The Internet has given everyone a chance to have their say. Blogs are the ultimate self-publication tool and allows anyone to put themselves out there. It has been said that everyone has at least one book in them, I’ve just finished slaving over mine…time to work on the blog I feel I have neglected.
Blogs can lead onto many things, it helps to network with those who have the same interests, it can make money for you: If you manage to get huge volumes of traffic everyday then advertisers might be interested, I’m not sure if having flash adverts and pop-up boxes would be wise and could detract from the content but each to their own. Finally, for anyone who writes, it is an online portfolio of all your ‘published’ work and could lead onto bigger things…see Julia & Julia, Chocolate & Zucchini and the lesser-known Fat of the land.
For me, Blogging began as a something to have fun with and it still is: it’s the place where I can post whatever I want as long as I find it interesting and hopefully anyone who reads it will too. Winter is a difficult time for me to find ‘live’ content as most of what I do is seasonal- in this country, perhaps that could be different next winter. The two golden rules of blogging that I have not conformed to so well (something I aim to rectify) are:
A) Posting frequently- this is something I have trouble with, as I tend to add lots of my own photos to the blog, which involves more work than it sounds! I am still an amateur photographer, but having the blog made me go from a Nikon Coolpix to a Nikon D3000 SLR, with a few other models in between. I began blogging with the notion that everything should have a good story behind it: that happens about once a week!
B) Replying to Comments- This is something I have been particularly slack with, I find it easy to respond if it is a question, but struggle when it isn’t. If you want people to keep reading then you have to interact…Bad form on my part I know.
As a blogger I don’t actually read that many blogs, call me old fashioned but I prefer books. I like a tangible object (rather than a nugget of cyberspace) that I can take anywhere with me. But I do read blogs and here are a list of the ones I do enjoy having a flick through in no particular order with a brief description:
The English can Cook: MsMarmitelover’s blog is based around her supper club, she runs in Londinium, The themes she chooses are fantastic for each one and you can get tickets for her underground restaurant on the website. Love the fact that Warner Bros threatened to sue her if she went ahead with her Gary Trotter/Hogwarts Themed evening…come on!
For inspiration and advice from a seasoned adventurer (he spent 4 ½ years cycling around the world etc.) this is the blog to visit. Al even goes into his methods of self-promotion and going it alone in the world of making money out of something you love doing. A good piece of advice he gave me was “If you can’t think of anything to blog about, do a list”. Well, you’re looking at one…need I say more?
Fiona’s blog is a great read and focuses on, as she puts it ‘stumbling self-sufficiency in a small space’. Very good seasonal guide to what you should be/ could be getting on with, and the use of dialogue really brings the blog to life.
I really admire what Callum is doing; when I lived in the city I did the same. He certainly makes the most of his small balcony as a rooftop vegetable plot…why don’t more urban dwellers do this?
Langdon Cook’s blog, which is about wild food stateside, is so good it has become a book! Great recipes, superb photos and thoroughly researched.
Sustainable living has become something I am really into…hence the treehouse. Brian/Ziggy has documented how he built his cob house and all the bits and pieces that go in it to create an off-grid existence…good stuff!
One of my top reads, no question. Alex has taken the sorts of thing that aren’t usually done in the home kitchen (molecular gastronomy, charcuterie etc.) and done them! Extraordinarily well written with the sort of wit that you rarely come across in a blog, accompanied by some fine photography to create a slick, polished and informative result. If nose to tail eating is your thing or you want to perfect the perfect sourdough, this is the place to go. Look forward to the book, as there will inevitably be…
Another cyclist of the adventurer strain, but this time it’s all about the food that is his fuel…great concept. His first book was about pedaling the America’s in search of the perfect meal (even has a recipe for spit roast guinea pig), he is currently half way up the Mekong searching out and compiling the best local recipes of the Far East. The same guy who introduced me to chicken hearts, his photos, video logs and writing is something to behold…enjoy!
Hunter, Angler, Gardener, Cook comes from a former chef in the states who has turned food writer and is currently scribbling his first book. Very well organized blog and superb content with good photos. The recipes are mouthwateringly grand- what else would you expect from a man who used to do it for a living?
I came across this blog in a referral as it featured the treehouse, I am not sure I could strive to live in a small space, but this woman does. Compact living looks like fun and certainly makes you more self-sufficient, more research than you could poke a stick at and some ingenious living concepts.
When I began my six months up a tree, a friend said she used to work with a guy who did something similar…sort of, so I had to check it out. Although no longer running, The Original Ditch Monkey makes for good reading (see links on his page to read it) as you follow a man who commuted into London for work everyday from a small wood in the countryside over the course of a year. His latest attempt, The year of the Brass Monkey, was meant to be overwintering in the Alps under a tarp, the last post was in September 2009, so he is either dead or gave up…adds to the mystery.
The Survival nerd within keeps me coming back for more, ‘Fenlander’ (real name Kevin), has realized his dream and followed it through, fed up of England he purchased a place in Swedish Lapland and ended up moving out there full time to get stuck in with some hardcore bush crafting. If you want to go Ray Mears, this informative blog is the place to start…
This blog has some excellent, inventive wild food recipes on it, not much in the way of flesh, mostly greens. Good Identification notes and rather than take the recipes straight from a guidebook, Robin has put together some real gems. If you are into your wild food related blogs, this is possibly the best Britain has to offer.
Please post your own favorites, always on the lookout for new online excuses to stop me from my real work! Oh and for the first time in my life, I have my very own business card...not sure what to do with 500 of them though?