On Wisdom, Brutal Honesty & Looking Ahead
Learning is one of those things that truly wise people engage in with tireless dedication. I’m not sure anyone could ever accuse me of being wise, but December 2017 was certainly filled with learning and introspection for me. Being the second month in my blogging career, I took the time to have a critical look at my approach; to dissect what getsNOMSblog is all about. My goal was to figure out if I’m really saying what I want to say and if it’s of real value to potential readers.
There’s one thing that bloggers LOVE talking about; blogging. So there’s a lot to read online about that subject. (I call this meta-blognition) If you read much about blogging at all, one of the primary themes that comes across is the importance of creating value by offering solutions to your readers’ problems. That’s how you find readers, after all. You give people what they’re searching for; literally. You want your site to be the one offered up to them on the silver platter that is Google when they go online looking for answers. With this in mind, I asked myself some pretty tough questions.
The problem with asking yourself tough questions, however, is that the answers, if you’re being brutally honest, can discourage you. As I battled that discouragement in the face of my self-imposed inquisition, I turned to my fellow bloggers which are amazing, my friends who I’m blessed to have and my wife who is a pillar of support and encouragement in my life. I also turned to my faith and to some of the wisdom of more enlightened people who have come before us. I was reminded in this that I’m not alone. I’m not, in fact, the first person to have doubts, to be afraid of trying something new, or to worry about whether I’m doing all the right things and doing them correctly at that. I could write a whole post on that last point, but I’d get way off topic. Let’s move on!
As I write about the questions I asked myself, the answers that I ended up with and the resulting actions that I’ve decided to take, remember that this is a documentation of my blogging journey. I’m just a guy who is struggling to figure out this whole blogging thing, hoping that my story and experiences may help others along the way. Maybe one day I can look back on this record and laugh at my goofiness, smile at the distance I’ve traveled and be thankful for the lessons I’ve learned along the way.
What is getNOMSblog Really About?
When I started blogging, I wanted to write about something that I knew a thing or two about; food. I’ve prepared about a brazilian meals, eaten plenty more of them and have maintained a healthy, life-long relationship with this subject matter. My dad used to say things like, “Boy, you sure do study on eatin’ an awful lot.” That was his southern gentleman’s way of informing me he thought I was a foodie. I reckon he was right. He just didn’t know what to call it at the time. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the fact that I’m a big ol’ boy, standing 6’5″, weighing in around 265lbs. It takes a lot of groceries to maintain such a manly physique!
As I began writing about food, however, and evaluating what it is I really want to write about, I came to a realization. Writing about food itself doesn’t quite satisfy my creative appetite. And the way in which I might enjoy writing about food doesn’t really solve anyone’s problem in any meaningful way. Also, taking pictures of food isn’t my thing. I don’t dislike it. I just don’t have any sort of passion for it like the really good food bloggers do. Coming to that conclusion could have left me at a roadblock. Here I was with a food blog and I didn’t really want to write about food; at least, not in the conventional way of the other recipe-based food bloggers out there.
Non nobis solum nati sumus. (Not for ourselves alone are we born)
~Marcus Tullius Cicero
I began to dig deeper, looking for where my passion really lies. I started by evaluating the reasons that I enjoy cooking so much. People who I love very much mentored me early in life, fanning the flames of my culinary interests; my grandmother and parents. Dad and I used to watch Justin Wilson’s cooking show together before there was such thing as the Food Network. We would often try to emulate some technique we saw Mr. Wilson do while also poorly imitating his accent. My point is that there is a personal connection that is made in food. It’s a common denominator for all people. We all must eat. The lessons of cooking get handed down generation to generation along with familial love, nurture and the comfort of provisional care.
Another aspect of cooking that was made clearer during my introspection was the meaning behind the action. When you prepare food for another person, it’s a personal act of service. Stephen Covey said that if you want to know something about love, just look to a person who serves others. There is an unparalleled and indescribable joy that accompanies a genuine act of personal service. That joy, service, and love is something that inspires me to write. Sure, it sounds a little idealistic, and maybe a bit poetic, but the thought behind it lends itself to the next point that I considered.
Who Will Read getNOMSblog?
Within every person who enjoys feeding other people there beats a servant’s heart. And there, my friends, was an answer to one of my primary questions. Who am I writing getNOMSblog for?
Who has a problem that I can help solve? With whom do I truly identify? It’s the people who feed other people! Those are MY people. Let me explain –
There are those home cooks who simply love making good food for their family and friends. To them, I can offer stories of other home cooks filled with experience, advice and encouragement. Maybe I can even offer them some resources they can use to increase their skill or make a decision on their next kitchen tool purchase.
There are the restaurant and small food business owners/operators out there. To them, I can offer business tips, governmental resources, direction to mentoring and vendor suggestions. I can write stories about those owners to capture their experience that others may learn from.
Finally, there are people who feed others as an act of charity. These are the amazing souls out there who live their lives in service to their fellow human. To them, I can offer publicity, donation resources, advice from others like them and maybe even the occasional helping hand.
How Can getNOMSblog Compete?
There are so many really good blogs out there authored by some phenomenal writers! This fact has become more apparent as I’ve gotten involved in the blogging community over the last few weeks. There are Facebook pages and other online groups where bloggers share links to their content, give advice to one another and share ideas. Through those groups, I have been branching out and reading blogs that I may not have otherwise read. I have to tell you, the high quality of writing and content is enough to make a ‘wet behind the ears’ blogger like me doubt his ability to compete. I mentioned this in a Facebook post, asking others how they deal with “post envy.” I received several good pieces of advice, but someone offered a quote from Teddy Roosevelt that stuck out so I wrote it down to keep in front of me.
Comparison is the thief of joy.”~Theodore Roosevelt
Thanks to Dave of imsimplyadad.com for that one. It was just what I needed.
While a few bloggers agreed that they struggle with post envy, others admonished me that there really is nothing new under the sun. While there may be no new ideas, and all the niches may be thoroughly occupied, it’s important to understand that everyone has a unique perspective on life and a personal voice that will have meaning to some people that other writers in the same niche/genre simply can’t reach. In that way, getNOMSblog (or any other blog for that matter) doesn’t have to compete. I simply have to use this blogging platform as a way to help the people I can help and not worry about the rest. I figure if there’s one person out there who needs my words for encouragement, to find the tool they need, or to find the advice they’re looking for to get over a hurdle, then my work will have been worth it; I’ll count that as a success.
Where Will getNOMSblog Go From Here?
With these realizations, I have a renewed sense of what getNOMSblog is about. I have some solid goals for 2018 and a renewed enthusiasm for blogging.So what’s changing and what’s staying the same?
No More Recipes
Going forward, I won’t be trying to post a lot of recipes, though if I create something I’m particularly proud of, I may brag a little and post a picture on my getNOMSsocialmedia accounts. I will, however, continue to do the occasional ingredient spotlight, like this one about ham, or this one about turkey. Mostly those are just fun to write and I enjoy the research. They may not really solve a problem, but maybe they’ll be entertaining and informative for my readers.
Kitchen Tools Are a Go
I plan to do the occasional kitchen tool review as well because who doesn’t love gadgets?! As I interview people, I will be asking them what tools they use as part of the whole ‘sharing of experience’ thing I’m going for here.
I will continue my series on building a business plan. While there are a lot of articles out there on this topic, most of the ones I’ve found tend to be filled with “businessy” wording and concepts that may be very new to people who don’t have a business degree or years of experience. Those people already have a lot of help or know where to find it. My goal is to create something for people who want to open a food business, but they just don’t know where to start. Maybe they’re discouraged and think they’re alone in their efforts, or simply need help finding a mentor. I plan to create additional posts and compile them onto a page as a collection of resources for those folks.
Resources for Non Profits
There will also be lists of resources for non-profits to help people who feed others as part of their charity work.
Books of the Trade
As I encounter books through my own reading or by way of recommendation, I’ll list them here. I love reading and by extension, I love books. You will likely see a lot of links to books on Amazon and other places as part of my affiliate efforts. If you click on any of my affiliate links and subsequently purchase those books, I will receive a small commission. Hey, I have to pay for this site somehow! Any help is appreciated. Please buy my stuff!?! *ahem* Those links look like this:
Interviews & Stories
My primary focus will be to learn about the experiences of people who feed their fellow humans, so that I may share their stories. My objective is to ferret out the people who are willing to talk with me, pester them with a few interview questions and then tell their stories here. I will continue looking for home cooks like Brian Summers, small food business owners/operators like Ryan Bruchey and charity workers who I can collaborate with on this.
If you know anyone who fits that bill, please feel free to send them to me. By talking about their shared experiences, struggles and lessons learned, it’s my hope that my readers feel more empowered to answer their calling of feeding others. I believe it will be a good chance for them to get a little extra exposure at no real cost to them, so it’s a win win!
December 2017 Statistics Report
I’ve been using social media to relay links to my posts this month and I’ve seen some traffic come in from my efforts there. So that’s encouraging. I’ve added a few affiliate links to my posts as well, though I haven’t made any money yet. I’m told that takes a while, so I’m going to keep doing that in hopes that this blog may pay for itself. A lot of blogs that use affiliates do an income report as part of their periodic updates. If/when I start making money here, I’ll do the same. It’ll be interesting to see the growth. I hope it will also help others who look at my updates later.
- October: 41 site views
- Avg daily views: 1
- November: 140 site views
- Avg daily views: 6
- December: 689 site views
- Avg daily views: 22
Total Blog Posts: 11 (7 new posts in December)
Total Blog Pages: 11 (0 new in December)