Matthew Miyaga is an Environmental Biologist during the day and the owner of a small clothing company called Finale Design. But he is also one of the people behind a bunch of blogs called the Slops, in particular, Vancouver Slop. The blogs run in Vancouver, New York and Calgary and the main focus is food. Considering that they’ve recently been selected by the CBC to provide local food and dining information for their Road to the Games (2010 Olympics) website and they’ve made a partnership with VancouverIsAwesome, I thought I’d ask him the ins-and-outs on his road to blogger success.
1. Why start a blog like this and have you seen all the other review sites that are similar?
Vancouver Slop started as means for me to share my dining experience with my friends. I have eaten out almost everyday for the last five years (I honestly think I only cooked 5 meals last year ) and I figured I should start blogging about my favorite spots. This blog is an extension of all the other creative projects that I am involved in however I never expected it to develop the readership that it has. I was stoked when I had just 50 readers a day. I have seen all the other review sites but we feel our content is different and that is why we have such a loyal following. We keep our writing simple, and humorous and take the pretentiousness out of food reviewing. We share our entire experience (talking about more than just the food – our dates, people in the restaurant etc) which helps engage our readers. We also put a high value on growing the back end side of things. We have received press from traditional sources such as The Province, Global Television and the Westender. We have created a brand identity and push it forward by developing products that markets our brand (Vancouver Slop T shirts, buttons, tip calculators). The “Slops” (Vancouver, Toronoto, New York and Calgary soon to come) are all done by a community of friends. They were all Vancouverites at one time but have since moved to their new cities and decided to share the love for food with the online community.
2. How’s your traffic?
Over 30,000 page views a month.
3. Are you planning to get your readers engaged in any way?
By the nature of a food review blog it is difficult to engage our readers. We have some interaction using our Facebook group but we are exploring ways to engage our readers more. I thought about allowing reader to submit places for me to visit and eat at but I need some control over my diet or else I would 90 lbs heavier in no time.
5. What are your hopes for the future of the blog?
We hope to continue to grow Vancouver Slop. We plan to continue to blog regularly, increase the functionality of the website and add more special features. We have a few special features lined up, that will be up on the website shortly.