A foodie through and through, with a blog packed full of food inspiration, I’m really pleased to welcome Kavey as our May blogger of the month. Before starting her blog, Kavey Eats, back in April 2009, Kavey shared her food thoughts online in chat rooms, discussion boards, via email and by leaving comments on other people’s blogs.
She tells us, “It was on my way home from an evening of tasting chocolate Easter eggs that I came to the sudden realisation that I’d been stealth blogging – a term I’ve coined for displaying all the symptoms of blogging without having an actual blog!”
After writing 14 posts in her first month, Kavey was worried that she may burn out or get bored, but 3 years later and with a huge catalogue of posts behind her, we definitely think she’s here to stay!
Over on Kavey Eats you will find a whole host of fantastic food information including cookery book and restaurant reviews, experiences growing and cooking fruit and vegetables, recipes she cooks at home, random reflections on food, interviews with food producers and restaurateurs, reports on cookery classes and food festivals and she’s also sharing more of her travel experiences through combined hotel and restaurant reviews. Phew! Did we miss anything?
Kavey says she has made lots of great friends through blogging and loves discovering new people and ideas. She says, “One of the best things about writing a blog is the social opportunities it gives me. Number one remains interacting with readers, fellow bloggers and experts in the food and drink industry, whether they are chefs and restaurateurs, producers or food writers.”
When we asked Kavey what her favourite post is, she had trouble singling out just one, but pointed us to her day with Lebanese za’atar farmer, Abu Kassem – what an amazing experience! Her most popular posts include a review of Pierre Koffmann’s pop up restaurant at Selfridges a couple of years ago and her experience of hosting a stall at Covent Garden’s Real Food Market. She also has a cracking looking recipe for Persian baked yoghurt rice with chicken, which has proved to be a big hit.
A few months back, Kavey started a new monthly blogging challenge called Bloggers Scream For Ice Cream. Each month bloggers are invited to come up with a recipe to fit in with the theme, then Kavey does a round up to showcase everyone’s recipes. The theme for May is chocolate, so get your thinking caps on and join in!
Kavey enjoys working with brands and PRs but only chooses to work with those that genuinely interest her. She points out, “I’m not a consumer review service, and I don’t want to fill my entire blog with posts about brands that happen to have appealing PR tactics and big budgets. And I never trot out a slightly reworded version of the press release!” She has found many of the people behind the brands have a great passion and enthusiasm for what they do, and loves to chat to them about their products.
Here are some of Kavey’s top blogging tips:
- Worry less about what other people think and more about what excites you. If you blog for your own pleasure, for the joy of sharing your experiences, even if it’s just with one or two readers or to have a personal record of your food experiences, then everything else is just gravy.
- My feeling is that if a post bores me to write, it will surely bore someone else to read. As an avid blog reader, I really enjoy blogs where the author’s genuine enthusiasm shines through. When a writer is engaged with the topic, they produce more engaging content.
- Don’t stress about the “rules”. New bloggers spend a lot of time stressing about the so-called rules, whether these be about the length of their posts and how often they post, about how many pictures they include in a post and what size they are, about Search Engine Optimisation, about finding a single niche and sticking to it, about using follow or no follow links, about replying to reader comments, about blog themes, RSS feeds and mobile phone accessibility. My advice is to inform yourself about these, by all means, and then implement only what feels right, is of interest to you and which you find manageable. The only “rules” I’d suggest you take more heed of are disclosing freebies and sponsorship, understanding copyright and giving appropriate credit to sources of inspiration or information.
- Don’t be afraid to make it personal. Unlike writing on commission for traditional media, a blog allows you to share some of who you are – in fact, I’d argue that it’s part of the point of a personal blog. So don’t be shy about letting who you are and what you are about come through in your posts.