Emily Malone began her blogging journey when she applied and was selected to blog about running for her local newspaper. Since then the culinary school graduate has blogged extensively about her entire culinary school experience, planning for a wedding, recipe development, parenting, and much more.
In her blogger spotlight feature, Emily shares how blogging is now a viable business and how it has rapidly emerged as “a platform for businesses to connect with an audience through a writer they trust.” With the proper brand-blogger alignment in mind, Daily Garnish provides businesses like Blue Apron and NatureBox (close to 1,000 community feedback on her review and giveaway post) with high-reach, targeted, and engaged audience platform.
Check out her complete blogger interview to learn how the blogging industry has changed, what Emily wishes she had more time for, and her timely advice to both bloggers and businesses looking to partner together.
How did you get started blogging?
I had just decided to train for my first marathon, and our local newspaper was looking for bloggers to write about their running and training. I applied on a whim along with my best friend, and they chose us! It was a fantastic experience, and it was so fun to share my story with my local community.
What was your first blog post?
I think it was just introducing myself to the newspaper audience, and sharing my running journey to date. Once I finished up my stint as a marathon blogger, I started my own blog because I enjoyed writing and engaging with my audience so much. From there it grew from wedding planning, to general twenty-something musings, to culinary school, to recipe development, to family planning, to parenting — and now it’s some sort of crazy hybrid of all of that. Except for the twenty-something part…
What was your breakout moment?
I gained a lot of readers when I was in culinary school because I don’t think many people had been given such an inside look at that experience before. I also had big boosts in my audience when I was featured in Better Homes & Gardens Magazine as a “blog to watch for” and during the Project Foodblog competition through Foodbuzz.
Have you ever written anything that’s gone viral?
I don’t know about viral, but some of my recipes have gotten a lot of traffic through Pinterest. My most popular are the vegan black bean burgers and the crispy blackened tofu dish.
How has blogging changed since you got started?
When I started blogging, it was much more of a window into people’s lives (including mine!). Now I think topics tend to be more focused and purposeful, rather than just musings on daily life. The internet has changed a lot in the past 5-10 years, and I think writers tend to be more guarded and less open than they used to be.
Where do you see blogging evolving?
I see blogging moving in the direction of partnerships, and a platform for businesses to connect with an audience through a writer they trust. Blogging has become a legitimate form of business, which is great news for writers like me!
What’s on your list of daily reads?
I read my local neighborhood blog, and a few blogs written by some close friends. I actually read blogs less regularly than I used to now, mostly just because with little kids at home my time in front of my computer is prioritized for my own work!
How do you keep up with social media?
I don’t! I sure do try, but it’s hard to keep up with all of it. My personal favorites are Instagram and Facebook, so those are the ones I give most of my attention to. I haven’t let myself get too caught up in Pinterest yet, and while I know it’s a great traffic-driver for bloggers, I also have to recognize that there just isn’t time for everything.
If you had more time, what would you do more of?
I would love to go back to doing more recipe development, and more technical cooking. My current stage of life just doesn’t allow for much of it. I would also love to learn more about photography and food styling.
What advice would you give to a blogger just getting started?
Write only for yourself, and imagine no one is reading. Because honestly, at the beginning no one probably is reading! But if you have a passion for writing and a subject you care about, the audience will find you eventually. Also, don’t share your last name.
What’s your advice to brands looking to build a campaign or partner with bloggers?
I don’t like to do big advertising campaigns that are blanketed across a ton of blogs all at once, as that can feel really overwhelming and redundant to readers who read multiple blogs. I’d much rather be part of a focused campaign, and be hand-selected for a partnership that is a good fit with my content and audience.