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Ruminations: How to Write a Cheese Blog

Madame Fromage - Cheese Blog

Back in 2009, I began writing a cheese blog to record my mouse nibbles. I never expected to continue beyond a few months–especially since I didn’t know a thing about blogging, much less photography. Nine years later, I still look forward to sitting down to write my next post. Why? My site feels like an extension of my kitchen table, and every post feels like the beginning of a conversation with old friends.

Over the years, I’ve met so many cheese-loving readers–online and in person–and heard from cheesemakers all over the world. A cheese blog is the doorway to a virtual cheese cave that’s bigger than you can fathom.

Madame Fromage - Cheese Blog

If you’ve always wanted to start a blog, just open the door. Here’s how:

  1. Sketch ideas for your blog on paper. Brainstorm titles, play around with different names for tabs, envision a logo or an image for your header. (You don’t have to bring all of these things together at once, but it helps to start with a vision.) When I worked with a designer on a new template a few years ago, she asked me to start by collecting my favorite business cards and cheese objects in a box. Then we used those items to inspire the look and feel of the redesign.
  2. Buy the domain name for your blog, or experiment with platforms that offer a free trial. Check out Squarespace, WordPress, and Wix, and pick whichever one feels intuitive. If you’re new to blogging, you’ll find it helpful to watch a few online tutorials. Set aside a weekend, and be sure to make yourself a cheese board.
  3. Once you set up your templateand it can be very basic at firstwrite two to three posts before you tell the world. Then blast it out on social media.
  4. Make time to post regularly. Aim for short weekly posts at first. Feel your way forward. You’ll find your voice by the third month. Don’t worry if traffic is slow. This blog is your kitchen table, remember? You don’t want it getting too crowded before you know how to feed your fans.
  5. Keep an idea notebook by your bed or a note on your phone. Brainstorm titles for posts, questions you want to explore.
  6. At month #6, take stock of how far you’ve come. Commit to doing one thing that will enhance your blog-life, like investing in a DSLR camera, attending a conference, or turning a closet into a prop library (for cutting boards, knives, cloth backdrops). Or, hire someone to help you with a logo design.

Now here’s the biggest tip of all: remember that blogging is about discovery. It’s about finding new cheeses and new topics, connecting to new people and fresh ideas. Enjoy each post. Write for the love of cheese, not for financial gain or followers. Like all things that need ripening, a good blog takes time.

Photo Credit MadameFromage.com

Tenaya Darlington

Tenaya Darlington teaches food writing at Saint Joseph’s University. She blogs at www.madamefromageblog.com and co-hosts tours with Cheese Journeys. While writing this post, she nursed a gin martini and nibbled a hunk of Pecorino Ginepro.

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