The topic of the day for Blog Every Day in November (#BEDN) is (get ready for it): blogging. We all know I’m on a fixed income right now, but this is an area where I can afford to offer my two cents.
I started this blog almost two years ago after returning home from a trip to Nevis and St. Kitts with stories about a confiscated conch shell and a scorned ginger pilot. I had been prompted by friends for some time to start a blog and thought it would be a good opportunity to put my anecdotes out there. I was also writing all the time about work-related topics and felt like I needed a place of my own to test the literary waters. I came up with the blog name and corresponding pen name from an experience during one of my ‘previous lives.’ I knew there were a variety of things I wanted to write about and couldn’t think of a descriptive metaphor more fitting than that weird sensory cart I used to push around a skilled nursing unit.
It quickly turned into something more like the cookie cart I had also pushed around the nursing home back in the day, with people requesting me to put recipes online for easier sharing. I did so with mixed feelings. I’ve never been a recipe girl – most of the time I simply throw a little of this and a little of that together in the kitchen. However, it was a way to keep my dishes organized and a lot easier to share a link than trying to remember what I did and sending an email every time someone wanted to know how to make something. Plus, I could incorporate a funny story here and there.
Truth be told, I’ve had and still do have mixed reservations about this blog becoming just another food blog. There are already so many cooking blogs. What would make mine different or special? How will I become the next Joy the Baker and do I really want that? Do I have enough time to devote to a blog in general? I eventually had to take a step back for both personal and work-related reasons. I was getting burned out and it was becoming more of a challenge to come up with good content. As a marketing person by trade, I’m a believer in quality writing and staying on brand – whatever that brand, personal or otherwise, might be. While it might work very successfully for others, I’m not an outfit-of-the-day (#OOTD) selfie-taker or makeup-tutorial kind of gal. And don’t get me wrong – just because I don’t particularly want to cover those topics, it’s not to say they don’t provide value. I’m not walking around nude and I occasionally need to slap on the war paint.
I don’t have a lot to say about tips or lessons learned since I did take a break for a bit and lost track of what was driving traffic to the site. I will say that I was a runner-up in a St. Germain cocktail recipe contest this past year which was kind of cool. I will also add that it seems the more time you have to read and comment on other blogs and posts, the better. While I was working, I didn’t have as much time to devote to that. It’s something I’m trying to improve upon now in between perusing the job sites. I’m starting to view blogging as long-format social media, so the more engaging you are as a writer and engaged you are as a reader, the better. As a result, I’m also trying to have a little more fun with it. I can tell you what drives me bonkers about blogging: 1) weird spammers and 2) bloggers who don’t proofread their posts. I’m as guilty as anyone of a few typos in this lifetime, but there are people out there committing the ‘cardinal sins’ of grammar on the regular. Spellcheck and ‘preview post’ were invented for a reason, so use them to your advantage!
What do I love about it? Well, this was originally intended as a literary outlet for my personal rants or as Virginia Woolf might put it, A Room of One’s Own. While it would be nice to garner paid advertisements (especially now), what I like most about it is that I have a place to speak my mind, use my authentic voice, and share my sense of humor. So whether I’m posting about my latest kitchen concoction or some ridiculous ornament I crafted, you’re getting the real, uncensored, non-PR-spun me. And I intend on keeping it that way.