Thursday, March 1, 2012

Tea Blogger’s Dilemma

I have been drinking tea since the 1970’s. Back then it was mostly Bigelow teas. There wasn’t much else to choose from in small town America. Years passed things began to change as I started to find Twinings and Stash among other brands at the grocer and local specialty shops. One day it occurred to me how many teas I had tried. It also occurred to me that I couldn’t remember all of them or what I had thought of them at the time.

I was relatively new to the Internet back then and loved writing web pages. It seemed natural to combine journaling my tea experience with a website. My first couple sites contained a lot of reviews and a lot of bad information. Hopefully, I have improved a bit. With the Internet also came exposure to loose leaf tea. Grocery stores began to follow suit by stocking some Twinings loose tins. I was thrilled to discover an International food market nearby that occasionally stocked Ahmad loose tins.

When I joined the Steepster online community I was still drinking mostly bagged tea along with some grocery store loose leaf. It was here that the doors of premium grade tea were flung open wide. This is the point where I abandoned web pages and began to blog. This is also where the dilemma comes in.

A friend of mine has six tins of grocery store tea in his drawer. He is completely happy. I have maybe 50 samples and tins in my drawer and I am pondering the next. (I know people who have over 500!) At the same time I have some favorites I would like to keep around. If I buy them, I have to drink them. If I drink them, I am not drinking new teas. If I am not drinking new teas how can I write new material for a review blog?

We have all seen blogs that have a handful of excited entries that are a few years old. I always wonder what happened. Were they abducted by aliens or did they just lose interest? Possibly when they realized the world was not going to beat their door down to give them free tea they just gave up trying? Who knows.

I have seen blogs that are supposed to be about tea that have wandered so far off course they are no longer recognizable by their intended audience. Do they lack focus or material? Again who knows.

I can tell you staying current and relevant is more difficult than it sounds. This blog was set up to be fun. I love tea. I love sharing about tea. So I write. I think the trick is finding balance between meeting the never ending need for new material and enjoying the tea journey along the way. Otherwise it just becomes work. The last time I checked, no one was paying me to do this.

There are some professional bloggers out there running successful sites, but more often than not, most are just enthusiastic amateurs. The next time you enjoy one of their posts, tell them so. It is encouraging to hear from readers.

Fellow writers, how about you – how do you maintain balance between writing new material and enjoying your tea journey?

No comments:

Post a Comment