Behind the Blogger Spotlight: Tikkido
This is the second in a series of interviews at Yum Goggle called Food Blogger Spotlight. In the coming months, we will interview bloggers who submit their recipes to YG, asking each one the same eleven questions. We love and appreciate all of the bloggers and companies that share their recipes through YG. We are glad of the opportunity to get to know each of you and share with our readers. Enjoy this post – you are going to love Nikki!
Meet Nikki Wills of Tikkido
Tikkido’s FACE BOOK PAGE
How long have you been blogging?
Just over five years! I hit publish on my very first post on August 25th, 2010.
Why do you blog?
Blogging started as an extension of my old business, Tradewind Tiaras. Yes, I was a professional tiara designer for 13 years! Five years ago I realized that modern marketing had kind of blown right past me, and I really needed a facebook page, a twitter account, a blog for my business, etc. So I started the Tradewind Tiaras blog, mostly about weddings, but also about entertaining more widely, since that could be applied to weddings (and I was desperate for things to write about). With that mindset, I had a magnificent time creating my daughter’s Cornish Fairy birthday party. It was all stuff I would have done anyway, but I photographed not just the party, but the crafts and recipes I made to create the party.
Honestly, before I did the Cornish Fairy party, I had no clue there was a whole world of Party Bloggers out there! I discovered them, and realized that I wasn’t completely crazy after all. Ok, so maybe I am crazy, but there are *other people who are crazy in the same way!* It was a magnificent moment of realization and connection, and I loved meeting (virtually, at least) people who were such kindred spirits.
I have two daughters, and so the party side of the blog kept growing, and at the same time, I was getting more and more fed up with having customers (particularly brides). We decided to split the brand, and create Tikkido.com in 2012. Tikkido has kept me extremely busy, and I decided to shutter Tradewind Tiaras in 2013, and focus solely on Tikkido.
How did you come up with the name of your blog?
Ugh, that’s the hardest thing in the world, isn’t it? I agonized over the decision for almost a year, as my husband was building my website. (He’s a brilliant computer programmer, and the price is right, but sometimes you get what you pay for. ;-) Love you, babe!) If I came up with a pithy name I liked, the URL was pretty much guaranteed to be taken already. Eventually, on the advice of my brilliant artist friend Karyn (who designed my logo!), I decided to go with a nonsense word. My youngest daughter’s nickname is Tykki-dyw, the Cornish word for butterfly, and I decided to name the blog after her. But with a simplified, Americanized spelling, Tikkido. Also, the English major in me liked the idea of being able to introduce myself as “Nikki from Tikkido.”
The best part about a made up word for a blog name?
You’re pretty much guaranteed to get every social media handle and URL you want.
What do you wish that you had done early on with your blog that you didn’t understand until later?
Hero image at the top of the post. I go back and I read some of my early stuff, and it’s amazing how much I ramble in the early part of the post, before I get to the main image (that one, pretty, vertical, pinterest-worthy, sums-up-the-post photo).
Do you have any advice for new bloggers?
It is a pain in the tuckus to do amplification for every post, but it really is valuable. You want to be everywhere eyes are, because you never know who is going to see you and pick you up for a buzzfeed or Huffington Post or even a print article. That means submit to all social media (even ones you totally don’t get, like twitter. I chafe at being limited to 140 characters.). Submit to the sharing sites, like YumGoggle. Do video content, even if it’s just a slideshow of your photos, because YouTube is the second largest *search engine* in the world, and do you really want to be left off the second largest search engine? (That’s the one I really need to work on.)
Photography is also absolutely essential. Get yourself a DSLR, a 50mm 1.4 lens, and sign up for a photography course at your local community college so you can learn how to use the equipment. I never take my camera off Manual; I wouldn’t dream up giving up the control once I learned how to use it.
Also, Adobe Lightroom is a godsend for photo editing and storage. I do 99% of my editing in Lightroom.
Oh, also, did you know you get free ULIMITED cloud photo storage with Amazon prime? Even being pretty draconian about what photos I keep and what I delete, photos take up a LOT of space (even though I shoot JPG, not RAW). I back up to Smugmug (paid) and to Amazon Prime (which I have anyway).
I’m going to stop now, because I could go on for hours giving advice I’ve learned the hard way. ;-)
What is your favorite recipe on your blog and why?
It’s my family’s gingerbread house recipe. Gingerbread houses have been an integral part of our Christmas tradition since I was an infant. My mom used to make one for every kid my class, one for every kid in my brother’s class, my girl scout troop, his cub scout troop, neighbors, friends, and more. Every year. And now I’ve taken up the Gingerbread Mantle, doing the same thing for my two daughters. I make over 100 gingerbread houses every year at this point, and it’s crazy, and busy, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything! Some of my fondest memories are of making gingerbread houses with my mother, and I’m so delighted that I get to do it for my daughters now. My oldest daughter, last year, while we were baking, said, “When I’m making gingerbread houses for my kids…” and my heart just melted. Yes. A million times, yes. This is what food can be–something so magical and transcendent and important! We’re not just making cookies, we’re making memories.
Name a few of your favorite blogs
Frog Prince Paperie
EPBOT (cause I’m a big geek AND I like cake decorating!)
If you were a fruit or vegetable, which would it be and why?
Rhubarb, because when you first meet me, I’m kind of shy, and you might even think I’m a little sour and aloof–but once you get to know me, I’m pretty much the best thing around. ;-)
Favorite band or singer?
A (sadly, now defunct) Canadian band named Great Big Sea. Man, they put on a great live show, and while they played to stadiums in Canada, here in the states, they performed in small, intimate bars and venues.
Oof, I can’t decide!! Anne of Green Gables? The Incredibles? The Hobbit (part 1)? If it’s geeky and smart, I probably love it. Especially if it involves time travel.
Anything else you would like to share about your blog – please feel free to write as much or as little as you want!
Pretty sure I already wrote a mouthful and a half already!
Now, check out all Tikkido’s Yum Goggle posts here: Tikkido