You are crazy was the opinion in response to my idea 12 years ago that as a Brisbane food writer that I was going to write a food and travel blog.
Few thought the idea had any merit, but I was determined to have my voice. I was tired of writing about great restaurants, food producers and travel destinations only to see my stories cut down to 100 words because there was not enough print space.
It was the beginning of the downturn in journalism that saw many of my colleagues lose their jobs and reinvent their careers. It’s still happening and who knows what the end result will be, but I hope that print still has a role in the future.
Eat, drink + be Kerry started out on a Blogger platform as a food and travel blog and remained there for over eight years. You’ll only see posts from the last few years on eatdrinkandbekerry.net, which is on a WordPress platform, but the goal is to move more stories across. I just need a magic wand and a clone.
I love my job and enjoy traveling the world bite by bite. As a Brisbane based food writer and travel writer, I really am blessed. Not only do I enjoy amazing travel and food experiences, but I live in one of the most exciting food destinations in Australia.
Here are my tips on how to create a blog and write a blog of which you will be proud. It doesn’t get better than that.
Read my 10 top blogging tips
Follow your passion and write a blog
Blogging is a long road. If you don’t love what you are writing about it will get boring very quickly. Luckily, I get really excited about food, about the people who make it and grow it, and about eating it. Travelling to find good food is even better. Sometimes I am living the dream, travelling the world bite by bite. That’s the best thing about writing a food and travel blog.
Sometimes I just want to walk away
Yep, there are days I really think why did I bother to create a blog? Fortunately, I seem to suffer from memory loss on this subject, and it doesn’t take me long to get excited about blogging again.
When you create a blog you must be true to yourself
That time I was offered big money to blog for a cola soft drink brand combined with that time they wanted me to go to a theme park with scary rides. I don’t do scary rides, and I don’t do cola soft drink (unless rum is involved).
Create a blog that suits your personality and lifestyle and it won’t feel like you are working.
This Brisbane food writer needs a tribe
Loyal readers, loyal followers, frequent commenters, people who like to share are so important for this Brisbane food writer.
I’ve got a great band of friends and people who have become friends through conversations around Eat, drink + be Kerry. You know who you are, and I really appreciate your efforts.
Write from your heart
Developing your own style is essential. I like to write as though I am talking to a friend which is very different from how I write for publications. It is an informal style that gives me plenty of room to move linguistically.
Read lots of other blogs and make a note of those that resonate with you. When you create a blog it’s a little like building a house, things can change along the way. So while it is good to get it right from the start, you can develop a style as you go along.
Most food bloggers would admit their first attempts were pretty woeful. Mine certainly were, even though I am a food writer by trade.
Multiple income sources are essential
I like to have lots of eggs in different baskets, so being a Brisbane food blogger is not my only source of income. I freelance from home to a wide range of publications as well.
There are some who make a decent living from blogging, but they work it hard like a normal job.
Just when you think you have it all sorted it will change
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, they are all constantly changing their rules. It’s a nightmare trying to keep up but keep up you must. I am constantly exploring and discarding new options.
The bonus is that constant education will keep your mind active.
Nobody likes to feel as though they are being deceived, especially me. My dad had a saying which always made me laugh – “I don’t mind being touched up, but I don’t like being felt all over.”
It’s different times now, and truthfulness and honesty are paramount when it comes to blogging. You’ll always find an explanation of any relationship involved in a blog story in the disclaimer at the end of the post.
You’ll never work harder
Having a home office and your own publication means you can work whenever you want. Unfortunately, sometimes it feels like I am working all the time!
When I wake up in the morning, I’m thinking about what social media I have organised. When I’m relaxing in front of the television, I’m checking posts and browsing Instagram. Sometimes I disappear into my office leaving my partner wondering where I am. My off button is broken.
Give Eat, drink + be Kerry a birthday present
You could make my day by following my food and travel blog and subscribing to my weekly newsletter (there’s a box in the right-hand column for both).
Like my posts on Eat, drink + be Kerry and follow the page.
Follow me on Instagram or Twitter.
Best of all, just start a conversation!
Disclaimer: Nothing to see here folks, this is all my own work.
Happy anniversary to you Kerry – and well done you for remembering. I always forget the birthday of my blog. It’s quite a ride, but (mostly) worth the effort!
Meeting people like you Amanda is one of the highlights of my blogging journey. Hope we catch up again soon.
10 years. Who’d have thunk it congrats lovely lady.
Full credit to you Jodi for coming up with my catchy name!
Great read, thanks ! What are the newsletters you read to keep you up to date? Cheers Sue
Hi Sue, i find http://www.shellypalmer.com quite good for general topics and http://www.elegantthemes.com for wordpress topics, especially those relating to my theme. Yoast’s newsletter also contains other tips. It’s a matter of sorting through to find what interests you. I’ve just spent quite a lot of time unsubscribing to newsletters as they seem to have multiplied on their own and taken over my inbox.