Okay Bee-eautiful Readers (keep your shirts on)...it's time to welcome someone new to our spotlight series...we are interviewing our first foodie, and he's a MAN!!! A big welcome and shout-out to Nick Evans, of Macheesmo and 55 Knives! Nick is a busy guy, he loves to cook, and write, and he's an awesome blogger.
About 55 Knives:
55 Knives is an electronic cookbook featuring 55 food bloggers and their favorite recipes and stories. The format is ideal for a food blogger based cookbook because the book is an interactive experience. From the book, you can click through and find out more about each author and connect with them directly! You can download a copy at www.55knives.com.
Thank you to Nick for being our first Guy Blogger at The Blog Guidebook. We want everyone here, not just us gals, to be welcome in this forum.
And on with the interview!
BGB: How long have you been blogging?
Nick: I’ve been blogging seriously for about 2 years now. Pretty much on a daily basis. I think that might make me middle-aged.
BGB: What got you started?
Nick: It started as a way for me to experiment with cooking and I’ve always been interested in tech and writing. Blogging seemed like a pretty natural medium to combine all of those things.
BGB: Are there bloggers who have inspired you? Which ones?
Nick: I read a lot of very different blogs and most of them have inspired me in different ways. I really like bloggers that go out of their way to communicate with their readers. People like Darren Rowse of Problogger are pretty inspirational. He seems like a very nice person and still very down-to-earth. He also shows up every day and is clearly passionate about his subject.
BGB: Do you have any suggestions for new bloggers? Any tips on gaining followers/readers?
Nick: Don’t worry about getting everything perfect. It never will be. Whatever your desire is, start doing it today. And show up every day. I’m not saying that you have to post every day, but I think it’s important to be communicating every day via posts or social networking, or emails.
Sometimes I think people forget the importance of a schedule. You can post once a week, once a month or once a day, but find a schedule that works for you and stick to it.
BGB: Do you think there are specific genres that are more popular than others in blogging?
Nick: Food blogging! I can’t keep up with all the new food blogs. Also, I think the make-money-online genre and “how to blog” blogs are always popular even though I’d say only a percentage of them are worth reading.
BGB: Do you advertise your blog? If so, where?
Nick: Nope. Word of mouth.
BGB: Who designed your blog?
Nick: My friend Ross (www.systemcomic.com) helped me with the first version. I did some of the CSS and plugin work myself. I’m working with a new designer now though for a pretty huge over-haul on the site. It’s kind of out-grown its skin right now.
BGB: Does your blog relate to your job at all, is it your job?
Nick: Not really at all. It’s definitely not my day job. I do it for love!
BGB: When and where do you write your posts?
Nick: I usually write in the mornings. I write at my house and drink my morning smoothie. I have a pretty intense writing schedule these days.
BGB: Have you ever hosted a blog party or link party?
Nick: I think? I’m not really sure what that is (am I getting blogger old?!). I hosted an edition of Yeastspotting once. (http://www.macheesmo.com/2009/08/yeastspotting-8-21-09/)
I also do these large posts with 60 recipes and photos from around the food blog world occasionally. They seem to be popular and I end up meeting a lot of new bloggers out of them. I did one recently on 60 Summertime Dishes: http://www.macheesmo.com/2010/07/60-summertime-dishes/
BGB: Was it successful and why or why not?
Nick: I think so! It seemed like a lot of my normal readers click through to check out some new sites. I end up meeting a lot of new bloggers and so in that regard I definitely consider it a success.
BGB: Have you ever attended a just for bloggers event? If so, which one(s)?
Nick: Not yet, but I could see myself doing things like that as I get more involved.
BGB: Are there any negatives to blogging you’re concerned about?
Nick: I think blogging is a fantastic medium and a great way to experience some personal growth. There’s always the risk of having too many “amateur experts” in a field I guess, but I don’t really see that as a huge risk. I think most bloggers are pretty honest with their readers (I try to disclose as many times as possible that I’m not a trained chef!).
Of course, there are bloggers that don’t act in an ethical fashion (a number of the Make Money Online sites come to mind), but I think in general, people are using blogging to express themselves, meet some people that have similar interests, and practice a hobby. It’s great for all those things.
BGB: How do they impact you or your readers?
Nick: Well, I think that my readers actually like that I’m an amateur. Macheesmo wouldn’t really have the same feel if I knew what I was doing 100% of the time.
That said, as Macheesmo grows, I do try to have a filter and even when I fail at a recipe I still try to provide value to my readers.
BGB: What do you think the future is of blogging?
Nick: Well, obviously it’ll continue to grow. I think you’ll see private/corporate sectors moving into the blog world as they realize the power of an audience. I think you’ll see bloggers sponsored by large companies with large contracts… like athletes except fractions of the money probably. This is already happening to some extent but I think it’ll get more and more common to cut out middle men advertising networks and companies will form relationships directly with bloggers.
BGB: Which blogs do you read often? Any favorites?
Nick: I obviously read a ton of food blogs. I really like Food Loves Writing (www.foodloveswriting.com). Shannalee is a fantastic writer. I check in with my blogging rival Dan at The Food In My Beard (www.thefoodinmybeard.com) pretty much daily to see what crazy stuff he’s making. One blog that has me hooked these days is Rivka at Not Derby Pie (www.notderbypie.com). She’s been posting some great summer dishes and she takes great photos.
BGB: What are you currently working on?
Nick: I just finished a huge project which is an electronic cookbook called “55 Knives.” It features 55 food bloggers and their favorite recipes and stories. I’m really proud of the finished product and it’s getting some great reviews. You can download it for just $14 at www.55knives.com.
I also have been spending some time with a site that Dan and I run on the side called Foodie Fights. We just launched the new redesign for it. It lets bloggers sign-up and compete in a kind of Internet Iron Chef style format. We have new battles every week and it’s really a lot of fun. You can check that out at www.foodiefights.com.
BGB: Thank you, Nick, we appreciate your input and can't wait to see what you do next!