Site-Wide Activity Forums Tea Conversations Writing tea blogs: What's the hardest part?

25 replies, 15 voices Last updated by  ThePurrfectCup 4 years, 11 months ago
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  • #7826

    Jackie
    Keymaster
    @jackie

    **To all those who have a tea blog, either here or elsewhere – what’s the hardest part of writing your blog? The biggest challenge while writing? Something that’s nearly brought you down to your knees?  How do you overcome this? 

    For me, I can tell you right off it’s the required regularity! I have a tea blog (yep, some of you don’t even know that) but I just don’t maintain it regularly. Writing this forum post is actually giving me an incentive to get back at it again. The last post I wrote, was a brilliant persiflage on our one and only@thedevotea – it would be hard to outdo that one.

    Coming to think of it, and I’m sure Robert would love this, I should write a whole blog just about him, right? What has our crazy man of tea been up to this week? That sort of thing. The more I think about it, the more ideas go steeping through my mind.

    Anyway, back over to you.  

    Let us know what demons you have to face!

    Yours, as always…

    J.

  • #7840

    Jackie
    Keymaster
    @jackie

    Pushing this up, as I’d love some thoughts on this one!

  • #7846

    Gingko
    Participant
    @gingkoseto

    *There was a time that I didn’t feel like to write much. But later I decided to make it a venting site and just dump out whatever I have in my mind :-p

    But I think a lot of good stuff you put on forum discussions you should collect them and make them into blog posts. Sometimes there are very good discussions that you don’t easily re-locate after a while. But when you put it in blog, it’s more systematic and easier for both you and other people to retrieve.

  • #7847

    liberteas
    Participant
    @liberteas

    This is a difficult question for me to answer… which is why I avoided answering it the first time I saw it.  🙂

    The hardest part for me is creativity.  Even though I pride myself as somewhat of an artist and a creative person, sometimes, I don’t feel creative and that interferes with… or rather, causes a lack of desire to actually write.  

    To overcome that, I try a different tea.  I usually set the teas out that I want to review for one day (I do try to stay organized), but, if I’m not feeling creative, it means that I need something a little different… so I reach for a different tea, and that is sometimes enough to inspire me to write.  Or, maybe I’ll just take a little break and do something else … sooner or later, I’ll find the words developing in my mind and have that desire to write again.

    Did that even answer your question?  I feel like I’m babbling.

  • #7848

    Robert Godden
    Participant
    @thedevotea

    I wait for an idea, and then when I get it, it has to come out. Sometimes they need to age for a day or two, sometimes they have to come out NOW.

    Many of the ideas have nothing to do with tea when they first come out. Others might be half formed for a while, for example, I have an idea where I wish to make fun of 12 other tea bloggers, but I’ve only settled on six.

     I never sit down to write a blog and just think of something to say. And I never write just because it’s been a while.

  • #7849

    Xavier
    Participant
    @xavier

    I just need time to do it.

    Ideas I have, time to write them down… not always.

  • #7852

    hiphopteashop
    Member
    @hiphopteashop

    To start with the hardest part for me was finding my “voice”. I had an idea of what I wanted to do with the blog but I was kind flailing around writing any old thing tea related. I’ve got a bit more of a structure to it now, which definitely makes things easier.

    I know what people mean about having difficulty with being creative. Even with my current structure I still have a couple of days where I can freestyle it, I can end up staring at my computer for a while before I actually get anything done. I won’t lie, using ideas from the forum is really handy when I’m feeling uninspired (as my rambling posts on Saturdays will testify). I do enjoy being creative though, so it’s not normally long before I think of  *something*… 🙂

  • #7853

    jopj
    Participant
    @jopj

    Finding a topic and linking it to the leaf is the hardest part for me.  I don’t generally sample teas and write reviews so there is no steady influx of topic. My additional concern is the interest of the readership, will what I write be relevant to the audience. 

  • #7854

    Jackie
    Keymaster
    @jackie

    *@hiphopteashop – I think it’s great if the forum inspires you to write a blog post. Anything posted here is up for grabs as blog fodder so to speak. 

    Thanks all for sharing. @gingkoseto – I often think, and even write, “must put this in a blog post” and then don’t. However I do have one excuse, the Tea Trade Network is my super blog ha ha. I always, always work on here! 🙂

    @liberteas – I don’t know how you do it, you’re the most prolific writer of all, and I think you must possess some amazing talent coupled with iron discipline. 

    @thedevotea – that’s interesting but doesn’t indicate there are any challenges for you. Do you ever struggle with anything while writing? 

    @xavier – your blog posts are so well researched, I’m not surprised it takes you a while. That would certainly stop me in my tracks for a bit. 

  • #7855

    Jackie
    Keymaster
    @jackie

    *@jopj your post crossed with mine. Like you I don’t write reviews, so that’s out. I guess I’m still not sure what kind of posts to write. Some of the most fun I had with my own blog was writing the story around @thedevotea – However, there are lots of less creative things I also want to share, and when I look at the range of topics, and the “voice” required for each of them, I think it’s so diverse, and almost looks hap hazard. 

    Anyway, I much enjoy your posts which, with me certainly, are always a hit!

  • #7868

    lahikmajoe
    Participant
    @lahikmajoe

    Not entirely sure how to answer this, which is interesting because I almost always have an opinion.

    Despite its whimsy and sometimes haphazard appearance, I take my teablog rather seriously. Soon after I started, someone told me that blogs were best when they were updated daily (if not multiple times in a day). 

    I kept that up for a while, and it was great fun. In some ways, it was both a challenge and a pleasure to come up with content so regularly. As I’ve so often said, I like to get as far away from tea as possible and it still be tangentially about that often brown, nearly always delicious beverage. 

    I suppose if I had to come up with a ‘hardest part’, it’d be finding something to say/write about that’s really worth saying. One of the reasons I’ve slowly veered away from tea reviews is that I just didn’t like how bland my descriptions were. Though I could come up with creative ways of doing tea reviews (Geoff’s immediately come to mind), I find myself focusing on other aspects of all of it.

    So, I periodically find myself looking at a half-written blogpost and think to myself, ‘This isn’t worth continuing. It just doesn’t say anything that really needs to be said.’ Some of you are probably thinking, ‘He should do that more often.’ 

    Yes, you’re probably right.

    Interesting topic. I reserve the right to come back and pontificate further on this one.

  • #8293

    Jackie
    Keymaster
    @jackie

    Just took a look at your blog @riccaicedo – nice writing about Japanese teas! I agree, getting very few visits on a blog is frustrating, especially when you know a number of people might really benefit. I have the perfect solution for you: Run your tea blog on Tea Trade! I : )
    It’s what we do, we host tea bloggers. All your new posts will appear in our activity stream, you have an audience right here for your blog. Contact @peter & me – @jackie for details. You can send us a pm right here. We’d love to have you on board, joining all our other tea lovers & writers.

  • #8297

    riccaicedo
    Participant
    @riccaicedo

    Thanks for the reply, @jackie, and also for following me on twitter.

    The only problem with hosting my blog on Tea Trade is that I lose the .com in my domain, I think that’s a good part of the branding…

    But I’ll consider it, thank you for your offer!

  • #8298

    Jackie
    Keymaster
    @jackie

    @riccaicedo – you can bring your domain name with you, that’s not a problem. We have several people on here who’ve done just that.

  • #8300

    peter
    Keymaster
    @peter

    @riccaicedo – just to clarify what @jackie said, we support domain mapping. I took a look at your site and after reviewing it, we could certainly host it here on Tea Trade without altering it all (aside from it having the Tea Trade header bar and the social app at the bottom). I could even help you get your theme over here and support you with that.

    When someone has a tea blog, I always encourage them to migrate here with it. No reason not to take advantage of all the built in tea lovers that Tea Trade has to offer.

    If you are interested in this, just send me a PM.

  • #8305

    darjeelingtea
    Member
    @darjeelingtea

    Discovering fresher ideas happens to be the hardest part for my blog at http://www.darjeelingteaboutique.com/blog . And when fresh ones arrive, they arrive in bunches. Overwhelmed by the numbers, so mush so that those ideas get lost in a jiffy. Now trying to keep all ideas logged onto my phone or any piece of paper I happen to have at that moment.

  • #8310

    LatteTeaDah
    Participant
    @latteteadah

    Hardest part? The writing bit…
    Ideas are easier to come up with, but trying to write for a mixed audience is tough. I’m surrounded by people and friends who know so little about tea that they call me their “expert,” yet I’m acutely aware that my depth of knowledge is lacking when reading other’s efforts. And I’m not nearly as disciplined in journaling as others – I have to have something inspire me and have it be meaningful or it’s not worth jotting down.
    So for the most part I try to describe what I learn and what context it’s in. There are some who cannot stand that approach – the “describe what you’re wearing and what kind of day you had” narrative for a tea experience – but that’s how some of us experience things.

    Good topic!

  • #8311

    teaherb
    Participant
    @teaherb

    Hm,really a good question.

    I am a Chinese tea seller,and I really love tea.
    There are two places I feel the most difficult to write a tea blog .
    First, I have not been to the producer of tea, some local tea culture to me is just on website or TV,of course in chinese.
    Second, many of China’s tea story is difficult to depict with English,Especially the verse about tea, because my English is poor.

  • #8315

    darjeelingtea
    Member
    @darjeelingtea

    @xavier Depends. If the blog is directly or indirectly linked to tea, it doesn’t matter. But tea has to be the talking point. That brings in a lot of juice from other topics too. Trying to do the branding stuff right now via my blog
    http://www.darjeelingteaboutique.com/blog
    Just included the branding aspect of marketing Darjeeling Teas. It’s first of a series and there’s many more to come.

  • #8318

    Anonymous @

    Writing tea blog needs more information and accurate data. If you have the skill you will go a long way.

  • #8319

    Jackie
    Keymaster
    @jackie

    The hardest part for me right now is realizing that my last blog entry was titled Good bye summer, hello blogand I haven’t written a post since. I need to get back to it pronto.

  • #8320

    Xavier
    Participant
    @xavier

    @jackie you are like all of us. You need a tea break.

  • #8379

    Gingko
    Participant
    @gingkoseto

    @riccaicedo your blog is very nice! I think it’s a good idea to have a site on teatra.de. My blog has its own site but I enjoy having a blog at the same pace on teatra.de. Because teatra.de is a society of tea drinkers and promotes communication of tea bloggers, I often get unique valuable feedbacks on my teatra.de blog site.

    Your blog has nice topics, and nice photos. You probably would just need some time to let your audience size grow. I didn’t see a date record of each of your blog post and usually I would like to see a date on a blog. Generally I’m more motivated to comment on a recently written blog so I would need to know the date.

    @jackie I think you should write more. Don’t be too much of a perfectionist and don’t wait till you must get a “whole piece” of something. I think you can have fun writing smaller pieces and we can surely enjoy it!

    That being said, I’ve written less frequently than I would like to recently. I guess my biggest challenge now is too many other things are going on. But I hope to keep the blog going, maybe a bit slowly.

  • #8380

    Jackie
    Keymaster
    @jackie

    Thanks @gingkoseto for your thoughts, you’re right it doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s just that Tea Trade takes precedence over any of my own small blog posts, so any writing I do is usually in the form of forum posts, updates or comments on other people’s blogs. Then…after that I get to mine. But it was nice to read your encouragement.
    Would love to hear a little about what else is going on in your life, let us know.
    Everyone’s input here has been really insightful, love it, thanks to all.

  • #8382

    riccaicedo
    Participant
    @riccaicedo

    Thank you for the compliment @gingkoseto
    I saw your Life in a Tea cup blog and it’s great. You’ve been writing for so long! I liked the article about the fungi in pu’erh. The pictures you have about tea leaves are also well taken.
    Regarding the dates on posts, from what I’ve researched it’s a double-edged sword. As you say, people like to comment only on the newest articles. If someone lands on an old article of yours, say through a google search, they can be put off because it’s not new. Even if the content is great.
    Same thing happens to the whole blog, by the way. Even if it’s an awesome blog, if you haven’t updated it in some months, people will just assume that it’s a dead blog and won’t even bother reading anything! I must admit that I’m guilty of this too.
    @jackie, I’m eagerly waiting for your next post!

  • #8540

    ThePurrfectCup
    Participant
    @thepurrfectcup

    My posts tend to tell a story sometimes with a tea review mixed into it. But other posts take time to work out…like the Taking Tea With _____. I’ve got one in the works. But it isn’t something I can hammer out without giving it some thought and perhaps researching the person or character a bit more. 

    I’ve always liked telling a story and tea tells a story…trouble is sometimes the story takes a while to turn up.

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