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Foodie Chat - Jill McKeever, The founder of GCC and Simple Daily Recipes

I bet, most of foodies are members of the Great Cooks Community. A cool community for Foodies to chat and share views. Have you ever wondered to meet the person behind this? Oh ya! I have!, which led me to this great interview with the lovely lady Jill McKeever. She also authors a food blog Simple Daily Recipes where she writes about kid friendly recipes and I love her food blog and Food blog template! With no further delay let us hear what Jill has got to say.

Sangeeth : How did u get the idea of blogging? When did u start blogging?(The usual question!)

Jill: I had always used sites like, AllRecipes, even to find recipes. The problem I kept running into was that there wasn't a picture to go along with recipes. When I would find a site that had photos, it was of food my kids wouldn't touch. I told my husband, "I wish there was a site that had kid friendly recipes with pictures."

Being the web developer in the family, he said, "Why don't you create a recipe blog?" I had heard of blogs being online personal journals but had no idea there was a food community. I thought I was building a website that would act as a online cookbook of kid friendly recipes for busy families. I wrote my first post June 29, 2007.

S: I know you are a mom, teacher and a very busy person, how do you manage your time? Any tips on time management for us?

J: I "Block" projects and daily tasks in front of me. I work one task at a time until it's time is up. Setting a time limit as to how long I spend on a task is a big help. If I run out of time, I just stop. Take a few minutes to regroup then move onto the next responsibility.

Having certain times of the day and certain days of the week for particular projects or tasks, is another sanity saver.

Determining what tasks to do first takes just a pen & notepad. Before I go to bed, I fill out my "If Nothing Else" list.
If I get nothing else done at work, I must...
If I get nothing else done at home, I must...

I also consider what jobs will only take 20% of my time and give an 80% return. I do what grows my blog first, i.e. posting good articles, editing photos.
Tasks such as clearing emails, checking traffic stats, catching up on tweets, facebook updates, leaving comments, don't grow my blog into a valuable resource for others to keep coming back to read.

S: Perfectly explained Jill. Thanks! An effective time management is what every Foodie needs, especially me!

S: There are people who blog all day, how many hours you spend blogging?

J: If you mean actual time on the laptop, 6 to 8 hours, Monday through Friday.
The hours I spend thinking about article topics, researching recipes, cooking, photography, grocery shopping & exploring foods...countless.

S: Can a person make a living from food blogging?, your views.

J: DEFINITELY, but not overnight. This is not a hobby. It's a profession for me. I'm not ready to buy my first condo in Hawaii, yet. I'm years away with many more lessons to learn. Like any small business owner, a food blogger must have a product or service that provides a benefit to others and persevere to get the word out about their product or service. And like any small business, a professional food blog, needs time to grow & develop, acquire return readers, and grow to gain a financial return on the food blogger's investment.

Folks blog for different reasons and that's totally cool. For those wanting to be successful bloggers (whatever "success" means to you), I say to you;

Think of blogging as a large marathon. You're running along with thousands of other runners. Thousands start off in the marathon, but very few finish the race. If you want to be a successful blogger, you have to persevere, endure, and keep running, no matter what the other runners are doing around you. Just keep running.

You can look up ahead and see what the more experienced are doing. You can look to the left & right to see what your peers are doing. But BE YOURSELF, DO YOUR OWN THING, and keep your own pace. There's plenty of room for everyone to succeed, so long as they keep running.

S: What can I say? You prove that you are a teacher! Great tips Jill.

S: Do you have any other blogs other than the food blog?

J: No. I'm not capable of keeping up on more than one.

S: How do you keep in touch with your fellow bloggers, do you use social sites?
How are the social sites playing their part in blogging?

J: My newest social tools are Twitter and Facebook. Even though I've had accounts set up for awhile. I just recently uploaded the plugins to my Firefox browser. Now, I'm constantly in touch with my readers & fellow bloggers. IT ROCKS! Both give me the feeling of a virtual online work place. Before I get down to business, I love to greet my Twitter & Facebook family. Through out the day, between/while regrouping for the next task, I check in on everyone. Kind like standing around the water cooler or break room, I get a chance to touch base with every one before I go back to my desk.

I also like the real time factor these plugins provide. I have them connected to my blog, so as soon as I post a recipe, my Twitter & Facebook family know about it first!

And of course, my all time favorite social network is Great Cooks Community. All the cool folks hang there.

S: Twitter rocks! I know what you are saying, I follow you ;)

S: If people want to contact you through social media, are you available?

J: Twitter (Jill McKeever) and Facebook (Jill McKeever) are the happening places for me right now.

S: I am in Twitter(sankum) and Facebook(Sangeeth Raghunathan) too!

S: Food Photography is the most famous topic in food blog world, can I ask what is your secret of great photographs?

J: Natural light, never use flash lighting, and Photoshop Elements!

S: How do you cope with the technical requirements for being a blogger.

J: I wouldn't be a blogger if I wasn't married to a web developer. My husband runs the technical development. I cook, photograph, write and socialize. I'm not saying I don't know anything, but we agreed a long time ago that we can accomplish more if we kept doing what we know best. We have always worked well together. We're constantly discussing how to grow Simple Daily Recipes and Great Cooks Community.

S: OK. Now for my selfish question. Have you been to my site before? Do you have any comments for me?

J: Sangeeth, you're doing very well. It's obvious that you are serious about your blog and the content that you provide to your readers. You are creating a resource for other's to depend on and that's so very important. Keep being you and just keep running.

I take this opportunity to Thank Jill for her lovely interview, despite her busy schedule.

I appreciate your comments and suggestions for future interviews. If you want anyone to be interviewed for this series, please let me know.

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Checkout the previous foodie chats.


It was a great learing experience. Nice interview Sangeeth...

another good interview! You're doing a great job dear! Keep it going.

Thats a great interview Sangeeth...liked reading to know some more about blogging and Jill

Thanks for this very informative interview with Jill.It was nice to know more about her.