1. How did you discover IZEA, and how did you know sponsored content would be right for you? I received an email asking if I’d like to sign up with Social Spark. So many PR emails and requests flood my email inbox daily, but I was intrigued with the nature of this one. I love to work with brands… the right brands- brands that are a natural fit with my cooking and my website, as well as brands that I know my readers are interested in. Letting the brands approach me with requests via an outside source saves some of the headache of having to weed through those emails that come directly to me. With Social Spark, I can easily pick and choose who I want to work with.
2. What led you to leave teaching to become a full-time food blogger? I loved being in the classroom, but I loved being a Mom more. Initially I stayed home and became actively involved in my young son’s life. But I’m a high-energy kind of girl and I needed more. My passion for cooking led me to start RecipeGirl.com and it allowed me to work from home too. Mommy + Cooking + Blogger = One Happy Girl.
3. It seems recipes would provide an endless supply of content. Do you ever get stumped for what to write about? No, not really. There are so many different things to cook and bake, and I have piles among piles of recipes and ideas that I’ll never get through in this lifetime. Having family around provides for endless stories and humor to work into my writing too.
4. Do you have a favorite genre of dish or meal to write about (e.g., desserts, beef, etc)? Dessert! Unfortunately, I have quite the affinity for sweets… which leads to many hours a week on the treadmill.
5. You recently participated in our campaign for Tabasco, and because of the great post were featured in our “Blogs We <3” series. What was your favorite part of being involved in that campaign? When I work with a brand, I really try and go all out for that client. That being said, coming up with a creative idea that I know will fetch a lot of page views for that client is my ultimate goal. Tabasco can be used in just about everything, so it was fairly easy to come up with a recipe for that one. My favorite part: lots of website traffic and my readers loved the recipe for Bacon-Wrapped Tater Tots with Tabasco.
6. We all know maintaining a quality blog can be quite time consuming. How do you balance keeping up your blog and being a wife and mother? Uh, still working on that one! If you asked my husband, he’d say that I haven’t found the key to balancing yet. If you asked my son, he’d probably tell you that I love my computer more than him (but he’s a little dramatic that way!) I’m so passionate about what I do that I simply want to do it all the time. The good news is that when we are together as a family or when we are off on vacation, I can plan ahead and let the website take care of itself for a while with minimal attention.
7. You have fairly decent followings on both Twitter and Facebook. Do you find one platform has a more engaging audience over the other? Or is there really a difference? I’ve had a RecipeGirl presence on Twitter longer than I have on Facebook. With Twitter, I’m an active user… talking all day to my followers and friends and clicking around to links that people provide so that I can actively participate in the food blog community. I’ve met lifelong friends on Twitter and I absolutely love that aspect of it. Sharing recipes and food finds happens on both social networks for me, and I find value in both.
8. Complete this thought: If I could I would ____. If I could, I would travel all year long. Stay a month here and a month there, and experience foods from different parts of the world.
9. My favorite word right now is ____. My favorite word right now is drizzle. The word “drizzle” probably appears on my blog more than any other word. I guess I like to drizzle things on top of my food! The best part is capturing a photo of the drizzle in action… which is kind of sexy.
10. Food blogging is a fairly popular niche. What tips can you give other food bloggers than can help set them apart and stand out? Don’t do the same old, same old. I visit blogs that have vibrant, beautiful photos, easy navigation and delicious-looking recipes. And I won’t visit a blog at all if there are misspellings and/or grammar mistakes- huge turn-off. Find a designer who will make your blog stand out, grab a DSLR and learn how to take some great photos, and choose recipes that you think will be more of a “draw” to the general public. Don’t just make chocolate chip cookies… make Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies!
11. What’s one word of advice you’d give to bloggers who are looking to increase the quality of their content? Don’t publish blurry, unappetizing photos! If you didn’t capture at least one good photo of the recipe you want to feature… either make it again or move on. No one will linger on your site very long if what they’re viewing does not appeal to them.
You can find Lori blogging at RecipeGirl.com.
1. What originally attracted you to Sponsored Tweets? I saw that a few of my friends were participating; people whom I knew were smart and trustworthy. If they were doing it, it must be the real deal. I used one of them as a referral and BOOM, here I am.
2. What has been one of your favorite campaigns to participate in? Boudreaux’s Butt Paste. It’s nice to participate in a campaign that A) I know my followers are interested in and B) I totally endorse in real life. My stream is mostly parents so it’s a great fit.
3. What do you love most about Twitter? I’ve made some awesome friendships. It’s amazing how much one @ can bring people together. I talk to these people every day and really cherish them.
4. Finish this: Without Twitter I would____. “have nothing to do in the bathroom.”
5. How do you get creative with your Tweets? Hashtags. Hashtags are the key to all that is twitter humor. Even the driest tweet can shine with an off-key hashtag. #LikeYourMomsFace
6. What do you do to market yourself, and get new Followers? I get most of my followers through my parenting blog. I also meet people through friends, great conversations, and #FollowFriday.
7. Any advice to other Tweeters on how to get more Sponsored Tweets Opportunities? Be choosy. Select opportunities that your followers will care about. It may mean you take fewer opportunities but you’ll get better results if the product is a good fit for your audience. It’s better for you and for the advertiser.
8. A Tweet a Day___. “is good for the soul. But only if your soul cares about twitter.”
9. What’s your favorite bird (tweet, tweet!)? Artic puffin. Follow Jamie’s Tweets at @thegrumbles.
2. What device do you claim rewards from? Started with an iPhone 3G, Now on a HTC Evo 4G.
3. Do you remember what your first Reward claim was? A 5 point check-in at a Mexican restaurant in my area.
4. What the first thing that comes to mind when you hear WeReward? Being Rewarded!
5. You were our 1,000th check-in winner. Congrats! How does that make you feel? Awesome! When I first signed up I was determined to win.
6. What other mobile social applications do you actively use? Shopkick, Twitter, and Foursquare.
7. Sky’s the limit – what company would you love to see using WeReward? AMC Theaters, I love going to the movies.
8. Tell one thing about yourself nobody knows. Some people know, but not many, I’m only 6 years old! (born on leap year).
9. If Chops were to have a girlfriend, what would you name her? Franny.
10. Most importantly, what’s your favorite way to eat bacon? Wrapped around a hotdog.
11. Have you purchased anything interesting with the money you’ve earned from WeReward? Used it as a down payment on a new truck!!!
12. Finish this: WeReward makes me ____. Want to go out and shop. You can stay connected with Benjamin here.