I hope you’re all having a lovely Sunday and are sitting down, nice and comfy ready for another chatty interview with a blogger. I’m currently feeling a bit like I’m getting the flu if you didn’t already read on my latest insta (instagram.com/jess_cantoni). I’ve got a mug of cinnabun flavoured coffee to fuel me through writing this! It’s something I love doing though, so it’s no hardship.Today’s interview is with a foodie from the county of Gloucestershire (no, i’m not interviewing myself…) Adam Lewis from the mouth-drooling food blog that is lewisloves.com (who he also runs with his wife, Sarah Lewis) is known for discovering the best places to eat in the county. I mean, just check out their insta (instagram.com/adamlewisloves) ! I get serious food envy every time I look!
My wife, Sarah and I write about everything we love about the Cotswolds and South West, focusing on food, lifestyle and events.
So, how long have you been blogging for?
It’s been about 18 months now.
Full time or spare time blogger?
Spare time. We write because we love sharing our absolute favourite places and events. If we were constantly worrying about paying the bills, I think the content would suffer as there would always be that temptation to follow the money.
I think it is hard to find that balance once you start treating it as a business. What was your main reason for starting your blog?
We wanted to share the best of our region with people and help them find those lovely little independent shops, restaurants and events that they might otherwise miss. It’s such a shame when people just go to the same chains time and time again.
I’m with you there. I try to avoid chains if I can. Do you have a blogging schedule or do you write what you fancy at the time?
We pretty much just write as and when we feel like it, depending on where we’ve been and what we’ve found to share.
Are you a sofa blogger or do you prefer to sit in an office?
Typically on the sofa, although Sarah sometimes blogs on her phone during our morning commute. If I can’t sleep, I occasionally blog in bed in the early hours of the morning, although I try not to as it can’t be good for my health. Surprisingly, it’s still pretty lucid though and a few of my favourite posts have been written this way.
What’s your blogging daily routine? How do you manage your time?
Having full time jobs, there’s no set blogging routine. Typically, though, we will try to do social media a few times a day and then write blog posts in the evenings or at weekends.
We’ve been chatting for a while now… do you want a cup of coffee, a brew or something herbal?
I drink coffee and tea, although I still can’t get my head around green tea. I can’t be the only person who thinks it tastes like pond water. I’m a big fan of loose leaf Russian Caravan tea which I get from a lovely little tea emporium in Bath.
Haha, well I’m not the biggest fan either. I prefer a Matcha latte if it’s going to be green! So let’s talk about future plans. Where do you see your blog in the next few years?
Ooh that’s a good question. Hopefully we’ll still be growing and finding more wonderful places to blog about. There certainly isn’t any shortage of new openings at the moment so we’re not too worried. And of course, the main thing has to be that we are still enjoying writing content and sharing it.
The food scene is certainly growing in the county, that’s for sure! Where do you find inspo to write a blog post?
Living in the beautiful Cotswolds, and working in thriving Bristol, there’s no shortage of amazing places to try, and the list keeps on getting longer and longer. We’re so lucky to have so many talented artisan producers, independent restaurants and exciting venues.
Agreed. My list is never-ending! Any advice for those who find it difficult to get inspiration?
Just try sticking to what you know and love, and you’ll find the content comes naturally. Eventually your following will grow as people will enjoy the passion in your writing, but in the meantime, just have fun and don’t worry too much.
Exactly. So, how do you interact with other bloggers?
We’ve become really good friends with a number of local bloggers since starting, especially through the Cotswolds Bloggers group. We meet up regularly but in-between we’re often swapping local news and views on social media.
Yes, I love the Cotswolds Bloggers group! Have you ever collaborated with another blogger?
We’ve not worked with another blogger yet although we’ve collaborated with lots of businesses we like who are keen to share their brand with the world. We’d definitely be happy to work with other bloggers though.
Do you think it’s better to blog about everything and anything or to focus on a niche?
There are a few mainstream bloggers who are more like a brand, and it still amazes me how much people want to know about every aspect of their life. For smaller bloggers though, I personally think it’s better to keep it focused so that people understand what you’re about. That’s why we just cover the Cotswolds and South West
That sounds sensible. Let’s talk about money now. What do you think is the biggest cost in blogging?
The biggest cost is definitely time. It takes a lot of effort to visit places, take and edit photos, write a blog post and then share it afterwards. In monetary terms, the only cost has been hosting our website which wasn’t too bad.
I don’t think people realise how long it takes sometimes! So, have you attended any blogging events?
Aside from the local Cotswolds Bloggers group, I’ve not attended any other blogging events. To be honest, I’m not hugely aware of them, and I’ve always assumed they were more focused on the larger, full time bloggers.
I used to assume this too but I think they’re open to all blog sizes. Do you feel it’s difficult to be in know about events?
We spend a lot of time talking to local people about what’s going on and what they are loving at the moment. That’s definitely the best way to keep your finger on the pulse.
Do you feel that there should be more acknowledgement and promotion of bloggers in the press?
I think there is a lot more awareness than there used to be, although I guess to some extent, bloggers and the press are competing against one another, particularly when you are focused on local events and venues. There’s plenty of room for everyone though, especially when people have such varied opinions.
I agree, we are sorta competing aren’t we! Blogs are used a lot these days to talk about issues such as mental health. If you could use your blog as a platform to talk about something perhaps taboo, what would you talk about and why?
I think it’s great that people are raising awareness of things like mental health on their blogs. I’m currently completing a challenge to run the distance of 30 marathons in a year, ending with the entire 102 mile Cotswold Way. I’m raising money for Maggie’s Cancer Centres and Winston’s Wish, and trying to use the blog to raise money and awareness of these great charities.
Wow, that’s big distance! Good luck! Any tips for a novice blogger starting out?
Enjoy yourself and don’t worry. Even if nobody reads it, you’ll find the writing cathartic, and one day when you least expect it, people will start to take notice. Also don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it; most bloggers tend to be pretty friendly.
Thanks for the advice Adam. We bloggers are a friendly bunch, always happy to help!
I also asked Adam to recommend to you guys some lovely places to eat in his home county (even if he did cheat and add one extra, but in the name of food, I can let him off!)
Adam’s top 3 places to eat in Gloucestershire –
THE ADDED EXTRA!!
Next week i’ll be talking to a beauty blogger who will also be sharing her top 3 beauty products at the moment, so be sure to come back!
If you want to take part, tweet me @fessjarmer with your email.