On Five Years of Wine Blogging

Fiveyearsold Time is the enemy.

Time always moves faster than we think it will and in the end it more than anything else is responsible for dashing hopes, destroying lives, ending strong bids and shutting the door on alternatives.

But what makes Time that really sneaky devil dressed in a cool white dress is that for a while it is the primary source of wonderful developments. I don't have to describe how this might be where wine is concerned do I? While the enemy will ultimately destroy a wine, it first lifts it to new heights.

And where FERMENTATION: The Daily Wine Blog is concerned, today Time is a friend.

Today marks the 5th Anniversary of this blog.

What does this mean? Nominally, it means:

1,961 posts (more than one post for every day of its existence)

-11,600+ comments

Over 100,000 references on the Internet

-An estimated 58,000 minutes writing blog posts

-Three Years of  American Wine Blog Awards

In the Time span of five years, FERMENTATION has grown into something I never expected it to become: A vessel that held the content that would redefine (or, simply, define) Tom Wark in my eyes and in the eyes of many in the wine industry. But five years of wine blogging has done more than that for me. It has introduced me to people I never would have known otherwise. It has opened doors to educational experiences. It has given me the chance to promote causes and people in much more positive and active ways, and it helped play an important roll in staying smoke free. It has been, in a word, a blessing.

And yet even after 1.074 posts per day for five years, wine blogging remains primarily a hobby. The vast majority of my professional life is focused on serving the communication and marketing needs of my clients via a practice I founded 15 years ago when Wark Communications opened its doors. Wark Communications pays nearly all my bills, provides me with all my opportunity and is likely to be the source of my professional identity for many years to come.

And yet, on this fifth anniversary of pursuing a hobby, I have fantasies of my hobby becoming a profession. Nearly every time I sit and craft a blog post, in the back of my mind I imagine making a living as a wine blogger; I imagine generating six figures worth of income by blogging about wine. The fantasy has at times been so intense that I've spent good chunks of time examining various models that might allow this fantasy to come true. Alas, I've yet to find the model or circumstances that would make this happen without an infusion of serious investment funds.

Be that as it may, today, while Time has not yet taken a severe toll on me or this blog, I celebrate five years of wine blogging. It is an accomplishment of sorts. I'm proud of it. And I hope to one, unfortunately all too soon, celebrate a decade of blogging at FERMENTATION.

24 Responses

  1. Jim Caudill - November 30, 2009

    Big props for this but even more for 15 years of outstanding advocacy with WComms. It’s all good.

  2. Ron Washam, HMW - November 30, 2009

    Congratulations! Can’t say I’ve been around for the whole five years, but I admire the perseverance and passion you’ve shown in Fermentation. The last time I did anything for five consecutive years it was the third grade.

  3. Ali - November 30, 2009

    Congrats Tom…I’m a few months behind you with the TexaCali Wine Trail. I thank you for being so mindful with your posts and leading the way for so many of us. Fermentation has set the bar and created a loyal reader with this gal! Cheers to another 5 ahead, whew what a ride it will be! – Ali

  4. Samantha - November 30, 2009

    Congratulations Tom!

  5. @nectarwine - November 30, 2009

    Congratulations. I bet you’ve seen a lot come and go over the years. I hope to be able to celebrate the same milestone in 4 years and 11 months 😉
    Josh @nectarwine (twitter follower)

  6. KenPayton - November 30, 2009

    Well done, sir. May you enjoy even greater success in the next five years.

  7. Gary "Iron" Chevsky - November 30, 2009

    Congrats Tom. I just celebrated 1 year since my first official post. What was a spur of a moment thing turned into many good follow-ups that enrich my life and of those around me. Keep writing. We’ll keep reading. And drinking!

  8. Benito - November 30, 2009

    Cheers, Tom! It’s quite an accomplishment to maintain such a high level of quality and increasing readership for a stretch like this.

  9. Greg Randle - November 30, 2009

    Cheers to you, Tom! You are one of the wine blogs out there truly keeping it all “grounded” and sincere. You are much appreciated…

  10. Jeff - November 30, 2009

    Congrats. I’ve read at least 1900 of those posts, so I’ve been along for the ride with you.
    As I’ve mentioned elsewhere on a number of occasions, it was your blog and the the former Huge Johnson (now Zinquisition) that inspired me to blog. Regardless of compensation (a nut I’d like to crack, too) you’ve fostered numerous other bloggers and that in and of itself is a noble reward.
    Again, congrats for being the wine blogosphere standard-bearer.

  11. Alan Baker - November 30, 2009

    Congrats Tom. Your insight has helped many of us navigate our way through our own blogging and to recognize opportunities that may not have been obvious. Keep it up.

  12. Kathy B - November 30, 2009

    Congratulations Mr.Wark! I hope you continue to be inspired as well as write your words of wisdom for all to enjoy. Now go make yourself a Manhattan!

  13. John Corcoran - November 30, 2009

    Tom congrats and mucho kudos to my inspiration to start my wine marketing blog…Thanks and keep on trucking…..Cork

  14. westoakland - November 30, 2009

    Saluti Tom,
    As a guy who is not in the ‘business’, my interest in wine is a combination of things serious and fun.
    And, your editorials are provocative and typically right-on.
    Best is my sense that you thoroughly enjoy what you do on Fermentation.
    Excellent man, and keep it up.
    Thank you.

  15. Arthur - November 30, 2009

    Congratulations, Tom!
    You are not only a persistent blogger but a true gentleman in every sense of the word. You are an asset to the wine industry and all people within it.

  16. Kelly M - November 30, 2009

    Congrats! I am a fellow Sonoma resident and daily reader. Keep up the awesome work.

  17. Dirty / Hardy - November 30, 2009

    Congrats Tom! 5yrs is an awesome accomplishment (esp. with the frequency of your posts).
    Here’s to 5 more!

  18. Gretchen - November 30, 2009

    Happy Blogiversary! Many more!

  19. Scott - November 30, 2009

    Congratulations on your blog! Despite being nearly always wrong, you are passionate and entertaining enough to keep me coming back. Don’t go changin’.

  20. wine club - December 1, 2009

    Congrats on 5 years of success. I’m not sure any of us are going to make a good enough living blogging to pay the bills anywhere in California, but there are definitely some great perks along the way. Keep up the great work!

  21. Julie Crafton - December 1, 2009

    Congrats on five years and counting! Can’t wait to read your next 1,962 posts.

  22. Pamela Adams - December 2, 2009

    That’s true dedication. Congratulations! I like your truth telling of the inter-workings of wine blogging. May FERMENTATION keep inspiring you and your readers for years to come.

  23. FRANK NERNEY - December 2, 2009

    To think I was proud of my own efforts of a post about every other day on my blog for 5 months and you have more than one a day for FIVE YEARS!! You are Da Man!!
    Frank Nerney

  24. ida - January 2, 2010

    an unsulfured wine called I believe All My Daily.any one heard of it or where I might find it. Ida

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