Your name: Chava Mazal
Name of your blog: Almost Kosher
Blog URL: http://almost-kosher.net
Blog social media accounts:
- Bloglovin’: @chavamazal
- Facebook: @almostkosher
- Twitter: @almost_kosher
- Instagram: @almost.kosher
- Pinterest: @almostkosher
Let’s get to know YOU:
Tell us a little bit about yourself (mini bio): I’m Chava, I was born and raised in the Bay Area, but have called Salt Lake City, Utah home for the past decade. I’m nearly 30 (omigosh, am I truly this old already?).
What do you do outside of blogging (think school or work): I’m your typical non-traditional student–I’m only a sophomore in college. However, I have been working in the paralegal field for the past 9 years, specializing in intellectual property.
What do you like to do on your down time? Reading and self-study. I’ve been interested in linguistics as a potential major, so I read a lot on the subject while I’m still trying to figure out if it’s for me.
Blog niche: Recipes and some travel.
What’s the purpose of your blog? To share my travels, thoughts, and recipes through story or sometimes inspiration.
Who’s your target? Other home cooks who love food and travel, experimenting in the kitchen, and need quick weekday meals.
What’s the best way for your audience to contact you? I have a contact form on my About page on the blog, otherwise social media is where I’m found.
How would you describe your blogging style? I’m still developing my voice, but I’d say I try to be relate-able and conversational. I’d like my readers to feel like they’re reading an update from a friend.
When did you start blogging? I’ve been blogging casually for a few years here and there, but my first serious push started with Almost Kosher in December of 2015.
What inspired you to start blogging? My friends pushed me to start. I love to write and cook. I was holding some friend get-togethers where I’d teach my girlfriends a new recipe I devised or discovered and finally someone told me I should blog.
What’s the biggest change in your life since you started blogging? I’ve been a lot busier! Aside from that, I’m learning to push myself outside of my comfort zone and self-impose deadlines.
- Short term: I’d like to find a way to churn out more engaging content and on a consistent schedule.
- Long term: Reach a broader audience and guest blog frequently.
If you could start blogging all over again, what would you do differently? I would have learned how to take a good photograph of food from day 1.
How do you motivate yourself to continue blogging? Connecting with the blogging community.
What attributes has helped you become successful blogger? I’m determined and focused. Additionally, I just love to write.
How have you tried to increase your blog traffic? Which way has been the most successful? I’ve tried a variety of ways, from leveraging social media to working on my SEO. Facebook groups have been the most helpful way to drive traffic.
What’s your favourite social media platform and why? I just love Instagram because, like so many others, I am attracted to pretty visuals. I don’t necessarily want to read a lot of text before someone has grabbed my interest.
Most of your traffic comes from which social media platform? Pinterest.
What’s your favourite blogging group on Facebook? FooDIY Bloggerhood.
Do you have a freebie for your readers? If so, what is it? Do we need to subscribe to receive it? Not yet, but I think I will make a free eBook eventually.
What’s your greatest win so far with blogging? Connecting with so many amazing women who inspire me.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve so far with blogging? Don’t impose too high of expectations. If you start out with the intent to make x amount of money or gain x amount of traffic, you’ll stop focusing on the important part: creating excellent, engaging content.
Has blogging surprised you in any way? If so, how? How fun it is to meet and chat with other bloggers. The skills I’m learning, too, have been helpful in other areas of my life, including work.
How often do you publish a post? I try to hit once a week, however, my school schedule and work schedule are hard to work around to meet that goal. I’ve had about an 80% success rate on meeting that goal.
Have you had writer’s block? If so, how did you overcome it? I think being a food blogger gives me some leeway. If I have writers block, then I just share a recipe with little narrative. Otherwise, I turn to other food bloggers and writers for inspiration.
Do you have a blogging schedule? Daily theme? Please share! Not yet! I’m hoping to make a schedule in the future.
Have you guest posted for someone? Not yet, but I’d love to! I’ve been involved in some round-up posts which were fun, but I’d really love to move toward guest posting.
Do you accept guest posts? If yes, tell us about it! I haven’t yet, but I would love to have a guest poster as well. I need to figure out how to engage other bloggers to post with me.
Have you made money from blogging? If so, how? Just a little bit from affiliate links. It’s not yet my focus to monetize.
How long had you been blogging before you made any money? A littler over a year.
Who’s your favourite blogger before you started blogging and why? (Name and blog URL) Thalia at Butter and Brioche (http://www.butterandbrioche.com/) has such a unique and beautiful writing style. I always read her posts and find myself enraptured by her prose.
Who’s your favourite blogger now and why? (Name and blog URL) It’s still Thalia! I haven’t found anyone with quite the same pull in their writing yet.
What type of blogs are you interested in reading and why? Other food writers and travel. Travel blogs are my favorite simply because I can be whisked away to some beautiful far away location while I sit in my corporate office and eat my lunch.
List the top 5 blogs you are reading currently: (Names and blog URLs)
- The Token Millenial – https://www.thetokenmillennial.com/
- Butter and Brioche – http://www.butterandbrioche.com/
- Hello My Dumpling – http://www.hellomydumpling.com/
- The Fair Sage – http://www.thefaresage.com/
- Steamy Kitchen – http://steamykitchen.com/
Give advice to someone who wants to start blogging: It’s cliche, but true: just have fun with it. If it owns you, you’ll start to regret it and we’ll read it in your posts.
Tell us one thing your readers don’t know about you: I’m studying Mandarin just for fun. I actually love it! It was something that intimidated me at first, but pushing myself has been great for my self-esteem. My husband and his family are all Chinese so at least I have people to practice with.
Leave a message for your readers: Thank you all for reading and for your support. Your comments, likes, and shares make my day.
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