When I first came onto the wine social media scene back in late 2008/early 2009, I knew I wanted to move my writing in the direction of this tasty niche. I immersed myself into the wine bloggers’ culture on Twitter and Facebook and spent years getting to know other people in the industry.
Simultaneously, I began writing more for non-writing publications. After a short stint with a local East Bay food magazine, I took a journalism class to continue honing my craft. I learned what my “voice” read like, and pursued other freelance opportunities.
I was also finishing my B.A. and continued learning both online and offline about social media and businesses’ uses for social media.
I am fortunate to have been able to attend the Wine Bloggers Conference held 2012 in Portland, and felt a small momentum building. Again, during this time, I was working full time, going to school part time, and moving into a new home with a retired parent with medical issues, so my momentum was on a metaphysical level with myself only.
With that said, my writing again took a backseat to life in general until I attended the Wine Tourism Conference in November 2013. This conference was held in Portland also at the same host hotel as the Wine Bloggers Conference of 2012, so it was nice to be in familiar territory. I learned a great deal at the conference, and appreciated the professionalism of everyone.
Shortly before the Wine Tourism Conference, I found a writing gig on craigslist.com for feature article writing for a small lifestyle magazine in the East Bay. I started cranking out some articles for the magazine and again felt a force moving me away from my current vocation towards something that allowed more creative writing.
It was only by happenstance that I saw a job listing for a freelance social media coordinator on a Facebook group in late December. I recognized the company listing the job as I’d been following the owner Janet and vice versa on Twitter since late 2008.
What a thrill! The gig was to create content and post on social media for the country’s largest trade and consumer wine event, the Boston Wine Expo, held every year in Boston. I dived right into the gig while attempting to juggle the rest of my life in addition to the freelance article writing I’d been doing.
I created Tumblr blog posts, created and scheduled content on Facebook and Twitter and engaged with anyone and everyone who wanted to discuss the event on any social media platform. Towards the end, I also created an Instagram account for the media agency owner’s use at the actual event.
The event was held in February and by the beginning of April all social media began to wind down. It was a bittersweet moment when I emailed my final invoice. I’d been vigorously looking for other social media freelance work and had confirmed Janet would give me a good recommendation. Nothing panned out, but Janet confirmed that I’d be able to head the social media in the fall for the Boston Wine Expo. Needless to say, I was thrilled.
Which us brings us pretty much to the present. I’m doing a small freelance job for Janet right now, summer’s here, and I’m leaving this week for Buellton and the Wine Bloggers Conference.
So, my question is this: If I’m not blogging consistently, but am doing other writing, including creating social media content for wine industry purposes, can I consider myself a wine blogger? Or am I guilty of not fulfilling an unspoken belief that I must maintain a somewhat consistent presence both on my blog and in the community? My conviction is that writing is writing and blogging is social media. Despite the fact that I’m not keeping my personal blog current doesn’t translate to I’m not active in the blogosphere or in the social media world.
In any event, I’m caring and sharing about wine as much as my life allows and that’s all we can ask from ourselves, right?