The Nanny Nine: Home To Homestead with Elizabeth Ries

Elizabeth Ries, host of Twin Cities Live, has piqued the interest of many fans, friends and family members with her passion for Urban Farming.  Twin Cities Live viewers often get updates on her passion, but so do followers to her Home to Homestead blog and Facebook page.  The topics vary, including gardening, recipes and her three chickens…Roz, Suzie Q and MaryAnne.  Note that their names were carefully chosen:  Roz for her boyfriend Jay’s Mom; Suzie Q for her own Mom; and MaryAnne for her two sisters, their middle names.

Not only has her passion influenced her fans, but also her family.  Her sister in New York grows herbs on her fire escape in New York City, and her mom is now thinking of new uses for the posts of the pergola on her deck.  After our talk Elizabeth even has me thinking of doing squash in our large garden next year.

Her passion for cooking started when she was younger, with her Mom’s homemade meals from scratch.  It continued while she was in college, doing a lot of cooking for, and with, her roommates.  She shares recipes on her blog, along with beautiful photos (a newly discovered passion of hers) of the process and finished product.  Her  family enjoys the recipes, and shared food items, and Elizabeth enjoys sharing them….including her Grandmother, who loved the eggs!

1. What was your goal/vision for your blog when you started it?

My goal was really just to have a place of my own to write. I mentioned my worm composting on Twin Cities Live one day and received dozens of emails and Facebook messages from people asking me about it. I realized, there’s an audience out there that’s interested in my urban farming adventures. A week or so later I was walking my dog in Minneapolis and the name “Home to Homestead” just came to me. It was like a lightning bolt and I knew I was ready to go.

2. Has that goal/vision changed, and if yes, please explain?

It’s just expanded. Because of the blog, I’ve been asked to do cooking/speaking events related to urban farming and it’s been great to expand my media horizons.

3. Facebook vs Twitter for talking about your blog – do you like one better?

I post links to my blog posts on both.

4. Do you feel you get better reaction with blog posts on one Social Media site over the other?

I prefer Facebook, mainly because I think the attached photo on the post makes readers want to check it out more. Compare that to Twitter, where it’s just a link. Plus, my Twitter followers tend to be fellow members of the media where my Facebook fans tend to be viewers/listeners.

5. What is your favorite thing about Social Networking?

I love the immediate response that Social Networking provides.

 6. You have a natural ability for communicating verbally.  Did you find it to be an easy transition when doing so in writing for your blog?

I’ve always loved writing. But I’ve spent my career writing for television, which is very different than writing for a blog or print. When I started putting together articles for a local food magazine, my love of print writing was totally reignited and that was a huge motivating factor for me to start Home to Homestead. Writing for the blog has been invigorating and challenging.

7. Pictures can be very captivating in Social Media, and you have amazing photos on your blog.  Do you take them yourself?  If yes, have you unleashed another hidden passion?  If no, who helps you out with them?

Thank you! The photo component was very important to me! I love to read food blogs, but — I’m going to be honest here – there are a lot of them out there featuring some pretty bad photos. I think beautiful photos are the key to engaging readers, even more than the writing. Before I started Home to Homestead, I invested in a great camera and did tons of research on photography. I’m definitely an amateur and it’s a work in progress, but I’m proud of the photos on my blog. Photography is definitely becoming a passion I never knew I had.

8. What is the best moment you’ve had regarding your blog?

Reading the comments is the best part of having a blog. I’m just so delighted that people take the time to read it and are enjoying the stories I tell about my little plot of land.

9. What is your best piece of advice to other people blogging about their passion?

My best piece of advice is to make sure you have a unique perspective and niche. Also, be consistent. It’s sometimes tough for me to find time to blog, but I’m committed to getting at least one new post a week up there. I want my readers to look forward to new content and trust that it’s on the way!

Blog: Home To Homestead

Facebook: Elizabeth Ries

Twitter: @ElizabethRies

The Nanny Nine brought to you by the Social Networking Nanny

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