– Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your blog? How did you first get into blogging?
I’ve been blogging on and off for years, back when it was all about LiveJournal and writing really emo posts about dull days as a teenager. But back when I worked in marketing and events for some independent bars in the Birmingham I would get really frustrated about the lack of places shouting about the cool stuff happening in the city. Once I left that job I vowed I’d never write about food and drinks again and that lasted all of about three weeks before I started Full to the Brum. It’s a food and drinks blog with a focus on places in and around Birmingham but also cool products I’ve picked up shopping, and doesn’t take itself too seriously at all.
– Alex mentioned the Monday Night Big Shop story last newsletter… tell us about that – please!
Monday Night Big Shop was something I think Alex mentioned as a bit of a flippant comment about going food shopping with her brother, and my ability to get over enthusiastic about really small things kicked in cialis achat paypal. But you know those mundane tasks that can be really fun with good people and just the right amount of silliness? It looked like one of those; Alex would share photos of her brother pensively writing really entertaining shopping lists and looking confused in supermarkets, and it was something fun to tweet about on a usually dull Monday night.
– What do you think is the best “service” a blogger can provide their audience?
Being sincere. I think a lot of bloggers will talk about being authentic and honest and I think these are important too, but I think it’s wider than that. Blogging sincerely is, to me, about being honest about your experience, but also about providing some context – be it your relationship with the brand and past experiences, thinking as a non-blogger or your level of knowledge. Blogging is about personal experience and no one is expecting us to be experts in everything or relentlessly positive, yet we should be able to be honest about things but explain why that might be that way. Was the restaurant too dark because you were trying to take blog photos or was it nice and intimate for a date night dinner; is the drink technically too sweet or is it aimed at a typically sweet British palette? It’s your experience and that’s what readers want, but it’s also thinking that not everyone is you.
– Do you have a full-time job as well? How do you find the time to run your blog so professionally?
Ask me this again at midnight on a Wednesday when I’m swearing at my computer because all I want to do is go to sleep but I need to edit photos! I do have a full time job, and an understanding and supportive boss to go with it, which really helps. It’s a lesson I’m constantly reminding myself of, but I try and go for quality over quantity and don’t force myself to post on a schedule. I know lots of bloggers rave about them, but Full to the Brum is written in a specific writing style which people seem to really like and if I’m tired or force it that style disappears. I’d rather post less often and be confident in what I’ve posted.
– How has your blog changed since you first started it, to now? What was your first post about?
I wanted to say I think it’s constantly evolving, but I’ve just gone back and realised that the first review was of a burger joint, and two years later they’re still something that feature quite heavily on the blog. I’d hope it has improved: the photography is better, I tend to use my DSLR for most posts; and the writing style, which is something that gets commented on, is stronger. All things that come with time, but I’m constantly playing around with the idea of what types of posts to do.
– Do you have a favourite post that you’ve written? Does it differ from your most popular post?
I’m going to sound burger obsessed, which is pretty true, but the Halloween Burger from Burger King. There’s a lot of pretentiousness around food writing and I’ve seen other food bloggers turn their noses up at fast food chains, but for me it’s all about the adventure. And come on, this was my first Whopper, it had a solidly black bun and it rumoured to do things to your poop, why wouldn’t you want to try it?!
– What’s been the best thing about your blogging journey?
I’ve had some great food experiences because of the blog, but hands down it’s the people I’ve met along the way. Considering blogging is mainly sitting in front of your computer editing, writing or interacting on social media the fellow bloggers I’ve met at events have become some of my favourite people.
– We all know you’re a fantastic food blogger, but if you could do it all again, would you choose a different niche? Why/why not?
Oh bless you. I often joke about this – that the blog IS a lifestyle blog, because my life is all about food, or I’ll make it even more niche and just post about burgers. I occasionally think about expanding the blog so it’s not so Birmingham focused, but if I were to completely start again (or had the time) I’d start a Young Adult book blog, because those are what I read if I’m not reading food/drinks blogs.
– A lot of people think that blogging is an easy way to make money, but we all know it’s not that easy. What advice would you give new bloggers?
If you’re in it for the money save yourself some time and hassle and get a part-time job. If you’re in it because you want to be a blogger/writer/photographer be aware that most people don’t make much money and those that do often work on their blog for years beforehand. But the first advice I give to new bloggers is just have a go, don’t worry about your first posts being a bit rubbish because that’s how you learn; you’ll soon get the hang of what works for you but the only way to do that is to actually start. Oh and connect with other bloggers.
– And finally, we want to share the love, so who would you like to see us interview in the next newsletter?
I could easily write a list of wonderful bloggers that deserve some love, but there’s one that springs to mind immediately. She’s my conspirator in reviving the Brum Bloggers community, and an all round good egg; Ting from The Ting Thing. She writes beauty and lifestyle, and usually beauty is not my thing but I love how she really knuckles down into what makes the products so good. I’m crap with make-up and stick to the same stuff because it’s all too overwhelming, but I’ve bought a few things after reading Ting’s stuff because it cuts through all the nonsense.
Have something else you want to ask Laura? Head over to Twitter and get asking!