Harold Hill blogger Michelle Ordever earns national award nomination for The Purple Pumpkin Blog
- Credit: Archant
It started with some ideas for a Hallowe’en party – Bloody Mary soup, ghoul-ash, spooky spuds and poisoned peas.
Michelle Ordever, of Harold Hill, began blogging in November 2011. She posted some recipes from the party on her new “Purple Pumpkin Blog” page so she could share them with friends.
A year and a half later, Michelle welcomes 10,000 visitors to the site each month and has just been shortlisted for a national award.
So how did she make the shift from photographing her dinner to the finals of the Britmums “Brilliance in Blogging” awards?
For starters, she’s persistent – Michelle, 36, averages more than 10 blog posts a week.
It’s no mean feat considering the Taunton Road resident also works a day job as a web designer and has a teenage son to bring up.
The posts are divided up into “cook”, “craft” and “create” – the latter being the home of her most popular blog entry to date, in which she describes her preparations for her husband’s 40th birthday party.
- 1 Council to inspect 'dangerous' space outside Upminster homes
- 2 Owner calls support for new Gidea Park pizzeria 'overwhelming'
- 3 3 Romford arrests in modern slavery, cannabis and money laundering probe
- 4 Teen found guilty of robbing boy, 12, in Romford while carrying knife
- 5 Hundreds oppose Harold Wood scheme to stop cars driving around schools at peak times
- 6 ‘Lawless’: Further issues raised with state and maintenance of Romford car park
- 7 The Mercury: What do sales of The Liberty and The Brewery mean for Romford's town centre?
- 8 Constable sped at 88mph on residential road without training, panel told
- 9 Appeal: Man left with broken jaw after Romford pub assault
- 10 Gidea Park owner increasingly 'worried' in search for missing cat
“To this day, if you type ‘40th birthday party ideas’ into Google my blog comes up near the top,” she said. “So there must be a lot of 40-year-olds who read it.
“Once you start getting comments from people you don’t know, that’s when you realise it’s not just your mum, dad and best mate visiting the site.”
One reason she expanded the site’s remit was that relentlessly blogging about parties was taking its toll on her finances.
“Every time I threw a party for friends and family I would blog about it,” she said. “But that became a lot of pressure on me to throw a party every other week to have something to write about.
“So then it evolved into recipes and a bit of craft.”
So what makes her site worth reading?
“I like to think it’s my honesty that has made it successful,” she said. “I wear my heart on my sleeve.
“Because I share a lot of stuff I like to think there’s a little something for everyone – I’m not niche. I don’t just do a particular kind of recipe – I share an awful lot of stuff for free.
“Blogging is a really competitive market and I wanted it to be successful. In the past I’ve started blogs and let them fall by the wayside – but I’ve stuck at this one.
“My husband and son have got the hang of it too – they both know if I’m cooking dinner we have to take a photo first before anyone eats it!”
To read Michelle’s blog, visit www.thepurplepumpkinblog.co.uk.
The winner of the Britmums Brilliance in Blogging awards will be announced in June.