From food to the great outdoors, Patti Londre offers passionate blogging advice
“At this stage of my career, blogging was natural for my background because it combines creativity, writing, cooking, photography, marketing, technology and more.” – Patti Londre
It came as no surprise when Patti began a little blog called Worth the Whisk, which include recipes, tips and tales from road trips. Food, food, food – Patti Londre has had a passion for all things food since her teens. She earned a degree in home economics at SDSU. She’s been in sales at Campbell Soup (mmm, mmm, good) and held a PR job for a large supermarket chain. For over 25 years, Patti has run her own successful food public relations agency. She is a former Treasurer of the PRSA L.A., former Treasurer of the International Foodservice Editorial Council, and former Chair of the prestigious LA Counselor’s Group.
Patti is also owner of Camp GetAway, offering weekends for women to relive youthful memories of childhood camp. For last 12 years, she has combined outdoor activities, crafts and campfire memories with yoga and spa treatments to create a fun, relaxing, ladies-only weekend. She is also the producer of Camp Blogaway Bootcamp for Food and Recipe Bloggers.
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Mequoda: How long have you been blogging?
PL: In 2007, I started a blog to help market a small business I own called Camp GetAway for Mothers and Others (weekends in the mountains). That helped me grasp the fundamentals of blogging. My food blog was a “light bulb” moment at the Denver IACP conference, and I literally got that running within a week, back in April 2009. Of course, graphically it evolved over several months, but dreaming up the fun name – Worth The Whisk – and scoring the unique URL was the first step.
Mequoda: Which CMS (ie: WordPress, Typo) are you using? What do you like about it?
PL: After a lot of self-discovery (read: struggle) I now prefer WordPress to Blogger because it looks more sophisticated and has more features. But to be honest, Blogger is easier.
Mequoda: Are you blogging for your company as part of your job’s audience development efforts (ie: corporate) or is this a personal passion?
PL: Worth The Whisk started as a personal passion and then evolved to be a support tool for my NEW blogging project, Camp Blogaway Bootcamp for Food and Recipe Bloggers. Yep, a real mountain camp! My experience running the women’s retreats at this peaceful facility was the foundation for a jam-packed conference of education and insight for food bloggers.
Mequoda: Has your blog enhanced your professional reputation? How?
PL: You bet! It’s moved me more into the social media arena, especially with my public speaking. For decades, I have given presentations on DIY marketing, self-promotion and more. Now, I have added presentations on blogging and mastering social media for do-it-yourself marketers. My next is at the annual conference of the Les Dames d’Escoffier International in Palm Springs. Creating Camp Blogaway was a natural extension of that.
Mequoda: How often do you post a new blog? Are you the only one posting on your blog?
PL: I post on Mondays and Wednesdays (give or take), and am the only blogger on Worth The Whisk. When on vacation, I line up Guest Posts by other bloggers, and pre-program them to deploy on specific Mondays and Wednesdays. A very cool way to fill content and make some good blogging friends.
Mequoda: Who is your target audience?
PL: People who are home cooks, or who want to be home cooks, along with people who like to read about Larry. Practically every post has something about Larry, my husband.
Mequoda: What are you doing to grow your audience and to create customer loyalty?
PL: Twice monthly, I deploy an e-newsletter that summarizes the posts.
Mequoda: How are you using social media sites (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) to promote your blog? Has that changed the way you blog?
PL: I engage social media with every post – Twitter and Facebook. Friends retweet, Stumble and LIKE my posts. Ya gotta love the viral possibilities.
Mequoda: What is your main source of revenue: ads, sponsorships, products sales, or donations?
PL: Worth The Whisk isn’t monetized. The source of my personal revenue in the blogging world is Camp Blogaway (sponsors and registrations) and my speaking engagements.
Mequoda: What is your main source of referrals?
PL: For Worth The Whisk, it is probably Twitter and Facebook, then people join the email list. For Camp Blogaway, it is referrals by bloggers… those who HAVE attended and blogged about their experience, and those who have NOT and really want to, so they tweet about it and RT our tweets.
Mequoda: What key metrics (or sites) do you monitor to analyze the health of your business?
PL: Revenue. It’s the only real measurement of business health. All the other smoke-and-mirrors of traffic stats and award badges doesn’t matter to me. M O N E Y.
Mequoda: How many sites have you linked to in the last 30 days?
PL: I probably link to two different sites in each post, so the answer would be an average of eight.
Mequoda: What changes have you seen in your market since you began blogging?
PL: That is hard to answer because “my market” for decades was the public relations profession, which I have pretty much retired from. Blogging is a craft and a hobby, not a profession. But running Camp Blogaway is a project. The amount of interest in learning about food blogging is HUGE, I have to say. The buzz about Camp is very exciting.
Mequoda: Any interesting experience you’d like to share?
PL: I get a kick out of people and companies being nice to me now that I blog. For decades, as a PR person, I was in a category along with car salesmen and advertising executives – to be avoided if at all possible. TRUE! But I made a fantastic living in PR, so I cannot complain.
Mequoda: What advice would you give a new blogger?
PL: Focus on your personal voice, don’t notice what other bloggers are doing. Don’t compare yourself to others. Don’t worry about your stats. Don’t succumb to graft (lots of bloggers get caught up in accepting stuff, and it’s an ethical trap). Be true to your own style. Have fun.
Mequoda – What ways are you planning to expand over the next year?
PL – I recently started adding travel posts, since Larry and I go to some pretty exotic places. But I am still true to the food aspect of my passions, so my travel posts are food-y.
Mequoda – Is there anything you’d like to share?
PL – Blogging is a blast. It makes me happy. And I hope my posts make readers happy. If you read my blog, please COMMENT – we bloggers LOVE receiving comments. Thanks for this opportunity.
Next Event: Saturday, Sept. 25, 10 to 4, Camp Blogaway Bootcamp for Food & Recipe Bloggers kicks off a jam-packed Day Camp at the West Coast showrooms of Viking Range in Baldwin Park, So. Cal. Session topics, speakers, location info, registration uploaded at http://lnkd.in/W75hUQ