It’s my 8-year blogiversary today!
And this has been one of my most interesting years ever.
Over the past 3 years I lost BOTH of my regular paid writing gigs – thanks to the fickle and everchanging landscape of the online publishing world. In the case of the first site, they shut down completely. And in the case of the second, they decided to go in-house for their food content. So as of March I was officially out of work for the first time in my entire adult life.
This left me in a not-such-great place, to say the least. As a freelance food writer I was very fortunate to have not one, but two regular gigs. They kept me busy enough that I did not need to actively seek other work, yet with enough time to maintain this little blog of mine. And with the occasional assignment from other sites, along with sponsored posts here, I was able to cobble together a nice part-time income.
So now what?
I threw myself a very brief pity party, and then decided to take my now-suddenly-abundant free time and use it as an opportunity. In what ways had I changed/grown professionally over the last few years? What aspects of my job(s) did I love most? Least? Did I want to forge ahead and keep doing what I was doing, or did I want to switch things up completely and start yet another brand new career?
And I came up with a couple of ideas. You all know how much I LOVE to bake – was this the time to dive in and finally do it for real? I had been toying with the idea of selling cakes in jars, and decided to test-batch them locally – and these cakes were the pilot test.
I got great feedback, but at the end of the day I decided that there were too many obstacles in starting a home food business that I didn’t want to tackle.
Next? Social media management. That is, running the Instagram accounts for various small food-related businesses (think: restaurants, bakeries, cafes, etc.). And I actually did this for two clients (who paid me!!!!).
And I HATED it. So, no.
Finally? Food photography. Like, really going for it as a full-fledged career. This might have seemed like the most obvious choice, since that’s pretty much what I do here and elsewhere. But I hesitated because I still didn’t see myself as a “real” photographer. Because I had backed into that aspect of blogging – rather than it being my #1 skill set – I still had major impostor syndrome, and didn’t dare think that I could put myself out there as such.
But here’s the thing – that’s actually my favorite part of this whole biz. I LOVE taking pictures – planning them, composing them, editing them. And so what did I really have to lose?
So I got to work, updating my very outdated portfolio on my favorite freelancing website. And I started applying for jobs.
And I started getting jobs. All KINDS of jobs. I photographed a new powdered beverage line. I re-shot the package photos for a collection of kids’ sandwich cutters. I took all the menu shots for a newly launched food-delivery service in Manhattan. I got hired to reshoot recipe posts for several bloggers.
And so on.
And so it was time to get some new marketing materials – namely, business cards and postcards (the former still had my old blog name, and the latter did not yet exist).
And wouldn’t you know? At that exact moment the very nice people at PurpleTrail reached out and asked if I would like to review their product line.
Um, yes please!
PurpleTrail is a full-service on-line stationery company, with products ranging from cards, invitations and announcements to photo books, labels, planners and more. PurpleTrail believes that “we are all different, and there is a designer within each of us.” They provide the very high-quality tools to get you started, and you do the rest. You can start with their seemingly endless number of templates and designs, or create one of your own.
Needless to say, I decided to design those new cards!
And it couldn’t have been easier.
I designed the cards on my computer and then uploaded to the site.
I had some sizing issues when it came to creating the business cards and was able to chat in real time with customer service – who took care of the whole process on the spot.
I couldn’t be happier with the results, and am so excited about what this next phase in my blogging journey will lead to!
PurpleTrail would love you to give them a try too – and have a special offer to get you started! Simply enter code SHERI10 at checkout for 10% off your order, good through June 30, 2019!
Note: I was not compensated for this post. PurpleTrail gave me a credit to apply to the purchase of their products in exchange for a review; all comments and opinions are – as always – completely my own.