awesome. Congrats! If I were you, I would save it for a rainy day...although the meal at The French Laundry would certainly be worth it as well. Maybe you'll have some left over for a lunch at Ubuntu.

Hope you have a great time when you are here. I'm sorry that we won't be able to meet up this time. Maybe we can meet up when I am back in the Bay Area.

Nate-n-Annie said...

@Shao - thank you!

@Rasa - Heheheh. I guess I'll have to start test-driving some DSLRs.

Nate-n-Annie said...

@Reid - definitely send me an email the next time you're in the area!

Lando said...

Once again things are looking bright Nate. Cheers! Take the $1,000 and spend it on some good grub. Nothing beats relaxing and treating yourself out.

Nate-n-Annie said...

@Lando - I think we could get some seriously good grub with the money...or lots of seriously good pictures of grub... ;-)

SteamyKitchen said...

Congrats you guys! You both certainly deserve it!

xo, jaden

Nate-n-Annie said...

@Jaden - thank you SO much!

foodmadesimple said...

Congratulations. I am new to food blogging and am inspired by your story. Thanks for sharing.

Nate-n-Annie said...

@Foodmadesimple - thanks! We're all learning together.

judyfoodie said...

Congrats! I am still working on improving and seeing stories like yours makes me want to keep working on it. lol geeking out... love it!

Nate-n-Annie said...

@judyfoodie - thanks. it's hard work but rewarding.