Eat, Write, Retreat (and do your homework!)
A week has gone by, and I’m still processing all of the advice, information, and tips we received last weekend at Eat, Write, Retreat (EWR). This was the best food blogger conference I’ve attended. Not to take away from all of the great things I’ve learned from TECHmunch, but all of the hands-on experience gained at EWR has had a greater impact and refuses to leave my mind (or my to-do list).
Let’s start with the personalized blog review. I was very excited to see that, overall, they liked my writing style. This has always been one of the main reasons for the blog – for me to express myself in writing. I do need to work on more narrative and more description. I’ve also designed a logo to help brand my blog and make it stand out in a very large crowd.
Of course, the thing I need to work on the most is my food photography. I knew that, and thanks to EWR, I learned a lot of tips and tricks that I hope to implement. Thanks to Lisa Cherkasky and Renée Comet, I learned these cool tricks:
- Candle buttons or dental wax to help hold lemons, etc. in your food photography.
- Clear dish liquid + the liquid you are shooting to create bubbles.
- Use a low setting on your hair dryer to melt chocolate chips for cookie shots.
- Don’t be in love with the spoon (or carrot).
Those tips can help me tell my story through food. What I then have to strive to do is to find new and interesting ways to tell that story. I have to decide, however, is whether I’m a producer (writer) or a business (publisher). Thanks to Andy Schloss, I now have more tools to make that decision. I have always thought of myself as a producer, but if I ever want to turn this into a business, I am now equipped with great advice and tools to do so. Regardless of what that decision is, I’ve always got to remember that Andy taught us that intimacy is the currency of social networking.
Now, on to the truly deep questions. Monica Bhide really made us stretch and move out of our comfort zones to begin thinking about our blog identity and where we are going over the next few years.
- Why am I doing what I am doing?
- Why me? (Am I a subject matter expert, do I want to learn, is it because I care?)
- Why do my readers come to me?
- What is my blog about in one word?
One question answered!
In the past week, I’ve also started taking initiative to help me in achieving some of my long range goals. I’ve started an editorial calendar to help keep me on track with posting on a regular basis. I’ve created a list of things I *want* to post about. I’m thinking more about my social media identity. I’m going to write persistently and consistently. Most importantly, I’m going to write this blog because I love it. My biggest hope is that you love it, too.